CEPA Mock Exam April 2008 - Text 4

The Bermuda Triangle is known to be a dangerous place for ships and airplanes to travel. People from all walks of life have attempted to explain why the Bermuda Triangle has a history of unusually-frequent disappearances of ships and airplanes. Adventurers, businessmen, scientists and journalists have written about the mysteries of the Bermuda
Triangle, also known as the Devil’s Triangle.

Some of the more popular reasons for the unexplained disappearances include UFOs, a lost city under the water, and time warps (where people disappear from this time to travel either back in the past or into the future).

There are, however, scientific explanations. One of these is the occasional release of methane gas from beneath the ocean floor. Some people believe that ‘mud volcanoes’ below the surface of the sea release large quantities of gas, causing many bubbles to surface. Experiments have shown that bubbles can cause boats to lose
their buoyancy. As a result, they could sink quickly and without warning. The methane gas theory also could explain why airplanes might crash and disappear, as large amounts of methane released into the air can cause plane engines to stall or stop working.

A second possible explanation for the Bermuda Triangle mystery is the number of storms and hurricanes combined with the heavy amount of boat and airplane traffic in that area. Major shipping lanes and flight paths connect the Americas to Europe, the Caribbean and Africa.

[C] The area also has very unstable weather. Therefore, it is not surprising that ships and planes are frequently lost to storms.
Finally, there is the work of Lawrence Kusche. He is the author of the book: The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved (1975), and a research librarian at Arizona State University. He compared newspaper stories of some of the unexplained disappearances. He found three interesting things. First, the number of ships and airplanes reported missing is not proportionally bigger than in other parts of the world. Second, there had been a lot of
sloppy research. Kusche found a lot of incomplete and inaccurate reporting. For example, many ships were reported as missing in the newspaper, but if the ships happened to return to the owners, the event went unreported. Third, some events had simply never happened. For example, a popular story of the 1937 disappearance of an airplane off the coast of Daytona, Florida, seems to have been false. Kusche’s search of the local newspapers during that year
revealed no such
event. [D] So perhaps there’s nothing mysterious about the Bermuda Triangle after all.

Choose the correct answer from a , b , c or d :