The Mysterious Bermuda Triangle

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There has always been an aura of mystery surrounding Bermuda, the collective name for a group of small islands located in the Atlantic Ocean. Once referred to as “The Devil’s Islands,” ‘the Bermuda Triangle’ represents the geographical area along the Atlantic Ocean from Puerto Rico to the South and Miami to the West (Kelly, 2004, p. 227). The actual term Bermuda Triangle was not introduced until 1964, when Vincent H. Gaddis’ article “The Deadly Bermuda Triangle” was published in Argosy magazine (Kelly, 2004). However, it was not until the publication of Charles Berlitz’s bestseller The Bermuda Triangle in 1974 that the international fascination with the mysterious disappearances of ships, aircraft, and individuals reached a fever pitch. Within the intricate puzzle pieces that represent the Bermuda Triangle, fact and fiction have become interchangeable. While the regional dangers of the Bermuda Triangle can be quite real as evidenced by the various cause and effects of this natural phenomenon, the greatest danger of all is when paranormal myths and superstitions replace scientific reality. The first reported mystery associated with the Bermuda Triangle occurred during Christopher Columbus’ voyage to North America in October 1492. According to legend, the sailor and his crew witnessed what looked like a massive fireball plummeting into the ocean. Subsequent reports suggest this light was the sea landing of a meteor (Kelly, 2004). There were also reports of erratic compass movements as well (Kelly, 2004). However, Columbus reported in his log that he was aware of compass variations in “true north” that can result when traveling east or west (Kelly, 2004). Thereafter, there was documentation of four naval ships vanishing w... ... middle of paper ... ...inaccuracies, weather, time of day, and human error or equipment malfunction. But cool and concise logic does not sell books; sensationalism does. The historical occurrences of the Bermuda Triangle are more normal than paranormal and can be easily explained. Scientific inquiry reveals the pieces of this puzzle fit together cohesively. As Lynne Kelly observed in her 2004 text entitled The Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal, “The only real mystery about the Bermuda Triangle is how it ever became a mystery” (p. 232). Works Cited Berlitz, C. (1974). The Bermuda Triangle. New York: Avon Books. Hagen, L. K. (2004). Strange fish. Skeptic, 11(1), 14-19. Kelly, L. (2004). The skeptic's guide to the paranormal. Crows Nest, N.S.W. (Australia): Allen & Unwin. Kusche, L. D. (1995). The Bermuda Triangle mystery solved. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
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