When ships and planes mysteriously vanish — sometimes without a trace — speculation runs wild. Many worry about the conventional — pilot error, kidnapping and terrorism come to mind. And there are those who worry about the supernatural.
Acclaimed fashion designer Vittorio Missoni and five others boarded a twin-engine BN-2 Islander aircraft in the Los Roques island chain — pictured below — near Venezuela on Jan. 4. They were headed for Caracas and had only flown about 11 miles when they vanished into thin air. After hundreds of people in boats, planes and helicopters searched the area for days, no wreckage or debris of any kind was found, according to ABC News.
The mystery deepened when the only item that turned up was a bag that didn’t even belong to anyone on the Missoni flight. The bag, recovered on the nearby island of Curacao, was placed onto Missoni’s plane while its Italian tourist owner, caught a different flight out of Los Roques.
The Guardian reports that unexplained plane crashes and disappearances have allegedly occurred over the last 10 years in the same geographic location between Caracas and the Los Roques chain of 350 islands, cays and islets covering an area of about 40 kilometers.
The case has attracted international attention because the area the disappearance occured in is close to the Bermuda triangle. An area of ocean infamous for it’s association with a number of disappearing aircraft and ships. But according to the United States Coast Guard, the Bermuda Triangle is much ado about nothing:
“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,” the Coast Guard says on its website. “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.”
Writing in Skeptoid.com, Brian Dunning says that:
“transportation losses inside the Bermuda Triangle do not occur at a rate higher than anywhere else, and the number of losses that are unexplained is also not any higher. Statistically speaking, there is no Bermuda Triangle.”
When looking at cases like this it is easy to see mystery everywhere and give in to superstition. But when we do that we forget one important thing: our planet is 70% Ocean. There is a lot of water for things to get lost in.
Not finding signs of wreckage or similar is not an indication of something supernatural or mysterious it’s simply a sign that our planet is a lot bigger and wetter than we tend to think.