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Lost and found

In the mid-sixteenth century, there was a ship commissioned to bring fear to those traveling to the West Indies. Armed to the teeth, the galleon was said to be capable of cutting a vessel in half with a single volley of cannon fire. The hull’s exterior was coated in a tarry pitch that gave it a black shimmer when slicing through the waves. To match the hull, the rest of the ship was finished in black lacquer. It was rumored that the Queen herself had secretly requested and funded this operation to protect her interests from colonists tempted to forget their governing body. Setting sail with a skeleton crew of 30 men it left Spain known only as the “Xiphias.” It was never heard from again...

Fifteen years ago, the bow of a 16th-century ship was found buried under a coral formation near the eastern coast of Barbados. Samples from the ship’s bow revealed high traces of a chemical also found in tar. As a coral reef had grown around the find, excavation rights were denied and study of the bow came to a grinding halt. The reef soon became a tourist attraction for scuba divers and all the usual curios having to do with ghost ships and pirates began to surface.

Several years ago, the remains of three divers were found in the reef. Investigations pointed toward a shark attack but others suspected foul play. The reef was closed to tourists for almost two months while professionals searched for the shark or sharks responsible. When no evidence of sharks could be found, the reef and the case involving the three divers were reopened.

The unsolved mystery surrounding the three divers resurfaced when a rash of shark-like attacks hit the reef in the spring of 2002. While the sharks themselves were never found, their handy work left behind four widows and two orphans. There was one victim, a Marcus Fisher, who survived long enough to scream incoherent ramblings about losing time before dying in the ambulance—his left arm and leg were missing. After Marcus, the reef was closed to the public indefinitely…

Following hurricane Francis last year, scientists who had been studying the reef returned to find nothing but a trench where the reef once stood. Sonar images of the ocean floor revealed the imprint of a ship’s hull along one side of the trench. Divers also found what is now believed to have once been the entrance to a cave. This cave was found near what would have been the ship's rudder. Unfortunately, the cave and its opening were collapsed—most believe due to the storm.

Two weeks ago, following a storm off the coast of Papua New Guinea, a glass-bottomed tour boat failed to report in. Search and rescue teams found the boat abandoned several kilometers off course near an uncharted reef…

A good friend of mine works for that glass-bottomed boat company and said it was very creepy how the boat wasn’t anchored but simply remained near the reef without drifting away. He’s also a bit of a scavenger. When tourists lose something on one of his boats, he usually helps himself or gives his finds away to friends as gifts. Knowing how much I like watches, he sent me a very nice Tag Heuer. On the back of the watch was an inscription that caused me to sell the watch and stop writing this story:


To my son Marcus,
May you never lose time.
— J. Fisher II

Comments

  1. Wow, great story! I've been reading your blog too. Very interesting and entertaining. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. hahaha! deliciously spooky! love it.

    see you in a week.

    ReplyDelete

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