Today I want to take a brief look into the strange incident involving the M.V. Joyita, which was a merchant vessel that was the site of the mysterious disappearance of 25 passengers and crew in 1955. Here is what I know…
The 69 foot (21 m) wooden ship was built in 1931 as a luxury yacht by the Wilmington Boat Works in
In 1941, she was commandeered by the United States Navy and taken to
Dr. Katharine Luomala of the
The Joyita was scheduled to arrive in the
A search and rescue mission was launched and from October 6 - 12 the Royal New Zealand Air Force covered nearly 100,000 square miles (260,000 km²) of ocean during its search, but no sign of the Joyita or any of her passengers or crew were found.
Five weeks later, on November 10, Gerald Douglas, captain of the merchant ship
A subsequent inquiry found that the vessel was in a poor state of repair, but determined that the fate of the passengers and crew was "inexplicable on the evidence submitted at the inquiry". The Fiji Times and Herald quoted at the time from an "impeccable source" to the effect that the Joyita had passed through a fleet of Japanese fishing boats during its trip and "had observed something the Japanese did not want them to see".
The Joyita is sometimes referred to as the "Mary Celeste of the South Pacific" and has been the subject of several books and documentaries. It seems there is really no end of stories about ill fated sailing vessels in our big weird world.
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