Bermuda Triangle in Poyang Lake

March 12, 2006 Updated: March 12, 2006

In China's Poyang Lake, an area called Laoye Miao (Old Fellow Temple), has the same latitude as the infamous Bermuda Triangle, which is 32.48 degrees north of the equator. Laoye Miao is also noted for the high incidence of lost ships. It is located near Luoxing Mountain in Duchang County, Jiangxi Province.

On April 16, 1945, close to the end of the Second World War, the weather was sunny and mild. A Japanese army transportation ship “Kobe” was carrying more than 200 solders, and a large amount of treasures including antiques, paintings, gold, silver, and pearls. When the ship was cruising on the Poyang Lake through the Laoye Miao area, a huge tide suddenly emerged; the sky turned foggy, and it began to rain heavily. Almost simultaneously, the Kobe broke apart and sank quickly and disappeared. Soon after the ship sank the sky cleared and the weather stabilized again.

After hearing of the Kobe's disappearance, the Japanese navy, stationed in Jiujiang City, immediately sent a well-trained rescue team to the location of ship's disappearance. The lake only measured roughly 30 meters in depth where the ship had gone down. Team leader, Colonel Tomohisa, together with seven other divers searched for the ship and possible survivors without surfacing until dark, when Tomohisa himself came up from the search alone. Reports say his face was pale and emotionless, and he couldn't even speak when asked any question. He was later diagnosed with a mental disorder. Newspapers such as the China Republic Daily and San Francisco Tribune had full coverage on the incident at the time.

In Summer of 1946, American diving rescue expert Dr. Edward Bolton was invited by the Chinese National Party Government to retrieve the Kobe. It took his team a few months, millions of yuan, and yet they still couldn't find anything. A few divers were lost in the search for the Kobe. Edward and other team members remained silent about the search for many years.

It wasn't until 40 years later that Edward uncovered his mission in a memoir published in United Nation Environment News . He reported that after searching underwater about one kilometer's distance, they were suddenly dazzled by a bright light and a loud sound. The lake felt like it was shaking, and their ears were impacted by a high-pitched sound. Before he realized what was happening, he was pulled forcefully towards a vortex, and instantly felt dizzy while starting to lose sensation.

He was then hit abruptly on the waist, which awakened him, and he grabbed onto a nearby reef. He saw a long white light whirling around on the lake bottom. Some of his partners were drawn in by the bright light, and they disappeared in the vortex. Later on, others repeatedly came to search for the lost divers, but no remains were ever found.

In the 1980's, the Chinese Communist Navy sent a diving team near Laoye Miao to support a scientific research project. They also failed to retrieve anything. On the last day, the team leader Captain Shen Dahai was not satisfied with the search, and he decided to try again. This time he unfortunately did not come back. The Captain's body was found the next afternoon in Changba Shan Lake, 15 kilometers from Laoye Miao. Changba Shan Lake is a 20 square kilometers inner-land lake- surrounded by mountains. It is not connected with Poyang Lake, and its altitude is 12 meters higher.

Possibly thousands of ships and boats have sunk in the Laoye Miao area with each rescue effort resulting in nothing. Where did the ships and people go?