The Bermuda Triangle is an area in the North Atlantic Ocean spanning more than 500,000 square miles where, over the years, many ships and planes allegedly disappeared without a trace.
Stories of such vanishings had been reported for decades – one of the most famous stories involves the disappearance of a training mission of five American Avenger fighter planes in December 1945 – but, during the 1970s, obsession with this “cursed” area of the sea took hold on a colossal scale and there was always some TV special on the Bermuda Triangle, with foggy re-enactment footage of planes vanishing in thin air.
In 1969, John Spencer published a book called Limbo of the Lost and in 1974 came Richard Winer’s The Devil’s Triangle and Charles Berlitz’s The Bermuda Triangle, which became a best-seller, selling over twenty million copies worldwide.
After the success of these books the floodgates opened, beginning with TV movies such as Satan’s Triangle (1974) starring Doug McClure and Kim Novak, and Beyond the Bermuda Triangle (1975) starring Sam Groom, Dana Plato and Fred MacMurray.
In 1976, an episode of the Saturday morning cartoon series Jabber Jaw aired a story called ‘The Bermuda Triangle Tangle’ and Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman got into the act as well with ‘The Bermuda Triangle Crisis’.
Most notable of all, however, was The Fantastic Journey (1977), a short-lived sci-fi series starring Roddy McDowall about a group of students who plunge through a green cloud in the Bermuda Triangle and end up on an island that straddles all periods of time.
Science suggests that the legend of the Bermuda Triangle is a manufactured mystery, perpetuated by writers who either purposely or unknowingly made use of misconceptions, faulty reasoning, and sensationalism.
Others pin the blame on leftover technology from the mythical lost continent of Atlantis while others say that unusual local magnetic anomalies may exist in the area, confusing compasses and leading ships to get lost. There is also the myth that violent storms occur in the triangles, sinking ships.
The Triangle is one of the busiest shipping lanes on Earth and experts think it’s not unusual that vessels are lost here from time to time.