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ACT Question for April 25th

          NATURAL SCIENCE:

               The Bermuda Triangle is an area of the
          Atlantic Ocean where many ships and airplanes
          have gone missing. Not all of these occurrences
          can be explained by acts of nature or human
(5)     error, so some people have attributed the
          disappearances to a suspension of the laws of
          physics, paranormal activity, or even
          extraterrestrial beings. Sometimes events just
          can’t be explained scientifically. When this
(10)   happens, as in the case of the Bermuda Triangle,
          explanations can vary wildly.
               Historically, the Bermuda Triangle has been
          reported as a place of suspicious activity. It is
          one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, and
(15)   sudden storms often appear. Sailors as early as
          Christopher Columbus began reporting the
          area’s abnormal activity. In 1492, Columbus
          documented that he and his crew saw strange
          lights on the horizon and flames in the sky.
(20)   Some scholars think that Columbus might have
          seen the cooking fires of natives on the shore or
          falling meteors, but others since Columbus have
          also made claims of unexplained lights in the
          Bermuda Triangle.
(25)        In the 1950s and 1960s, several stories
          brought missing planes and ships in the
          Bermuda Triangle to public attention. Most
          notably, a group of five U.S. Navy bombers were
          lost in the Bermuda Triangle area while on a
(30)   training mission in 1952. Writer Allen Eckert
          wrote about the disappearance in an article
          titled “The Lost Patrol,” and in it he revealed that
          the flight leader had been heard saying that the
          water appeared green and that the crew saw
(35)   planes flying off to Mars. This article was the
          first to connect the lost planes with a
          supernatural explanation.
               Others theorists citing supernatural
          explanations for the area’s mysterious losses
(40)   claim that Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs,
          have abducted the ships and aircraft reported
          missing in the Bermuda Triangle. This theory
          gained greater acceptance in the 1960s when
          the topics of extraterrestrials and UFOs were
(45)   common subjects of films and books.
               Another group of theorists believe that the
          Bermuda Triangle causes ships and planes to
          enter what they call a “time warp.” According to
          this idea, the Bermuda Triangle is the portal to a
(50)   different time dimension, where people who are
          thought to be missing may still be alive,
          living in another past or future time period. The
          time warp theory has been popular in science
          fiction literature and films, usually depicting the
(55)   lost crews entering the Bermuda Triangle
          through a cloud.
               To a scientist, such supernatural
          explanations and unsolved mysteries might
          seem unacceptable. The scientific community
(60)   prefers to do research and make conclusions
          based on solid evidence. Although unfounded
          explanations may be entertaining and capture
          the interest of large audiences, some
          researchers have sought out more fact-based
(65)   explanations.
               One such researcher who wanted more
          evidence to explain the Bermuda Triangle’s
          purported mysteries was Lawrence Kusche, a
          research librarian who wrote a book titled The
(70)   Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved (1975). Kusche
          revealed that much of the current information
          on disappearances and abnormal activity in the
          Bermuda Triangle was inaccurate. He cited many
          differences among the accounts of witnesses,
(75)   victims, and others involved in Bermuda Triangle
          accidents. He also noted that many events
          associated with the Bermuda Triangle did not
          even occur in the correct location.
               Kusche’s research led him to conclude that
(80)   the number of ships and airplanes that had
          supposedly disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle
          was not greater than in any other part of the
          ocean. He explained that the area frequently
          experiences tropical storms, so it is likely that
(85)   natural explanations could account for many of
          the losses that had previously been considered
          mysteries. His careful look at the previous
          research led him to believe that some of the
          reported disappearances had never happened or
(90)   that the research itself was sloppy and could
          not be trusted.
               One of the most researched natural
          explanations for the Bermuda Triangle
          disappearances has focused on the prevalence
(95)   of methane hydrates in the area. Methane
          bubbles may decrease the density of the water
          and cause ships to sink; furthermore, the
          presence of methane may explain the Triangle’s
          unusually frothy water. The effects of methane
(100) are not limited to ships. Methane may also cause
          the piston engines of airplanes to stall when
          abnormally high concentrations of the gas are
          released into the atmosphere.
               The Bermuda Triangle’s weather patterns are
(105) another topic popularly researched in order to
          explain the possible natural causes of
          unexplained events. The Gulf Stream is a strong
          ocean current moving through the area. It has
          been compared to a river within an ocean, and
(110) such a moving body can create several
          difficulties for ships. Hurricanes, on the other
          hand, would undoubtedly cause problems for
          both ships and airplanes. These extremely
          powerful storms have caused a number of
 (115) incidents related to the Bermuda Triangle.
               Whether a person turns to supernatural or
          scientific explanations for the disappearances
          that have occurred in the Bermuda Triangle, one
          thing is certain: nobody knows for sure the
(120) reason why this area, above others, continues to
          capture our imaginations. Perhaps we are
          determined to hold onto a myth, and maybe
          even if solid evidence proved the reason for the
          area’s mystery, we might still like to believe
(125) otherwise.
               Critics of the Bermuda Triangle
          disappearances claim that it’s more profitable
          and entertaining to leave these cases unsolved.
          New books, films, and articles may continue to
(130) divert us from seeking out more plausible
          explanations, and they will continue to fill the
          pocketbooks of those who write them.



It can be inferred from the passage that before Kusche published his research:

Incorrect. The passage does not suggest or state that the disappearances happened more frequently before Kusche published his work. It is possible that people reported false disappearances, but this answer choices suggests that those disappearances were real. The passage does not support this idea.

Incorrect. The passage does not suggest or state that Kusche believed the UFO theory. The opposite is more likely since he focused his research on more scientific evidence.

Correct. Paragraph 7 explains that "the current information on disappearances and abnormal activity in the Bermuda Triangle was inaccurate." It is therefore likely that before Kusche "revealed" that information, the public was unaware of inaccuracies in reported information.

Incorrect. The passage does not suggest or state that the time warp theory was the most popularly accepted theory before Kusche published his research.

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Question ID: 1118