Saturday, April 2, 2022

#AtoZChallenge2022: B is for Bermuda Triangle

The A to Z of Conspiracy Theories B

The A to Z of Conspiracy Theories: B is for Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle might not be one of the big conspiracy theories, but it is an important one for me. 

The Bermuda Triangle was a gateway drug for me for all sorts of quasi-normal, pseudo-scientific ideas.  I think it was a set of "documentaries" I saw in the late 1970s.  The one that comes to mind most often to me is 1978's Secrets of the Bermuda Triangle.  I remember watching it at the Times theater in my old hometown.

The movie was presented as a documentary and to my 8-9-year-old mind that meant that it had to have had some scientific rigor to it.    The movie was a collection of "true stories" like the loss of the Navy's Flight 19 and other tales.  Many that still get repeated today.  It also included a lot of conjecture as to why this area had so many disappearances.  My favorite was one about a malfunctioning energy collection crystal from Atlantis that would zap ships and airplanes and either destroy them or send them to alternate dimensions.  Like many documentaries of this time it tries to make connections to Egypt and even to the Maya and Aztec cultures. 

Statistically speaking, the waters of the Bermuda Triangle are no more or less dangerous than any others given the number of ships.  In a 2013 survey of the most dangerous shipping areas, it doesn't even rank in the top 10.

Bermuda Triangle

I have been through the Bermuda Triangle twice now.  Once while flying home from Jamaica (our flight was not allowed to fly over Cuba) and once on a cruise ship.


I am going with the crystal idea for NIGHT SHIFT.  The Triangle was the site of some ancient alien base that later had to be abandoned. There is indeed a giant crystal that charges "Vril" (more on that on V day) from sunlight.  Periodically it releases its built-up energy in a blast that discorporates whatever is in its path. Does it destroy the object or, as some scholars believe, does it transport it to somewhere else?

Some even believe that these crystals are pyramid-shaped and have the same dimensions of the Great Pyramid of Giza. 

The remains of the Bimini Road are also part of this base, but so far no one has figured out how they are connected. 

The biggest problems here are 1.) discovering the crystal and it's nature and 2.) getting down the crystal and turning it off. 

I would say that there are smaller crystals that are connected to it.  This can give the PCs some clues.  Especially if the crystals glow and pulsate in time with the larger one.  Someone would need to correlate the brightest flashes with disappearances.   

Given that reports of missing ships seem to have dropped off (that darn GPS!) and the height of the reports peaked in interest in the 70s I am thinking of setting this in my Spirit of 76 campaign. Another chance for me to use some ideas from "The Fantastic Journey."

The NIGHT SHIFT RPG is available from the Elf Lair Games website (hardcover) and from DriveThruRPG (PDF).


Dino said...

I was intrigued by the Bermuda Triangle as a kid but haven't heard it mentioned in years, so thanks for the nostalgia.

All the best for the rest of the challenge

Tim Knight said...

Great pick, Tim. The Bermuda Triangle tends to be almost forgotten these days as a "conspiracy theory", which is a shame because as a nonsense plot device it still holds water (excuse the dreadful joke).

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

I remember The Bermuda Triangle being one of those big things when I was younger too. It was the big one for a while there I think - probably because it's right there in the middle of everything.đŸ€Ł
Tasha's Thinkings: YouTube - What They Don't Tell You (and free fiction)

Namratha said...

I remember reading many conspiracies about the Bermuda Triangle when I was younger. Like you said the stories seem to have disappeared now. Not so dangerous anymore? or are people just avoiding it?

Leaving my blog link here:

moondustwriter said...

Cool idea.
I obsessed as a kid over the Bermuda Triangle stories as well.
Good fodder for the creative mind - eh?
Hope you have a great month.

This A to Z story was birthed at The Passage hotel in 2007 in Odessa Ukraine. I changed the time period to the present. The Basics

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

Wow I never realized it was that big an area...

The Multicolored Diary

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Fantastic! Thank you all for stopping by and leaving your blog links!

Kalpana said...

The Bermuda Triangle was the scary reference that had no explanation because I hadn't seen a documentary and we didn't have the internet then. I didn't do any research in libraries about it so I was fascinated by your story of the crystals. Great post.

Deep One said...

If the Bermuda Triangle isn't so scary nowadays, doesn't that just mean that someone did something about it already? - And you say you've been there twice? - Coincidence? - I think not!

The Witch-King said...

The only Game setting I can recall that delved into the lore around The Bermuda Triangle is Rifts. But I'm sure there must be others.

Pun Isaac said...

Excellent take on the Triangle my friend.

@Arcanum - Chaosium did a Bermuda Triangle book for Cthulhu Now.

Arlee Bird said...

I don't hear much about the Bermuda Triangle these days, but it was a big item of interest back in my college days of the seventies. I still have a few Bermuda Triangle books somewhere in my bookshelves. Always an interesting story to think about.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out Battle of the Bands

Joy said...

This one was definitely in the air when I was young and had me half-convinced at an age when when it was fun to be convinced of such things.

Joy's Book Blog

Dick McGee said...

Clearly the dropoff in incidents in the modern day is because pollution is blocking the amount of sunlight reaching your crystal pyramids. All that floating plastic packaging and other junk isn't solely restricted to the Pacific, y'know. :)

PT Dilloway said...

There's an old Italian or Spanish movie on the Rifftrax site called The Bermuda Triangle where apparently the whole thing is created by the ghost of a little girl trapped in a doll. That makes about as much sense as anything.

2 gators said...

interesting read thanks for sharing. You had stopped by my blog and asked about sharing the link.sure it is not a problem but most of all thank you for asking

Melanie Atherton Allen said...

Ha, I just saw the Rifftrax version of The Bermuda Triangle that PT Dilloway mentions above!
I love the idea of using the Bermuda Triangle in an RPG, and your implementation of it sounds really fun. Also, I am now extremely excited for your "V" entry. That will be neat.