The Bermuda Triangle has been an area of intrigue and mystery for centuries. Whether it is a boat or airplane that ventures into this location, most of the time that whatever enters into it never leaves or is never the same again. One of the many strange occurrences that happened in the Bermuda Triangle happened around the time of World War II. Five United States Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers known as Flight 19 departed from Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on December 5th, 1945 on a routine training mission that was to last for three hours. The plan filed for Flight 19 was to travel 120 miles due east, then head 73 miles north and then return back during a 120-mile leg that would have them land at the naval base; Flight 19 never returned.The leader of the squadron within two hours into the mission suddenly contacted the base saying that his whereabouts was unknown due to both his regular compass and reserve compass was no longer functioning; the leader had previously flown in the area for over six months. Curiously, the rest of the squadron was suffering the same malfunctions with their instruments. Meanwhile on land, radio facilities were asked to try and pinpoint the position of the missing squadron but were unable to. Confusing transmissions from the fliers continued for another two hours until a garbled radio message from the leader of the squadron was received at 6:20 p.m. The transmission seemed to suggest that because of lack of fuel, the leader ordered everyone to abandon their aircrafts.While the squadron’s leader last communication was being heard, several radar stations on land finally decided that Flight 19 was located between east of the Florida coast and north of the Bahamas. A search and rescue Mariner aircraft left the base with a crew of 13 men at 7:27 p.m. The home base was radioed three minutes later from the Mariner aircraft that the mission had started; the Mariner aircraft disappeared and was never heard from again. A report from a tanker would eventually report that while traveling off the coast of Florida, an explosion was seen at 7:50 p.m.The 13 men of the Mariner aircraft and the 14 men of Flight 19 disappearance led to one of the biggest sea and air searches to that time period. Hundreds of aircraft and ships searched thousands of square miles of distant areas within Florida’s interior as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean; they found no trace of the aircrafts or of bodies.While officials from the navy insisted that the remains of the 27 men and 6 aircrafts were lost due to any evidence being swept away from stormy weather, the tale of the “Lost Squadron” only established firmly the Bermuda Triangle Legend; a section of the Atlantic Ocean where aircraft and ships supposedly disappear without a trace. The Bermuda Triangle’s supposed location is from the southern U.S. coast through Bermuda and down to the Atlantic coast of Santo Domingo and Cuba.
The conflict between Arabs and the Jewish people have been going on for decades. Sadly, it is a conflict that has cost life on both sides with no real solution in the immediate future. While history marks the original fallout between the two groups occurring roughly a century ago, an event that occurred in the 1940s did not help the situation. Although there was a fierce opposition from Arabs, the United Nations votes for an independent Jewish state to be created and the partition of Palestine.Looking back at how the conflict had started between the two in Palestine, it dates all the way back to the 1910s when Jews and Arabs tried to lay claim to British-controlled territory. The Jewish people were called Zionists as they were newly immigrants from Russia and Europe who traveled to their ancient homeland in order to settle and create a Jewish national state. The Palestinian Arabs native to the land wanted to stop Jewish immigration while creating a secular Palestinian state. Jews and Arabs battled openly in Palestine starting in 1929 and Britain tried to win over the Arabs by trying to limit immigration of the Jewish people. Jewish immigration into Palestine was considered illegal during WWII and was happening during the time of the Holocaust. Feeling that the British had betrayed the cause of the Zionists, Jewish radical groups used terrorist tactics against forces of the British in Palestine. The United States would eventually support the Zionist cause in 1945 as WWII was coming to an end. Being unable to come up with a beneficial solution, Britain decides to turn to the United Nations for a remedy in which they voted for the partition of Palestine on November 29th, 1947.Even though the Jewish people made up less than half of the population of Palestine, it was voted that more than half of Palestine would be owned by the Jewish people. However, with the support of volunteers from other countries, the Palestinian Arabs battled the forces of the Zionists; however, they would hold total control of their share declared by the U.N. in Palestine which included some Arab territory. Britain eventually withdrew when their mandate expired which led to the Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion to proclaim the existence of the State of Israel. Unfortunately, this led forces from Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan and Syria to invade the next day.Even though they were not as well equipped, the Israelis not only were able to fend off the attack by the Arabs but were able to acquire key territories such as the Palestinian coast, Galilee and a section of territory that linked the western section of Jerusalem to the coastal region. The U.N.-brokered cease-fires in 1949 granted the State of Israel control of the areas that were obtained permanently. During the war, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs left Israel which then gave a huge Jewish majority within the country.
Babi Yar is a ravine in Kiev, which is the capital of Ukraine. The Babi Yar ravine is about 150 meters long, about 30 meters wide, and about 15 meters deep. On September 29th of 1941, Babi Yar became the site of one of the most notorious massacres of the Second World War. The massacres were carried out by German forces trying to invade the Soviet Union. More than 33,000 Jewish men, women, and children were killed when they were forced to the edge of Babi Yar, then ordered to remove their clothes, then machine gunned into the ravine. The massacre lasted until the following day, because it takes a while to kill that many people, however methodically it was done. The Jewish people were forced to lie down on bodies that were already dead. Then a marksman walked across the bodies and shot each living person in the neck with a submachine gun. The Jewish massacre at Babi Yar is considered to be the largest single massacre in the history of the Holocaust to that date, although after that, two massacres surpassed it in the number of victims killed. Other massacres also took place at Babi Yar, with a total body count of anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 for that location. Also killed in the same ravine were communists, Gypsies, and prisoners of war. The Jewish people of Kiev were asked to go to the Babi Yar ravine for supposed resettlement. When they arrived, they were forced to release all their personal belongings, even their underwear. Belongings were placed in separate piles. Jewelry in one pile, shoes in another pile, coats in another pile, and so on. Once their belongings were taken, more than 30,000 naked Jewish men, women, and children were gunned down and fell into the ravine. Their bodies were covered with dirt and rocks.There were 29 survivors of the Jewish massacre at Babi Yar. Most of them had fallen into the ravine before being shot, and had played dead on the piles of corpses, remaining still as other bodies fell upon them. Then they were buried under a layer of dirt, but crawled out after the sun went down and the German soldiers had left. Only 29 lived to tell the tragic tale. Someday, some of them would take the witness stand.Among those responsible for ordering the massacre were Commander Dr. Otto Rasch and Sonderkommando Paul Blobel. Wall posters had requested the Jewish population to move, and gave directions. Although only five or six thousand Jews were expected to show up, more than 30,000 Jews arrived, each of them believing the resettlement story until the moment of their execution. The crowd was large enough that many of these people would not know what was happening until it was too late. By the time they heard the machine guns, there was no escape.In 2006, some Jewish organizations started to try to identify the victims of the Babi Yar Jewish massacre. So far, only ten percent of the victims have been identified.
On September 23rd of 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt defended his beloved dog, Fala, when he opened his presidential campaign with a speech to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union. The president could not resist talking about his dog, using him in anecdotes, telling funny stories about him. Obviously, FDR was quite attached to Fala. In the Teamsters Union speech, the president addressed a rumor going around that he had accidentally left Fala on the Aleutian Islands, and had sent a Navy destroyer (or was it a battleship? Or maybe a submarine?) over to fetch the dog, at a cost to taxpayers of two, eight, twelve, sixteen, or twenty million dollars, depending on who you ask. Roosevelt made it clear that, although he and his wife and his sons don't mind the constant abuse, he claimed his right to object to false, libelous statements about his dog. He scolded his Republican critics for sullying the reputation of a defenseless dog. The speech was received with laughter, all over America. This became known as President Roosevelt's Fala Speech. In reality, Orson Welles was helping FDR with his “less important speeches,” and defending Fala against the vicious Republican attack was actually Orson's idea.Fala, the presidential pet, was a Scottish terrier. He was given to FDR by one of his cousins as an early Christmas gift in 1940, when Fala was still a puppy. The president named him Murray the Outlaw of Falahill, after one of FDR's Scottish ancestors. This was soon shortened to Fala. The president became very attached to his little dog. Fala eventually became America's most famous presidential pet.Fala lived in the lap of luxury at the White House, and everywhere President Roosevelt went, Fala followed along. Fala could be seen everywhere from the Oval Office to overseas, standing at the side of his master, or sometimes sitting in his master's lap. Fala even once met Prime Minister Winston Churchill. At home, Fala slept at the foot of his master's bed.Fala could also do tricks, and FDR spoke of him frequently, with always an amusing story to tell. The White House antics of Fala the dog were constantly covered by media writers and cartoonists all over America.When FDR died in 1945, Fala immediately woke up barking, then ran from the house and raced barking up a hill, then just stood there quietly. After the death of his beloved master, Fala accepted FDR's widow, Eleanor, as his caretaker. But even Eleanor noticed that Fala only saw her as a temporary replacement until the day his master would finally come home. The world's most famous Scottie lived to be almost 12 years old, outliving FDR by seven years.When Fala died, he was buried next to his master at their home in New Hyde Park, New York. A statue of Fala sitting beside FDR can be seen at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC. Fala is the only presidential pet to be honored in such a way.