Bermuda Triangle: Expert says issue lies at 'core' of Earth
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The Bermuda Triangle is a mysterious area blamed for the disappearance of an estimated 50 ships and 20 aircraft. Measuring around 500,000 square miles, the region stretches from Florida to Bermuda and down towards the Greater Antilles. Many of the incidents in the legendary waters have seen vessels and planes vanish without trace, never to be seen again. One of the most famous was the disappearance of Flight 19 on December 5, 1945, just months after the end of World War Two.
Flight 19 was formed of five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers, carrying 14 men, which set off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
However, the squadron, and a rescue plane carrying 13 men dispatched to look for Flight 19, were never seen again.
New efforts to unravel the mystery have featured in a new season of US series, ‘History’s Greatest Mysteries’.
Episode One follows marine biologist and underwater explorer Mike Barnette, who is looking at a series of plane wrecks off the North Florida coast.
After initially being thwarted in his search by bad weather, Mike appeared to have made a breakthrough.
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Speaking in the documentary after a successful dive, he said: “One of the first things we see is there’s this big chunk of debris metal that could have been anything.
“It could have been garbage pitched off a ship, it didn’t really speak to me of an airplane.
“The next thing we come across is a large section of flat metal with rivets.
“Looking through a rust hole on top I saw what appeared to be black rubber, I’m saying to myself, ‘maybe this is a tyre.
“Time is our enemy right now, the clock is ticking, we’ve got to find something to reveal what we’re diving on.
“Then boom, right there staring us in the face, a large propellor and right next to it is the engine.
“We are excited, we are stoked, we know we have an aircraft, we have a World War Two vintage aircraft.
“Now we want to find proof positive of what this aircraft is, we want to find that smoking gun.
“Then we move on a little bit farther and we see this round piece of wreckage and in the middle of it, teeth like for gears.
“I’m thinking to myself, this looks like a turret. Emotions are running off the chart. Could this be an Avenger?”
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Mike showed his exciting discovery to military plane expert Roy Stafford, who also features in the documentary.
The film shows that the expert identified key pieces of the aircraft wreckage, including the wing, propeller, engine and the gunner’s turret with a pane of bulletproof glass.
However, in what could be a key breakthrough, Roy also identified the plane’s landing gear, which is unique to the Avenger.
He said the landing gear was a “perfect match” and said he was “100 percent” that the plane Mike discovered is an Avenger and could therefore be from Flight 19.
Mike was later invited to Washington Navy Yard to share his discovery with US Navy officials.
He is joined by Dr Robert Neyland, head of the Navy’s Underwater Archaeology Branch, and Agustin Ortiz, an underwater archaeology expert.
The pair present Mike with Navy records about another Avenger aircraft that crashed near to the wreckage site.
The crash, just three miles from Mike’s discovery, took place in February 1945 as the pilot, who survived, tried to land the plane.
The three men did not confirm the identity of the crashed plane in the records or in the wreckage Mike discovered.
The trio agreed that the wreck and other wrecks nearby could be those of the Flight 19 aircraft.
History’s Greatest Mysteries is available on the History Channel US.
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