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5 Mysteriously abandoned ships and their stories

Whether you believe in all the suggestions bandied about that include alien abduction, pirates, mutiny, bad weather, the Bermuda Triangle or clashes with angry sea monsters being the cause of abandoned ghost ships or not, there is no dispelling that numerous ships have fallen prey to something that has left the vessel without any crew, drifting unexplained at the mercy of the seas.

The Mary Celeste is well known in the world of ghost ships. She was a brigantine merchant ship found in 1872 in the Atlantic Ocean with all her cargo completely intact and untouched. There was six months worth of food and water on board yet there were no crew. The contents of the ship was wet which could indicate adverse weather conditions but nobody knows for sure. It remains one of the most puzzling ghost ships in the world.

Was it a supernatural phenomenon in the Bermuda Triangle that made the crew of the Carroll A. Deering disappear? Was it mutiny or piracy? This five-masted schooner was on its way back from delivering coal from Virginia to Rio, and during a supply stop in Barbados, the first mate was arrested for making threats against the captain. The first mate was released on bail and forgiven before the ship moved on to its destination of Virginia. The ship was spotted when it hailed the Cape Lookout Lightship in North Carolina and the lightship’s keeper was told that the vessel had lost its anchors. The next time it was seen was when it ran aground off North Carolina with the entire crew, and the lifeboats missing. The crew was never located, and the U.S. government has never come up with an official explanation, though they did consider foul play by rum runners.

The story of the High Aim 6 is certainly strange. This Taiwanese vessel was found drifting in Australian waters without its crew in 2003. There was plenty of fuel and provisions on board, along with the crew’s belongings and a full hold of rotting fish. Cell phone calls were still being made to the engineer’s phone when the ship was discovered and the only crew member that was tracked down said that the engineer and captain had been murdered and the rest of the crew had headed back to their homes, but no concrete evidence of this was ever corroborated.

The world’s oceans contain a lot of illegal fishing, drug smuggling and human trafficking, so when mysterious ships turn up, such as the Jian Seng which drifted into waters near Queensland, Australia in 2006, the authorities were quick to board the vessel to find out what was going on. The name of the boat had been painted over and the ship stripped of most of its parts, except for a large quantity of rice. When the authorities could find no owner for the boat, it was intentionally sunk at sea.

The cargo ship MV Joyita disappeared in the South Pacific in 1955. More than a month after the ship was reported lost, it was spotted off-course, partially submerged and missing four tons of cargo which including timber, food supplies, medical supplies, timber and oil. The radio was tuned to the international marine distress channel and the lifeboats were missing from the boat. Blood-stained bandages were found lying within the ship but no real clues were found as to the plight of the crew and the missing cargo.


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