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When a “classic style” schooner unlike any seen in Italy before was found off the coast of the island of Sardinia with no crew on board, it seemed like a repeat of the Mary Celeste – but this is no seemingly mythical tale from ages past. Spotted by the Italian Coast Guard in 2006,this ghost ship contained a half-eaten meal of Egyptian food, French maps of North African seas, a pile of clothes, a flag of Luxembourg and a wooden plaque bearing the name ‘Bel Amica’. Italian authorities found that the ship had never been registered in any country. Because the ship was misidentified as an antique in the press, a tsunami of public interest surrounded the case – but it was soon revealed to be a modern yacht belonging to a Luxembourg man who likely didn’t register it for tax evasion purposes.

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