The Mystery Of The Carroll A. Deering

The Mystery Of The Carroll A. Deering

Some have said it was mysterious since the same thing happened to the Mary Celeste some fifty years prior. It appeared that someone was preparing food.

The ship was completely deserted. It was another ghost ship. Was this ship so close to the Bermuda Triangle that the forces within the triangle caused the crew to disappear or was it Russia seizing United States ships for some purpose. What really happened to the Carroll A. Deering that fateful day?


The eleven-member crew was gone. The ship was a ghost ship in the waters off North Carolina. The shipment the Carroll A Deering was carrying was coal. The captain and his son, William and S.E. Merritt hired a crew before leaving Norfolk, Virginia in 1920. Shortly after setting sail, the elder Merritt became ill and the ship docked in Lewes, Delaware where both Captain and first mate S.E. Merritt remained and left the ship go with the hired crew. The ships crew found a new Captain named Willis Wormell, who was 66 years of age. Wormell hired Charles B. McLellan to be the first mate.


In September, the Carroll A, Deering set out for Rio de Jenario where she docked and was unloaded. Wormell confided in a friend in Rio de Jenario that his first mate was not reliable. The friends then parted ways and the Deering set sail for Portland, Maine on December 2, 1920.


Trouble escalated when the ship docked in Barbados when McLellan was thrown in jail for drunken disorderly. Wormell got him out of jail, but McLellan threatened his life. The ship left for home on January 9. A light keeper by North Carolina next saw it on January 29. The light keeper said he heard a voice on the ship.


The man was standing on the quarterdeck and was not acting like an officer. The light keeper said the man had red hair. The man on deck said they had lost their anchor and where riding the winds to Cape Fear. He asked that the light keeper inform the Deering Company.


The ship was then seen hung up on the shoals off Cape Hatteras. The crew was gone and so were the navigating instruments, log, ship’s clock and all the belongings of the crew. They could not salvage the ship. It was set to rest in the waters bottom. No one has ever been able to say what happened to the crew or the equipment that was missing.


It was later discovered that nine or more ships had the same strange occurrence happen at the same time as the Carroll A Deering. These ships disappeared with their crews. Was it Russians who wanted the cargo because of the embargo or was it pirates? A note washed up on shore in a bottle that said someone had boarded the Carroll A. Deering and it was an oil burning boat. They were taking everything and handcuffing the crew. No one could escape. The note said to inform the authorities. Was this note authentic? Why did the writer not sign his name?