The image above shows a thunderstorm sweeping across the Atlantic toward Key Biscayne and the lighthouse where I was perched high above the water. I was there to be interviewed by Josh Gates of the Discovery Channel’s Expedition Unknown. The show was working on an episode about the Bermuda Triangle. Josh picked me (Rob) to open up the show with him from atop the lighthouse after a referral from Dave Shrader of Beyond the Darkness Radio.
The interview was pretty basic. Since I’d co-authored two Bermuda Triangle-related books, he started out by asking me to define the B.T.—where it is and what it is. We talked some about the origins going back to 1492 and Colombus’s first voyage to the New World. We also talked about the theories and I told him that I had been somewhat skeptical about the BT until I started researching stories and hearing some first-hand encounters, such as the ones by my co-author Bruce Gernon.
We did take after take with slightly different wordings or postures. At times, it was more like acting than being interviewed. But it was a lot of fun.
Josh’s last question to me prompted a startling synchronicity. He asked if I’d ever had a Bermuda Triangle experience myself. In fact, I had. It was on a flight from Andros Island in the Bahamas to West Palm Beach with Trish and Bruce and his wife, Lynn. The flight had followed interviews Bruce and I had done for the History Channel’s UFO Hunters. We took off, flew out over the Tongue of the Ocean, the 6,500-foot trench on the west side of the island, after circling past the U.S. Navy base on the island, known as AUTEC, Atlantic Undersea Testing and Evaluation Center.
The GPS screen showed a string of Bahama Islands spreading out to the west toward Florida. Abruptly, the navigation system shut down. No more islands, no more GPS. Just as I said the system shut down, a booming peal of thunder startled us. Josh was amazed and quickly check with the sound guy to make sure he recorded the boom and he asked the two cameramen if they had turned and filmed the approaching storm.
I continued the story, explaining that fortunately Bruce is a very experienced pilot and was able to find the way back to Florida without getting confused or lost. Curiously, as we passed over the mainland, the GPS screen popped back up. The next day, Bruce had the system checked and it was found to be in perfect order.
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Expedition Unknown, you probably know that Josh Gates likes to push it to the edge and he has found himself in some dangerous and precarious situations. So it wasn’t surprising when he continued the interview, repeating segments of it over and over—seeking the perfect combination of picture and sound—as the storm moved our way. By the end, the storm hit us as lightning flashed and thunder rumbled and we were still doing takes literally shouting above the storm. That’s just the way he likes it! It was fun, a little scary, and we were both very wet as we wrapped.
After the shoot was over, I told Robert Vanover, the chief producer, about the timing of the initial blast of thunder, and he responded: “Synchronicity!”
Josh Gates: Expedition Unknown