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Unit 6 A World of Mystery

The Bermuda Triangle

[1] On 5th December 1945, Flight 19, which consisted of five US Navy planes, took off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida in fine weather. There was a total of fourteen men on board the planes. The planes were in good condition; they had the best equipment on board including compasses and radios, and they also carried life rafts. The planes could float on water for ninety seconds. One and a half hours after the take-off, a radio message from one of the planes was heard at the control tower at Fort Lauderdale.

[2] "I don't know where we are."

[3] After that the planes could no longer speak to the control tower, but they could speak to and hear each other, and the control tower could hear them.

[4] "The magnetic compass is going crazy."

[5] "We're completely lost."

[6] No other messages were heard after that. Nobody else heard from the planes or saw them again. Three hundred planes and many boats searched the area, but not one trace of Flight 19 was found. Then one of the planes that was sent to look for them also disappeared completely.

[7] These planes had disappeared in a very mysterious part of the world in the western Atlantic Ocean where lots of strange events have taken place. The mystery started long before 1945, and since that year many other ships and planes have also disappeared in this area. It is called the Bermuda Triangle. It is a large, triangular area of the ocean with the island of Bermuda at its northern tip.

[8] Planes and ships disappear in other parts of the world, but there are more disappearances in the Triangle than in other areas. For years now scientists and others have been puzzled by this mystery. There have been many attempts to explain why people, planes and ships disappear in such high numbers here .

[9] One writer, John Spencer, believes that the ships and planes have been carried off from the sea and sky by flying saucers or UFOs from another planet. Since there are millions of other planets in the universe, Spencer believes there must be other intelligent creatures somewhere in the universe. These creatures are interested in collecting humans and their equipment so that they can examine them carefully.

[10] Another theory is that the geography of the area is responsible for the disappearances of the ships and planes. Bermuda lies on an earthquake belt. Underwater earthquakes result in large waves appearing suddenly. These waves are so big that they can break a ship into pieces. In the air, a similar thing can happen to airplanes because of

sudden strong winds.

[11] As with Flight 19, many boats and planes have reported that their magnetic compasses stop working properly in the Bermuda Triangle. Normally a magnetic compass points towards magnetic north . However, the Bermuda Triangle is one of the two places on Earth in which a compass points towards true north. Therefore, there is something strange about the magnetic properties of the area.

[12] Many people have found these explanations difficult to believe. However, the most recent theory has a scientific basis and is more believable. The discovery of methane gas on the seafloor of the Bermuda Triangle started a scientist, Dr. Mclver, thinking about an explanation for the mysteries. Sometimes large amounts of the gas escape from the seafloor and rise into the air. This could produce large waves on the surface which would make a ship sink. When the gas mixes with air, it could also cause a ship's engine to stop or it could start a fire. Similarly, as the mixture rises into the air, it could cause an airplane's engine to stop or explode. The explosions would break a ship or a plane into tiny pieces.

[13] This latest theory has yet to be proved but seems to offer a better explanation as to why Flight 19 and all the other planes, ships and people have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle.


1 1945 年1

2 月5 日,佛罗里达州的劳德代尔堡,天气晴好,由5 架美国海军飞机组成的第19 飞行小队从这儿起飞。机上共有14 名机组人员。飞机状态(状况)良好:机上装有当时最好的设备,包括罗盘和无线电设备,还携带有救生筏。飞机可以在水上漂浮90 秒钟。飞机起飞90 分钟后,劳德代尔堡的指挥塔台听到了从其中一架飞机传来的无线电信息。

2 “我不知道我们现在所处的位置。’

3 这之后飞机再也无法和指挥塔台通话,但是飞机之间可以通话,而且指挥塔台也能听到他们的谈话。

4 “磁罗盘简直疯了。”

5 “我们完全迷失了方向。”

6 这之后没有收到其他任何信息。再也没有其他任何人收到过这些飞机的消息或看到过它们。300 架飞机和许多船只搜索了该地区,但没有找到第19 飞行小队的任何踪迹。而且其中一架被派去搜寻的飞机也彻底失踪了。

7 这些飞机是在西大西洋上一个非常神秘的地方失踪的,在这里已经发生了许多奇怪的事件。这种神秘现象在1945 年之前很久就已出现,而且自那一年以来,又有许多其他


8 飞机和船只在世界的其他地方也会失踪,但是百慕大三角发生的失踪事件要比其他地区多。多年来科学家们和其他人士对这一神秘现象感到困惑。人们做了许多努力,试图解释为什么有这么多的人、飞机和船只在这里失踪。

9 作家约翰·斯宾塞认为,这些船只和飞机被来自另一行星的飞碟或者说UFO(不明飞行物)从海上和空中劫走了。他的看法是,既然宇宙里有数百万其他行星,那么在宇宙中某处肯定存在其他有智慧的生物。这些生物喜欢收集人类及其设备,以便仔细观察。

10 另一种理论认为该地区的地理状况是造成船只和飞机失踪的罪魁祸首。百慕大位于地震带。水下地震导致巨浪突然涌现。这些波浪如此巨大,足以将船只撕成碎片。在空中,由于突然出现的强风,飞机也会遭遇到类似的情况。

11 和第19 飞行小队一样,许多船只和飞机也曾报告说,他们的磁罗盘在百慕大三角不再正常工作。通常磁罗盘指向磁北极。在地球上有两个地方罗盘刚好指向真北,而百慕大三角就是其中之一。因而,这一地区的磁性有些怪异。

12 许多人认为这些解释令人难以置信。而最新的一种理论具有科学根据,因而比较可信。百慕大海底甲烷的发现使得麦克维尔博士开始考虑如何解释这些神秘现象。有时大量甲烷气体会从海底逸出,升人空中。这可能在海面产生巨浪从而使船只沉没。甲烷和空气混合还可能引起船上发动机停转或者起火。同样,甲烷与空气的混合物升人空中会引起飞机发动机停转或爆炸。而爆炸会把船只或飞机炸成极小的碎片。

13 这一最新理论仍有待证实,但它似乎给第19 飞行小队以及所有其他的飞机、船只和人员为什么会在百幕大三角失踪提供了一种更好的解释。

Life Elsewhere?

[1] As we all know, the Earth has everything that is needed for life to develop, which is why we are here. But four billion years ago, when the Earth was formed, what were the chances that life would emerge ? Pretty small, according to biologists—about the same chance that you would have of winning the national lottery five weeks in a row. So we're quite lucky to be here.

[2] What about the chances of life forming elsewhere —in our own galaxy, for instance? The Milky Way contains about 400 billion stars. Some (maybe most) of these have planets orbiting them, and the chances are that many millions — or even billions —of these planets could support life. So it does seem possible that there are some other lottery winners living in the same neighborhood.

[3] And if you think that there are countless other galaxies out there — many of them far bigger than the Milky Way — then it seems obvious that there must be other forms of

life somewhere in the universe.

[4] But is it intelligent life, the kind of life that could build spaceships and pay us a visit?

[5] Here on Earth there have been billions of species, but only one of them has turned out to be intelligent enough to develop technology and fly into space. And even we're not particularly intelligent: the human race will probably blow itself up long before it learns how to visit other parts of the galaxy.

[6] But let's suppose that there are advanced civilizations here in our own galaxy, who have developed fast-moving flying saucers. Would they visit the Earth?

[7] First we need to ask: why should they want to? The most likely answer is that their own sun is at the end of its life, and they need to find somewhere else to live.

[8] And the next question is: why here? The diagram shows the part of the Milky Way which probably has the largest number of habitable planets. The oldest ones (and therefore ones which are most likely to have advanced forms of life) are in the shaded area. We're towards the edge (marked X).

[9] If I were an alien looking for a new home, I think I would try a few million of my neighboring planets before bothering to travel a hundred thousand trillion miles to visit the Earth, in a journey that would take at least 200,000 years.

[10] But what about all those UFO sightings that are reported every year? Well, most of them are planes. And whatever the others are, they're not flying saucers. If you were a visiting alien with incredibly powerful technology, what would you do: hide yourself away and keep quiet, or land and take over the Earth? I know what my answer would be.

[11] If there are other forms of life elsewhere in the universe (and I'm sure there are), that's exactly where they are—elsewhere.


1 众所周知,地球具有生命所需要的一切条件,这也是我们在地球上得以生存的原因。但是40 亿年之前,当地球形成的时候,出现生命的可能性有多大呢?据生物学家说,可能性相当小,就和你能连续5 个星期获得全国彩票大奖的概率差不多。所以我们能够在地球上有今天是相当幸运的。

2 在其他地方产生生命的可能性有多大呢——比如,在我们自己的星系中?银河系约有4000亿个恒星。其中有一些(或许大多数)有行星围绕着它们运行,很可能其中有好几百万甚至几十亿个行星能够维持生命。因此,看来确有可能在同一个星系中居住着其他一些彩票中奖者。

3 而且如果你想到,银河系之外还有数不清的其他星系,其中有好些要比银河系大得多,那么,显而易见,在宇宙的其他地方肯定存在着其他形式的生命。

4 但也是智慧生命吗,是那种能够建造宇宙飞船来访问我们的生命吗?

5 在地球上曾经有几十亿个物种存在,但是结果只有一个物种有足够的智慧来发展技术并飞人太空。而且即便我们人类也不能算特别聪明:人类在学会怎样到达银河系的其他地方之前,很可能早已自我毁灭了。

6 不过我们还是假设,在我们的银河系中有高级文明,他们已经开发了快速的飞碟。他们会来访问地球吗?

7 首先我们要问:他们为什么想要造访地球?最可能的答案是他们所拥有的恒星行将灭亡,他们必须找到其他居住的地方。

8 下一个问题是:为什么选择地球?下图显示了银河系中适合于生命居住的行星,这部分可能是这类行星最集中的部分。阴影部分是最古老的行星(因而也就是最有可能具有高级生命的行星)。我们(地球) 靠近边缘(用X 表示这一位置)。

9 如果我是寻找新家的外星人,我想我会先尝试邻近的几百万个行星,然后才会费劲飞行10 亿亿英里来造访地球,因为这一旅程至少需要花上20 万年。

10 然而,所有那些每年报道的目击UFO 的事件又是怎么回事呢?其实,它们中多数是飞机。至于其余的情况,不论它们是什么,都不是飞碟。假如你是拥有超凡技术的星外来客,你会怎么做:是躲起来不吭声,还是登陆并占领地球?我知道我会选择哪个答案。

11 假如宇宙中地球之外真有其他形式的生命存在(我敢肯定有),那便是它们目前所在之处——地球之外。

The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition

[1] Many years ago, explorers wanted to find a way by sea from Europe to China. In 1845, John Franklin left England with 134 men to look for a route through the Arctic .

[2] Franklin's ships had everything they needed. They had enough food in tins for three years and thousands of liters of lemon juice to stop disease. They also had two libraries with 3,000 books, excellent maps, scientific instruments, musical instrument and a new invention: a camera.

[3] Franklin and his men left England on May 19th, 1845, and they sailed without problems across the Atlantic towards Canada. When Franklin arrived at Baffin Bay in July 1845, things were going very well for the expedition. On July 26, some sailors saw Franklin's ships when they were entering the bay. That was the last time that anyone saw Franklin and his men alive.

[4] Then, in August 1850 some sailors found the first signs of the Franklin Expedition while they were searching on Devon Island: some old food tins, some papers,

and, something very strange, the graves of three men. The men all died in January 1846 while Franklin was waiting in Baffin Bay for the ice to melt. But why did they die? What happened to them? And where were the ships and all the other sailors? The mystery of the Franklin Expedition was growing stronger...

A. The last message

[5] Jane Franklin was John Franklin's wife. She wanted to know exactly what had happened to her husband. In July 1857, she sent an expedition to the Arctic. A year later, on an island in Baffin Bay, they discovered one of Franklin's sailors. He was lying in a boat at the edge of the sea—dead.

[6] Near the dead man, they found a small stone house. Inside the house they found

a note. It was the last message from the Franklin Expedition.

B. April 25th 1848

We arrived here in September 1846—nineteen months ago. Our ships are trapped in the ice and we cannot move. The men are dying—25 men are already dead. Captain John Franklin died on June 11th 1847. We left the ships two days ago. Our only chance now is to walk.

[7] So, Franklin and his men died in the Arctic—three years after they left England. Without any food, their only chance was to walk to their deaths in the ice. The Franklin mystery was solved.

[8] But was it solved? Why were there so many sailors dying when they left the ships? Franklin had excellent maps of the area. Why did he take the wrong route? There were still questions to be answered...

C. Mystery solved?

D.1984, 140 years later

[9] Dr. Owen Beattie was a scientist at a university in Canada. He wanted to know why so many men died on the Franklin Expedition.

[10] Dr. Beattie began by thinking about the first men who died on the expedition . They were all young and they died after only six months at sea. Twenty more men died the next year. There was something very strange about this and there was only one way to discover what it was.

[11] In 1984, Dr. Beattie went to Baffin Bay with a team of scientists. There, they opened the graves of the three Franklin sailors. Because of the extreme cold and ice, the bodies were in perfect condition. Beattie took small samples of hair and skin and then put the bodies back into the graves.

[12] Back at the university, Beattie made an incredible discovery. From the hair and

skin, he found that the three men died from lead poisoning . They had nearly 100 times more lead in their bodies than normal.

[13] But where did the lead come from? Beattie looked closely at some of Franklin's food tins and found the answer. In those days, tins were closed with lead. Usually, this was not a big problem, but these tins were not made correctly. Lead was inside the tins. It was not the ice and cold that killed the men. It was the 8,000 tins of food that they were eating.

[14] Lead also affects the brain. It makes it difficult to think clearly. We can now understand why John Franklin made so many poor decisions.


1 许多年前,探险家们想要找到从欧洲到中国的海上通道。1845 年,约翰·富兰克林带着134 人离开英格兰前往寻找穿过北极的线路。

2 富兰克林的船队装备一应俱全。他们带有足够食用

3 年的罐头食品和数千升可抵御疾病的柠檬汁。他们还有两个图书室,备有3,000 册书籍、精美地图、科学仪器、乐器和一项新发明:照相机。

3 富兰克林一行于1845 年5 月19 日从英格兰出发。他们一帆风顺地穿过大西洋驶往加拿大。富兰克林于1845 年7 月抵达巴芬湾,探险队一切顺利。7 月26 日,有航海者看到富兰克林的船队,此时船队正进入海湾。这是最后一次有人看见活着的富兰克林和他的队员。

4 此后,1850 年8 月,几位航海者在德文岛搜寻时首次发现了富兰克林探险队的踪迹:一些旧的食品罐、文件以及一件很奇怪的事,3 个人的坟墓。这3 人都死于1846 年1 月,当时富兰克林仍在巴芬湾等待冰层融化。可这几人的死因是什么呢?他们遭遇到了什么?船只和其他船员又在哪里?富兰克林探险之谜由此而变得越来越神秘了…… 最后的


5 简·富兰克林是约翰·富兰克林的妻子。她想知道丈夫究竟出了什么事。1857 年7 月,她派遣了一个探险队前往北极。一年之后,在巴芬湾的一个海岛上,他们发现了富兰克林的一个队员。他躺在海岸边的一只小船上,已经死去。

6 在死者附近,他们发现有一间石头小屋。在屋他们找到一字条。这是富兰克林探险队留下的最后信件:1848 年 4 月25 日我们于1846 年9 月到达此地——那是19 个月前。我们的船只被困在冰中,我们无法行动。队员们挣扎在死亡线上——已有25 人死亡。船长约翰·富兰克林死于184

7 年6 月11 日。两天前我们下了船。现在我们惟一的机会是步行。

7 原来,富兰克林和他的探险队员死于北极——在他们离开英格兰3 年之后。没有了食物,他们惟一的机会是在冰上走向他们的死亡。富兰克林(探险)之谜被解开了。

8 然而,它真的被解开了吗?为什么有大量船员在离船时早已奄奄一息?富兰克林有那个地区的精确地图,他为什么会选错航线呢?仍有问题尚需解答…… 谜底揭开? 谜底揭开1848 年,140 年之后·

9 欧文·贝蒂博士是加拿大一所大学的科学家。他想找出在富兰克林那次探险中,那么多人死亡的原因。

10 贝蒂博士从探险中第一批死亡的船员着手寻找答案。他们都是年轻船员,在海上仅6 个月后便死去。第二年又死了20 人。这其中有极为古怪之处,而找出答案只有一个办法。

11 1984 年,贝蒂博士带着一个由科学家组成的小组赶往巴芬湾。在那里,他们挖开了富兰克林3 位船员的坟墓。由于严寒地冻,他们的尸体完好无损。贝蒂取下毛发和皮肤的小块标本后,将尸体埋回坟墓。

12 回到大学后,贝蒂取得了令人难以置信的发现。从毛发和皮肤(的化验)中,他发现3 人都死于铅中毒。他们体的铅含量超过正常人近一百倍。

13 可是铅又是从哪里来的呢?贝蒂仔细查看了富兰克林所带的一些食品罐头后找到了答案。在那个年代,罐头是用铅密封的。通常这并不是个大问题,但这批罐头的制造方法不对,铅是在罐头的侧! 这些人并非死于冰雪和寒冷。他们食用的那8,000 听罐头才是罪魁祸首。

14 铅同时还影响大脑。它使人无法清醒地思考。现在我们能理解为什么约翰·富兰克林做出了那么多糟糕的决定。

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