Bermuda Triangle

Audrey Whalen, Reporter

The Bermuda Triangle, a mysterious stretch of ocean between Bermuda, Puerto Rico and the tip of Florida, has allegedly swallowed a horde of unsuspecting ships, planes and people.

Many tales have been told about the vanishings; aliens captured the humans for research, a geomagnetic storm that confused pilots’ navigational systems, the lost continent of Atlantis sucking the vessels into its grasp with a mysterious, unidentified force, better yet; strong vortexes that slurped the victims straight into another dimension.

Recently, some people have wondered if there is a Bermuda Triangle connection in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, even though the jet went missing halfway around the world.

Why do ships and planes seem to go missing in the region? Some authors suggest it may be due to a strange magnetic anomaly that affects compass readings, a fact they claim Columbus noted when he sailed through the area in 1492. Others theorize that methane eruptions from the ocean floor may sudden turn the sea into a froth that can not support a ship’s weight, though there is no evidence of this type of thing happening in the Triangle for the past 15,000 years. Several books have gone as far as conjecturing that the disappearances are due to an intelligent, technologically advanced race living in space or under the sea.

One of the first stories connected to the Triangle legend and the most famous ship lost in the region, was the “USS Cyclops” that  disappeared in 1918. The 542 foot long “Cyclops” was launched in 1910 and served as a collier, a ship that carries coal, for the U.S. Navy during World War I. The vessel was on its way from Bahia, Salvador, to Baltimore, Maryland, but never arrived. After it had made an unscheduled stop at Barbados on March 3 and 4 to take on additional supplies, it disappeared without a trace. No wreckage from the ship was ever found and no distress signal was received. The deaths of the 306 crew and passengers of the “USS Cyclops” remains the single largest loss of life in U.S. Naval history not directly involving combat.

The “SS Marine Sulphur Queen,” a tanker ship carrying molten sulphur, disappeared off the southern coast of Florida in 1963. The crew of 39 was lost and no wreckage was ever found. While the disappearance of the ship is mentioned in several books about the Triangle, authors don’t always include that the Coast Guard concluded that the vessel was in deplorable shape and should have never gone to sea at all. Fires erupted with regularity on the ship. Also, this class of vessel was known to have a “weak back”, which means the keel could split when weakened by corrosion, causing the ship to break in two. The ship’s structure had been further compromised by a conversion from its original mission as an oil tanker to carrying molten sulphur. The conversion had left the vessel with an extremely high center of gravity, increasing the chance that it would capsize. The “SS Marine Sulphur Queen” was all-in-all a disaster waiting to happen and it seems unfair to blame its demise on the Bermuda Triangle.

Those are just a few stories of ships going missing, there are plenty more. The Bermuda Triangle has been around for centuries, causing ships to disappear and take many lives. What do you think is causing these unexplained happenings.