North Carolina February 09, 2017
The Mystery Of This Ghost Ship In North Carolina Still Lingers Almost A Century Later
In 1920, a 225-foot, five-mastered schooner by the name of Carroll A. Deering left Boston to pick up coal in Norfolk then head to South America. While a commonly traveled route, the crew and ship had a smooth drop off, but their return is still debated to this day.
(Example of a five-masted schooner.)
On Jan 28 1921, the Deering was spotted under sail from the lightship of Cape Fear south of Wilmington. Shortly, the ship slammed onto Diamond Shoals off Hatteras Island, when coast guard were finally able to venture to the ship, the only form of life that greeted them was a six-toed cat and all of the lifeboats were gone. All the signs of life left seemed eerie and rushed, like food on the galley stove, clothing in lockers, boots in the captain's quarters and a recently slept in bed.
(The G.A. Kohler Shipwreck on Hatteras. The four-mast schooner ran aground during a storm in 1933.)
The mystery of how the crew and captain simply vanished into thin air was so serious at least five government agencies including the FBI and Coast Guard investigated the cause while families prayed for some kind of answer. The earliest explanation was that hurricanes in the Atlantic caused the crew to abandon ship at sea and try to take the lifeboats to safety, yet the one setback to this was that the Deering was found on the shoals in good condition. The Bath, N.C, Daily Times reported in June of 1921 that some shipping officials believe the Deering was raided by pirates and the crew killed. Another explanation cited that papers found at a Russian communist office in NYC called for members to seize U.S. ships. At the time the Deering was discovered, three other ships vanished leading to speculation of pirates or Russians.
Now, almost a century later, there's still no clear answer on exactly what happened to the entire crew of the Deering. Searches along the eastern seaboard never resulted in any recoveries of bodies or evidence. Locals salvaged parts of the ship and the Coast Guard blew up remains to prevent any navigation hazards. When the water is low on Hatteras, some say you can see parts of the ship poking through the sand.
The ship has been named one of the greatest maritime mysteries. Today, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum has artifacts including the ship's bell while all others have is an uncertain mystery with no clear explanation in sight. The only
fact is a descendant of the six-toed cat that is sometimes spotted today around the Hatteras Ferry docks.
Wow! What a crazy story, I really do wonder what happened to the ship…my guess is pirates. What do you think?
In other North Carolina history, do you remember the
epic and devastating blizzard of 1993?