9 Terrifying Stories About The Bermuda Triangle

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. 

Photo: Unsplash / Pixabay / CC0 1.0

  • Five US Navy Torpedo Bombers Disappeared on Flight 19

    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 Mysterious Derelict Ship - and Then It Vanished
    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 Doomed from the Start
    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.

  • The BSAA Star Tiger Did Everything It Could to Avoid Bad Weather

    The BSAA Star Tiger Did Everything It Could to Avoid Bad Weather
    Photo: RuthAS / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    On January 28, 1948, the British South American Airlines passenger plane Star Tiger was preparing to take off from Lisbon for Bermuda with a short refueling stop in Santa Maria. Before they even left Lisbon, however, Captain Brian W. McMillan ordered everyone off the plane because there was a problem with one of the engines. Two and a half hours later, passengers reboarded and the plane took off for Santa Maria.

    The Star Tiger made it to Santa Maria with no trouble, but the weather was so bad that Captain McMillan decided to postpone the second half of their trip. The next day, January 29, the flight to Bermuda resumed. The winds were still strong, but Captain McMillan believed that if he kept the aircraft below 2,000 feet, they would avoid the worst of it and easily make it to Bermuda.   

    There were no distress calls, no response to any attempts to reach them. The Star Tiger just disappeared. A five-day rescue operation was launched by the USAF, but it turned up nothing. There were 25 passengers, a crew of six, and a WWII hero, Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham, on board. They were never heard from again.

  • A C-54 Skymaster Flew Directly into a Storm

    A C-54 Skymaster Flew Directly into a Storm
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    A plane crashes into the ocean during a bad storm, killing all six on board. It's tragic, but it makes sense, seeing as they were facing inclement weather, right? But the strange thing about the crash of the C-54 Skymaster is why it was heading into the storm in the first place. If it stayed on its originally intended course, there wouldn’t have been a storm to strike them down. The pilot was experienced and the navigator was a class II; they were both qualified and knew how to avoid storms. They just... didn't. 

    On July 3, 1947, Major Ralph Ward and five other crew members left Bermuda and went off course almost immediately. They were far south of their scheduled course and then suddenly made a course change north and then southwest, flying straight for the eye of the storm. Two very faint SOS calls came into the ground operator. They were very low and garbled, and then there was nothing but silence. Debris was found about 209 miles northeast of Florida and reflected sudden destruction, common in severe storms, but how this huge blunder was made in the first place remains a topic for debate, especially among people who believe in extraterrestrials.

  • An Airborne Transport DC-3 Was 20 Minutes from Landing When It Ceased Radio Contact

    On December 28, 1948, an Airborne Transport DC-3 took off from Puerto Rico for Miami, FL, Captain Robert Linquist sent a radio transmission reporting the plane's position and an ETA of 4:05 a.m. The next report was sent at 4:13 a.m., saying the DC-3 was 50 miles south of Florida with only 20 minutes left before landing.

    That was the last transmission, and the DC-3 never showed up. Three crew members and 28 passengers simply vanished 20 minutes before landing.