Question: "Is there any truth to the Bermuda Triangle conspiracy theories?"
Answer: The triangle-shaped area between Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico has been called the “Bermuda Triangle” or the “Devil’s Triangle” by conspiracy theorists because of many unexplained events that have occurred in that area. The phrase was first used by author Vincent Gaddis in a magazine article published in 1964, and the “Bermuda Triangle” has since become a popular label. It should be said that area of the ocean is not actually called the Bermuda Triangle in any official sense.
The Bermuda Triangle’s pop culture appeal is based on many sensationalistic stories associated with it. A number of bizarre and high-profile accidents have taken place in that area of the ocean. Most famous are incidents involving the USS Cyclops, a Navy cargo ship carrying 300 men and many tons of ore in 1918; two other ships similar to the Cyclops; and “Flight 19” in which five Navy bombers and a rescue ship all disappeared within the “Devil’s Triangle” in 1945. In all of these cases, no wreckage was found. It was as if the vessels and the men aboard simply vanished.
Many theories have been proposed as to why these ships and planes disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle. Some say the disappearances could be the result of human error, terrorism, or magnetic abnormalities (affecting compasses) inherent to the area. Others have postulated gigantic underwater methane eruptions that could cause ships to be sucked downward into the sea. Other theories are more outlandish: the lost city of Atlantis has come into the conversation as have sea monsters, time warps, gravity fields, and alien abduction—the last was fueled by a Navy report about Flight 19, stating that it was as if the planes had “flown to Mars.”
Perhaps the most telling data about the Bermuda Triangle comes from Lloyd’s of London, an insurance company that insures ships and sea vessels. A policy from Lloyd’s of London for sea-faring vessels that travel often through the Bermuda Triangle is no more expensive than policies for other areas of the ocean. In fact, statistics show the Bermuda Triangle is no more or less dangerous than any other similar-sized part of the sea. The U.S. Coast Guard says, “The Coast Guard does not recognize the existence of the so-called Bermuda Triangle as a geographic area of specific hazard to ships or planes. In a review of many aircraft and vessel losses in the area over the years, there has been nothing discovered that would indicate that casualties were the result of anything other than physical causes. No extraordinary factors have ever been identified” (Coast Guard History: “Does the Bermuda Triangle really exist?” http://www.uscg.mil/history/faqs/triangle.asp, accessed June 1, 2016).
We have no reason to believe the disappearances in the so-called Bermuda Triangle are connected to each other. We reject any theory that assigns a malevolent supernatural power to a particular area of the globe—the name “Devil’s Triangle” suggests that Satan is lurking in the water off the Florida coast, ready to snatch any boat or plane that trespasses his domain—such theories cannot be supported biblically. It is best to view the disappearances as tragic, highly publicized events shrouded in mystery, but no more mysterious or frequent than other events elsewhere.
By their very nature, conspiracy theories cast doubt on official channels of information. Bermuda Triangle theorists set up new, supposedly more trustworthy sources of information to promulgate their stories. The biggest conspiracy of all is the belief that there is a small group of individuals lying to the larger populace about pretty much everything. If one accepts this belief, there is literally no end to the conspiracies one can see in the news, the government, and the annals of history. This is not to say that hidden agendas and propaganda don’t exist—it is quite clear that the general public does not get all the facts. How far down that rabbit hole goes is hard to say. How do we really know what is true and what is a lie—about the Bermuda Triangle or anything else?
Ever since the Garden of Eden, there have been two sources of information: God’s trustworthy Word and the devil’s lies (John 8:44; Revelation 12:9). It isn’t surprising that we’re a bit suspicious—after all, a lie was the original reason for man’s fall into sin and his ensuing death (Genesis 3:1–13). The only way to survive spiritually is by trusting God (Proverbs 3:5–6). God does not lie (Numbers 23:19), and He has provided us with His inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:16). This world is full of liars, and it is ruled by Satan. But Jesus said that rule would not last (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Truth will triumph (John 14:6; Revelation 19:11–16).