A jet fighter ride
Life is strange. And this isn’t only the title of an amazing video game : this is a truth. I have an example for you. A few days ago, I enjoyed a jet fighter ride, during which I discovered the thrills of aerobatics (and played a scene of The Exorcist again… in a sick sack). Who could imagine that a simple myth would lead me to live that ? No one, I guess. Because this is exactly what happened : all began with the Bermuda Triangle Mystery. This story inspired me my love for the story of aviation, and especially for the jet fighters. However, very few people know the whole story about the Bermuda Triangle, and today I want to fill in the blanks. Of course, you certainly know the beginning of the story : the ‘unexplained’ disappearance of Flight 19, or that of their would-be rescuers. But this is not the only example that built the legend of the triangle. There were other mysteries. In a magazine advertisement for Britain’s Avro Tudor airliner, the boss of British South American Airways claimed, ‘It is one of the ﬁnest propositions ever known in the ﬁeld of long-range air transport.’ It was anything but. After a crash in 1947 that killed the man who’d designed it, another Tudor vanished in the Bermuda Triangle in January 1948, then another a year later. No trace of either aircraft was found. In 1950 a USAF Globemaster was lost. In 1954 a US Navy Constellation vanished. Two years later the US Navy lost a Martin Marlin ﬁying boat, and in 1962 a USAF KB-50 tanker disappeared. Reportedly, no wreckage was found from any of these aircraft. I could go on, heaping incident upon incident until you felt sure that something inexplicable was going on in this mysterious patch of water. This is more or less what Charles Berlitz, the author of the global bestseller The Bermuda Triangle, does. However, what he fails to mention is that, aocording to the United States Coast Guard, there’e nothing statistically unusual in the number of aircraft and ships lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Or that the Avro Tudor was a terrible aircraft, rejected by BOAC, prone to fuel leaks and with an unreliable cabin heating system that ran off aviation fuel bled from the engines’ tanks. Or even that in the 1940s and 1950s planes went down with frightening regularity, and that in the huge expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, it was easy to ﬁnd no trace. Berlitz touches on a US Navy investigation into ‘electromagnetic gravitation and atmospheric disturbance’. The US Navy conﬁrmed that Project Magnat was an effort to survey the Earth’s geomagnetism for navigational charte. UFO enthusiasts drew the conclusion that the real purpose was to detect the presence of aliens by tracing the disruption caused by the anti-gravity engines of their flying saucers. Berlitz and others certainly fuelled this kind of speculation. In his book Berlitz follows one chapter called ‘Is there a logical explanation?’ with another titled ‘Space-time warps and other worlds’. The answer to the question he poses is, I’m afraid, ‘yes’. Much as I’d love to learn of proof of alien visitation, the discovery of Atlantis or even some top secret military research programme, it’s just wishful thinking. And even wishing really, really hard, won’t, sadly, make it otherwise. Fortunately, there is more realistic wishes. And a few days ago, I lived one of those. If you’re a thrills-seeker, don’t hesitate : fly a jet fighter ! Follow the link to get more info.