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From: "Sue O'Neill" <>
Subject: [NFLD-ROOTS] The Mystery Ship
Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 20:17:01 -0400


Transcribed by Paula Lemay

Strange, but True Newfoundland Stories...by Jack Fitzgerald.

The Mystery Ship
Among many great mysteries of Newfoundland history is the story
surrounding the RESOLVEN. The RESOLVEN arrived at Harbour Grace in
1884 with a cargo of salt for JOHN MUNN and Company. From there she
was scheduled to go to Labrador to take on a cargo of salt cod for
destinations in Europe. On board were four Newfoundland passengers.
They were THOMAS and GEORGE COLFORD and DOUGLAS TAYLOR from Carbonear,
and EDWARD O'KEEFE from Harbour Grace.

The RESOLVEN set out from Harbour Grace on August 27, 1884. A few
days later the British gunboat MALLARD sailed close by the RESOLVEN,
off the coast near CATALINA. The RESOLVEN was behaving erratically.
The crew of the MALLARD shouted as they neared the ship but they got
no response. There was only the sound of waves beating against both
ships.
The British sailors boarded the RESOLVEN. The first thing they
noticed was that the vessel's planking was scaped and rubbed above the
waterline. There was also some minor damaged to the sails. But after
searching the vessel from top to bottom the British were completely
baffled.
There was absolutely no sign of life anywhere on the mystery ship.
They found clothing and other personal items of the crewmembers
throughout the ship left undisturbed. Adding to the mystery was the
galley scene: there the table was set for a meal and the fire in the
stove was still burning.

The MALLARD then searched the area for any signs of crew and
passengers, but found none. The RESOLVEN was towed to CATALINA, and
the outside world became aware of the great mystery.
There was the suggestion that the Captain, crew and passengers had
left the ship in a hurry because it was approaching an iceburg.
However, experienced seamen would have known that a boat can lie
beside an iceburg for hours just the same as it would lie beside a
ship. Most sea captains would have sheltered from the storm in this
manner. What happened to the RESOLVEN? That's still a great
mystery--more then 100 years after it occurred..

Paula

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