A little more than a month from now, I'll be making my way
to through the Bermuda Triangle. (I'm sure my future husband is thrilled that I've turned our honeymoon into a paranormal excursion, but he might as well get used to it sooner rather than later.)
I've always had a fascination with the Devil's Triangle.Who doesn't like a good mystery? And the Triangle has a few. One of the first reported Bermuda Triangle mysteries was reported by Christopher Columbus.
|Replicas of Columbus' ships|
It's said that he reported a great flame of fire that crashed into the sea one night. A few weeks later, a strange light appeared in the distance. He also reported erratic compass readings. And some scholars claim that Shakespeare's The Tempest was based on a Bermuda shipwreck.
The unexplained disappearances and occurrences in the Triangle didn't get attention until the 1900's. In 1909, Joshua Slocum, known as the best sailor of his time,disappeared on a voyage from the East Coast bound for Grand Cayman. Slocum was an experienced sailor and was the first man to sail solo around the world in 1895. There was never any sign of Slocum or his ship the Spray. Joshua Slocum was declared dead in 1924.
In March of 1918 a 542 foot Navy cargo ship named the USS Cyclops disappeared on a voyage from Brazil to Baltimore. All 306 crewmen and passengers were lost and is still considered to be the single largest loss of life in Naval history not directly involving combat. The Cyclops was carrying 11,000 tons of manganese ore used in the production of munitions. It left Brazil bound for Baltimore with no scheduled stops. The captain stopped in Barbados on March 3rd and set sale again on March 4th. No wreckage was ever found. There were several theories including that she sank in a storm because the ship was overloaded but a Naval investigation stated "Many theories have been advanced, but none that satisfactorily accounts for her disappearance."
|Avengers- same plane as those from Flight 19|
December 5, 1945 5 bombers known as Flight 19 disappeared during a training flight. It was "as if they had flown to Mars". A transmission was heard from the officer in Charge Taylor saying "I don't know where we are we must have got lost after that last turn." When asked what the problem was Taylor responded, "Both of my compasses are out and I am trying to find Ft Lauderdale, FL. I am over land but it's broken. I am sure I'm in the keys but I don't know how far down and I don't know how to get to Ft. Lauderdale." Taylor was asked to change his broadcast. When the order was not acknowledged, he was asked to switch frequencies. Taylor replied, "I cannot switch frequencies. I must keep my planes intact."
The last transmission received was, "All planes close up tight...we'll have to ditch unless landfall...
when the first plane drops below 10gallons, we all go down together." It was thought that Flight 19 was actually over the NE Bahamas and not the Keys. Rescue missions commenced but no sign of the planes were ever found and one rescue plane exploded during the mission. In 1986, wreckage of an Avenger was found off the coast of Florida. The wreck was raised in 1990 but no positive ID could be made.
In 1991 wreckage of 5 Avengers were found off the coast but serial numbers revealed they weren't Flight 19. Various discovered aircraft including the group of 5 were deemed unfit for repair and were disposed of at sea.
|Plane similar to the Star Ariel|
In January of 1949, the Star Ariel left Bermuda with a crew of 7 and 13 passengers en route to Jamaica. The Captain reported the flight was going smoothly then a cryptic message reported he was changing frequency. Nothing more was heard from the plane. No wreckage or debris was ever found.
|a Piper Navajo|
November 1978- A Piper Navajo left St. Croix, Virgin Islands piloted by an experienced pilot with Eastern Caribbean Airways headed to pick up passengers in St Thomas. Visibility was good and as he was nearing the airport and cleared for landing, the controller was able to see the plane's lights as he made his approach. When the controller looked back after talking to another aircraft, he realized he could no longer see the lights and the plane had disappeared from radar. Nothing was ever found of the plane even though it disappeared only 1 mile from landing.
March 1984- Flight 201 a Cessna, left Ft Lauderdale for Bimini Island in the Bahamas. Everyone on the plane including the passengers were Cessna employees. Despite their experience, not quite midway through the flight, the plane's airspeed slowed significantly. There were no radio signals received. Then the plane suddenlt dropped from the air into the water. A woman reported seeing off Bimini but no wreckage was ever found.