One Great Mystery Remaining Unsolved
The Carroll A. Deering, a five-masted commercial schooner, is one of the most written-about maritime mysteries in history, with claims that it was a victim of the Bermuda Triangle, although several alternative theories have since been put forth.
Carroll A. Deering
Probably the most famous ghost ship is Carroll A. Deering, a beautiful, huge, five-masted schooner built in 1919 for commercial use. Described as being “a tremendous ship”, measuring 255 feet long and 45 feet across, she was designed for cargo service. On August 19, 1920 the Deering prepared to sail from Norfolk, Virginia to Rio De Janeiro with a cargo of coal. On January 31, 1921 the Deering was spotted run aground on Diamond Shoals, off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, that has long been marked notorious as a common site of shipwrecks.
Abandoned and deserted, with all of its eleven crewmen missing, the circumstances are as strange as those of the “Mary Celeste,” which disappeared some fifty years prior and the Derring’s case remains as one of the greatest unsolved maritime mysteries of all time. When sighted first, the Deering’s sails were up and the galley showed evidence that certain foodstuffs were being prepared for the next day's meal at the time of the abandonment. The crews’ personal effects were all missing along with the ship’s navigational equipment, log books, and two life boats. Also mysteriously missing were the eleven crew members of the vessel. The Coast Guard vessel Manning attempted to salvage the Deering, but found this impossible. The vessel was scuttled, using dynamite, on March 4 to prevent her from becoming a danger to other vessels.
What Actually Happened to the Ship
A massive investigation by the US government followed, but no definite explanation could be found for the mysterious incident. It is interesting to note that at the same time of the schooner’s disappearance, few other ships had disappeared under mysterious circumstances around the same time, in the same place. None of the ship’s crew were ever found from any of the missing vessels.
There were a number of theories considered by the U.S. Government during their investigation that included piracy, mutiny, a hurricane, a Russian/Communist piracy, Rum Runner’s, or a paranormal explanation. The investigation finally wound down and came to end in 1922 with no official explanation ever being found.
Paranormal Phenomenon ?
The mystery surrounding the ghost ship has encouraged wild speculation and a more outlandish type of paranormal explanation became popular within a few decades of the incident. The disappearance of the ship's crew has been cited by innumerable authors dealing with anomalous phenomena and the supernatural. Charles Fort, in his book Lo! (1931), first mentioned this vessel in a "mysterious" context, and many subsequent chroniclers of sea mysteries have followed the same line. Since this vessel sailed in the area generally considered to be part of the infamous Bermuda Triangle, paranormal activity or some kind of other worldly phenomenon might be responsible for the disappearance of the crew members.