Sailing is often considered the ideal way to decompress and escape from city life, and nobody agreed with this statement more than the Lewis Brothers. Both of them had spent their adult lives sailing every summer, and while they had a lot of experience in understanding the ocean, the brothers had no idea that one of their casual sailing trips would force them to battle the unexpected elements but against an unidentified lump in the ocean.
Fred and Eric Lewis were only two years apart and had been sailing since they were children with their father. When their father passed away when the boys were only 20 years old, Fred and Eric were completely lost. But they used sailing to cope with their grief and feel closer to their father. Now both were in their mid-20s and had moved away from home, but the brothers actively tried to meet ever so often to go on a sailing trip together. After many delays, the brothers had finally managed to plan a week-long sailing getaway.
The boys had no idea they were heading out to start the biggest adventure of their lives, which would have them confused, scared, and running away to save their lives. Suddenly, Fred noticed a dark shape lingering in the ocean from his peripheral vision. He could see that whatever it was, the shape was heading straight toward the sailboat. He immediately stopped the celebration and brought Eric’s focus toward it. Both brothers leaned over to get a better look at it.
At first, both thought it was a shark or a large fish, or maybe a carcass of one. But the more they looked at it, the stranger the shape became. The best way Eric could describe it was a lump. It looked like a hefty object, which seemed to shift between looking man-made and, within seconds, moved organically as if it was alive. And while they might usually not have given it more than a glance, the brothers were alarmed as the lump was heading straight towards them.
Fred believed that they should sail away from the lump and forget about it, but the younger brother Eric was extremely curious. Eric was deeply interested in marine life and was confident that the brothers had uncovered a new species. After all, 91 percent of ocean species have yet to be qualified, and Eric was sure they had stumbled upon a great scientific mystery. But Fred, who was always cautious, wasn’t wholly convinced. He didn’t think the lump looked organic and even joked that it could be a pile of trash, and they were getting excited about nothing. So, he voted to sail away from the lump’s path and continue their proposed journey.
If only Fred’s advice had been heeded, the brothers would have been far better off. But unfortunately, they had no idea they were inspecting something with a dark and twisted history that would soon overwhelm their lives. But Eric couldn’t see any of these warning flags. All he saw was his name being credited for this astounding discovery, and he was willing to do anything to get closer to the lump. So, without Fred’s approval, the young brothers started duct taping items together to create a long stick. He wanted to use it to poke the lump to see it more transparently and better understand it.
Fred, of course, was against this idea entirely but allowed his brother to go ahead with his plan. He did agree that if Eric was right, the two of them had made a discovery that would lead to riches and fame, so the risk was somewhat worth it. Eric used his makeshift pole and slowly prodded the item. At first, he didn’t feel any resistance, making him believe he felt skin. But once he pushed harder, the stick refused to move. The lump seemed to have a soft exterior and an immovable interior.
While Fred had kept his distance, this new finding was enough to get him on board. They found an old towline and used it to attach the sailboat to the lump. This was a considerable risk, but with both brothers now convinced, it was one they wanted to take. And as they towed the lump closer to the shore, they felt the unimaginable weight drag their sailboat. Both the brothers exchanged looks, and they were not expecting the lump to be this heavy. But now that it was attached to their sailboat, they couldn’t move forward.
Finally, Eric and Fred agreed it was time to get help. So, 10 minutes before they reached the shore, Eric managed to get a hold of the town’s local sheriff. He explained every detail of the situation, from where he had found the lump to poking it and now towing it into town. The brothers expected that the authorities might know more about this mystery, but the sheriff seemed just as confused. He advised the brothers not to sheriff their usual public spot. Instead, he gave them another location where he promised to wait with a police escort to ensure the brothers’ safety.
Hearing this brightened both Fred’s and Eric’s moods. The brothers reached the location by sailboat close to sunset. And despite communicating with the sheriff about when they would dock, the brothers found the spot completely deserted. They called for the sheriff, and Fred even got off the boat to inspect the location, but it looked abandoned. Both brothers had had their full adventure for the day and decided to dock at the spot to get some sleep.
Despite being in the location for two hours, the brothers couldn’t contact the sheriff or see any of the promised police backups. Finally convinced this was a communication issue, the sheriff was in their cabins until both of them were woken up by heavy footsteps and thrashing. Fred was the first one to wake up, and when he took a peek outside, he saw a rough truck parked close to the sailboat, and men with guns standing outside it. He quickly ran and woke his brother.
Both confused and scared, they could hear the group ripping apart from their boat, and it was clear that they were thugs. Eric wanted to fight back and stop them, but Fred told him to be reasonable. Both the brothers were unarmed, while the thieves had heavy guns. And just as quickly as all the commotion had started, it also promptly died after about 10 minutes. The brothers saw the men leave their sailboat, but they were empty-handed.
The strangest part was that the group never came down to the cabins. It was as if they were intentionally avoiding it. But surely, if these were random thieves, the cabins would be the first place they would search for valuables. Fred instantly became convinced that the sheriff had set up the brothers. There could be no other possibility. The location was so remote that someone who had been guided to the boat’s exact location could have found it, and the sheriff’s suggestion of the brothers docking at this point only added to Fred’s suspicion.
The author of Sheriff’s not be trusted, and this lump had a dark secret. So, the boys decided to sail to the furthest town away. They wanted to get away before the thugs arrived again and also wanted someone else’s opinion regarding the lump. Finally, after a two-day sail in the opposite direction of their original location, the brothers understood what they had found. They called another police station there, and this time they did receive the proper support.
After careful examination, they deduced that this lump was a disguised safe full of unmarked money and gold. Someone had gone to great lengths to hide the money and gold. The authorities believed it might have been tethered at the bottom of the ocean but wasn’t secured properly and floated to the surface.
And when the brothers explained how the sheriff from the other town had acted, it also became apparent that he was involved in this somehow.