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The Eilean Mor Lighthouse Mystery

November 16, 2015

The strange case of the Island of Eilean Mor begins in 1895, with the construction of a lighthouse on the biggest of the Flannan Isles, just off the west coast of Scotland. An inauspicious start, but then again, most mysteries begin that way, right?

Created to be a beacon to those lost at sea, the lighthouse ended up losing three of its steadfast lamplighters, and became part of an unsolved mystery that has baffled many, and been solved by none! People the world over have been trying to crack this case, there have even been court cases about it! Information and clues have been found, lost, traded, and changed illicitly, but the clues just don’t add up, and time has made sure that this mystery will never be solved.

The year was 1900, mid December, and in a few days time, relief would come for one lucky member of the lighthouse crew. Storms had come and gone, but time and routine continued on for the three men who inhabited the lighthouse and made sure its beacon was lit every night. At the time of their disappearance, all reports from passing ships and weather records say there was no storms on the island. Storms had occurred a few nights before that, but had calmed in the previous days.

Joseph Moore, a fellow lighthouse keeper, came off the Hesperus and was the first man ashore, and the first person to discover that his comrades were missing! When no one responded to their ship signal and flare upon reaching shore, Moore hurried up the cliff of the shore only to find the lighthouse devoid of his fellow lamplighters. He hurried back to the ship, and then a crew was sent out to search the island, but Ducat, Marshall, and MacArthur were nowhere to be found.

The captain of the Hesperus quickly headed back to the mainland where he sent a telegram to the Secretary of the Northern Lighthouse Board in Edinburgh detailing the days events. Robert Muirhead, the Superintendent in overall charge of the Flannan light, came out to perform his own investigation after being informed of the event, a few days after Moore and the crew of the Hesperus had searched the island.

After some damage and upended box of rope were discovered down by the loading docks on the cliff shore, a theory was created that a giant wave came through and swept them all away, but with no recent storms recorded by passing ships or the lighthouse log book, it just didn’t make sense! As years passed, evidence was forged to make the vanishings seem supernatural, records were transferred, damaged, and lost to us forever.

Indeed the three men were truly vanished, and all that remained were theories, lies, and an unsolved mystery. Some people believed that the unfortunate three were abducted by aliens. Yet others were convinced that fairy creatures from the island spirited them away! There were even a few who believed that GIANT BIRDS snatched them up and took them off to be dinner for their nestlings.

Only one thing is for certain, and that is that we will never truly know what happened to James Ducat, Thomas Marshall, and Donald Macarthur by that lighthouse in December. You can look over the evidence and try to solve the mystery yourself, but if you are really in the mood for a mystery, look no further! Come join The Murder Mystery Company for an evening of mystery, intrigue, and murder, and crack a case with our mystery experts!

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