There were four coal ships built for the United States Navy a few years before WWI, and the USS Cyclops was one of them. According to,  “Named for the Cyclops, a primordial race of giants from Greek mythology, she was the second U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.” The ship disappeared, without a trace, in the area known as the Bermuda Triangle, with 306 crew members and passengers, sometime around March 4th in 1918. This disappearance was one of the largest losses of life that does not pertain to war. Since the ship disappeared during a war, according to,  “there was speculation she was captured or sunk by a German raider or submarine”, as she was “carrying 10,800 long tons of Manganese”, which is used to make munition. At the time, German authorities denied knowledge of the ship. The Naval History and Heritage Command says that the ship “probably sank in an unexpected storm”, but nobody knows how it actually sank.William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, launched the ship on May 7th, 1910, and was put into service months later, on November 7th, 1910. According to, Lieutenant Commander George Worley, Master, Naval, Auxiliary Service, was in command. The ship operated with the Naval Auxiliary Service, Atlantic Fleet, and navigated her way through the Baltic, from Newport, Rhode Island, to Norfolk, Virginia, stopping in the Caribbean, in May 1911 and ending in July of the same year. The Cyclops coaled ships on patrol during the U.S. Occupation of Veracruz in Mexico, 1914-15, and helped evacuate refugees. According to, “before he left, Commander Worley made a statement that the starboard engine had a cracked cylinder and was not operating. The report was confirmed true and it was recommended that the ship return to the U.S, but she made an unexpected stop in Barbados because the water level was too high; although investigations done in Rio proved that the ship had been loaded and secured. On March 4, she set out for Baltimore and apparently was sighted on March 9 by the molasses tanker Amolco near Virginia, but this was denied by Amolco’s captain.” It’s very unlikely that the ship would have been close to Virginia on March 9, because she wasn’t supposed to reach Baltimore until March 13. “The Cyclops never made it to Baltimore, and no parts of her have been found.” It’s said that the day after the Amolco sighting, on March 10, a violent storm swept through the Virginia Capes area. There are multiple theories about what happened to the ship. Captain Worley was apparently hated by the other staff on the ship, because they thought he was on Germany’s side in the war. Captain Worley was later found to be German born, and it’s said that he changed his name from birth. The U.S. Consulate General of Rio was well-known among the German community in Brazil. There was plenty of coal and fuel from Barbados, and the theory states that Captain Worley and the Consulate conspired to sink the ship during the war. Another theory says that one of the ship’s Navy officers stayed on the ship for the entire duration of the journey, and he filed a report that the deck of the ship swayed when struck by large waves. This means that the ship was weak, and this could have been a cause of the sinking. One last theory says that the Cyclops was overloaded with Manganese, fuel, and people, and the ship couldn’t handle all that weight. At the same time, the ship was hit by a heavy storm, which sunk the ship. Some people think that the ship was a victim of a German underwater bomb, or was torpedoed by a German ship. “The U.S. Navy claims that such possibility does not exist if the ship had been on the right course.” The only way this theory could be true is if the ship was way off the course.


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