From the United States Naval Air Station in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, five TBM Avenger Torpedo Bombers left the base at approximately 2:10 in the afternoon of December 5, 1945. Known as Flight 19, the group of 5 Navy avenger pilots was to execute an advanced navigational training flight. The group never returned after flying over what is known as the Bermuda Triangle.
The man in charge of the group’s course was a senior flight instructor who was piloting one of the planes. Other planes in the group were flown by qualified pilots that had between 350 to 400 hours of flight time under their belts, with at least a total of 55 hours flying the TBM type of craft.
Weather that day was rainy, with a visibility of 6 to 8 miles within the rain showers and 10 to 12 miles outside of the rain storm. Winds were recorded at 20 knots with a few gusts up to 31 knots. The sea was only moderately rough. The weather patterns were considered an average type of storm for flights, except for those that were within the shower pattern. The showers weren't odd or strong enough to cause any real trouble.
At approximately four in the afternoon, a radio message was intercepted from the group. This was the first insight into what would become a famous flight crew who had been lost within the triangle. The message came from who is believed to have been the leader of the flight group as he spoke to another pilot of the group. The leader had lost track of his position and was unsure of the direction of the Florida coastline. Compasses were reported to be malfunctioning.
Communications were jumbled due to broadcasting stations from Cuba, atmospheric issues and static that was recorded during the attempt to renew contact with the pilots. Radio interference caused the loss of communication to the base and between pilots to the point where the exact location of the group was lost. The last recorded location was somewhere off of the Florida peninsula, on the east side.
Flight 19 was lost forever. There were no traces of wreckage and the five planes were never located. The belief is the group was forced to land in the sea, possibly caused by the lack of fuel. The gas onboard the planes would have run out at approximately 8 p.m. The sea condition would have disintegrated the planes as they tried to land in the water.
Any aircraft or ships in the area were called in to help locate the group and return them successfully to their base. Nobody had spotted any debris or plausible explanation to indicate a plane crash had occurred. A report from the crew of a merchant ship spotted a “burst of flame” as if from an explosion. The merchant ship had sailed through an oil slick at approximately the same time the plane would have passed over the location of Flight 19's last passing, had the flight crew remained on course. The plane is guessed to have exploded over the ocean waters, sinking at approximately 28.59 N and 80.25 W.
The pilots involved in the Flight 19 project have never been heard from nor have remains ever been found. Even with the account of the merchant ship crew, there are questions yet unanswered. If all five aircraft had exploded for whatever reason, why would nobody hear the explosions? The crew described seeing a light that one could assume would be an explosion of the craft but there are not enough details in the witnesses statements to determine there were five explosions. Why would the planes explode? What would have caused the explosions?
Where is the Bermuda Triangle?
The Bermuda triangle exists over the Bahamas, the Straits of Florida and throughout the Caribbean island region. The boundary lines go to include the Atlantic and eastward to the Azores. Written works include the points as along the coast of Miami on the Atlantic side, Puerto Rico and San Juan. Disappearances and accidents have been pinpointed along the southern portion around the Bahamas, along the path to the Florida Straits.
While the incidents appear along this area, one must keep in mind that this is one of the heaviest traveled areas for shipping in the world. Ports along the Americas, Caribbean Islands and Europe make the trip daily. Recreational ships also cruise the area in large numbers. Cruise ships and those enjoying an ocean voyage travel the path from Florida to the islands constantly. Aircraft, both commercial and private, use the path to go from the north to South America, Florida and throughout the Caribbean.
What is the Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle?
Little is known and proven about the malfunctioning equipment on ships and planes that lose their way in the triangle. The Bermuda Triangle hasn't taken every traveler, leaving some who have documented strange occurrences. Even discoverer's such as Christopher Columbus have written about the eerie events that take place in the triangle's grasp.
Columbus had sailed in the Sargasso Sea and on through the Bermuda Triangle. Christopher Columbus was one of the first to report strange occurrences in the triangle area. While Columbus did keep logs, the writings are inaccurate due to the translation of the logs. However, this was changed in the works of Oliver Dunne and James Kelley, who extracted pieces of his log from a translation of his writing by Fray Bartolome de Las Casas shortly after the death of Columbus. The translation is known as The Diario of Columbus and was put into today’s terms through the works of Dunne and Kelley.
It has been told that Columbus discovered the new land and was witness to a fire ball that plunged into the ocean. The fire ball was considered an “odd forecast” and was dismissed. The fire ball was actually a light that Columbus and his crew had witnessed only a few days into his travels from the Canary Islands. The ball of light was seen a long way off before entering the Sargasso Sea and the Bermuda Triangle. The light remains unexplained. Columbus saw the light on October 11, 1492.
Other odd occurrences took place in the midst of the Bermuda triangle area. Columbus writes:
"Thursday 13 September 1492
On this day at the beginning of night the compasses nrothwested and in the morning they northeasted somewhat.
Monday September 17,
The pilots took the north, marking it [North Star], and found that the compasses northwested a full point [11 and one quarter degrees]; and the sailors were fearful and depressed and did not say why. The Admiral was aware of this and he ordered that the north again be marked when dawn came, and they found that the compasses were correct. The cause was that the North Star appears to move and not the compasses.
Sunday 23 September
Since the sea had been calm and smooth the men complained, saying that since in that region there were no rough seas, it would never blow for a return to Spain. But later the sea rose high and without wind, which astonished them, because of which the Admiral says here that the high sea was very necessary for me, a sign which had not appeared except in the time of the Jews when they left Egypt and complained against Moses, who took them out of captivity…” -- From “The Diario of Columbus, 1989", the translated logs of Christopher Columbus, translated by Oliver Dunne and James Kelley.
In the translated version, we see that even Columbus and the crew had been frightened by the changing of their navigational equipment while passing through the triangle. To this day, pilots and ships disappear into the sea and air, without any indication as to what has happened.
Theorists, scientists and spiritualists have offered several reasons as to what the mystery behind the disappearances are. One theory is the "scientific explanation" that the Coast Guard chose to create, describing a magnetic variation in the region. The Coast Guard explained away the disappearances via this explanation and lost a lot of credibility in doing so. Their explanation to the public was that many theories had been offered through the history of the region. The most practical of the theories seemed to be due to an environmental feature or features.
The Coast Guard went on to explain that the majority of disappearing aircraft and ships could be attributed to the “Devil’s Triangle” being only one of two spots in the world in which a compass points towards what is known as “true north.” In the other places in the world, a compass is known to point toward magnetic north. The compass variation then accounts for the 20 degrees or so as a pilot or ships captain would circumnavigate the world. If the compass variation is not considered in the piloting of aircraft or in the navigation of a ship, the vessel would eventually veer far off course and would be in distress.
A couple of factors shoot this theory down. For instance, the area of a compass variation is such a small space, the corridor for error would only suffice for a tiny error in judgment and would not allow for a navigator to completely disappear. Charts are used in navigational planning. All charts of this type give the variation in the charting procedure before a trip is taken for all ships and planes. It would also not compensate for those who had traveled the area for years, some decades, before their disappearance.
For the cynical, “hogwash tales” of vortex kinesis or an electronic fog, gas clouds, and even UFO’s have been the explanation. Time and space theories included these ships, planes and crew all being whisked away into another dimension, basing it on the Einstein theory of space and time warps.
One explanation was offered after a study held at the Monash University; methane deposits in the Bermuda triangle area are to blame for the disruption in equipment and thus the disappearances. The study results were published in the American Journal of Physics that claimed a large amount of deposits of methane were found in the region. The methane would surface in the form of large gas bubbles which would knock the aircraft and vessels to their watery graves. This theory has been ignored as a whole, even though the report was published in one of the most famous journals known to the scientific world.
The lost city of Atlantis is another theory that is seen as a viable way of causing ships and aircraft to disappear. The idea of the city of Atlantis was seen as a reasonable explanation to the “Sleeping Prophet,” or Edgar Cayce. Cayce was a clairvoyant who induced a trance state upon himself to give readings. His readings brought about a whole new interest in the idea that there was a lost city named Atlantis.
Cayce spoke of the city of Atlantis during the period of 1924 and 1944. In his trances, he would describe Atlantis as the city where man had developed a civilization for the first time. Cayce’s Atlantis was a super civilization filled with electromagnetic machines that could fly, lasers, crystals that held powerful components and more devices which were not yet understood. The destruction of Atlantis was the eventual human misuse of the powers they held. The description of Atlantis is interpreted by many who claim the details fit into the society we know today. The details of forces and machinery lay within the believable realm of our zero-point energy.
Spiritually, many still believe in the lost city of Atlantis. The magnetic pull from crystals and machinery under the ocean waters in the triangle area are considered in the disappearance of lost crafts. While cynics pull away from the idea, it wouldn't be too far out of the realm of reality if there were a lost city underwater known as Atlantis. Crystals under the sea would be possible and the imagination could flow into all sorts of explanations as to what may lie underneath that area of the ocean.
As to the question of "What is the Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle?", the answer is still unknown. Descriptive tales of travels through the triangle are still coming in from pilots and ships who have yet to know exactly what is was they witnessed. Tales of a light, misty fog, impossible determination of the sky from the sea, equipment that goes haywire and strange, mystical quietness looming around them as they were fortunate enough to escape the mystery that is the Bermuda Triangle. We have their reports, their logs and their eye witness accounts. Our science has yet to come up with a viable solution to the disappearances in that specific area, leaving us to wonder longer.
More questions rise as we ponder the explanations behind the mystery of the triangle. Why is it in a pyramid or triangular shape? What is the source of the light many travelers have experienced? What would cause the fog or mist that mysteriously appears with the light? What is the source of the magnetic or electric field that causes equipment to fail? Why do only some ships and planes crash, while others survive?
The latest reports of triangle mishaps can be seen through the eyewitness account of Paul Vance. Paul's journey and experiences in 2001 are explained further in his interview on www.bermudatriangle.org. Paul's account and several other accounts, including that of Christopher Columbus can be found on the site.