Bermuda Triangle: Pirates could be cause of mystery says expert

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The Bermuda Triangle is a legendary region of the North Atlantic Ocean, blamed for dozens of unexplained disappearances over the last 200 years. Its mysterious waters reach from Florida up to Bermuda, down to the edge of the Greater Antilles. Around 50 ships and 20 planes are said to have vanished in the region, and in many cases no wreckage has ever been found.

One such disappearance is that of Flight 19 – a US navy bombing mission that was lost in the Triangle on December 5, 1945.

The squadron of five US Navy TBM Avenger torpedo bombers set off from Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale on a routine training flight.

However, amid bad weather, the aircraft became lost out at sea, and the planes and their 14-man crew never returned home.

A Martin Mariner rescue plane carrying another 13 men that was dispatched to look for Flight 19 was also lost at sea.

Search efforts for the aircraft at the time were unsuccessful and the mystery remained unsolved.

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However, a new team of scientists and investigators have resolved to find out what happened to Flight 19.

Their efforts have been chronicled in a new season of History Channel US series, ‘History’s Greatest Mysteries’.

The show is presented and executive produced by American actor and director Laurence Fishburne.

Episode One of the programme looks at the possibility that at least one of the Flight 19 aircraft made it back to land.

Historical investigators David O’Keefe and Wayne Abbott attempted to piece together archive materials with new evidence as they looked at this theory.

Mr O’Keefe said: “There is one possibility that the planes that night actually decided to split up and go their own way.

“If that’s the case then there is a possibility that some made it back to land.”

Mr Fishburne noted that some of the last communication that was heard between crew members onboard Flight 19 suggested a dispute about their position.

He said: “The theory that at least one plane made it back to land rests on cryptic evidence of possible dissention on Flight 19.

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“Intercepted radio calls indicate that one of the student pilots, possibly Marine Captain Ed Powers, disagreed with instructor Charles Taylor that the flight was lost over the Florida Keys.

“Powers argued they were over the Atlantic, he urged Taylor to fly west.”

Radio communications from some of the Flight 19 planes have been archived by the US Navy.

One of the crew is reported to have said: “Dammit, if we could just fly west we could get home; head west dammit.”

The quote has been attributed to Captain Powers who encouraged Lieutenant Taylor to turn the flight around and head towards what he thought was Florida.

Mr Abbott said: “There was some dissension in the ranks and a guy like Captain Powers just says, ‘screw it, Taylor, you’ve messed us around too long, ‘I’m going to head towards land because I know where we are.

“That easily could have happened.”

Episode One of History’s Greatest Mysteries is available on the History Channel US.
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