Case File: Bermuda Triangle
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Date: December 5, 1945
Description: The Bermuda Triangle is a area of the Mid-Atlantic incorporating the islands of Bermuda, Puerto Rico and the tip of Florida in a triangle which is believed to be where ships and planes vanish.
History: The Bermuda Triangle has a long and interesting history of disappearances ranging from the Mary Celeste, USS Cyclops and the Marine Sulphur Queen, but its legend did not become popular until December 5, 1945 when five Avenger torpedo bombers known as Flight 19 disappeared during a training run out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Over more than a thousand ships and planes are believed to have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle.
Background: Lt. Charles Taylor, the flight leader, asked to be relieved on the day of training run but his request was denied. The flight was plagued with problems, and it appears that Lt. Taylor's miscalculation of location is at least partly to blame for the disappearance of the five planes and crew. The flight was disoriented and couldn't locate the Florida coast before vanishing without a trace. No trace of the planes or the 14 missing crew members were ever found. During the search, 13 men were lost when a PBM Mariner flying boat exploded midair while searching for Flight 19.
Investigations: Over the years, several Avenger bombers have been located sunk in deep water off the Florida coast, but none of them have matched the five planes from Flight 19. After the Challenger space shuttle exploded in 1986, NASA crew searching for Challenger wreckage found another Avenger plane sunk near Florida but they ignored it. Aviation archaeologist Jon Myhre raised this Avenger wreck in 1990, certain that it was one of the lost five, but he and his associates were never able to positively identify the plane. Some of the serial numbers on various parts of the aircraft did match those of the one of the lost five but there has been no update and no resolution to the case.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the September 26, 1990 episode. A significant update to this story aired on September 11, 1991.
Results: Unsolved; In the last decade, searchers have been expanding their search area to include farther east into the Atlantic Ocean, but the remains of Flight 19 have still never been confirmed found. An alternate theory involves them going down within the Everglades, but this conclusion is yet to be expanded.