American Warship Returns From “Mysterious Island”

USS Abraham Lincoln Departs Island
USS Abraham Lincoln Departs Island

The San Francisco Chronicle; June 22, 1897

–San Francisco, CA

The gun frigate USS Abraham Lincoln made dock here at the port of San Francisco with not only an unusual cargo, but stories to match. Cmdr. Riley Humphries has filed detailed dispatches with superiors at the Navy Department stressing his encounters with the inhabitants of a Pacific island at an undisclosed location off the Greater Solomons. Although Humphries’ report is considered classified, the crew of Abraham Lincoln described what they found on the remote island as, “bizarre.”

Although considered territory of the Solomon Islands, the island’s ownership was regarded as having fallen into private hands. Doctor Henri Moreau, biologist and a well-known medical doctor, was part of an esteemed European society of intellectuals–a rising star on the scientific stage–until a series of papers regarding Evolution forced him to abandon public life altogether. His peers within the European society publicly denounced Moreau and his proposed research as “…unethical and highly questionable.”

Moreau was last seen in Paris in late 1890. He conferred with several close friends and declared that he would be moving to a tropical location for both health reasons and to continue his research.  His last letters were received in 1893 by his friends in the scientific community, although it is said that he continued to make make contact with local sea captains regarding the transfer of purchased animals, some exotic, to his new island home.

The story of Moreau and his private Pacific island might have ended here if it were not for reports of several vessels disappearing from the same area. No survivors of these shipwrecks were ever found. However, reports from steamship captains that visited Moreau’s island included sightings of what were described as “men-creatures”. They were human, barely, but were said to possess the physical characteristics of animals. When asked about the origins of these strange men, the island’s master, Moreau, reportedly explained they were his children. These wild descriptions of Moreau’s children were dismissed as nothing more than patients suffering from leprosy.

It was not until one survivor of a shipwreck, Samuel Wilcox, managed to return to civilization with the true story of Dr. Moreau and his island. Considered mad and suffering from dehydration from being found adrift at sea for weeks, Wilcox’s story provided sufficient detail and navigational information to suggest he had washed ashore on Moreau’s island. Initially well received and treated as Moreau’s “guest”, Wilcox realized he was about to become a victim of Moreau’s horrible plan. He had chosen the island specifically for its remote location and tendency to receive terrible storms. The survivors of shipwrecks became fodder for what Wilcox described as “horrifying experiments.”

Wilcox said he managed to escape the island. He was found adrift after many days in the currents of the Pacific. With great convincing, he led the USS Abraham Lincoln back to the island to verify his claims.  They found the island in a state of revolt. Moreau and his assistant were both found dead, his research and papers destroyed, and many of his children had divided themselves up into camps and were warring with one another. U.S. Marines took the survivors that could be found into custody for transport back to the United States. They have since been interred at the Fort on Alcatraz Island to isolate them from the rest of the population.

The exact descriptions and temperament of these “survivors” has not been released to the public. Those who have seen them when they were offloaded from the ship described them as “Beasts, walking on their hind legs.” According to the Surgeon General of the United States, each one is undergoing a through physical and mental examination to determine if they are the products of experimentation and/or victims of leprosy, as originally thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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