Tag Archives: Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle

Main Piece:

Subject: So as kids we were obsessed with the Bermuda Triangle. It was an area out in the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Miami, and the East Coast where ships and planes would mysteriously go missing. And there was a lot of different television shows and quasi-science that talked about how there were sort of potential alien forces or weird scientific phenomena that would just make ships disappear in the Bermuda Triangle. It was also called the “Devil’s Triangle” too, which made it even kind of scarier. When we were kids there was a Twilight Zone where there was a guy that would morph into the different people that he took at the Bermuda Triangle. So there would be a character that went missing in the Bermuda Triangle, and this guy would kind of take that person and then morph into that person and show up back on land as that person and then go after the next person. So when we would go down to Florida… when we would fly down from home… we would always be afraid that we were going to fly over the Bermuda Triangle… the Devil’s Triangle… and that we would then just disappear. So it was never any real substantiation for what happened there. It was never really ultimately any science. I can remember even that we were taught that one of the theories that went around was that there were strange electromagnetic forces in the Bermuda Triangle that made compasses go crazy so they couldn’t navigate. I can remember my brother telling me that he heard there was like a whirlpool that ships would get stuck in at the Bermuda Triangle. So… it was a huge obsession as a kid… what was going on in The Devil’s Triangle and why.

Interviewer: That’s funny because the Bermuda Triangle was also an obsession for us as kids. So it seems to have carried on through the generations.

Subject: Yeah! It’s a strange one. And it’s never been substantiated in any way. You know interestingly it’s one of the busiest shipping areas in the world. So there’s constantly ships and planes going through that area. So it could just be the sheer volume of traffic that maybe increases the amount of things that go wrong there. But it’s an incredibly busy shipping and travelling lane in the world.

Context: The subject is a white middle-aged male of Ashkenazi and Eastern-European descent. He was born and raised in Tiverton, Rhode Island with his parents and two siblings. He also happens to be my father, and we are currently quarantined together at our home in Charleston, South Carolina. After dinner one night, I was sitting with him in my dimly lit living room, and I asked if he would share with me any folk beliefs he had heard passed through the family.

Interpretation: I am all too familiar with the intrigue of the Bermuda Triangle. It was interesting to hear that this folklore has transcended generations. My first introduction to the Bermuda Triangle was in a “Scooby Doo” episode. I remember thinking about the Bermuda Triangle very often as a child. My obsession with it was uncanny to the subject’s. I was constantly wondering when I would have to encounter the Bermuda Triangle. I engaged with the idea that it was a portal to another land of some kind, and it took the shape of a whirlpool. I had never heard of the subject’s recollection of the folklore as a god-like character who took on the persona of the different people it absorbed. That is super fascinating to me. I have seen the Bermuda Triangle featured in so much pop culture and media that it seems really timeless.

Bermuda Triangle

So when I was a kid, uh, when I was like 4 or 5 probably, I first heard about this whole thing with the Bermuda Triangle? My brother told me about it, probably. And he told me that basically it’s this place in the Atlantic Ocean where if you fly over it you, like any of the planes that would fly over it would crash, they’d all crash, and like everyone would die. That’s like the 7 year old kid version, I guess. But . . . and then over the years I heard that it was more like there were mysterious disappearances and stuff, um. Wait, who was the famous pilot? There was a famous pilot, uh, uh, uh . . . um, Amelia Earheart, maybe? . . . There was a famous pilot who went down in the Bermuda Triangle. And there were a bunch of maybe World war 2 related things as well, where planes went down mysteriously, like, without any weather or anything, they would just go off radar, and then they would, the plane would disappear. Um, so a lot of people would dispute that it was like aliens or something. Some sort of mysterious energy, like magnetic energy over this triangular area of the ocean that made planes crash, and then the pilots were like abducted or something, or taken by, by the squid people of the Bermuda, I don—something like that.
It was kinda scary, cause we traveled a lot when I was younger. And we would fly over the Bermuda Triangle sometimes, and I would be like, “Uh, oh! We’re going to die! We’re gonna get captured by the squid people!”

The unexplained disappearances and technological failures of the Bermuda Triangle remain fascinating, because in a world where all seems explainable, all of us still feel helpless and ignorant in the face of the ocean, or when in an airplane flying across the globe. American explanations for the Bermuda Triangle tend to be exclusively scientific, or science fiction oriented. American is obsessed with science and the future, but when we were pushing the limits of technology during the time when circumnavigating the globe by airplane was becoming possible, planes, such as Amelia Earhart’s, would at times disappear without a trace. That mankind still did not possess the technology to fully explore the globe by air fascinated the nation. Even now the legend of the Bermuda Triangle is prevalent. My friend is particularly fascinated by it because he traveled as a child and was very frightened of their plane getting lost.
In this case his older brother, who did not believe the story, told him the story to scare him. When my friend grew older, however, he no longer believed the story either. Growing out of believing in stories like the Bermuda Triangle or the Loch Ness monster are signs one is maturing and entering adulthood.