Off the Shelf

“Without a Trace”

By Marcus Pan

Without a TraceFar and long away, cultures of the world would apply wonderfully illustrative stories that explained things they didn’t understand. From the myths of ancient Greece and Rome to the sun worship of Egypt, cultures throughout the world have consistently wrote up fables that would tell us why the sky is blue, the sun is bright and the gravity keeps us walking upright. And as far back as only less than three decades ago, Charles Berlitz wrote fables that attempted to explain why things disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle.

For many years – as long as ships have traversed the Atlantic ocean and touched the soil of east coast North and South Amerca, the Bermuda Triangle has been the object of fear and misunderstanding. While many were explained as science progressed over the last couple of decades, I’m sure there’s still more that haven’t been. But then again, sometimes when I put two pairs of socks into my dryer I pull out a pair and a half, so there’s plenty in the world that goes unexplained.

Nonetheless, I came across this book at my dayjob in the bin o’ no return – an eclectic collection of reading material from an eclectic collection of OR workers. And being one interested in phenomena of any magnitude or scale, and even though I knew full well it was an old book and bound to be silly, I sure thought I could use the respite into the lands of Ha Ha which exists on the very edge of my daily life. And thus I went traipsing through Without a Trace.

Charles Berlitz was one of this century’s most well known conspiracy theorists. He’s dabbled in secret government experiments, cover-ups, UFOs and even Hollow Earth scenarios. All of which are quite strong and pronounced today, even more so with the advent of the Internet where kooks and goons can publish whatever they like about their chip implants from their flu vaccinations, lizard encounters with US presidents as hosts and so on and so on. There’s plenty of information out there for those that want to wrap themselves in lunacy.

Berlitz, however, stuck mostly to Bermuda Triangle theories. And throughout Without a Trace you’ll discover his ideas of aliens taking whole crews of ships, ghost planes smashing silently into coastlines and time warps that send unsuspecting Air Force pilots into netherworlds only vaguely guessed at. It’s a little jumpily written as Charles bounds effortlessly and illogically from one scenario to another and finds ways to try and link them together with as many outlandish proposals as possible. In short – I enjoyed it for the same fact that I enjoy the mythologies and fables of ancient cultures.

By far my favorite portion of this book, which by the way is the second that Charles has released about the Bermuda Triangle disappearances (The Bermuda Triangle of 1975), is the last chapter or two that details the Philadelphia Experiment. I’ve read of this on more than one occasion, and Charles finds a way to relate these to the Bermuda Triangle by applying strange logic that says that the experiments with ships the Navy did in Philly are similar to what might have happened to some ships in the BT. Wonderfully illogical gruff, indeed, especially when Charles starts discussing further the aspects of the men who continued to “fade out” and disappear into some invisible nether-world long after the experiments.

There’s still plenty of information out there for those that want to jump into Bermuda Triangle conspiracy theory and enjoy some fun reading. It just takes one visit to Google or and typing in “Bermuda Triangle” into the search box. I might also suggest to those of you who want some real fun, do searches for “Time Cube” and “David Icke,” both of which are surely to get your laugh modules going enjoyable raucous. But I warn you – these people believe this shit and it’s not, by any stretch, meant to be fiction. Have at it and enjoy, but beware the lizards!

“Without a Trace” by Charles Berlitz
Copyright © 1977 by Charles Berlitz
Published by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345272048

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