The Bermuda Triangle
Myth or “Mythery”?
Bermuda Triangle - a notorious area of the Atlantic
the early 1960’s a triangular area of the Atlantic
Ocean has been the source of many strange tails and anecdotes
which, on occasion, have involved UFOs and apparent abductions.
This area lies between the 20th and 40th parallels
the three points of the triangle have come to be accepted
as the east coast of Florida, Puerto Rico and of course
Bermuda. This notorious area of the ocean has been given
a number of names, The Devil’s Triangle, The Graveyard
of the Atlantic etc…, but it is almost always
referred to as
“The Bermuda Triangle”.
this part of the Atlantic had
the reputation for being a danger zone for shipping
as quite often there is little wind and ships could
easily be becalmed for long periods often resulting
in the loss of life due to the lack of drinking water
and supplies. Nearer to the east coast of the U.S.
the weather can be extremely violent, involving the
threat of hurricanes and storms, causing many ships
to flounder and sink. Superstitious sailors regarded
the area which came to be known as “The Bermuda
Triangle” with fear.
average 60 ships and boats and 5 aircraft are lost in the area
each year. Oddly very wrecks are ever located.
the early 1950’s, as interest in UFOs grew, a number of articles,
books etc… referred to an event which occurred in 1945 and
involved the loss of five military aircraft and their crew. These
articles suggested that the aircraft and crew were possibly abducted
by UFOs. These five aircraft were known as “Flight 19”.
the 5th December, 1945, five Avenger torpedo
bombers flew out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on
a routine training flight, the crew of these five
training flight setting out from Fort Lauderdale
C.C. Taylor, USNR
Devlin, AOM3c, USNR
Parpart, ARM3c, USNR
E.J. Powers, USMC
Thompson, Sgt., USMCR
Paonessa, Sgt., USMC
G.W. Stivers, USMC
Gruebel, Pvt., USMCR
Gullivan, Sgt., USMC
Lt. F.J. Gerber, USMCR
Lightfoot, Pfc., USMCR
Ens. J.T. Bossi, USNR
Thelander, S1c, USNR
Baluk, JR., S1c, USNR
training flight involved the pilots keeping to a predefined route
known as “Navigation Problem 1” which involved keeping
to the following flight pattern:
degrees 03 minutes north and 80 degrees 07 minutes west. Fly 091
degrees (east)for 56 miles to Hens and Chicken Shoals, 22 miles
north of Bimini in the Bahamas for low-level bombing practice.
After bombing, continue 091 degrees for 67 miles.
346 degrees (northwest) for 73 miles.
241 degrees (southwest) 120 miles back to Fort Lauderdale.
19 took off at 2-10p.m. and after flying to Hens and Chicken Shoals
they practiced dropping bombs and activities such as low level
then flew on at 3-00p.m. on the second section of their mission
and were observed by the captain of a fishing boat flying east.
However, at 3-45p.m. Flight Instructor, Lt. Robert Cox, picked
up a transmission on 4805 kilocycles, the voice was asking someone
named Powers what his compass showed and saying: “I
don't know where we are. We must have got lost after that last
speaker was probably Lt. Taylor and it would seem that either his
compass had failed or that he had become disoriented and did not
believe his and Powers' compass readings.
Taylor - was he guilty of an enormous error or did his instruments
Cox radioed Ft. Lauderdale
and alerted them that a ship or plane was in trouble and then tried
to contact the speaker on 4805 kilocycles. This he could not achieve
for several minutes as there was a lot of static on that frequency,
plus interference from a Cuban radio station. Ultimately, at about
4:21, he received a response:
is FT-28. Both my compasses are out and I'm trying to find Fort
Lauderdale. I'm over land but it's broken. I'm sure I'm in the
Keys, but I don't know how far down………”
extent of Taylor's
disorientation now becomes evident as not only does he believe
they are off-course but that they are many miles to the southwest,
over the Florida Keys. Cox was unaware of their flight plan and
has no reason to question Taylor's opinion that they are over the
Keys. It is, however, highly likely that “the "broken
land" that Taylor refers
to is probably the Bahamas.
Had the Flight been over the Keys, they would have been able
to see the Florida mainland.
told Taylor: “Put
the sun on your port wing if you're in the Keys and fly up the
coast until you get to Miami. Then Fort Lauderdale is 20 miles
farther…what is your position? I'll fly south and meet you. “
replied: “I know where I am now. I'm at 2300 feet.
Don't come after me.”
radioed again: “We
have just passed over a small island. We have no other land in
sight. Can you have Miami or someone turn on their radar and pick
us up? We don't seem to be getting far. We were out on a navigation
hop, and on the second leg I thought they were going wrong. I took
over and was flying them back to the right position. But I'm sure
now that neither one of my compasses is working.”
had turned and flown south assuming that's where Flight 19 was
but as he got south of Miami,
the transmissions from Flight 19 got weaker. To make matters worse,
Cox's transmitter began to malfunction, and he could not transmit
to Taylor. Taylor was under the impression that they were south
of Florida and continued to fly northwards but the weather worsened
and whitecaps were visible on the ocean below.
4-45P.M. Port Everglades station instructed Taylor to switch to
3000 kilocycles and to fly due west. They were trying to get a
fix on Flight 19, which was difficult because of the interference
on 4805 kilocycles.
5-00p.m. the following transmission was heard: “If
we would just fly west, we would get home. And Dammit, if we
would just fly west, we would get home.”
Taylor to Flight 19: “Change
course to 90 degrees for 10 minutes.
long have we gone now? Let's turn and fly east two degrees. We
are going too damn far north instead of east. If there is anything
we wouldn't have seen it.”
didn't get far enough east. How long have we been going east? “
to Port Everglades: “I
receive you very weak. We are now flying 270 degrees. “
to Port Everglades: “We
will fly 270 degrees until we hit the beach or run out of gas. “
by this time they had flown too far east and they didn't have enough
fuel to make it back to the mainland.
5-22p.m. Taylor: “When
the first man gets down to ten gallons of gas, we will all land
in the water together.
everyone understand that? “
Everglades asked Taylor to change his radio to 3000 kilocycles
but he refused, believing that if he changed frequency that he
would not be able to talk to the other planes in Flight 19:“I
cannot change frequency. I must keep my planes intact.”
Port Everglades was obtained a fix on Flight 19. They were north
of the Bahamas
and East of New Smyrna, Florida - they were halfway up the East
Coast of Florida! If Flight 19 had been aware of their position
then possibly that Taylor would have abandoned his idea that they
must fly east and they could have still made the mainland to the
west before they ran out of fuel. However, the teletypes were not
working and no transmission of that fix was made to other stations.
No one gave the fix to Taylor because
no station was in direct contact with him at that time.
6-15p.m. unidentified: “We are over the Gulf. We
didn't go far enough east… I suggest we fly due east until
we run out of gas. We have a better chance of being picked up
close to shore…”
last transmission from Flight 19 was at 6:44. Still on 4805 kilocycles,
FT-3's call signal was heard. The Navy Board of Investigation report
stated that Flight 19's fuel should have kept them airborne until
that his compass was malfunctioning but did it? Perhaps he simply
refused to believe it.
Whatever, Taylor had
the late afternoon sun to tell him which way to fly but he insisted
on believing that they were in the Gulf of Mexico and that they
had to fly east to reach the mainland. Evidently he was extremely
disoriented and not thinking clearly. Later investigation showed
that they were actually right on course when he first claimed that
they were lost. If his disorientation was the beginning of the
problem, then his refusal to change radio frequencies caused the
loss of the flight. If he had switched to the emergency channel
the first time he was asked, a fix could have been obtained much
sooner and he could have been convinced to fly due west with plenty
of fuel remaining to reach safety.
believe that due to his malfunctioning compass Taylor believed
that a chain of islands that he flew over were The Florida Keys,
in fact they were probably a chain of islands to the north.
a flying boat that was part of the search and rescue mission disappeared
on the very same day.
a flying boat was mysteriously lost during search
and rescue operations.
the wreckage of any of the aircraft of Flight 19 nor of the flying
boat was ever found.
initial investigation into the loss of Flight 19 blamed Taylor
but a later report declared the aircraft were lost by unknown circumstances.
mystery of Flight 19 has never been resolved. There have been many
theories as to why five aircraft and their crew could be lost including
abduction by UFOs. Every December 5th a memorial service
is held at Fort Lauderdale and a strange rumour has evolved. This
rumour maintains that FlL. Taylor survived by crash landing his
aircraft in the sea and being picked up by some Bahamians. He sought
anonymity as he was fearful of being Court Martialled if he returned
to the mainland (which he almost certainly would have been). The
story goes that Taylor eventually married a Bahamian woman and
has attended the memorial service at Fort Lauderdale!
Lauderdale - Flight 19 were never to return.
memorial at Fort Lauderdale. Does a mysterious person
visit on the anniversary of the loss of Flight 19?
Rothschild twins - were pleased to survive their
flight across the Bermuda Triangle.
and David Rothschild discuss their experiences.
twins talk about their
flight over the Bermuda Triangle.