1492: Christopher Columbus, UFOs and the Bermuda Triangle

1492: Christopher Columbus, UFOs, and the Bermuda Triangle

Numerous TV shows dedicated to the Bermuda Triangle or UFOs tell about how Christopher Columbus encountered strange events that are very similar to modern reports of these strange phenomena. But is it true? Let's get this straight.

Columbus and Bermuda

The most common statements made in these programs are:

  • Columbus and his men saw a bright disc-shaped object rising from the ocean and flying into the sky.
  • They also, on another occasion, saw what they interpreted as stars revolving in the sky above them... it is now assumed that this was a UFO sighting.
  • They also saw what was described as the light of a candle rising up from the sea, where there could be no fire.

Surprisingly, these events are indeed based on the events described in the journal of Columbus, but they were interpreted in a very dubious way, which we will demonstrate...

But first, let's briefly talk about the "magazine" itself.

The original travel journal of Christopher Columbus has not survived to this day. In the same way, his personal diary about swimming was lost. What most people actually mean when they say "Columbus' journal " is copies of the journal and diary made by a man named Bartolome de las Casas (1484-1566).

Thus, we do not have a direct account of the experiences or thoughts of Columbus... we have someone's statement about what they thought was important enough to write down, and from someone who didn't even sail with Columbus (Bartholomew was eight years old when Columbus made his first voyage).

1492: Christopher Columbus, UFOs, and the Bermuda Triangle

However, Bartholomew's father and uncle sailed with Columbus on his second voyage, and Bartholomew later edited Columbus ' travel journals. Sometime in the 1530s, Bartolome wrote a diary of Christopher Columbus ' first voyage to America. This diary includes three entries that became the basis for the reports currently attributed to Columbus, two of which relate to strange lights and one to problems with the compass.

As an explanation of these strange topics, I would like to point out one interesting detail that becomes clear after reading the "diary": Columbus, during the journey, constantly lied to his team about how far they had come, usually telling them that they had covered less than half the true distance every day! This was probably meant to keep the sailors from panicking, as they had already sailed far beyond the distances they had ever covered.

Mysterious lights

There are two notes in the diary concerning the strange lights seen by Columbus and his team. The first sighting occurred on Sunday, September 15, 1492:

They sailed 27 leagues that day and night, and several more on their way west. And that night, at the very beginning of it, they saw a wonderful branch of fire falling from the sky into the sea, four or five leagues away from them.

the quote:

Many scientists assumed that it was the fall of a meteorite. This first report became the basis for stories that Columbus and his team saw a bright object rising from the ocean and soaring into the sky, usually only with keywords quoted from the passage to emphasize the supernatural nature of the light, but also to hide the direction in which this light was seen.

1492: Christopher Columbus, UFOs, and the Bermuda Triangle

The second strange light, which was reported in the diary, was seen on Thursday, October 11, 1492, just four hours before Columbus and his ships saw the land of America for the first time:

After sunset, he [Columbus] set his course to the west. They did about 12 miles every hour, and by two hours after midnight they had covered 90 miles, which is 22.5 leagues. And because the caravel Pinta was the best in seaworthiness and went ahead of the Admiral [Columbus], she found land and gave the signals that the admiral ordered.

A sailor named Rodrigo de Triana saw this land first, although the admiral, at ten o'clock in the morning, when he was on the stern, saw a light, although it was so faint that the admiral did not want to claim that it was land. But he called Pero Gutierrez, and told him that there seemed to be light there and that he should look; so he did and saw it.

He also told this to Rodrigo Sanchez de Segovia, who was sent by the King and Queen as a Vidor [inspector] of the fleet, who did not see anything because he was not in a place where he could see it. After the admiral had uttered these words, he was seen once or twice and looked like a small wax candle that rose and rose up, which seemed to be some sign of the earth.

But the admiral was sure that they were close to the shore, so when they read the Salve, which the sailors were accustomed to read and sing in their own way, the admiral begged and urged them to watch the forecastle carefully and look out for the shore; and that the person who first told him that he saw the land, he would give a silk jacket in addition to the other rewards that the monarchs promised, namely, ten thousand maravedis [ silver coins ] to the person who saw it first

the quote:

Proponents of UFOs claim that the second record cannot refer to a light source on land, claiming that the light was seen sinking below the horizon and therefore it was farther and much larger than expected.

Earlier theories – as early as 1746-tend to suggest that Columbus ' ships passed by islands off the coast of Florida; and at least one of these sources mentions that Columbus was awarded the award for the first observation of the earth, based on the belief of Ferdinand and Isabella that the light he saw was actually on the island.

Compass problem

Columbus had a problem with his compass while traveling, a problem that has come to be used to support both the Bermuda Triangle and UFO theories; but first, let's look at the original report.

The pilots took a course to the north, marking it [the pilots found the North Star in the sky and compared it with its compass bearing], and found that the compasses deviated to the north by a full point [that is, by eleven and a quarter degrees].

The sailors were frightened and depressed. The admiral knew this and ordered that the north should be marked again at dawn, and they found that the compasses were correct. The reason was that the North Star seemed to be moving, not the compasses

Diary entry for Monday, September 17, 1492

European sailors, accustomed to sailing north of the equator, generally knew how to find the North Star in the night sky to help determine their location... and the compasses always pointed to the North Star.

However, as the ships of Columbus approached the equator, the magnetic north pole and the position of the North Star in the night sky no longer coincided; and the further south they sailed, the greater the discrepancy between the true north and the position of the star. The sailors of Columbus were confused: should they trust the position of the star or the compass? Columbus was faced with the very real possibility of a mutiny and had to calm his crew down immediately.

By ordering a check of the compass readings at dawn, they could compare the compasses with a known sunrise location... In this way, he established that the compasses were still pointing exactly north, to the satisfaction of his crew. This event has now come to be interpreted as evidence of bizarre and unknown energies in the Bermuda Triangle that caused the wild rotation of the needle of Columbus ' compass; strangely, we cannot entirely blame modern authors for this rewriting of history. The story of the compass was dramatized as early as 1792:

On September 14, he [Columbus] was startled to find that the magnetic needle of their compass did not point exactly to the North Star, but was deflected to the west; and as they advanced, this deviation increased.

This new phenomenon filled the companions of Columbus with horror. Nature itself seemed to be undergoing a change; and the only guide they had left, showing them the way to a safe retreat from the boundless ocean, was about to fail them.

Columbus, with no less rapidity than ingenuity, explained the cause of this phenomenon, which, although it did not satisfy him, seemed to them so plausible as to dispel their fears or silence them.

1792, "American Geography," by Jedidiah Morse

This dramatization became even more extreme in 1841 when Washington Irving published his famous biography of Columbus:

On the evening of September 13, about two hundred leagues from Ferro Island, Columbus first noticed a change in the direction of the needle, a phenomenon that had never been observed before. He realized that at nightfall, instead of pointing to the North Star, the needle was deflected by about half a point, or five or six degrees to the northwest, and the next morning-even more.

Struck by this circumstance, he carefully observed the arrow for three days and found that as he progressed, the deviation increased. At first, he did not mention this phenomenon, knowing how unprepared his crew was to accept it, but soon he attracted the attention of the pilots and filled them with horror

The quote

1492: Christopher Columbus, UFOs, and the Bermuda Triangle

It seemed that the very laws of nature were changing as they advanced and that they were entering another world, subject to unknown influences.

They were afraid that the compass was about to lose its mysterious properties and without this guide, what would become of them in the vast and boundless ocean? Columbus questioned his science and ingenuity for reasons that might lessen their terror. He noticed that the arrow was pointing not at the North Star, but at some fixed and invisible point.

Therefore, the change was not caused by any error in the compass, but by the movement of the Polar Star itself, which, like other celestial bodies, described a circle around the pole every day.

1841, " History of the Life and Travels of Christopher Columbus." Washington Irving

Columbus ' diary does not mention a problem with the compass until September 17, 1492... Thus, both Irving and the author before him probably had the wrong sources to rely on. Given that Irving then expanded the truth even further, is it any wonder that later writers, working only with Irving's version, would stretch it further, combining new ideas about the" Bermuda Triangle " that Columbus might have been in at the time?

In short, there is no evidence to support the idea that Columbus and his team saw UFOs, or that they were victims of the wonders of the Bermuda Triangle

About author:

Ufologist, PhD, blogger, I go on my own expeditions for UFOs. I use scientific methods to investigate the UAP phenomenon

Serg Toporkov

Ufologist, Ph.D., blogger, I go on my own expeditions for UFOs. I use scientific methods to investigate the UAP phenomenon. Write to me

Related tags:

Columbus  UFOs  Bermuda Triangle  1492  disk-shaped

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