There were eleven men on board both planes. The weather was clear and the planes radioed their position around noon; they said they were 800 miles northeast of Miami and 300 miles west of Bermuda, according to Gaddis' article. These were brand new planes, in contact with each other but not flying close to one another. The KC-135s disappeared without a trace.
An "extensive search was launched... [and] vessels churned the surface of the sea." The next day, August 29, 1963, some "debris" was seen floating on the water 260 miles southwest of Bermuda, but no survivors or bodies were discovered, ever. Two days after the disappearance more debris was discovered, but that debris was 160 miles from the first discovery. How could the debris in both places be from the same two planes?
The list of incidents is long. Fifty more could be reviewed in this paper, but of course there isn't space. But Gaddis claims that the "most incredible mystery in the history of aviation" was that incident mentioned earlier in this paper involving five torpedo bombers in 1945. He quotes the conversation between the patrol leader and the control tower to zero in on the apparent confusion caused by something in the BT. When the patrol leader radioed that "We are not sure of our position" and "We seem to be lost," the tower said "Assume bearing due west." The flight leader answered, with "unmistakable alarm" in his voice, "We don't know which way is west. Everything is wrong...strange. We can't be sure of any direction. Even the ocean doesn't look as it should."
Nearly as strange as that incident was the disappearance of a DC-3 commercial plane that left San Juan (Puerto Rico) for Miami on the night of December 28, 1948. Thirty-two passengers were aboard (including two babies). According to Gaddis' article, the plane was within sight of the lights of Miami, "only fifty miles out, to the south," the pilot radioed. "All's well," the pilot reported, and then, "Suddenly - seconds later - it happened!" according to Gaddis. The plane went down and was never found.
SKEPTICISM and POSSIBLE ANSWERS to the RIDDLE
There are serious questions about the stories that come out of the BT. An article in the journal Skeptic questions the veracity of Berlitz's book. In Berlitz's best-selling book he claims that Christopher Columbus had an encounter with the "triangle's supernatural forces." The crew and Columbus himself reportedly observed a "huge bolt of fire' that shot across the sky, and witnessed 'an inexplicable disturbance affecting the ship's compass.'" (Hagen, 2004). The writer for the Skeptic asserts that Berlitz - from the family that teaches foreign languages - was so impressed by the mysteries of the triangle he falsified information just to help his book sell. In Berlitz's world, Hagen writes, "Any vessel traveling towards the Bermuda Triangle...or any vessel that has ever done business with any entity remotely connected to the Triangle, was a candidate for the vortex's special powers." Only a very small percentage of the "disappearances that Berlitz sites actually took place in the Triangle itself," Hagen insists.
Meanwhile, scientists from Cardiff University, Wales, England, believe that the methane ice that covers "much of the seabed" beneath the Bermuda Triangle may help explain some of the disappearances. When that methane "becomes unstable, it releases methane gas" that has the power to reduce the density of the seawater, Professor R. John Parkes explains in the journal Advance Materials & Processes. This condition can cause "instability of the sea and an explosive mixture of air and methane above," potentially causing flames. A ship traveling over that area could conceivably catch fire, according to the theory, if the methane exploded when released into the air. it's only a theory, but it at least it is based on science, not on speculation.
Advanced Materials & Processes. (2005). Ocean floor gas hydrates may solve energy and Bermuda Triangle riddles. Retrieved March 12, 2008, at http://www.caradiff.ac.uk.
Encyclopedia of the Unusual & Unexplained. (2005). The Bermuda Triangle. Retrieved March 12, 2008 at http://www.unexplainedstuff.com.
Gaddis, Vincent H. (1964). The Deadly Bermuda Triangle. Argosy (p. 28-29, 116-118).
Retrieved March 12, 2008, at http://www.physics.smu.edu/~pseudo/bermudatriangle/vincentgaddis.txt.