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EAA Young Eagles - Ask the Expert

Question :
Do you know what happened to the aircraft and pilots that disappeared when they crossed the Bermuda triangle? Did they die or are they still out there still flying in that same mist. Thanks.
Answer :
The Bermuda Triangle has been a source of mystery for years. No one knows exactly what happened to Flight 19 in 1945. Suffice to say it is presumed they ran out of fuel and crashed at sea. However, many other theories have been suggested from alien abduction to a massive cover-up by the Navy.

The U.S. Coast Guard has the following explanation for the “Triangle.”

“The "Bermuda Triangle," or "Devil’s Triangle," is a mythical geographic area located off the southeastern coast of the United States that is noted for an apparent high incidence of unexplained losses of ships, small boats and aircraft. The apexes of the Triangle are generally accepted to be Bermuda, Miami, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In the past, extensive but futile Coast Guard searches, prompted by search and rescue cases such as the disappearance of an entire squadron of TBM Avengers shortly after take-off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1945), or the sinking of the Marine Sulphur Queen in the Florida Straits (1963), have lent credence to popular belief in the mysterious and supernatural qualities of the "Bermuda Triangle."

Countless theories attempting to explain the many disappearances have been offered throughout the history of the area. The most reasonable seem to be citing human errors and environmental factor.

The majority of disappearances can be attributed to the area's unique features. The Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current flowing from the Gulf of Mexico around the Florida Straits northeastward toward Europe, is extremely swift and turbulent. It can quickly erase any evidence of a disaster.

The unpredictable Caribbean-Atlantic storms that give birth to waves of great size as well as waterspouts often spell disaster for pilots and mariners. The topography of the ocean floor varies from extensive shoals to some of the deepest marine trenches in the world. With the interaction of strong currents over reefs, the topography is in a constant state of flux and breeds development of new navigational hazards.

Not to be underestimated is the human factor. A large number of pleasure boats travel the water between Florida's Gold Coast (the most densely populated area in the world) and the Bahamas. All to often, crossings are attempted with too small a boat, insufficient knowledge of the area's hazards and lack of good seamanship.

Many explanations have cited unusual magnetic properties within the boundaries of the Triangle. Although the world's magnetic fields are in constant flux, the "Bermuda Triangle" has remained relatively undisturbed.

It is true that some exceptional magnetic values have been reported within the Triangle, but none to make the Triangle more unusual than any other place on earth.”

So there you have it. There are many interesting books and web sites about the Bermuda Triangle that make for interesting reading. Enjoy your search!

Steve Buss
EAA Young Eagles

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