Ship that mysteriously disappeared with everyone on board has been found after 115 years

Ship that mysteriously disappeared with everyone on board has been found after 115 years

In 1909, a steamship sailed across Lake Superior but soon vanished without a trace, sparking rumors of bad luck from its start.

During May of 1909, the wooden steamship Adella Shores trailed the substantial steel steamship Daniel J. Morrell across the frozen expanse of Lake Superior in Michigan. Yet, in a baffling turn of events, the Adella Shores and its entire crew of 14 vanished without a trace, with no witnesses from Daniel J. Morrell to shed light on the disappearance. 

Despite a series of setbacks, including two previous sinkings in shallow waters over fifteen years, the Adella Shores embarked on what would be its final voyage in April 1909. Laden with cargo, it trailed behind the sturdier Daniel J. Morrell, a steel steamer that plowed through the icy waters of Lake Superior with ease. 

Caught in a fierce storm while trailing a larger vessel, the Adella Shores disappeared from sight, leaving its crew and whereabouts unknown. Hours passed before the crew of the larger vessel realized the absence of their companion, but by then, the Adella Shores had vanished without a trace, leaving only scattered debris as evidence of its existence. 

© © Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

For decades, the mystery of the Adella Shores haunted maritime enthusiasts and historians alike, its fate shrouded in speculation and conjecture. It wasn't until the summer of 2021 that the first signs of the ship's whereabouts were uncovered, thanks to the efforts of Darryl Ertel, who, along with his brother, utilized advanced sonar technology to scan the lake's bottom for anomalies.

Ranked as the world's second-largest lake after the Caspian Sea, Lake Superior presents a vast area for exploration. Despite the expanse, experts frequently encounter uneventful sonar scans. However, upon reviewing recent images, a sense of significance emerged. This suspicion was solidified when a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) equipped with a camera provided confirmation.

Upon the discovery of the wreckage, experts embarked on a meticulous examination, confirming its identity through careful analysis and observation. Corey Adkins, spokesperson for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, emphasized the importance of honoring the vessel's legacy, stressing the significance of each shipwreck's narrative.

According to Bruce E. Lynn, the executive director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS), lakes can generate their own microclimates, leading to rapidly changing conditions. This poses a significant risk for ships like the Adella Shores, which could find themselves in precarious situations with little chance of escape.

In terms of maritime classification, the Adella Shores falls into the category of 'disappeared' vessels. These are ships that followed their planned routes but vanished unexpectedly. This classification now requires updating for the first time, as scientists contemplate the appropriate course of action regarding the wreck.