Sabotage on the high-seas: The secret plot to sink the SS Minnow.

What or who caused the shipwreck, and why? Follow me down the rabbit hole in this CrosbyReport™ investigation.

As a kid, a lot of things struck me as odd about the '60s TV series, Gilligan's Island. For starters, why didn't the Professor and Ginger ever do it? Why didn't Gilligan and Mary Ann ever do it? And why didn't the Skipper lose any weight in the three years he was on that “uncharted isle?” (Also, was it a desert isle? It looked more tropical isle to me.)

“Gilligan's Island” has more loopholes than “Lost.” 

Mary Ann Summers after the SS Minnow shipwreck
”Innocent” Mary Ann Summers @CBS Television

Not least of these peculiarities was the fact that Mary Ann Summers, a farm girl from Kansas, was on the same chartered cruise ship in as a movie star, a millionaire and his wife. Now, I've only met a few actresses and millionaires in my time, and I can't imagine any of them slumming with the hoi polloi.

Sure, the writers said Mary Ann “won the trip” but, if the SS Minnow was fancy enough to qualify as a lottery prize, why was the Professor on it? Teachers don't make “luxury cruise” kind of money. Either the Howells' agent was being passive-aggressive by booking a third-rate boat tour. Or the Howells weren't as rich as they pretended to be. 

Did incompetence doom the SS Minnow?  

The SS Minnow shipwreck
Was the SS Minnow sabotaged? Yes. @CBS Television

With regard to the storm, the show said only that the weather started “getting rough.” But the year of the show's first season, 1964, was the least active hurricane season in the Pacific since the '50s!

Besides, surely “rough seas” are something a “mighty sailing man” and a skipper who's “brave and sure” could've easily handled. No, clearly something elseor someone else—scuttled that tiny ship on purpose.

What do we really know about the Howells?

Thurston Howell the Third after the SS Minnow shipwreck
Thurston Howell, III, alleged “millionaire” @CBS Productions

Despite their constant claims of wealth and privilege, the Howell name has never once been listed among the richest Americans. In fact, Harvard University disavows any knowledge of anyone named Howell—if that is his real name. So Thurston Howell's entire life story, it seems, was a fiction.

Yet, the Howells somehow managed to bring trunks of unnecessary clothes and US$500,000 onboard the SS Minnow—in cash, no less. Why would anyone—even alleged millionaires—need that much clothing and money for a three-hour cruise? Put simply, they wouldn't. The money was clearly stolen, and the boat was part of their plan to escape justice.

The best laid plans of mice and millionaires.

Thurston behind bars.

I believe that, after committing one or more lucrative white-collar crimes or perhaps robbing a Las Vegas , the Howells needed to disappear. I submit to you that Thurston Howell never intended to return from that boat tour. That he intended to fake both his and his wife's death that day. Taking with them, the movie star, the professor, AND Mary Ann.

By sabotaging the SS Minnow, the Howells hoped to escape on their trunks to a nearby Hawaiian Island. There, they'd lie low for a while. The Howells eventually hoped to be presumed “lost at sea” and pronounced dead. Then they'd be free to live happily ever after with their five-million dollars (inflation adjusted).

The SS Minnow would've sunk if it weren't for those meddling kids.

Ginger Grant before boarding the SS Minnow
Ginger Grant, movie star @CBS Television

It was a solid plan that nearly succeeded. Frankly, were it not for the courage of the fearless crew (played by Alan Hale and Bob Denver), the SS Minnow would've been lost, as planned.

Instead, the Howells spent the rest of their lives on an uncharted desert isle with no phones, no lights, no motor cars. Not a single luxury. Like Robinson Crusoe, it was an extremely primitive existence. 

The Howells were rescued briefly in 1978, but fearing prosecution, returned to the to hide out. Officially, Thurston died in 1989 and Lovey, shortly after, in 1991. Yet neither body was ever recovered.

Did the Howells scuttle the SS Minnow?

Eva Grubb, Ginger Grant impersonator. @CBS Television

Only Ginger Grant, the movie star, is still “alive” today. She might know the truth, but she can't talk because Miss Grant was murdered by the CIA. Grant was secretly replaced with Eva Grubb in 1975.

For proof, compare her hair color in the The Stepford Wives,” versus her next movie, “Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby” released the next year. The evidence is incontrovertible.

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