Storm unearths 200-foot schooner

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Historians are starting to piece together the history of the Bessie A. White, a four-masted coal schooner, after Hurricane Sandy left the nearly century-old ship exposed on Fire Island.

Built about 1919, the Canadian ship lost its way in a heavy fog about a mile from Smith's Point, Long Island, according to the International Science Times. All of the men on the ship escaped, but one small boat capsized, injuring a crewmember, according to Long Island Boating World.

Believed to be one of the last four-masted coal schooners built, the 200-foot-long ship was owned by Charles T. White & Son of St. Johns and was only three years old. The crew set out from Newport News, Va., heading to St. Johns, Newfoundland, with 950 tons of soft coal. But at 4:30 a.m. on Feb. 6, 1922, the boat was found at the bottom of Smith's Point.

The Canadian schooner was not the only shocking discovery unearthed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy's devastation. From Connecticut to Massachusetts, a skeleton, love letters and Pepsi bottles with notes have surfaced, lending an eerie and romantic twist to the tumultuous storm.

On Oct. 30, residents of New Haven, Conn., got a haunting feeling when a human skeleton appeared after the storm uprooted a huge oak tree that was planted in 1909 in honor of a local Civil War hero.

"I noticed what I thought was a rock at first. I kind of poked it, and a piece came off in my hand, and I noticed it was bone fragments," resident Katie Carbo told WTNH. "So I took a stick and knocked some of the dirt away and noticed it was an entire skull and body and vertebrae, ribs."

Kathleen Mullen came across a bundle of letters while she was walking on the Henry Hudson Trail in Atlantic Highlands, N.J., the day after the storm. "They were obviously tied with a pink ribbon, so I automatically knew that they were love letters," Mullen told WABC.

Click here for more on the unearthed items.


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