Reports of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle have been occurring since the 1800s. Over the past 100 years, dozens of sailing vessels and planes have vanished without a trace, adding to the lore of the storied stretch of the Atlantic Ocean and leaving behind a baffled public. Even today, ships, boats, planes, and people still mysteriously go missing there, as this Bermuda Triangle disappearances list attests.
The Patriot - 1812
The daughter of Aaron Burr, the third Vice President of the United States, was onboard The Patriot, a schooner that in 1812 sailed from South Carolina to New York. The ship never arrived. Neither the ship nor its passengers and crew were ever found. America and England were at war, and it was greatly speculated that the schooner may have been mistaken as a blockade runner and attacked. There were never any records found to verify such a scenario.
SS Cotopaxi - 1925
A large freighter, the SS Cotopaxi, disappeared in 1925. Carrying a load of coal from Charleston, South Carolina, the ship's destination was Cuba, but it never made it. The Cotopaxi sent a distress call before it disappeared.
In January of 2020, a favorite divers' wreckage known as The Bear Wreck located 35 miles off the coast of St. Augustine was identified as the Cotopaxi. The lost steam-powered freighter sank during a tropical storm. All 32 people on board perished. The ship was in shocking condition prior to setting sail. The maintenance was practically nonexistent and, to make conditions even more dangerous, many of the cargo hatches were either missing or broken. This meant the storm would have filled up the cargo holds with the water lashing over the decks.
Navy Squadron Flight 19 - 1945
The most famous disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle is Flight 19. In 1945, five US Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers out on a routine training mission vanished. The 13-man rescue Mariner aircraft also disappeared without a trace. Over the years, it has been rumored that the captain of the routine training mission had personal problems and the other pilots being inexperienced were contributing factors. However, that doesn't explain the disappearance of the rescue aircraft.
BSAA Star Tiger Aircraft - 1948
The British South American Airways craft, Star Tiger, took off from Lisbon but returned due to issues with the engine. It took off again a few hours later, stopping to refuel in the Azores, where it stopped overnight due to weather. The next day, the plane and its crew and passengers headed towards its next destination in Bermuda in a windstorm. Several hours later, before reaching Bermuda, the Star Tiger disappeared without a trace.
Grumman Cougar Jet - 1991
One of the spookiest disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle happened in 1991. A pilot flying a Grumman Cougar jet had just spoken to control tower that he was ascending to 29,000 when the plan vanished. One moment, his plane was on the radar and the next it was gone. There were no blips showing a cascade of debris falling and no wreckage or any type of debris was ever found. It was as if the plane vanished in the blink of an eye.
Genesis Freighter - 1999
How does a 465-ton cargo ship just disappear? In 1999, the freighter Genesis sailed out of the Port of Spain. The ship's destination was St. Vincent in the Caribbean Sea. The cargo was concrete slabs, bricks, and much needed water. In this instance, a nearby sailing vessel picked up the ship's radio call for help. The freighter was having problems with its bilge pump that takes accumulated water in the bilge and sends it back out into the ocean. If it fails, then the engine room floods, and the ship sinks. The crew may or may not have time to abandon ship before that happens. Whatever happened after the call for help, the cargo ship was never heard from and it, like so many other vessels in the Bermuda Triangle, disappeared without a trace.
16-Foot Fishing Vessel - 2003
Frank and Romina Leone just bought a new 16-foot boat and on Wednesday afternoon (June 18, 2003), they decided to take it out for a day of fun. They loved to go fishing, and it was a beautiful day to test out their new boat. They set out from Boynton Beach Inlet, Florida and were never heard from again. Both the couple and their new boat vanished. The next day, when the couple failed to show up for their respective jobs, coworkers, friends, and family feared the worst. It was early Friday morning when the Coast Guard launched a rescue mission. The search covered over 35,700 square miles, ranging from Miami to Savannah, Georgia. No wreckage or sign of the couple or the boat was ever found.
Fishing Boat "What's Left" - 2003
A fishing boat with the tragically ironic name of "What's Left" was found capsized on a beach near Cape Canaveral in 2003. Human remains found on the boat were those of the missing boat owner, Gary Lisk, 61, His fishing companions, Neil Eddleman, 47 and son, Neil Allen Eddleman, 13, were never found. The trio left for a day fishing trip that would take them 65 miles southwest of Naples in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the wreckage washed up 400 miles away from where they'd launched in the Atlantic Ocean. How the boat ended up in the ocean baffled authorities. They speculated that the boat may have been caught in the Atlantic Gulf Stream, a slow-moving current that travels up the eastern US coast.
19-Foot Fishing Vessel - 2004
40-year-old fishing enthusiast Glenn Jamison left Hudson, Florida, in his 19-foot fishing boat around 4 am on Sunday, March 23, 2004. He was scheduled to return that night. He didn't return, but his boat was discovered 32 miles west of Egmont Key, Florida. Jamison was missing. He was never found.
Piper PA-23 - 2005
Three people on board a Piper PA- 23 aircraft vanished on June 20, 2005. They were between Treasure Cay, Bahamas and Ft. Pierce, Florida when the plane disappeared. The two controllers failed to notify the pilot of precipitation within his route. It is believed that the pilot flew into a severe thunderstorm, lost control of the aircraft, and crashed into the ocean.
Dominican Republic Flight - 2008
A plane carrying 11 passengers set out from the Dominican Republic to Mayaguana (MYG) in the Bahamas on December 15, 2008. An hour into the flight, the pilot radioed the Turks and Caicos Islands control tower that he had an emergency. This story sounds familiar. The plane had problems and ended up crashing into the ocean. However, an unofficial report claims the plane took off from the Dominican airport and was ascending for 35 minutes when it simply disappeared from radar.
19-Foot Fishing Vessel - 2015
Two teenage boys, Austin Stephanos (14) and Perry Cohen (14), set out in July 2015 for a fun fishing trip in the Bahamas. They left Juniper, Florida and just before their disappearance, the teens posted a two-word Snapchat message that they were in trouble. The largest US Coast Guard search ensued that spanned 15,000 square nautical miles. Their capsized 19-foot boat was found eight months later 100 miles off the Bermuda coast. There was a possible sighting of one of the boys, two days after their disappearance by pilot Bobby Smith and his granddaughter. The pair spotted someone lying on their back on what appeared to be floating debris. The person waved their arms when the pilot circled around. Smith called the coast guard but quickly lost sight of the person.
Investigators discovered the boat's battery was intentionally turned off. A mechanical failure would automatically switch off the battery. Austin's phone was recovered from the boat but was too severely damaged to retrieve any information. The boys were never found.
SS El Faro Cargo Ship - 2015
Perhaps one of the most senseless and tragic Bermuda Triangle disappearances was the sinking of the SS El Faro cargo ship that departed Jacksonville, Florida on October 1, 2015, heading for Puerto Rico. The ship's captain and owners made a monstrous mistake to continue sailing right into severe tropical storm Joaquin that quickly turned into a Category 3 hurricane. The ship's weather equipment suffered from a 21-hour lag time and failed to provide current weather conditions. The ship was found a month later 15,000 feet below the surface. None of the crew's bodies were ever found although the ship's black box was recovered.
Private Plane - 2017
Another Bermuda plane incident happened in May, 2017, when Skylight Group founder and CEO Jennifer Blumin, her 3- and 4-year-old sons, and boyfriend pilot Nathan Ulrich vanished. The plane was at 24,000 feet when it disappeared from radar, and Miami traffic controllers lost radio contact. Blumin was traveling with her children from Puerto Rico to Titusville, Florida in her private plane, piloted by her boyfriend. They were flying just east of Eleuthera, a Bahama Archipelago island, when they vanished. The following day, the US Coast Guard discovered a debris field of the missing plane, 15 miles east of Eleuthera. No one onboard was ever found and no cause of the crash determined.
Mako Cuddy Cabin Vessel - 2020
The disappearance of 20 people onboard a 29-foot Mako Cuddy Cabin vessel is shrouded in secrecy. The ship supposedly left Bimini on December 28, 2020, bound for Lake Worth Beach, Florida. That is all the information ever given about this missing vessel and passengers. The weather was good. There was no communication or distress signal sent. The 20 people were never identified. The purpose of the voyage is also unknown. The secrecy of these details created all types of rumors and speculations about the people operating a drug run, or refugees attempting to enter the U.S. illegally. The US Coast Guard search 17,000 square miles for over 84 hours before calling off the search. No wreckage, debris, or remains were found.
Bermuda Triangle Disappearances List Intensifies the Mystery
The history of the Bermuda Triangle is a trail of unsolved disappearances. Theories about why ships and planes go missing in this region are numerous with the latest explanation being of underwater craters releasing methane gas buildup. With no ongoing database, it's difficult to know if the mysterious activity in the Bermuda Triangle is waning or simply not being documented.