The Bermuda Triangle is nothing special. It seems its mystique might be one of the longest-running examples of fake news.
Whilst ships and aircraft have been lost in the region for no apparent reason, it turns out this is not uncommon at sea. Famous examples like the Mary Celeste are spooky, but there are other equally strange disappearances around the world.
The following are examples of equally odd disappearances of ships and their crew that show that the hype around the Bermuda Triangle is probably just 'hot air'.
1. The lost crew of the MV Joyita
On the 3rd of October, 1955, a half-submerged boat drifted toward the Fijian Island of Vanua Levu. Every single one of her 25-men crew was missing without a trace.
The boat, the Merchant Vessel (MV) Joyita, had set off two days before heading for Tokelau but never made it, apparently. She was carrying a cargo of medical supplies, timber, food, and oil when she left, but four tons were missing along with her crew when she reappeared.
Recent investigations into the case seem to indicate that the Joyita probably took on water from a corroded pipe which is probably the cause of her foundering. If true, the crew likely jettisoned cargo in an attempt to save her.
When this failed, they must have been forced to abandon ship, but with too few lifeboats its likely some crew would have simply had to float in the water waiting for rescue. Sadly it appears that no distress signal was sent - no rescue party was on its way!
The tragic thing is that the ship's extreme buoyancy prevented her from completely sinking. Why didn't the crew stay with the vessel?
Whatever their thinking, the must have all died one by one from thirst, hunger or, shudder the thought, shark attacks.
2. The Schooner Patriot simply disappeared
In December of 1812, a schooner, The Patriot, set sail for New York. On board was the daughter of an American politician and third vice-president of the United States, Theodosia Burr Alston.
The ship would never reach its destination, and no one would ever find the wreck of her crew. Little else is known about the schooner's fate beyond it having left port and sailed due North from South Carolina.
At the time of the Patriot's voyage, America and the United Kingdom were engaged in the minor War of 1812. This has led some to suspect that she was sunk by accident by the Royal Navy, but there are no British records to confirm this.
Many other theories and legends have since formed around the fate of the ship and Theodosia. These range from piracy to the ship being lured to her death by onshore wreckers.
There are records from Carolina Coast blockading Royal Navy vessels that a severe storm broke out on the 2nd of January 1813 which lasted till the following day. Could this have overcome the Patriot?
Whatever happened her fate is still a complete mystery. It is likely we will never know.
3. The mysterious case of the "Ghost Yacht" the Kaz II
In 2007, a small catamaran, the Kaz II, was found drifting off the coast of Australia. Her three-person crew was nowhere to be seen but the table had been set, and the food was waiting to be eaten.
There was also a fully functional laptop turned on and its radio and GPS systems were fully functional. None of her life jackets had been used and were still stowed.
What had happened? And why had it not sent any distress signals?
After an extensive investigation, it is believed that one or more of the men fell overboard either whilst fishing or being knocked overboard by a swinging boom. The other crew members probably jumped in to help but met the same fate.
It is likely the sea was choppy and none of the crew were particularly strong swimmers. Their end would have been swift.
Whatever the case, the crew were never seen again presumed drowned or eaten.
4. The USS Porpoise hunted slavery ships only to be sunk by a Typhoon
The USS Porpoise was the second ship to carry the name. She was a Dolphin-Class Brigantine (a type of brig) and was commissioned in 1834 and launched in May of 1836.
After a long career in the Navy, including hunting down slavery vessels in the 1850s, she was assigned to the North Pacific Exploring and Surveying Expedition. After joining the squadron at Hampton Roads, the squadron set to sail to explore the Bonin, Ladrones, and Mariana.
The Porpoise and her entire crew of 69 would never be found with no sign of any debris or indication that she had ever existed. No one really knows what happened to her, but the most likely explanation is that she succumbed to a typhoon.
5. HMS Sappho almost caused a war before disappearing below the waves
HMS Sappho was a Royal Navy brig that became famous for almost causing a war between the UK and America. She was the second to carry the name with both being named after the famous Greek Poet of the same name.
Most of her service was dedicated to the suppression of slavery following the UK declaring it illegal in 1807. Throughout her 20-year career, the ship was heavily involved in hunting down and capturing slave trader vessels throughout Africa and the West Indies.
On the 9th of May 1857, on part of her anti-slavery duties, she attacked and seized the American barque Panchita in on the Congo River. This caused a diplomatic spat that almost sparked a new conflict between the US and UK.
Following this, her Captain was ordered to sail for Australia. She would never make it.
Although she was spotted in the Bass Strait by another brig in January of 1858, her fate has never been ascertained. No wreckage or any of her crew would ever be found.
6. The Waratah may have spectacularly exploded
The SS Waratah disappeared without a trace on her second voyage in July of 1909. She was making her between Durban and Cape Town in South Africa when she vanished with all 211 passengers and crew onboard.
The Waratah was built in 1908 for the Blue Anchor Line for operations between Europe and Australia.
After leaving Adelaide on July 7th, 1909 she made it safely to Durban in South Africa on the 25th July 1909. One passenger, an engineer Claude S. Sawyer, alighted and 'cabled' his wife that "Thought Waratah top-heavy, landed Durban."
A decision, as it turned out, that would save his life. She later left port on the 26th of July and was spotted on the 27th at sea.
Later that day the weather worsened with high winds and rough seas being kicked up. That evening she was spotted by a larger steamer called the Harlow.
They noted she seemed to make a lot of smoke, almost as if she was on fire. Darkness fell, and the Harlow crew suddenly saw two bright flashes before the Waratah's running lights disappeared.
To this day the fate of the ship and her passengers and crew is a complete mystery.
7. The SS Vaitarna just vanished
The SS Vaitarna, also known as the Vijli or Haji Kasam ni Vijili, vanished without a trace on the 8th of November 1888. Around 740 people on board were lost with her.
She was a steamship owned by the AJ Shepherd and Company in Bombay and disappeared somewhere off the coast of Saurashtra.
The Vaitarna was en route between Mandvi and Bombay when the incident occurred. No one really knows what happened and no trace was found of her and her passengers and crew.
Her final voyage saw her leave Mandvi on the 8th of November 1888. Despite some reports of her being spotted wrecking near Madhavpur that evening, she was never seen again.