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Page 1


The Advertiser

June 24, 1991 Monday

A manufactured mystery loved by UFO believers

LENGTH: 584 words

THE magazine article "Hoodoo Sea" by Michelangelo Rucci (The Advertiser, 15/6/91) about the missing flight of five
aircraft includes some misrepresentations and inconsistencies, as does the Bermuda Triangle legend itself.

For example, at one point he says that Flight 19 on December 5, 1945, was on "a short training mission" while at
another he claims that "the fliers were experienced pilots with thousands of hours flying time to their credit". He doesn't
appear to have queried why experienced pilots like that would be on a training mission.

The Bermuda Triangle legend says the pilots and crew were all experienced and the weather was excellent, but the US
Navy Board of Investigation found otherwise. In fact, Flight 19 was not a group of experienced veterans touching down
on a calm sea on a sunny afternoon; it was made up of one disoriented instructor and four student pilots attempting to
ditch at sea on a dark and stormy night. This puts a completely different aspect on to their disappearance.

As for disappearing without trace, Philip Klass, senior editor of the US Aviation Week, says the lack of debris is quite
normal, especially when the aircraft disappear at sea and when the search is delayed, such as by darkness or bad

Rucci strains our credulity if he wants us to believe his claim that in the Triangle area "the compass points true north,
not magnetic north". Those with even a basic knowledge of navigation know that the magnetic variation is zero near the
western parts of the area, as it is in many other parts of the world. This means that magnetic north and true north are the
same there, so a compass pointing to true north would also be pointing to magnetic north.

The compass aberrations claimed for the Bermuda Triangle area are purely fictional - compasses there behave in a
perfectly normal manner.

Rucci's "catalogue of disaster" includes many discrepancies when comparing the evidence quoted for the legend with
that found by the boards of inquiry. Contrary to the legend, the weather was bad when many of the incidents occurred.

In several cases, such as the Rubicon, October 22, 1944, the SS Sandra, April, 1950 (not June, 1950, as claimed), and
the Connemara IV of September, 1955, highly publicised hurricanes were responsible. The events were not considered
mysterious at the time but, subsequently, various writers have wanted to make a mystery out of them.

Another discrepancy is that some of the aircraft disappearances, such as the American Globemaster of March, 1950,
and the British York Transport of February, 1953 (not 1952 as claimed), actually occurred some 1500 to 1600km north
of the Bermuda Triangle, en route from Nova Scotia to Britain. This is hardly anywhere near the Bermuda Triangle;
if you include aircraft and shipping accidents over the whole North Atlantic, you can certainly boost the Triangle's
supposed tally of mysteries.

The Bermuda Triangle legend is nothing more than a manufactured mystery, made up to promote the sale of books
and magazine articles, as well as being greatly loved by UFO believers. It is easy to concoct a mystery when you omit
some of the important evidence.
Page 2
A manufactured mystery loved by UFO believers The Advertiser June 24, 1991 Monday

Anyone interested in the truth about the so-called mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, or the Hoodoo Sea as Rucci calls
it, should read The Bermuda Triangle Mystery - Solved, by Lawrence Kusche (Warner Books Inc, New York).


Former regional director,

Bureau of Meteorology

South Australia,

Rosslyn Park.

LOAD-DATE: September 25, 2003


GRAPHIC: map: bermuda triangle


Copyright 1991 Nationwide News Pty Limited