The Vile Vortices Of Ivan T. Sanderson

By | December 7, 2018

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Ten of the twelve vortices/image from pinterest

In 1972, Ivan T. Sanderson, a Scottish biologist who founded the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained, published an article entitled “The Twelve Devil’s Graveyards Around The World” in an issue of Saga magazine. In this article, he explains how he came to discover twelve “equally spaced areas on the surface of Earth where ‘funny things happen.’”

The most well-known of these areas, as well as the one which initially piqued his interest, is the Bermuda Triangle. According to Sanderson, the mysterious disappearances in this area were mostly overlooked until December 5, 1945, when five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers disappeared after taking off from the Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station on a routine patrol. Sanderson claims the pilots were in radio contact with each other right up until the time of their disappearance, reporting that they had no idea where they were and that the ocean looked wrong. However, other reports of this incident omit any mention of the pilots’ radio conversation, resolving the disappearance as a navigational error which caused the planes to run out of fuel. Sanderson states that a Martin mariner was deployed to search for the planes and that it disappeared “within fifteen minutes.” Other reports claim that a nearby tanker witnessed an explosion as well as an oil slick leading to the conclusion that the Mariner had exploded, most likely a result of vapor leaks from being overloaded with fuel.

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Dragon’s Triangle, also known as Devil’s Sea/image from The Odyssey Online

A 1966 story on this incident incorrectly referred to the area of occurrence as the Bermuda Triangle, even though, according to Sanderson, it is shaped more like a lozenge. Once Sanderson began researching the area, he began receiving information about other areas where similar anomalies had occurred. The first of these was the Devil’s Sea, off the coast of Japan. According to legend, there have been numerous disappearances in the area, causing the Japanese government to declare the area unsafe. When Sanderson appeared on The Dick Cavett Show to discuss his theories, expecting to go head to head with the very vocal critic, Arthur Godfrey, he was astonished to find that Godfrey had his own tales of strange occurrences to share, beginning with a report of his radio and other instruments going off while flying over the Devil’s Sea. The Devil’s Sea is also referred to as the Dragon’s Triangle, despite Sanderson’s assertion that these areas are lozenges, not triangles.