The Crew of MV Joyita

The Crew of MV Joyita

In this article we will be taking a look at the mysterious disappearance of the crew of MV Joyita. What happened to the 25 crew members and it’s cargo?

Let’s take a closer look…

Setting Sail

The MV Joyita left Samoa for what was planned as a 48 hour voyage to the Tokelau Islands, in 1955.

The port it was supposed to reach eventually sent a message back to Samoa alerting them to the fact they had not arrived…

This message went out after four days.

There was no attempt at a distress signal and the vessel was eventually found a month later, floating as a ghost ship nearly 600 miles away from Samoa, with not a soul on board.

The MV Joyita's navigational equipment

The MV Joyita’s navigational equipment and crew logbook were not on the deserted ship when it was found. Also, the lifeboats and food rations had gone missing.

The boat’s radio had been left on a setting used for emergency frequencies, but unfortunately, bad weather had stopped this signal in it’s tracks.

A Clean-Cut Explanation?

It sounds pretty straightforward doesn’t it?

Surely the crew must have got in a situation that forced them to abandon ship?

Unfortunately, there are several contributing factors that muddy these simple theories…

First off the bat – the ship only had a small hole in the outer structure, which meant it had gone through a minor collision with something.

But it was still totally seaworthy.

There was a little water found on board the ship, but the hole had not breached the hull – the water was simply there from the ship bobbing from side to side.

Secondly, the lifeboats.

Now, if the crew had escaped ‘something bad’ why didn’t the air searches spot any of the lifeboats – they had covered the area numerous times.

An Alien Encounter?

The ship’s doctor/aid bag was still on board the MV Joyita when it was found…but it contained a collection of bloody rags instead of medical tools.

Every window on the ship was found smashed in and the main engine, for some reason, was covered in mattresses.

For some reason every clock that they found on the ghost ship had stopped dead at 10:25 p.m.

There are numerous theories linked to the crew’s disappearance…

Had pirates taken over the ship?

Had Japanese holdouts from the Second World War managed to capture the ship?

Or is this a case of alien abduction?

The ghost ship, like all good ones – is holding fast to her secrets…

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the mystery of the crew of MV Joyita, please leave them in the comment section below.


  1. So until now they still don’t know what really happened to it? A lot could be, pirates but it would be strange since they would demand money, and the strange part is that everything is gone, and the blooded rags makes it even more complicated. 

    Did they search for the seabed? Maybe one of the crew lost his mind and did something very bad. 

    What do you think about this option? 

    Thanks for sharing it 

    • Hi Emmanuel, 

      I’m not really sure if the rescuers had the capability to search the seabed back in the 50’s – so I really couldn’t answer that mate! 

  2. Awesome story, bookmarked your site, I live for these kind of stories. When I first was reading through this my instant thought was that it was pirates, but there seems to be too many strange things going on. What was with the bloody rags and also mattresses on the engine? 

    The part about the Japanese holdouts being a possibility also intrigues me. Is this a legitimate possibility in your opinion? Also how did the lifeboats get away from that area without being seen if helicopters were scanning the area? AHHH I need answers, this ones going to drive me crazy all day! Great read though, keep up the good work!

    • Well I’m afraid I don’t have too many answers on this one Joey – that’s why they call it a mystery! 

      You’re going to have to make your own mind up – like I did! 🙂

  3. Hey Chris. Once again you  have presented an interesting tale. I was really caught up in the video and the mystery surrounding the Joyita. It was very convenient for all that money to be on board. Still  you have to wonder what happened to all the life boats. Do you have a theory on what happened? Maybe it really was an alien abduction!

    • Alien abduction is a pretty good shout Mary Ann – I’m a geek so I’ll always go for the conspiracy-linked theories first! 🙂

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