While filming for documentary series: Divers find “Challenger” debris in the Bermuda Triangle: “It’s something special”

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More than 36 years ago, the whole world held its breath when the space shuttle Challenger exploded just seconds after liftoff. Now divers have found a piece of wreckage from the space shuttle – very close to the dreaded Bermuda Triangle. We spoke to one of them.

January 28, 1986: Exactly 73 seconds after launch, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, killing all seven crew members. The live images of the catastrophe went around the world and kept millions of people in suspense. Originally built as a ground test platform, the space shuttle was later converted for use in space.

Ten space flights were completed between April 1983 and January 1986. Now a chance find sheds new light on the events of that time: while filming a documentary series entitled “Mysterium Bermuda Triangle”, divers came across a large piece of wreckage from the space shuttle – in the middle of the notorious Bermuda Triangle.

So it is that the “Challenger” plays the “Challenger Disaster” in “Mysterium Bermudatriangle”. The six-part glossy production will be broadcast on “The History Channel” from Wednesday, March 22, at 8:15 p.m.

Actually, the team of experts was off the coast of Florida in early March 2022 in search of suspected wreckage, hoping to find the remains of a PBM Martin Mariner rescue plane or five US Navy torpedo bombers. However, the divers only happened to come across a “Challenger” piece of wreckage.

After a second expedition in May 2022 and discussions with NASA, the suspicion of having found a remnant of the exploded space shuttle was confirmed. It is one of the first major parts of the space shuttle to be found since 1996.

One of the divers who joined the expedition is Jimmy Gadomski. He has long specialized in finding parts of aircraft wreckage. But up to now he hasn’t had much to do with space travel, says the man, whose fascination with what he’s experienced can still be clearly felt during the conversation. “We are making history here,” he explains in an interview.

“It’s something that has affected the lives of a lot of people.” At first, Gadomski recalls in the phone call, “we didn’t know what it was. We were looking for something completely different. But I knew straight away that we’d stumbled upon something significant.”

Close to the “Devil’s Triangle”

For Gadomski, the find was a “very emotional moment” that many of those involved will always remember. The diver, who was part of a team of underwater researchers and marine biologists on the expedition, welcomes the fact that the Challenger disaster is now being discussed in the documentary.

“I hope that the documentary will now enlighten those who didn’t see the explosion,” he explains. In addition, it should be “supplementary to other documentaries” “dedicated to this topic and the astronauts who sat in this space shuttle.”

The Bermuda Triangle has always been considered a notorious stretch of sea – it’s a myth that both fascinates and frightens. Countless ships and planes have been mysteriously lost since crossing these waters, and many crashes and sinkings have never been fully explained.

It is not for nothing that the Bermuda Triangle is also called the “Devil’s Triangle”. In fact, this sea area has already served as an inspiration for sometimes quite bizarre attempts at explanations, which have become the basis for many literary works and films.

Wasn’t Gadomski’s team afraid of the horror stories? “No, we’re not afraid,” the diver replies coolly. His team is technically well equipped and very experienced when it comes to expeditions in the area.

Gadomski: “We want to prove that it’s not just a question of a great mystery, but that something explainable really happened to the ships and planes when they crossed this sea area.”

“A lot can happen there”

For the professional diver, all the mysterious stories are just theories to explain the disappearance of the ships and planes more easily. Nevertheless, the American is aware of the possible dangers in the Bermuda Triangle: “It is a significant danger area – because of the weather and because of the fact that there is a lot of traffic there. So much can happen there. Conditions there can change suddenly.”

During the shooting, too, a storm suddenly blew up that the crew didn’t expect. Curiosity and the will to explain these catastrophes are the reasons why Gadomski takes part in such expeditions. And now? “We want to find out what happened back then. Why the wreckage is there.”

So what happens to the “Challenger” wreckage now? NASA alone decides that, because the find is now the official property of the Federal Agency for Space and Flight Science. Gadomski says he’s very excited to see what his find will entail. “I hope that we will be involved,” he wishes.

According to previous media reports, “Challenger” debris with a total weight of 107 tons has been recovered since the accident. It is assumed that about 47 percent of the entire spacecraft. The wreckage recovered on the seabed in the Bermuda Triangle is said to be at least 4.5 by 4.5 meters in size, it said last year after NASA’s Kennedy Space Center announced the discovery.

An entire episode of the series “Mysterium Bermuda Triangle” is dedicated to the spectacular find. It provides detailed insights into the investigations, including an analysis of the experts’ discussions with NASA. What other pieces of wreckage the elite team found during filming is shown in the remaining five episodes, which can be seen weekly. After the first broadcast on The History Channel, the episodes can be accessed on video-on-demand platforms such as Sky or Vodafone.


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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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