Bermuda Triangle: Expert says issue lies at 'core' of Earth
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The Bermuda Triangle is an area of sea in the North Atlantic Ocean that has been blamed for a string of bizarre disappearances. Over the last two centuries its mysterious waters are said to have claimed around 50 vessels and 20 aircraft. The Bermuda Triangle measures around 500,000 square miles but is not an internationally recognised area and does not appear on maps.
It is generally accepted however that its waters stretch from the east coast of the US up to Bermuda and down towards Puerto Rico.
One of the most legendary Bermuda Triangle disappearances ever recorded is that of Flight 19.
In 1945 after the end of World War Two, five US navy TBM Avenger Torpedo bombers and their 14-strong crew vanished during a routine mission, as did another 13 men sent out to rescue them.
New search efforts to recover the aircraft and find out what happened to Flight 19 have been captured in a new documentary.
The new season of ‘History’s Greatest Mysteries’ looks at the bizarre possibility that one of the crew, who was presumed dead, may have actually survived.
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In episode one of the History Channel US programme, historical investigators David O’Keefe and Wayne Abbott assess a key piece of evidence for the theory that one Flight 19 crew member survived.
A telegram from Flight 19 radioman, Sergeant George Paonessa, was sent to his family after they learned of his apparent death.
The chilling message read: “You have been misinformed about me, am very much alive, Georgie.”
The message was sent to the Paonessas in December 1945 as families prepared to reunite after World War Two.
The family received several telegrams from the authorities during this period before apparently getting one from George himself.
The family had been told that George had gone missing and later that search efforts for him he had been called off as he was dead.
However, on Boxing Day the family then received a telegram that appeared to be from George.
In the documentary Mr O’Keefe and Mr Abbott travel to a suburb of New York to meet Bill Paonessa, George’s nephew.
Bill presents the investigators with a series of documents and photos from his uncle’s time in the Marines.
He says: “The one telegram that threw everybody for a loop was on December 26, my uncle Joe received this telegram, this is a bit strange.
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“George was my dad’s brother and George was the youngest of the brothers.
“My dad was in the Army, George was Marines, flight aviator, gunner and bombardier.
“The disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle always hung over the family and it’s something we have always wanted an answer [for].
“The telegram was allegedly sent by my uncle and he signed it ‘Georgie’, he was the only person that signed his name like that.
“So, it was like wait a minute, we’ve got a letter from the government saying that he’s lost at sea, presumed dead and we’ve given up on the search because it’s been over 10 days.
“And yet we get a telegram from Georgie – alleged – that he’s fine, which one do you want to believe?”
The three men then consider if the message could have been a hoax, however Bill suggests that the telegram is genuine as it came from a Western Union near George’s base.
One theory to explain how George could have survived is that at least one of the Flight 19 planes made it back to land.
After the squadron set off on their mission from Florida on December 5, 1945, the flight’s leader, Lieutenant Charles Taylor became lost.
Mr O’Keefe and Mr Abbott believe the plane carrying George, who was the radioman for Captain Edward Powers, could have ditched the other aircraft and tried to head back to land.
History’s Greatest Mysteries is available on the History Channel US.
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