(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

Closely associated with frequent aircraft and boat disappearances, the Bermuda Triangle has captured the imagination of both conspiracy theorists and the general public.

A small private plane carrying pilot Nathan Ulrich, 52, and his girlfriend Jennifer Blumin, 40, along with her two sons, aged three and four, disappeared without any warning on Monday (May 15).

Debris of the plane was found the next day about 24km east of Eleuthera, the Bahamas, said a United States Coast Guard spokesman.

Theories behind the Triangle’s infamy range from adverse weather conditions to alien abduction.

Here are a few more cases of eerie disappearances within the Bermuda Triangle:

1. Flight 19

Comprising five United States Navy (USN) Avenger torpedo bombers, carrying 14 men in total, Flight 19 took off from a base in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Dec 5, 1945, before disappearing without a trace.

TBM Avenger N40402 First Flight after Restoration

Dubbed the “lost squadron”, the planes, which were on a training flight, have eluded all searchers to date. Multiple wreckage discoveries in the Triangle have been attributed wrongly, including a widely publicised one in 1991.

Navy investigators initially concluded that the planes likely ran out of fuel due to a navigational error, before amending their conclusion to “cause unknown”.

In an even eerier turn of events, the flying boat that was sent to find the squadron also vanished.

2. The Mary Celeste

The True Story of the Mary Celeste

A ship carrying goods from New York City to Genoa, Italy, the Mary Celeste was found adrift about 640km east of the Azores by Dei Gratia, a British ship on Dec 5, 1872.

Upon boarding the Mary Celeste, the Dei Gratia’s crew discovered that much of the ship remained intact but there was no sign of the 10-strong crew, who left their belongings behind.

Speculation of the crew’s fate came to a head with a Smithsonian-funded investigation that concluded the crew likely abandoned ship after the captain lost his bearings and got the ship stuck in a large storm.

3. USS Cyclops

The USS Cyclops was a collier that disappeared after setting off for Baltimore from Barbados. PHOTO: US NAVY

Dubbed “one of the most baffling mysteries in the annals of the (United States) Navy”, the USS Cyclops was a collier (a ship designed to carry coal) that was launched in 1910.

Setting off for Baltimore from Barbados on March 4, 1918, all contact with the Cyclops was lost soon after, with all subsequent searches unsuccessful.

The loss of the Cyclops, which carried a 306-strong crew, remains the single largest loss of life not involving combat in USN’s history, even though the ship operated at the height of World War I.

Investigations concluded the ship was likely structurally deficient and unable to handle the strain of being caught in a squall.

4. Airborne Transport DC-3 NC16002

A Douglas DC-3 airliner like the one pictured disappeared on the night of Dec 28, 1948. PHOTO: BOEING

On the night of Dec 28, 1948, a Douglas DC-3 airliner piloted by Robert Linquist disappeared en route to Miami from Puerto Rico.

Ignoring warnings from a ground crew that the plane’s batteries needed recharging, Linquist pushed for flight NC16002 to remain on schedule, claiming that the plane’s onboard generators could sufficiently charge it.

After a final transmission claiming that the plane was 80km south of Miami, Linquist’s plane vanished along with his co-pilot, the stewardess and 29 passengers.

Investigations concluded that several lapses on the part of Linquist, including overloading of the plane, contributed to the plane’s likely malfunction and subsequent disappearance.

5. Carroll A. Deering

Discovered aground off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in 1921, the schooner Carroll A. Deering was completely abandoned in a seeming haste, with what seemed like next day’s meal being in preparation.

Aboard the ship, other inconsistencies included an extra bed in the captain’s personal chamber that was recently slept in and a logbook written in a different hand from the captain’s.

The Deering has remained one of the most abiding mysteries associated with the Triangle, with other theories including a crew mutiny.

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