When writing about the meteor that sailed over Lake Michigan on Monday, a listener dropped me a line wondering if the meteor came down in the 'Michigan Triangle'.

I had forgotten all about our little version of the 'Bermuda Triangle', and wondered if anything lately had disappeared in it, besides the meteor (allegedly).

The Michigan Triangle extends in a line from Ludington south to Benton Harbor, and then north across Lake Michigan to Manitowac, WI (home of the spooky events of the Netflix series 'Making A Murderer'. Coincidence? Probably, but if this were a film I'd cue some spooky music for effect).

Google Maps
Google Maps

There was a time where the Triangle was a very real phenomenon. In 1950, the disappearance of Northwestern Airlines Flight 2501 brought focus back to the Triangle and its ability to eat vessels.

Flight 2501 was flying to Minneapolis from New York City when it took a more northerly path over the big lake to avoid a storm. The plane, a DC-4 with 58 people on board was never heard from again, or found, outside of some personal effects of the passengers that washed up on shore. It was deadliest airline disaster in the US at the time.

Adding to the mystery was a strange red light viewed by two police officers in Wisconsin glowing over the spot where the plane was last heard from. The source was never identified.

That was the most recent event I could find tied to the mysterious triangle. There was another weird plane crash in 1965, when a Boeing 727 jet airliner headed to Chicago, United Flight 389 crashed into the lake, killing all 30 on board, but that was well south and west of the line.

Most of the shipwrecks associated with the myth come from an earlier time when weather prediction was iffy, and the vessels that plied thier trade on the Lake had primitive communications equipment, and wrecks were much more plentiful.

One of the stranger cases in Triangle lore is the disappearance of Captain George Donner from the freighter O.M. McFarland on April 18, 1937. After a long night of guiding the ship manually through the ice floes of Lake Michigan, Donner returned to his cabin to catch some rest. When the second mate when to waken the Captain as they neared their destination of Port Washington, WI, he found the cabin locked from the inside. After checking with the galley, the mate led an exhaustive search of the vessel to find Donner. They never did, and he was never heard from again, nor was a body ever found. It was his 58th birthday (which has nothing to do with anything, but it makes it sound more ominous!)

The finding of a Stonehenge like rock formation under the water near Traverse City in 2007 resurrected the myth of the Triangle for a brief time, but that interest waned quickly.

I'm not sure if the meteor crashing into the triangle will become part of the myth or not, but if it was a UFO, it certainly is part of the legend that aliens are involved in the Triangle crashes. Skeptics have their theories on what caused some of the wrecks, but as for me, I'll keep my mind open.

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