Carroll A. Deering LbNA # 29921
|Placed Date||Apr 2 2007|
On January 31, 1921, a large schooner was spotted aground off the Carolina coast, caught in a bed of breakers. Four days later, the seas finally calmed enough to get close enough to identify the ship as the Carroll A. Deering. The galley was set for a meal, but the charts and navigational devices had been taken and all the steering mechanisms destroyed. No one was on board except for a few cats. What had become of the crew? Were they victims of the "Bermuda Triangle," which extends through part of the Outer Banks?
The Deering had left Bath, Maine in 1919 on its way to South America. It passed through Hampton Roads before switching captains in Lewes, DE. (The original captain had become sick and said he did not trust the crew.) After visiting Rio and Barbados, where some of the crew are said to have plotted mischief openly in public, the ship passed the southern coast of North Carolina January 23, 1921, but didn't reach Cape Lookout until January 29. The lighthouse keeper was hailed by a redheaded sailor, not the captain. Two days later the ship was in Diamond Shoals, presumably with no one aboard. The ship remained aground for two weeks and was thoroughly salvaged before being dynamited by the Coast Guard. Boards washed up on the beach and were immediately put to use in homes in Hatteras and Ocracoke for good luck. Some may still be there.
On April 10, 1921, Hatteras native Chris Gray reported finding a message in a bottle:
Deering Captured by Oil Burning Boat
Something Like Chaser taking Off everything
Crew hiding All over ship no chance to
Make escape finder please
notify head Qts of Deering
Gray later admitted to federal investigators that he had forged the note, but to find the Carroll A. Deering you must first go to the site of another Message in a Bottle, then 20 paces at 200 degrees to a pile of bark next to (NOT inside - watch out for snakes!) a fallen tree at the base of a large stump.