Mental Floss

The Quick 10: 10 Incidents at the Bermuda Triangle

Stacy Conradt

I'm a sucker for supernatural stuff. I know most "mysterious" shipwrecks can probably be explained from weather, currents and lots of other scientific evidence, but it's more fun for me to pretend they got sucked into some sort of other dimension (I've been setting too involved with Lost, I think). Anyway, below are 10 incidents that happened in association with the Bermuda Triangle, whether they can be explained perfectly logically or not.

10 Incidents at the Bermuda Triangle

1. Thomas Lynch, Jr. . The first recorded instance of strange happenings in the Bermuda Triangle area was when Thomas Lynch, Jr., and his wife disappeared while sailing to the West Indies in 1779. Lynch was a representative of South Carolina and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

2. USS Cyclops. So far, this is the biggest loss of Navy personnel not related to combat. The USS Cyclops and the 309 people on it disappeared without a trace sometime around March 4, 1918, after leaving Barbados.

3. Spray. Spray was a boat captained by Joshua Slocum, who was known for his skills on the water "“ he was the first man to complete a solo sailing mission around the world. There's no evidence that he was actually in the Bermuda Triangle when he disappeared en route from the Caribbean to Venezuela in 1909, but lots of theories have said there's no other way he could have lost control of his boat. He was declared legally dead in 1924.

4. Star Tiger and Star Ariel. These two aircrafts disappeared just about a year apart from each other "“ the Tiger (with 29 people on board) on January 30, 1948; the Ariel (20 people on board) on January 17, 1949. Neither plane gave out a distress call of any sort. Wreckage of a plane owned by the same company as the Tiger and the Ariel turned up in the Andes in 1998; the plane had disappeared in 1947. So far, though, nothing has been found of the Star planes.

5. HMS Atalanta. A crew of 281 died when this 26-gun frigate went missing after leaving Bermuda for Falmouth, England, in 1880. Sadly, its sister ship, the HMS Eurydice, sank near the Isle of Wight just two years before, killing 317.

6. S.S. Cotopaxi. In December 1925, the Cotopaxi was headed for Havana from Charleston, S.C., when it disappeared. The ship's captain radioed shortly before it was lost and said there was water in the hold, so there seems to be little doubt that she probably sank, along with all 32 crew members. This hasn't stopped the Cotopaxi from being added to the list of Bermuda Triangle mysteries, though.

7. S.S. Marine Sulphur Queen. The Marine Sulphur Queen was a T-2 tanker carrying, yup, you guessed it "“ Sulphur. It was going from Beaumont, Texas to Norfolk, Virginia, but never made it. A completely normal radio message was sent from the tanker on February 4, 1963, and by February 6 the ship was reported as missing. A total of 39 crew members were lost. And maybe this sister ship thing is a bad idea "“ the Marine Sulphur Queen's sister ship, the S.S. Sylvia L. Ossa, went down east of Bermuda in 1976. All that was ever found was some debris and an empty lifeboat. Note to self: If I ever take up a career as a first mate and my sister ship sinks somewhere, seek a new job immediately.

8. The Carroll A. Deering. Maybe this ship was doomed from the start "“ the captain got sick and had to abandon ship at a port in Delaware. This was apparently considered a bad omen. After delivering its cargo to Rio, the ship started to turn home and stopped in Barbados for supplies. After this it was sighted near North Carolina and noted that the crew was acting strange; the ship wasn't seen again until its wreckage washed up off the coast of Cape Hatteras. The ship's log, navigation equipment, the crew's personal stuff and boat lifeboats were gone.

9. S.S. Hewitt. The Hewitt was lost in 1921 when she sailed from Sabine, Texas, bound for Portland, Maine. The captain made a regular radio call on January 25 and was never heard from again. The last sighting is about 250 miles north of Jupiter Inlet, Florida. Not a trace of wreckage has ever been found, even after a pretty extensive search along the route it was supposed to be traveling.

10. Chase Vault. Here's one that doesn't involve ships or planes, although you might want to take it with a grain of salt. The Chase Vault is a burial vault in Barbados where weird things kept happening in the early 19th century. Every time the vault was opened, all of the coffins (save for one) had moved. It's a pretty lengthy story, but if you want to check out it, visit good old Wikipedia. It's interesting.
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