smason edit.jpg (23187 bytes)Look At It This Way
by Dr. Steve Mason

We make some of our greatest gains
When we see old things
In new ways

The Bermuda Triangle Mystery

Have you ever heard of the Bermuda Triangle? Also called the Devil's Triangle, it's an imaginary line drawn from Florida to Bermuda to the Bahamas and back. Lying right off the east coast of North America, it covers more than half a million square miles in one of the most heavily traveled areas of the world so it should come as no surprise that ships and planes will occasionally go missing. A train with 20 cars and 200 passengers vanishing in the middle of Kansas would be a mystery but not a ship or a plane being lost in the ocean.

Most of today's Bermuda Triangle hoopla is based on the loss of half a dozen military planes that “mysteriously” disappeared on December 5, 1945. Interestingly enough, this was not considered much of a mystery until decades later when a book referred to The Triangle of Death and Flying Saucer Review, along with Spielberg's "Close Encounter" movie added their fictional flourishes to the original account.

What actually happened was that a flight of five Avenger aircraft on a training mission got lost and flew in the wrong direction. The officer in command insisted they continue traveling north, parallel to the coast over empty ocean, instead of turning west and back to Florida. Subsequent investigations concluded that this was a simple, though no less tragic, case of being disoriented over water. And to compound that tragity, a Mariner Flying Boat (known for accumulating fuel vapors in its bilge) blew up during its search for the lost Avengers. In all, six planes and 27 men were lost.

But all this should be old news. Back in 1975, Larry Kusche wrote "The Bermuda Triangle Mystery – Solved" in which he did indeed solved virtually all of the so called mysteries that took place in the triangle along with a few that got included despite having occurred on the opposite side of the planet. And yet, in a Skeptical Inquirer article, Kusche reports that in doing a Google search for Bermuda Triangle he found 3,650,000 enteries. Searching his own name, the guy who got it right almost half a century ago, he came up with only 11,000.

Look At It This Way

I recently attended a talk dealing with the Kennedy assassination. At one point the speaker asked for a show of hands. How many say Oswald did it and how many say it was a conspiracy? It was about two-thirds in favor of conspiracy but that's not the point. I raised my hand and asked: How many don't know? Dead silence.

The fact is that facts are becoming increasingly rare. Fake news, social media and special interests have all but replaced critical thinking, open minds and balanced debate. You pick a side and you stick with it. Trade belief and emotion for logic and reason and you're a flip-flopper. I remember the woman at a dinner party who said: If you have nothing nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me. I'm waiting for the one who says: If you have nothing nice to say about anybody – and you have proof – come sit next to me.

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