Ghost ship Mary Celeste and mystery for over 100 years

Ghost ship is one of the mysteries still unanswered in the world. In it, the strange disappearance of sailors on the ship Mary Celeste became one of the greatest mysteries of the world maritime industry.

Picture 1 of Ghost ship Mary Celeste and mystery for over 100 years
Painting of the Mary Celeste in 1861. (Photo: Toptenz)

Mary Celeste was a British merchant ship registered in 1861 under the name Amazon . Seven years later, it was transferred ownership to the United States, and was renamed Mary Celeste. The ship continued to sail peacefully until the voyage from New York to Genoa in 1872.

The ship captain was Benjamin Briggs, a man who abstained from alcohol and was a devout Catholic. Captain Briggs has also been described as a brave commander, one will not leave his boat except in a life-and-death situation.

Albert Richardson, the vice-captain, was also recognized as an easy partner, and he was chosen by Captain Briggs himself. Moreover, Captain Brigg's wife, his daughter, and six other crew members were on the Mary Celeste.

On November 4, 1872, Captain David Reed Morehouse (Captain of the British cargo ship Dei gratia) and Benjamin Briggs (Captain of the ship Mary Celeste) sat down to dinner together in New York.

They were old friends and stopped in New York before the Morehouse sailed on the 15th, and Briggs went the next day with his wife and daughter, both heading to Europe.

The crew disappeared without trace

Not long after, on December 5, Captain Morehouse was shocked to see the ship Mary Breste's Brescs floating in the middle of Portugal with the Azores Islands , apparently out of control and moving. indefinitely in the direction of the wind. Approaching the ship, they found that Mary Celeste had a little water infusion but was generally in very good condition. Goods with 1701 barrels of alcohol, food and fresh water for 6 months remain, undisturbed, only one alcoholic tank is damaged, personal belongings of the whole group are in place, one The pump is operating with 2 sails raised.

Most of the documents and navigation devices on the ship have disappeared, without any sign of humans. However, the logbook remained, in which the last day was written on November 25, 1872, when the ship neared St Mary's Island, about 700 miles from where it was found.

The strange thing is that all of a sudden there is no trace, even though the weather was good and the crew were very experienced seafarers.

Picture 2 of Ghost ship Mary Celeste and mystery for over 100 years
Mary Celeste is the most mysterious "ghost ship" of all time in the world maritime industry.

Rich hypotheses . imagination

The first to hypothesize about the fate of the ship's crew was Frederick Solly Flood , a lawyer in the British Navy court.

Flood speculated that the entire crew had broken into the cargo compartment, drank the barrels of alcohol and then killed Captain Briggs, his wife and daughter, and vice-captain Richardson. Subsequently, Flood himself dismissed this hypothesis and turned to 'live and die' with the view that alcohol was degenerated and most likely the cause of death for those who unfortunately took it.

Not to stop, he went on to hypothesize that Briggs and Morehouse, during a meeting in New York, had plotted to deceive sailors on board Mary Celeste. Under the plan, Briggs is the one who killed his crew, Morehouse will then claim for the rescue of Celeste and split the money with Briggs. However, both Briggs and Morehouse are known to be respectable people, with good backgrounds, unable to be murderers.

However, Flood still did not give up its thoughts. If Briggs doesn't do that, then definitely Morehouse. Flood accused Dei Gratia's sailors of attacking the Mary Celeste for the sake of being able to receive it as a rescuer. After months of making a slander against Morehouse, the Admiralty court finally vindicated and paid for all of Morehouse's expenses.

At that time, the world was very interested in the accusations of Flood, even in an article in the New York Times, US Treasury Secretary William Richard also made his own judgment with this and the case. The idea with Flood's hypothesis is that this is a rebellion.

Picture 3 of Ghost ship Mary Celeste and mystery for over 100 years
Rochelois Bank in Gonâve Bay, Haiti, where the ship Mary Celeste ends her fateful journey.Rochelois shore only appears dimly in the south sea channel between the island and the mainland.(Wikimedia Commons)

Then, in January 1884, Cornhill Magazine published a short story titled 'J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement ' , author is young doctor Arthur Conan Doyle (who later wrote the famous Sherlock Holmes detective novel). The story was built from the incident of the Mary Celeste, in which the author said he had found the documents of Abel Fosdyk, a man believed to be a passenger on board. According to Fosdyk, the captain had to argue with his two sailors about swimming speed. And in order to prove that they are right, all 3 jump into the water and swim without knowing that they are going to be bait for sharks. The rest ran to see what was going on. Suddenly the bow of the ship stood broken, all shared the same fate with the captain. Fosdyk is the only person who survived because he managed to grab a piece of board and drifted to the coast in Africa. According to many experts, this is only a vague, unfounded hypothesis when Fosdyk's witness is dead and no one can verify it.

The next story appeared in the late 20s, when Lee Kaye of Chamber's Journal wrote about another 'The only survivor' was John Pemberton , about the details that happened on the ship. The Pemberton story was later published by Laurence Keating as a book called 'Mary Celeste Hoax' in 1929 and became the best-selling book in the Atlantic region until Kaye was accused of staging a trick. This trick.

Expert speculation

All theories are rejected, so what really happened to all the sailors on the ship?

At the turn of the century, some believe that Mary Celeste was attacked by a giant squid or a sea monster. But assuming it was Kraken (the tentacle monster specialized in sinking ships on the sea) why did it take away the papers on the ship, and why the ship was attacked but no one pulled the sword over Ship to fight, is it still in the shell? When many red marks were found on the train, it was concluded that it was blood, but in fact they were simply rusty.

About the lifeboat, there was a consensus among those who studied the problem, including the court, that the ship had been left behind. Signs of confusion on the captain's bed, the crew's clothes were scattered around, indicating a rush in a hurry. In addition, some ropes also disappeared leading to the conclusion that the crew had left all the way to the boat, using the rope to tie it to the back of Celeste.

Picture 4 of Ghost ship Mary Celeste and mystery for over 100 years
Memorial of the Mary Celeste crew, who disappeared without a trace (Photo:

Regarding the reason for moving, there are three most supported theories

First , it is possible that the food on the ship was poisoned , hallucinogenic and made sailors abandon ships. People found a substance in rye bread on board that could create hallucinations. However, the crew from the ship Dei Gratia also used the Celeste food itself for more than a week without seeing anything unusual. Therefore, the first hypothesis can be eliminated.

Secondly , the problem may lie in the number of goods on board. When the last barrel of alcohol was opened, nine barrels were completely empty, apparently leaking during the trip. The captain said that the amount of evaporation is limited in a small space that is easy to explode. Therefore, the cabin was opened to escape and, meanwhile, the crew evacuated the lifeboat, keeping a safe distance.

Third , the theory of Dr. James H. Kimble: the Celeste vessel encountered a tornado at sea , often appearing and dissipating quickly. It does not cause any significant damage and is a reasonable explanation for the amount of water in the ship when it is found. But Briggs doesn't think so. He thought the ship was about to sink.

In both cases 2 and 3, the Briggs crew and family quickly took orders to leave the ship. However, the North Atlantic region in winter is considered a quite dangerous place so this action may be the cause of the unfortunate consequences.

For centuries, a lot of hypotheses have been analyzed and dissected, but there is no satisfactory explanation. As a result of mentioning the 'ghost ships' , the name Mary Celeste always stands first and becomes the biggest mystery of all time in the world maritime industry.

« Prev post
Next post »