March 4: The Cyclops Disappears

CyclopAt right you see a Proteus-class U. S. Navy collier called the USS Cyclops. It was on this day in 1917 that it was last seen before mysteriously disappearing.

On March 4, 1917 the Cyclops and its 306 crew and passengers left port in Barbados to go to Baltimore and it was never seen again. It is the single largest loss of life in the history of the U. S. Navy that did not knowingly involve combat. I say “knowingly” as there is speculation that, as it was wartime, the Cyclops might have been captured or sunk by a German vessel. After all, the ship was carrying around 11,000 tons of manganese ore that could be used to make weapons. Quite interestingly, Lieutenant Commander George W. Worley, the ship’s captain was German born and there was speculation that he might have switched sides. However, German authorities, both during wartime and since the end of World War I, have denied any knowledge of the ship and its cargo. Regardless of what actually happened, after a brief investigation, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt officially declared the ship and its crew lost on June 1, 1918. It is the belief of the Naval History & Heritage Command that the Cyclops “probably sank in an unexpected storm”.

Of course, as the ship was traveling from Barbados to Baltimore, some people believe that the ship was lost in the Bermuda Triangle! So, in that spirit we’re mixing a Bermuda Triangle. It’s a sweet, tangy tropical drink that’s sure to make you feel like you’ve been lost at sea.

Bermuda Triangle

  • 1 1/2 ounces  Dark Rum
  • 1 ounce Peach Schnapps
  • 3/4 ounce Spiced Rum
  • orange juice

Shake the liquors with ice and strain into an ice filled highball glass. Fill with orange juice and garnish with an orange peel.

Tomorrow: An American Hall Of Fame.

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