The journalist who coined the expressions “Bermuda Triangle” and “the Abominable Snowman” has died in New York.
Milt Machlin, 79, was one of America’s most adventurous newsmen.
He drank (and brawled) with Ernest Hemingway in Cuba, searched the jungles of New Guinea for missing US heir Michael Rockefeller, who was making a documentary when his boat capsized and he was reportedly murdered by cannibals, went deep-sea diving with Jacques Cousteau off Newfoundland and interviewed and wrote a book about Caryl Chessman, the Red Light Bandit who spent 13 years on California’s Death Row.
After studying in Paris at the Sorbonne (his roommate was Brendan Behan), Machlin worked for Agence France Press, then for a string of US pulp magazines, ending up as editor of Argosy, the precursor of today’s men’s adventure magazines.
It was while he was editing Argosy that Machlin named an area of the Atlantic where strange events were taking place the Bermuda Triangle.
He was the first to print pictures of a strange creature nicknamed Bigfoot that supposedly roamed the forests of the American North West. He dubbed it the Abominable Snowman.
Despite a circulation of more than a million, Argosy went bankrupt in 1972. Machlin, a gregarious man who was a familiar figure in the newspaper hangouts of Manhattan, began writing books and freelancing features for European titles. He worked closely for several years with British journalists based in New York.