Sunday, March 15, 2015

"The Bermuda Triangle" Season 1 Episode 4

The episode "The Bermuda Triangle" first aired on April 27, 1977 . It was directed by H.G. Stark and written and produced by Alan Landsburg.

Back to back good episodes. This is the "In Search Of... " I remember watching in syndication as a child on Saturday or Sunday mornings on cable channel 38 out of Boston. 

"In the open waters of the Atlantic there abides a phenomenon difficult to explain. A danger zone that seems to swallow ships and planes." Once again Nimoy's words are pure poetry.

We are plunged into the work of the Coast Guard 7th District out of Miami, Florida. There is a lot of traffic they monitor and average 25 rescue calls a day. Most are routine. But we learn there are a few that are different. Urgent cries for help that seem to come from nowhere and have no rational explanation. They seem to occur in an area between the Bahamas and Bermuda that Nimoy tells us is known as the Bermuda Triangle.

Nimoy makes reference to some national science organization that made a statement on a televised program that science doesn't need to investigate the Bermuda Triangle. This doesn't surprise me at all, but I'm really curious what program and organization he is referring to. He mentions it was recent so I'm guessing it was televised in 76 or 77.

Nimoy suggests that the personal accounts of eyewitnesses provide evidence that these incidents in the Triangle cannot be explained away as the "national science organization" suggests. And so we hear the personal story from Frank Flynn. Nimoy does a nice job of letting Flynn tell his story and implying that Flynn should be considered believable as he had only one mysterious incident in an otherwise normal and distinguished career in the Coast Guard. Hearing Flynn's own voice tell the story of a strange grey mass is quite compelling.

The man you see above, Elvis aka Bob Spielman, has flown repeatedly in the area of the Triangle with no incidents. However, a plane he owned was involved in a mysterious event. Friends flew his plane in perfect weather conditions into the Triangle and contact was lost. The plane never arrived at its destination. The plane mysteriously crashed. Investigators determined that a wing was torn off the plane with a strange powerful force that didn't effect any other part of the aircraft. Certainly strange things have happened to planes. One has to look no further than the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 as an example of strange occurrences with planes.

Radio host Ray Smithers has an interesting story to tell us. Ray has hosted a late night call in talk show dedicated to the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. I guess this is an early version of Coast to Coast? Ray was working for WFTL in Fort Lauderdale, Florida one night when, one point, the lines all went dead and jammed, and after trying a number of lines, finally one was open. On the other end there was a male caller who stated the following.

"SMITHERS: "Bermuda Triangle, you're on the air"
CALLER: "There is one of you on this program who will understand what I am going to say. In every living thing on this planet has an aura. It is its communication with the Millionth Counsel who govern this planet. The area that you are discussing now is the aura of this planet. It is the communicative channel through which the Millionth Counsel governs this planet.
SMITHERS: "Which counsel, sir?"
CALLER: "The Millionth Counsel"
SMITHERS: "The Millionth?"
CALLER: "Millionth . . .Anyone going into the area when the communicative channel is open do not disappear, but they are in the timeless void. They are all perfectly alive and well. It is the only area through which the Counsel can communicate with this planet."

So even with my 21st century brain listening to this from the 70's, I have to admit the whole thing is a bit creepy. It doesn't mean it is real, but it succeeded in creeping me out. The Millionth Counsel? WEIRD. A search for this group online finds references to this incident and little else of substance. But this is the kind of thing I remember about this show, and I definitely found myself creeped out. Good entertainment! Smithers concludes that something strange is happening in the Triangle. That is certain, but the caller was probably just a crank call. Probably anyway...


The story of Flight 19 is recounted and described as perhaps the most famous incident in the Bermuda Triangle. This squadron of Navy planes was lost in December of 1945. Carlton Hamilton is interviewed to discuss the incident. He was personally involved in that he was a tower operator in Florida when that flight was lost. His personal recounting of the incident is also quite compelling. 5 planes and 14 men lost without a trace. During the search afterward, one of the rescue planes was also lost. Hamilton says he finds the Triangle compelling because of all the disappearances with no trace ever found. He had his personal incident in which he actually survived. Hamilton reveals what appears to be a pattern in most Bermuda Triangle incidents. Hamilton believes something unknown or mysterious is happening. He thinks it may be some sort of anomaly that lies below the ocean's surface.

"In light of the testimony of four individuals it seems farfetched to presume that the Bermuda Triangle mystery has been solved. To say, in essence, that science need not investigate is to destroy the rationale for any scientific quest. The unknown force, it appears, is there in the Bermuda Triangle begging for investigation." Once again, Nimoy sums up the purpose perfectly.

I'll say it again. Good episode! It included great words from Nimoy, compelling witnesses, and a creepy factor. These are the three ingredients that make this show so good when they are working well together. I was a little disappointed after the first two episodes, but this one has definitely rekindled my excitement for this show.

You can watch this episode "The Bermuda Triangle" below.

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