There’s one good thing about being the father of a very radical and unique theory. Until it catches on, no one wants to touch it. You receive ridicule or dismissal. This is good for only one reason. When it does catch on, there’s no disputing who is the originator of the theory. You can also brag about what you had to go through to pioneer the facts into the public forum. No one wanted to touch me and my theory. Now it is the dominant theory for the fate of the famous “Lost Squadron.” Bits and pieces of the evidence I have uncovered have been liberated by others since then, but they seemed to be used to support some rather shady schemes for search and recovery.
Beginning back in 1992, the standard view was that the 5 TBMs simply went down at sea and left no trace. Any other theory would have hinged on being sucked up into a flying saucer.
But in that year I had uncovered the Flagler Beach report. Four to 6 aircraft had been reported on radar by the USS Solomons where they were not supposed to exist. The time was close to around 7 p.m. How to interpret this? From the winds that prevailed that night, Flagler Beach, Florida, is exactly where Flight 19 should have come into the coast. FT-36, Captain Ed Powers plane, didn’t have IFF aboard, so it would have been hard for the Solomons radar operator to determine the actual number of planes from skin returns alone.
Even later that night ATC (Air Transport Command) in Brunswick and Jacksonville were picking up 5 planes near the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia. They were planes for which the commands had no record. In other words, they were not scheduled flights. Moreover, they were planes that did not answer any calls. Only Flight 19, limited to its training frequency (it was good only around Fort Lauderdale), would be unable to hear hails from the bases or be able to contact them.
Thereafter the flight vanished. It never landed. It was never picked up on radar by any other base south of Jacksonville. It was last reported just east of the Okefenokee in southern Georgia.
I detail the entire event in They Flew into Oblivion. Suffice it to say here that with the fuel remaining, there could be little other option but that Flight 19 went down in the 660 square mile peat bog known as the Okefenokee Swamp.
Not only are the conditions inside the swamp not naturally conducive to a search this long after the fact, the entire area is a protected Federal Reserve. No trespassing allowed. . . except in designated areas.
I went to these designated areas. They amount to about 2% of the swamp, but this is a huge area nevertheless. I’ve been asked what happened to my Triangle site. I just recently let Bermuda-triangle.org go down. After 18 years it was time to move on and consolidate at The Quester Files. I will, however, put up my Okefenokee Swamp picture page on the Quester site. It is my theory after all, and it is the Number 1 theory out there for the fate of the “Lost Patrol.”
It took about 10 years, two TV documentaries, my website and a published book, to finally give ascent to my theory on the fate of Flight 19. But the struggle has been worth it. They Flew into Oblivion to date is my most honored book. It inspired a Resolution in Congress in 2005, and it continues to garner praise and attention.
It’s an odd place, the Okefenokee. It’s a land that time forgot. The path of Flight 19 to this other world is fraught with irony, tragedy and drama. Nothing can be more ironic than that the famous flight that launched our interest in the Bermuda Triangle actually vanished in a Federal Reserve in southern Georgia, far outside of the Triangle.
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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.