Theories about the Bermuda Triangle

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The Bermuda Triangle is a region also known as the Devil’s triangle, located between Puerto Rico, Bermuda and Miami. This section of the Atlantic Ocean is considered as mythical and mysterious due to the air and water accidents that have historically occurred there under unexplained circumstances, resulting to complete disappearance of ships and aircrafts. Pilots, captains and craft crews have reported strange happenings before the incidents. Although many theories have been proposed in attempts to unravel the mysteries behind the Devil’s Triangle accidents, none of the explanations has been well proven with evidence and universally accepted. As a matter of fact, despite the region being considered as enigmatic, it has never been verified to be more prone to ships and plane disasters as compared to other ocean sections. Besides, the Bermuda Triangle still remains to be heavily and safely navigated to date. The logical explanations to the no-trace historical disappearances of crafts in the area range from scientific to extraterrestrial. Real natural phenomena found within or proximate to the controversial region such as the Sargasso Sea, the Gulf Stream, methane hydrate deposits, hurricanes, freak waves and other harsh weather conditions have been linked to the incidents in the region. Speculations based on logical explanations such as the comet theory, the electronic fog effect and compass variation have also been cited as possible accounts while skeptics and critics have considered the occurrences of the area as normal and possibly just natural. This paper provides an analysis of some of the popular theories that attempt to explain the strange occurrences of the Bermuda Triangle incidents.

Theories about the Bermuda Triangle

Introduction

The Bermuda Triangle is a mysterious region located on the Atlantic Ocean, with an area of approximately five hundred thousand square miles between Bermuda, the Florida’s southeastern coast and Puerto Rico islands (Rosenberg, 2002). Hundreds of aircrafts, boats and ships are known to have to have disappeared to no trace after the pilots and ship crew members reported strange happenings (Rudolph, 2005). While some theories are scientific, others attempt to explain mystical, extraterrestrial or paranormal forces’ involvement in the accidents. However, no one knows exactly what happens in the area also known as the Devil’s Triangle, and the concepts are logical speculations and attempts to unravel the mysteries (Rudolph, 2005). Human error has been documented as the most probable cause of accidents in the mysterious region (Miller, Colich, & Bell, 2013). This is so far the most compelling explanation and is reinforced by the current drastic reduction in the number of lot ships and planes with the recent technology advancement both in navigation and transport sectors. This paper will discuss some popular theories that have been used by scientists to explain the Bermuda Triangle accidents.

The Sargasso Sea

The Sargasso Sea is a natural and mysterious sea area in the North Atlantic that is approximately 2000 miles in length and 700 in width. This region uniquely has no shores, is covered by mat-like seaweeds known as Sargassum, and all of its sides are bounded by ocean currents which bring huge amounts of garbage and different marine plants from other areas of the ocean (Shumway, 2011). The region is located directly in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle. Mysterious occurrences have been reported in this area over time including the reappearing of many ships that had previously gone lost in the Devil’s Triangle. All of the watercrafts that had been found in the Sargasso Sea had no one on board. Examples are the Rosalie of 1840, the Connemara IV of the 1955. The Ellen Austin, which was an American Schooner found a ship with no one on-board but travelling in a normal speed along the mysterious area in 1881. The ship disappeared again after a prize crew from the Ellen Austin boarded the unmanned watercraft to be retraced two days later with no one inside (Durham, 2015). Ironically, the Sargassum supports marine life and young sea turtles use the mat-like seaweeds to cover from predators till maturity. Other aquatic organisms found in the area include different type of fish such as the humpback whales, the Tuna, the European and the American eels, and the Wahoo.

Methane Gas Theory

There exits large volumes of methane gas in the form of methane hydrates trapped below the floor of oceans at below-zero degrees Celsius temperatures (Demirbas, 2010). According to a Leeds University don, Dr. Ben Clennell, landslides under sea floors can lead to release of the gas, an event that can cause a significant reduction in the water density in the region which can result to sinking of water crafts. Methane is a highly flammable gas the release of the gas can trigger an explosion capable of resulting to aircraft a complete destruction and crush of an aircraft flying over the atmosphere in the particular area. The methane gas theory however fails to fully justify the disappearances of ships and aircrafts as the hydrate reserves under the seafloor are found far from the Bermuda triangle area where no such accidents have been reported (Hamilton, 2010).

A Hutchison Effect

The Hutchison effect is a scientific explanation of an electronic fog that fully engulfs an aircraft or ship and move along with it, followed by failure of all of its electronic systems before the craft disappear. John Hutchinson explained that an interplay between different wavelength electromagnetic fields may at times trigger strange occurrences (Nickell, 2007). For instance, objects such as metals and woods, which are known to be denser than air may float in the air and at some occasions shoot off at a mysteriously high speed. Hutchinson proved this phenomenon in multiple experiments in his apartment in Vancouver. Some of the weird occurrences the scientist was able to demonstrate by inducing an interplay of different electromagnetic fields included the independent rising of objects from the floor, metals turning white hot without burning anything touching them and shuttering of glasses in his neighborhood. Hutchinson also reported that he witnessed the formation of an electric fog that had a metallic appearance through which he could not see (Hamilton, 2010). Thus, the physicist suggested that nature might be capable of forming such fields whose interplay could result to a total disappearance or disintegration of planes and ships. Experienced coast guards and pilots’ SOS calls before the mysterious disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle reported strange fogs (Nickell, 2007). An example is a cloud in which Pilot Jensen was lost one hundred and fifty feet only above the ground a few hours before the aircraft vanished.

Compass Variation

Compass variation is described as the angular distance between the magnetic north, where a compass always points, and the true north, also known as the absolute geographic north or the North Pole, located in the Greenland. Compass variation changes with the physical location on earth. The United States’ coast guards associated the Bermuda Triangle tragedies with this effect. They cited environmental characteristics and more specifically the zero compass variation in the area as the probable cause of accidents (Shumway, 2011). The claim is weakly justified and misleading as only a small and specifically narrow strip in the Bermuda Triangle area where a compass usually points towards the true north. Besides, all navigators are trained and expected to consider the compass variation effect anywhere while on waters or air. Thus, failure to make compass adjustments can lead to aircraft or ship accidents in any location in the world and not just in the Bermuda Triangle area (Shumway, 2011).

Skeptics Theory

Some skeptics believe that the Bermuda Triangle is not mystical and the accidents can be explained by forces of nature; geological or hydrological. The critics view the disappearances as normal and the stories and theories written by authors as fake and imaginary, created to seek publicity and to boost sales of the literary works (Neilson, 2004). The Bermuda Triangle area is prone to hurricanes besides the route being heavily traversed by commercial cruise ships and flights. The region is also geographically wide estimated to be over half a million square miles. According to some skeptics, a common cause may not be appropriate and logical in explaining all accidents which occurred in different times in the region (Shermer, 2002). There has never been documented evidence of extraordinary causal factors to the Bermuda disappearances (Rosenberg, 2002).

The Gulf Stream

The Gulf Stream is a saltwater river-like strong ocean current, sixty miles wide and approximately four thousand feet deep that flows from the Gulf of Mexico, through the Bermuda Triangle, and is capable of drowning a floating object to other areas (Troupe, 2010). The stream is attributed to the loss of the Witchcraft of December 1967 which could not be traced shortly after engine trouble was reported while the luxury cabin cruiser was close to the Miami buoy marker. The Gulf Stream phenomenon can also affect an aircraft flying proximate to the water level. The ocean currents may however not be strong enough to sweep away a plane or ship that is in a stable mechanical state, hence the theory can only explain the disappearance of the wreckages but not the sinking or crushing of ships and aircrafts respectively (Shumway, 2011).

Other naturally occurring possible reasons of crafts disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle area include freak waves, hurricanes, and strange weathers ranging from waterspouts to short, intense storms that are too fast to be clearly detected by satellites and strong enough to completely destroy aircrafts and ships (Hamilton, 2010; Bingham, 2013). Also, scientists have reported the formation of strange clouds on the Bermuda Triangle area. The clouds have been described to be hexagonal and shape with straight edges. Meteorologists have interpreted this phenomenon to be a sign indicating the presence of air bombs capable of bursting and causing extremely high speed winds to and beneath the ocean, enormous waves of a height of up to forty-five foot, and winds of approximately 100 miles per hour speed on the sea surface. A simultaneous occurrence of these events can result to accidents similar to those earlier reported in the Bermuda Triangle.

The Comet Theory

Some people believe that a comet could have fallen over eleven thousand years ago in the Bermuda triangle and some of its remains might be entrenched in the seafloor, resulting to emission of electromagnetic fields that can interfere with the compasses of ships and planes (Czartoryski, 2011). This theory, if true, can explain the disappearances of the crafts and may be linked with the Hutchinson effect. Nevertheless, while electromagnetic field differences can affect aircrafts, their impact on ships may not be very significant. The comet theory is also based on assumptions as a comet has never been located in the Bermuda Triangle area or any evidence documented to support the concept (Czartoryski, 2011).

Paranormal and Other Theories

There are multiple theories that are based on supernatural explanations of the Bermuda triangle events. For instance, the Lost City, Atlantis, is known to have largely relied on extremely powerful special energy crystals that malfunctioned ships, aircrafts and other navigational instruments, and are believed to be capable of resulting to complete destruction or disappearance of the crafts. It is also speculated that there could be some extraterrestrials that are either abducting the ships and planes or are indirectly causing accidents and disappearances (Hamilton, 2010). It has also been suggested that there possibly exists a space and time anomaly in the Bermuda Triangle area that transports the sunk and crushed ships and aircrafts to other times or even dimensions. The incidents in the controversial region have also been linked to unidentified flying objects (UFOs) which imply alien activity in the Bermuda disappearances (Miller, Colich, & Bell, 2013).

Conclusion

The Bermuda Triangle remains mysterious with no scientifically proven theory explaining the aircrafts and ships’ strange accidents and complete disappearance of the wreckages. While some theories such as the lost city, the comet theory, the Hutchinson effect and the methane gas theory are based on logical explanations, none of the concepts has conclusively unraveled the obscurities behind all the Bermuda Triangle accidents with evidence. An interplay between human error and forces of nature needs to be well explored to establish the particular causes of specific air and water accidents that have occurred in the Devil’s Triangle. Besides, with the current technological advancement, incidents of ships and aircrafts sinking and crushing have drastically reduced.

References

Bingham, J. (2013). Bermuda Triangle. London: Raintree Publishers.

Czartoryski, A. (2011, April 17). Prevailing Theories on the Bermuda Triangle. Retrieved from Boating Safety and Safe Boating Blog: http://www.boaterexam.com/blog/2011/04/bermuda-triangle-theories.aspx

Demirbas, A. (2010). Methane Gas Hydrate. New York: Springer.

Durham, R. B. (2015). Modern Folklore. Raleigh: Lulu Press.

Hamilton, S. L. (2010). Bermuda Triangle. Minnesota: ABDCO Publishing Company.

Miller, A., Colich, A., & Bell, M. (2013). Bermuda Triangle. London: Raintree Publishers.

Neilson, B. (2004). Free Trade in the Bermuda Triangle-- and Other Tales of Counterglobalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Nickell, J. (2007, September). The Bermuda Triangle and the ‘Hutchinson Effect’. Retrieved from Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP): http://www.csicop.org/sb/show/bermuda_triangle_and_the_lsquohutchinson_effectrsquo

Rosenberg, A. (2002). The Bermuda Triangle. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.

Rudolph, A. L. (2005). The Bermuda Triangle. Minnesota: Capstone Press.

Shermer, M. (2002). The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience: Volume One. California: ABC-CLIO.

Shumway, V. E. (2011). Searching for the Bermuda Triangle. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.

Troupe, K. T. (2010). The Legend of the Bermuda Triangle. Minnesota: Capstone Press.

June 16, 2022
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