When discussing the Bermuda Triangle, you would think that the world is divided into two groups.
The Believer divides the world into people who know something strange is going on in the Triangle and others who try to debunk what is obvious to anyone but the most close-minded person.
The Skeptic divides the world into people who make something sensational out of nothing and those who look to the obvious and scientific facts for an explanation.
In reality, there is a third group which shows absolute total indifference with anything to do with Triangle. This is probably the vast majority of society. I'm a Skeptic. As such, I'm continuously attacked by those who believe there is more than meets the eye occuring in the Bermuda Triangle. The purpose of this page is to counter the most common misconceptions and attacks levied against Skeptics of the Bermuda Triangle.
This is actually an over simplification of Kusche's book as well as Skeptics in general. The argument that Kusche may have never been in the Triangle is really inconsequential. You don't need to visit the Victorian England to do research on Victorian England. Kusche actually made contacts with several researchers and because of his extensive bibliography his research methods can be traced and analysed. It may be valid to complain that he did not look at every occurrence within the Triangle but that was not his goal. His goal was to find out what was going on and if the events could be explained by nature, weather, or human error. He found the evidence necessary to do this.
Kusche also did more than look at the Triangle. He looked at those who made claims about the Triangle and determined where their research methods were flawed. Kusche was a reference librarian at a university. As such he was a professional librarian and had received a masters degree in research methods. In short, unlike many people who claim to be researchers, Kusche was actually a trained researcher with a degree to prove it.
Most Skeptics also look towards a BBC documentary produced after Kusche's book which supported Kusche's conclusions. This BBC documentary is the source for the quotes regarding more mysterious accidents occuring in the area around Cincinnati, Ohio.
More importantly, Skeptics use a scientific model when investigating the occurences and assume that there is a logical explanation to the accident. The Believer discounts the logical explanation and assumes something super-natural or paranormal.
The word theory is the first problem in this argument. A theory can be one of two things. The definition used by the Believer is the broadest one out there. A theory is an idea, an assumption or a guess. The definition used by the Skeptic is more narrow. For the Skeptic, a theory is a general principle formulated to account for a certain observable phenomena. Furthermore, the Skeptic looks towards proven theories, such as the theory of flight, or Einstein's Theory of Relativity or known theories regarding weather and human nature and tries to apply those to the occurences. The Believer often will disregard these proven theories if they interfere with the point he is trying to make.
Often Believers in the Triangle will resort to personal attacks on Skeptics rather than answer the questions regarding natural explanations that the Skeptics bring forth. As the quote goes, when you have no defense for your position, shout insults at your opponent.
I do not have the passion for the Bermuda Triangle that Believers do. I also have a variety of other interests. I do research on numerous topics, and when possible I share my conclusions and my research. I feel that I have proven my point regarding the dangerous natural forces that operate within the Triangle? At what point does do you start beating a dead horse?
There may be some truth to this. This is probably because most Skeptics feel they made their point a long time ago and have moved on. The Believers, however, have failed to prove their point so they continue to be on the defensive.
The Skeptic actually believes, for the most part, that nothing out of the ordinary has ever occurred in the Triangle. To say nothing has happened in the last 25 years would infer that things were happening over 25 years ago. This is not the case.
However, if you look at this site you will see that I have looked at recent events, as well as stuff predating the efforts of Kusche and Berlitz. I've still found no evidence of super natural activity.
This is one of those personal attacks. I could argue with just as much force, that Believers in the Triangle refuse to accept the obvious because it doesn't support their opinions. Skeptics are not close-minded. We just want verifiable evidence. Instead we get personal accounts, and undocumented, or worse incomplete statements offered up as evidence.
It is impossible to come up with much more than probable cause in fatal accidents where little evidence is found. But simply because people made comments like "Its like they just vanished off the face of the Earth" doesn't really imply they actually believe that it happened. At the time of Flight 19s disappearance the newspapers reported an assumed fatal accident of a flight of TBM Avengers lost at sea. There was no alien scare. There was no talk of a space time vortex. Nothing. It was simply a tragic accident. The myth came later.
Later on people came forward and got mug time on television by talking about how strange the accident was. Still later, others got mug time by saying it was all just bunk. The Believer believe the first group and wonder why the debunkers didn't come forward earlier. The answer is two-fold. First you have to have something to debunk before you can debunk it. Secondly, it wasn't there time yet. The mass media didn't want to hear from the debunkers when they first started the myth.
I believe both groups were more interested in a profit motive or personal fame more than any real examination of the truth.
The Skeptic relies on scientific evidence to give a probable explanation. Often that is the best you can come up with, when most of the evidence cannot be recovered and you have a fatal accident. The Believer uses this attack on the Skeptic because in actuality the Believer has no way of proving his theory.
This is just patently false. The Skeptic looks for the obvious and investigates other possibilities. What the Skeptic doesn't do, is accept an explanation without foundation or proof.
Many of the accusations leveled by the Believer are similar to this argument. This is bad science and inadequate research on the Believer's part. It is not up to the Skeptic to prove the Believer's theory wrong, especially when no evidence supporting the theory exists. It is up to the Believer to show evidence that their theory is correct. In order for something to be proven scientifically, it needs to have solid, repeatable evidence. An eyewitness is not true scientific evidence, especially when you consider that millions of people inhabit the land within the Triangle and have seen nothing unusual.
The Bermuda Triangle is one of the most highly investigated patches of ocean in the world, yet their is no evidence to suggest anything supernatural has taken place. Yes, some of the accidents are still a mystery. But this isn't because of space aliens or power crystals. It is because no debris or little debris was recovered and so only assumptions can be drawn. The Skeptic draws a rational conclusion based on known theories. The Believer jumps to unsubstantiated conclusions as asks for you to believe them on faith.
The problem for the Skeptic is manifest. It is easy for the Believer to make unsubstantiated claims. It is easy to spin a story with only part of the facts. Typically the stories leave out important information that is necessary to track down where it came from.
This makes it difficult for anyone to double check original sources to verify what has been reported and determine if it is accurate. Often when this done, the Skeptic discovers that the whole story wasn't told. Only enough has been told to support whatever myth the story teller supports. And of course once the Skeptic shows the fallacy of yet another unfounded myth, the Believer will simply counter with "Yeah, but what about this other occurrence?", ad infinitum.
Unfortunately, the Skeptic can not just tell the Believer to "prove it" because the Believer typically proves his assumption with bad science and incomplete research. In short the Believer, has an easier time creating a myth than the Skeptic does defeating the myth. The reason for this is because the Skeptic is going to rely on facts and proven theories.
You as the observer, need to be aware of some common fallacies to look for in the creation of a myth.