The Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal

By Lynne Kelly | Go to book overview

23
THE BEERMUDA TRIANGLE

‘Devil's Triangle disaster’ screamed the headline in The Globe on 1 April 1980. Despite the date, it was not intended as a scam. Charles Berlitz, author of The Bermuda Triangle and Without a Trace, dragged the issue back into the public eye and sold even more books. ‘Fifty planes vanish in two years’ we were told, and words like ‘eerie’ and ‘mystery’ added to the effect. Larry Kusche's rational retort in The Bermuda Triangle Mystery Solved didn't sell nearly as well.

Have you got time to check the examples given or are you forced to accept the facts on face value? After many hours of research, Michael R. Dennett published his analysis in the Fall 1981 edition of the Skeptical Inquirer. Only twelve of the incidents were actually described and, of these, only three occurred in the Bermuda Triangle. One of the three was a simple case of air turbulence and incurred no loss of life, while the other two are too vague to verify. As Dennett says of one:

It has all the hallmarks of such an occurrence; namely, an unidentified vessel, with three unnamed people on board, vanishes on an unspecified date. The local newspapers carried no report of this incident and the Coast Guard was unable to confirm that a vessel matching this description had been lost in October. (Dennett 1987, p. 48. )

Nebulous claims are typical of the quality of research and reporting which have fed the myth. The Bermuda Triangle

-226-

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The Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • 1 - Spontaneous Human Conbustion 1
  • 2 - Walking on Hot Coals 8
  • 3 - Crop Circles 12
  • 4 - The Shround of Turin 20
  • 5 - Psychic Readings 34
  • 6 - Spiritualism 49
  • 7 - Ghosts and Poltergeists 71
  • 8 - Diy Ghost Photos 80
  • 9 - Reincarnation and Past Lives 83
  • 10 - Astrology 102
  • 11 - Numerology 115
  • 12 - Esp—extrasensory Perception 125
  • 13 - Nostradamus 143
  • 14 - The Prophecy That is Kabul Khan 150
  • 15 - Psychic Detectives 154
  • 16 - Diy Telepathy 161
  • 17 - Psychics on Stage 164
  • 18 - Diy Bending Spoons 175
  • 19 - Ufo Emconters of the First Kind—sightings 178
  • 20 - Ufo Encounters of the Second Kind—physical Evidence 198
  • 21 - UFO Encounters of the Third Kind—allen Contact 207
  • 22 - Alien Abductions 217
  • 23 - The Beermuda Triangle 226
  • 24 - Levitation 233
  • 25 - Dowsing and Divining 244
  • 26 - Yeti, Bigfoot and Other Ape-Mem 251
  • 27 - The Loch Mess Monster 256
  • Acknowledgments 261
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