In the cemetery of the Atlantic
In the Bermuda Triangle off the east coast of the USA, ships and planes have repeatedly disappeared over the past century – allegedly without a trace. Like those five aviators who did not return from a training round over the ocean on December 5, 1945. The search team felt the same way. What happened out there in the Bermuda Triangle?
Charles Taylor does not want to get into the cockpit on this December day in 1945. “Can’t another instructor take over the training round?” Asks the flight instructor at the American naval base in Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Taylor is new here. He does not yet know the destination, a group of islands east of Florida. But the answer is: “No!”
Taylor complies. He discusses the weather with his team, instructs the 13 men on the triangular course they are supposed to fly over the Atlantic, and gives the starting signal. On December 5, 1945, at 2:10 p.m. sharp, the five torpedo bombers took off. Everything is going as planned! However, training flight number 19 reports problems half an hour before landing.
First, Taylor’s group is off course: “We can’t see any land … my two compasses have failed,” the lieutenant radioed to the tower, worried. In the next few minutes an argument breaks out between the instructor and his young pilots.
Taylor claims they are flying over the Gulf of Mexico and must head east to get back to Fort Lauderdale. However, the students want to go west. In her opinion, they have flown out to sea and are now over the Atlantic, east of Florida.
The planes zigzag across the ocean – until suddenly only bits of puzzling words reach the tower. “We’re not sure where the west is. Everything is so different … so strange … not even the ocean looks like it should …” Then there is silence.
The command center immediately dispatched a search aircraft. However, when the “Martin Mariner” flying boat approaches the point from which the last radio signals from the bombers originated, the unbelievable happens: the machine disappears from the radar from one second to the next. The crew cannot even issue an emergency signal. Your trail is lost in the dark of night – over a sea area that is one of the most legendary in the world! Its name: the Bermuda Triangle.
The Bermuda Triangle: Where Ships and Planes Disappear
The sea triangle between Miami, Puerto Rico and the tip of the Bermuda Islands is called “Cemetery of the Atlantic” or “Death Trap”. Because apparently the ocean in the Bermuda Triangle devours more people than anywhere else. At least 50 ships and 20 planes have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle in the past century – most of them allegedly in a similarly mysterious way as Taylor’s flight squadron.
In March 1918, for example, the coal freighter USS “Cyclops” disappeared without a trace while it was en route from Barbados to Norfolk. And it is said of the Japanese freighter “Raifuku Maru” that the crew was able to call for help before the sinking in the Bermuda Triangle: “Danger like a dagger, comes fast, we can no longer escape”, it is said to have radioed in April 1925.
Mysterious occurrences in the Atlantic awaken the imagination
Since 1950 the most fantastic ideas have been circulating about who or what gave seafarers such a fear of death. At that time, almost five years after the flight squadron disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, two American daily newspapers had printed several articles about puzzling marine accidents in the “Devil’s Triangle”.
Then a real “Bermuda fever” broke out: Countless self-appointed experts wanted to find out what had really happened in the “death triangle”. Many explanations sound like they came from science fiction novels. The US writer Charles Berlitz, for example, claimed that Taylor and his colleagues were kidnapped by aliens. His books on the Bermuda Triangle have sold over 20 million copies.
Other “experts” suspected monster octopus: Gigantic cephalopods are said to have wrapped their arms around fishing boats and freighters and tore them down. Another group relies on reports from survivors, according to which light green clouds of fog suddenly appear in the Bermuda Triangle. They are said to have such a magical power that clocks stop, compasses go crazy and motors turn themselves off.
These stories only surpass the so-called “wormhole theory”: According to this, ships and airplanes are sucked into space by a galactic mega-vacuum cleaner.
The area in the Bermuda Triangle is feared
One of the few who questioned these fantasies was Lawrence Kusche. The Arizona librarian rummaged through archives, sifted through files, and studied court or expert reports on the 50 most famous accidents in the Bermuda Triangle. His result: the horror stories drowned and made lies!
Neither aliens nor green fog are to blame for the crashes and drownings in the Bermuda Triangle. Kusche found perfectly natural explanations: mostly a combination of bad weather, technical glitches and human error. Meteorologists and oceanographers agree with him.
Because the marine area between Florida and the Bermuda Islands is feared because of its lightning storms and unpredictable thunderstorms. A light breeze can blow up here in minutes into a storm.
Anyone who comes across such hurricanes unprepared, who drives a rickety ship or has explosive cargo on board is in mortal danger! Sandbanks and flat coastal strips also pose a major risk. If you don’t pay attention, a freighter quickly runs aground here and leaks.
Large gas deposits are also stored in the sea floor of the Bermuda Triangle. When they are released by landslides or seaquakes, countless gas bubbles rise. This bubbling robs the water of its carrying capacity, so that theoretically even cruise ships or freighters could plop into the depths.
So the disappearance of the planes in 1945 was not a mystery
And there is also a logical explanation for the disappearance of many airplanes: Above the Bermuda Triangle, the air masses swirl in such a way that vortices or so-called air holes are created. In them the machine loses its buoyancy for a few seconds and falls hundreds of meters deep. The flight becomes a wild roller coaster ride, during which the machine can quickly get out of control.
So the disappearance of the five torpedo bombers in 1945 wasn’t as mysterious as many would like to believe. Lieutenant Taylor simply lost his bearings during the flight: He saw small Atlantic islands below him, which he believed to be the Florida Keys in the Gulf of Mexico. Confused, he turned back to the east. A fatal mistake! Because this course took the machines further and further out into the Atlantic. There, in the middle of the sea, they ran out of fuel at nightfall. All five bombers crashed.
The search plane, however, exploded. As the captain of a tanker later stated, he saw a ball of fire in the sky just as the machine disappeared from the radar. Shortly afterwards, his ship drove through a large film of oil.
Presumably one of the crew members of the “Martin Mariner” smoked illegally on board. The type of aircraft has long been notorious as a “flying gasoline tank” that catches fire easily.
Lawrence Kusche unmasked another scary Bermuda story as a lie: The crew of the Japanese freighter “Raifuku Maru” did not report aliens who attacked the ship. No, the ship sank in April 1925 during a severe storm – far north of the Bermuda Triangle, on its way from Boston to Hamburg. The call for help to a hurried freighter had actually been: “Danger! Come quickly!”
Are you interested in the topic and would you like to read more about the stories of the Bermuda Triangle? Then I can highly recommend this book to you!