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  • Mysterious Disappearances

    Benjamin Briggs and the passengers and crew of the Mary Celeste, 1872
    Not that a missing ship is anything to be blasé about, but it wasn’t uncommon before modern technology was able to track ships. The Mary Celeste is interesting, though, because the ship was found – minus its passengers.

    The Mary Celeste might have been cursed from the very beginning - the first captain died on her maiden voyage. She was launched on her last voyage on November 5, 1872, from Staten Island to Genoa, Italy. A month later the captain of the Dei Gratia, who knew Captain Benjamin Briggs, spotted the Mary Celeste drifting along toward the Strait of Gibraltar. Although the ship was just drifting, no distress signals were flying. Some of the Dei Gratia’s crew went to the Mary Celeste in a small boat and boarded it. It was wet, but in good condition. The lifeboat was missing and looked like it was intentionally launched. A six-month supply of food and water had been left behind, along with all of the ship’s paperwork except for the captain’s log.

    The most plausible theory stems from the cargo the Mary Celeste had on board – more than 1,000 barrels of alcohol. When the abandoned ship was unloaded, nine of these barrels were found empty. The theory is that when the cargo hold was opened, the nine leaking barrels resulted in a rush of fumes that lead the captain to believe the ship was going to explode. He basically freaked out, ordered everyone into a lifeboat and forgot to secure the lifeboat to the ship (or the line broke).

    Another theory is that the crew drank the alcohol, murdered the Captain and stole the lifeboat to escape.

  • #2
    Flannan Isles Lighthouse Keepers, 1900



    In December of 1900, the lighthouse keepers on the Flannan Isles off the coast of Scotland vanished. It was first noted when a steamer passed the lighthouse on December 15 and noticed the light wasn’t working. This was reported, but apparently nothing was done until the relief keeper and a crew with provisions went to the lighthouse on December 26. When no one came out to greet them, they entered the lighthouse and found the entrance gate and main door both closed, the beds unmade, the clock stopped and an overturned chair in the kitchen. The island was thoroughly searched for the men and any clues as to their whereabouts, but the only thing that was found was some damage done by a storm. Although this might seem like a clue, the log left by the keepers showed that it happened before they disappeared.

    The Northern Lighthouse Board concluded that the men had drowned and been swept out to sea. Rumors, though, had one keeper murdering the other two, then drowning himself out of guilt. A sea serpent was also a possibility, along with the prospect that they had been abducted by spies or attacked by a boat full of ghosts (the lifeboat full of the Mary Celeste crew, maybe?).

    Comment


    • #3
      Being a regular subscriber to Fortean Times I have quite a few accounts of Strange Disappearances.

      One of the strangest was of a man running in front of a horse and cart, he fell down, and was gone forever!!

      I will have a quick read through some of them and post the weirdest, strangest and down right nutty!!!

      I also have a few books and files on Lord Lucan!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        I suppose that one must be about the David Lang disappearance?

        I had thought that case had been debunked, as there had never been any record of anyone by that name living in the area where this allegedly happened.

        Plenty of others to choose from. though, surely most of which must involve some crime or other.

        Comment


        • #5
          The first that came to mind was Flight 19. A few years ago it would have been Mallory and Irvine. Irvine is still missing but the big mystery is if they made it anyway.

          Stan

          Comment


          • #6
            Here is a couple,

            The Crew of the Mary Celeste,


            The Crew and Planes of Flight 19,
            Flew into the Bermuda Triangle never to be seen again,

            Suzy Lamplugh
            She vanished after going to meet a "Mr Kipper" on Monday 28th July,

            Ben Needham,
            The little boy who vanished on the Greek Island of Kos.

            Madeline Mccann,
            The little girl who vanished from her bedroom in Portugal,

            Amelia Earhart,
            Roared off into the skies on June 1st 1937, never to be seen again,

            Benjamin Bathurst,
            Vanished in Berlin in 1809,

            Jimmy Hoffa,
            The Teamsters Union rep

            Lord Lucan,
            The English Earl,

            Comment


            • #7
              Fugitive related - Bela Kiss, Carl Menarik, Belle Gunness and Alois Brunner.

              Stan

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mike Covell View Post
                Here is a couple,

                The Crew of the Mary Celeste,


                The Crew and Planes of Flight 19,
                Flew into the Bermuda Triangle never to be seen again,

                Suzy Lamplugh
                She vanished after going to meet a "Mr Kipper" on Monday 28th July,

                Ben Needham,
                The little boy who vanished on the Greek Island of Kos.

                Madeline Mccann,
                The little girl who vanished from her bedroom in Portugal,

                Amelia Earhart,
                Roared off into the skies on June 1st 1937, never to be seen again,

                Benjamin Bathurst,
                Vanished in Berlin in 1809,

                Jimmy Hoffa,
                The Teamsters Union rep

                Lord Lucan,
                The English Earl,
                Rumour has it that Lord Lucan turned up at the house of lord s during the discussion of and voting on the passing of the poll tax bill. a few years after his convenient "disappearance"..thats what "private eye" said.
                The bermuda triangle im afraid I dont believe anything ive read,at least not in the manner its been written.....an alien base under the sea destroying ships ,boats even the bloody seagulls by some accounts?
                Im pretty sure the "marie celeste" was a fabricated account of something edgar allan poe wrote..or was it the other way round?
                Jimmy hoffa ? theres no mystery there ...he is in the concrete footings of a building somewhere which renders the old british saying" you cant get me-Im part of the trade union" rather meaningless methinks.
                regards

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dougie View Post
                  Rumour has it that Lord Lucan turned up at the house of lord s during the discussion of and voting on the passing of the poll tax bill. a few years after his convenient "disappearance"..thats what "private eye" said.
                  The bermuda triangle im afraid I dont believe anything ive read,at least not in the manner its been written.....an alien base under the sea destroying ships ,boats even the bloody seagulls by some accounts?
                  Im pretty sure the "marie celeste" was a fabricated account of something edgar allan poe wrote..or was it the other way round?
                  Jimmy hoffa ? theres no mystery there ...he is in the concrete footings of a building somewhere which renders the old british saying" you cant get me-Im part of the trade union" rather meaningless methinks.
                  regards

                  Dougie you should publish your findings you would make a mint

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There was a case - and I cannot remember names - in America, of a man who went walking in a field and disappeared. His family could hear his voice when they stood at his last known location, but gradually the voice grew fainter, until it was silenced for ever. It's one of those "doorway to another dimension" stories.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The mystery of David Lang, which allegedly happened in Kentucky in the 1880's, I think. Both Charles Fort and Ambrose Bierce wrote of this, the latter writing 'The Difficulty of Crossing a Field'.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good old Charles Fort, a man ahead of his time!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by admin View Post
                          The mystery of David Lang, which allegedly happened in Kentucky in the 1880's, I think. Both Charles Fort and Ambrose Bierce wrote of this, the latter writing 'The Difficulty of Crossing a Field'.
                          Actually he allegely lived near Gallatin, Tennessee, and to have disappeared in September 1880, and it is almost certainly untrue, probably originating with a man named Joe Mulhattan. It certainly doesn't seem to be traceable earlier than possibly the mid-1930s or an article in the July 1953 issue of Fate magazine by Stuart Palmer (who claimed that it was an updated story he'd had published in the 1930s and which he claimed to have received at first hand from Lang's daughter. Documents which supported his claim have been shown to probably be fakes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gumshoe View Post
                            Benjamin Briggs and the passengers and crew of the Mary Celeste, 1872
                            Not that a missing ship is anything to be blasé about, but it wasn’t uncommon before modern technology was able to track ships. The Mary Celeste is interesting, though, because the ship was found – minus its passengers.

                            The Mary Celeste might have been cursed from the very beginning - the first captain died on her maiden voyage. She was launched on her last voyage on November 5, 1872, from Staten Island to Genoa, Italy. A month later the captain of the Dei Gratia, who knew Captain Benjamin Briggs, spotted the Mary Celeste drifting along toward the Strait of Gibraltar. Although the ship was just drifting, no distress signals were flying. Some of the Dei Gratia’s crew went to the Mary Celeste in a small boat and boarded it. It was wet, but in good condition. The lifeboat was missing and looked like it was intentionally launched. A six-month supply of food and water had been left behind, along with all of the ship’s paperwork except for the captain’s log.

                            The most plausible theory stems from the cargo the Mary Celeste had on board – more than 1,000 barrels of alcohol. When the abandoned ship was unloaded, nine of these barrels were found empty. The theory is that when the cargo hold was opened, the nine leaking barrels resulted in a rush of fumes that lead the captain to believe the ship was going to explode. He basically freaked out, ordered everyone into a lifeboat and forgot to secure the lifeboat to the ship (or the line broke).

                            Another theory is that the crew drank the alcohol, murdered the Captain and stole the lifeboat to escape.
                            Neither theory seems likely. In the first place the Mary Celeste was abandoned, the small boat carried on deck having been launched and navigational instruments taken by the crew. The evidence strongly suggests that the evacuation was very hurried, but ordered, and was probably the result of something that was thought about to happen rather than something which had happened. The cargo hatche had been lifted, so any build up of gasses would have escaped and ceased to present any serious problem to the very experienced crew. I don't think the alcohol was drinkable, being an industrial alcohol, and the crew, as said, was one of the best..

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stan Reid View Post
                              The first that came to mind was Flight 19. A few years ago it would have been Mallory and Irvine. Irvine is still missing but the big mystery is if they made it anyway.

                              Stan
                              I think it is fairly well established tha Flight 19 simply got lost and ditched in the sea. A transcript of the communications between the planes and their base is available.

                              Comment

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