The Bermuda Triangle provided the basis for a suitably lurid storyline for a 1978 movie film directed by Richard Friedenburg.
Alternatively known as the Devil's Triangle.
A mysterious area in the Atlantic Ocean where paranormal events and unexplained disappearances are alleged to occur.
The Bermuda Triangle is bounded by Florida, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. It extends from Bermuda in the north to southern Florida, and then east to a point through the Bahamas past Puerto Rico and then back again to Bermuda.
The Bermuda Triangle is also called the 'Devil's Triangle', 'Limbo of the Lost', 'Hoodoo Sea', 'Port of Missing Ships' and the 'Twilight Zone'.
Numerous ships and planes are said to have vanished there without a trace, frequently in good weather or near a landing site or port. In some cases is alleged that, before disappearing, crews have made radio contact indicating that nothing was amiss. It is also claimed that in the rare instances missing ships have been found, their crew or passengers were missing.
Charles Berlitz, who wrote several books about the Bermuda Triangle, speculated on the possibility of extraterrestrial activities in UFOs, electromagnetic impulses from vanished civilizations, time warps, and physical forces unknown to science. Books by other authors have even suggested that an intelligent, technologically advanced race living under the sea has been responsible for the mysterious happenings in the area.
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The term “Bermuda Triangle” was used for the first in an article for Argosy magazine written by Vincent H. Gaddis in 1964. Gaddis professed that several ships and planes had vanished without explanation in that area. The article was expanded and incorporated into his book, Invisible Horizons: True Mysteries of the Sea (1965), where he depicted nine mysterious incidents and presented extensive detail.
Unusual events and strange phenomena in the Bermuda Triangle have been reported since Christopher Columbus's first voyage to America. In his log, Columbus noted that his compass readings were askew within what is now the Triangle's area, and he and his crew were confused by shallow areas of sea with no land nearby. Since then scores of ships of all sizes reportedly vanished in the area.
But it was in 1945, after the disappearance of six Navy planes and their crews on December 5, a sunny, calm day with ideal flying conditions, that the Bermuda Triangle really gained notoriety. Flight 19, a training squadron of five U.S. Navy torpedo bombers, left Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with 14 crewmen and disappeared after radioing in several distress messages. A seaplane sent in search of the squadron also vanished. These two incidents were frequently alluded to as the Bermuda Triangle legend intensified during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Other noteworthy cases of aircraft that have disappeared in the area include a DC-3 carrying 27 passengers in 1948, a four-engine Tudor IV airplane also lost in 1948 with 31 people aboard, a C-124 Globemaster with 53 passengers in 1951, a British York transport plane in 1952 with 33 crewmen, a U.S. Navy Lockheed Constellation airplane that vanished in 1954 with 42 aboard, and a U.S. Navy seaplane in 1956 with a crew of 10. Among the ships often listed among the inexplicably vanished are the Mary Celeste in 1872, the American freighter SS Sandra in 1952, the Marine tanker-ship Sulphur Queen with 39 men aboard in 1963, the nuclear-powered submarine Scorpion with a crew of 99 in 1968, a French freighter in 1970, and a German freighter, Anita, lost in 1972 with a crew of 32.
Other phenomena allegedly witnessed in the area include bright lights or balls of fire; sudden explosive red flares in the sky; and UFO sightings. Airplane crew members report unexpected power failures, instrument malfunctions, and their inability to maintain altitude. In the lore of fishermen, the Bermuda Triangle is inhabited by monsters that kidnap ships. One theory is that unusual weather conditions are to blame, other theories purport that phenomena are caused by alignments of the planets, time warps that trap ships and planes, forces emanating from the unknown ruins of Atlantis, or cosmic tractor beams sent from UFOs to kidnap ships and people.
Skeptics claim misleading information and sensationalist reporting have created a bogus mystery, adding that most disappearances can be attributed to bad weather, abandonment, or explainable accidents. They claim that incidents occurring in the Triangle area are automatically considered mysteries because of the legends.
Analysis also suggests that the number of disappearances is about the expected average for the 250, 000 square miles (647, 000 sq. km) of empty ocean that form the Triangle, and that most of them have logical explanations. Nonetheless, paranormal associations with the Bermuda Triangle endure in the popular imagination.
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