USS Cyclops (AC-4)

Posted: 13 November, 2009 by Fairlane in special, ugly
Tags: , , ,

From US Navy via Wikipedia

From US Navy Historical Center via

USS Cyclops

IMO: 6130514

Build: 1910 by William Cramp and Sons – Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, USA, nr 355 as Cyclops

The story of the Cyclops is one of the most well-known mysteries of the sea. For those that aren’t aware, she disappeared off the face of the Earth en-route from Barbados to Baltimore, Maryland with 306 persons aboard in March of 1918 while in the “Bermuda Triangle.” (Cue ominous music) Theories range from being hijacked by Germans due to being a US Navy vessel active during World War I, to the usual alien abductions and other normal paranoid Bermuda Triangle stuff.

However, maybe the truth is, she was just too funny looking to continue sailing the seas. As a collier, she had all kinds of random masts sprouting from her length, forming a forest of sorts along her length.

From Michael W Pocock via

I can’t say I’ve seen too many vessels that possess twin funnels side-by-side, either. Hers only add to the metal jungle.

Then there’s her bridge, mounted on stilts, which makes it seem like some form of treehouse or the like.

From US National Archives via

Perhaps my theory is correct, she had sisters, too. And guess what happened to them…

USS Proteus

From via Wikipedia

She managed to survive her service in the Navy, and was sold to Sauguenay terminals Ltd. of Ottawa, Canada in 1941, and disappeared without a trace in November of that year…

USS Nereus

From unknown via Wikipedia

The Nereus followed the same path as the Proteus, being sold to the same company. She disappeared a month after her sister.

It is suggested, however, that these two, being aging ships, had lost much of their structural integrity due to acidic cargoes, and broke up in heavy seas. Mystery solved?

But if they weren’t strange enough looking, they had one more notable sister…

USS Jupiter/USS Langley

From US Navy via

From US Navy via

The Jupiter, starting life looking just like her sisters, then underwent a transformation into America’s first aircraft carrier. It didn’t do much for her looks.

For the Cyclops however, her fate is still as confusing as her appearance. Howver, she was overloaded with managnese by 2,000 tons, and had engine problems on her final voyage. The fact that a large storm hit her estimated position around her time of disappearance is perhaps too easy of an answer…

  1. tugster says:

    glad you reposted this . . . it’s a reminder of how much i miss the vigor of from a few years back. is it possible that no more uglyships now appear on designers screens or sail the seas? you shamed them into cleaning up their act and producing nothing less than all beauty all the time?

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