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Room 101


The Sea Devils' Triangle:
Is The Bermuda Triangle A Good Place For an "Alien" Base?

This fortnight in Room 101, we're going to explore the enduring mystery of the Bermuda Triangle and ask the question: "Could the troubled triangle be a good place for an 'alien' base?" (if such things indeed exist)

The Bermuda Triangle (sometimes known as the Devil's Triangle), of course, is a triangular area of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean bounded by Bermuda, Puerto Rico and a point near Melbourne, Florida, where famously numerous ships and aircraft have mysteriously disappeared throughout the ages. Since records began in 1851, it is estimated that an amazing 8,127 people have been lost in the Bermuda Triangle. With so many missing, it would obviously be impossible to discuss all the mysterious disappearances reported in the triangle here (as would it be to discuss all the strange phenomena witnessed there), so we're going to concentrate on just some of the most interesting cases ... beginning with perhaps the oldest documented account of weird happenings in the triangle.

According to most triangle researchers, Christopher Columbus was probably the first person to document allegedly strange phenomena in the area. On October 11, 1492, (the eve of discovering the New World) Columbus reports that he and his crew observed a mysterious light moving strangely up and down in the evening sky, appearing and quickly disappearing several times that night. Columbus wrote in his log that:

The land was first seen by a sailor called Rodrigo de Triana, although the Admiral at ten o'clock that evening standing on the quarter-deck saw a light, but so small a body that he could not affirm it to be land; calling to Pero Gutierrez, groom of the King's wardrobe, he told him he saw a light, and bid him look that way, which he did and saw it; he did the same to Rodrigo Sanchez of Segovia, whom the King and Queen had sent with the squadron as comptroller, but he was unable to see it from his situation. The Admiral again perceived it once or twice, appearing like the light of a wax candle moving up and down, which some thought an indication of land. But the Admiral held it for certain that land was near...

Whatever Columbus and his crew saw that historic night is probably impossible to know for sure now. In that limited sense, at least, the odd light is a true UFO in that it will probably always be unidentified. Perhaps more interesting, though, are the bizarre compass readings Columbus also recorded in the triangle.

Today, the triangle is allegedly one of only two places in the world (the other being the Dragon's Triangle in the Pacific) in which there is an unusual level of magnetic interference that can adversely affect compass readings. Whether paranormal or not, this magnetic interference is definitely interesting. Many have speculated that UFOs may be using some form of electromagnetic propulsion. Perhaps there could be a link of some kind between the magnetic interference, UFO sightings and the mysterious disappearances in the triangle?

The earliest documented case of a US vessel mysteriously disappearing in the triangle occurred during WWI. Named after the race of one-eyed giants from Greek mythology, the USS Cyclops (AC-4) was one of four Proteus-class colliers built for the US Navy. The ship and crew went missing without a trace sometime after March 4, 1918, after departing from Barbados. The disappearance of the ship and the 306 onboard remains the single largest loss of life in US Naval history not directly involving combat. Amazingly, its sister ship, the USS Nereus (AC-10), also disappeared in the triangle in similar circumstances during WWII.

However, perhaps the most intriguing (and famous) disappearance of all, occurred just after WWII on December 5, 1945, when an entire squadron of aircraft vanished without trace and no clue as to what happened to them. Of course, this was the infamous Flight 19, which, more than any other case, brought the triangle into popular consciousness, sparking all kinds of explanations. The strangest and most interesting being the theory that they were abducted by aliens, interesting because it was popularized by Stephen Spielberg in his 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

For those wondering about the title of this piece, The Sea Devils is the name of a classic 1972 Doctor Who story written by by Malcolm Hulke, the plot of which is very reminiscent of the triangle mystery. The story involves the Doctor investigating the mysterious disappearance of ships off the English South Coast and the discovery that an ancient race of amphibious reptiles, operating from a deep underwater base are responsible.

Doctor Who is one thing but is it possible that there really could be another civilization, of any kind, sharing the planet with us, living beneath the waves in seclusion?

Amazingly, it is true that we actually know more about the surface of the Moon than we do about the bottom of our own oceans. In theory, at least, it is possible that anything could be down there hidden beneath the depths. What more, making things more interesting, about half of all UFO sightings are said to take place near large bodies of water.

In Invisible Residents: The Reality of Underwater UFOs (1970), renowned zoologist, Ivan T. Sanderson hypothesized that an advanced aquatic non-human civilization may have evolved right here on the Earth. This parallel, aquatic civilization could be twice as old as mankind, Sanderson proposes, and may well have developed space flight long before us. Sanderson even goes as far as suggesting that such a civilization could be behind many of the mysterious disappearances in the triangle (as well as UFO sightings). Interestingly, more recently Sanderson's ideas have been echoed somewhat in Mac Tonnies' cryptoterrestrial hypothesis.

Another possibility, of course, could be that the planet has somehow been covertly colonized by an extraterrestrial civilization from another solar system. In Unearthly Disclosure (2000), best selling author Timothy Good disclosed information given to him by "a senior reporter in Washington, DC," who, in turn, received it from "a senior US Air Force officer", about the existence of extraterrestrial bases on the Earth. Good writes:

According to the officer, aliens have been coming to Earth for a very long time. Following the Second World War, they began to establish permanent bases here, in Australia, the Caribbean, the Pacific Ocean, the Soviet Union and in the United States.

If extraterrestrials are really coming to Earth from another solar system, it would probably make sense that they would establish such bases to save them continually making the long voyage back and forth home. Also, the reference to the Caribbean is particularly interesting because it shares the same general area as the Triangle.

However, whether from this world or another, where better to build an impenetrable, covert base than beneath the oceans of the world. The Bermuda Triangle, in particular, might also make a good location for such a base because of the volcanic activity there, which could be used to generate geothermal electricity as a power source.

Perhaps the Bermuda Triangle can be explained away by more mundane explanations such as freak weather conditions and human error, but until we more fully explore the bottom of the world's oceans, we have no way of knowing for sure what could be down there.

Richard Thomas, BoA UK Correspondent and Columnist.

Contact Richard :: boxstacker(at)aol.com