The Mary Celeste Mystery

The Mary Celeste Mystery

The strange case of the Mary Celeste Mystery is one that has plagued many people for over a hundred years. The ship, Mary Celeste was built in Spencer Island, Nova Scotia. It was originally called “The Amazon” until the name was changed to Mary Celeste in 1868.

Owners of the ship included Sylvester Goodwin, James H. Winchester, and Benjamin Spooner Briggs. Briggs was the captain of the ship with Albert Richardson as his first mate.

Both are described as courageous men who would not surrender the ship unless their lives were in danger. Aboard the ship during the time of the great mystery were the captain, his wife Sarah, two year old daughter, and 7 crewmen.


The Day of The Findings

On December 5th 1872, one of the captain’s acquaintances found the ship. After noticing the ship was sailing uncontrollably, Captain Morehouse of the Dei Gratia’ hailed down the ship in an effort to see what was wrong. When he got no feedback from the Mary Celeste, he took a small boat over to the ship to board it.

When he boarded the ship, he found no one on board. Everything was in place and it looked like the occupants had left in a hurry.

One of the main components to this story is that the sextant and chronometer were not found on the boat.

This made Captain Morehouse believe that the crew thought the ship was sinking. The ship looked to be in good condition and all the crew’s belongings were on the ship. The last known stop for the ship was the Island of St. Mary.


The Dei Gratia’s Crew Recounts

When the crew of the Dei Gratia boarded the ship, they had no idea what to expect. They did not know whether the crew had been abducted, encountered pirates, or had fled the ship for some reason. While on board, the discovery was led by Oliver Deveau who was the chief mate on the Dei Gratia.

When the crew reached the ship, they discovered that there was a substantial amount of water on board that had soaked almost everything. All the clothes on board were wet except for what was in the safe.

Additionally, the kitchen was a mess with the stove knocked out of place and utensils strewn out everywhere. What the crew did not find was the ship’s papers.

They also did not find any small boats that would normally be with the ship. The mystery of the Marie Celeste ghost ship was starting to come together with the clues that the crew of Dei Gratia found.


What Isn’t True About Mary Celeste

A lot of rumors had gone around about what was and was not found on board the ship. One of those rumors included a sword with blood on it. This was not true. In fact, the sword that was found aboard the ship was rusted from being cleaned with lemon juice.

Another rumor that was found untrue is the clock that was going backwards. The clock was found upside down assuming that the person cleaning it did not place it back right.


Sworn Statements

When the crew of the Dei Gratia made it to Gibraltar, they made sworn statements about their experience boarding the vacant ship. In a sworn statement, the crew mentioned that there were no boats attached to the ship like there should have been.

They also swore that there were ropes hanging over the side of the ship. According to reports, 9 barrels in the ship’s inventory were found empty which could suggest a small explosion.


Conclusions Based on The Evidence

When it comes to handling the facts based on the observations aboard the ship, many believe that the crew fled the ship thinking it was sinking.

The fact that there were ropes hanging from the boat suggest the small boat that the crew may have boarded could have been attached to the larger ship at some point until the ropes snapped.

According to the weather reports, the weather had been very crazy for over a week. If the crew had boarded a small boat, then the winds and rain could have easily sunk the smaller boat in the process.

This makes the most sense when it comes to finding the reason why the ship was abandoned.

The ship changed owners several times after being auctioned off and refitted. The crew’s fate is more of a fun mystery than something most people work to figure out. A lot of rumors have surrounded the ship, but the facts still remain that the ship was in relatively good condition and the crew was never heard of again.

If you have any thoughts or opinions about the Mary Celeste Mystery please leave them in the comment section below.

6 comments on “The Mary Celeste Mystery

  1. Whoah! This is some spooky stuff. Like, what could’ve scared them off? Aliens? I mean, what if they were abducted or got scared off by a passing UFO? Who knows…

  2. I love stories like this! Where was the ship found? A Bermuda Triangle type place or somewhere that doesn’t usually have strange occurrences? And what was the year did this happened (you’ve probably mentioned it int the article but I’ve missed it?)

    Interesting post! Its just sad that we’ll probably never know what really happened. Although I love reading about these mysteries, I always want to know what actually happened…

    I can’t wait to go through the rest of the subjects you have here – I’m trying out the UFO section next!

    This site has some wonderful articles on it – easy to share on Facebook with my friends (we’re all geeks for things like this!).

    1. Hi there,

      Yes we do mention it in the article…it’s actually in bold text in the content – December 5th 1872 🙂

      The ship itself was found adrift and deserted in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Azores Islands.

      There are many theories floating about on what happened to it and new ones come up every year – no, I don’t think we’ll ever know what really happened (and that won’t stop the theories from surfacing!).

      I’m really pleased that you have taken to the site so much – we get a lot of shares on Facebook and our articles seem to be popular on most social platforms (a lot of geeks out there just like us!).

      Thanks so much for sharing and reading our work – always lovely to hear from visitors who enjoy our articles.

      Have a nice day! 🙂

  3. Well it was mentioned there were in fact storms going on…maybe a rogue wave came over the ship. At one time if I remember right those were thought to be a myth until it was finally proven they are real. It could have been a smaller one and scared them enough to abandoned ship. The smaller boat they were in probably sunk shortly after due to the choppy waters from the storms. Very unfortunate really. I could be way off base but its a thought. BTW I just stumbled on your site last night when searching for neat and unexplained stories. I am very interested in things like that. Especially the UFO and paranormal. I have my own reasoning for why I am. Due to certain happenings in my life but I prefer to keep that stuff to myself. Anyways long rant short I love this site glad I’m stumbled across it. It is very well written and put together – I have been reading for hours. Most things I’ve heard of or read a lot about but some details I was unaware of. Thanks for the great reads. 😀

    1. Hi Tanya,

      All good points really – there’s no reason why it couldn’t have been a rogue wave or a smaller wave that startled them into abandoning ship! Great to hear you enjoy the articles we have here – look forward to speaking with you again soon! 🙂

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