Bermuda Triangle: Expert blames pilot fatigue for mystery
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The Bermuda Triangle is a mysterious area of the North Atlantic Ocean made notorious for a string of unexplained disappearances. Over the last 200 years, an estimated 50 ships and 20 aircraft have never been seen again after entering the Triangle. The region, which is not officially recognised, stretches from Florida to Bermuda down to Puerto Rico.
The area’s string of highly unusual disappearances has often defied logic and scientific explanations.
However, one Bermuda Triangle incident is shrouded in more mystery and intrigue than most others – the disappearance of Flight 19.
The disappearance of the five US Navy planes and their 14-man crew in 1945 after World War 2 was among the incidents that helped seal the Triangle’s legendary reputation.
Initial search efforts for the bombing mission failed but a new team of researchers got together last year in a bid to solve the 75-year-old mystery.
Their endeavours have been captured for a new series of ‘History’s Greatest Mysteries’, the show fronted by Laurence Fishburne.
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The US actor and director presents and executive produces the History Channel US series.
In episode one of a new season of the programme, investigators David O’Keefe and Wayne Abbott make a breakthrough.
Mr O’Keefe and Mr Abbott are shown a machine gun that has been salvaged from the wreck of a plane believed to be a TBM Avenger bomber – the model of plane used for Flight 19.
The plane wreckage was discovered by Graham Stikelether and his father in Florida in 1962, adding weight to the theory that one of the Flight 19 aircraft could have made it back to land.
After his father died, Graham gave pieces of the plane, including the machine gun, to a friend named Jimmy, who collects World War 2 memorabilia.
Appearing in the documentary, Jimmy says: “This an M2 aircraft 50-calibre, I believe this would have been mounted in the wing of the aircraft.”
Mr O’Keefe inspects the gun and compares it to a manual of a TBM Avenger bomber.
He says: “This is great because all of these were logged particularly when it came to armaments, on planes.
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“Somewhere in the archives, there is going to be a log of this.
“The big reason that having a machine gun is great because it comes with a serial number.
“And with the serial number, we might be able to find out what plane this came off of.
“We might be able to find out who the pilots and the rest of the crew were.”
After inspecting the gun, Mr Abbott said: “This is the best piece of hard evidence we’ve ever come across.”
‘History’s Greatest Mysteries’ is available on the History Channel US.
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