Prevailing Theories on the Bermuda Triangle

In the last century, numerous ships, small boats and aircrafts have purportedly vanished within the infamous Bermuda Triangle, or as some call it "The Devil's Triangle". The boundaries of the triangle cover the Straits of Florida, the Bahamas and the entire Caribbean island area, the Atlantic east to the Azores. Dating back to the voyages of Christopher Columbus, he had logged about bizarre compass bearings in the area.

The region got its name when Vincent Gaddis coined the term 'Bermuda Triangle' in a cover story for Argosy magazine about the disappearance of Flight 19. While the area is one of the most heavily traveled shipping lanes in the world many theorists have tried to explain unusual disappearances which have occurred in its borders.

Here are some theories you won't find on your boat exam.

Time Vortex

Time Vortex

Albert Einstein postulated that a curvature of space would cause even light to bend through it. Some theorists believe that "Time'", as a force of nature, can also get warped based on your location. The Bermuda Triangle is thus one location on earth where the fabric of time is so thin that travelers can slip through it and emerge on the other side of a completely different time.

This theory was solidified in 1970 when Floridian pilot Brue Gernon Jr., his father and friend Chuck Lafayette were flying toward Bimini Island in the Bahamas and noticed a strange elliptical cloud, which he later called Electronic Fog hovering only about 500 feet above the ocean.

Here is an excerpt of his story:

"Upon entering the cloud we witnessed an uncanny spectacle. It became dark and black, without rain, and visibility was about four or five miles. There were no lightning bolts, only extraordinarily bright white flashes that would illuminate the entire surrounding area. The deeper we penetrated, the more intense the flashes became, so we made a 135-degree turn to the left and headed due south out of the cloud.[...] The remarkable thing is that we did not come out of the storm 90 miles away from Miami as we should have. . . .We had traveled through 100 miles of space and 30 minutes of time in a little more than three minutes."

Why the theory doesn't add up: No theory has negated what Bruce saw but there is a fascinating and detailed analysis explaining the science behind Bruce Gernon's flight. The report attributes his experience being due to a sunspot number of 84 (scientists track solar cycles by counting sunspots) and a large solar wind of 706 km/sec, which created a disturbance of the magnetosphere and energy flux transfer (this occurs when a magnetic portal opens in the Earth's magnetosphere through which high-energy particles flow from the Sun) directly into the atmosphere. This caused not only his compass to go haywire but can also account for the warping of the fabric of space he witnessed.



The existence of a mysterious third dimension created by unknown beings has been speculated by some Bermuda Triangle theorists. UFO enthusiasts argue that the Triangle is a 'Star Gate' that extraterrestrials use for inter-galactic travel.

Many were led to believe that Flight 19 may have been swept in to this UFO portal. The weather that day was clear and the flight was supervised by an experienced pilot (Lt. Charles Carroll Taylor). All of a sudden, Taylor made a radio call saying: "We are entering white water, nothing seems right. We don't know where we are, the water is green, no white". It was also said that the Navy board of inquiry stated the planes "flew off to Mars".

Why the theory doesn't add up: Lt. Taylor, who was driving the plane, was not familiar with the area and was actually 50 km off course. He had a history of getting lost, allegedly having done so three times during World War II, and being forced to ditch his planes twice into the water.

Highway to Hell

Highway to Hell

Some Christians considered the Bermuda Triangle as the gateway to hell, hence the name 'Devil's Triangle'

Why the theory doesn't add up:
Let's not touch this one.

The Lost City of Atlantis

Lost City of Atlantis

Some believe that the mythical lost continent of Atlantis once lay deep beneath the Bermuda Triangle. An American psychic named Edgar Cayce, claimed to have the ability to channel answers to questions pertaining to Atlantis and had documented many 'readings' between 1924-1944 about the lost city. He said that the Bahamas Banks were the last part of Atlantis to sink. In one of his transcendental readings he also mentioned an island, Bimini. Here lay a trail of energy crystals that were once used to fuel the city. These electromagnetic forces were said to be able to cause interference with airplane and ship electronic systems causing them to vanish.

In 1968, scuba diver J. Manson Valentine, a proponent of the Atlantis theory discovered a series of laid stones at the bottom of the ocean that appeared as though they formed a road, thus proving the existence of Atlantis. If only he could have taken a picture...

Why the theory doesn't add up: For many reasons, but what Valentine witnessed was actually an underwater rock formation near North Bimini island in the Bahamas called the Bimini Road. the Submerged rock formation known as the Bimini Road off the island of Bimini in the Bahamas, which is in the Triangle by some definitions. However, geologists consider this formation to be of natural origin.

Ocean Flatulence

Ocean Flatulence
Long ago, a freighter ship carrying thousands of barrels of beans and lentils spilled deep into the ocean floor of the Bermuda Triangle causing the area to have a permanent case of gas, every so often unleashing its smelly odors unto unfortunate ships and airplanes that come near it. No. But it has been proven that there are pockets of methane gas, known as methane gas hydrates, beneath the ocean floor that could erupt if there is too much internal pressure or in the event of an underwater landslide or seismic wave.

What some theorists have suggested is that these pockets of trapped methane gas exist deep beneath the surface of the Bermuda Triangle. Periodic methane eruptions have caused this area to expel great quantities of trapped methane, causing ships to lose their buoyancy and sink. If enough of the flammable gas bubbled up to the surface and traveled way up in the air, it could potentially stall an airplane engine or even be ignited by an engine's spark.

Why the theory doesn't add up: Scientists from the United states Geological survey have found large stores of underwater hydrates worldwide, but no large releases of gas hydrates are believed to have occurred in the Bermuda Triangle for the past 15,000 years.

A Comet


The Bermuda Triangle region is one of the two places on Earth (the other being the Devil's Sea off the coast of Japan which has a similar mystery attached to it) where true north and magnetic north line up, which could result in questionable compass readings. Some theorists believe that 11,000 years ago a comet crashed to Earth and landed on the ocean floor of the Bermuda Triangle. Believing that this comet may have strange electromagnetic properties, it could disrupt compasses and other navigational tools.

Why the theory doesn't add up: Compasses have natural magnetic variations in relation to the magnetic poles, a fact which navigators have known for centuries. Magnetic (compass) north and geographic (true) north are only exactly the same for a small number of places - for example, as of 2000 in the United States only those places on a line running from Wisconsin to the Gulf of Mexico. But the public may not be as informed, and think there is something mysterious about a compass "changing" across an area as large as the Triangle, which it naturally will.

Other theories for disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle have included pirates and government testing. Today, the most likely explanation are attributed to human error, poor weather conditions, and unfit vehicle operating conditions. But who doesn't love a good conspiracy theory!

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