Some years back, I got to return to Venezuela by planning a windsurfing vacation for the family. I don’t windsurf, but Rob and Megan do and I usually love the places where there’s wind. There are shops where I can poke around, plenty of places to just sit back and read, appreciate where I am , whatever. There are at least two such spots in Venezuela – Margarita Island and Los Roques, an archipelago of 350 islands that cover nearly 41 square miles. The archipelago lies about 80 miles north of the Caracas airport, Maiquetia.
When I first read about Los Roques on a windsurfing site, it was just a day trip and sounded like a hassle. No hotels, restaurants or shops. Margarita, on the other hand, was tailored for windsurfing tourists. I chose Margarita, which would take us through Caracas, where I was born. Here, Megan and Rob not only got to windsurf, but Megan and I had an opportunity to swim with dolphins in an outdoor aquarium we had to ourselves.
I was reminded of all this today when I ran across a story about Los Roques – but not in a windsurfing context. On January 4, the plane carrying Italian fashion mogul Vittorio Missoni, his wife, two friends and the pilot, vanished off the coast of Venezuela. The plane was traveling from Los Roques to Caracas. No debris has been found, nothing to indicate the plane crashed. In fact, Vittorio’s oldest son, Ottavio, told Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera that, “A plane cannot vanish in this way, on a short route, without leaving any trace. I remain convinced that the least plausible reason is that they crashed into the water.”
According to ABC News, his opinion is based on a mysterious text message apparently sent from the cellphone of Guido Forsti, who was on the plane, to Forsti’s son more than 48 hours after it disappeared.
Missoni told the newspaper the text message read, “Call now. We are reachable.”
OK, so this is beginning to sound like an episode of Lost. But here’s the intriguing thing. Since the 1990s, 15 aircraft have reported emergencies, crashed, or disappeared in this same area, and that’s according to the The Guardian. In 2008, 14 people died when a plane making this same trip from Los Roques to Caracas vanished. No wreckage was found, only one body was recovered.
Now there’s speculation that Los Roques is the new Bermuda Triangle. I’m not so sure that the disappearance of 15 planes since the 1990s qualifies this spot as the new Bermuda Triangle. But I’m open to the possibility. A pattern of some sort seems to be emerging. And that text message received 48 hours after the disappearance of the plane is incredibly strange. It’s also weird that no wreckage has ever been found. But really, with more than two third of the planet covered by ocean, what do we really knows about any of it?
These anomalies may be urging us to look in new places for answers. To think way outside the box. And what do we find there?