Monday, March 27, 2006

The Iron Mountain Steamboat

The legend of the Iron Mountain Steamboat is one of the most intriguing "mysterious disappearance" stories. Over 180 feet long and 35 feet wide, this boat was last seen in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1872.

Later that day, another boat, the Iroquois Chief, came upon their string of barges floating free down the river. The towline had been cut instead of broken.

There is no other information.

The boat with its 54 (although I've also read 52 and 55) passengers disappeared without a trace. Some thought it could have been a boiler explosion, but no wreckage was ever found. I did find mention of the Army Corps of Engineers publishing a report about finding the boat in a cotton field months later, but this was on a message board from someone else seeking information from a rumor.

There are a few mentions in various strange disappearance or quick fact sites like these:
morticom weird disappearances
Grand Illusions reviewed
LePicayune.com _MS Quick Facts

I even came across a small write up in a book called Haunted Places by Dennis William Hauck. According to this, witnesses have heard a woman screaming in the middle of the river near St. Joseph, Mississippi. Occasionally, they'll hear her saying, "Aidez-moi au nome de Dieu. Les hommes me blessent!" (Help me, in the name of God. The men are hurting me!")

They believe it's the voice of an Iron Mountain passenger. Most speculate that river pirates hijacked the ship and killed everyone. Still, one would think some evidence would have remained.


Blogger X. Dell said...

I wonder if a diving crew might one day be able to find wreckage. I don't know the first thing about diving. Maybe there's some reason you can't do it in the Mississip.

Growing up on a river town, I know that paddlewheelers sometimes incurred boiler explosions. But those leave wreckages and bodies, both of which float for days, and once and a while survivors. Yet, this wreckage went down in a manner of "hours." I wonder if there is anything else that could force a good sized boat to completely submerge within a few hours.

Of course, there are the metaphysical possibilities that I try (ahem!) to avoid. In his "Encylcopedia of Unsolved Mysteries," famed British mystic Colin Wilson included a chapter on 'time slips,' a phenomenon that instantly transposes a person from one time to another. (Rod Serling explored the topic in an episode of the "Twilight Zone" titled "Once Upon a Time," starring Buster Keaton).

Yeah, I know. Remote possibility, magical thinking. . . although Einstein did postulate wormholes in the fabric of space-time. Perhaps there are mundane examples of this facet of his Unified Field Theory.

BTW, between this posting and the one about the graves in your backyard, I'm starting to peg you as someone drawn to these knotty little mysteries that beg for solving.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Rinda Elliott said...

A dimensional gap came to my mind the first time I read this. People believed the boat was attacked and stripped. I can't see a boat of that size being stripped in, like you said, a matter of hours.

I love a good mystery. But, I'm also still "really" trying to get a feel for what you all want on this site. I've written up other pieces, but I'm not sure about them. One strayed into semi offensive land.

Unfortunately, I have an interest in too many things. There never seems to be enough time to study everything. ;)

11:47 AM  
Blogger X. Dell said...

Well, we're a new blog. But your most recent posts have kinda rounded out what we've been doing.

Yes, and time. As one fictional character put it, "Tit for tat, and quid pro quo. So little time. So much to know." (A gold star to anyone who can name the movie this comes from).

And now that you've piqued my interest, I for one, would be kinda curious to see what you would consider 'semi-offensive.'

12:13 PM  
Blogger Rinda Elliott said...

"Tit for tat, and quid pro quo. So little time. So much to know." (A gold star to anyone who can name the movie this comes from).

Great. That's gonna drive me nuts all day. (g)

2:34 PM  
Blogger Rinda Elliott said...

Well, I think it's funny. Some might find the post offensive. But up it's going!

2:39 PM  
Blogger X. Dell said...

Hint: 1968 animated British musical.

5:02 PM  

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