The area referred to as the Bermuda Triangle, or Devil’s Triangle, covers about 500,000 square miles of ocean off the southeastern tip of Florida. When Christopher Columbus sailed through the area on his first voyage to the New World, he reported that a great flame of fire (probably a meteor) crashed into the sea one night and that a strange light appeared in the distance a few weeks later. He also wrote about erratic compass readings, perhaps because at that time a sliver of the Bermuda Triangle was one of the few places on Earth where true north and magnetic north lined up.
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After gaining widespread fame as the first person to sail solo around the globe, Joshua Slocum disappeared on a 1909 voyage from Martha’s Vineyard to South America. Though it’s unclear exactly what happened, many sources later attributed his death to the Bermuda Triangle.
William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest,” which some scholars claim was based on a real-life Bermuda shipwreck, may have enhanced the area’s aura of mystery. Nonetheless, reports of unexplained disappearances did not really capture the public’s attention until the 20th century. An especially infamous tragedy occurred in March 1918 when the USS Cyclops, a 542-foot-long Navy cargo ship with over 300 men and 10,000 tons of manganese ore onboard, sank somewhere between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay. The Cyclops never sent out an SOS distress call despite being equipped to do so, and an extensive search found no wreckage. “Only God and the sea know what happened to the great ship,” U.S. President Woodrow Wilson later said. In 1941 two of the Cyclops’ sister ships similarly vanished without a trace along nearly the same route.
A pattern allegedly began forming in which vessels traversing the Bermuda Triangle would either disappear or be found abandoned. Then, in December 1945, five Navy bombers carrying 14 men took off from a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, airfield in order to conduct practice bombing runs over some nearby shoals. But with his compasses apparently malfunctioning, the leader of the mission, known as Flight 19, got severely lost. All five planes flew aimlessly until they ran low on fuel and were forced to ditch at sea. That same day, a rescue plane and its 13-man crew also disappeared. After a massive weeks-long search failed to turn up any evidence, the official Navy report declared that it was “as if they had flown to Mars.”
The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle may finally have been solved by a group of satellite meteorologists.
For decades, a series of disappearances within the 500,000km square area between Miami, Puerto Rico and Bermuda has remained unexplained and dismissed as coincidental by many.
The triangle is said to be responsible for the loss of at least 1,000 lives along with some 75 planes and hundreds of ships within the past 100 years.
Scientists have now claimed that hexagonal clouds creating “air-bombs” with winds of up to 170mph could be responsible for hundreds of unsolved incidents at sea.
The storms are said to be so powerful that ships and planes can be plunged into the sea in an instant.
Researchers also noted that large-scale clouds were appearing over the western tip of the island of Bermuda, ranging from 20 to 55 miles wide.
Dr Steve Miller, a satellite meteorologist at Colorado State University, told the Science Channel’s What on Earth programme: “You don’t typically see straight edges with clouds.
“Most of the time, clouds are random in their distribution.“
Using radar satellites to measure what was happening underneath the unusual clouds, the research group found sea level winds were also reaching dangerously high speeds, creating waves as high as 45ft as a result.
Metereologist Randy Cerveny said the hexagonal shapes over the ocean “are in essence air bombs”.
“They are formed by what are called microbursts and they’re blasts of air that come down out of the bottom of a cloud and then hit the ocean,” he explained.
These environmental factors “create waves that can sometimes be massive in size as they start to interact with each other.”
The Bermuda Triangle was first coined in the 1950s by a journalist writing about the large number of ships and planes that had disappeared in the region.
Claims of unusual and ‘paranormal’ occurances were made as far back as 1492, whoever, when Christopher Columbus reported seeing strange lights and compass readings.
An average of four planes and 20 ships are said to go missing in the area each year.Reuse content