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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Bermuda Triangle (also, Devil's Triangle) A huge triangle formed by the islands of Bermuda and Puerto Rico, and the city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is said to be an area of profound danger for anyone or anything venturing into it. It was first so designated by a writer for Argosy magazine.
      The whole legend began in December 1944 when five Avenger bombers of the U.S. Navy were lost while on a routine training mission out of the Fort Lauderdale air base. A sensational 1974 book by Charles Berlitz, The Bermuda Triangle, brought this supposed mystery to the attention of the public.
      The Berlitz book, written thirty years after the loss of the bombers, contained invented details, distorted and exaggerated figures and descriptions, and even fabricated radio conversations that were claimed to have taken place between the naval pilots and the Fort Lauderdale air base. The event was not that unusual, if the invented details are ignored, and as evidence for any sort of mystery in the triangle, the Avenger bombers matter is a very poor example, but it remains as the event most quoted by the believers.
      Other ships that are said to have vanished in the area either did not exist, or sank or capsized in other areas——even in the Pacific or Mediterranean——or went down due to perfectly ordinary and well understood causes.
      The Bermuda Triangle, an area subject to violent storms and rough seas, does produce problems, but no more than any other similar area anywhere in the world. There is no need to ascribe supernatural or even unusual causes to any losses that occur there. Unless, of course, you want to sell lots and lots of books.



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