In 1880, 29-year-old Australian geologist Lamont Young set out in a fishing boat to survey the gold fields north of Bermagui in New South Wales. With him were his assistant, two fishermen, and the vessel’s owner. The boat was spotted sailing north the following morning, but it was discovered deserted that afternoon inside a shoal at Mutton Fish Point, 16 kilometers north of Bermagui.
Inside the boat were clothes, books, and research papers belonging to Young and his assistant, whose spectacles were laid out neatly on the seat. The oars and mast had been lashed to supports, but the sails and anchor were missing, and there was a single bullet hole in the starboard side. Near a campfire on the beach nearby were tins of salmon and butter, a jar of honey, half a loaf of bread, and three mother-of-pearl studs. There was no evidence of a struggle, but the copper case of a cartridge was found in the sand 30 yards from the boat.
The Colonial Office offered a reward of 200 pounds for information leading to the location of the missing men, and Young’s father hired a private detective, but the five were never found, and their disappearance has never been explained. The inlet where the boat was found is now named Mystery Bay in their honor.