TREASURE CHEST MYSTERY – The Mayflower II Code of Silence ©

The American Dream is all about underdogs, hard work and achievement.  Warwick Charlton was an example of that ideal even though he was British, and the United States honored him in 2020 by adding his creation – Mayflower II – to its National Register of Historic Places.  Since being built in 1957 the craft has become a “national treasure” and “a famous ship in its own right.”  This is the story of how those accolades were earned when the Pilgrim replica helped save the “special relationship” between the United States and Britain following the Suez Crisis. 

It is a true story.  Arriving Fall 2020.

Mayflower II sailed into New York Harbor on July 1, 1957 as the world cheered.  Just nine months earlier a secret British Foreign Office memo described it as an “embarrassing ship,” then fate intervened.  Its cargo of treasure chests was quietly unloaded a few weeks earlier in Plymouth and no one was talking.  When asked about it the answer was “Don’t know,” “Didn’t see anything,” “Heard nothing.”  There was also an unexplained $500,000.  The ship cost $600,000 to build, but only $100,000 was clearly identified.  Where did the rest come from?  Why was the U.S. Navy flying overhead?  Did a Middle East crisis have anything to do with events in New York?  Who was Warwick Charlton and why had the government been watching him for two years?  The “Code of Silence” that kept these events hidden for more than sixty years has finally been broken thanks to declassified government documents from the United States and Britain, access to a special archive and good detective work. 

 It is a true story.

(Cover art by B. Anthony Stewart / National Geographic Creative. Mayflower II sailing into New York Harbor, July 1, 1957)

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