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Friday, May 3, 2013

The OTHER Triangle

There is a place in the world where the disappearance rate is 1500 times that of any other. In fact, there have been well over 16,000 people go missing since 1988. Boats, airplanes and people all seem to simply vanish without a trace here. Pilots, Ship Captains and other passengers in this area routinely report instrument black out or malfunction, loss of time, strange lights, hallucinations and numerous other phenomenon. It's extremely common for those ships that do come in to port to be significantly late, while all clocks and watches are behind, by exactly the amount of time that they are late. And in point of fact, compasses are commonly off by 30 degrees or more!

Strange stuff, huh?

This area of the world is not just dangerous for the high disappearence rate, but for tempreatures which routinely fall under 70* BELOW freezing. Earthquakes are more prevalent here than almost any other part of the world, sometimes reaching numbers over 100 a DAY! And with more than 100 active volcanoes it's one of the most extreme environments on Earth!

By now, I'm guessing you have figured out that I'm NOT talking about Bermuda! And, you're very much right! In fact, I'm talking about a portion of the US! Yes, you read that right, right here in the US! Well, sorta, I'm talking about an area known as The Alaskan Triangle. Which, except for the freezing temperatures and expanses of frozen tundra, is nearly identical to that of the much more well known Bermuda Triangle. Unlike the Bermuda Triangle however, the Alaskan Triangle covers an area which is, for the most part, solid land. This triangle of land stretched between the Cities of Juneau and Anchorage in the south and the Barrow Mountain ranges in the north.

Now, it seems easy enough to simply right off the disappearances as accidental death from crashes or simply getting off course and running out of gas. But in fact, there is a great deal of evidence to show that this is much more than simple downed plains or wrecked ships...

One of the most interesting cases is that of two US congressmen who went missing in 1972. So we're not just talking about bush men who simply wonder off here. US Congressmen, Speaker of the House Hale Boggs and Democratic Rep. Nick Begich vanished while flying from Anchorage to Juneau, the capital of Alaska. They were flying in a Cessna 310, which for the time was one of the most capable, "up to date" air crafts. When they took off, all seemed fine, the plane checked out and communication was clear, then soon after all communication simply ceased. Over the next 39 days, over 400 aircraft, dozens of boats, including 12 US Coast Guard ships, and even the US Air Force searched the area for the men. Not only were their bodies never recovered, but there was never any wreckage or signs of crash found anywhere on their flight path or in any of the surrounding areas.

As with the much more popular Bermuda Triangle, there is NO widely accepted explanation for all the disappearance and strange events. However, the mythology of the area makes it clear that these instances date back well before such things as planes, ships, clocks and compasses even existed.

A Kushtaka mask from
the Stonington Gallery.
Alaskan Native tribes such as the Tlingit and Tsimshian tribes in the Southeast contain stories about a spirit known as the Kushtaka (translates as "Land Otter Man"). This spirit is known for it's malevolence, and even today, most members of these tribes will not speak of him. Myths say that the Kushtaka is a shape-shifter who would imitate a crying baby, screaming woman, or even your own friend of family member in order to lure you in to the forest. Sailors were said to have been lured off coarse by the Kushtaka who would imitate their family members crying from shore in need of their help. Captains unable to ignore the cries of their loved ones, would run their ships in to the rocks, drowning their crews in sub-freezing water in just moments.

But the Kushtaka was not simply trying to kill people or make them vanish. Instead, the Kushtaka was after the soul. These myths all point to, not just a creature who kills, but one who strips one of their soul and keeps it - forever... Some myths state that the Kushtaka actually, and physically tore the bodies of their victims to shreds so there were simply no remains to be found. Others believed that he absorbed the body with the soul. And still others believed that as long as your soul was held by the Kushtaka, you were doomed to become a Kushtaka yourself.

Now, it is worth noting that reports of a "half man, half otter" creature are NOT limited solely to Ancient Native tribes! Oh no! In fact, durring the "Gold Digging Days" an account of one Miner's encounter was published.

Here is what the paper reported:
A member of a gold prospector's team was sent to Thomas Bay to scour the area for gold prospects. He was confined to his tent for several days due to heavy rains but on a clear day, he was able to find gold flecked quartz. As he was taking his bearing, he was approached by creatures that looked like both men and ape. These long haired stinking creatures were covered with sores. Lucklily, the miner was able to run to his canoe and survived to tell the tale.

Two other miners had the same experience later on and they came back with the same frightening account. One miner was told to have gone mad after the horrific event. Several other sightings were reported. A farmer who was looking for a dog, found unexplainable tracks instead and a trapper disappeared after that with only the clothes found by the search party.
There are of course more "scientific" explanations for the disappearances in the Triangle. The Votex Theory states that there are 12 Triangular Energy Vortexes all around the world, including Stonehenge, The Pyramids and Giza, Bermuda and of course Alaska. These energy vortexes are known as "Devils' Graveyards." Theorists believe that these areas are basically a "Swirling mass of energy." Picture a giant whirlpool, sucking in everything within it's grasp and altering everything around it - accept, this isn't a physical whirlpool, but an invisible energy based one...

There is also the theory that this area of the world has magnetic anomalies due to the systemic activity here as well as the area's proximity to the northern magnetic pole. We know that magnets affect mass in strange ways. And of course magnets are an easy answer to why the controls and clocks go wonky. Magnets are also known to be able to create hallucinations in people, and even black outs. So again, this is a great theory. Unfortunately, it doesn't answer, at least for me, where the wreckage or bodies go.

Now, there are of course those who are legitimately lost in the tundra, carried off by wolves or bears and eaten. And there are those, unfortunately, who fall victims of things like murder and kidnapping. And it's very much worth mentioning that Alaska has become known for the high level of Human Trafficking crimes. Although, knowing trafficking estimates from other areas of the US and the world, I find the idea that they are THAT much higher, if at all, in Alaska than they are in places like New York City or Los Angles. But even assuming that the the climate, wildlife and an unusually high rate of crime (which there is NO proof of) do make the rate of disappearances higher than in the other states, we could assume that the rate would be at MOST twice as high as the average area no where near the numbers we see.

My ruling? Personally, like the Bermuda Triangle, I see this as an answer that will not come from any ONE theory. Instead I tend to feel that there are multiple layers of phenomenon going on. I would fair a guess that there are disappearances due to the cold, and others to animals, and others to the seismic activity - volcanoes, earthquakes and methane leaks, but I would also have to say that factors such as magnetic forces and cryptozoological creatures or spirits factor in somewhere as well.

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