The Bermuda Triangle
From the days of the brave explorer Christopher Columbus and his contemporaries to the modern age of the supersonic airliner and luxury passenger ship, there have been nearly 200 reported incidents, ranging from the disappearance of ships and aircraft large and small alike to unusually high levels of radiation and magnetic impulses radiating from an imaginary area located off the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States, known as the Bermuda Triangle. While this area, formed by the landmass of the island of Bermuda and the American cities of Miami, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, does not even officially exist in terms of a designation by professional geographers, its mystery and controversy is the stuff of legend and the focus of this speech.
By the end of this speech, not only will a better understanding of this unique paranormal phenomenon be gained, but perhaps more importantly, the interest of this audience will have been piqued to the point where you, too, will be compelled to launch your own investigation into something which has been intensely studied, vastly pondered, yet still vastly unexplained.
What the Triangle is-and is not
It would be an easy temptation to simply say that the Bermuda Triangle is an unexplained mystery and leave it at that, this statement would not only be inaccurate, but incomplete as well. To begin, one should understand what the Bermuda Triangle is. Earlier, the geographic boundaries of the Triangle, as it is simply referred to by devotees of the paranormal, were discussed. Also, of course, it strangely is an area that has been the site for bizarre disappearances of people and craft of all sorts for centuries as well as a place where scientific testing has shown that higher than normal radiation and magnetism have been recorded. However, the unique characteristics of this area do not explain to a satisfactory degree why the Triangle has hosted more than its fair share of odd events. While intelligent people basically agree that there is no such thing as a “magical” or “cursed” area, this only explains what the Triangle is or is not- it does not explain the things that this part of the globe has hosted. Perhaps there is a more logical explanation for all of this.
Explaining the Unexplained
Without conducting thousands of hours of research, interviews and the like, there is a possible explanation for the “power” of the Triangle which is both apparent and sadly neglected in most discussions of the topic. This is the sort of compulsion on the part of the human mind to be able to have a definite explanation for everything that exists or happens; basically, for everything to fit into neat little boxes so that the mind can be somehow satisfied that there is a logic and reason to all that exists. However, in the case of the Triangle, like so many other things, there is no clear cut reason for what has gone on there, leading to the endless tales about the Triangle being somehow magical, cursed or possessed by some unseen force. More likely, this is just a heavily travelled area of adverse weather conditions, both of which give the area a higher than usual number of incidents. Of course, this lacks the allure or interest of a “haunted” place, but is more based in reality and could possibly satisfy the human curiosity.
In conclusion, we can draw a few safe assumptions, not only about the Bermuda Triangle, but also about the unknown and the inner-workings of the human mind. Not only are there some things that can never be explained, but there are also explanations which are not the most exciting, but would appear to be the most accurate. Therefore, in conclusion, what can best be said about the unknown is that the answer may be right around the corner!
Specific Purpose: To attempt to explain the age-old phenomenon of the Bermuda Triangle.
Central Idea: Not every unexplained mystery is accurately classified as unexplainable.
A. The Bermuda Triangle has been claiming “victims” since the days of Columbus
B. While the Triangle can be seen on a map, it has never been officially designated
A. The Triangle has been measured as an area of high radiation and magnetism
B. The Triangle has not been proven to be “magical” or “cursed”
C. Many people seek fantastic explanations for ordinary things or places
A. Some things are truly unexplainable
B. Other things can be explained, but not necessarily in the most exciting way
C. The unknown can often be explained by the uninteresting
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Randi, James. Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1982.
“What Is Behind Distortions of Reality?” USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education) Apr. 1999: 6.