An example of a sinking tanker. AMOCO CADIZ grounding and oil spill, Brittany, France.

Norwegian Scientists Unintentionally Provide Fuel for a Fringe Theory on the Bermuda Triangle

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However, it is also important to note that a proven case of gas bubbles rising to the surface and sinking an unfavorably-positioned ship has never been recorded, as Atlas Obscura   reports.

Nevertheless, the notion that a sudden release of the gas potentially endangering ships, or even bringing down aircraft, is not new -  May and Monaghan, the Russian scientist Igor Yeltsov , and some others have also toyed with the idea in the last few decades. Even though the CAGE scientists are not proposing a connection, some others have even directly referenced the role of gas hydrates in the disappearances of the Bermuda Triangle.

As Yeltsov, the deputy head of the Trofimuk Institute, reportedly said last year :

“There is a version that the Bermuda Triangle is a consequence of gas hydrates reactions. They start to actively decompose with methane ice turning into gas. It happens in an avalanche-like way, like a nuclear reaction, producing huge amounts of gas. That makes the ocean heat up and ships sink in its waters mixed with a huge proportion of gas.”

Furthermore, Benjamin Phrampus, an Earth scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, told Live Science in 2014 that "Gas hydrate is known to exist along the U.S. North Atlantic continental margin, with a very large province on Blake Ridge (north of the Bermuda Triangle)."

A 1996 map showing worldwide distribution of confirmed or inferred offshore gas hydrate-bearing sediments.

A 1996 map showing worldwide distribution of confirmed or inferred offshore gas hydrate-bearing sediments. ( Public Domain )

The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil’s Triangle is a region of ocean bordered by Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. It covers some 500,000 square miles of ocean. The legendary location has become notorious as a site of unexplained disappearances of ships and aircraft since it was named in a 1964 story by Vincent H. Gaddis in the American magazine Argosy.

One version showing the region of the Bermuda Triangle.

One version showing the region of the Bermuda Triangle. ( Public Domain )

But Gaddis was not the first to report on strange happenings and disappearances in the region. George X. Sands, wrote about “an unusually large number of strange accidents in that region” in Fate magazine in 1952.

And many years before him, History says on their website that the famous explorer Columbus noted odd happenings as he sailed through the region. They write:

“When Christopher Columbus sailed through the area on his first voyage to the New World, he reported that a great flame of fire (probably a meteor) crashed into the sea one night and that a strange light appeared in the distance a few weeks later. He also wrote about erratic compass readings, perhaps because at that time a sliver of the Bermuda Triangle was one of the few places on Earth where true north and magnetic north lined up.”

Numerous unexplained disappearances have been linked to the Bermuda Triangle. Some examples are US Navy ships that have inexplicably vanished with their crew and cargo in 1918 and 1941. They reportedly sent no distress signals and disappeared somewhere on route between Barbados and Chesapeake Bay.

As for planes, the famous Flight 19 story is one of the best-known. History reports on the strange disappearance saying:

“In December 1945, five Navy bombers carrying 14 men took off from a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, airfield in order to conduct practice bombing runs over some nearby shoals. But with his compasses apparently malfunctioning, the leader of the mission, known as Flight 19, got severely lost. All five planes flew aimlessly until they ran low on fuel and were forced to ditch at sea. That same day, a rescue plane and its 13-man crew also disappeared. After a massive weeks-long search failed to turn up any evidence, the official Navy report declared that it was “as if they had flown to Mars.””

TBF (Avengers) flying in formation over Norfolk, Va., September 1942.

TBF (Avengers) flying in formation over Norfolk, Va., September 1942. ( Public Domain )

There are many proposed theories that have tried to explain the strange occurrences that seem to abound in the Bermuda Triangle. Some of the alternative hypotheses include: aliens, Atlantis, sea monsters, time warps, and reverse gravity fields.

Other researchers have suggested magnetic anomalies, waterspouts or, huge eruptions of methane gas from the ocean floor.

Despite the supernatural feeling of the disappearances, the location is not officially recognized by the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names do not identify it or accept it on their list. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that “The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard contend that there are no supernatural explanations for disasters at sea.  Their experience suggests that the combined forces of nature and human fallibility outdo even the most incredulous science fiction.”


Since everything is speculative at this point, why not consider the craters as a result of subterranean water being released?

Carol Ann1's picture

Strange about the craters...submarine volcanoes are definitely known to go through a degassing when erupting which have caused ships to sink, and there is one called Kick ‘em Jenny off the coast of Grenada which was active last summer and people were advised to stay 3 miles away during this time.  It seems like I remember also seeing an episode on Mythbusters with a methane experiment and when it reduced the oxygen in the air suddenly it caused engines to die and they learned that planes would simply stop running and drop like a rock.  But these kinds of events stem from underwater volcanoes sticking up versus craters.  I’m wondering now if there are any in the Bermuda Triangle region.  Here’s a link which explains actual events in connection with Kick ‘em Jenny...

Carol Ann1

James Churchward in his classic book 'The Lost Continent of Mu', asserts that massive gas belts in the ocean blew out and caused the submersion of Atlantis in the Atlantic, and that of MU in the Pacific. He wrote that in 1931!

I'm also wondering what the chances would be of methane rich air suffocating people on ships?

Troy Mobley

Seems legit.

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