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Wreck of coal ship that vanished in the Bermuda Triangle almost 100 years ago is found near Florida

The wreckage of a coal ship that vanished in the Bermuda Triangle almost 100 years ago with 32 passengers on board has been found by underwater explorers.   

Since the SS Cotopaxi disappeared in 1925, it has become one of the most famous stories associated with the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. 

On November 29, 1925 the steam powered bulk carrier set off on a standard trip from Charleston, South Carolina to Havana, Cuba. 

No one knows where or how it vanished and none of the bodies of the 32 passengers on board were ever recovered. 

Now, almost 100 years after the ship vanished, a team of marine biologists and underwater explorers have identified the SS Cotopaxi off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida

Since the SS Cotopaxi (pictured) disappeared in 1925, it has become one of the most famous stories associated with the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle

Since the SS Cotopaxi (pictured) disappeared in 1925, it has become one of the most famous stories associated with the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle

It is one of the triangle’s biggest secrets and even popped up at the end of Steven Spielberg’s 1977 blockbuster, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where it was found in the Gobi Dessert having supposedly been placed there by aliens. 

And in 2015 it was claimed it had reappeared near a restricted military zone off the coast of Cuba, though this was eventually dismissed as a hoax.

Now, almost 100 years later, a team of marine biologists and underwater explorers have identified the SS Cotopaxi off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida. 

Their research and findings will be revealed in the premiere episode of the new Science Channel series, Shipwreck Secrets, premiering Sunday, February 9. 

‘The Cotopaxi was on a routine voyage,’ marine biologist and underwater explorer Michael Barnette told Newsweek. 

‘She was employed in the coal trade and so this was just another trip at the end of November of 1925. We know that on that voyage something happened because she delivered a mayday message early December saying she’s in distress.

‘And then that was it. They never found any wreckage. They never found any lifeboats, bodies or anything. The vessel just disappeared after that point. So we’ve been trying to determine what happened.’

A team of marine biologists and underwater explorers have identified the SS Cotopaxi off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida (pictured, how it passed through the Bermuda Triangle)

A team of marine biologists and underwater explorers have identified the SS Cotopaxi off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida (pictured, how it passed through the Bermuda Triangle) 

The ship had sent out wireless distress signals on December 1, 1925, two days after it left Charleston but it has only now just been found (pictured, divers examine the wreck)

The ship had sent out wireless distress signals on December 1, 1925, two days after it left Charleston but it has only now just been found (pictured, divers examine the wreck)

To help pinpoint the possible location where the SS Cotopaxi sunk, Barnette contacted British historian Guy Walters to help do some digging. 

Walters combed through ship records at the archives of Lloyd’s of London, who were the insurance brokers of the SS Cotopaxi. 

There he discovered something previously unknown about the SS Cotopaxi’s voyage. 

The ship had sent out wireless distress signals on December 1, 1925, two days after it left Charleston. The signals were picked up in Jacksonville, Florida, placing the ship in the area of a shipwreck found nearly 35 years ago.

Armed with this new information, Barnette headed to Florida with his dive partner, Joe Citelli, to dive the wreck. 

However, their dive as well as the use of an underwater drone to survey the ship, did not produce any corroborating evidence. 

The ship is one of the triangle's biggest secrets and even popped up at the end of Steven Spielberg's 1977 blockbuster, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where it was found in the Gobi Dessert having supposedly been placed there by aliens

The ship is one of the triangle’s biggest secrets and even popped up at the end of Steven Spielberg’s 1977 blockbuster, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where it was found in the Gobi Dessert having supposedly been placed there by aliens

Their research and findings will be revealed in the premiere episode of the new Science Channel series, Shipwreck Secrets, premiering Sunday, February 9 (pictured, a grab from the show)

Their research and findings will be revealed in the premiere episode of the new Science Channel series, Shipwreck Secrets, premiering Sunday, February 9 (pictured, a grab from the show)

From there, Barnette met with Al Perkins, an avid diver who has been diving the area since the 1980’s. On these dives, Perkins had collected souvenirs – one of which might helped solve the mystery.

To gather more evidence, Barnette enlists the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, a non-profit organization dedicated to researching and preserving the 500 year long maritime history of the region. 

Two of their leading maritime archeologists Chuck Meide and Brendan Burke are experts in discovering, exploring and identifying wrecks in the area. Together they headed to the wreck – and what they found was truly astonishing.

Further research was able to corroborate the wreck’s location compared to where the distress signals were sent out, leading Barnette to come to no other conclusion: they’ve uncovered the long-lost SS Cotopaxi.

Shipwreck Secrets then visited with Douglas Myers in Long Island, NY, the grandson the SS Cotopaxi Captain William J. Myers where he was told that the ship had after nearly a century been identified. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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