The Amazon, an ill fated vessel later to become the Mary Celeste, was launched in 1860 from a port in
Along with his wife and young daughter the new captain, 37 year old Benjamin Briggs, a master with three previous commands, left
The ship was found in good seaworthy condition. It appeared as though the crew had left in a great hurry. They discovered that the chronometer and sextant were missing. There was water between the decks and the Galley was in bad shape. The stove was knocked out of place and cooking utensils were strewn about. There were no lifeboats aboard the ship and everything was soaked. A rope was found hanging over the side of the ship trailing in the water.
The crew from the Dei Gratia managed to get the Mary Celeste into port. When the cargo was unloaded, they found 9 of the barrels of alcohol empty.
What happened to the crew of the Mary Celeste? Some feel that the cargo became unstable and that the captain decided to trail behind the ship in the lifeboat until such time that it was safe to board. However, for some reason, the ship outdistanced the lifeboat leaving the crew helpless on the sea.
Another theory involves foul play. However, no evidence was ever found to prove that. Some think that the ship was caught in the middle of a seaquake. And still others claim the crew was eaten by sharks during a swim.
A British Board of Inquiry in
The popular mystery of the Mary Celeste did not begin until 1884 when Arthur Conan Doyle (the future author of the Sherlock Holmes series) writing under a pseudonym published a story about a derelict ship which he called "Marie Celeste". It was titled "J. Habakuk Jepson's Statement". This tale recounted some of the actual events of the Mary Celeste with considerable added fictional and provocative detail which stirred up controversy and captured the public interest. Since then, and to this day, no two versions of the story are the same.
Whatever the reason for its being found abandoned and adrift, the story of the Mary Celeste stills fascinates people. Something about the image of a ship sailing alone, the crew and captain missing... without a trace. It is another part of our big weird world!
I’m Average Joe