Last week, the east coast of the United States was under a tropical storm warning as we awaited Hurricane Joaquin. Fortunately, it stayed way out to sea and barely affected us, but it did give me some inspiration. It gave me a great opportunity to talk about one of the “sci-if” elements of Forever Avalon and The Dark Tides … The Bermuda Triangle.
For those who need a little history lesson, the Bermuda Triangle is an area of the Atlantic Ocean between Miami, Florida, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the island of Bermuda, more than 1,510,000 square miles of ocean. There are more than 1,000 recorded incidents in the last 500 years in that part of the Atlantic Ocean.
I’ve always been fascinated by the Bermuda Triangle. I remember a movie from the 1975 that I saw as a kid called Beyond the Bermuda Triangle. Of course, who could forget Leonard Nimoy’s TV series In Search Of, where he spent one episode on the mysterious disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle and possible reasons behind them. Next to the search for Noah’s Ark, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, the Bermuda Triangle is a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
I even played a role-playing game, in my D&D days, called Rifts. The story was that Ley Lines, lines of magical every that crisis-cross the Earth, intersect in certain places (like the Bermuda Triangle) creating rifts or portals to other worlds in space and time. This post-apocalyptic game took us into the future. It combined sci-if and fantasy, for example, you had Elves that could hack into computer networks through jacks in their heads. Like I said, fun!
There are plenty of logical reasons why all these boats and planes disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, from hurricanes to rogue waves, that can explain the phenomenon. I like to think that there is some truth behind the disappearances which is why I incorporated them into my novels.
Sure, aliens are the most prevalent theory behind the myth, but I like to stick to the magical. Using the Bermuda Triangle as a portal to Avalon gave the back story to my novel some credence. The people who survived the storms ended up in the shores of Avalon. There they either blended into the medieval society or died, it was that simple.
One of my favorite tales from the Bermuda Triangle is the story of Flight 19. Flight 19 was the designation of five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger torpedo bombers that disappeared over the Bermuda Triangle on December 5, 1945 during a overwater navigation training flight from the Naval Air Station in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. All 14 airmen on the flight were lost. Investigators could not determine the cause of the loss of Flight 19 but said the airmen may have become disoriented and ditched in rough seas after running out of fuel.
I came up with a better answer … They arrived on Avalon. The flight leader, Lieutenant Charles Taylor, became an essential part of the Forever Avalon story. He was a mentor and friend to Bryan MoonDrake, the Gil-Gamesh, from the moment he arrived on Avalon. I originally meant for him to be just a small part of the back story, but in The Dark Tides, I was able develop his story as part of the character development of the Gil-Gamesh.
Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, the Bermuda Triangle will always be a place where sci-fi/fantasy authors can twist and turn their stories in any direction possible. Just be sure not to get lost in there. You never know where you’ll end up.