Haunting beauty spot named 'UK's Bermuda Triangle' just over an hour from Stoke-on-Trent

Photo of the aircraft wreckage of the B29 Superfortress bomber on Bleaklow
Picture: Jane Smith TOGS - Pictures of the week - POTW Theme: #greatestadventure We asked the Togs this week to submit photos from what was their Greatest Adventure of 2021 Subject: discovering the aircraft wreckage of the B29 Superfortress bomber on Bleaklow in June. -Credit:Togs - Jane Smith

While the Peak District conjures up images of rolling hills and stunning landscapes - it also provides stark echoes of the past. And just over an hour away from the Potteries is Bleaklow Moors, near Glossop - dubbed 'the UK's Bermuda Triangle'.

The remains of the infamous Bleaklow Bomber are still there. Manchester Evening News reports that this aircraft, known as "Over Exposed", had previously been used to photograph nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll. It was a modified version of a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the type of bomber that dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

The aircraft had been intended to land near Warrington, but it's believed that the pilot, thinking they were clear of the hills, began descending prematurely, their vision obscured by dense cloud. All 11 crew members and two military passengers perished in the crash.

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The plane tore apart on impact, scattering debris over the hills with only the tail section remaining intact. The morning after the wreck, the bodies of the crew and passengers were recovered and taken to RAF Burtonwood.

At the time of the crash, the aircraft was carrying $7,400 in wages for the airbase. The money survived the fire and was found at the crash site by military police.

The B-29 Superfortress 'Over Exposed' isn't the only aircraft to have met its end on the Bleaklow Moors. There were eight plane crashes (including the B-29 Superfortress) on the moors between 1939 and 1956, claiming the lives of 50 people.

It's the sheer volume of tragedies that has led to this area of the Dark Peak being dubbed the UK's Bermuda Triangle. However, the number of plane losses has been put down to a combination of things - including the number of nearby air bases, rugged terrain and difficult weather conditions, making the area something of a hazardous zone for military aircraft in the early to mid-20th century.

Forty years later with much of the twisted wreckage still exposed around the site, a memorial was placed at the site with a plaque in memory of those who died in the Bleaklow Bomber crash. The memorial plaque reads: "It is doubtful the crew ever saw the ground."

There are a few routes to reach the plane crash site - one is by walking along the Pennine Way from Snake Pass. Also worth visiting while you're on Bleaklow are the higher and lower "shelf stones", a brief uphill walk from the crash site.

These massive rocky ridges offer some of the finest views of the Peak District, overlooking Glossop and towards Manchester. The Higher Shelf Stones also marks the third-highest summit in the Peaks.

However, be aware - in wet conditions, the path to the summit (and to the Bleaklow Bomber) can become extremely marshy, making the footpath difficult to navigate. It's advisable to reserve this walk for a sunny week, or a crisp winter's day, rather than a drizzly one.

It is worth noting that whenever you go for a hike in the Peak District you must make sure to familiarise yourself with the route, pack the correct equipment and clothing, and be aware of appropriate contact details in case of emergencies. We want to share some of the best places in the national park to explore and we urge people to do so safely.

Read about the best ways to prepare for a safe Peak District hike on the Edale Mountain Rescue Team website.

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