Monday, September 10, 2012
Ships: A Mysterious Situation
As noted in this article from Yahoo! online, the boat is thought to be the Monticello, a Confederate blockade runner that plied her trade in smuggled goods along the shores of Mobile Bay. Most probably, her demise came at the hands of Admiral David Farragut when he "damn the torpedoes!" -ed his way into the last stronghold of the Confederate Navy in 1864. The other likely end for her was being burned by her owners and abandoned in their effort to avoid prosecution by the Union invaders. A classic story that has seen many a ship or boat sacrificed to the needs of her crew.
On the other hand, as the article goes on to say, the ship may be another kind of more recent smuggler. That boat might be a rum runner from that disastrous era the U.S. now refers to as "prohibition." In this scenario the boat - nameless in this case - would have also been destroyed by those using her to smuggle hooch. Once again, to reduce their chances of being caught by the authorities.
These are the two most likely, and probably most colorful, possibilities for the origin of this relic. But, to my mind, they are not the most head-scratching. From the article:
This is actually the fourth time parts of the wreckage have become visible over the years, after it firs made an appearance following hurricane Camille in 1969. It reappeared in 2004 after hurricane Ivan and again in 2008 after hurricane Ike.
As a student of archaeology, I am hard pressed to imagine why this fascinating artifact of American history is left to quite literally rot and simply be speculated on by tourists and online journalists. Evidently, though, that is the only thing we can think of to do as far as this little time capsule is concerned. The article ends with a quote from the Meyer Vacation Rentals Facebook page:
This is the most visible it has been in recent years. Eventually the shifting sands will pull it back under the beach, where it will slumber until another storm is powerful enough to bring it back to the surface.
Header: Monticello (perhaps) via Yahoo! online via Meyer Vacation Rentals on Facebook