31
Oct 05

THE FT TOP 23 STRANGE PHENOMENA No. 3 The Bermuda Triangle

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She says, “Hawaii’s too expensive.”
I say, “Barbados isn’t bad.”
She says, “I’d love to see Bermuda”
And I said, “Woman, are you mad!

Barry Manilow’s Bermuda Triangle got to number 15 in 1981 kept from the number one spot by, well, by quite a lot really. Wow, look at all that lovely pop. Anyway, the point is, this bluddy grate song illustrates that the Bermuda Triangle is, chiefly, a pop phenomenon. It hit the big time in the 70s, but was kept off the number one spot by Erik von Daniken, Bigfoot and those aliens that lived in a mountain base in The Six Million Dollar Man. (Stephanie Powers was their leader.)

BT pops up throughout the pop landscape of the 70s – yes in 6MDM, but it’s also where Wonder Woman came from, and in Close Encounters there is a cameo from the pilots of Flight 19… Basically any fantasy story from the time would get it in there as quickly as possible – see The Ultimate Future Shock. Look, there was even a Bermuda Triangle Board Game!

So a mighty pop-culture presence. Plus the whole phenomenon, like all good pop, was spun out of nothing and kept aloft by the imagination of people who simply wanted to believe a good story. The central “mystery” of the BT is Flight 19. They radioed that the ONE compass they had between them had conked out and then nothing more was seen of them. As the Skeptical Dictionary puts it this is clearly the effect of “the mysterious force of gravity on planes with no fuel.”

The first operational GPS satellite was launched in 1978 and actual disappearances haven’t really been much in evidence of late. So unfortunately the level headed 21st century ROCKIST internet has little bonkers to say on the subject. It’s all bad bacteria that may be to blame. Clearly they just have to pour a load of activia yoghurt in the “pacific”.

It’s all so deeply unmysterious apparently. OR SO I THOUGHT. Until I finally found unexplainable.net – a site not too scared to tell the truth.

Fact! One end of a piece of metal is magnetized, which is supposed to and does point toward the North Pole

Fact! The Bermuda Triangle is only ONE of TEN (TEN!!) similar triangles that have been drawn on this map

But here is the real killer which i can only quote in full:

“To make this easier to understand, think about your hair dryer, which runs off of electricity.  If you drop it on the floor, what happens?  Probably nothing, it continues to run, but nothing majors occurs.  Now, what if you drop it into a bathtub full of water?  It completely magnetizes the entire bathtub in a matter of seconds.  This effect is an explanation that would definitely make sense of the magnetization experiences described around the Bermuda Triangle.”

And the last word to Barry: “Oh Bermuda Triangle! Very bad.” (full lyrics)

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