The Mary Celeste - the Shipwreck

Essay by jkah August 2007

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One would hope everything could be explained with science, logic and reasoning. However, one of Earth’s many mysteries among aliens, bunyips and KFC’s secret herbs and spices include the Bermuda Triangle.

Just why had this particular area in the sea claim over 500 ships, and even more aircrafts? One particularly infamous shipwreck is the Mary Celeste.

The Mary Celeste was a 103-foot vessel built in 1861 at Spencer’s Island, Nova Scotia. Its name was originally the Amazon but was later changed to Mary Celeste by the American owners who bought it.

Benjamin Briggs was the captain of the ship when it set sail on November 7, 1872. It was transporting industrial alcohol and left Staten Island, New York, bound for Genoa, Italy. Everyone onboard consisted of the captain, seven crew, two passengers, the captain’s wife and their daughter Sophia Matilda; a total of 10.

The Dei Gratia was another ship that sighted the Mary Celeste on its voyage.

After observing it, they concluded the Mary Celeste was drifting but in no immediate distress. They however sent a small boat to aboard the Mary Celeste and made a shocking discovery. The ship was entirely abandoned. The compass had been destroyed and the clock was broken. It is said the lifeboat looked deliberately launched. All of the ship’s papers, food and water seemed untouched but several barrels of alcohol were empty and the captain’s logbook was missing.

The fates of the 10 passengers onboard remain a mystery to this day. There has been much speculation to what had happened. The theories range from plausible to ludicrous.

The most acceptable theory was that the alcohol had leaked, causing a build up of fume. The captain ordered everyone to abandon ship but either died by drowning, hunger or thirst.

Some other more...