Ship "Mary Celeste". The unsolved mystery of the ghost ship

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Ship "Mary Celeste". The unsolved mystery of the ghost ship
Ship "Mary Celeste". The unsolved mystery of the ghost ship

In our serious digital reality, there is still room for myths and legends. One of the most famous is about a ghost ship that has been plowing the seas for the 4th century. Do you know the legend of the Flying Dutchman? Right? However, this story is more like fiction than reality.

But the situation that happened with the brigantine "Mary Celeste" makes us wary. At one moment, or a day, the entire crew disappeared without a trace from the brigantine. Why did this happen? A question that still hasn't been answered.

How it all began

Brigantine Mary Celeste, "nee" - Amazon, was launched at the end of 1860. Her stepfather's home was the shipyard of Joshua Davis in Nova Scotia. The official owners of the brigantine were a consortium of 9 people, headed by Davis. Among the co-owners was Robert McLellan, who later became the first captain of the ship.

ship maria celeste

As already mentioned, the ship "Mary Celeste" was originally called "Amazon". Women's names awarded the brigantine a very bad character. Why? Now you will understand.

First voyage

The first voyage of the Amazon took place in June 1861. The brigantine arrived in the Five Islands to take on a load of timber to sail across the Atlantic to London. On the way, Captain McLellan suddenly fell ill. The Amazon was forced to return to the Spencer Islands. The disease turned out to be stronger than the captain, and on June 19, 1861, Robert MacLellan died. However, according to one version, he fell overboard and went missing. To be more precise, the first captain of the Amazon disappeared, and there are legends that he remained forever at the mercy of the deep sea.

But not for long the beauty "Amazon" led a calm mooring life. The next captain of the brigantine was John Neson Parker. Just a year later, in 1863, Parker was replaced by William Thompson. We can safely say that he is a "long-liver", as he remained in the team until 1867.

In October of the same year, near the island of Cape Breton, the Amazon got into a storm and was washed ashore. The brigantine received heavy damage. Captain William Thompson turned out to be unfaithful to the 30-meter beauty and left her to her fate. More specifically, the owners sold the ship for only $1,750.

New life

The new owners of the "Amazon" decided to become her countrymen - entrepreneurs from Nova Scotia, headed by Alexander Maxbin. However, the damage to the brigantine was so severe that repair and operation were deemed unprofitable. A month later, the ship was put up for sale again.

In November 1868, Richard Hynes became the new owner of the Amazon. It was true love - he spent 5 times the amount to restore the brigantinebeyond its value! The repair cost $8,825.

After the restoration of the brigantine, Richard Haynes became its captain, and the "Amazon" itself received a residence permit in New York, but under a different name - "Mary Celeste", which translates as "Holy Mary". They say that in this way the captain tried to correct the tragic fate of the brigantine.

fate ship maria celeste

However, "Maria" and Haines also did not grow together. This is due to loans. The brigantine became a retribution for the debts of its captain.

In 1869 the ship was bought by James Winchester. At that time, "Maria" was about 10 years old. Yes, and invested in its repair, as we remember, was a lot. However, battered by storms, owners and shipwrecks, she needed a major overhaul. At the beginning of 1872, it happened, increasing the cost of the brigantine by another 10 thousand dollars. The “Maria” has increased the length, width, draft and displacement, and also a second deck has appeared. This begins a new chapter in the history of the Mary Celeste.

Last team route

On October 29, 1872, a new consortium was drawn up, led by James Winchester. The captain of the ship was 37-year-old Benjamin Briggs. A hereditary sailor born in the family of sea captain Nathan Briggs.

On November 5, 1872, the Mary Celeste set sail with a cargo of rectified alcohol. The itinerary listed the route from New York to the port of Genoa. On the ship "Mary Celeste", in addition to the captain and a crew of 7 people, were Briggs' wife, Sarah Elizabeth Cobb Briggs, and their 2-year-old daughter Sophia Matilda. AtBenjamin and his wife had another child - son Arthur. However, his parents decided to leave him with his grandmother during the trip.

ship captain maria celeste

Following in the footsteps of the Flying Dutchman is the ghost ship Mary Celeste

As you know, Alexander Stepanovich Popov presented his first radio only in 1895. Therefore, at the time the brigantine entered the sea, it had no connection with the land.

4 weeks after the start of the campaign, "Mary Celeste" was discovered by the brig "Dei Gracia" under the command of Captain David Reed Morehouse. This happened on December 5, 1872, at about one in the afternoon. By the way, Morehouse was a good friend of Benjamin Briggs. Later, this fact will form the basis of one of the legends of the disappearance of the crew of the Mary Celeste.

maria celeste ship mystery

The ships met near the Azores. The team of the brig "Dei Gracia" was embarrassed by the manner of the brigantine - it was erratic. Coming closer and finding out from the inscription that this was the ship "Mary Celeste", the captain ordered several sailors to follow the ship.

When they climbed the brigantine, they found that there was not a single person on it - neither alive nor dead. Sea water splashed between bulkheads and decks. In the hold, its level reached a meter. Lying on the deck was a makeshift device for measuring the level - a foot-rod. The hatch covers were removed, and the bow doors were torn from their hinges and scattered across the deck.

Otherwise, the ship appeared to be undamaged except for the aft superstructure windows,Where was the captain's cabin? They were covered with tarpaulin and boarded up. The watch is out of factory. The compass was broken. Also, the sextant and chronometer were not found on the ship.

Some sources indicate that the logbooks were also missing. In others, that the last entry in the documents was made on 25 November. The coordinates indicated in them differed from the place of detection by 400 nautical miles. It turns out that during these 10 days the brigantine covered 720 kilometers.

ship mary celeste

Maybe a storm or pirates?

In the captain's cabin, a jewelry box and money remained intact. Toys were scattered across the floor. The sewing machine of the wife of the captain of the Mary Celeste, James Briggs, stood with threaded silk threads and an unfinished product. The cargo was not touched. Also, half a year's food supply remained intact.

The arrangement of things indicated that the ship did not fall into a severe storm. In particular, there was an oiler on the sewing machine, which would have fallen during the pitching. The cabins were quite damp, but this fact could be explained by the open hatches everywhere.

As for the sails, they were all out. True, a few were missing. Ropes hung from the side of the brigantine.

maria celeste ship mystery

In the footsteps of the Titanic

As practice shows, the people responsible for equipping a ship with lifeboats are not always required to do their job.

Remember the sad experience of the Titanic… On the ship"Mary Celeste", of course, not a couple of thousand people went to sea. However, the brigantine set sail with 1 boat, instead of two - one was handed over for repairs. The circumstances were such that people used the life-saving equipment available on the ship - the boat was launched … It still remains a mystery under what circumstances this happened.

The circumstances of the loss of the crew and passengers of the ship were more than strange and mystical. Despite this, the captain of the Dei Gracia brig still decides to tow the ship to the port until the circumstances are clarified. The team took the brigantine through Gibr altar and moored in one of the English ports.

The British Admir alty made a thorough inspection of the vessel, interviewed witnesses and conducted an investigation. However, the best minds of that time could not determine the reasons for the disappearance of the crew of the Mary Celeste. For them, a lot of theories were put forward by society.

Alcohol is to blame

However, the most realistic of them, is associated with the ignition of alcohol vapor. Its author is Oliver Cobb. He believes that the barrels were not hermetically sealed and alcohol vapors, mixing with air, formed an explosive mixture. Because of this, a series of explosions occurred in the aft hold. The captain decided to evacuate the crew of the Mary Celeste.

This version was based on real events that took place in 1886 and 1913. But back to November 25, 1872. Expecting new explosions, the ship's crew went to sea. However, they were not followed - the tightness was broken, and all the stale airwent outside.

The boat, on which the people were, prudently was tied to the ship with the help of a derrick halyard - tackle for raising the sail. Cobb believes that this did not save the team. A strong wind gave the brigantine a quick move and the derrick halyard could not stand it. The team was unable to catch up with the fast-moving ship. Most likely, the boat sank, overtaken by a storm.

Criminal conspiracy is to blame

Another version of the loss of the ship's crew was put forward by Lawrence Keating. He believed that the captains, and part-time friends - Morehausen and Briggs were in cahoots. The fact is that the "Mary Celeste" was understaffed when leaving the port. The captains agreed that 3 sailors of the "Dei Grazia" would help the brigantine overcome the most difficult part of the route. After that, the ships will meet at the Azores, and the team will reunite in the brig.

However, a terrible thing happened on the voyage - death overtook the captain's wife. After that, he began to behave inappropriately, and the team began to drink. Not recovering from the loss, Briggs died, and the sailors continued to lead a wild life. Once, under the intoxication of drunk alcohol, there was a stabbing. One sailor died. The officer, not wanting to take the blame, decided to leave the ship and offered this adventure to the crew. The sailors, who were afraid of the court and the investigation, listened to the enterprising officer and set off on boats to the Azores. However, not everyone chose to do so. The same 3 sailors from the Dei Gracia and the cook remained on the Maria Celeste. They were subsequently discovered by the brig.

The captain of the ship invited the sailors to follow theirversion - to say that they are members of the crew of the brig "Dei Grazia", ​​and "Maria" was discovered already without people.

It's all about the money…

David Vig Morehouse received a good reward for a deserted find, which he shared with the "silent" sailors. Lawrence Kitting's version is based on this fact - the enrichment plan was developed personally by the captain.

It's worth noting that, unlike other theories, Kitting's version flaunts evidence. However, historians consider this fact a disadvantage, not an advantage. The same witness is 80-year-old cook from the Mary Celeste, John Pemberton. Due to his age, he could forget something or, conversely, remember something that did not exist, and also be a figurehead. The documents list Edward Head as a steward and cook.

ghost ship

Versions about pirates and aliens were also put forward, but how it all really happened was the mystical mystery of the Mary Celeste ship.

Life after

Despite the mythical nature of what happened, "Mary Celeste" was not sent to a well-deserved rest. Edgar Tusill believed in it and from 1874 used it to sail the West Indies basin. However, he passed away in 1879, another nail in "Maria's" reputation.

Maybe this windy life of the sailing brigantine ended if not for Gilman Parker. It was he who in August 1884 became the new captain of the ship "Maria Celeste".

It didn't last long. Another fateful November, the 5th. The ship hits the reefs off the coast of Haiti. As it turned out later, it was pure waterfraud. The goal is to get insurance. However, Parker failed to collect his money, as he was seen through and even tried. Everything worked out, but not for the brigantine. This day was the last in the fate of the ship "Mary Celeste".

And then?

The legendary "Maria" has not yet been found. However, unlike the "Flying Dutchman", she rests peacefully somewhere at the bottom of the oceans. In 2001, explorer John Cussler and his team announced a find that closely resembled a brigantine. But it wasn't her. As studies of wood samples showed, such materials began to be used for the construction of ships only in 1894…

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