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Bermuda Triangle [Q&A]


Almost everywhere I go in India to speak popularly on science and astronomy, people ask me about two things. One, are there aliens, and two, what is happening in the Bermuda Triangle?

The Bermuda Triangle refers to a triangle-shaped region in the North Atlantic/Caribbean, with its apex at Bermuda, and the base joining southern Florida (Miami and environs) to Puerto Rico. Back in the late ’60s and ’70s, there was a big hoopla about it because of a fellow called Charles Berlitz who wrote a number of books claiming that this region was a site of strange unexplainable phenomena, causing ships and planes and people to disappear without a trace, yada yada yada.

While it all makes for a good story, it is really nothing more than a myth. It is an area with high traffic and bad weather, and it is easy to mistake accidents with patterns. One of the best books on the phenomena was written by Lawrence David Kusche in the mid-’70s, who looked into every reported unexplained case of disappearance or other strange events attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, and found that invariably, the alleged event (a) didn’t happen, or (b) was misrepresented, e.g., with reports of missing boats highlighted but not the reports of their being found, or (c) didn’t happen in the Triangle, or (d) there were perfectly good natural explanations for it. The book is called Bermuda Triangle Mystery – Solved (@Amazon) and I highly recommend that everyone read it.

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