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The Mysterious Bermuda Triangle Essay

1649 words - 7 pages

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 without a trace between 1781 and 1812, which is a prominent characteristic of the Bermuda Triangle mystery (Kusche, 1995). Other nineteenth-century disappearances attributed to the Bermuda Triangle include the Rosalie (1840), the Bella (1854), the Lotta (1866), and the Viego (1868) (Kusche, 1995). One of the most famous stories involve the 1872 disappearance of the passengers aboard the Mary Celeste, which included the captain, his wife and child, along with eight crewmembers. The vessel remained sailing for approximately ten days until it was discovered near the Azores. Eight years’ later, the Atalanta departed from Bermuda in January 1880 headed for England. Its crew, which consisted of 300 naval officers and cadets, was never seen or heard from again despite intensive rescue and recovery efforts (Kusche, 1995).
During the twentieth century, another characteristic was added to the Bermuda Triangle puzzle in the form of a “ghost ship” (Hagen, 2004, p. 14). Berlitz (1974) invokes the ‘ghost ship’ motif when describing the disappearance of the “German bark Freya, sailing from Manzanillo, Cuba, to ports in Chile in October 1902, was found abandoned and listing, with the pages of the ship's calendar torn off until...

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