1899 – The Drot

Cannibalism at Sea! is a 25-part series covering the ultimate denial of civilization… the act of eating another human being.

Name: Drot

Year: 1759

Class of ship: Bark

Survivors: Three

New York Times, August 23, 1899

New York Times, September 3, 1899

New York Times, September 23, 1899

Lone Survivor of the Drot

At first it seemed like a classic story of bravery and survival. A triumphant captain arrived in Baltimore from Cuba, carrying with him a single survivor from a long raft. Castaway Arthur Necalasas had survived the sinking of the Norwegian bark Drot while on route from Pascagoula to Buenos Aries.

Eleven days previous, the Drot had been struck by a hurricane passing through the Florida Straits. Unable to escape, the fifteen man crew escaped the stricken ship, eight finding their way onto a raft made from the upper deck of the stricken ship. The raft soon split in two, Necalasas on one half along with the first mate, the other six men drifting away on the other.

Necalasas claimed the first mate jumped overboard five days into the ordeal, drowning himself rather than prolonging his sufferings—and Necalasas counted himself lucky to be alive.

The other half of the tiny raft fared less well. Nine days after the rescue of the Necalasas, a British steamer picked up Mauice Anderson and Goodman Thomasen, the final two survivors. Anderson was described as a “raving maniac,” who had savagely bitten and mutilated his shipmate Thomasen.

Out of the six men on the parted raft, one succumbed to exposure and threw himself into the sea. Two more fell overboard, too exhausted to hold on. Finding no alternative, Thomasen, Anderson and a German sailor drew lots to see who would be eaten to sustain the others. The German lost and was attacked by the other two who killed him and sucked the very blood form his veins.

Driven mad by his own violent act, Anderson soon lost his mind and attacked Thomasen, viciously biting his face and chest.

The two men were left to recover in City Hospital. Warrants were issued—as soon as they were recovered, the two men would travel to Norway for trial for the murder of their companion.

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