For years the area of the North Western Atlantic Ocean has been a topic of conspiracy and research after becoming notorious for unexplained ship and plane disappearances.
Authorities are currently searching east of the Bahamas for survivors from a small plane that was overdue and carrying four people from the US including Skylight Group CEO Jennifer Blumin, her four-year-old and 10-year-old sons and pilot, Nathan Ulrich.
Their plane was flying at about 24,000 feet when air traffic control lost contact. Bizarrely, Coast Guard spokesperson Ryan Kelly said, “there’s no indication of significant adverse weather at this time”.
The plane was flying through the Bermuda Triangle at the time of disappearing, roughly between Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico. The US Coast Guard said today they found debris, and are still searching for survivors. This area is renowned for dozens of ships and planes disappearing, many with unexplained circumstances.
The legend of the Bermuda Triangle
The mystery surrounding about 1.3 million square kilometres of the ocean has been around for centuries, after Christopher Columbus reported erratic compass readings while on his first voyage to the New World in 1492.
Those erratic compass readings are now thought to be due to the area of the ocean being one of the few places where true north and magnetic north are in line. Shakespeare’s play The Tempest is also said to have played into the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, with some believing it is written about a Bermuda shipwreck.
But it wasn’t until much later that the conspiracy became mainstream, when in 1918 the USS Cyclops, a large US Navy cargo ship carrying more than 300 people and 10,000 tonnes of manganese ore on board, sank between Barbados and Chesapeak Bay.
The ship never put out a distress call despite having the equipment to do so, and two more large Navy ships again disappeared in 1941. In December 1945, five US Navy bombers carrying 14 men took off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but while flying over the Bermuda Triangle, their compasses began to malfunction.
All five planes, on what’s now become famously known as Flight 19, disappeared and even the rescue plane sent to find them also vanished. After searches failed to turn up evidence the official US Navy report said it was “as if they had flown to Mars”.