Essay by Guru Tony
Thinkers’ Corner features theoretical essays on everything from politics to the paranormal, science to religion, crime to love, offering a different way of thinking best described as Rational Holism.
The Bermuda Triangle is a triangular area of water going north up the US eastern seaboard, south west into the Caribbean and east as far as the Azores. It is alleged that ships and planes disappear mysteriously in this area.
It was first mentioned in articles in the early 1950s, with Fate Magazine joining in. It became world famous following books by Vincent Gaddis and Charles Berlitz.
The area is the busiest shipping area in the world. So is it expected that 1,000+ ships and planes could disappear? Lawrence David Kusche argued, in 1975, that disappearances are not greater, the numbers exaggerated by sloppy research.
Well publicised disappearances – such as Flight 19, where a training wing of fighters disappeared in Dec 1945, followed by the plane sent to find them – added to the mystery. The USS Cyclops disappeared in 1918, taking 300 crew with her.
There are many theories. They include UFO activity, leftover tech from Atlantis and the tormented souls of black slaves thrown overboard. Ivan Sanderson suggested magnetic vortices around the world where warm and cold air meet.
Gas hydrates on the seabed could also play a part, releasing methane in large quantities. Rising to the surface, water would go frothy, buoyancy would fail and a boat would sink. Rising into the air, methane could ignite a plane engine. Wreckage hits the bottom, water disturbance eases and silt covers the evidence.
There are survivors. They speak of faulty compasses, equipment malfunction, loss of horizon, banks of fog and more. But all these events are common. What could be unusual is congregation leading to a single event.
We all experience such congregations. They are called coincidence. They have inevitability, and coincidences build upon coincidence. So could it be possible that such coincidences could coincidentally happen in a specific location? The Bermuda Triangle could be statistically inevitable to occur.
But coincidences often have a helping hand from the human mind. Consider: the triangle is a media creation. Disappearances may have happened before the 1950s, but they had no meaning in terms of a mystery.
Now they do. And like a curse, knowing you are in the area could have an effect upon behaviour. Innocuously, it makes you give meaning to a normal event and relate it to the mystery. And in deadly ways, it could affect your reaction to such an event, making disaster inevitable.
The Bermuda Triangle could be vital to understanding the nature of disaster. Often, we describe disasters through human error or congregation of events leading to the disaster. But as in the above idea, it could be coincidence and feelings of inevitability they produce that lead to disaster.
In chaos theory we know of the butterfly’s wings causing a hurricane. A tiny event can build up to cataclysm. Maybe it is time to forget ridiculing the Bermuda Triangle and see it as an opportunity to study processes that could lie behind ALL disasters.
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