Sunday, November 27, 2011

Brown Brothers

Brown Brothers, November 13, 1916.

The bark Brown Bros. was lost (vanished?) east of Savannah, Georgia, with a company of twelve. (Berlitz, Without a Trace, p. 23.)

LONDON, March 21. — The American bark Brown Brothers has been posted as overdue.

The Brown Brothers sailed from Brunswick on Nov. 13 last for Troon, Scotland. She was last reported as having been spoken on Dec. 16 about midway between the Newfoundland Banks and the Azores. The bark, of 870 tons gross, is owned by the American Shipping company of Brunswick, GA. ("Names Americans Lost on Vigilancia," The New York Times, March 22, 1917.)

The American barks Brown Brothers and Manga Reva and the Swedish barkBarden have been posted as missing at the New York Maritime Exchange on receipt of a cable dispatch from Lloyd's, London.

The Brown Brothers sailed from Brunswick on Nov. 15, 1916, bound for Troon. She was a vessel of 870 gross tons, and was built in Haugesund, Norway, in 1875.

("Three Vessels Missing," The New York Times, March 29, 1917.)

So she was way out of the Bermuda Triangle when she was last seen. East of Savannah, Georgia, my ass. More like way east.

Whatever mystery it may be, it is no Bermuda Triangle mystery. Thus, for our purposes, it is solved.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Chicopee, September 29, 1915.

The "schooner Chicopee, 55 tons, last reported in the Gulf of Mexico on September 29, 1915, heading toward the Triangle," allegedly vanished there. (Quasar, p. 56.)

According to the Monthly Weather Review, there was a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico on September 29. The New Orleans Hurricane of 1915.

The sixth and final storm of the year was first seen just west of the Lesser Antilles on September 22. It tracked through the Caribbean, strengthening to its peak of 145 mph (230 km/h) on September 25. On September 29, it made landfall near Grand Isle as a strong Category 3 hurricane.

A barometric reading of 951 mbar (28.11 inHg) was at the time the lowest ever measured on land in the United States. The storm caused severe flooding and killed 275 people, a number possibly reduced to well-executed warnings. Winds tore off roofs and damaged buildings in New Orleans, where pressure was measured at down to 28.01" and a wind speed of 98 mph. Generations in south east Louisiana would refer to it as the Great Storm of 1915. Property damage in Louisiana was estimated at $13 million (1915 USD, $239 million in 2005 USD), with $5 million of that in the city of New Orleans.

Our 55-ton ocean liner was probably reduced to toothpicks.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Doris, August 8, 1915.

The "382-ton schooner Doris, last seen in the Gulf of Mexico on August 8, 1915," allegedly vanished in the Bermuda Triangle. (Quasar, pp. 56.)

HAVANA, Aug. 14. — Weather conditions are still so bad that many steamers do not dare to leave port. The steamship Miami, carrying U.S. mail, and several other steamers have been compelled to return to port. The American steamer Calamares, which sailed, despite the warning of the Captain of the port, who refused to give her clearance, sent a wireless message late this afternoon that she was breasting the storm successfully. ("Storm Holds Ships at Havana," The New York Times, August 15, 1915.)

In my line of business, we call that the 1915 Galveston Hurricane.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Maude B. Krum

Maude B. Krum, April 20, 1915.

The schooner Maude B. Krum was lost (vanished?) east of St. Andrews, Florida, with a company of seven. (Berlitz, Without a Trace, p. 23.)

According to Singer, the Maude B. Krum was the former Grace Bailey and left St. Andrews for Buenos Aires on that day. (Singer, p. 227.)

A search of The New York Times doesn't reveal any earth-shattering storms at that time, but as the Maude B. Krum was en route to South America, she may well have been hit by a storm in the South Atlantic the Times would not cover. I'll have to look at some other sources when I get around to it. Stay tuned.

Then again, some common accident my have gotten her. Finally, this is another of those cases, like the Bella, where only a small part of the lost ship's course was in the Bermuda Triangle. Who's to say the Maude B. Krum isn't a victim of the Buenos Aires Triangle?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Silva, April 1915.

The freighter Silva was lost (vanished?) on a journey from New York to the Netherlands Antilles. (Berlitz, Without a Trace, p. 23.)

CHARLESTON, SC, April 5. —

Capt. D.E. Archibald of the Clyde Line steamship Algonquin, which arrived yesterday morning from San Domingo, after having suffered much damage in the storm off Cape Hatteras, said that in his opinion the Royal Dutch Mail steamship Prins Maurits sank with all her passengers and crew in Saturday's gale.

Capt. Archibald said he did not think it had been possible for the four passengers or any of the crew of the Prins Maurits to escape in lifeboats because it would have been impossible to lower a boat in the storm and no small boat could have lived in the swirling seas if it had been launched.

Capt. Proctor said that he sighted the wreck of two small sailing vessels on Sunday afternoon about forty miles north of Diamond Shoals Lightship. Both vessels had been abandoned. ("Told by Wireless Prins Maurits Sank," The New York Times, April 6, 1915.)

Saturday was April 3. Unless I find a record that shows the Silva sailed after the storm blew over, I think it's very well possible, if not probable, that she perished in the same storm as the Prins Maurits.

Would be good to know what sort of ship the Silva was. As we have seen in the case of the freighter/schooner Bertha L. Basker, for Berlitz, freighter does not automatically mean steamer. If the Silva was another in Berlitz' endless series of schooners, she might very well have been one of the two small sailing vessels found abandoned.

BARNEGAT, NJ, April 11. — The British bark Invermay ran ashore at 1:30 o'clock this morning off the beach at Mantoloking, eight miles north of Barnegat…

Capt. Lawrence, who was driven forty miles off his course by the storm on Saturday night…

Her position is precarious, as a heavy storm began to blow tonight from the southeast.

("British Bark Ashore; Breeches Buoy Ready," The New York Times, April 12, 1915.)

Saturday was April 10. So if the Silva sailed later, she may have been hit by the storms on April 10 and 11.