Baffling. Vanished. These are words that stir the imagination. Something about an unsolved mystery has always intrigued me. Reading The Devil's Triangle, published by Richard Winer in 1974, fueled my interest in the paranormal. It was full of strange stories about the Bermuda Triangle, including the supply ship U.S.S. Cyclops.
A little more than 100 years ago this very week, the Cyclops, with a crew of 306 sailors, departed Barbados for Baltimore, Maryland. They never arrived. The loss of the Cyclops remains the largest loss of life of a non-military nature in the history of the U.S. Navy. Perhaps, unconsciously, this is why the disappearance of the Native American tribe, the Manahoac, is a significant event in my novel Route 666.
Gone without a trace. The phrase sends a shiver down my spine. The story of the Cyclops is unnerving, but there is something even more troubling about it when you learn of the fate of the Cyclops's sister ships, the U.S.S. Proteus and the U.S.S. Nereus. Within three weeks of one another, in November-December 1941, both ships also disappeared. In the same waters where the Cyclops vanished.
The U.S.S. Jupiter was slightly more fortunate. The last surviving vessel of the foursome, it was bombed by Japanese aircraft in 1942. The Jupiter, damaged beyond repair, had to be scuttled and sunk. At least some of the crew members survived the attack.
It's creepy and disturbing. So much pain and suffering. Can pure coincidence explain it all away? You decide.
Like to read more Stories From The Road, sign up at jdtoepfer.com.