Harold Jeffrey Mays
Mays, approximate photo date 1980 Sea Ox fishing boat
Missing since: 11/13/1980
Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
Type of missing case: Lost/Injured Missing
Date of Birth: 07/18/1959 (60)
Age at time of disappearance: 21 years old
Height / Weight: 5'10, 175 pounds
Description, clothing, tattoos, other identifying markings: Layered clothing and foul-weather fishing gear. No jewelry.
Other characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Mays goes by his middle name, Jeffrey, or the nickname Jeff, and some agencies refer to him as Jeffrey Mays.
Details at time of disappearance: Mays was last seen sixteen miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina at 1:30 p.m. on November 13, 1980. He was with a companion, Ted Wall, a close friend and fellow commercial fisherman. Another fisherman stated he helped Mays and Wall repair and restart their 280-horsepower Volvo engine. They have never been heard from again.
The men went out in the ocean in Mays's 23-foot inboard-outboard Sea-Ox commercial fishing boat. A photo of a similar boat is posted with this case summary. It has a fiberglass center console, black outriggers and beige sides.
The boat's registration number was NC9304 AK and the manufacturer's number was XNA30250M79J. It is very difficult to sink it has foam flotation that would keep it just beneath the surface, even if it's swamped.
The search for the men began at 9:00 p.m. and lasted for two weeks. No sign of either the boat or the missing men was ever found, in spite of an extensive search by the Coast Guard covering 104,000 square miles of ocean.
Mays graduated from Ligonier High School in 1977 and attended East Carolina University in Greenville, but he quit before graduation and went to work for his father's fishing business, Nunemakers Retail. Both his best friend and his family agree that the men's disappearances were most likely drug-related fishermen often sold drugs in the winter when business was slack. No one has been charged in their cases, however.
Mays's mother self-published a book about her son's disappearance, titled Outer Banks Piracy: Where is My Son Jeffrey? She and his best friend believe he may be alive and in Alaska.
Other case information
Agency in charge: United States Coast Guard
Other information: The Doe Network
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Greensburg Tribune-Review
Psychic detective links:
Revised: October 12, 2004. Last updated July 19, 2018 details of disappearance updated.