The Carroll A. Deering was a five masted schooner built in 1919. In midwinter 1921, she was found aground on Diamond Shoals off the North Carolina coast near the Hatteras light. There was no storm and no distress calls were received. When rescuers made it aboard the ship, there was no one to be found except for a gray cat. The bunks were all made and the food was left on the plates and stove as if everyone was coming right back. The Captain's Log and sextant were missing.
The ship had been sighted by the Cape Lookout Lightship in North Carolina, when the vessel hailed the lightship. The lightship's keeper reported that a thin man with reddish hair and a foreign accent told him the vessel had lost its anchors. The keeper took note of this, but his radio was out, so he was unable to report it. He noticed that the crew seemed to be "milling around" on the fore deck of the ship, an area where they were usually not allowed. The next time the Carroll A. Deering was seen, she was abandoned on the shoals.
An investigation was launched into what happened to the Deering after she was spotted at the Cape Lookout Light. A message in a bottle was found at Buxton Beach, NC and read:
DEERING CAPTURED BY OIL BURNING BOAT SOMETHING LIKE CHASER. TAKING OFF EVERYTHING HANDCUFFING CREW. CREW HIDING ALL OVER SHIP NO CHANCE TO MAKE ESCAPE. FINDER PLEASE NOTIFY HEADQUARTERS DEERING.
The mystery was never solved, though there are many theories: piracy, Russian/Communist Piracy, Rum Runners or Mutiny. And there are those who believe that the Carroll A. Deering could even be a victim of the Bermuda Triangle.