What ever happened to the Bermuda Triangle? Growing up in the 70s and 80s, it was everywhere, and as a kid I couldn’t get enough of it. If it wasn’t being featured on the premiere 80s mystery show “In Search Of,” (by the way narrated by Leonard Nimoy), it was the topic of some Sunday night television special. We were dazzled with unexplained ship and airplane disappearances. One minute planes and ships were innocently flying through the airspace off the coast of Florida, and the next minute *BAM*! They went off the radar and were never heard from again. And of course there was never any evidence of wreckage or survivors in life boats. Believe me, before people got to see all kinds of crazy stuff on the internet, this was freaky.
For an 8th grade school project, I read the bestseller Bermuda Triangle, by Charles Berlitz. As part of the project, I wrote him a letter — hand-written in my best cursive and mailed in care of the publisher. How quaint, I know. He responded with a typed letter, hand signed. A real writer wrote me back! I think I asked him about his research, and as I was an aspiring writer, how to write a whole book on one subject, or some such star-struck nonsense.
I wished I’d kept the letter, especially to revisit the “research” part. The other day I went out to dinner with my friends Chris, Joe, and Mike — named in alpha order so there are no favorites (except you all are my favorites, I promise!) — and in “Sex and the City,” fashion, I boldly asked, “Whatever happened to the Bermuda Triangle?” I thought maybe it had fallen out of pop culture favor, what with those Kardashians and the celebrity-of-the-week seen prancing around on the beach in a bikini distracting people from really important pop culture topics like the Bermuda Triangle. But, sadly, no. Seems it’s been explained! Countless hours of video and film, thousands of pages devoted to this amazing mystery. Explained.
I was crushed.
Chris said that some sort of ocean gas had been determined to be the culprit. At least I think that’s what he said. I was taking solace in an excellent glass of red wine. But I couldn’t accept that as the final decision, and so I went to Wikipedia, and while I was grateful that there was even an entry, what I found there was even worse. There were a whole bunch of reasons debunking my beloved Bermuda Triangle, including that the *ahem* research was rather spotty for many of the books written about it. Charles, how could you! The authors seemed to leave out crucial details, such as when you look at the data, ships and planes disappear equally from all parts of the ocean. Turns out it’s big, empty, and likes to kick puny human ass with ginormous storms, and yes, there are those gas thingys Chris mentioned. All of which amounts to accepting that my childhood fascination is less significant that the Kardashians. And that’s a bitter pill to swallow.
But I’ve learned a thing or two about the internet. All I need is a new, unexplained disappearance, and then I can use social media to let everyone know. I can reach a whole new audience who has never heard about the Bermuda Triangle, and all I need is one baseless, yet authoritative assertion to get the ball rolling. Maybe I can contact Charles Berlitz with a ouija board. I just can’t let it go without fight.
Well maybe I can. As the night went on, Joe decided if I had a pseudonym, it should be Sexy Pants La Rue. That’s how awesome my friends are; we can cover the waterfront of engaging topics. So if I can’t get the Bermuda Triangle back on the map, at least I have a cool pseudonym. Take that Kim.