December 15, 1900 – The Flannan Isle Mystery

December 15, 1900 – The Flannan Isle Mystery

Lighthouse Crew Vanish from Flannan Isles

A ship passing the Flannan Isle lighthouse in Scotland noted that the light was not working during bad weather on Dec. 15, 1900. Once in port, the ship’s captain relayed this information to the Northern Lighthouse Board. Due to raging seas, the relief vessel ordered to go to Flannan Isle could not get there until Dec. 26. Once it arrived, the crew found the three men assigned to work the lighthouse, James Ducat, Thomas Marshall, and Donald McArthur, were gone.

The men were never seen again and their bodies were never found. A search of the premises found the lamps had been cleaned and refilled and the dishes were clean. This led investigators to theorize the men must have disappeared after eating their evening meal. Further investigation of the island found severe damage from the recent storm. A box, some 33 meters above sea level, had been broken and the iron railings were bent over. The Northern Lighthouse Board superintendent who investigated the case surmised two men went to secure something on the western landing and were swept away. The third man, thought to be McArthur due to the fact his rain gear was left behind, attempted to rescue Ducat and Marshall and was similarly taken by the ocean. Despite this theory, none of the men’s bodies were found and what became of them remains a mystery.

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