The story behind what we call the Devil’s Triangle can be dated 56 years ago. The name ‘Bermuda Triangle’, also known as Devil’s Triangle was first used by Vincent Gaddis, an American author working for Argosy magazine. He used the word to mention an area shaped like a triangle in the Atlantic Ocean beside the Florida coastline. Throughout the decades, the Bermuda Triangle saw many ships wreck and flight disappearances which made the place popularly called the Devil’s Triangle. Many books, movies, and documentaries mention Devil’s Triangle. But why?
The old and unexplained mysteries behind the Devil’s Triangle
In a famous play written by William Shakespeare, ‘The Tempest’, it is believed that the story plot was based on the Devil’s Triangle shipwreck and may have highlighted the place as mysterious during Shakespeare’s era. Till the 20th century, more events gathered the attention of the masses particularly the tragic event of the USS Cyclops in March 1918. The 542 ft long navy cargo ship with 10,000 tons of manganese and over 300 men onboard disappeared between the Chesapeake Bay and Barbados. In 1941, President Woodrow Wilson claimed that two Cyclops sister ships sank without leaving any trace in the same route.
In 1945, a Navy bomber having 14 men from Fort Lauderdale Florida found their plane misfunctioning over the Devil’s Triangle and later got lost tragically. The flight leader Lieutenant Charles Tylor reported over the radio, “We are entering white water, nothing seems right. We don’t know where we are, the water is green, no white”. The same day, a rescue plane sent for the lost flight too disappeared having 13 crew members. After searching the lost men for days, the Navy declared, “as if they had flown to Mars.”
Where is the Devil’s Triangle located?
The area of Devil’s Triangle or Bermuda Triangle is spread across 500,000 square miles in the ocean off Florida’s Southern-Eastern tip. When Christopher Columbus sailed across this place in his voyage to discover New World, he claimed about a great flame like a fire, probably a meteor that crashed into the ocean during the night. After a few weeks, the light was seen again at a distance from the place where it was seen first. He also wrote in his book about erratic compass readings due to magnetic forces that lined in the Devil’s Triangle. This made Bermuda Triangle regarded as one of the mysterious places on earth. The exact location of the place lies between the Southern-Eastern coast of the US in the Atlantic Ocean amidst Puerto Rico, Florida, and Bermuda. This unresolved mysterious place is a part of a busy shipping route where many vessels sail throughout the year between the Caribbean, America, and European countries.
The missing mystery at the Devil’s Triangle
In the year 1955, a half-submerged boat floated towards the Fijian island at Vanua Levu. All the 25 crew members on board went missing who traveled across the Devil’s Triangle. The boat that went missing was named Merchant Vessel Joyita that had sailed two days before the incident to Tokelau. However, it could not make it. The vessel carried timber, food, oil, and medical supplies but all went missing with the crew members when it reappeared later.
Recent investigations state that Joyita submerged due to a corroded pipe that caused the boat to wallow. When the crew tried to save the boat and failed, they must have forcibly abandoned the boat. With a few lifeboats, some of the crew members must have been saved. Sadly, no distress signal was sent or no rescue took place for the left ones. The tragic event though saved the boat from sinking completely. The crew must have managed to save the boat somehow but were not found. Whatever the crew thought or whether they died on spot is still a mystery making the Joyita incident one of the missing mysteries of Devil’s Triangle.
Another incident recorded in Devil’s Triangle history is the incident of December 1812 when a schooner named The Patriot set its sail for New York. Theodosia Burr was on board along with the crew members. She was the daughter of a famous American politician and the Third Vice-President of the US named Aaron Burr.
The ship never reached its destination and even its crew were never found. The schooner sailed from South Carolina and during the time of the voyage, the United Kingdom and America were indulged in the War of 1812. At the time, it was suspected that the schooner was sunk due to an accident caused due to a hit by Royal Navy. Though, during investigations, none of the British records was found. Other theories have formed later about Theodosia and The Patriot’s fate that includes an outright policy to ship being destroyed by onshore wrecks. Whatever happened, the Patriot mystery is still incomplete and to date, we know nothing about the shipwreck’s real reasons.
One of the mysterious events that took place in the Devil’s Triangle was the case of the ‘Ghost Yacht’ named Kaz II. In 2007, Kaz II named small catamaran was found drooling on the Australian coast. The three crew members were not spotted but the food was still served on the plate without any men.
A fully functional laptop that was turned on was found on deck along with GPS systems and live radio. None of the live jackets was used and was kept nicely in place. So, what happened actually? Why did not the crew members attempted to give a signal if they felt any kind of distress?
After making numerous investigations, it was assumed that one or more men must have fallen overboard because of fishing or being knocked by a swinging air. Other crew members must also have jumped to save the other but never made it back. Whatever the case was, we could not see the crew members again and have to assume that either they were sunk or eaten.
The USS Porpoise
The USS Porpoise was a Dolphin-Class Brigantine and was commissioned in the year 1834 while launched in 1836 May. After serving a long period in the navy including tracing down a slave-trading ship in 1850, the ship was assigned to the North Pacific Exploring and Surveying Expedition. The squadron set its sail to explore the islands of Mariana, Bonin, and Ladrones after it joined the Hampton Roads.
The Porpoise along with its crew members comprising 69 people sadly went missing and no debris of the sinking ship was ever found as if it never existed. No one knows to date what happened to her but most of the theories state that a deadly Typhon must have engulfed the entire ship along with 69 crew members in the Devil’s Triangle.
Another Royal Navy ship named HMS Sappho became popular since it caused a war between America and UK. This was the second ship that was named HMS Sappho after the name of a Greek poet. Many of the ship’s service was for slavery suppression following the UK’s declaration against the slave trade in 1807. In its 20 years career, HMS Sappho hunted down and captured many vessels that were involved in the slave trade in West Indies and Africa.
Unfortunately, on the 9th of May in 1857, she was seized and attacked by the American barque named Panchita due to anti-slavery duties on the Congo River. This resulted in a rise of diplomatic issues which sparked a conflict between the UK and the US instantly.
Following the incident, the captain was asked to sail to Australia but could never make it. Although the ship was later found on the Bass Strait by another ship in the year 1858, what happened to it was not found. Neither it was wrecked nor any of the crew were spotted.
In 1909, SS Waratah disappeared during her second voyage mysteriously. The ship was sailing between Cape Town in South Africa and Durban when it went missing with 211 passengers on board.
Waratah was built for the Blue Anchor Lane to facilitate operations between Australia and Europe. When the ship left Adelaide on 7th July 1909, it made it safely to Durban on 25th July the same year. Waratah again left the port on 26th July and was on the sea on the 27th.
Later, the weather became worse, the sea went rough and high winds were all around the ship that kicked it hard. That evening Waratah was spotted by a steamer named Harlow sailing nearby. The steamer noted that a lot of smoke could be seen from the ship as it was on fire. Darkness swept by and Harlow suddenly saw two bright flashes after which Waratah lights disappeared. To date, it is still unknown what made the ship sank or catch the fire over the Devil’s Triangle.