Download - Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed

  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    The greatest mystery about the world is the fact that it is comprehensible. There are many things that thehuman brain cant understand and very few things it can discover. There are some things that are beyondhuman knowledge and some which are beyond our understanding. This article deals with those facts thatdeals with the mysteries related with flying and its art.

    Secrets Of Insect Flight Revealed: Modeling The AerodynamicSecrets Of One Of Nature's Most Efficient FlyersScienceDaily (Sep. 17, 2009) Researchers are one step closer to creating amicro-aircraft that flies with the manoeuvrability and energy efficiency of aninsect after decoding the aerodynamic secrets of insect flight.

    Dr John Young, from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, and a team of animal flightresearchers from Oxford University's Department of Zoology, used high-speed digital video cameras to film

    locusts in action in a wind tunnel, capturing how the shape of a locust's wing changes in flight. They usedthat information to create a computer model which recreates the airflow and thrust generated by thecomplex flapping movement.The breakthrough result, published in the journal Science this week, means engineers understand for thefirst time the aerodynamic secrets of one of Nature's most efficient flyers information vital to the creationof miniature robot flyers for use in situations such as search and rescue, military applications and inspectinghazardous environments."The so-called `bumblebee paradox' claiming that insects defy the laws of aerodynamics, is dead. Modernaerodynamics really can accurately model insect flight," said Dr Young, a lecturer in the School of

    Aerospace, Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the Australian Defence Force Academy ([email protected])."Biological systems have been optimised through evolutionary pressures over millions of years, and offermany examples of performance that far outstrips what we can achieve artificially."An insect's delicately structured wings, with their twists and curves, and ridged and wrinkled surfaces, areabout as far away as you can get from the streamlined wing of an aircraft," Dr Young said."Until very recently it hasn't been possible to measure the actual shape of an insect's wings in flight partlybecause their wings flap so fast, and partly because their shape is so complicated."Locusts are an interesting insect for engineers to study because of their ability to fly extremely longdistances on very limited energy reserves."Once the computer model of the locust wing movement was perfected, the researchers ran modifiedsimulations to find out why the wing structure was so complex.In one test they removed the wrinkles and curves but left the twist, while in the second test they replacedthe wings with rigid flat plates. The results showed that the simplified models produced lift but were muchless efficient, requiring much more power for flight."The message for engineers working to build insect-like micro-air vehicles is that the high lift of insect wingsmay be relatively easy to achieve, but that if the aim is to achieve efficiency of the sort that enables inter-continental flight in locusts, then the details of deforming wing design are critical," Dr Young said.The Oxford team were Dr Simon Walker, Dr Richard Bomphrey, Dr Graham Taylor and Professor Adrian

    Thomas of the Animal Flight Group in the Department of Zoology.The research paper, "Details of Insect Wing Design and Deformation Enhance Aerodynamic Function andFlight Efficiency," appears in the September 18 issue ofScience.

    Robo-Bats With Metal Muscles May Be Next Generation OfRemote Control Flyers

    ScienceDaily (July 7, 2009) Tiny flying machines can be used for everythingfrom indoor surveillance to exploring collapsed buildings, but simply making

  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    smaller versions of planes and helicopters doesn't work very well. Instead,researchers at North Carolina State University are mimicking nature's smallflyers and developing robotic bats that offer increased maneuverability andperformance.

    Birds, Bats And Insects Hold Secrets For Aerospace EngineersScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2008) Natural flyers like birds, bats and insectsoutperform man-made aircraft in aerobatics and efficiency. University ofMichigan engineers are studying these animals as a step toward designingflapping-wing planes with wingspans smaller than a deck of playing cards.

    A Blackbird jet flying nearly 2,000 miles per hour covers 32 body lengths per second. But a common pigeonflying at 50 miles per hour covers 75. The roll rate of the aerobatic A-4 Skyhawk plane is about 720 degreesper second. The roll rate of a barn swallow exceeds 5,000 degrees per second.Select military aircraft can withstand gravitational forces of 8-10 G. Many birds routinely experience positiveG-forces greater than 10 G and up to 14 G.

    Natural flyers obviously have some highly varied mechanical properties that we really have notincorporated in engineering, said Wei Shyy, chair of the Aerospace Engineering department and an authorof the new book The Aerodynamics of Low Reynolds Number Flyers.Theyre not only lighter, but also have much more adaptive structures as well as capabilities of integratingaerodynamics with wing and body shapes, which change all the time, Shyy said. Natural flyers haveoutstanding capabilities to remain airborne through wind gusts, rain, and snow. Shyy photographs birds tohelp him understand their aerodynamics.Pressure generated during flight cause the flapping wings to deform, he explained. In turn, the deformedwing tells the air that the wing shape is different than it appears in still air. If appropriately handled, thisphenomenon can delay stall, enhance stability and increase thrust.Flapping flight is inherently unsteady, but thats why it works so well. Birds, bats and insects fly in a messyenvironment full of gusts traveling at speeds similar to their own. Yet they can react almost instantaneouslyand adapt with their flexible wings.Shyy and his colleagues have several grants from the Air Force totaling more than $1 million a year to

    research small flapping wing aircraft. Such aircraft would fly slower than their fixed wing counterparts, andmore importantly, they would be able to hover and possibly perch in order to monitor the environment or ahostile area. Shyys current focus is on the aerodynamics of flexible wings related to micro air vehicles withwingspans between 1 and 3 inches.These days, if you want to design a flapping wing vehicle, you could build one with trial and error, but in acontrolled environment with no wind gusts, Shyy said. We are trying to figure out how to design a vehiclethat can perform a mission in an uncertain environment. When the wind blows, how do they stay oncourse?

    A dragonfly, Shyy says, has remarkable resilience to wind, considering how light it is. The professor chalksthat up to its wing structure and flight control. But the details are still questions.Were really just at the beginning of this, Shyy said.Shyy is the Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson Collegiate Professor of Aerospace Engineering. Other authors ofthe book, Aerodynamics of Low Reynolds Number Flyers are: U-M research scientists Yongsheng Lian,

    Jian Tang and Dragos Viieru, and Hao Liu, professor of Biomechanical Engineering at Chiba University inJapan.Other collaborators on this research include professors Luis Bernal, Carlos Cesnik and Peretz Friedmann ofthe University of Michigan; Hao Liu of Chiba University in Japan; Peter Ifju, Rick Lind and Larry Ukeiley ofUniversity of Florida, and Sean Humbert of University of Maryland.

  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    Flapping flight is inherently unsteady, but that's why it works so well. Birds, bats and insects fly in a messyenvironment full of gusts traveling at speeds similar to their own. Yet they can react almost instantaneouslyand adapt with their flexible wings. (Credit: iStockphoto/Steve Byland)

    Micro Flying Robots Can Fly More Effectively Than Flies(Aug. 6, 2009) There is a long

    held belief among engineers and biologists that micro flying robots that fly like airplanes and helicoptersconsume much more energy than micro robots that fly like flies. A new study .

    Secrets Of Insect Flight Revealed: Modeling The Aerodynamic Secrets Of One Of Nature'sMost Efficient Flyers(Sep. 18, 2009) Researchers are one step closer to creating a micro-aircraft thatflies with the maneuverability and energy efficiency of an insect after decoding the aerodynamic secrets ofinsect .

    Bat Flight Generates Complex Aerodynamic Tracks(May 11, 2007) Bats generate ameasurably distinct aerodynamic footprint to achieve lift and maneuverability, quite unlike birds and contrary

    to many of the assumptions that aeroengineers have used to model animal

    MICRO-AERIAL VEHICLESSmall flyers, or micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs), have garnered a great deal of interest due to their potentialapplications where maneuverability in tight spaces is necessary, says researcher Gheorghe Bunget. Forexample, Bunget says, "due to the availability of small sensors, MAVs can be used for detection missions ofbiological, chemical and nuclear agents." But, due to their size, devices using a traditional fixed-wing orrotary-wing design have low maneuverability and aerodynamic efficiency.So Bunget, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at NC State, and his advisor Dr. Stefan Seeleckelooked to nature. "We are trying to mimic nature as closely as possible," Seelecke says, "because it is veryefficient. And, at the MAV scale, nature tells us that flapping flight like that of the bat is the mosteffective."The researchers did extensive analysis of bats' skeletal and muscular systems before developing a "robo-

    bat" skeleton using rapid prototyping technologies. The fully assembled skeleton rests easily in the palm ofyour hand and, at less than 6 grams, feels as light as a feather. The researchers are currently completingfabrication and assembly of the joints, muscular system and wing membrane for the robo-bat, which shouldallow it to fly with the same efficient flapping motion used by real bats."The key concept here is the use of smart materials," Seelecke says. "We are using a shape-memory metalalloy that is super-elastic for the joints. The material provides a full range of motion, but will always return toits original position a function performed by many tiny bones, cartilage and tendons in real bats."Seelecke explains that the research team is also using smart materials for the muscular system. "We'reusing an alloy that responds to the heat from an electric current. That heat actuates micro-scale wires the
  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    size of a human hair, making them contract like 'metal muscles.' During the contraction, the powerful musclewires also change their electric resistance, which can be easily measured, thus providing simultaneousaction and sensory input. This dual functionality will help cut down on the robo-bat's weight, and allow therobot to respond quickly to changing conditions such as a gust of wind as perfectly as a real bat."In addition to creating a surveillance tool with very real practical applications, Seelecke says the robo-batcould also help expand our understanding of aerodynamics. "It will allow us to do tests where we cancontrol all of the variables and finally give us the opportunity to fully understand the aerodynamics offlapping flight," Seelecke says.Bunget will present the research this September at the American Society of Mechanical EngineersConference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems in Oxnard, Calif.

    The skeleton of the robotic bat uses shape-memory metal alloy that is super-elastic for the joints, and smart

    materials that respond to electric current for the muscular system. (Credit: Gheorghe Bunget, North

    Carolina State University)

    Birds, Bats And Insects Hold Secrets For Aerospace Engineers(Feb. 9, 2008) Natural

    flyers like birds, bats and insects outperform man-made aircraft in aerobatics and efficiency. Engineers are

    studying these animals as a step toward designing flapping-wing planes with ..

    Hovering Bats Stay Aloft Using Swirling Vortices(Mar. 3, 2008) Honey bees and

    hummingbirds can hover like helicopters for minutes at a time, sucking the juice from their favorite blossoms

    while staying aloft in a swirl of vortices. But the unsteady air flows .

    Mini Helicopters As Disaster Helpers(May 12, 2009) In the aftermath of an earthquake or

    chemical incident, every minute counts: the rescue team has to quickly gain an overview. Mini helicopters

    can help in future, investigating collapsed buildings .
  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    Ancient Airways: Flying Drone Design Based On Prehistoric Flying Reptile(Oct. 13, 2008)

    Paleontologists and aeronautical engineers have developed a 30-inch robotic spy plane modeled after a

    225 million-year-old ..

    Smoke visualization in Oxford University's wind tunnel showing the airflow over a flying locust's wings.(Credit: Animal Flight Group, Dept. of Zoology, Oxford University and Dr John Young, [email protected])

    Flight Of The Bumble Bee Is Based More On Brute Force Than Aerodynamic Efficiency(May10, 2009) Brute force rather than aerodynamic efficiency is the key to bumblebee flight, Oxford Universityscientists have ... > read more

    Staying the Course: Fruit Flies Employ Stabilizer Reflex to Recover from Midflight Stumbles(Mar. 18, 2010) Observing the aerial maneuvers of fruit flies, researchers have uncovered how theinsects -- when disturbed by sharp gusts of wind -- right themselves and stay on course. Fruit flies use anautomatic ... >read more

    Flexible Wings Driven by Simple Oscillation May Be Viable for Efficient Micro AirVehicles(Nov. 23, 2010) To avoid some of the design challenges

    Science NewsSpeed Limit for Birds: Researchers Find Critical Speed AboveWhich Birds -- And Drones -- Are Sure to Crash
  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    ScienceDaily (Jan. 19, 2012) The northern goshawk is one of nature'sdiehard thrill-seekers. The formidable raptor preys on birds and smallmammals, speeding through tree canopies and underbrush to catch its quarry.With reflexes that rival a fighter pilot's, the goshawk zips through a forest at highspeeds, constantly adjusting its flight path to keep from colliding with trees andother obstacles.While speed is a goshawk's greatest asset, researchers at MIT say the bird must observe a theoreticalspeed limit if it wants to avoid a crash. The researchers found that, given a certain density of obstacles,there exists a speed below which a bird -- and any other flying object -- has a fair chance of flying collision-free. Any faster, and a bird or aircraft is sure to smack into something, no matter how much information ithas about its environment.

    A paper detailing the results has been accepted to the IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation.These findings may not be news to the avian world, but Emilio Frazzoli, an associate professor ofaeronautics and astronautics at MIT, says knowing how fast to fly can help engineers program unmannedaerial vehicles (UAVs) to fly at high speeds through cluttered environments such as forests and urbancanyons.Frazzoli is part of an interdisciplinary team that includes biologists at Harvard University, who are observingflying behaviors in goshawks and other birds, and roboticists at MIT, who are engineering birdlike UAVs.With Frazzoli's mathematical contributions, the team hopes to build fast, agile UAVs that can move throughcluttered environments -- much like a goshawk streaking through the forest.Speedy intuitionMost UAVs today fly at relatively slow speeds, particularly if navigating around obstacles. That's mainly bydesign: Engineers program a drone to fly just fast enough to be able to stop within the field of view of itssensors."If I can only see up to five meters, I can only go up to a speed that allows me to stop within five meters,"Frazzoli says. "Which is not very fast."If the northern goshawk flew at speeds purely based on what it could immediately see, Frazzoli conjecturesthat the bird would not fly as fast. Instead, the goshawk likely gauges the density of trees, and speeds pastobstacles, knowing intuitively that, given a certain forest density, it can always find an opening through thetrees.Frazzoli points out that a similar intuition exists in downhill skiing.

    "When you go skiing off the path, you don't ski in a way that you can always stop before the first tree yousee," Frazzoli says. "You ski and you see an opening, and then you trust that once you go there, you'll beable to see another opening and keep going."Frazzoli says that in a way, robots may be programmed with this same speedy intuition. Given somegeneral information about the density of obstacles in a given environment, a robot could conceivablydetermine the maximum speed below at it can safely fly.Forever flyingToward this end, Frazzoli and PhD student Sertac Karaman developed mathematical models of variousforest densities, calculating the maximum speed possible in each obstacle-filled environment.The researchers first drew up a differential equation to represent the position of a bird in a given location ata given speed. They then worked out what's called an ergodic model representing a statistical distribution oftrees in the forest -- similar to those commonly used by ecologists to characterize the density of a forest. Inan ergodic forest, while the size, shape and spacing of individual trees may vary, their distribution in any

    given area is the same as any other area. Such models are thought to be a fair representation of mostforests in the world.Frazzoli and Karaman adjusted the model to represent varying densities of trees, and calculated theprobability that a bird would collide with a tree while flying at a certain speed. The team found that, for anygiven forest density, there exists a critical speed above which there is no "infinite collision-free trajectory." Inother words, the bird is sure to crash. Below this speed, a bird has a good chance of flying without incident."If I fly slower than that critical speed, then there is a fair possibility that I will actually be able to fly forever,always avoiding the trees," Frazzoli says.

  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    The team's work establishes a theoretical speed limit for any given obstacle-filled environment. For UAVs,this means that no matter how good robots get at sensing and reacting to their environments, there willalways be a maximum speed they will need to observe to ensure survival.Steven LaValle, professor of computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, saysknowing where to cap a UAV's speed can help engineers like himself design more agile robots."Rather than trying to optimize robot speed, we might be able to [design] the robot at 95 percent of thatspeed, and achieve must simpler strategies that are also much safer to execute," says LaValle, who did notcontribute to the research.The researchers are now seeing if the theory bears out in nature. Frazzoli is collaborating with scientists atHarvard, who are observing how birds fly through cluttered environments -- in particular, whether a bird willchoose not to fly through an environment that is too dense. The team is comparing the birds' behavior withwhat Frazzoli's model can predict. So far, Frazzoli says preliminary results in pigeons are "veryencouraging."In the coming months, Frazzoli also wants to see how close humans can come to such theoretical speedlimits. He and his students are developing a first-person flying game to test how well people can navigatethrough a simulated forest at high speeds."What we want to do is have people play, and we'll just collect statistics," Frazzoli says. "And the questionis, how close to the theoretical limit can we get?"one of the following


    Bermuda Triangle

    Classic borders of the Bermuda Triangle


    Grouping Paranormal places

  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    Also known

    asDevil's Triangle

    CountryInternational waters,The


    Status Urban legend

    The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a region in the western part of the NorthAtlantic

    Oceanwhere a number ofaircraft and surface vessels reportedly disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

    Popular culture has attributed these disappearances to theparanormalor activity byextraterrestrial beings.[1]

    Documented evidence indicates that a significant percentage of the incidents were inaccurately reported or

    embellished by later authors, and numerous official agencies have stated that the number and nature of

    disappearances in the region is similar to that in any other area of ocean.[2][3][4]


    1 Triangle area 2 History

    o 2.1 Originso 2.2 Larry Kuscheo 2.3 Further responses

    3 Supernatural explanations 4 Natural explanations

    o 4.1 Compass variationso 4.2 Deliberate acts of destructiono 4.3 Gulf Streamo 4.4 Human erroro 4.5 Violent weathero 4.6 Methane hydrateso 4.7 Rogue waves

    5 Notable incidentso 5.1 Theodosia Burr Alstono 5.2 Ellen Austino 5.3 USS Cyclopso 5.4 Carroll A. Deeringo 5.5 Flight 19o 5.6 Star Tigerand Star Arielo 5.7 Douglas DC-3o

    5.8 KC-135 Stratotankerso 5.9 Connemara IV

    6 Influence on cultureo 6.1 Entertainmento 6.2 Musico 6.3 Films

    7 See also 8 Notes 9 References
  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    10 Further readingo 10.1 Newspaper articles

    10.1.1 Flight 19 10.1.2 SS Cotopaxi 10.1.3 USS Cyclops (AC-4) 10.1.4 Carroll A. Deering 10.1.5 Wreckers 10.1.6 S.S. Suduffco 10.1.7 Star Tigerand Star Ariel 10.1.8 DC-3 Airliner NC16002 disappearance 10.1.9 Harvey Conover and Revonoc 10.1.10 KC-135 Stratotankers 10.1.11 B-52 Bomber (Pogo 22) 10.1.12 Charter vessel Sno'Boy 10.1.13 SS Marine Sulphur Queen 10.1.14 SS Sylvia L. Ossa

    o 10.2 Website linkso 10.3 Books

    11 External links

    Triangle area

    The area of the Triangle varies by author

    The boundaries of the triangle cover theStraits of Florida, the Bahamas and the entire Caribbeanisland area and the

    Atlantic east to the Azores. The more familiar triangular boundary in most written works has as its points

    somewhere on the Atlantic coast ofMiami; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the mid-Atlantic island ofBermuda, with

    most of the accidents concentrated along the southern boundary around the Bahamas and the Florida Straits.The area is one of the most heavily traveled shipping lanes in the world, with ships crossing through it daily for

    ports in the Americas, Europe, and the Caribbean Islands. Cruise ships are also plentiful, and pleasure craft regularly

    go back and forth between Florida and the islands. It is also a heavily flown route for commercial and private

    aircraft heading towards Florida, the Caribbean, andSouth Americafrom points north.



    The earliest allegation of unusual disappearances in the Bermuda area appeared in a September 16, 1950 Associated

    Press article by Edward Van Winkle Jones.[5] Two years later,Fatemagazine published "Sea Mystery at Our Back

    Door",[6] a short article by George X. Sand covering the loss of several planes and ships, including the loss ofFlight

    19, a group of five U.S. NavyTBM Avengerbombers on a training mission. Sand's article was the first to lay out the

    now-familiar triangular area where the losses took place. Flight 19 alone would be covered in the April 1962 issue

    ofAmerican Legion Magazine. [7] It was claimed that the flight leader had been heard saying "We are entering white

    water, nothing seems right. We don't know where we are, the water is green, no white." It was also claimed that

    officials at the Navy board of inquiry stated that the planes "flew off to Mars." Sand's article was the first to suggest

    a supernatural element to the Flight 19 incident. In the February 1964 issue ofArgosy, Vincent Gaddis's article "The,_Puerto_Rico,_Puerto_Rico
  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    Deadly Bermuda Triangle" argued that Flight 19 and other disappearances were part of a pattern of strange events in

    the region.[8]The next year, Gaddis expanded this article into a book,Invisible Horizons.[9]

    Others would follow with their own works, elaborating on Gaddis's ideas: John Wallace Spencer (Limbo of the Lost,

    1969, repr. 1973);[10]Charles Berlitz(The Bermuda Triangle, 1974);[11]Richard Winer(The Devil's Triangle, 1974),[12]and many others, all keeping to some of the same supernatural elements outlined by Eckert.[13]

    Larry KuscheLawrence David Kusche, a research librarian from Arizona State Universityand author ofThe Bermuda Triangle

    Mystery: Solved(1975)[14] argued that many claims of Gaddis and subsequent writers were often exaggerated,dubious or unverifiable. Kusche's research revealed a number of inaccuracies and inconsistencies between Berlitz's

    accounts and statements from eyewitnesses, participants, and others involved in the initial incidents. Kusche noted

    cases where pertinent information went unreported, such as the disappearance of round-the-world yachtsmanDonald

    Crowhurst, which Berlitz had presented as a mystery, despite clear evidence to the contrary. Another example was

    the ore-carrier recounted by Berlitz as lost without trace three days out of anAtlantic port when it had been lost three

    days out of a port with the same name in thePacific Ocean. Kusche also argued that a large percentage of the

    incidents that sparked allegations of the Triangle's mysterious influence actually occurred well outside it. Often his

    research was simple: he would review period newspapers of the dates of reported incidents and find reports onpossibly relevant events like unusual weather, that were never mentioned in the disappearance stories.

    Kusche concluded that:

    The number of ships and aircraft reported missing in the area was notsignificantly greater, proportionally speaking, than in any other part of theocean.

    In an area frequented by tropical storms, the number of disappearances thatdid occur were, for the most part, neither disproportionate, unlikely, normysterious; furthermore, Berlitz and other writers would often fail to mentionsuch storms.

    The numbers themselves had been exaggerated by sloppy research. A boat'sdisappearance, for example, would be reported, but its eventual (if belated)return to port may not have been.

    Some disappearances had, in fact, never happened. One plane crash was said

    to have taken place in 1937 offDaytona Beach, Florida, in front of hundreds ofwitnesses; a check of the local papers revealed nothing.

    The legend of the Bermuda Triangle is a manufactured mystery, perpetuatedby writers who either purposely or unknowingly made use of misconceptions,faulty reasoning, and sensationalism.[14]

    Further responses

    When the UK Channel 4 television program "The Bermuda Triangle" (c. 1992) was being produced by John

    Simmons of Geofilms for theEquinox series, the marine insurance market Lloyd's of London was asked if anunusually large number of ships had sunk in the Bermuda Triangle area. Lloyd's of London determined that large

    numbers of ships had not sunk there.[15]

    United States Coast Guardrecords confirm their conclusion. In fact, the number of supposed disappearances isrelatively insignificant considering the number of ships and aircraft that pass through on a regular basis.[14]

    The Coast Guard is also officially skeptical of the Triangle, noting that they collect and publish, through their

    inquiries, much documentation contradicting many of the incidents written about by the Triangle authors. In one

    such incident involving the 1972 explosion and sinking of the tankerSS V. A. Fogg, the Coast Guard photographed

    the wreck and recovered several bodies,[16]in contrast with one Triangle author's claim that all the bodies hadvanished, with the exception of the captain, who was found sitting in his cabin at his desk, clutching a coffee cup.[10]

    In addition, V. A. Foggsank off the coast of Texas, nowhere near the commonly-accepted boundaries of theTriangle.,_Florida's_of_London,_Florida's_of_London
  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    TheNOVA/Horizonepisode The Case of the Bermuda Triangle, aired on June 27, 1976, was highly critical, stating

    that "When we've gone back to the original sources or the people involved, the mystery evaporates. Science does not

    have to answer questions about the Triangle because those questions are not valid in the first place... Ships and

    planes behave in the Triangle the same way they behave everywhere else in the world."[17]

    David Kusche pointed out a common problem with many of the Bermuda Triangle stories and theories: "Say I claimthat a parrot has been kidnapped to teach aliens human language and I challenge you to prove that is nottrue. You

    can even use Einstein's Theory of Relativity if you like. There is simply no way to prove such a claim untrue. Theburden of proof should be on the people who make these statements, to show where they got their information from,

    to see if their conclusions and interpretations are valid, and if they have left anything out."[17]

    Skeptical researchers, such as Ernest Taves[18] and Barry Singer,[19]have noted how mysteries and the paranormal are

    very popular and profitable. This has led to the production of vast amounts of material on topics such as the

    Bermuda Triangle. They were able to show that some of the pro-paranormal material is often misleading or

    inaccurate, but its producers continue to market it. Accordingly, they have claimed that the market is biased in favorof books, TV specials, and other media that support the Triangle mystery, and against well-researched material if it

    espouses a skeptical viewpoint.

    Finally, if the Triangle is assumed to cross land, such as parts of Puerto Rico, theBahamas, or Bermuda itself, there

    is no evidence for the disappearance of any land-based vehicles or persons.[citation needed] The city ofFreeport, located

    inside the Triangle, operates a major shipyard and an airport that handles 50,000 flights annually and is visited by

    over a million tourists a year.[20]

    Supernatural explanationsTriangle writers have used a number of supernatural concepts to explain the events. One explanation pins the blame

    on leftover technology from the mythical lost continent ofAtlantis. Sometimes connected to the Atlantis story is the

    submerged rock formation known as the Bimini Roadoff the island ofBimini in the Bahamas, which is in the

    Triangle by some definitions. Followers of the purported psychic Edgar Cayce take his prediction that evidence of

    Atlantis would be found in 1968 as referring to the discovery of the Bimini Road. Believers describe the formation

    as a road, wall, or other structure, though geologists consider it to be of natural origin.[21]

    Other writers attribute the events toUFOs.[22]This idea was used by Steven Spielberg for hisscience fiction film

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which features the lost Flight 19 aircrews as alien abductees.

    Charles Berlitz, author of various books on anomalous phenomena, lists several theories attributing the losses in the

    Triangle to anomalous or unexplained forces.[11]

    Natural explanations

    Compass variationsCompass problems are one of the cited phrases in many Triangle incidents. While some have theorized that unusual

    local magnetic anomalies may exist in the area,[23] such anomalies have not been found. Compasses have natural

    magnetic variationsin relation to themagnetic poles, a fact which navigators have known for centuries.Magnetic

    (compass) north andgeographic (true) north are only exactly the same for a small number of places for example,

    as of 2000 in the United States only those places on a line running fromWisconsinto the Gulf of Mexico.[24] But the

    public may not be as informed, and think there is something mysterious about a compass "changing" across an area

    as large as the Triangle, which it naturally will.[14]

    Deliberate acts of destruction

    Deliberate acts of destruction can fall into two categories: acts of war, and acts of piracy. Records in enemy files

    have been checked for numerous losses. While many sinkings have been attributed to surface raiders or submarines

    during theWorld Warsand documented in various command log books, many others suspected as falling in thatcategory have not been proven. It is suspected that the loss ofUSS Cyclops (AC-4) in 1918, as well as her sister

    ships USSProteus (AC-9) andUSSNereus (AC-10) in World War II, were attributed to submarines, but no suchlink has been found in the German records.[citation needed]

    Piracythe illegal capture of a craft on the high seascontinues to this day. While piracy for cargo theft is more

    common in the western Pacific and Indian oceans, drug smugglers do steal pleasure boats for smuggling operations,

    and may have been involved in crew and yacht disappearances in the Caribbean.Piracy in the Caribbeanwas

    common from about 1560 to the 1760s, and famous pirates included Edward Teach (Blackbeard) and Jean Lafitte.[citation needed],_Bahamas,_Bahamas
  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    False-color image of the Gulf Stream flowing north through the western Atlantic

    Ocean. (NASA)

    Gulf Stream

    The Gulf Streamis a deep ocean current that originates in theGulf of Mexicoand then flows through the Straits of

    Florida into the North Atlantic. In essence, it is a river within an ocean, and, like a river, it can and does carry

    floating objects. It has a surface velocity of up to about 2.5 metres per second (5.6 mi/h).[25]A small plane making a

    water landing or a boat having engine trouble can be carried away from its reported position by the current.

    Human error

    One of the most cited explanations in official inquiries as to the loss of any aircraft or vessel is human error.[26]

    Whether deliberate or accidental, humans have been known to make mistakes resulting in catastrophe, and losseswithin the Bermuda Triangle are no exception. For example, the Coast Guard cited a lack of proper training for the

    cleaning of volatilebenzeneresidue as a reason for the loss of the tankerV.A. Foggin 1972.[citation needed] Human

    stubbornness may have caused businessman Harvey Conover to lose his sailing yacht, theRevonoc, as he sailed into

    the teeth of a storm south of Florida on January 1, 1958.[27]

    Violent weather

    Hurricanes are powerful storms, which form in tropical waters and have historically cost thousands of lives lost and

    caused billions of dollars in damage. The sinking ofFrancisco de Bobadilla's Spanish fleet in 1502 was the first

    recorded instance of a destructive hurricane. These storms have in the past caused a number of incidents related to

    the Triangle.

    A powerfuldowndraft of cold airwas suspected to be a cause in the sinking of thePride of Baltimore on May 14,

    1986. The crew of the sunken vessel noted the wind suddenly shifted and increased velocity from 20 mph to 60 -90 mph. A National Hurricane Center satellite specialist, James Lushine, stated "during very unstable weather

    conditions the downburst of cold air from aloft can hit the surface like a bomb, exploding outward like a giant squall

    line of wind and water."[28] A similar event occurred to theConcordia in 2010 off the coast of Brazil.

    Methane hydrates

    An explanation for some of the disappearances has focused on the presence of large fields ofmethane hydrates (a

    form of natural gas) on thecontinental shelves.[29] Laboratory experiments carried out in Australia have proven thatbubbles can, indeed, sink a scale model ship by decreasing the density of the water;[30]any wreckage consequently

    rising to the surface would be rapidly dispersed by theGulf Stream. It has been hypothesized that periodic methane

    eruptions(sometimes called "mud volcanoes") may produce regions of frothy water that are no longer capable of

    providing adequatebuoyancyfor ships. If this were the case, such an area forming around a ship could cause it to

    sink very rapidly and without warning.Publications by theUSGS describe large stores of undersea hydrates worldwide, including theBlake Ridgearea, off

    the southeasternUnited States coast.[31] However, according to another of their papers, no large releases of gashydrates are believed to have occurred in the Bermuda Triangle for the past 15,000 years.[15]
  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    Rogue waves

    In various oceans around the world, rogue waves have caused ships to sink[32]and oil platforms to topple.[33] These

    waves, until 1995, were considered to be a mystery and/or a myth.[34][35]

    Notable incidentsMain article: List of Bermuda Triangle incidents

    Theodosia Burr Alston

    Theodosia Burr Alston was the daughter of formerUnited States Vice PresidentAaron Burr. Her disappearance hasbeen cited at least once in relation to the Triangle.[36]She was a passenger on boardPatriot, which sailed from

    Charleston, South CarolinatoNew York City on December 30, 1812, and was never heard from again. The plannedroute is well outside all but the most extended versions of the Bermuda Triangle. Both piracy and the War of 1812

    have been posited as explanations, as well as a theory placing her in Texas, well outside the Triangle.

    SchoonerCarroll A. Deering, as seen from the Cape Lookoutlightvessel on January

    29, 1921, two days before she was found deserted in North Carolina. (US Coast


    Ellen Austin

    TheEllen Austin supposedly came across a derelict ship, placed on board a prize crew, and attempted to sail with it

    to New York in 1881. According to the stories, the derelict disappeared; others elaborating further that the derelict

    reappeared minus the prize crew, then disappeared again with a second prize crew on board. A check from Lloyd's

    of London records proved the existence of theMeta, built in 1854 and that in 1880 theMeta was renamedEllenAustin. There are no casualty listings for this vessel, or any vessel at that time, that would suggest a large number of

    missing men were placed on board a derelict that later disappeared.[37]

    USS Cyclops

    The incident resulting in the single largest loss of life in the history of the US Navy not related to combat occurred

    when USS Cyclops, under the command ofLt CdrG.W. Worley, went missing without a trace with a crew of 309sometime after March 4, 1918, after departing the island ofBarbados. Although there is no strong evidence for any

    single theory, many independent theories exist, some blaming storms, some capsizing, and some suggesting that

    wartime enemy activitywas to blame for the loss.[38][39]

    Carroll A. Deering

    A five-masted schooner built in 1919, the Carroll A. Deeringwas found hard aground and abandoned at DiamondShoals, nearCape Hatteras,North Carolina on January 31, 1921. Rumors and more at the time indicated theDeering

    was a victim of piracy, possibly connected with the illegal rum-running trade duringProhibition, and possibly

    involving another ship, SSHewitt, which disappeared at roughly the same time. Just hours later, an unknown

    steamer sailed near the lightship along the track of theDeering, and ignored all signals from the lightship. It is

    speculated thatHewittmay have been this mystery ship, and possibly involved in theDeeringcrew's disappearance.[40],_South_Carolina,_South_Carolina,_New_York,_New_York's_of_London's_of_London,_South_Carolina,_New_York's_of_London's_of_London
  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    Flight 19

    US Navy Avengers, similar to those of Flight 19.

    Flight 19 was a training flight of fiveTBM Avengertorpedo bombers that disappeared on December 5, 1945, while

    over the Atlantic. The squadron's flight plan was scheduled to take them due east fromFort Lauderdalefor 141miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 140-mile leg to complete the exercise. The flight never returned

    to base.

    One of the search and rescue aircraft deployed to look for them, a PBM Marinerwith a 13-man crew, also

    disappeared. A tanker off the coast of Florida reported seeing an explosion[41]and observing a widespread oil slick

    when fruitlessly searching for survivors. The weather was becoming stormy by the end of the incident.[42]

    Star Tigerand Star Ariel

    G-AHNP Star Tigerdisappeared on January 30, 1948 on a flight from the Azores to Bermuda; G-AGRE Star Ariel

    disappeared on January 17, 1949, on a flight from Bermuda toKingston, Jamaica. Both were AvroTudor IV

    passenger aircraft operated by British South American Airways.[43] Both planes were operating at the very limits of

    their range and the slightest error or fault in the equipment could keep them from reaching the small island. Oneplane was not heard from long before it would have entered the Triangle.[14]

    Douglas DC-3

    On December 28, 1948, aDouglas DC-3aircraft, numberNC16002, disappeared while on a flight from San Juan,Puerto Rico, to Miami. No trace of the aircraft or the 32 people onboard was ever found. From the documentation

    compiled by the Civil Aeronautics Board investigation, a possible key to the plane's disappearance was found, but

    barely touched upon by the Triangle writers: the plane's batteries were inspected and found to be low on charge, but

    ordered back into the plane without a recharge by the pilot while in San Juan. Whether or not this led to complete

    electrical failure will never be known. However, since piston-engined aircraft rely uponmagnetosto provide spark

    to their cylinders rather than a battery powered ignition coilsystem, this theory is not strongly convincing.[44]

    KC-135 Stratotankers

    On August 28, 1963, a pair ofUS Air ForceKC-135 Stratotankeraircraft collided and crashed into the Atlantic. TheTriangle version (Winer, Berlitz, Gaddis[8][11][12]) of this story specifies that they did collide and crash, but there were

    two distinct crash sites, separated by over 160 miles (260 km) of water. However, Kusche's research[14] showed that

    the unclassified version of the Air Force investigation report stated that the debris field defining the second "crashsite" was examined by a search and rescue ship, and found to be a mass ofseaweedand driftwood tangled in an old

  • 7/31/2019 Secrets of Insect Flight Revealed


    Connemara IV

    A pleasure yacht was found adrift in the Atlantic south of Bermuda on September 26, 1955; it is usually stated in the

    stories (Berlitz, Winer[11][12]) that the crew vanished while the yacht survived being at sea during three hurricanes.

    The 1955 Atlantic hurricane seasonshowsHurricane Ionepassing nearby between the 14th and 18th of that month,with Bermuda being affected by winds of almost gale force.[14]It was confirmed that the Connemara IVwas empty

    and in port when Ione may have caused the yacht to slip her moorings and drift out to sea. [citation needed]

    Influence on culture


    The Sea Worldamusement park on the Gold Coast (Australia) operated a ridecalled Bermuda Triangle.


    Composer Isao Tomita released an album, Bermuda Triangle, inspired by theregion.

    Singer Songwriter Barry Manilow released a single "Bermuda Triangle" in 1981,taken from his 1980 albumBarry. The song references the area to depict loss("The Bermuda Triangle makes people disappear"), however the allusion iscentred around romantic loss, and caused by fickleness rather than paranormalactivity.


    The first film based on the Triangle was The Bermuda Triangle in 1978. After that, other films includedThe

    Triangle in 2001,The Triangle(a TV miniseries) in 2005, andTriangle in 2009.,_Queensland,_Queensland