Flight 19

Flight 19 was a a group of five TBM Avengers which disappeared on December 5, 1945 off Florida. None of the aircraft returned, nor did a seaplane sent to look for them. Over twenty years later it became the cornerstone case of the Bermuda Triangle.

Map

Just The Facts

  1. The five aircraft were TBM Avengers, all but one carried three men. The seaplane was a PBM Mariner with a crew of thirteen, for the combined total of 27 men on six airplanes.
  2. The flight, and most everything associated with it that day, is the quintessential definition of a SNAFU gone FUBAR.
  3. Steven Spielberg thinks the Avengers and their crews were abducted by aliens, the Mariner crew he's not so sure about.
  4. What really happened was a very special marriage of human error and faulty machinery some people sold as a supernatural event.

The Plan

In 1942 Naval Air Station Ft. Lauderdale was established as huge training airbase for torpedo bombers. Over the three years it had been in operation hundreds, maybe thousands of pilots flew the navigation excercise Flight 19 was assigned on 5 December. 1943 saw George H.W. Bush trained there, so he probably did this excercise too. It was fairly simple, the route traced was a pretty much a triangle and never took them any further than sixty miles from land. These were the objectives:

  1. Fly due east about fifty miles to some shoals for a bit of practice bombing.
  2. Continue east for another sixty miles to the first turn.
  3. Turn northwest and proceed to the second turn, about fifty miles.
  4. Turn southwest and return to NAS Ft. Lauderdale.

There were four student pilots and one instructor, who was supposed to score the practice bombing in addition to making sure they didn't get lost. The students of Flight 19 had flown two similar exercises in this area, so they actually knew it pretty well. Their instructor, having just transferred in from NAS Miami, was more familiar with the Florida Keys.

That's no biggie though, right? Surely an experienced instructor knows how to navigate using a map and compass, but even if he couldn't, the students knew where they were going. Previous flights were reporting good weather that day, what could go wrong?

The FU status gauge.

A SNAFU

Plenty, that's what. Things didn't go very well from the beginning, they were scheduled for wheels up at 1:45 but the instructor didn't arrive until 1:15. Big deal, you say, he still had like half an hour so he wasn't late. Pilots actually have a lot to do before any flight, especially in the military. There's changing into a flight suit, checking survival equipment, and a briefing before they even go out to the plane. Then they had to start it up, taxi to the runway and takeoff before the wheels could come up. Also compounding matters was December, and the early sunsets it's known for. (Up Over anyway, Down Under they have long days in December and White Christmas is a joke unless you go all the way under.) The sun was going to set around 5:30, and these students hadn't been trained for night operations.

So who was the guy they were waiting for? Lt. Charles Carroll Taylor who, like L. Ron Hubbard, was a veteran of the war which had just concluded a few months prior. Unlike Hubbard, Taylor had actually been in combat and went through a total of three aircraft in the Pacific. The problem with this was that two of the planes Taylor sent to Davy Jones' Locker were totally capable of flight, stricken by fuel tanks which had simply run dry.

That's right, Lt. Taylor was sometimes unable to locate the carrier. But hey, aircraft carriers are ships, which are usually moving. He may have been able to navigate right to where he thought the ship would be, and they had decided to be somewhere else. Twice. He was shot down the third time, and to be fair, was able to fly several combat missions without getting lost. Plus, Ft. Lauderdale is pretty stationary.

Pictured: TBM Avenger ditching. Taylor was really good at this in calm weather, during the day.

The situation did not improve upon his arrival, once there he immediately sought a superior and asked to be taken off the flight. He didn't give a reason, other than he didn't want to, and this being the Navy and all was told no.

Right here is probably a taste of what would cause problems later. Some folks think he had a premonition of doom and was too afraid to cite that as his reason. We really have no way to know what was bothering Carroll, besides his middle name, that day. We do know he faced death more than once, flying combat missions, getting shot down and lost in the vast Pacific Ocean twice. Suddenly fearing a meeting with the Reaper on a mission where nobody was shooting at him, off the Florida coast doesn't sound very logical. Unless he was having some kind of mental break down.

Whatever his malfunction was that day, Flight 19 took off at 2:10, twenty five minutes late. So far we're looking at your typical SNAFU; An instructor new to the area, who had a talent for getting lost, burns daylight with his late arrival and doesn't feel like flying when he actually does. Remember though, the students knew where they were going, and so long as Taylor just followed them, things would turn out ok.

FU status is yellow, repeat yellow.

Goes FUBAR

And they did, for like an hour and a half or so. Flight 19 successfully made it to the target area and conducted their practice bombing. Presumably they then proceeded to the first waypoint. Just when things were looking better, the situation started to become a bit surreal.

Somewhere past point X Taylor lost his mind and all memory of flying away from the Keys, or east, since takeoff.

Around 3:30 Taylor suddenly realized his damn students had taken him over the Florida Keys. Taylor'd been over them many times, so he knew where he was. Only now they were suddenly all weird, in that if one flew northeast along their length that person would eventually reach Florida. Whereas these islands seemed to be leading to more water, what the hell, did Florida sink? The islands also didn't quite look the same as he remembered, from last month. By the time he realized he was actually lost, they had flown past where the students were familiar with. Making the whole damn flight lost too.

We need to mention that flying an airplane is the "easy" part, what's actually hard is getting where you want to go. It seems simple, just point your plane on the right heading and keep it that way until you're there. If that's your concept of aerial navigation, prepare to be blown away, silly autodidact pilot. What you'll find below is an "easy" navigation problem writers of Naval Aviation News threw in for fun, and a couple of relevant cartoons pilots could find on other pages. Taylor may have actually seen these himself,

ZT Rendezvous, LCT, Longitudinal Correction, Wind Drift, Navigation, WTF? Over.

Now that you're aware there is more to navigation than just pointing in the right direction, we rejoin Lt. Taylor, in the middle of his personal nightmare. Well maybe not personal anymore, he was bringing thirteen other dudes along for the ride when he unknowingly invited a few more around 3:40. At that time, Lt. Robert Fox was taking off from NAS Ft. Lauderdale with his group of students, we assume this was Flight 20, heading out on the very same exercise.

We don't know if he had a war record, but based on what was about to happen, we can be reasonably sure he knew what the hell he was doing. Fox was surprised when he heard a guy on his radio asking someone named Powers what his compass reading was. Powers responded he didn't know where the hell they were, and that they must have gotten lost after the last turn. Knowing there were other flights on navigation training exercises, Fox decided to chime in and help out. His identification was Fox Tare Seven Four, all the TBMs from Ft. Lauderdale carried the prefix FT and number combination which, for convenience sake, we'll be using as an abbreviation thusly:

"This is FT-74, plane or boat calling Powers please identify yourself so someone can help you." He said, and was met with silence, followed seconds later by the voice he was talking to, asking for any suggestions. Presumably not* saying something like, "Son-a-ma-batches, you fargin' iceholes are out training, I know this! Quit bullshteining me corksuckers or your bells are gonna be in a sling!" He learned the guy talking to Powers was FT-28, aka Taylor.

Anachronism

"FT-28, this is FT-74, what is your trouble?" Fox asked, to which Taylor's reply was: "Both my compasses are out and I am trying to find Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I am over land but it's broken. I am sure I'm in the Keys but I don't know how far down and I don't know how to get to Fort Lauderdale." Fox paused for a moment, perhaps taken aback how they managed to end up over one hundred miles southwest when they were supposed to have flown east.

Unsure what kind of idiot** this Taylor guy was, he said ". . . put the sun on your port (left) wing if you are in the Keys and fly up the coast until you get to Miami. Fort Lauderdale is 20 miles further, your first port after Miami. The air station is directly on your left from the port." Of course Taylor should've know that, after all he'd managed to get himself from the Keys to Miami more than once in the past.

Realizing FT-28 was lost with a capital l, Fox then said: "What is your present altitude? I will fly south and meet you." Taylor didn't want Fox's help, and said so like this: "I know where I am now. I'm at 2300 feet. Don't come after me." We all probably know why: Getting lost while teaching how to not get lost kinda hurts one's reputation on the subject, it's like a federal agent shooting himself in the leg during a talk on gun safety. So in addition to whatever was going on with Taylor before, now he's probably a bit humiliated.

If you've seen the video, you know this guy really enjoyed talking about how qualified he was to carry that pistol. Rather than link to a You Tube video which will most likely be removed, we encourage you to try googling cop shoots self in classroom to find an actual video. By the way this asshole sued the DEA for letting a kid put the video on the internet. It was probably their fault he shot himself too. Which it kinda might be if they issued the gun or taught him how to use it.

Not buying Taylor suddenly having figured out his position Fox replied: "Roger, you're at 2300. I'm coming to meet you anyhow." Taylor proved him right moments later by saying, "We have just passed over a small island. We have no other land in sight." Again Fox was stunned by the apparent stupidity of what he heard, and before he could respond Taylor added: "Can you have Miami or someone turn on their radar gear and pick us up? We don't seem to be getting far. We were out on a navigation hop and on the second leg I thought they were going wrong, so I took over and was flying them back to the right position. But I'm sure, now, that neither one of my compasses is working." Fox replied, "You can't expect to get here in ten minutes. You have a 30- to 35-knot head or crosswind. Turn on your emergency IFF gear, or do you have it on?"

Knowing what IFF does will probably make the rest of this article easier to understand, so here it is, quick and dirty. If ya already do, feel free to skip the next paragraph. We don't want to insult your intelligence.

IFF stands for Identify Friend or Foe, allowing radar operators to tell who wasn't supposed to be there, and cut down on the amount of friendly fire received by airplanes that failed to identify themselves. The navy was forced to rely on humor, or attempts at it, to get pilots to do so before. (Though the prospect of not being shot out of the sky seemed like incentive enough to us.)

You can ignore uncle Moneybags, your dame or your boss and have any one of them do the same.

Taylor told Fox he had not turned it on. Yet around 4:20 Air-Sea Rescue Task Unit Four (ASRTU-4) at Fort Everglades heard this from Taylor: "I am at angels 3.5 (3500 feet). Have on emergency IFF. Does anyone in the area have a radar screen that could pick us up?" ASRTU-4 acknowledged but didn't actually have radio direction finding (RDF) equipment, so they called up NAS Ft. Lauderdale who did. They in turn contacted NAS Miami and in all more than 20 land facilities to tell everyone what a loser Taylor was. Kidding! The more stations using RDF gear to triangulate a signal's position, the more accurate that position will be.

If he wasn't embarrassed before, Taylor probably was at this point. He could rest uncomfortably knowing half the Navy seemed to be aware he was lost. Again.

ASRTU-4 suggested someone, perhaps one of the students, with a functioning compass take the lead. Taylor replied that he would have someone else take lead, and then did no such thing. Makes sense right? After all, the idiot students managed to get him in this situation to begin with. Give command to one of the guys who snuck the Florida panhandle by him? So he thought at least; It never entered his mind that all of his effort was actually sending them further into the Atlantic.

Lt. Fox had been flying south towards the Keys and started to notice that his reception of Taylor's transmission was fading. Almost like they were getting further and further apart, as if Taylor and company were not in the Keys at all. Later, while giving testimony to the board of investigation into this fiasco, Lt. Fox recalled that ". . . as his transmissions were fading, he must have been going away north as I headed south. I believe at the time of his first transmission, he was either over the Biminis or Bahamas. I was about 40 miles south of Fort Lauderdale and couldn't hear him any longer." Most likely because his radio failed at that point, forcing a return to Ft. Lauderdale. He wanted to take another plane up to continue searching but was told no, there were already other planes getting ready to go searching.

Unless you know each direction in degrees already, this'll help with the next part.

Around 4:30 Taylor said: "One of the planes in the flight thinks if we went 270 degrees we could hit land." Which was true, assuming they turned west then they probably had enough fuel to make it back over Florida, if not Ft. Lauderdale. A crash landing on the ground is usually preferable to a water landing. Fifteen minutes later Taylor announced: "We are heading 030 degrees for 45 minutes, then we will fly north to make sure we are not over the Gulf of Mexico." That's right, Taylor wanted to go almost the exact opposite way for most of the following hour, then turn to fly parallel to Florida. Just before five ASRTU-4 heard two of them of them say "Dammit, if we could just fly west we would get home; head west, dammit." Despite these students being 100% correct, they stayed right with Taylor. IFF transmissions were not being received so ASRTU-4 asked Taylor to change radio frequencies, which he was totally not going to do, and even said why: "I cannot switch frequencies. I must keep my planes intact."

At about 5:00 he reported that they were going to "Change course to 090 degrees for 10 minutes." Fifteen minutes later Taylor seemed to have taken the student's advice and said they'd fly west "until we hit the beach or run out of gas." By 6:00 they had not yet made landfall, and Taylor was starting to think that by "Holding course 270 degrees we didn't go far enough east . . .we may as well just turn around and go east again."

FU status gauge near the end.

Twenty minutes later FT-28's last message was received: "All planes close up tight . . .we'll have to ditch unless landfall . . .when the first plane drops below 10 gallons, we all go down together." This was about 6:20, the sun had been down for almost an hour, and local weather was less than optimal. Actually a British tanker in the same area Flight 19 was believed to be preparing to ditch into reported "tremendous" seas and very high winds.

Pictured: What we think a tremendous sea means. Not ideal for a crash landing, especially at night. This was the MS Stolt Surf in a 1977 storm by the way, and those tall goalpost looking things are over 100 feet high, making the wave beyond seem pretty tremendous.

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*Probably because Johnny Dangerously wouldn't be released until 1984. Going back?

**It's not what you want to do normally, especially the closer you are to either pole, but if you're without a compass and trying to locate something the size of Florida: You can figure out which way is north using the sun. If you're looking at the sunset, north is to your right and it's on the left if you're seeing sunrise. Shall you return?

And Beyond

Around 6:30, as it became clear that Flight 19 was in for a water landing, and dedicated rescue planes failed to find them, other aircraft scheduled for their own training missions were brought into the search. At NAS Bannana River this included two Martin PBM Mariner flying boats, each with thirteen men aboard.

You might have noticed both plane types involved seem to share two letters in common, BM. It doesn't stand for Bowel Movement, here's what they really mean: TBM Torpedo Bomber built by GM, PBM Patrol Bomber built by Martin (or GM, they built a lot of stuff during the war.) The complete list of weird designations can be found here, if you don't believe us.

Earlier we mentioned several ground stations were going to use RDF to narrow down Taylors location, remember? At 5:50 the fix, using data from six stations, was complete and it was determined they were somewhere inside the black circle on our fancy map.

The two Mariners were tasked with conducting a search of that area, PBM-5, Bureau of Aeronautics number (Buno) 59225 took off to find Flight 19 at 7:27. A mere three minutes later their last radio transmission, advising they were airbone and en route to the search area, was received.

Twenty minutes later, 7:50, sailors aboard the tanker S.S. Gaines Mills noticed an unusual ball of fire appear suddenly on the horizon. Unusual in peacetime anyway. Here's what they said: "At 1950, observed a burst of flames, apparently an explosion, leaping flames 100 feet high and burning for ten minutes. Position 28 degrees 59 minutes north, 80 degrees 25 minutes west. At present, passing through a big pool of oil. Stopped, circled area using searchlights, looking for survivors. None found."

At the same time, aboard USS Solomons, a radar operator noted that the blip he'd been tracking in that exact position, suddenly vanished from his screen. Obviously the PBM crashed and burned, but the reason for this has eluded researchers. You'll find a few folks who think there was a gas line leak of some kind, and then at the exact wrong time somebody aboard tried lighting a cigarette. Wikipedia mentions crews being searched prior to flights in an effort to ensure no lighters were brought aboard, which actually makes about as much sense as a screen door on a submarine. Don't get us wrong, a lighter can totally ignite gasoline fumes in the air, but so can several other things normally found on an airplane. The radio, radar, exposed wiring, electric controls, and static discharge are just a few sources of ignition aboard the aircraft.

Besides, if the plane went fireball while still airborne why didn't they notice it before flames were spotted on the surface? Again, please don't think we're saying it's impossible for them to have missed a flaming boat with wings plunging into the drink. We just think other explanations, like a runaway propeller or CFIT accident are equally, if not, more probable. Some of you might be asking just what the hell those are, well a runaway propellar is what happens when it breaks free from the engine and goes flying away on its own. Many times the prop misses the plane it used to be attached to. Sometimes it mowed through the cockpit, other times into different engines, and even other planes.

This B-29 was decapitated by one of its props while landing. Everyone lived, but what if this happened at 10,000 feet on a dark night? Probably wouldn't be so many crewmembers in a photo after that.

CFIT (pronounced like seefit) stands for Controlled Flight Into Terrain, otherwise known as crashing because visibility outside is limited, the pilot wasn't paying attention to his/her instruments and flew into the ground. Be it a mountain, flat plain, or water the plane crashes into it's all CFIT. The ocean, more specifically its surface, can be tricky to spot even during daytime.

It's not impossible too imagine everyone looking for distress beacons (lights) out their windows while also not noticing the altimeter winding down to 0. In case anyone out there has difficulty believing two pilots could neglect an altimeter too long, it has happened both before and after. On another dark December night In 1972, an Eastern Airlines L-1011 crashed because the flight crew couldn't figure out if their nose wheel had lowered properly or the light indicating it did was burned out. There was more to it of course, as the linked NTSB report in pdf format says. The bottom line was that while they focused on and tried to fix this problem, the plane found its way into the Everglades a few miles from Miami International Airport.

WTF HAPPENED?

We really don't know for sure what happened, but with the evidence at hand we know what didn't.

So what do we think happened? It boils down to the question we asked ourselves; How'd the instructor manage to both get his students fatally lost and disregard all attempts to help? Well, for starters, there's the fact that he didn't want to fly that day and wouldn't say why. Never mind that this was the Navy, generally in any situation where one is being paid to do a job the boss'll want to know why you can't work. It's really not an unfair question, but one he was unwilling to answer, which brings to mind reasons he may have been reticent to share:

  1. What if he was hungover? Given the noisy environment of an Avenger cockpit, in addition to the generally sunny conditions in Florida, a hung over pilot would probably not be in the mood for a flight.
  2. He was having some kind of mental breakdown.
  3. Maybe he just hadn't slept the prior night, or the night before because of the damn Benzedrine he was taking to lose weight after he quit smoking.
  4. Perhaps some woman hit him on the head with a rolling pin, and he was simply bleeding into his brain.
  5. It's not inconceivable that a minor bromance he'd been having with a local lifeguard, was becoming something much more and he'd been up all night exploring the possibilities.
  6. While draining his main vein that morning, perchance he spied several chancres on his penis.

For all we know, it could've been a mix of several. What if he met some dame at a diner a few days prior and made plans to get together later that same night. Upon leaving he ran into Phil, a local lifeguard he'd befriended last summer. He had strange feelings for Phil and even stranger dreams since they last met. They chatted for what seemed a short time when Phil leaned over and kissed him, on the mouth. No tongue though, and Taylor was surprised to find he'd wanted some. Maybe it was all that time at sea, or the lack of sleep for the previous forty eight hours because of the Benzedrine he'd been taking, but Taylor forgot where he was.

Just as he was about to follow up on his strange new desire, the waitress he was supposed to see that evening came storming out of the door. He remembered she had something in her hand and wore an expression on her face he'd never seen on anyone ever before that chilled him to the bone. His next memory was waking up at 12:30 pm, December 5 1945, naked in what he hoped was Phil's bed with the worst hangover he'd ever had.

What he didn't know started just before losing consciousness. Seems the patrons inside couldn't help noticing man love blossoming outside, over the course of two hours. When Phil made his move, the waitress was asked if one of those love sausages was the guy she had a date with. The same guy she spent the last 120 minutes describing to anyone who would listen while she waited tables, oblivious to the goings on outside. Grabbing the nearest blunt object of convenience, a rolling pin, she proceeded to cancel her plans with Taylor using it on his head. Back in bed he realized there was a bucket he managed to miss while vomiting, there were also bumps all over his dick and it was time for work.

Her name was Doris, she looked kinda like Clint Howard and was having the best damn day of her life before this happened.

None of that actually occurred, it was simply an exaggerated hypothetical scenario calculated to be as far from the truth as possible. We treated this like how Hollywood treats head trauma, which is actually less like a light switch and more like brain damage. However since we don't know what really happened, obviously if it did, we could forgive him for not wanting to explain why he wasn't in shape for a flight. We do know for sure, without a doubt, that at one point Taylor was convinced they were over the Florida Keys. His brain had a major flatulence event which made him think the students had flown him a couple hundred miles southwest, and he somehow missed flying over Florida while they did. That sentence makes no sense, but then neither did Taylor that day.

Though you might be inclined to think screw ups like this almost never happen, he's actually not the first pilot to ever end up hundreds of miles off course while flying over water. Remember Ameila Earhart? It still happens today, without the water part even, like when those two bozos missed Minneapolis because they were talking about "scheduling".

In 1943 a B-24 called Lady Be Good ended up deep in the Libyan desert, as opposed to Soluch, which was on the coast. The men aboard bailed out just as fuel was about to be exhausted. Expecting to hit the water they landed in desert, then realized they'd missed the coast and flown too far south. They didn't know exactly how far south though, so they walked north and were thirsty for the rest of their lives. One of the poor bastards, the last one, walked over a hundred miles through the Libyan desert on almost zero water. Turns out the luckiest crew member was the guy whos parachute didn't open. Why? That last survivor we were just talking about, only had like 300 more miles of sand and sun to go when death took him. So yeah, if we were gonna die either way we'd rather be killed on impact as opposed to dehydration over several days.

Turns out If they'd of just walked south about sixteen miles, they would have probably encountered their plane. Which actually made a pretty good self landing. Why would they want to get back to an airplane they saw fit to abandon? Simple, it had water and its radio still worked. Of course these alone weren't a guarantee of being rescued. Still, making radio calls in the shade while keeping hydrated was a lot more likely to work than walking through 400 miles of desert.

The broken bomber also had other points in its favor. What if someone they didn't want to be found by showed up? Like nomads, desert bandits or even sandpeople? Well, wouldn't you know it, also turns out at least one of the Lady's Ma Duces was still functional. On the flat terrain pictured below, behind the wreck, with one M2 and the amount of ammo carried by a B-24, not even a tyranosaur would've been a problem.* We know what you're thinking, wouldn't they have be more likely to encounter German or Itallian troops than a dinosaur? Considering that the Axis were kicked out of Libya by early November 1942, in April 1943 there were just as many living dinosaurs as there were enemy forces, or anyone else. So maybe self defense wasn't a problem, but hey, maybe they could use the tracers as a kind of signal? You know, if they were able to get a hold of someone with the radio, so they could help guide searchers. "Yeah, I don't know where we are so I can't tell ya where to go except south... Landmarks? Aside from our broken bomber the only thing visible is sand, going out to the horizon. How about you just fly this way, and when we hear you we'll fire tracers in the air or set the tires on fire?"

The Avengers of Flight 19 ended up much like Lady Be Good, except under water, which is usually much harder to spot from the air. It's amazing the Lady ended up so intact, given the self landing and all. Also note the missing number four engine, the USAF thinks it was still running upon landing and broke free. Seems plausible based on another photo, showing pieces of it strewn well ahead of the wreckage.

The biggest question is why did the students keep following Taylor even though they knew he was lost? Well, turns out there are actually reasons why none of them told Taylor to piss off when he said to fly east. First being military training, they are trained to follow their leader basically without question. But then, that's the kind of thinking that gets us folks like this guy:

Adolf Eichmann, SS official in charge of deporting shipping European Jewry to their fate and how they met it. Followed orders without question, it got him killed too.** He was a posterboy for the old "I was just following orders" defense after his execution.

We doubt any dissenters would've been court martialed, each pilot was responsible for the safety of the crew aboard his aircraft. All one would have needed to say was, "The guy wanted us to fly east until we reached Florida, and I knew it was much closer going west. Since my gunner didn't know how to swim, I figured following our leader to Africa was not conducive to his safety, seeing as how that would've meant a water landing."

There is another thing we should mention, the fourteen men of Flight 19 weren't the only pilots from NAS Ft. Lauderdale to have died during training missions. Between 1943 and 1945 a total of 94 men met their fate learning how to fly torpedo bombers. We're not saying they all met equally unknown ends, indeed it was probably unheard of to have an entire group go missing, but the point is that even training can be dangerous.

Table from the 1 August 1943 Naval Aviation News. Wanna see for yourself?

Last, but certainly not least, was an advantage afforded to people by being lost in an airplane: They can see farther the higher they get. Taylor was farting around at 2300 feet when Fox first made contact, which is by this data, is less than 60 miles. Recall that was the rough maximum distance from land they would be, meaning if Taylor had climbed to 10,000 feet**** upon noticing himself over the Keys, he would have been able to see Florida and the Bahamas. Granted this assumes good visibility, but that's what they supposedly had at the time.

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*The M2 was effective out to just over a mile, if the Lady's crew saw one bearing down on them at 30 - 40 mph, they'd have over a minute and a gun that could fire more than 800 rounds in that time. We're not saying it would take one or two shots, but between five to ten might start slowing it down and around twenty is almost certain to stop the toothy dino.

**We're not saying that the men of Flight 19 were anything like Adolf Eichmann in a moral way. They just both chose to blindly follow all orders from their leaders, despite knowing better and died because of their choice. Eichmann was caught*** by the Mossad in Buenos Aires, brought back to Israel, put on trial, and hanged. It can happen to anyone not willing to think for themselves, so remember that the next time someone wants to think for you.

***The Argentine government at the time called it kidnapping, but really, who gives a crap what they thought? This was after Juan Peron took over and before they had their asses kicked by the British. After the latter event things changed for the better down there when people realized their government was only good at making their lives miserable.

****10,000 feet, hell, why not go above 25,000 and see more than 200 miles? They had oxygen right? Sure they could've flown higher, but the aircraft weren't pressurized. Which means as air pressure around you decreases your body starts to expand. Not in a License to Kill, full on explode, kind of expansion rather more of a brain and lung swelling variety. Oxygen doesn't do anything for a person whose lungs are full of fluid, and lungs are irrelevant when that same person's brain is too damaged by swelling to actually keep their heart beating.

The Bermuda Triangle

No discussion of Flight 19 would be complete without at least a brief mention of the Bermuda Triangle, and we intend to do just that. The least, we mean, because there really isn't much to say about the Bermuda Triangle except that millions of people go through it each year and it had nothing to do with what happened. Check this out, it's a realtime picture of air traffic over the southern part we took a few minutes ago from FlightAware:

It's like this all the time. Look at the white highlighted plane, that's an American Airlines 757 on it's way from Miami to San Juan, it probably goes back and forth all the live long day. Are they tempting fate, or is the Bermuda Triangle a load of shit? Shouldn't there be more disappearences as greater numbers of airplanes encroach on the forbidden polygon?