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Mary Celeste

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Author Topic: Mary Celeste  (Read 1039 times)
Tiffany Rossette
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« on: August 14, 2007, 09:09:16 pm »

Abel Fosdyk papers

More than 40 years after the Mary Celeste was found, papers and documents allegedly belonging to a deceased, well-educated man named Abel Fosdyk claimed that he had been a secret passenger on the ship. According to Fosdyk, one day, in response to a lighthearted dispute with a crew member about how well a man could swim with his clothes on, Captain Briggs and several crew members jumped overboard, while Briggs' wife and child, Fosdyk, and the rest of the crew stepped up onto a specially built deck for a better view of the fun. Suddenly, sharks began to attack the people in the water. The remaining members of the crew ran up onto the deck to better see what was happening, only to have it collapse, tossing them all into the sea. Fosdyk, who landed atop of the shattered piece of deck, was the only survivor. Unable to reach the ship, he floated for several days, finally washing ashore on the coast of Africa. Fearful of retribution due to the outlandish details of his story, he never revealed the incident to anyone. Fosdyk's story has never been proven, and several inconsistencies (one example being that Fosdyk describes the crew as English) suggest that it is a work of fiction.

Derelict ships were very common in the 19th century and not completely unknown in the 20th century (e.g. the SS San Demetrio) but the sensationalization by Solly Flood and then Arthur Conan Doyle created the Mary Celeste myth. In 1884, Conan Doyle published a story entitled "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement", part of the book The Captain of the Polestar. Doyle's story drew very heavily on the original incident, but included a considerable amount of fiction and called the ship the Marie CÚleste. Much of this story's fictional content, and the incorrect name, have come to dominate popular accounts of the incident, and were even published as fact by several newspapers. It was said that their tea was still warm and breakfast was cooking when the ship was discovered; these are fictional details from Doyle's story. In reality, the last entry in the ship's log was eleven days before the discovery of the empty ship.

Howard Pease's 1934 Tod Moran mystery, The Ship Without a Crew, was inspired by the story of the Mary Celeste.

The story was fictionalized in a now rare 1935 British film called The Mystery of the Marie Celeste (also known as Phantom Ship), which starred Bela Lugosi.

The December 27, 1955 broadcast of the radio program Suspense presented a fictionalized account of the disappearance where the crew abandoned ship when they became beached on a rare temporary sand bar from the outflows of an African river.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2007, 09:09:59 pm by Tiffany Rossette » Report Spam   Logged


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