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|Fails from the crypt|
Charles Berlitz (1914–2003) is probably more responsible than anybody else for popularising the idea of the Bermuda Triangle, which had previously lurked unnoticed in magazine articles by the obscure Vincent Gaddis.
His interest in underwater archaeology developed into a sideline in writing. In 1969 he wrote The Mystery of Atlantis and in 1972 Mysteries from Forgotten Worlds. His 1974 book, called imaginatively The Bermuda Triangle, was an enormous
pile of crap success, and he continued on the paranormal theme with books about the Philadelphia Experiment and the Roswell events, becoming the first big selling author to address these topics. So it's his fault, basically.
Before diving deep into woo, he was a respected linguist - his grandfather was responsible for the Berlitz language training courses and got him learning other languages at an early age. Berlitz's best-known work in this field was the 1982 book Native Tongues, which explores the history, development and decline of languages.