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The Legend of the Bermuda Triangle
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  • In 1950 an article was published in multiple American newspapers highlighting numerous
  • unexplained disappearances between the coast of Florida and the island of Bermuda.
  • The article details five separate incidents over the previous half-decade in which 1 boat,
  • 9 planes, and some 135 civilians and crewmen vanished without a trace.
  • It was the first time this particular region of the ocean was suspected of being abnormally
  • prone to nautical vanishments.
  • But as the author failed to provide a cause for this alleged abnormality, a provocative
  • mystery was born.
  • In 1952 a magazine specializing in the paranormal, outlined the region of interest as a triangle
  • between the US state of Florida as well as the two islands of Puerto Rico and Bermuda.
  • If this triangular shape seems almost arbitrarily selected, it's because it was.
  • The author makes no attempt to justify their selection of this shape.
  • Once this idea of an enigmatic triangle had been thrust upon the world its eventual name
  • was inevitable.
  • A 1964 issue of the American pulp fiction magazine Argosy featured a cover with the
  • caption "Lost in The Bermuda Triangle".
  • The article inside covers many of the same vanishments as the previous two but with a
  • severely embellished narrative complete with fictitious quotes and alarming suppositions.
  • Which is exactly what you'd expect from a magazine predominantly about fiction.
  • Few would suppose a magazine, with a sensational cover like this, to supply them with a scientifically
  • sound and comprehensively researched analysis.
  • And why would you?
  • Argosy was targeting a very specific crowd.
  • Those who seek to be entertained by mysteries, not those who seek to understand them.
  • The Bermuda Triangle is, and has always been, a mystery for mysteries sake.
  • The very definition of a legend.
  • One of the oldest stories said to exemplify the mysterious qualities of The Bermuda Triangle
  • is that of the first transatlantic voyage by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
  • Three events are said to be of note.
  • The crew observed a fireball of some kind, their compasses inexplicably malfunctioned,
  • and a strange light seemed to be suspended above the ocean surface.
  • The fireball was more precisely described as:
  • "A marvelous branch of fire [that fell] from the sky into the sea."
  • While invoking aliens and UFOs would certainly be more exciting, there's really no need as
  • a meteor would be more than qualified to to account for that description.
  • In fact shooting stars are the most common in September due to the orbit and tilt of
  • the Earth and this sighting occurred on September the 15th.
  • On September the 17th the crew noticed their compasses misaligned with the North Star.
  • This was certainly alarming at the time but we've since learned that this is due to an
  • effect known as magnetic declination.
  • In short, the needle in a compass aligns with magnetic north while the North Star aligns
  • with true north.
  • More importantly however, neither of these two events occurred anywhere near The Bermuda Triangle
  • but in the middle of the North Atlantic.
  • A fact that many seem to conveniently disregard.
  • However, the strange light was indeed sighted within the confines of The Triangle.
  • Columbus described the light as: "A small wax candle that rose and lifted up."
  • But he also believed it to be an indication of land and never described it as inexplicable.
  • In fact mere hours after observing the light, a crewman first caught sight of the American
  • continent, supporting Columbus's suspicion that the light emanated from a nearby landmass.
  • Perhaps a torch or bonfire by the indigenous population.
  • As should be evident by now, this is all very mysterious as long as you refrain from looking
  • beneath the surface.
  • Flight 19, featured here in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, is possibly the most famous
  • disappearance connected to the Bermuda Triangle.
  • Some would argue it is the catalyst for the entire phenomenon.
  • The story goes like this.
  • On the 5th of December, 1945, a squadron of five planes departed a Naval Air Station in
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • It was a routine navigation exercise that should not have posed a problem for these
  • 14 experienced pilots and crewmen.
  • Some two hours into the exercise the squadron was supposed to be heading back when the pilot
  • of the leading plane reported that he'd become
  • disoriented as both of his compasses were malfunctioning.
  • Multiple stations maintained sporadic contact with Flight 19 attempting to determine their
  • current location with little to no success.
  • Communications between the five planes were also intercepted and they could be heard arguing
  • over directions and bearings.
  • As the minutes passed, the signal between the towers and Flight 19 gradually weakened
  • and it became increasingly difficult to maintain a stable line of communication.
  • Roughly four hours after takeoff Navy personnel was able to approximate the flight's current
  • location at some 200 km north of their intended flight path.
  • A flying boat, with designation ST-49, was consequently dispatched to this location but
  • after a routine transmission it inexplicably disappeared.
  • Five hours after takeoff a final transmission was intercepted.
  • It was simply a failed attempt by one plane to contact another and Flight 19 was never
  • seen or heard from again.
  • It sure sounds mysterious but I suspect the devil is not in the ocean but in the details.
  • The five planes were piloted by four students and one flight instructor named Charles Taylor.
  • Upon departure one of the students assumed the role of flight leader while Taylor merely
  • acted as a supervisor.
  • After turning North towards the island of Grand Bahama Taylor believed the student to
  • be guiding them in the wrong direction so he assumed command of the flight.
  • As you read the radio logs and testimonies by Navy personnel it becomes evident that
  • Taylor confused the islands in the Bahamas for the islands in the Florida Keys.
  • He was heard saying:
  • "Both my compasses are out and I am trying to find Fort Lauderdale, Florida."
  • "I am over land but it's broken."
  • "I'm sure I'm in the Keys but I don't know how far down and I don't know how to get to Fort Lauderdale."
  • In other words, he confused his actual position for this position.
  • This may be hard to accept as Taylor was an experienced pilot but then consider this.
  • Taylor had previously been stationed as a flight instructor at the Naval Air Station
  • in Miami and training exercises launched from Miami took place over the Florida Keys.
  • Prior to that, he'd been stationed at Key West in the Florida Keys.
  • So it's entirely possible that Flight 19 was Taylor's first time flying this route over the Bahamas.
  • Something that further supports this theory is that Taylor initially identified himself
  • as MT-28 standing for Miami Torpedo Bomber 28.
  • His correct ID was FT-28 for Fort Lauderdale.
  • This growing confusion of what he knew from experience and what he saw outside his windows
  • is likely why he came to distrust his instruments as it's highly unlikely that both his compasses
  • malfunctioned simultaneously.
  • As Taylor thought he was in the Keys he continued flying north in an attempt to reach land but
  • this had the opposite effect of taking them further out to sea.
  • He was also disincentivized from turning west as from Taylors perspective that would've
  • taken them into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • In reality, turning west would've saved their lives.
  • Meanwhile the weather was getting worse, the sun was setting, visibility was poor, and
  • the sea grew increasingly violent.
  • The logs reveal how truly desperate the situation became.
  • At one point Taylor informed his students:
  • "Fly [in] close formation [and] when one plane drops to ten gallons of gas all planes will land together."
  • Suggesting that even in the event of a crash, they would remain as a group.
  • He later continued:
  • "I suggest we fly due east until we run out of gas. We have a better chance of being picked up close to shore."
  • At this point they're flying away from the coast out towards the open ocean.
  • Some of the last discernible messages reads:
  • "Have to land on water unless landfall."
  • "We may have to ditch any minute."
  • Then there's the flying boat ST-49.
  • ST-49 was initially scheduled for a night navigation exercise when, upon getting a fix
  • on the location of Flight 19, it was diverted into a search and rescue mission.
  • After a routine departure transmission it was never heard from again.
  • But it was likely seen again.
  • 23 minutes after ST-49 took off, a ship reported seeing a plane catch fire and explode upon
  • impact with the ocean.
  • The resulting inferno continued for several minutes with flames rising some 30 meters
  • above the ocean surface.
  • Once the ship reached the location of the explosion it found debris and a pool of oil
  • but no survivors.
  • Yet another ship equipped with radar observed as a plane vanished from the screen at the
  • exact same time the explosion was sighted.
  • While an explosion is certainly surprising given that preflight checks revealed nothing
  • of note, the plane had "went aground" due to a malfunctioning engine the day before.
  • What exactly "went aground" entails is not elaborated upon but it did warrant the inspection
  • of the plane's hull.
  • Some Navy personnel immediately presumed the reported explosion was linked to the missing ST-49.
  • Despite a systematic and week-long search involving tens of ships and hundreds of planes,
  • nothing and no one was ever found.
  • Though multiple planes and ships did report sightings of flares and various debris.
  • All available evidence suggest that Flight 19 crashed into the ocean once they ran out
  • of fuel while ST-49 combusted and exploded, possibly due to a malfunctioning engine.
  • The six planes and all 27 airmen aboard sank into the ocean, leaving no trace behind.
  • But not every incident can be so thoroughly explained.
  • On the 17th of January 1949, a plane known as the Star Ariel departed Bermuda for Kingston, Jamaica.
  • An hour into the flight, the pilot made a routine transmission with no indication of
  • alarm but the plane was never seen or heard from again.
  • There was no evidence of a crash and no distress call had been transceived; the weather was
  • excellent for the entire duration of the flight; the pilot and his crew was highly experienced
  • and had flown this specific route many times before; and the plane was in working condition
  • prior to departure.
  • A succeeding investigation failed to determine a probable cause due to a lack of evidence.
  • What makes this even more mysterious is that a sister plane known as the Star Tiger had
  • vanished under similar circumstances the year before.
  • On January the 30th, 1948, the Star Tiger disappeared while approaching Bermuda from
  • the east.
  • The pilot and the rest of the crew where highly experienced but the weather was not ideal
  • with strong winds and heavy rain.
  • The strong winds had blown the plane off course just an hour before their last transmission
  • and they where never seen or heard from again.
  • The succeeding investigation concluded:
  • "In closing this report it may truly be said that no more
  • baffling problem has ever been presented for investigation."
  • "What happened in this case will never be known and the fate of Star Tiger must remain an unsolved mystery."
  • But even in information deprived cases like these natural explanations do exist.
  • For example, the accident report of the Star Tiger revealed that the plane had been poorly
  • maintained and known defects remained unrectified.
  • Subsequent investigations also found that this particular type of airplane had a heater
  • in the cabin that was prone to malfunction and due to poor design there was a chance
  • of combustion and explosion.
  • Two pilots experienced with this type of aircraft believed this was a real possibility and one
  • of them stated:
  • "My theory is that hydraulic vapor escaped from a leak, which got on to a hot heater and caused an explosion."
  • Perhaps one of the most mysterious incidents is that of the five-masted sailing vessel
  • Carroll A. Deering.
  • On January the 9th, 1921, the Deering departed the island of Barbados and set sail for Norfolk, Virginia.
  • Less than 3 weeks later the ship was sighted by a lightship near the coast of North Carolina
  • and the lightship's engineer took this photograph as she passed by.
  • The person at the helm of the Deering hailed the lightship and used a megaphone to inform
  • them that they had lost both their anchors.
  • The ship then progressed up the coast towards Norfolk but she never arrived.
  • Two days after the sighting by the lightship keepers the Deering was located by the Coast Guard.
  • The ship had run aground in an area known as the Diamond Shoals and appeared to have
  • been abandoned.
  • This was confirmed once the ship was boarded a few days later and the ship's log,
  • the crew's personal belongings, key navigational equipment, various documents, two life boats, as well
  • as the ship's two anchors where found to be missing.
  • Furthermore, the steering wheel and other equipment also appeared to have been intentionally
  • destroyed with a sledgehammer.
  • There was no sign of the 11 crewman and they have never been seen or heard from since.
  • A few months later, a man named Christopher Columbus Gray discovered a message in a bottle
  • not far from the wreckage and it reads as follows:
  • "Deering captured by oil burning ship, something like a chaser.
  • Taking off everything, handcuffing crew.
  • Crew hiding all over ship.
  • No chance of escape.
  • Finder, please notify headquarters of Deering."
  • The message was perceived to be genuine and thus it was presumed that the crew of the
  • Carroll A. Deering had fallen victim to piracy.
  • But then a few months after that, handwriting experts proved that Gray himself had written
  • the message and that the entire thing was a hoax.
  • But Gray may not have been too far off as there is evidence to suggest that a mutiny took place.
  • The US State Department issued a statement at the time in which they wrote:
  • "There is every suspicion of foul play."
  • First of all, the person who hailed the lightship was not the captain.
  • He was described by the lightship keeper as a red-headed man with a Scandinavian accent.
  • So me without a soul.
  • While this description could not have been that of the captain, it was descriptive of
  • the other crewmen, most of which where Danes.
  • Which, of course, only strengthens the possibility of mutiny.
  • Secondly, later investigations found that the relationship between the captain and the
  • crew was strenuous at best.
  • Prior to departing Barbados both the captain and the first mate spoke ill of each other
  • and the captain was concerned that the crew might turn on him.
  • The first mate had also requested a ship of his own and when this request was denied he
  • boasted that he would "get the captain" before they reached their destination.
  • The first mate was subsequently arrested because of this but was later bailed out by the captain
  • himself who forgave him for what he'd said.
  • So there's plenty of evidence to suspect a mutiny.
  • Nevertheless, this cannot fully explain why the ship was subsequently abandoned or why
  • the crew disappeared so completely.
  • But it gets even stranger.
  • Soon after the Deering had passed the lightship, yet another vessel appeared.
  • It was a large steamship painted black roughly sailing in the wake of the Deering.
  • When the lightship hailed the vessel, not only was the hail ignored but the crewmen
  • unfurled a canvas to cover the ship's nameplate before speeding away.
  • Some have speculated that this could've been the American steamship SS Hewitt that vanished
  • around the same time but unless further evidence can be unraveled there is no way to know.
  • So perhaps Gray was unintentionally correct.
  • Perhaps the mysterious vessel was indeed a pirate ship chasing down the Deering or perhaps
  • the crew conspired to commit mutiny.
  • In either case, numerous elements are at best difficult to explain.
  • To conclude this video I'd like to talk about the Triangle itself.
  • If The Bermuda Triangle was anything but a legend, why is it not marked on publicly available
  • maps and nautical charts?
  • If the US Coast Guard is so concerned with the safety of others, don't you think they
  • have a responsibility to warn the populous about this abnormally dangerous region of the ocean?
  • Yet, they and every other relevant authority willfully allow hundreds of ships and planes
  • to sail and fly through the region every single day without as much as a warning.
  • If we need a sign for wet floors, a sign for imminent death by supernatural forces seems justifiable.
  • After all the region that is the Bermuda Triangle is a highly trafficked region of the ocean.
  • Now one could argue that more traffic equals more accidents, thus more vanishments,
  • but that would almost make a bit too much sense.
  • One of the articles I showcased at the beginning of the video concludes with this open-ended question:
  • "Will somebody please come up with an explanation, or even suggestion as to just
  • where all these planes, ships, and possibly submarines, did go?"
  • I'm gonna take a wild stab at this and say the ocean.
  • The ships and planes, and possibly submarines, sank into the depths of the ocean.
  • Georgie: Do they float?
  • No, they sink.
  • I don't know what to tell you but a catastrophe at sea and buoyancy are just not the best of friends.
  • Besides, do you really want to listen to a clown in a sewer drain over the physical laws
  • of reality itself?
  • Pennywise: Oh yes! They float, Georgie. They float!
  • Okay, I may be overtly facetious at this point but the absurdity of this phenomenon is also
  • what makes it so fascinating to me.
  • Despite my best efforts I've been totally unsuccessful in my attempts to understand
  • what exactly constitutes as a Bermuda Triangle disappearance.
  • How does one know when to attribute a missing craft to the Bermuda Triangle?
  • It sounds like, and it truly should be, an easy question to answer but it is anything but.
  • In some cases, such as in the case of Flight 19, the incident occurred within the general
  • confines of the triangle but Flight 19 is an exception.
  • Most vanishments occur when the route of a plane or ship simply overlap the triangle.
  • In 1963 a ship known as the SS Marine Sulphur Queen departed a harbor in Beaumont, Texas,
  • heading for Norfolk, Virginia.
  • Her last known location was here but then she just vanished as if sinking into some
  • inexplicable abyss.
  • Her disappearance is blamed on the powers of the triangle despite the fact that the
  • ship is just as likely to have disappeared in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • In fact, the Coast Guard believes she disappeared just before reaching the Florida Keys but
  • what do they know.
  • In 1954 a plane disappeared while traveling between the US state of Maryland and the Azores.
  • It is said to be a victim of the Bermuda Triangle despite being outside its boundaries.
  • It's even more embarrassing in the case of the aforementioned Carroll A. Deering as she
  • safely traversed the entire Bermuda Triangle only to go all hocus-pocus once she had cleared it.
  • Proponents will often justify these inclusions by invoking arguments of adjacent regions.
  • In other words, disappearances in close proximity of the triangle should be considered part
  • of the triangle.
  • Okay but how far do these adjacent regions extend?
  • Is the Gulf of Mexico an adjacent region?
  • The Caribbean Sea?
  • The coast of Brazil?
  • The coast of Nova Scotia?
  • The entire North Atlantic perhaps?
  • If that's the case, why even bother with a triangle to begin with?
  • I've compiled a list of some 40 disappearances said to be connected to the Bermuda Triangle
  • and if they are all to be included, I think we need a bigger triangle.
  • If anything, the true mystery behind The Bermuda Triangle is why people so adamantly insist
  • upon it being mysterious.
  • As far as I can tell, there is nothing uniquely conspicuous about this location as compared
  • to the rest of the ocean.
  • Ships and planes vanishing without a trace is unfortunately quite common and certainly
  • not limited to a corner of the North Atlantic Ocean.
  • The amount of vanishments in a given area is largely dependent on factors such as the
  • amount of traffic, the frequency of adverse meteorological phenomena, and the presence
  • of powerful oceanic currents.
  • The Bermuda Triangle ticks all three boxes.
  • There's a ton of traffic, it is frequently invaded by hurricanes and storms, and it is
  • intersected by the Gulf Stream.
  • But I have to say the most crucial flaw of this alleged enigma is the variation.
  • The fundamental aspect of the Bermuda Triangle is that these incidents can, somehow, be correlated
  • yet each disappearance could not be more different.
  • Some vanishments occur during a storm, some when the sky is clear.
  • Some when the sea is turbulent, some when the sea is clam.
  • Some during the day, some during the night.
  • Probable causes include mechanical failure, explosions, human error, sabotage,
  • fuel starvation, inexperience, piracy, mutiny, etc.
  • Some ships and planes are brand new, some are many decades old.
  • Some are extremely large, some are tiny.
  • Bodies, debris, and wreckage can at times be recovered, other times it can not.
  • A distress signal is sometimes transceived, sometimes it is not.
  • It involves every type of vessel and every type of aircraft.
  • They can be traveling at any speed, in any direction, at any altitude, with any number
  • of passengers, for any amount of time, for any reason.
  • Whatever this mysterious force is, it is certainly not selective about what, when, or how it strikes.

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Description

The Bermuda Triangle is a triangular region of the North Atlantic ocean said to be abnormally prone to nautical vanishments. In this video I explore plausible explanations for some of these vanishments while demonstrating how the legend was merely invented by authors of fiction.

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[Music]
The music up till the title card is my own work.

Kevin MacLeod - Bushwick Tarentella
http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1300002

Patrick Smith - Mysteries From Above
https://www.audioblocks.com/stock-audio/mysteries-from-above---95647.html

Bobby Cole - A Lo Down Indian Echo
https://www.audioblocks.com/stock-audio/a-lo-down-indian-echo-mystery.html

Erang - Sitting In A Dream
https://erang.bandcamp.com/track/sitting-in-a-dream

Tense Suspense Music
https://www.audioblocks.com/stock-audio/tense-suspense-music-145914.html

Audionautix - Atlantis
http://audionautix.com/

[References]
https://www.lemmi.no/post/the-bermuda-triangle#refs

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