Post by Graveyardbride on Aug 3, 2014 7:15:01 GMT -5
10 Incredibly Haunting Tales of Real-Life Ghost Ships
“Ghost Ship Carrying Cannibal Rats Could Be Heading for Britain,” read a recent headline. It sounds like something from the annals of gothic literature, B-horror, or even the supermarket tabloids, but it is real. The former cruise ship dubbed Lyubov Orlova was initially abandoned because of a debt scandal. It disappeared February 4, 2013, while being towed from Newfoundland to the Dominican Republic. Somehow the towline parted, the ship started drifting and since, it has occasionally reappeared with unsuccessful attempts to retrieve it. Worse yet is that some sources say Lyubov Orlova contains a population of rats that have turned on each other due to the lack of food. How does a 1,400-ton ocean liner just vanish into the Atlantic for a year? You’ll be fascinated (and terrified) to learn Lyubov Orlova isn’t the only real-life ghost ship in maritime history. Following is list of 10 others:
Carroll A. Deering. When commercial schooner Carroll A. Deering was found run aground in North Carolina in 1921, the entire crew was mysteriously missing. Just one month earlier, the ship had set sail from Virginia for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to deliver a cargo of coal. The ship reached its destination, but the events that took place afterward is open to speculation. Reportedly, the captain wasn’t fond of his crew. The first mate made a public threat against the captain’s life, which landed him in jail. He was eventually bailed out and the men made amends, but it set a negative tone for the trip home. The incident would also lead investigators to blame mutiny for the disappearance. Later that month, a lightship keeper spotted the Deering and reported a man on board advised the anchors were lost. Because of a broken radio, the lightship keeper was unable to report the incident – and then the ship reappeared weeks later, sans crew. Rescuers noted the log, navigation equipment, crew’s personal effects and two lifeboats were gone. Food was sitting, mid-preparation, in the galley. Because of the disappearance of several other ships during this time, the government launched an in-depth investigation, but came up short. It was noted Deering was one of the only ships to sail away from an oncoming hurricane, which led people to believe her men fell prey to the Bermuda Triangle. Pirates, liquor smugglers, Communists and supernatural explanations were tossed about. There was never an official on what happened to the ship.
SS Ourang Medan. The story about Dutch cargo ship the SS Ourang Medan is widely debated, but too creepy to omit. It is said the ghost ship wrecked in Indonesian waters in 1947. When rescuers boarded the vessel, the entire crew was dead, but without injuries. However, the men were frozen in horror with arms outstretched. A fire quickly broke out in the ship’s cargo hold, preventing an investigation. Shortly before the rescue attempt, a Morse code message was sent from the Medan: “All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” Another message quickly followed: “I die.” A 1948 newspaper article claimed the sole survivor of Ourang Medan was located on the Marshall Islands. Just before dying, the man confessed the ship was smuggling sulfuric acid and the poisonous fumes killed the crew. Skeptics do not believe the article is real or even exists – much like the ship itself. Still, chemical smuggling is just one of the popular theories about the Medan, along with carbon monoxide poisoning and UFO attacks.
Mary Celeste. The Mary Celeste is perhaps the most famous ghost ship of all time. The great maritime mystery begins in 1872 when the abandoned ship was spotted near Portugal, just one month after leaving port. One lifeboat was missing, the crew was nowhere to be found and a six-month supply of uncontaminated food and water was sill on board. The crew’s personal belongings were left untouched and the ship was still under sail. Piracy and mutiny seemed unlikely and there was no evidence of violence. The last log entry was 11 days prior. The Celeste’s cargo of 1,701 barrels of alcohol was mostly intact (minus 9 barrels). The crew was never seen or heard of again. Theories about premature abandonment were raised decades later, suggesting the captain miscalculated location and the level of water in the bilge, leading him to believe the ship was in distant waters and sinking. In an attempt to escape via lifeboat, the 10-person crew (and passengers) probably sank before reaching shore. Mary Celeste changed ownership 17 times following the incident and had a history of bad luck. The final owner intentionally destroyed the ship in 1885 hoping to collect the insurance money.
SS Baychimo. The 1,322-ton cargo steamer SS Baychimo was abandoned in 1931 when it became trapped in ice on the Arctic Ocean. It remained afloat and dislodged itself after the crew abandoned it to seek shelter. Over the next several decades, various sightings were reported and several crews managed to climb aboard, but the Baychimo has always eluded capture. The last recorded sighting was in 1969 – 38 years after she was first abandoned. The Alaskan government opened an investigation in 2006 to determine if Baychimo is still afloat or finally sank, but investigators still haven’t located the ship.
SS Valencia. In 1906, nine officers, 56 crew members and 108 passengers set sail on the 1,598-ton Valencia (above) from San Francisco, en route to Seattle. The weather became atrocious with visibility near zero and the winds kicked in. After colliding with a reef near Vancouver Island, hysteria led to the flipping of lifeboats (two eventually capsized and one disappeared). There is a disturbing account of the scene by one of the survivors. All the women and children on board died and the final death toll was recorded at 136. Twenty-seven years after the accident, one of Valencia’s lifeboats was discovered floating near the wreckage site in surprisingly good condition. There have been countless reports of supernatural sightings since the disaster.
Zebrina. The ailing barge Zebrina set sail for Saint-Brieuc, France, but was found ashore in 1917 with its cargo of coal and sails intact. The five-person crew was missing. There was no sign of a struggle, but the common theory is that the men were intercepted by a German U-Boat and brought on board. It is possible there was an attack by Royal Naval ships before the Germans could destroy Zebrina.
Jenny. Dubbed the “ship of ice” by Australian poet Rosemary Dobson, Jenny was an English schooner that became trapped in ice, preserved by Antarctic temperatures. “May 4, 1823. No food for 71 days. I am the only one left alive,” the captain wrote in the logbook. He was reportedly found frozen, along with the rest of the crew, when a whaling ship spotted the ghostly schooner in 1840, 23 years later. The story comes from an 1862 magazine article, but the tale remains unsubstantiated. Despite the uncertainties, Jenny has been commemorated on King George Island in the form of a buttress.
MV Joyita. Why did a crew abandon an unsinkable merchant vessel in the South Pacific in 1955 instead of waiting for help? The damaged ship’s hull was sound, but passengers and crew were missing. Some speculate the captain died, which prompted everyone to panic and flee. Others believe the crew happened upon Japanese fishing boats engaged in illegal activities. (It should be noted there was a strong anti-Japanese sentiment present at the time.) Mutiny is the most popular theory, suggesting that the crew took over when the captain attempted to press on after flooding and water pump failure started to overwhelm the vessel. They most likely abandoned ship, taking their chances in the stormy Pacific Ocean. Passengers and crew were never found.
Kaz II. The mystery behind the catamaran known as Kaz II (above) remains unexplained, though investigators have attempted to piece together the events leading up to the ship’s discovery. In 2007, Kaz was discovered drifting off the coast of Australia and the three-man crew (the owner and his neighbors) was nowhere to be found. The table was set with food waiting to be eaten. A laptop was turned on and fully functional. Kaz’s radio and GPS were operational and the life jackets were still on board. It was truly a ghostly scene. After an extensive investigation, officials concluded that while fishing, one man fell overboard and in an attempt to rescue him, the others met the same fate – none of them being good swimmers and the seas extremely choppy. They were never found.
Octavius. No one knows if the story of English schooner Octavius is real or fabricated, but the tale of the trading ship’s discovery is so frightening we had to share. Found drifting off the coast of Greenland in 1775, Octavius had attempted to travel back home to England from the Orient by way of the Northwest Passage. There, the schooner became trapped in ice. This means Octavius had only completed its passage as a ghost ship. Creepier still is the entire crew of 28 were found frozen and perfectly preserved, some still curled under blankets in their beds. Legend has it the captain was still at his desk, pen in hand, with the log on the table before him. Rescuers were too terrified to search the ship, but they took the log. The last entry was from 1762, indicating the ship had been drifting in the Arctic for 13 years.
Source: Alison Nastasi, Flavorwire.