When I was maybe 9 years old, my grandparents , Jessie and Charles “Chuck” Gregory – would tell me stories about their travels.
In part, they inspired me to become an explorer and traveler myself and most certainly inspired me to having been to nearly 40 countries.
At the time I had been investigating ghosts and the paranormal, and unusual phenomena – when he sat down and told me a story about one of the most intriguing mysteries of our time – the Bermuda Triangle. A story my young mind didn’t fully comprehend and he later retold shortly before he passed away it in its entirety
During World War 2, my grandfather was in Naval Intelligence, and flew – on his belly with his feet to the front of the plane in the cleared out tail gun of a B-52 bomber doing reconnaissance missions in the North Atlantic and South Eastern United States as the concern grew that German U2 submarines might invade the southern half of the United States.
The United States was technically not at war at this time, but U2 submarines had been spotted as far south as Cuba and as far north as Greenland.
His specific mission had been classified: He was part of a small task force which was responsible for finding boats and planes that had gone missing in the Bermuda Triangle.
The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil’s Triangle, is a loosely defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean, where a number of aircraft and ships disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
The region stretches from Bermuda to Puerto Rico (where he was stationed) all the way to Miami.
Fortunately, for my grandfather, it was about the easiest and plushest mission you could get during the time, as he was quite literally stationed on a tropical island for a number of years, which left many of the naval guys desperate for entertainment options.
On July 2, 1937, my grandfather and his crew received an urgent order: They were sent on a series of flights with the orders to find and retrieve a Lockheed Electra 10E which had been lost contact with shortly after leaving Bermuda and had been reported missing somewhere between Bermuda and Charleston, South Carolina, some 800 miles away.
Military Intelligence, like Civilian Intelligence, is typically highly compartmentalized so when you receive orders, you typically do not question them. The difference between the two is – with military intelligence you are expected not to ask questions. That’s why military intelligence is often regarded as an oxymoron.
Two weeks in, they were pulling absolutely nothing and not having any luck whatsoever. During this time they found an oil slick which could suggest wreckage, which turned out to be an old civil war boat, they also found the wreckage of another plane which had gone missing in the region a few years prior, but nothing like the Electra.
By then, my grandfather got wind of the search in the Atlantic for Amelia Earhart’s plane. A Lockheed Electra 10E which had gone missing on the same date.
He couldn’t help but question the similarities in the searches.
But being Naval Intelligence, he knew he couldn’t question his military orders, so he had an idea.
He contacted his command, and asked for the registration number of the craft that had gone missing. He knew that they would quite likely deny it to him had it actually been Amelia’s aircraft they were looking for, after all, who needs an aircraft registration number when your simply trying to find wreckage.
So he had prepared a story for them: “I’d like to go check the logs of all the airports in the area – both private and public – to see if someone wrote a number close to the one that went missing. Maybe it’s just a transcription error and the pilots took the Electra wildly off course and we’re looking in the wrong place?”
His commander bought it, and provided the registration number: NR16020.
It was one and the same as Amelia Earhart’s plane.
For the next two weeks, my grandfather and his team continued their missions over the Bermuda Triangle, with no luck whatsoever. He’d checked the logs of airports all around the region, which there aren’t many – to find the same thing. And then, he checked Bermuda, and sure enough, Amelia’s plane had indeed taken off at midnight GMT on July 2, 1937 and had been lost in the Bermuda Triangle.
He told me it was the first time he had ever confronted his chain of command for lying to him.
It was a valuable lesson he received by his commander.
“Intelligence does not exist to make America fear more. It exists to make Americans feel safe to do whatever it is they please,” the commander told my grandfather.
“I don’t appreciate being lied to,” my grandfather said, who told me this in the present tense.
“The Navy didn’t lie to you. We gave you the information you needed to do your mission. And when you exhibited a need to know more. We gave you what you needed.”
My grandfather it seemed was never a hothead.
The commander had cooled him sufficiently, when he said:
“Chuck, The Bermuda Triangle, like witches and ghosts, are enemies we cannot afford to have right now. Once we start publicly identifying every single threat which faces the United States at any given moment in time, when does it end? Do you want to live in a nation of fear, or a nation driven by its pursuit of a better and more enjoyable life?”
My grandfather told me he began to protest one more time, when the commander then asked him:
“Chuck, there was a reason you were recruited into naval intelligence. It takes a special person to grasp this world without censorship. So keep this in mind before you tell me what the public deserves. You were selected for a reason.”
I myself had never been told something like this when I signed up for the NSA. But when my grandfather died, six months after I learned the secret about his being in naval intelligence and his secret about what he was really doing in the Atlantic during World War 2, I came to realize.
My family’s history is incredible.
In 1995, as I went for my first flight after officially getting approved by the FAA and receiving my private pilot’s license, my grandfather volunteered to go up with me in my small Cessna 172 plane which we then took over the deserts south of South Chandler, Arizona. He was thrilled. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t either. It was then I asked him about the story of Bermuda of which he only said “ask me another time.”
Amelia Earhart is publicly documented as having been lost at sea 800 miles after leaving Hawaii, and her wreckage was never publicly recovered.
And my grandfather – he was on a team who recovered parts of the missing plane in the Bermuda Triangle, nearly a year after they were sent on the original mission. The propeller of which is on display at North Hollywood Library which has been devoted to Amelia’s life and career as the first woman to circle the world.
Was my grandfather just a good storyteller? Or was it all true?
I will never know.
To this day, the US Navy does not acknowledge the Bermuda triangle to exist, and the name is not recognized by the US Board on Geographic Names.
And public documentation lists Amelia Earhart as having disappeared in the Pacific.
In 2011, as I was driving on the freeway – I saw a plane which looked exactly like Amelia Earhart’s plane with smoke pouring out of it heading sideways toward me about 1500 feet above the I17 freeway just north of Phoenix.
I was seeing all kinds of waking visions at this time as it was, and as I urgently avoided traffic in the area and then pulled off to the emergency lane and looked up again…
The plane was gone. I looked all around and it was nowhere around.
It’s my belief that there was an electrical fire in the cockpit of the plane as a direct result of going through a real life unstable black hole that had manifested on the surface of Planet Earth known as the Bermuda Triangle, and what I saw was the plane ‘skipping through time’.
Many of Histories mystery’s in my opinion can be resolved by understanding temporal anomalies such as this, how they come about and why, and by looking at the disparity and the conflict between publicly available information and what’s held in private.
One of these days.
I’ll have children of my own despite not being genetically equipped to have them.
They’ll have children themselves.
And I’ll tell those kids the stories of my life– true stories of life as I have experienced it – and stories to come the likes of which no child on this planet has ever heard before.
They’ll smile. And nod. And laugh and say things like ‘grandpa’s senile’ and ‘grandpa’s crazy’.
Then one day. One by one. They’ll slowly begin to realize…
It is all true. Every single bit of it.