Strange True Stories

9 Terrifying Stories About The Bermuda Triangle 

Lyra Radford
Updated April 20, 2020 112.2k views 9 items

The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, sits in the ocean between Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and the tip of Florida. This western region of the North Atlantic Ocean is shrouded in mystery. An absurdly large number of ships and planes have had accidents under mysterious circumstances and, in some of the creepiest Bermuda Triangle cases, have vanished without a trace while traveling over this dangerous stretch of water.

Scientists have attempted to make sense out of the strange phenomenon surrounding the Bermuda Triangle. The methane gas theory attributes the disappearances of ships to rapid sinking caused by methane gas escaping from beneath the ocean floor, reducing the density of the water. But this doesn’t explain the planes. Theories have ranged from electronic fogs and magnetic pulls interfering with navigational equipment to freak waves and an unusual seafloor capable of first battering and then swallowing these massive metal structures.

Some believe aliens are responsible. Others think it’s a portal to another world. One of the most outrageous claims is that leftover technology from the lost city of Atlantis is located there and causing interference.

So many theories, none of them able to provide a definitive explanation for why more planes and ships have disappeared within this triangular section of the ocean than anywhere else in the world. This list contains some of the freakiest Bermuda Triangle cases in history. 

Five US Navy Torpedo Bombers Disappeared on Flight 19
Five US Navy Torpedo Bom... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 9 Terrifying Stories About The Bermuda Triangle
Photo: SDASM/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Flight 19 is one of the most famous Bermuda Triangle cases in history. In December 1945, a group of five US Navy Avenger torpedo bombers, collectively known as Flight 19, left Fort Lauderdale, FL, for a three-hour exercise and vanished. Flight leader Lieutenant Charles C. Taylor became convinced his compass was malfunctioning and that they were flying in the wrong direction. A storm blew in and Flight 19 became increasingly disoriented. Taylor thought they were over the Florida Keys, but that didn’t seem possible.

It had been less than an hour since he’d made his scheduled pass over Hen and Chickens Shoals in the Bahamas, yet he was convinced his planes had somehow drifted hundreds of miles off course to the Florida Keys. Disagreements over whether they should be flying east or west were heard over the radio. Taylor’s final words came through, preparing his men for an ocean landing as they ran out of fuel, then static.

The Navy deployed search planes; a pair of PBM Mariner seaplanes took off and followed in the footsteps of Flight 19 but disappeared from the radar and, much like Flight 19, were never seen or heard from again. 

The Ellen Austin Found a Mysterious Derelict Ship - and Then It Vanished
The Ellen Austin Found a... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 9 Terrifying Stories About The Bermuda Triangle
Photo: Thomas Chambers/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The Ellen Austin is a particularly unnerving tale. It was 1880 and the ship was bound for New York from London when it came across a derelict ship. In order to tow it back, they spared a few of their own experienced crew members and the two set sail together. A storm separated the two vessels, the derelict vanished, and the Ellen Austin sailed back to London.

There is one more report of the same derelict being spotted again, but mysteriously enough, a completely different crew from those who left the Ellen Austin were aboard.

The USS Cyclops Was Doomed from the Start
The USS Cyclops Was Doom... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 9 Terrifying Stories About The Bermuda Triangle
Photo: Francis Sargent/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The mystery surrounding the USS Cyclops is also the largest human loss on a non-combat ship in US Naval history. In March 1918, the ship left Brazil, headed for Baltimore. It was overloaded and had a cracked cylinder in its starboard engine, rendering that engine inoperational. Still, the ship took off, down one engine and seemingly doomed from the start.

The USS Cyclops had to make an unscheduled stop in Barbados because water was slopping over the waterline, putting her in danger of sinking. After getting rid of the excess water, the ship continued on. But what happened after it left Barbados is still unknown, because the USS Cyclops and all 306 of its crew and passengers vanished without a trace.

Witchcraft Was Only One Mile Offshore When It Disappeared

In December 1967, Captain Dan Burack climbed aboard Witchcraft, his luxury cabin cruiser and set sail from Miami with a friend, Roman Catholic priest Father Patrick Horgan. They went just far enough out to get a view of the Christmas lights on the shore. At 9 p.m., Captain Burack radioed the Coast Guard to report he hit something. He didn’t think the damage was too bad, but he would need a tow back in - he even said he lit up some flares. The Coast Guard took off immediately. It took them only 20 minutes to reach Witchcraft’s location, but by the time they arrived, the ship was gone.

Burack was an experienced and cautious yachtsman. He’d even installed a special floatation device in the boat to make it unsinkable. Even if the boat flooded, a part of the hull would still float, but nothing was visible to the Coast Guard. There was no wreckage or flares. They searched 24,500 miles out and found nothing. What became of Witchcraft and her passengers remains a mystery.