The Bermuda Triangle is an iconic area that is renowned for being at the forefront of several mysterious disappearances, extraterrestrial happenings and other strange events. Together, these incidents have led to the area earning the nickname of the ‘Devil’s Triangle’. Yet it was only after a certain event that the legend of the Bermuda Triangle was born – and in this week’s Sunday Read, we take a look at the mysterious disappearance of Flight 19, a disappearance that would have ramifications forever more.
Flight 19 was the name given to a group of five torpedo bombers that were set to launch a training mission – under the banner of the United States Navy. 14 people were on board the torpedos – all of which were checked over prior to departure, with faulty clocks being the only issue. The group set off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida – with the weather deemed ‘favourable’. The first few phases of the flight went successfully, with the group’s progress tracked from afar. Turns and a bombing exercise were successfully carried out.
However, trouble would soon brew. The compasses of the group appeared to be faulty. By this point, the group were attempting to return to Fort Lauderdale, but had become disoriented. Flight controllers were unable to locate them – and the group used the land below them as a estimate that they were at the Florida Keys. The flight controllers subsequently gave them directions based on this assertion. However, it would later turn out that this was an incorrect assertion – one that would have severe consequences.
As the minutes passed by, weather worsened, and communication from the flight became intermittent. The sun was setting, meaning the group were met by darkness. The final radio message that was received from the team came from their leader – who stated that the group would go down together if one plane dropped below ten gallons of fuel. This was the last message, and the flight would never be heard from again, or seen again. It soon became obvious that the flight was lost, and two flying boats were launched in a rescue mission. Tragically, one of these boats exploded mid-flight, causing further fatalities.
An inquest into the tragic events was launched. The mistake of the flight leader was key – it was clear that the flight wasn’t actually near the Florida Keys, though the faulty compass was responsible for this misconception. More contemporary investigations have suggested the flight was actually on track at the time of the last communication – despite the faulty compass. Moreover, bad fortune played a part – the group believed the Abaco Islands were the Florida Keys – with the islands somewhat resembling the Keys. This would’ve only added to the confusion.
Tragically, investigations have concluded that the group had been going in the correct direction long into the confusion. They would’ve made it back to land had the continued on their course – but the group decided they had been travelling too far in the same direction without success – and subsequently altered their course – sealing their fate. Eventually, fuel would have ran out, leading to a crash landing in darkness. No trace of the five aircraft have ever been found. Many searches have been launched, but with no luck. The area the aircraft’s likely crashed in is renowned for being tough to search in.
Several theories have been put forward to discount the most logical explanation of a crash landing after a fuel shortage. Some have suggested that the group were attacked by a giant squid or some other sea monster. Alien abduction has been theorized, as has an idea of a disappearance into a portal leading to a third dimension. While some of these theories may be difficult to comprehend, the lack of any trace of the aircraft’s has led to these theories not being able to be completely discounted.
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This mysterious disappearance seems to have considerable evidence to suggest what happened. However, the lack of physical evidence means that other theories cannot be discounted – and that it is up to each reader to make their own conclusion’s. This disappearance would later be popularised by a magazine article, leading to the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. The area has been known ever since as a region that is unpredictable, and has attained a remarkable legacy. Unfortunately, this legacy has cost many lives.