Marysburgh Vortex Ontario Bermuda Triangle

Mysterious disappearances and sightings linked to Ontario's version of the Bermuda Triangle

Ontario has its fair share of mysterious places from haunted theatres to a spooky lighthouse with a grisly past. However, you might not know that the province has its very own version of the Bermuda Triangle, just off the shores of Prince Edward County.

An area known as the Marysburgh Vortex, sometimes called "The Graveyard of Lake Ontario," is rumoured to have between 270 and 500 shipwrecks in its basin, and at least 40 planes that met a similar fate. The triangle is also known for mysterious disappearances and inexplicable sightings.

Marysburg Vortex

The Marysburg Vortex could have as many as 500 shipwrecks in its basin, along with at least 40 plane crashes. Image by Ghosts Hauntings Wiki.

Ontario's triangle of doom is made up of three points: Wolfe Island, Mexico Bay near Oswego, New York, and Point Petre in Prince Edward County.

At least 270 people have lost their lives in Marysburgh Vortex over the years, sparking legends of folklore and cautionary tales spanning centuries.

While a large number of the tragedies can be attributed to the area's shallow waters and adverse weather eastern Lake Ontario is notorious for, there are also many stories and sightings so unusual there is no clear explanation.

One peculiar incident occurred in 1889 when a timber ship called Bavaria was being towed, but something went wrong. The tow line parted, leaving the Bavaria to be swept back down the lake.

Two days later when the vessel was found, nothing looked amiss - the ship was fully intact, the table was set for dinner, the captain's papers and freight money were still in his desk, and there was even a pet canary in its cage cheerfully singing.

However, there was no sign of the entire crew of seven or Captain John Marshall. Their disappearance remains a mystery to this day.

Marysburgh Vortex

An image of the schooner Picton docked in Picton Harbour in the late 1800s. Image from the Naval Marine Archive – The Canadian Collection, Picton.

Another ship called The Picton seemed to have vanished into thin air in 1900. While being escorted by two other ships, eyewitnesses claimed the ship suddenly disappeared, almost as if it had plunged into a bottomless pit.

The Picton was never found, nor were any bodies recovered. The only evidence of its existence was discovered weeks later with a note in a bottle, handwritten by the ship's Captain Sidley reading, “Have lashed Vesey to me with heaving line so that we will be found together.”

Vessey was the captain's young son, who was also onboard when The Picton vanished. Neither were ever found.

People have since also reported strange sightings in the sky, including a floating inverted jet ski and what appeared to be a shroud-encompassed diamond late at night.

Aircraft have also been affected above the waters. An amateur pilot named Ron Scott was flying a Cessna 172 in 1975 on a clear day when his plane banked sharply to one side and seemed stuck in that position without explanation. Luckily, it eventually righted itself, but others were not so lucky.

At almost the exact same spot in 1952, a fighter jet carrying Royal Canadian Airforce Pilot Barry Allen Newman plummeted into the water from 20,000 feet. His body was never found. 

One possible explanation for the number of shipwrecks in the area is the region's magnetic anomaly. The result of a ring-shaped meteorite impact that's left compass-confusing minerals beneath the lake's surface, navigating those parts of the waters is dangerous, as the magnetic field can offset a compass by 20 degrees.

As for the peculiar sightings, thermal inversions may play a part, creating convincing optical illusions due to light reflecting off warmer layers of air, which seemingly project objects into the sky.

Still, the Marysburgh Vortex remains the centrepiece of wildly imaginative theories, and a popular destination for ghost-hunters and UFO seekers today. If you're up for a spooky adventure, you can embark on a nearby ghost tour in the city of Kingston.

Lead photo by

Yi Jiang from the blogTO Flickr pool

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