Bermuda Triangle




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Flight 19
Star Tiger
DC-3 NC16002
Star Ariel
Southern Districts
Flight 441
Martin Marlin
F-104 Starfighter
Pogo 22
Tyler 41
KC-135 Stratos

Bermuda Triangle Database       Flight 19        U.S.S. Cyclops

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As vast as it may seem, the Bermuda Triangle Database is only a fraction of Into The Bermuda Triangle, They Flew into Oblivion, A Passage to Oblivion and Distant Horizons.

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Missing Aircraft

Missing Ships

What is the
Bermuda Triangle?

Flying Boxcar
B-25 N92877
Sting 27 1971

Cessna N8040L
Bob Corner
Saba Bank

   Two Year Crisis


Fighting Tiger 524
Queen Air
Arrow III N47910
|Arrow N74801
Cherokee Six
Aero Comm.
Aztec N13986
Beech N4442
Ted Smith N55BU

Cessna 150 N60936
Cessna 172 N1GH
Piper N1435P
Aero Comm
Twin Bonanza

Kallia III
s.s. Poet
Baron 58 N9027Q

Queen Air 65-B80
Navajo N777AA
Bonanza N5999

Cessna 210

Cessna 402 N44NC

Cessna 337D

Twin Otter

Cessna 402C NZ652B

Piper Flight Liner


Cessna 152 N93261

Aztec N6844Y

Aero Comm.

Archer N25626

Aero Comm.


“Weird Object”— The Ultimate UFO Case

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In the heyday of Bermuda Triangle popularity volumes had been written on the possibility that only UFO abductions could explain the inexplicable loss of so many ships and planes. The theories were based on sightings of UFOs, plus the Mantell case— always Mantell— and on the fact that the circumstances of some of the disappearances were so unbelievable as to preclude natural disasters or pilot error. True indeed, many of the circumstances do boggle the imagination. Enough details are known from some that it is hard to put together what truly happened. Thus we have mystery, genuine and complete. But does this amount to alien interdiction?
   In truth, it did not. But alien abductions were in vogue then. The Pascagoula Abduction had hit the news in 1973; and Betty and Barney Hill’s story had started the craze since Fuller’s book Interrupted Journey in 1966. If these were real, it seemed logical to at least theorize that aliens were responsible for some of the more inexplicable Triangle losses.
   By 1978 when the Valentich disappearance happened, the greatest amount of Bermuda Triangle literature was behind us. Thus the theory of alien abduction and the Bermuda Triangle came down to us with no real direct reference. Triangle theorists had really done little more than connect dots, often with lines stretched quite thin. Had the Valentich disappearance happened a few years before, or if Triangle fever continued a few years longer than it did until 1978, the Bermuda Triangle and the flying saucers connection might have cruised into Reaganomic’s Yuppie dominated culture and disturbed a few cocktail crowds.
   The disappearance of Fred Valentich became quite well-known to those in UFOlogy. However, the following report is relatively obscure. [Ed. Note Sept. 30, 2016: this was written before the publication of my book Into the Bermuda Triangle in 2003. This we article and my book brought this incident into the public forum] In a sort of  “if they don’t ask, don’t tell them” type of attitude, such reports were filed away in the US. I stumbled across it quite by accident. In 1992 I asked for a database search by the National Transportation Safety Board of all aircraft posted missing or not recovered. I received a huge printout. These were the days when large sheets of paper and dot matrix spelled government printers.
     Amongst hundreds of “Briefs” (A “Brief” is a little one page chit which gives pertinent but terse information which is later expounded in the Factual Aviation Report), this incident did not stand out. Unusual for the time, it held no narrative whatsoever. There was no indication this was any kind of special incident.
     Yet I was quite excited for the windfall of information I had discovered. For the first time dozens of missing aircraft in the Bermuda Triangle would be brought to light. I was piqued and ordered a Factual Aviation Report (Factual Aviation Accident Report: Near Puerto Rico, June 28, 1980, Ercoupe 415-D, N3808H) from National Technical Information Service. When it arrived with so many others I had ordered, the shocking information was discovered. The narrative of the accident was alarming. It also contained a transcription of the pilot’s last words to the tower. 
   The incident happened on June 28, 1980.  At 6:10 p.m. Jose Maldonado Torres and his friend, Jose Pagan Santos, left the Dominican Republic in an Ercoupe reg. number N3808H. They were bound for home in Puerto Rico. An Ercoupe is a little puddle jumper, two-seater with a dome canopy. But it had been well-maintained. Pagan’s father was the owner and he, Lt. Jose Pagan Jimenez, was an Aero Police Officer for Puerto Rico, flying high powered choppers everyday in his duty.
   The journey over water was not far. While nearing the west coast of Puerto Rico, around 8 p.m., something happened. The Mayday was picked up by several stations and by an Iberia flight.
     The transcript follows:  

PaganNar-2 PaganNar-3

   Narrative Page 1                     Page 2                               Page 3


Cover of Transcript






Lt. Pagan’s Report

     Pagan Santos’ father’s report differs from the narrative. His investigation convinced him that Torres reported a luminous object. This is the only notation in any of the paperwork that gives some “form” to the “weird object.” 
   Like the Valentich disappearance the object prevented Torres from continuing to the coast. He makes some rather drastic course changes or at least he believed so. His VORs went “off frequency,” and his compass might also have finally fritzed. Radio silence, as can be inferred from the report of Atlantic Fleet Weapon’s Radar at 8:15 p.m., could also mean that like Valentich the radio was rendered completely inoperable due to the proximity or final approach of the “weird object.” Or perhaps this was not even the Ercoupe anymore?


Map showing approximate position of the Torres/Pagan disappearance.

  But having the advantage of a last radar position, the search for this aircraft was quick and thorough, concentrated in its last known area. However, nothing was ever found. No ELT signal was ever picked up by any station, and no explanation was ever given for the “weird object.” Jose Pagan Jimenez flew many over flights of the ocean himself, including the last and most poignant in his own helicopter in vain hopes of finding his son (He was still doing so in late July). The search had been discontinued with the typical “negative results.”
     It took me some 8 years but I finally found a member of Jose Pagan Santos’ family. His sister Evelyn confirmed the tragic details of the long obscure incident. Her father, Jose Jimenez, no longer wished to speak of it. He spent 15 years trying to figure out what happened to his son. The only link they had was the “weird object.” However, the family had maintained the actual audio Mayday kept by the FAA, and gave me a 4th generation copy. They also supplied a picture of the Ercoupe and Jose standing before it. The picture was taken only one month before the disappearance. With my copy, it is hard to hear Santos. But Evelyn said that he can be heard in the background saying “Look, look,” at the object while Torres is sending the panicked Mayday.   


Jose Pagan Santos and N38080H. Courtesy of Evelyn Rivera.


   It is 5.43 minutes long. You may have to listen several times to pick up all the dialogue clearly.

  There is really no easy explanation for such an incident. Unlike the lurid and bogus accounts by hucksters and grandstanders who describe in detail their “Flying Saucer” encounters, when the real UFO thing happens the pilots are incapable of describing what is really going on and exactly what kind of object it is. Torres’ Mayday is in many ways similar to Fred Valentich’s.
   The true incidents, because perhaps the grave results are not conducive to conspiracy theories or pseudo-religious propaganda, today’s vogue, don’t seem to inspire the genuine reaction they should.
     Only Donald Keyhoe drumbeated the ramifications of flying saucers being hostile.  His voice seems a hollow one now, lost in the echoing vault of what we like to call a simpler past. But it is nevertheless true that he rallied the nation around the whole idea of flying saucer reality with the grim implications of Mantell’s death. Yet despite the errors in his knowledge of that particular incident, the substance of it seems to be in the Valentich and Torres/Pagan incidents. How many others that we don’t know about?
     Yet we shrug.
     As time goes by, UFO sightings have become more scarce over land or near populated centers. It was over water, away from populations and in generally inaccessible regions, where they began to appear most. The area where Torres and Santos vanished, for instance, has had quite a history, especially off Cabo Rojo and Aguadilla, the very place where the “weird object” first approached them.  During the “flap” of UFO sightings off this area in 1972, some derelict vessels were found off the coast. This was throughout the peak times of the flap, between August and October.
     The pattern is a strange one. The first flap of sightings came in 1947 over the whole world, and then continued for several years. Then they were concentrated over Air Force bases (even Ruppelt admits this frankly), our weapons and rocket areas, cities, green belts, and then the sightings receded to the oceans, especially the Atlantic and areas of the Triangle. The pattern can almost strike one as if after initially surveying the planet and its possible threats the “aliens” set up housekeeping in the area most suited to their needs.
     Or is all this gratuitous theorizing?
     Whatever the phenomenon is, it is disturbingly associated with missing aircraft. In a span of less than two years, two of the most perplexing aircraft disappearances occurred. Each was a world away from the other. One off Australia; the other off Puerto Rico in the Bermuda Triangle. Yet both were strikingly similar. Both pilots were sober individuals, one was a US Marine. Both reported a strange object harassing or, at the very least, highly interested in their aircraft. Both could not describe exactly what it was. But in both cases, when it came in closer, it apparently caused a disruption of radio communication and cut out electromagnetic power, causing the engine to sputter. Neither aircraft left any trace. Both carried ELTs, automatic alarms that are jettisoned when the aircraft impacts. This triggers them to send their electronic SOS signals, guiding rescuers to the point of the incident. Yet in both these incidents they were hushed,  for no signal was ever picked up indicating the planes crashed.
     They simply vanished.
     Take away the theorizing and the adjectives, yet the facts remain disturbing.

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         500 Leagues of Sea

500 Leagues of Sea
The Bahamas
Andros & The Tongue
Eleuthera & More!
San Juan
The Sargasso Sea
Sea of Expanding Shapes
Somewhere Between
Through the Electronic Fog
Fantastic Journey
The Eye

The “Lost Squadron”

The Disappearance of Flight 19
The Real Flight of Flight 19
The PBM Mariner
Views of the Okefenokee

Flights of Fancy

Bad Navigation?
Flight DUI
A 6th Avenger?
Through the Hoaxing Glass




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Bermuda Triangle Database

Swiftly to follow:

Star Tiger
DC-3 NC16002
Star Ariel

The Classics

Navy Super Constellation
Southern Districts
Martin Marlin
C-133 Cargomaster
Marine Sulphur Queen
2 KC-135 Stratotankers
C-119 Flying Boxcar

Distant Horizons

The USS Cyclops
Ellen Austin
Carroll A. Derring
Gloria Colita

Minor Classics

3 in a Week
Great Isaac’s
Carolyn Coscio
Saba Bank

1970s Triangle Fever

Ray Smithers and the Voice
The Philadelphia Experiment

The “Eyewitness”
The Scientist
The Promoters

Debunking Debunkery



My Research
Missing Aircraft
Missing Vessels

Out of the Past
Oddities & Enigmas
The Enigma of Specter
First Reactions