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"vanished: the bermuda triangle effect"
by captain joey

the bermuda triangle is the expanse of the atlantic ocean between florida, bermuda, and puerto rico. it covers approximately a 1,500,000 square miles and five hundred thousand square leagues of sea. the term "bermuda triangle" was first using in 1964 by vincent h. gaddis, and since then has become the unofficial name for this mysterious stretch of sea which has an unusually high occurrences of ship and plane disappearances.

this region is frequented by visitors and often flights and boats in the triangle are navigated by inexperienced pilots doing practice maneuvers from the nearby military bases or relatively short journeys to vacation paradises. it is dotted with shallow reefs, nearly submerged islands, and deep trenches. the area is prone to underwater earthquakes, sudden storms, and rough weather brought on by the gulf stream. but the majority of disappearances in the devil's triangle aren't rookies. they are experienced, seasoned veterans piloting large vessels and planes, who have weathered many sea voyages previously.

it isn't just airplanes and boats that vanish in the triangle. in 1969, two light keepers in a lighthouse in the area vanished without a trace. their replacement at great issac's light disappeared four years later. the lighthouse now stands abandoned with no one willing to occupy it.

theories are as wide ranging as the disappearances. some people claim that nothing is unusual at all, that the stories are exaggerated because of the triangle's fame. people claim that the unusual magnetic, geographic, and climatic features of the triangle account for navigation accidents, failed communication, and general errors. many claim that the lost city of atlantis sunk into the bermuda triangle, and they capture boats and planes that enter their space. some account for the mysterious disappearances as being abducted by aliens. entire books have been devoted to each major theory and to the myriad of unexplained vanishings.

on halloween, 1991, john verdi and his co-pilot were flying a grunman cougar jet over the triangle. they radioed the nearest tower to request permission to increase altitude as was in their flight plan. tower agreed, and watched as flight n24wj began their assent, then faded off the radar. they didn't fly out of radar range, didn't descend, and didn't radio a mayday. they just vanished. the plane and crew were never recovered.

the sea lure was a 44-foot fisher navigating the florida keys with a convoy of other crafts on february 26, 1983. it disappeared, without any of the other vessels noticing a thing. they didn't radio for help, or even call out even though five other ships were in eyesight. two weeks later, the wreck was discovered. there was no apparent reason why the ship went down, but it was flooded and sitting on the bottom of the ocean. the crew was missing.

in 1984, a twin cessna vanished off of the bahama radar after slowing down to 90 mph with no warning. half an hour later, witnesses saw it crash into the sea 20 miles from its last known location. two people watched as the plane plummeted into a shallow 18 feet of water, but no wreckage was ever recovered. no sos had been sent. no one could explain how it could be in controlled space but not appear on radar.

one of the most famous disappearances was of flight 19, a training flight of five avenger torpedo bombers. on december 5th 1945, the five planes and thirteen men left florida at 2:10 pm. except commander lt. charles taylor, they were all students. an hour and a half into the training mission, the commander radioed in that he was lost and his instruments were not working. snatches of transmissions between the planes were picked up, but they never made it home. the planes and crew were lost at sea and never recovered.

boats and planes do meet bad weather and high seas. some are attacked by pirates. others are lost due to simple human error. but in this particular triangle, more ships than average are lost and never heard from again. wrecks are unexplained or unrecovered. survivors are nill. instruments malfunction without cause and lives are lost, as more an more ships vanish into the bermuda triangle.

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