As we approach Halloween and get ready here at the museum for our annual "Hunt for Dead October" event for children (6 to 9 p.m., HRNM portion free), it is only fitting to talk a little bit about USS Cyclops. The Norfolk-based vessel is one of the most famous ships in maritime lore for its mysterious fate. It is a favorite story of people who follow supernatural events.
In April 1918, the ship was steaming from Brazil to Baltimore with a cargo of manganese (an essential element to the manufacturing of steel). She stopped in the West Indies, but never made it to Baltimore. The U.S. Navy conducted a massive search for the vessel, but never found so much as a life ring or body. There were no communications from the ship reporting it to be under attack or in distress from a weather related incident. Its disappearance has never been explained. Here are a few 1918 magazine and newspaper articles on the lost ship.