Thursday, 29 March 2018

Strange But True

At 2:10 pm on 5th December 1945, five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers comprising Flight 19 take off from the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on a routine three-hour training mission. Flight 19 was scheduled to take them due east for 120 miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg that would return them to the naval base. They never returned.

Two hours after the flight began, the leader of the squadron, who had been flying in the area for more than six months, reported that his compass and back-up compass had failed and that his position was unknown. The other planes experienced similar instrument malfunctions. Radio facilities on land were contacted to find the location of the lost squadron, but none were successful. After two more hours of confused messages from the fliers, a distorted radio transmission from the squadron leader was heard at 6:20 p.m., apparently calling for his men to prepare to ditch their aircraft simultaneously because of lack of fuel.

By this time, several land radar stations finally determined that Flight 19 was somewhere north of the Bahamas and east of the Florida coast, and at 7:27 p.m. a search and rescue Mariner aircraft took off with a 13-man crew. Three minutes later, the Mariner aircraft radioed to its home base that its mission was underway. The Mariner was never heard from again. Later, there was a report from a tanker cruising off the coast of Florida of a visible explosion seen at 7:50 p.m.

The disappearance of the 14 men of Flight 19 and the 13 men of the Mariner led to one of the largest air and seas searches to that date, and hundreds of ships and aircraft combed thousands of square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and remote locations within the interior of Florida. No trace of the bodies or aircraft was ever found.

Although naval officials maintained that the remains of the six aircraft and 27 men were not found because stormy weather destroyed the evidence, the story of the “Lost Squadron” helped cement the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, an area of the Atlantic Ocean where ships and aircraft are said to disappear without a trace. The Bermuda Triangle is said to stretch from the southern U.S. coast across to Bermuda and down to the Atlantic coast of Cuba and Santo Domingo.

There is a long catalogue of missing aircraft and ocean-going craft lost without trace in this notorious region of the Atlantic.
  • 1945: July 10, Thomas Arthur Garner, AMM3, USN, along with eleven other crew members, was lost at sea in a US Navy PBM3S patrol seaplane, Bu. No.6545, Sqd VPB2-OTU#3, in the Bermuda Triangle. They left the Naval Air Station, Banana River, Florida, at 7:07 p.m. on July 9, 1945, for a radar training flight to Great Exuma, Bahamas. Their last radio position report was sent at 1:16 a.m., July 10, 1945, with a latitude/longitude of 25-22N 77.34W, near Providence Island, after which they were never heard from again. An extensive ten day surface and air search, including a carrier sweep, found nothing
  • 1945: December 5, Flight 19 (five TBF Avengers) lost with 14 airmen, and later the same day PBM Mariner BuNo 59225 lost with 13 airmen while searching for Flight 19
  • 1948: January 30, Avro Tudor G-AHNP Star Tiger lost with six crew and 25 passengers, en route from Santa Maria Airport in the Azores to Kindley Field, Bermuda1948: December 28, Douglas DC-3 NC16002 lost with three crew and 36 passengers, en route from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Miami. 1949: January 17, Avro Tudor G-AGRE Star Ariel lost with seven crew and 13 passengers, en route from Kindley Field, Bermuda, to Kingston Airport, Jamaica. 1956: November 9, Martin Marlin lost ten crewmen taking off from Bermuda.
The list continues into modern times. The explanations given for the disappearances range from the sublime to the ridiculous;
1. The paranormal -  Some writers have blamed UFOs for the disappearances. They believe that aliens use the Triangle as a portal to travel to and from our planet. The area is like a gathering station where they capture people, ships and aircraft to conduct research.
2. The lost city of Atlantis - Theorists believe the fabled city once resided under the Triangle and mystical crystals which powered Atlantis are still resting on the seabed transmitting huge waves of energy that destroy the vessels on the sea above.
3. Gigantic structures under the sea - Paranormal explorers claimed they found a massive crystal pyramid lurking beneath the ocean within the triangle. They implied that this might be responsible for crashing aircraft and sinking ships.
4. Souls of African slaves - One of the most significant theories is that the Triangle is made up of the souls of slaves who had been thrown overboard by sea captains on their journey to the States. In his book Healing the Haunted, Dr Kenneth McAll claimed that a haunting sound could be heard while sailing in the notorious waters.
5. Government testing - The US Navy's Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) is located in the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. It's used as a hub to test submarines, weapons, sonar, secret projects and reverse-engineered alien technology, and some say it is behind the phenomenon. 
A more recent theory was posed by scientists investigating strange hexagonal patterning in cloud formations over the 440,000 square mile area of the Bermuda Triangle. While looking at satellite images of coastal clouds above the North Atlantic Ocean, the meteorologists reportedly noted strange patterns of hexagonal gaps as large as 88 kilometers (55 miles) in the cloud formations, according to Science Channel. It just so happens, this bizarre phenomenon was found on the west tip of the Bermuda Triangle, as well as a precarious point in Europe's North Sea.“These types of hexagonal shapes in the ocean are, in essence, air bombs," Dr Randy Cerveny, a meteorologist from Arizona State University, told the Science Channel’s What on Earth show. "They’re formed by what is called microbursts and they’re blasts of air that come down out of the bottom of the cloud and then hit the ocean and then create waves, sometimes massive in size..."
The scientists believe that these “air bombs” could pump winds to move at over 273 kilometers (170 miles) per hour, which could account for the handful of reports of ships going missing in the area.
Whatever the real reason for these tragedies, I have always found the phenomenon totally fascinating.xAnd of course, Barry Manilow wrote and recorded a song about it.
Thank you for reading. Adele  




Steve Rowland said...

My money's on the Souls of African Slaves. Never underestimate the sheer sonic power of a good Spiritual, especially Three Degrees (North)! Seriously....