The Bermuda Triangle – sometimes also referred to as the Devil’s Triangle – is a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean bordered by a line from Florida to the islands of Bermuda, to Puerto Rico and then back to Florida. It is one of the biggest mysteries of our time – that perhaps isn’t really a mystery.
The earliest suggestion of unusual disappearances in the Bermuda area appeared in a September 1950 article in The Miami Herald by Edward Van Winkle Jones. Two years later, Fate magazine published Sea Mystery at Our Back Door, a short article by George X Sand covering the loss of several planes and ships, famously including the loss of Flight 19, a group of five US Navy torpedo bombers on a training mission.
Sand’s article was the first to lay out the now-familiar triangular area where the losses took place. Flight 19 alone would be covered again in the April 1962 issue of American Legion magazine. In it, author Allan W Eckert wrote that the flight leader had been heard saying, ‘We’re entering white water, nothing seems right. We don’t know where we are, the water is green, no white.’ He also wrote that officials at the Navy board of inquiry stated that the planes ‘flew off to Mars.’ Sand’s article is believed to be the first to suggest a supernatural element.
The actual term ‘Bermuda Triangle’ was first used in an article written by Vincent H Gaddis for Argosy magazine in 1964. In the piece, Gaddis claimed that in this strange sea a number of ships and planes had disappeared without explanation.
In 1969 John Wallace Spencer wrote a book called Limbo of the Lost specifically about the Triangle and, two years later, a feature documentary on the subject, The Devil’s Triangle, was released. These, along with the bestseller The Bermuda Triangle, published in 1974, permanently registered the legend of the ‘Hoodoo Sea’ within popular culture.
Why do ships and planes seem to go missing in the region?
Some authors suggested it may be due to a strange magnetic anomaly that affects compass readings. Others theorise that methane eruptions from the ocean floor may suddenly be turning the sea into a froth that can’t support a ship’s weight causing it to sink. Some books have gone as far as conjecturing that the disappearances are due to an intelligent, technologically advanced alien race living in space or under the sea.
In 2016 researchers in the US, however, claimed that they had finally discovered the answer to the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.
Meteorologists claim that an unusual type of cloud located in the region could be behind a number of the disappearances.
The hexagonal-shaped clouds, measuring between 20 and 50 miles across, can cause extremely localised high winds which, they speculate, could be the cause of some of the previously-unexplained incidents. ‘These types of hexagonal shapes over the ocean are in essence, air bombs’ said Dr Randy Cerveny of Arizona State University. ‘They’re formed by what are called microbursts. Blasts of air that come down out of the bottom of the clouds and hit the ocean, and they create waves that can sometimes be massive in size once they start to interact with each other.’
In case you’re worried about going to the Island, don’t be. I’ve lived there on and off since 1994 and have only lost a few friends in the Triangle 😉 More seriously, while there have indeed been a number of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle region over past decades, be assured they’re statistically insignificant given the huge number of flights, private planes, cruise ships and other vessels that regularly pass through the area.
If you’re a qualified accountant or lawyer who would definitely not like to disappear in a Bermuda Triangle, visit our jobs portal to see the latest vacancies. Our site also includes a downloadable All You Need to Know guide which will tell you all you need to know about living and working offshore.