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.
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.
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