Bermuda Triangle : is also known as the "Devil's
Triangle". It is an imaginary geographical area, which is
located off the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States, and
bears some resemblance to a triangle. A Bermuda
Triangle Fact Sheet which was prepared by the U.S. Coast Guard
Headquarters and Naval Historical Centre, states that:
"The U.S. Board of Geographic Names does not recognize the Bermuda
Triangle as an official name and does not maintain an official file on the
The apexes of the triangle are generally accepted to be Bermuda,
Miami, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The area became infamous
because of ' a high incidence of unexplained losses of ships, small boats, and
aircraft'. Some of the more famous cases of loss over the area
1). The disappearance of an entire squadron of TBM
Avengers shortly after take off from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
traceless sinking of USS
Cyclops and the Marine Sulphur Queen.
Similar, extensive and futile search and rescue cases have since led
to a popular belief that the area known as the "Bermuda
Triangle" exhibits mysterious and supernatural qualities. However,
the Coast Guard is reported as being not particularly impressed with such supernatural explanations of
disasters at sea. 'It has been their experience that the combined forces of
nature and unpredictability of mankind outdo even the most far fetched
science fiction many times each year'.
'The majority of disappearances
can be attributed to the area's unique environmental features. First, the
"Devil's Triangle" is one of the two places on earth that a
magnetic compass does point towards true north. Normally it points toward
magnetic north. The difference between the two is known as compass
variation. The amount of variation changes by as much as 20 degrees as one
circumnavigates the earth. If this compass variation or error is not
compensated for, a navigator could find himself far off course and in deep
An area called the "Devil's Sea" by Japanese and Filipino
seamen, located off the east coast of Japan, also exhibits the same
magnetic characteristics. It is also known for its mysterious
Another environmental factor is the character of the Gulf Stream. It is
extremely swift and turbulent and can quickly erase any evidence of a
disaster. The unpredictable Caribbean-Atlantic weather pattern also plays
its role. Sudden local thunder storms and water spouts often spell
disaster for pilots and mariners. Finally, the topography of the ocean
floor varies from extensive shoals around the islands to some of the
deepest marine trenches in the world. With the interaction of the strong
currents over the many reefs the topography is in a state of constant flux
and development of new navigational hazards is swift.
Not to be under estimated is the human error factor. A large number of
pleasure boats travel the waters between Florida's Gold Coast and the
Bahamas. All too often, crossings are attempted with too small a boat,
insufficient knowledge of the area's hazards, and a lack of good
Although the fact sheet does not pertain to know of any maps that delineate the boundaries of the Bermuda
Triangle; it does point out that there are general area maps available through the Distribution
Control Department, U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office, Washington, D.C.
20390. It goes on to suggest that
the "Aeromagnetic Charts of the U.S. Coastal Region," H.O.
Series 17507, 15 sheets. Numbers 9 through 15 which cover the "Bermuda
Triangle", may be of use to those interested in the more mysterious
aspect of the area.