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The Bermuda Triangle is a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean, covering about 500,000 square miles of ocean off the southeastern tip of Florida. It is roughly bounded by Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico. It is also known as the Devil’s Triangle where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
See the fact file below for more information on the Bermuda Triangle or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Bermuda Triangle worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Legend of the Bermuda Triangle
- Christopher Columbus, on his first voyage to the New World, reported erratic compass readings, which was later attributed to the sliver of the Bermuda Triangle that, at that time, was one of the few places on Earth where true north and magnetic north lined up.
- William Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, written in 1610-1611, was believed by scholars to be based on a real-life Bermuda shipwreck.
- It was only in the 20th century that reports of unexplained disappearances in the area caught the attention of the public.
- One example a 20th-century infamous disappearance is the USS Cyclops incident in March 1918. It is deemed to be the single largest loss of life in the history of the U.S. Navy not related to combat.
- The Cyclops was a 542-foot long Navy cargo ship with over 300 men and 10,000 tons of manganese ore onboard. The ship sank somewhere between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay. It never sent out an SOS distress call despite being equipped to do so, and no wreckage was discovered even after an extensive search.
- U.S. President Woodrow Wilson later said, “Only God and the sea know what happened to the great ship.”
- In 1941, during World War II, two of Cyclops’ sister ships 一 Proteus and Nereus 一 similarly vanished without a trace in the North Atlantic both also carrying metallic ore just like the Cyclops.
- Allegedly, this pattern of disappearance began forming with vessels traversing the Bermuda Triangle.
- In December 1945, five TBM Avenger Navy bombers carrying 14 men took off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida airfield.
- The bombers were set to conduct practice bombing runs over some nearby shoals. However, the leader of the mission, known as Flight 19, experienced navigational error and got severely lost. The flight never returned to base.
- On the same day, a rescue plane and its 13-man crew deployed to search for the missing Flight 19 also disappeared. Even a massive weeks-long search failed to gather evidence and the Navy official report stated that it was “as if they had flown to Mars”.
Other Notable Incidents
- On 30 January 1948, the aircraft Star Tiger disappeared on a flight from the Azores to Bermuda; then almost a year after, on 17 January 1949, the Star Ariel disappeared on a flight from Bermuda to Kingston, Jamaica.
- Both passenger aircraft were operated by British South American Airways.
- On December 28, 1948, a Douglas DC-3 aircraft disappeared while on a flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Miami. No trace of the aircraft or the 32 people on board was ever found.
- A yacht named Connemara IV was found adrift and abandoned in the Atlantic south of Bermuda on September 26, 1955.
- In fact, the “Bermuda Triangle” was only first used in 1964 by writer Vincent Gaddis in a magazine called Argosy. By this time, additional mysterious accidents had occurred in the area, including three passenger planes that went down despite having just sent “all’s well” messages.
Theories and Counter-theories
- A discussion on the unusual disappearances in the Bermuda area first appeared in an article written by Edward Van Winkle Jones in The Miami Herald in September 1950.
- Two years later, Fate magazine published Sea Mystery at Our Back Door, a short article by George X. Sand, which was the first to suggest a supernatural element to the Flight 19 incident.
- Allan W. Eckert, in his article in American Legion magazine in 1962, and Vincent Gaddis, in his The Deadly Bermuda Triangle article in Argosy in 1964, again covered the Flight 19 incident and argued that this and other disappearances were part of a strange pattern of events happening in the region.
- Charles Berlitz stoked the supernatural theory even further in 1974 when he released his sensational bestseller about the legend ーThe Bermuda Triangle.
- These “triangle writers”, as they were called, have used a number of supernatural concepts to explain the events ー UFOs, sea monsters, time warps and reverse gravity fields.
- One famous explanation suggested leftover technology from the mythical lost civilization of Atlantis.
- Charles Berlitz attributed the losses to anomalous or unexplained forces.
- A 2005 U.S.-British-German science fiction miniseries called The Triangle stated that the area is a wormhole.
- Most reputable resources, however, reject the idea that there is any mystery. Lawrence David “Larry” Kusche, in his work The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved (1975), argued that many claims of Gaddis and subsequent writers were often dubious, exaggerated and unverifiable. He claimed that his research even revealed a number of inconsistencies in Berlitz’s accounts and statements from witnesses and persons actually involved in the incidents.
- Kusche was led to the conclusion that the number of ships and aircraft missing in the region was not significantly greater than in any other part of the ocean. Also, for an area that is frequented by cyclones, the disappearances that occurred were neither disproportionate nor mysterious.
- Maritime insurance leader Lloyd’s of London and the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed this conclusion by Kusche and also do not recognize the Bermuda Triangle as an especially dangerous place.
- More scientific-minded theorists have pointed to natural explanations regarding the events in the Triangle. Examples are human error, storms, reefs and magnetic anomalies that cause compass problems that the uninformed may interpret as mysterious.
- The Gulf Stream has also been a noted cause of navigational challenges. It is a major surface current originating from the Gulf of Mexico, which then moves through the Straits of Florida into the North Atlantic.
- Periodic huge methane gas eruptions from the ocean floor have been hypothesized to produce regions of frothy water that reduces the buoyancy of ships, causing the ship to sink without warning.
- For some of the disappearances, it is theorized that the fields of methane hydrates sank the ships and any wreckage that would have consequently risen to the surface would have been rapidly dispersed by the Gulf Stream.
The Bermuda Triangle in Popular Culture
- The mysteries surrounding the Bermuda Triangle has interested the public so much that it made its way into pop culture, being linked with aliens and other mysterious creatures such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.
- Many works in literature, television and films have used the concept of the Triangle as a portal device through which people are transported to other realms or times. It’s mystery also touches in the songs of artists like Fleetwood Mac and Barry Manilow.
Bermuda Triangle Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Bermuda Triangle across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Bermuda Triangle worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Bermuda Triangle which is a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean, covering about 500,000 square miles of ocean off the southeastern tip of Florida. It is roughly bounded by Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico. It is also known as the Devil’s Triangle where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Bermuda Triangle Facts
- Draw A Triangle
- Word Search And Rescue
- Mumble Jumble
- The Boat is Sinking
- What Flight Number?
- Matching Titles
- Think like a Theorist
- Reporting for Duty
- True or False
- Movie Review
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Link will appear as Bermuda Triangle Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 20, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
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