THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE
Around 1975, a number of books were written about strange things which occurred in the Bermuda Triangle, a part of the Atlantic Ocean off the southeast coast of the U.S. They told the stories of planes and ships that disappeared for no understandable reason and were never found again.
They told about ships which were found undamaged but with no one on them. According to these books, more than 1,000 people disappeared in the Triangle from 1945 to 1975. According to some writers, there were no natural explanations for many of the disappearances, so they suggested other explanations.
For example, according to one writer, some strange and terrible power exists in the Triangle. According to another writer, people from space are living at the bottom of the Atlantic, and sometimes they need human sailors and airmen for their research. These ideas were not scientific, but they were good advertisements, which made the books about the Bermuda Triangle immediate successes.
However, the books give little evidence to support their unusual ideas. In addition, these books ignore at least three important facts that suggest natural reasons for many of the occurrences. First, messages from some of the ships and aircraft which later disappeared give us evidence of problems with navigational instruments. Similar stories are told by officers who were on duty on planes and ships which finally managed to come through the Triangle without disaster.
Second, the weather in this part of the Atlantic Ocean is very unpredictable. Dangerous storms that can cause problems even for experienced pilots and sailors can begin suddenly and without warning. Finally, the Bermuda Triangle is very large, and many people, both experienced and inexperienced, sail and fly through it. Perhaps the figure of 1,000 deaths in thirty years shocks some people, but, in fact, the figure is not unusual for an area of ocean that is so large and that is crossed by so many ships.
The evidence which exists, therefore, supports one conclusion about the Bermuda Triangle: we do not need stories about people from space or strange unnatural powers to explain the disappearances.
A. What do the following refer to? 1. ‘them’ (line 6): 2. ‘they’ (line 9): 3. ‘they’ (line 12): 4. ‘if (line 27):
B. Find words in the text which mean the same as the following.
1. took place (paragraph 1):
2. something that supports a belief (paragraph 3):
C. Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F). 1. All the books about the Bermuda Triangle give natural explanations for the things that happen there. 2. The books about the Bermuda Triangle sold very well. 3. The writer of this passage is shocked by the large number of deaths in the Bermuda Triangle between 1945 and 1975. 4. None of the planes or ships which disappeared reported any problems before their disappearance