As a kid, I reveled in the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle, pouring over literature that told of ghost ships, of planes disappearing forever, of instruments going haywire. As an adult, with images from my youth clear in my head, I’ve spent much time within the boundaries of the dreaded Triangle, a swath of the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, South Florida and Puerto Rico. Besides Bermuda, most of the 700-plus islands that make up the Bahamas fall within the Triangle. I have scuba dived the Bimini Road, an underwater rock formation near the Bahamas, explored the wreck-strewn waters off Bermuda and even sailed into the triangle on numerous occasions. Am I lucky to be alive? What’s true? What makes up the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle?

Much that defies the logic of our everyday lives seems to get attributed to extra-terrestrial beings. A ship disappears, so it must be our friends from Andromeda who have traveled across space and time to steal our secrets of flotation or in- atmosphere flight. Yep, that’s what they need in Andromeda: a Cessna and a sailboat. Flight 19, in which 5 Navy bombers seemingly disappeared mid-flight on December 5, 1945, has been attributed to UFOs.

The Presence of Pirates
Piracy occurs in all seas, around the globe. The US Department of State cautions against the possibility of encountering, “vessels ... engaged in illicit activities … near the Bahamas.” But if you had aspirations to be a pirate wouldn’t you choose a place where people will cast the blame for normally suspicious acts on methane, UFOs and magnetic anomalies? Heck, yeah. The Bermuda Triangle is a rogue’s paradise.

Methane Gas
The latest culprit in the Bermuda Triangle is methane, a natural gas that is less dense than water. So if you happen to be sailing through a patch of the ocean when a massive methane effluvium bubbles up from the deep, then, yes, your boat could in fact sink. Gas hydrates exist in deep, high pressure environments found in all the world’s oceans, including parts of the Bermuda Triangle. But there are no recorded instances that such an incident has occurred.

Rogue Waves
You’re lolling along in a boat, rising and falling in the cradle of the deep ocean, enjoying the sun, sea and the wind when, wham! a giant wave pops up next to your boat and sinks it. In fact, this does happen without warning in the Bermuda Triangle, as it does in seas all over the globe. So this theory holds water… so to speak. And is, after human error, the most credible explanation for the mysterious disappearances that occur in the Triangle.

Magnetic Anomalies
If you’ve ever watched a TV show on the Bermuda Triangle, then you’ve heard the recordings of pilots noting their instrumentation has gone haywire. So let’s think about this reasonably. True north only exists within a small swath of the earth. Otherwise, magnetic variations are normal and most pilots, sailors and computers with GPS know this and compensate compass bearings to adjust to true north. But even if a compass goes haywire, does that mean it’s an unexplained mystery? Magnetic anomalies happen, even locally, all over the world. But thousands and thousands of planes, sailboats, motor yachts and other water-bound vessels ply these waters each year and seem to exit unscathed.

Dumb Mistakes
All over the world, human blunders result in the loss of billions of dollars worth of stuff. Could this also be happening in the Bermuda Triangle? Of course. Consider the pirates. If you make a catastrophic mistake that results in the loss of your boat or plane or personal watercraft and you don’t want to accept blame, what better place to have a calamitous loss of property than the mysterious, ship-eating, UFO-ridden and methane-spewing Bermuda Triangle. Hello, insurance claim. Recreational boating accident reports do show high incidences in the region that encompasses the Bermuda Triangle.

The existence of Atlantis?
This is my personal favorite theory. Many Atlanteans believe the Bimini Road leads to that perfectly mysterious and as of today, undiscovered utopia called Atlantis. Something like an Atlantis would be hard to remain hidden from our probing world, sequestered from detection at the bottom of the sea. So supplies and spare parts for infrastructure likely tend to run low in this mythical land and every now and then sinking a ship or 2 to restock, or a plane for parts, or a drug runners’ cigarette boat