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Throughout the course of aviation and naval history, there have been several vessels that have disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

The USS Cyclops Vanished In The Bermuda Triangle

USS Cyclops

One of the largest vessels to disappear without a trace was the USS Cyclops, a ship that never emerged from the infamous Bermuda Triangle. The fuel ship was carrying coal and other supplies for the United States Navy in the early twentieth century. When the vessel made her final journey from Rio de Janeiro, she was carrying more than 300 people and more than ten thousand tons of manganese ore.

The ship was last spotted on March 4, 1918, leaving Barbados for the area known as the Bermuda Triangle, located in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. At the time, there was no bad weather spotted in the region. The Cyclops was never seen again after the March 4 sighting.

Because there was no distress call made, a number of rumors and theories as to the ship’s fate began to spread. People whispered that perhaps the Cyclops had been attacked by a giant squid or sunk by the Germans. Some even believed that there had been a violent mutiny on board. Even though boats and planes were sent out to search for survivors and debris, nothing was ever found. The ship had seemingly vanished without a trace.

The Captain Of The HMS Sappho Is Believed To Have Lost His Mind

HMS Sappho

For twenty years, the HMS Sappho worked on behalf of the British Navy to control and subdue the slave trade along the coast of West Africa. In the nineteenth century, the ship was responsible for intercepting several ships loaded with slaves and freeing the wrongly held prisoners. Despite the good that the ship achieved, it caused a diplomatic crisis between Great Britain and the United States when it chased down an American ship in 1857.

After the incident, the Sappho was sent to Australia. After reaching Cape Town, South Africa, the ship was last spotted heading toward the Bass Strait on February 18, 1878. According to Mental Floss, it vanished after that, with not one of the 147 crewmembers ever officially found. No photographs exist of the ship, although there are a few artist interpretations like the one shown here.

The most persistent rumor surrounding the Sappho is that the ship sank due to strong winds. Some legends claim that the captain, Fairfax Moresby, escaped the wreckage and found his way to a remote island off the coast of Australia, where he went insane.


Witchcraft yacht

On December 22, 1967, experienced yachtsman Dan Burack and his friend, Father Patrick Horgan, set sail in the 23-foot luxury yacht Witchcraft to see the holiday lights off the coast of Miami. Unfortunately after just one mile the pair experienced difficulty when it seemed as if the yacht had hit something. Burack calmly called the Miami Coast Guard to report the trouble and request assistance. The official who took the call later commented that Burack seemed unconcerned—perhaps because the yacht was fitted with a special flotation device that was supposed to make the vessel unsinkable. The Coast Guard arrived at the scene just 19 minutes after the call, and were surprised to find no trace of the large yacht, no debris, and no sign of Burack or Horgan. Over the next six days, hundreds of square miles of ocean were searched, but nothing was ever found, and the Witchcraft has been chalked up as another vessel mysteriously lost to the Bermuda Triangle.



USS Porpoise was a brig involved in 19th century exploration and surveying missions, taking part in a voyage in 1838 that confirmed the existence of Antarctica and later circumnavigating the globe. In 1854 the ship set sail from Hong Kong carrying 69 men in order to carry out a survey of the South Sea Islands. Somewhere between China and Taiwan, the ship sailed into dense fog and was separated from its partner ship, the USS Vincennes, and never seen again. Many ships searched for the ill-fated brig for over a year, but no sign was ever found, and it’s thought to have been wrecked in a typhoon with all hands lost.


SS Baychimo

The SS Baychimo started life as a German trading vessel before being given to Great Britain after World War I as part of reparations. The Baychimo came under the ownership of the Hudson Bay Company, and made many voyages across the Atlantic from Scotland to Canada to trade with local Inuit tribes. In 1931, while journeying to Vancouver with a cargo of furs, the Baychimo fell victim to an early winter, as ice floes surrounded the ship and locked it in an icy embrace. The crew escaped the stricken vessel and fled across the ice floes to safety, but some returned a few days later to try to rescue the ship and its valuable cargo.

After over a month of braving the treacherous weather in a flimsy camp, a huge blizzard hit and the remaining crew lost sight of the ship. Once the storm had cleared, the watching crew were surprised to find the Baychimo had disappeared. They assumed it had sunk without trace. A week later the ship was spotted by an Inuit hunter and the crew raced back on board to gather as much of the cargo as possible. The captain decided the ship was too badly damaged to be seaworthy and so abandoned it, thinking it would soon break apart. How wrong he was. Over the years, the Baychimo was sighted a number of times, sometimes caught fast in ice, other times floating ghost-like through the Arctic waters. The last confirmed sighting was in 1969—an astonishing 37 years after it had been abandoned to its fate.

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