everyone knows of the Bermuda Triangle, that mysterious area in the Atlantic
where ships and planes have been disappearing without a trace. All manner of
bizarre occurrences have been reported there, from magnetic anomalies to freak
storms and waves, to the complete cessation of all electrical activity. On
almost the exact opposite side of the planet, in the Pacific Ocean off the coast
of Japan, there is a similar, though less widely known, mystery of the sea. The
Japanese call it the Ma-no Umi: the Sea of the Devil, but it is also known as
the Dragon's Triangle or Dragon Sea. The area has been designated a "Danger
Zone" by the Japanese government, and even the United States Air Force has
expressed concern over aircraft disappearances there.
... the Dragon Triangle in the Western
Pacific forms a generally triangular pattern. It follows a line from western
Japan north of Tokyo to a point in the Pacific at approximately latitude 145
degrees east. It then turns west-southwest past the Ogasawara Shinto (the Bonin
Islands) and then down to Guam and Yap, west to Taiwan and then returns
north-northeast back to Japan, near the measuring point of Nojima Zaki on the
Bay of Tokyo. - Charles Berlitz, describing the location of the Dragon's
Triangle. With his 1989 book The Dragon's Triangle, acclaimed linguist and
author Charles Berlitz seeks to present a definitive guide to the Dragon
Triangle. He begins by describing the area in general terms and noting some of
the strange phenomena found there: mysterious lights, unexplained
disappearances, sudden fogs and storms, and so forth. He makes the inevitable
comparison to the Bermuda Triangle off the coast of Florida, a theme to which he
returns throughout the book. The two areas are on opposite sides of the Earth in
both longitude and latitude, and both are located on the eastern edges of
continental shelves, where the ocean floor drops off into deep trenches where
strong currents sweep over actively volcanic areas...
In the permanently dark waters beneath the Bermuda Triangle, scientists have uncovered a remarkably diverse range of extraordinary sea creatures. Many of the new species could shed light on the state of the world's oceans.Retrieving tiny sea animals - zooplankton - at depths of up to three miles, and even reading their genetic codes on a rolling sea, scientists carrying out a census of marine life have revealed new details about the role of these fragile creatures in the climate and food chain, from fish to whales.Among the thousands captured, 500 species have been catalogued and 220 of them have had their DNA sequences analysed on board theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship Ronald H Brown to reveal up to 20 new species."We are charting the plankton in the sea like astronomers chart the stars in the sky," said the cruise's scientific leader, Dr Peter Wiebe, the senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, America."With the zooplankton chart, we can assess what changes - man-made and natural - are taking place in the largest habitat on Earth."The 20-day cruise, which ended on April 30, is part of an ambitious global inventory of all species of zooplankton, which is expected to double from the current number of 7,000 by 2010.The Census of Marine Life initiative will shed light on some important global ecosystem processes, including theimpact that ocean acidification may have on sea life.The oceans soak up a lot of carbon from the atmosphere as zooplankton migrate up and down the water column.By one rough estimate, 10,000lb of phytoplankton is needed to feed 1,000lb of small zooplankton, which in turn support 100lb of larger zooplankton, which support 10lb of small fish species (such as herring or anchovies), which support 1lb of a larger fish species.
Charles Berlitz popularized the myth of the Bermuda Triangle in his 1974 book on the topic. He and others described a triangular area with vertices loosely defined by Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Florida as a place of countless mysterious disappearances.Speculation about why so many vessels and planes have vanished in the area has ranged from the mundane such as the release of methane bubbles from the ocean floor to the more bizarre such as alien abductions.One of the more famous disappearances associated with the triangle was that of theFlight 19 air squadron.
Five planes on a training exercise in 1945 were lost at sea, and still have not been found.
others suggested that the flight was a routine training exercise in
near-perfect weather. According to Larry Kushe's more critical analysis
of that flight, the weather was less than perfect and the planes were
not equipped with very sophisticated navigational tools.
Officials speculated that
they likely were lost and ran out of fuel. Further, Berlitz seemed to
have embellished this story with unsubstantiated details, as he
appeared to have done with many of the other accounts offered as
evidence of the dangers of the triangle.
The Berlitz book and other
accounts are at bestpoorly researched stories of vessels lost without
a trace. The region of the ocean clearly holds its dangers, but it does
not seem to be any more perilous than other parts of the ocean.
Stories about the
disappearances in the triangle, like Amityville's haunting and Area
51's UFOs, will live on and become more elaborate. Our mental processes
effectively detect patterns and lead us to believe in what we think we
perceive. Sometimes the patterns we extract are not real.
Unfortunately, even with overwhelming contradictory evidence, the
beliefs we develop from those misperceptions are difficult to dismiss.
In 1975 a librarian by the name of Larry Kusche published a book entitled The
Bermuda Triangle Mystery-Solved. In the book Kusche revealed that many of the
strange accidents and disappearances reported in the Bermuda Triangle were not
so "paranormal" after all. In many accounts, he discovered that when a writer
had noted that a ship went down in calm waters, a raging storm had caused the
ship to sink, or when other ships were reported to have mysteriously vanished,
their remains had been found and the cause of the disaster explained. Of course, Kusche's theories have been debated and although others have
claimed to solve the mysterious accidents and disappearances in the Bermuda
Triangle, it can still to this day comfortably fit into the realm of unsolved
The Bermuda Triangle or "devil's triangle" is an imaginary triangle
stretching from Norfolk to the island of Bermuda and back to Puerto Rico . The
term "Bermuda Triangle" was first used in an article written for Argosy magazine
in 1964. The author claimed that in this strange expanse of sea a number of
planes and ships had disappeared without explanation. Although it was the first
time the term was used, the mystery of the triangle was already known. Actually,
as early as 1492, Christopher Columbus reported that while he sailed through the
area, his compass went haywire and he spotted a ball of fire in the sky. This
could easily be explained away as a meteor and the trouble with his compass as a
discrepancy between true north and magnetic north that exists in the triangle. Another famous encounter is the discovery of the abandoned ship Mary Celeste
in 1892. There was no sign of the captain, his family, and the eight crew
members or what happened to them. Save for one lifeboat, all the supplies had
been left on the ship. It appeared that they had abandoned ship quickly, but
why? And the most famous of all strange occurences in the triangle: the
disappearance of the five navy avenger bombers of Flight 19, is to this day
blamed on the deadly triangle...