Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Mystery Of The Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle is one of the great conspiracy theories of history, with the disappearances of aircraft and boats in the region baffling experts for decades. Even now, there is a lot of debate about the Bermuda Triangle, with scientists and the public committed to finding the answer to the age old question of just what is going on in the area. But in spite of the array of technology available to us now, are we really any closer to answering what is the Bermuda Triangle and how can the disappearances be explained?

Location



The Bermuda Triangle’s exact location is debated, but the three points make up the Caribbean island Bermuda, which gives the triangle its name, along with the southernmost tip of Florida in the US and Puerto Rico, to the south of Bermuda.

It is also known as the Devil’s Triangle and although the trail appears to have gone slightly cold, those who still believe in the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle point to a large number of disappearances in the area that remain unexplained tens of years later.

However, the US Navy refuses to acknowledge the existence of the Bermuda Triangle and this attitude is reflected by the US government, with countries all over the planet unwilling to admit there appears to be something odd about this part of the world. Indeed, when the World Wide Fund for Nature picked out the world’s ten most dangerous waters for shipping in 2013, the Bermuda Triangle was not among them.

Disappearances



Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March this year thrust the issue of aircraft disappearances back into the spotlight, leading to fresh theories about the Bermuda Triangle despite the plan being lost on the other side of the world.

The phrase the Bermuda Triangle is thought to have been coined in a magazine article in 1950 and the mystery of various disappearances in this region continues to be hotly debated nearly 65 years after the term was first used. Various writers have posited their own ideas as to why so many aircraft and vessels appear to have gone missing in the area, with one of the best known cases being Flight 19, which was a training flight consisting of five Avenger torpedo bombers that disappeared while over the Atlantic on December 5th 1945. None of the aircraft were ever recovered, but the aircraft had a history of explosions, which offers one more mundane explanation for their disappearances.



Another of the most memorable Bermuda Triangle cases is the disappearance of the USS Cyclops ship, which remains the largest single largest loss of life in the history of the US Navy not related to combat almost 100 years after it occurred. No wreckage has ever been found of the vessel, which went off the radar sometime after a stop in Barbados around March 4th 1918.

Explanations



The US Navy says that any disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle region are down to a combination of poor navigation and bad weather. Indeed, the area does experience a lot of stormy weather, but improvements in safety in both ships and aircraft mean it is rare for either a vessel to sink or for an aircraft to go down.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there is “no evidence that mysterious disappearances occur with any greater frequency in the Bermuda Triangle than in any other large, well-travelled area of the ocean”. However, it is not likely this will have any impact on those who still pour over the history of the Bermuda Triangle and its associated mysteries.

Anyone who has studied the Devil’s Triangle in any detail will have formulated their own ideas on why there have been so many disappearances in the area over the years, but among the more far-flung theories is that the area is linked to the lost city of Atlantic.

For others, the explanation is literally out of this world, with alien abductions helping to explain the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle, while some believe the disappearances may be down to other types of paranormal activity.

Logic would appear to dictate the disappearances in the region are linked by nothing more than coincidence, but there is little way to prove the matter on any side of the debate.

It is true that safety improvements on ships and aircraft have made them far less likely to suffer a fatal technical fault and this could help to explain why so many of the disappearances within the Devil’s Triangle were so long ago and modern examples are extremely thin on the ground.

Aircraft have much larger fuel reserves than in the past, making cross-Atlantic journeys far less perilous than they were several decades ago. It may be the case that all of the aircraft to have been lost in Bermuda Triangle simply ran out of fuel, or had another technical fault that caused them to go down, but with a lack of wreckage, it seems as though there will always be speculation about what happened to them.

Investigations



The lure of the Bermuda Triangle remains as strong as ever and at any one time, there are usually multiple investigations ongoing into the various cases of disappearances in this part of the world. One such examination was conducted for the BBC by journalist Tom Mangold a few years ago, with the focus of the investigation being two British commercial planes that were lost in the area.

In January 1948, a British South American Airways (BSAA) Avro Tudor IV plane called the Star Tiger disappeared, with the presumed loss of life of the crew of six and the 25 passengers who were on board, although no bodies or wreckage were ever recovered.

The official investigation into the disappearance concluded: “It may truly be said that no more baffling problem has ever been presented. What happened in this case will never be known and the fate of Star Tiger must remain an unsolved mystery.”

But according to Eric Newton, one of the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s most senior air accident investigators, any problem on board the plane could have led to it going down in “seconds”. He explained that this is because the aircraft would have used a lot more fuel flying at 2,000 feet, while headwinds are also likely to have caused an issue for the plane.

BSSA also had a poor safety record and in three years around the time when the Star Tiger disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, it lost five planes in total, with 73 passengers and 22 crew members killed as a result of the accidents.

Gordon Store, who was chief pilot and manager of operations at BSAA, has since been quoted by his local newspaper as saying the systems used by the company were “hopeless”.

Even if the disappearance of the Avro Tudor IV plane can be decoded by a technical fault, there are still many other cases of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle region that lack a scientific explanation. And while that is the case, people will continue to debate the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Sydney Airport Opens Second Airport Discussions

Sydney Airport will enter a nine-month formal consultation period with the federal government from September on the question of a new airport at Badgerys Creek.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss says the federal government has issued Sydney Airport with a Notice to Consult, which allows the two parties to enter formal discussions on the development and operation of the proposed Badgerys Creek airport.

“We now have a clear timeframe for consultation, decision and action,” Truss said in a statement on Monday.

The consultation period begins on September 30 2014, Sydney Airport said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday.

When the Commonwealth sold Sydney Airport in 2002 it included a 30-year first right of refusal to build and operate any airport built within 100km of the existing terminals at Mascot.

Sydney Airport said the first right of refusal had a number of phases, including a consultative phase and a subsequent contractual phase.

“These are expected to take up to two years to complete,” Sydney Airport said.

The federal government hoped the airport at Badgerys Creek would be operational by the mid-2020s, with construction anticipated to begin sometime in 2016.

Prior to the official Notice to Consult being issued, the government and the airport has been in informal talks over over the size and layout of the proposed airport.

Sydney Airport chief executive Kerrie Mather said the airport would work constructively with the government during the formal consultation period.

“The work program will focus on detailed examination of the business case including, but not limited to, passenger forecasting, demographics, airport design and operation, planning and commercial development, environmental analysis, and funding and financial modelling,” Mather said in a statement.

This formal consultation period was the first phase under the right of first refusal provisions.

“Following the consultation, the Government may decide to make a contractual offer to the Sydney Airport Group,” the minister’s statement said.

“The contractual offer would involve issuing a Notice of Intention to the Sydney Airport Group, setting out the detailed terms for the development and operation of an airport at Badgerys Creek, including technical specifications, contractual terms and timetable.”

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

MH370: The Forgotten Flight

The missing Malaysian Boeing 777 in happier times

It is 121 days since the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. After a fruitless search, there is no trace of the aircraft. Searching has been wound up whilst "private contractors" are being sought through a tender process to resume the search. It is still hard to imagine that in the year 2014, such a mystery can occur. Not to mention the numerous, some very laughable theories that have emerged.

To this day, no one can even be sure that the search effort was even taking place in the right area. The Southern Indian Ocean was the site for the search. I still wonder what the families of those on board are still enduring whilst the rest of the World appears to have forgotten about the fateful flight. I am still puzzled by the mystery like all of us but, I do not understand why searches are not ongoing. Surely the Government's of China and Malaysia owe it to their citizens to continue the search and get to the bottom of what happened once and for all. That is of course, if no cover up is taking place. Those who have read my previous article on this topic will know that I am very sceptical about what took place and what is known. Events like this usually reek of lies and deception. I feel that this is no different. Some sort of hijacking still, in my mind at least, appears to be the obvious cause of the disappearance.

 I only hope that I can bring some further news about the resolution of the mystery before this year is out. With the black box flight recorder now long gone, I highly doubt that I will. It may be years before we ever know what really took place to cause such a mystery, if even we ever know. First thing is first though. We need to find the aircraft to at least give some sort of closure to the loved ones of those on board.