Bonhomme Richard - During the War of Independence the first ships of the United States Navy consisted of small converted traders loaded with guns, one of these was the former East Indiaman Duc de Duras. On board was Scottish sailor John Paul Jones who had fled from Britain after a couple of voyages which had ended with a controversial death on each. Now he was captain of this ship and it was renamed Bonhomme Richard. Together with the Pallas, Alliance and Vengeance, the Bonhomme Richard was sailing the North Sea when, on 23rd September 1779, they came upon a British convoy which was protected by HMS Serapis and Countess of Scarborough. Allowing the convoy to escape, a huge battle off the East Yorkshire coast began. What became known as The Battle of Flamborough Head, the Bonhomme Richard was mortally wounded, but not before Jones boarded the Serapis and took control. With his ship sinking he sailed away victorious, both British escorts captured and only one of his ships lost. But since that day the ship has never been seen again. Famous novelist Clive Cussler has tried four times to locate the wreck but was not successful, other local divers have claimed to have found a wreck but nothing that 100% links it to the American ship. The most detailed expeditions began in 2005 when the Ocean Technology Foundation began a search, they have continued this search over the last 15 years and have several interesting targets, but as it stands the whereabouts of the wreck of Bonhomme Richard is still unknown.Waratah - One of the greatest sea mysteries is that of the liner Waratah. She sailed from Durban on 26 July 1909 heading to Cape Town with 211 passengers and crew on board, this voyage being only her second voyage, the return trip from her maiden voyage to Australia just months before. Sailing into heavy seas and strong winds, several vessels saw her but on 29th July she never arrived at her destination as planned. A full search and rescue was launched but nothing was ever seen of the Waratah again. Wreckage later found could never be proven to have belonged to her and so she entered the realms of history as a ship that had vanished with all hands. One man who was determined to find out the truth was explorer Emlyn Brown who searched for the wreck from the early 1980s right up until 1999. He did locate a wreck that he thought was the missing liner but this turned out to be the cargo ship Nailsea Meadow, sunk in World War 2. As it stands the Waratah is still listed as missing without a trace. USS Cyclops - The coal collier Cyclops has become the most famous victim of an area known as the Bermuda Triangle due to the huge loss of life. 306 people were on board the Cyclops in March 1918 when she was heading from Rio de Janeiro to Baltimore when she developed an engine fault and had to stop at Barbados where she was inspected and ordered to return to the United States. On 4th March she sailed for Baltimore once again and vanished into thin air. No sign of the Cyclops has ever been found, no wreckage floated ashore, no bodies washed up, no distress calls. Many theories have been put forward as to what happened to the ship ranging from a German attack (it was still wartime) to the more outlandish theories involving supernatural happenings. But no trace has ever been seen of the worst US Navy loss that does not involve enemy action. With the recent discoveries of another Bermuda Triangle victim, the Cotopaxi, it is hoped that one day the mystery of the loss of the Cyclops will one day be solved.
Californian - During the sinking of the Titanic on the night of 14-15 April 1912 one ship was closer than the rest of the ships that were speeding to the sinking liners aid, that ship was the Leyland Liner Californian. There was a problem though - the Californian was stopped in ice, her sole radio operator was in bed and her officers were confused about the distress signals they were seeing. The next morning the full horror of what had happened less than 20 miles away (this figure varies in reports) became apparent and the captain, Stanley Lord, spent the rest of his days trying to explain the ship's actions that night. The hero of the night was the Cunard liner Carpathia who rescued all Titanic's survivors, but this was only a third of the people on board. As the years went by, both Carpathia and Californian were sunk by torpedoes in the First World War. It was hit by torpedoes from two U-boats off Cape Matapan, killing one person. With Carpathia located, it is on a list of Titanic-related vessels that were later sunk and still remain undiscovered.
USS Oklahoma - The dramatic attack on the US Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, was an event that stunned the world and drew America into the Second World War within 24 hours. One of the ships that sank that day was the battleship Oklahoma, a 27 year of warship that had taken several direct hits and had rolled over where she lay at anchor, killing hundreds of her crew. With an unsuccessful attempt to locate survivors, the final toll was 429 dead just from Oklahoma, 3000 in total died in the overall attack. The upside down wreck was later salvaged in 1943 but she was deemed too damaged to return to active service (most of the ships sunk were repaired). The wrecked ship was taken away to be scrapped in 1947 but during the voyage she hit rough weather under tow and sank. As it stands no expedition has ever announced a search for the wreck.U-110 - The Second World war saw over 700 German submarines lost with 30,000 of her crews, so finding a U-boat that was lost with a famous story is not hard. But for the U-110 it was the sinking of her that turned the tide of the war. It was 9th May 1941 when the submarine was under attack by British warships dropping depth charges and forcing her to the surface. As the sub was sinking, her crew abandoned U-110 and were rescued by the British, but not before it was realised that she was not sinking as fast as her crew had first thought. A boarding party from HMS Bulldog was sent over and found the jackpot - an Enigma coding machine and the code books to go with it. These items were raced back to Britain and handed over to the experts at Bletchley Park. For the damaged U-110, she was taken in tow but sank mid-Atlantic, her legacy being that of utmost secrecy, the Germans always believing she had been lost on patrol with all hands. 15 of her crew died, 32 others were taken to prisoner of war camps. The Enigma was vital for the interception of the German naval codes and is said to be a turning point in the war.
Merchant Royal - Of all the wrecks in the world, the cargo vessel Merchant Royal is considered the most sought after, due to the amount of treasure said to be on board at the time of her loss in September 1641. She had set out from Cadiz to London loaded with all kinds of gold after a trading expedition with the Caribbean which had lasted over two years. As she approached Lands End a storm was hitting the coast and the vessel was lost with 18 hands, her sister ship in company with her close by recorded the sinking in her log. Since then there have been several expeditions that have been fruitless, but in 2019 it is said that an anchor snagged in a fishing vessel came from the Merchant Royal and therefore out of all the lost ships listed here, it is possible we may see the wreck of this rich vessel sooner than we think.