Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Modest Proposal for the Mystics

Don't you think it's funny that of the last dozen triangular ships, most were Navy ships? Did the Martians or Atlanteans have an extraordinary appetite for US government property during the first half of the nineteenth century?

Or is it maybe that the loss of a Navy ship, presumably built well enough to survive a sea battle, was more noteworthy, enough to fill the papers for weeks, months, and years, while the loss of a merchantman was nothing special and did not make a splash in the papers at a time when a person about to embark on a sea voyage would make their will?

Here's one that did make a splash: the President. The world's largest ship, vanished crossing the Atlantic, "the first steamship to founder on the transatlantic run when she was lost at sea with all 136 on board in March 1841."

True, she had a weak hull and was top heavy, underpowered, fitted with inferior paddlewheels for the crossing, overloaded, and last seen struggling in a gale. But who's to say she was a storm victim? Who's to say she didn't vanish in the Bermuda Triangle?

President encountered a gale and was seen on her second day out laboring in heavy seas in the dangerous area between Nantucket Shoals and Georges Bank. She was not seen again.

But who's to say she went down off Cape Cod? Did anyone see her sink?

No. She may well have gone off course, struggled on into the Bermuda Triangle, and gotten by the Atlanteans.

Or even better, take the Naronic. That one's even more mysterious.

"After leaving Liverpool, she stopped briefly at Point Lynas, Anglesey, North Wales, to put her Maritime pilot ashore before heading west into heavy seas, never to be seen again."

But can we be sure that heavy seas, or icebergs, or a bomb, got her? If we can't be sure which one of the above got her, why can't the Atlanteans have gotten her?

We don't know that her course wasn't southerly enough to take her through the Bermuda Triangle. And if it wasn't, we can always extend the Triangle northward to cover her course. After all, it has been made to cover the Gulf of Mexico, the Azores, and even the Pacific.

Mystics, I propose you add the President and the Naronic to your triangular rolls without further delay.

And while you're at it, go forth and, like the beachcomber combs the beach, comb the old-time newspaper archives for merchantmen and small craft vanished in the Bermuda Triangle. There must be not hundreds, but thousands and thousands before the invention of radio alone.

It's like with cockroaches: If you see one, you've got a thousand. There must be a thousand civilian ships lost in and around the Bermuda Triangle for every Navy ship. The Ardilla and the other newfound victims of Quasar's pages 56 and 57 are only the tip of the iceberg.

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