Please allow me to present this odd and mostly forgotten little nautical
for your delectation, ATS. A true story of madness on the high seas, unexplained disappearance, and the mysteries of the number "243."
Conspiracy, alien abduction, simple derangement, or something else? You decide.
The story revolves around an enigmatic character named Donald Crowhurst. A basic rundown of his tale can be found courtesy of our old friend
I will summarize the points that may be of interest to the ATS audience.
Donald Crowhurst, a British businessman, disappeared in a presumed suicide at sea in 1969 during the Sunday Times Golden Globe sailing race.
The race was the first (and as far as I know, the last) single-handed, non-stop, around-the-world yacht race. The very concept behind such a race is
not only extraordinarily dangerous: if you know the ocean and sailing at all, you will probably agree it is nearly insane. This may be the reason the
race was held only once.
Crowhurst sailed a trimaran (triple-hulled sailboat) during the race that was named the Teignmouth Electron
. Strange name for a boat, and very
strange type of boat to take on such a voyage. And a strange man behind the wheel, for that matter.
At some point, he peeled off from the race and attempted to cheat the officials by reporting fake positions while remaining adrift, hoping to take a
shorcut and claim false victory. Meanwhile, so the story goes, his mind began to deteriorate. His log entries became
bizarre and unhinged
, at least from a conventional perspective:
The last several weeks of his log entries, once he was facing a real possibility of winning the prize, showed increasing irrationality. In the end,
his writings during the voyage - poems, quotations, real and fake log entries, and random thoughts - amounted to more than 25,000 words. The log books
include an attempt to construct a philosophical reinterpretation of the human condition that would provide an escape from his impossible situation.
The number 243 shows up several times in these writings: he originally planned to finish the trip in 243 days, recorded a false distance of 243
nautical miles (450 km) in one day's sailing (which if valid would have been a record day's run at the time), and may have ended his life on the
243rd day (1 July) of his voyage.
His last log entry was on 1 July 1969; it is assumed that he then jumped overboard and drowned.
His boat was later found floating, empty, containing only his long, rambling screeds...notable for their overuse of the number "243."
Does anyone remember this, or have you ever heard of it? Its a nut that's hard to crack. I'd be curious to hear ATS theories. Do you think he killed
himself? Was taken away to space? Transcended to another plane? Or is still living in an antarctic hideaway to this day?
And what's so special about the number "243," anyway? Any of you champion numerical manipulators and conspiracy buffs out there feel like taking a
crack at it?
[edit on 1/13/10 by silent thunder]