Mallows Bay: Graveyard for Government Boo-Boo

History unveils a plethora of government boondoggles in decision making and expenditures. In most instances, the facts remain in place and the evidence fades away. Such is not the case in Mallows Bay, Charles County, Maryland, where a decision made during WWI leaves to this day a vast graveyard of decomposing vessels that never saw a bit of service. Hailed as the “largest maritime graveyard in the Western Hemisphere,” it goes down in history as one of the government’s biggest blunders.

Part I – Andrea Doria Was Floating Art Gallery

Ship historian and author John Maxtone-Graham wrote in his book, The Only Way to Cross: “Disaster at sea is never predictable and seldom consistent.” Such was the case in the demise of the Italia Line’s SS Andrea Doria when it was struck by the Swedish-American Line’s MS Stockholm, July 25, 1956. Radar was in vogue and used successfully for years. Both captains were experienced mariners with excellent records and past voyages of both ships were accident free. So what went wrong?

Surf and Sand Sinks Sindia Salvors

A golden Buddha, fine bone china, jade figurines, gems and other Oriental treasures were rumored to be hidden aboard the SV Sindia, a majestic windjammer that ran aground off Ocean City, New Jersey, in 1901. Still another conjecture had the lower cargo hold of the three-deck, four-masts bark filled with treasure looted from Buddha temples during China’s 1900 Boxer Rebellion. (An uprising by militia known as the “Boxers,” practitioners of Chinese martial arts.).