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GHOST SHIPS

THE FLYING DUTCHMAN! THE GHOST SHIP THE WORLD FEARS


"The Flying Dutchman"


Ghost haunted sailing ship, harbingers of doom and danger, cursed for ever to the seas pirates lost damned souls, melancholy scavengers from Davey Jones’ depths – these and many others fill the haunted tales and legends of the dark and death cold blue sea…

According to folklore, the Flying Dutchman is a ghost ship that can never go home, but is doomed to sail "the seven seas" forever. The Flying Dutchman is usually spotted from afar, sometimes glowing with ghostly light. If she is hailed by another ship, her crew will often try to send messages to land, to people long since dead. The sight of this phantom ship is reckoned by seafarers to be a portent of doom. Ghost Ships are usually linked to shipwrecks and Maritine disasters.

Story by Glenn M. Taylor Artwork Ricardo Pustanio © 2007

A

The Flying Dutchman, Ghost Ship of the Cape

The Flying Dutchman by Albert Pinkham Ryder

The Flying Dutchman by Albert Pinkham Ryder

On the third of August, 1942, H.M.S. Jubilee was on the way to the Royal Navy base at Simonstown, near Cape Town. At 9 p.m., a phantom sailing ship was seen. The second officer, Davies, was in charge of the watch. Sharing this duty was the third officer, Nicholas Monsarrat, author of The Cruel Sea. Monsarrat signalled to the strange ship, but there was no response. Davies recorded in the log that a schooner, of a class that he did not recognise, was moving under full sail, even though there was no wind. The Jubilee had to change course, to avoid a collision. During the war, Davies' superiors would have been in no mood for nonsense, and he must have had to weigh that against the dangers, especially in wartime, of not recording the strange things that he saw. In an interview, Monsarrat admitted that the sighting inspired him to write his novel The Master Mariner.

According to Admiral Karl Doenitz, U Boat crews logged sightings of the Flying Dutchman, off the Cape Peninsula. For most or all of these crews, it proved to be a terrible omen. The ghostly East Indiaman was also seen at Muizenberg, in 1939. On a calm day in 1941, a crowd at Glencairn beach saw a ship with wind-filled sails, but it vanished just as it was about to crash onto the rocks. During the war years, there was plenty of room for bad omens.

The Flying Dutchman is the most famous of South Africa's hauntings, inspiring Wagner's opera Der Fliegende Hollander. Wagner, however, calls the captain himself "The Flying Dutchman". The air miles club of Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) is also, predictably, called "The Flying Dutchman". A popular class of yacht is called "Flying Dutchman". The ghost ship provides the name for traditional English pubs, and even a great American baseball star, Honus Wagner, was nicknamed "The Flying Dutchman". You may have seen the old movie Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, starring Ava Gardner.

ALSO PLEASE SEE: WATERS MY GRAVE

http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/ghoststories/WATERSMYGRAVE/watersmygrave/

 

For centuries, the Flying Dutchman has inspired novelists. Nicholas Monsarrat has already been mentioned. Captain Frederick Marryat, most famous for his classic novels The Children Of The New Forest and Mister Midshipman Easy, was also inspired to write The Phantom Ship. Like Monsarrat, Marryat wrote his fiction after experiencing the real ghost ship. In fact, it has been suggested that Captain Marryat invented the Van der Decken character. This is not possible, however. In any case, Marryat called his fictional captain Philip Vanderdecken, not Hendrick van der Decken.

Sir Walter Scott wrote of the Flying Dutchman "She is distinguished from earthly vessels by bearing a press of sail when other vessels are unable, from stress of weather, to show an inch of canvas." According to one account, the ship was painted yellow when it left Batavia, but it must have been much weathered by the time that it reached the Cape. All agree that Van der Decken tries to pass letters home to other ships, but to accept these letters is certain doom.

In what was then the British Museum library, Lawrence Green found an anonymous account of a passenger ship which did allow Van der Decken to send across a boat with four men. A Dutch seaman tried to hand letters to the passenger ship's chaplain, who wisely declined to take them. The Dutch seaman left the letters on the deck, weighted down with an iron bar, and returned to his ship. Fortunately, the passenger ship lurched, dislodging the bar, and the letters were blown overboard. The passengers survived.

Almost forgotten nowadays is another phantom Dutch East Indiaman that haunts the Cape. This is the Libera Nos, aboard which Bernard Fokke captains a literally skeleton crew. No doubt, it is sometimes mistaken for the Flying Dutchman. The Van Diemen, another Dutch ghost ship, haunts seas closer to modern day Indonesia.

The well-disciplined Royal Navy is not short of official accounts of the Flying Dutchman. The name of Captain W.F.W. Owen, a Royal Navy surveyor, occurs frequently in the annals of nineteenth century Southern Africa. One of the minor episodes of his career is recorded in the log of H.M.S. Leven, for the year 1823. Twice a phantom ship was sighted, and on one occasion it was seen to lower a boat, to attempt communication. Aware of the danger, Captain Owen did not respond.

Lawrence Green located Royal Navy records showing that mutineers rigged their ship to resemble the Flying Dutchman, with piracy in mind. However, they surrendered themselves at the Cape, after being terrified by a real ghost ship.

The most famous Royal Navy sighting, however, was recorded by King George V, who in 1881 was a midshipman on H.M.S. Bacchante. In his diary, for July 11, he unequivocally wrote "At four a.m., the Flying Dutchman crossed our bows." The lookout on the forecastle, and the officer of the watch, also saw the ghost ship off the port bow. Prince George described "... a strange red light, as of a phantom ship, all aglow in the midst of which light the mast, spars and sails of a brig two hundred yards distant stood out in strong relief as she came up." The ghost ship was sighted from other ships in the squadron, the Cleopatra and the Tourmaline. Thirteen crewmen, in all, witnessed the phenomenon. The squadron was commanded by Prince Louis of Battenberg, great uncle of the present Prince Philip. The seaman who first reported the ghost ship died from a fall, only seven hours afterwards. With the help of the Reverend John Neale Dalton, Prince George published his account as The Cruise Of H.M.S. Bacchante. Before publication, naval authorities at the Admiralty checked the manuscript, to ensure that it contained no errors.

There is a story that the phantom ship entered Table Bay, and was fired on by the garrison, but there appears to be no record of this. Many other sightings have been recorded, however. Keepers of the Cape Point lighthouse often reported seeing her during storms. In 1835, R. Montgomery Martin, South Africa's first statistician, described a personal encounter with Van der Decken's vessel. In 1879, the steamer S.S. Pretoria changed course, after the passengers and crew saw lights which they thought to be a distress signal. A strange sailing ship was seen, but it vanished when the steamer approached it. In 1911, an American whaler almost collided with the ghost ship, off the Cape Peninsula, and as recently as 1959, the crew of the freighter Straat Magelhaen reported a near collision with the Flying Dutchman.

http://www.vanhunks.com/cape1/dutchman1.html

BLACKBEARDS PIRATE SHIP

He was killed by volunteers from the Royal Navy in November 1718 - five months after the ship thought to be Queen Anne's Revenge sank.

Archeologists hope to excavate Blackbeard's supposed pirate ship near US in 3 years
RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) - A shipwreck off the eastern U.S. coast believed to be that of notorious pirate Blackbeard could be fully excavated in three years, officials working on the project said.

The Queen Anne's Revenge was the name of the pirate Blackbeard's infamous flagship.

Blackbeard (November 23, 1675 [1] – November 22, 1718) was the nickname of Edward Teach, alias Edward Thatch (one source gives his name as Edward Drummond), a notorious English pirate who had a short reign of terror in the Caribbean Sea between 1716 and 1718, during a period of time referred to as the Golden Age of Piracy. His best known vessel was the Queen Anne's Revenge, which is believed by some to have run aground near Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina in 1718.

Many Know Edward Teach's power and reputation as the most frightening of pirates, calling himself Blackbeard, he braided his beard and tied the braids with black ribbons. He stuffed burning rope under his hat to make himself look more ferocious and menacing. He scared everyone. Blackbeard was so feared and such a master of psychological warfare that there is no record of anyone actually being murdered during his plundering.

Originally named Concord, the vessel was built by Britain in 1710, but captured by the French a year later. The ship was modified to hold more cargo and renamed La Concorde. The slave-ship was captured again by the pirate Captain Benjamin Hornigold on November 28, 1717 near the island of Martinique. Hornigold turned the ship over to one of his pirates - Edward Teach, who was later known as Blackbeard, and made him captain. Blackbeard converted La Concorde into his flagship, adding 20 more cannon and renaming it the Queen Anne's Revenge. With it he ranged the west coast of Africa and the Caribbean, attacking British, Dutch and Portuguese ships.

BLACKBEARDS PIRATE SHIP

Blackbeard’s Pirate Treasure TO READ MORE PLEASE VISIT HERE

Queen Anne's Revenge was described as a 300-ton frigate armed with 40 cannons. Her name may have come from the War of the Spanish Succession, which was known in the Americas as Queen Anne's War, and in which Blackbeard was known to have fought.

Shortly after ransoming Charleston harbour and refusing to accept the Governor's pardon, Blackbeard ran Queen Anne's Revenge aground while attempting to enter Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina. Blackbeard disbanded the flotilla, and escaped by transferring supplies onto a smaller ship, Adventure. The pirate captain abandoned several crew members on a small island nearby, who were later rescued by Captain Stede Bonnet. Some sources suggest that Blackbeard purposefully grounded the ships as an excuse to disperse the crew. Shortly afterward he accepted a royal pardon for himself and his remaining crew from governor Charles Eden at Bath, NC.

In 1996, Intersall, Inc, a private research and recovery company, discovered the remains of a vessel which they believe to be the Queen Anne's Revenge. Many cannon and more than 16,000 artifacts have been recovered from the wreckage, however none of them appear to be of French origin (as would be expected from a French slave ship), but are mainly British. This therefore raises doubts about the identification of the vessel as the Queen Anne's Revenge. Recovery of artifacts from the site continues in the current 2006 field season, under the supervision of Project Director Mark Wilde-Ramsing of the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch.

Both the identity of the vessel and the ethics of the state of North Carolina's collaboration with Intersall, Inc, have been questioned by members of the professional archaeological community in a 2005 article in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.

In November 2006, more artifacts were discovered at the site and brought to the surface. The additional artifacts appear to support the claim that the wreck is that of the Queen Anne's Revenge. But criticism over recovery efforts and the apparent lack of progress was lodged by the discoverer of the wreck against the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and the project director in the Carteret County News-Times, a newspaper in Morehead City, North Carolina.

GHOST SHIPS

Mary Celeste

Perhaps the most famous of the real ghost ships is the Mary Celeste, a ship that was found abandoned between Portugal (mainland) and Portugal's Azores archipelago in 1872. It was devoid of all crew, but was completely intact. While Arthur Conan Doyle's story "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement" based on this ship added some strange phenomena to the tale (such as that the tea found in the mess hall was still hot), the fact remained that the last log entry was 11 days prior to the discovery of the ship.

The Mary Celeste ghost ship.

Launched in 1860 under the name Amazon, the Mary Celeste started her ill fated life. In the 10 years before she was to become the Mary Celeste, the ship was involved in several accidents and went through several owners. She was sent to the New York salvage auction where she was purchased for $3,000. After extensive repairs, she was christened Mary Celeste.

The new captain Benjamin Briggs, his wife, and young daughter, along with 8 crew members departed New York on November 7, 1872 bound for Genoa, Italy. The cargo consisted of 1700 barrels of raw American alcohol.

On December 5, 1872, the ship Dei Gratia came upon the Mary Celeste floundering on the sea. The captain of the Dei Gratia knew Captain Briggs and was surprised to see the ship derelict as Briggs had a reputation as an excellent captain. Men from the Dei Gratia boarded the abandoned Mary Celeste to determine what was going on.

The ship was found in good seaworthy condition. It appeared as though the crew had left in a great hurry. They discovered that the chronometer and sextant were missing. There was water between the decks and the Galley was in bad shape. The stove was knocked out of place and cooking utensils were strewn about. There were no lifeboats aboard the ship and everything was soaked. A rope was found hanging over the side of the ship trailing in the water.

The crew from the Dei Gratia managed to get the Mary Celeste into port. When the cargo was unloaded, they found 9 of the barrels of alcohol empty.

The Mary Celeste was a 103-foot, 282-ton brigantine. Originally built as the Amazon in Spencer's Island, Nova Scotia, in 1861, the ship seemingly had bad luck and, due to numerous misadventures, had changed hands several times. She became the Mary Celeste in 1869.

On November 7, 1872, under the command of Captain Benjamin Briggs, the ship picked up a cargo of industrial alcohol shipped by Meissner Ackermann & Coin and set sail from Staten Island, New York to Genoa, Italy. In addition to the crew of seven, she carried the captain and two passengers: the Captain's wife, Sarah E. Briggs (née Cobb), and two-year-old daughter, Sophia Matilda, making 10 people in all.

On December 4, 1872 (some reports give December 5, due to a lack of standard time zones in the 19th century), the Mary Celeste was sighted by the Dei Gratia, commanded by Captain David Reed Morehouse, who knew Captain Briggs. The Dei Gratia had left New York harbor only seven days after the Mary Celeste. Dei Gratia's crew observed her for two hours and concluded that she was drifting, though she was flying no distress signals. Oliver Deveau, the Chief Mate of the Dei Gratia, led a party in a small boat to board the Mary Celeste. He reported finding only one operable pump, with a lot of water between decks and three and a half feet of water in the hold. He reported that "the whole ship was a thoroughly wet mess". The ship seemed otherwise to be in good condition, but no one was aboard.

The forehatch and the lazarette were both open, the clock was not functioning and the compass was destroyed. The sextant and chronometer were missing, suggesting the ship had been deliberately abandoned. The only lifeboat appeared to have been intentionally launched rather than torn away. There were mysterious bloodstains along 3 railings, and unexplained scratches along one railing. Perhaps most mysterious of all, a sword was hidden under the Captain's bed, some say bloodied, though the official inquiry stated that the red stains were rust.

The cargo of 1701 barrels of alcohol was intact, though when it was eventually unloaded in Genoa, nine barrels were noted as being empty. A six-month supply of food and water was aboard. All of the ship's papers except the captain's logbook were missing. The last log entry was dated November 24 and placed her 100 miles west of the Azores. The last entry on the ship's slate showed her as having reached the island of St Mary in the Azores on November 25th.

The crew of the Dei Gratia split in two to sail the Mary Celeste to Gibraltar where, during a hearing, the judge praised the crew of the Dei Gratia for their courage and skill. However, the admiralty court officer Frederick Solly Flood turned the hearings from a simple salvage claim into almost a trial of the men of the Dei Gratia, whom Flood suspected of foul play. In the end, the court did award prize money to the crew, but the sum was much less than it should have been, as "punishment" for alleged wrongdoing which the court could not prove.

The recovered ship was used for 12 years by a variety of owners before being loaded up with boots and cat food by her last captain who attempted to sink her, apparently to claim insurance money. The plan did not work as the ship refused to sink having been run up on the Rochelois Reef in Haiti. The remains of the ship were discovered on August 9, 2001, by an expedition headed by author Clive Cussler (representing the National Underwater and Marine Agency) and Canadian film producer John Davis (president of ECO-NOVA Productions of Canada).

None of the Mary Celeste's crew or passengers were ever found. Their fate may never be known, and rumors abound. Speculation has indicated everything from mutiny, to the Bermuda Triangle, to pirates, to space aliens. Mutiny seems to have some support among enthusiasts of the incident, but is dismissed by most authorities. Both the captain and the crew had strong backgrounds, and there is little to indicate mutiny. No reasonable inquiry includes "Bermuda Triangle" speculation, as the ship's course would not have taken it through that area. Pirates would not have left a seaworthy ship and its cargo adrift on the open seas. The idea of extraterrestrial responsibility is doubted by the majority of the scientific and historic community.

In early 1873 it was reported that two lifeboats were grounded in Spain, one containing a body and an American flag, the other containing five bodies. It has been alleged that these could have been the remains of the crew of the Mary Celeste. This has not been confirmed as the identities of the bodies were apparently never investigated.

The Mary Celeste crew and passengers are listed in the ships log as:


Mary Celeste Crew
Name Status Nationality Age
Benj. S. Briggs Captain American 37
Albert C Richardson Mate American 28
Andrew Gilling 2nd Mate Danish 25
Edward W Head Steward & Cook American 23
Volkert Lorenson Seaman German 29
Arian Martens Seaman Dutch 35
Boy Lorenson Seaman German 23
Gotlieb Gondeschall Seaman German 23


Mary CelestePassengers
Name Status Age
Sarah Elizabeth Briggs Captain's Wife 30
Sophia Matilda Briggs Daughter 2
Abel Fosdyk Secret Passenger (alleged) unknown

SS Watertown

SS Watertown ghost photo.

SS Watertown Photo Ghost faces taken beside the ship in the sea foam by the ship's Captain.

In December of 1924, an oil tanker named the S.S.
Watertown sailed from California toward the
Panama Canal in route to New Orleans. While they
were sailing, James Courtney and Michael Meehan,
crew members of the vessel, were cleaning a cargo
tank in the ship’s hold. In a freak accident, the two
men were overcome by gas and oil fumes and
died. On December 4, as was the custom of the
time, the sailors were buried at sea off the Mexican
coast.




This was not the last that the remaining crew members were to see of their dead
shipmates. The next day, “before dusk, the first mate reported seeing the faces of the two men in the waves off the port side of the ship. They remained in the water for about 10 seconds, and then faded.” For several days thereafter, the “phantom-like” faces of the sailors were clearly seen by other members of the crew in the sea foam created by the ship as it sailed.

On arrival in New Orleans, the ship's captain, Keith Tracy, reported the strange events to
his employers at the Cities Service Company. It was suggested that he try to photograph
the “eerie” faces if they appeared again. Captain Tracy purchased a camera before the
next voyage. When the faces appeared in the water again, Captain Tracy took six photos, and then locked the camera and film in the ship's safe. The crew reported seeing the faces of the deceased seaman several more times, but their appearance became less and less frequent.

The SS Watertown departed and continued its scheduled voyage to New York City. When
the film was processed in New York, five of the exposures showed nothing but sea foam. The sixth one showed the ghostly faces of the doomed seamen. The negative was
checked for fakery by the Burns Detective Agency, which found no sign of tampering. After a third voyage, the ship's crew was changed and there were no more reports of sightings of the ghastly duo.

The story of the entire event didn’t appear until ten years later, after it was found in the
journal of the shipping company. The negative of the photograph being lost by the
passage of time, made it impossible to re-verify the image as authentic. Was this just a
figment of some superstitious sailor's imagination? Was this some cruel joke? Is it
possible that the sightings were induced by mass hysteria? Was the sighting of the ghostly pair just an optical illusion? Many individuals in the search of paranormal ghost
phenomenon are reporting to have similar experiences. Evidence may be mounting?

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MV Joyita

Another of this type of ghost ship was the MV Joyita discovered abandoned in the Pacific in 1955. In 1990 the freighter Fisah Ketsi was discovered drifting East of Brazil without any crew and with its cargo hatch open.

Ghost Ship MV Joyita


The MV Joyita was a wooden ship built in 1931 as a luxury yacht. It was commissioned by the US Navy as a patrol boat during WWII, serving in the South Pacific.

On October 3, 1955, the Joyita left Samoa for the Tokelau Islands. The Joyita was carrying cargo of medical supplies, lumber and foods, along with 9 passengers and 16 crew. She never reached port, so a search crew covered 100,00 square miles in search of the Joyita to no avail.

The Joyita was found on November 10th, 600 miles away from her planned route. No trace of the cargo, crew or passengers were ever found on the partially submerged vessel. The ghost ship's radio was tuned to the international marine distress channel.

It has been theorized in books that the Joyita most likely was attacked by pirates or
Japanese fishing boats possibly conducting illegal activity. If so, the crew and passengers were murdered and the cargo stolen.

Valencia

Valencia disaster headline, January 25, 1906
Courtesy The Seattle

Sailors have reported seeing the sunken steamship SS Valencia floating off the coast of Vancouver Island, often as an apparition that followed them as they sailed down the coast. Her #5 lifeboat was also found floating nearby, unmanned and in remarkably good condition, 27 years after the ship sank.

Ghost ship SS Valencia

On Monday, January 22, 1906, the coastal passenger liner SS Valencia, en route from San Francisco to Seattle with 108 passengers and 65 crew aboard, passed the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca in foul weather, and ran aground on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. The ship was on a reef, trapped between sheer rock cliffs and pounding breakers. Uncharted rocks and fierce storms made it impossible for rescue vessels to approach from seaward. Scores of passengers drowned when their lifeboats were wrecked or capsized in the surf. Over the next 36 hours, terrified people huddled on the hurricane deck or clung to the rigging as huge waves slowly broke the ship apart. Finally, as rescuers watched, horrified and powerless, a huge wave swept the remaining passengers and crew into the sea. There were 37 survivors, but 136 persons perished in one of the most tragic maritime disasters in Pacific Northwest history

Baychimo Ghost Ship

Baychimo Ghost Ship cargo steamer

Baychimo Ghost Ship cargo steamer was built in Sweden, in 1914 for Hudson's Bay Company. The Baychimo was used for trading pelts for provisions from the Inuit people along the Victoria Island coast of the Northwest Territory - where it became a ghost ship of note.

Heading home with a cargo load of fur in October of 1931, The Baychimo became trapped In ice. The ship was briefly abandoned, but it broke free from the ice and was re-boarded by its crew. The Baychimo became stuck in ice again a few days later, and most of the crew were airlifted to safety. Only fifteen crew remained, awaiting the ship to break free from the ice. As they stayed in a nearby wooden shelter, a blizzard struck and the ship disappeared in the storm. The crew concluded that the Baychimo must have sunk somehow during the storm.

The Baychimo was seen a few days later, 45 miles away, and was tracked down. The
cargo was removed, and the ship again was abandoned due to its "un-sea-worthiness."
The Baychimo continued to float on the sea on its own for 38 years, and was seen many
times. Several times it was boarded, but either bad weather or the lack of necessary
equipment to salvage the Baychimo, kept it a ghost ship. The Baychimo was last seen
stuck in the ice of Beaufort Sea in 1969, and has not been seen since.

There are tales of Haunted ships from the Great Lakes region as ships have been lost on these storm-tossed waters . Any sailor on the Great Lakes can tell you that these waters are more dangerous as any ocean. Ships have simply sailed off into oblivion on these lakes, never to be heard from again.

Similarly, the Octavius, an English trading ship returning from China, was found drifting off the coast of Greenland in 1775. The captain's log showed that the ship had attempted the Northwest Passage, which had never been successfully traversed, in 1762. The ship and the bodies of her frozen crew apparently completed the Northwest Passage after drifting among the pack ice for 13 years.

Jian Seng

In 2006, the Jian Seng was found off the coast of Australia, and as of 26 March little is known of its origin, or reason for being here. An abandoned tanker, the Jian Seng was found in 2006 by an Australian coast watch airplane in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Australian customs vessel Storm was dispatched at night.

Ghost Ship Jian Seng

The following morning, a small boat was launched to board the drifting Jian Seng. No one
was found on board. Its point of origin unknown, documents recovered later indicated it was the Jian Seng; but the ship's name had been painted over.

The Jian Seng had a large supply of rice in its cargo hold, used to possibly re-supply fishing vessels out at sea. Its engines, however, were inoperable and Australian officials concluded it had been adrift for some time. As the Jian Seng had been stripped of anything of value, it was surmised that it perhaps broke loose from being towed to a ship scrap yard.

The Jian Seng was later towed to deep waters and sunk as an artificial reef, because its
owner was never located.


Bel Amica

In August of 2006, the "Bel Amica" (which is one "L" short of the modern Italian spelling of "Good Friend") was discovered off the coast of Sardinia. The Coast Guard crew that discovered the ship found half eaten meals, Egyptian artifacts, French maps of North African seas, and a flag of Luxembourg on board. The age of the ship, maps, flag, and other things have not been disclosed. This sort of schooner that appears to be of the late 19th century, according to Italian sources has never been registered in the country by this name or any other. The ship has been compared to the Mary Celeste in its appearance.

Bel Amica Ghost Ship

Shortly after the original reports, Italian newspapers reported the owner had been found. Franc Rouayrux, from Luxembourg, was identified as the owner of the vessel. It had been left anchored in deep water for somewhat nebulous reasons, and the owner stated that he had expected to return to the yacht after returning home to address an emergency. The Italian press reported that an attempt to avoid steep taxation of luxury vessels may have been involved.

QUEEN MARY

Bigger than the Titanic, The Queen Mary was the pride of the Cunard Lines. She carried many distinguished guests, and during WWII was converted to carry troops to the front. It was during one of these troop carrying missions that one of the most horrific episodes of her history occurred. On October 2, 1942 the Queen Mary was rounding Ireland on the last leg of her journey. At this time, she was joined by the HMS Curacoa and 6 destroyers as she was within Luftwaffe range. The Queen Mary was zig zagging in her course to make it difficult for U-boats in the area to target her. Because of the zig zag pattern, the Curacoa and the destroyers were told to stay ahead of the Queen Mary. The turbulence from all of the ships made a heavy wash and forced the ships to make minor adjustments in their courses.

Down in engine and fire rooms of the Queen Mary, a slight bump was felt. No one thought anything of it as the ship was unscathed and kept on its course. The "bump" was the HMS Curacoa. The slight change in course caused the Queen Mary to nudge the Curacoa's stern, sending the ship into the path of the massive ocean liner. Because the orders were to continue on no matter what, the Queen Mary did not stop and snapped the HMS Curacoa in two. Of 439 men aboard 338 were lost.

In October of 1967, The Queen Mary made her way to Long Beach, CA where she was going to be converted into a floating hotel. During the transition between ship and hotel, strange things began happening.

Haunted Ghost Ship The Queen Mary

A secretary was was walking passed the engine room when she heard a clanging noise as if a worker was in there doing some repairs. She went in to investigate and the noise immediately stopped. The woman went on her way and the noise started again. As she started to enter the engine room again, the noise stopped. The woman fled the area.

Another incident occurred in the area of the boat which housed the swimming pool. No one was allowed in that area of the ship, and the pool was completely drained. However, next to the pool was a woman dressed in a one piece bathing suit that looked to be from the early 1950's. The woman was about ready to dive into the empty pool. The crewmember yelled for the woman to stop and she disappeared. Later, while checking the ship's records, the crewmember discovered that a woman had drowned in the swimming pool.

And yet another story comes from watertight door number 13. A guard was patrolling that area with his dog when he heard a noise coming from door number 13. The dog stopped and refused to move any further. They searched the area but found nothing. Archives show that a man by the name of John Pedder was crushed and killed by watertight door number 13. Several years later, a guide felt a presence behind her. She turned and saw a young man standing there behind her. The apparition was there only a few seconds before disappearing. The guide later picked John Pedder's photo out of a line up. She was not aware of the tragic death occurring at door 13.

Many unexplained things happen aboard The Queen Mary. Hatches and doors open by themselves in the hours after midnight, sounds are heard in various areas of the ship, wet footprints have appeared along the empty pool, and the ship's first captain who died aboard the ship is seen pacing the bridge.

Most spine chilling is an incident that occurred during the trip into California. A marine engineer aboard was in the bow below deck when he heard the voices of panicked men screaming in horror. Then he heard the sound of crunching metal being ripped apart and the sound of rushing water. The same noises have been heard occasionally since the ship has been permanently berthed. Is this the accident of the Curacoa being relived again?

TITANIC

On April 14, 1912, the huge "unsinkable" ship the Titanic was steaming across the Atlantic towards New York. This was the Titanic's maiden voyage, and her captain was encouraged to break the record for speed while making the voyage. As most people know, after striking an iceberg, the unsinkable ship went down in only a matter of hours. Out of the 2,201 passengers, only 711 were saved. Since then, there have been many books and movies about the Titanic.

The Titanic

There was one fictional story written by a merchant seaman by the name of Morgan Robertson. Robertson's book was about an unsinkable passenger liner that sank while carrying the elite people of the time. The ship in Robertson's story was called the Titan and the book was titled The Wreck of the Titan. Even though the book is fictitious, the events in the story parallel the events of the Titanic. Both ships were built to be unsinkable. Both ships sank after striking an iceberg. Both ships were on their maiden voyage. The most well to do famous people were on the Titan and Titanic. Only one third of the passengers on each ship survived. Both ships had an inadequate number of lifeboats. Both ships were encouraged to break speed records during their voyage.

Robertson's book The Wreck of the Titan was never published. Each time it was rejected by editor's, they told him the same thing. The story was unbelievable. Surely the events he wrote of could not possibly happen to an unsinkable ship.

The book, The Wreck of the Titan was written in 1898, fourteen years before the Titanic hit an iceberg and settled on the bottom of the northern Atlantic.

SS Ourang Medan

The SS Ourang Medan... The signals claimed, "All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead." This message was followed by indecipherable Morse code then, "I die." Shortly after World War II in 1948, several ships responded to SOS and Morse Code distress calls from the Dutch freighter, Ourang Medan.

SS Ourang Medan ghost ship

Within hours of the first distress signals, the first rescue ship arrived on the scene. Upon arrival, the rescue vessel tried to hail the Ourang Medan but there was no response to their hand and whistle signals. A boarding party was sent to the ship and what they found was astonishing. All the crew and officers of the Ourang Medan were dead, their eyes open, faces looking towards the sun, arms outstretched and a look of terror on their faces. Even the ship's dog was dead, "teeth bared, with their upturned faces to the sun, staring as if in fear... When nearing the bodies in the boiler room, the rescue crew felt a chill though the temperature was near 110°F.

The decision was made to tow the ship back to port. As the ship was prepared to be towed, smoke began rolling up from the hull. The rescue crew left the ship and barely had time to cut the tow lines before the Ourang Medan exploded and sank.

Kaz II 04/20/2007

Hall said the yacht's sails were up but one was badly shredded. He said the engine was running, there was food on the table, a laptop was turned on, and the radio and global positioning satellite (GPS) were working.

Three life jackets and survival equipment, including an emergency beacon, were found on board, but no life rafts.

The KAZ II was spotted adrift on the outer Great Barrier Reef on Wednesday. Rescue crews boarded the vessel on Friday but there was no sign of the three crew men, aged 56, 63 and 69.

See ghost ship video here http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=49750&cl=2445531&ch=1993810&src=news

Second "ghost ship" found off Queensland coast

23rd April 2007

Second Ghost ship video here:

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/scp_v3/viewer/index.php?pid=16471&rn=248153&cl=2478028&ch=248154

Another unmanned vessel has been discovered floating off the coast of Queensland.

The 6m barnacle-encrusted fibreglass boat, which was yesterday spotted in waters off the Sunshine Coast, is the second mystery vessel to be found in Queensland waters in less than a week.

Fisherman spotted the second boat about 30km off the coast of Caloundra.

The boat was found upturned and adrift, with the keys still in the ignition and a tank full of fuel.

Fishing gear and scuba diving equipment were retrieved from the vessel and both outboard motors were still intact.

Police are now searching for the owners of the boat, which is registered in Noumea.

The boat is believed to have been adrift for several months, and authorities believe it may have simply broken free from its moorings.

The discovery comes just one day after authorities called off the search for three Perth men missing from a yacht found unmanned and adrift last Wednesday about 160km off Townsville.

The three crew members - skipper Des Batten, 56, and brothers Peter and James Tunstead, aged 69 and 63, all from Perth - went missing some time after their 9.8-metre catamaran, KAZ II, left Shute Harbour at Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays the previous weekend.

 

Jean Lafitte

Lafitte was a colorful character who lived much of his life outside the law, and a number of details about his life are obscure. He was said to have been born in France. Though well known in history and folklore, both his origins and demise are uncertain. The accuracy of some accounts of his life are open to doubt, and an autobiographical journal is suspected of being a forgery by some historians. His father was said to be French and his mother either a Spaniard, or Sephardi. His mother's family allegedly fled from Spain to France in 1765 after his maternal grandfather was put to death for Judaism. In his alleged journal, Lafitte describes childhood in the home of his Jewish grandmother, who was full of stories about the family's escape from the Inquisition. Raised in a kosher Jewish household, Lafitte later married Christiana Levine, from a Jewish family in Denmark.

Along with his 'crew of a thousand men', Lafitte sometimes receives credit for helping defend Louisiana from the British in the War of 1812, with his nautical raids along the Gulf of Mexico.

Lafitte established his own "Kingdom of Barataria" in the swamps and bayous near New Orleans after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. He claimed to command more than 3,000 men and provided them as troops for the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, greatly assisting Andrew Jackson in repulsing the British attack. Lafitte reportedly conducted his operations in the historic New Orleans French Quarter. General Jackson was informed of Lafitte's gallant exploits at the Battle of New Orleans by Colonel Ellis P. Bean, who then recruited Lafitte to support the Mexican Republican movement.

After being run out of New Orleans around 1817, Lafitte relocated to the island of Galveston, Texas establishing another "kingdom" he named "Campeche". In Galveston, Lafitte either purchased or set his claim to a lavishly furnished mansion used by French pirate Louis-Michel Aury, which he named "Maison Rouge". The building's upper level was converted into a fortress where a cannon commanding Galveston harbor were placed. Around 1820, Lafitte reportedly married Madeline Regaud, possibly the widow or daughter of a French colonist who had died during an ill-fated expedition to Galveston. In 1821, the schooner USS Enterprise was sent to Galveston to remove Lafitte's presence from the Gulf after one of the pirate's captains attacked an American merchant ship. Lafitte agreed to leave the island without a fight, and in 1821 or 1822 departed on his flagship, the Pride, burning his fortress and settlements and reportedly taking immense amounts of treasure with him. All that remains of Maison Rouge is the foundation, located at 1417 Avenue A near the Galveston wharf.

ALSO SEE:

The Ghost of Jean Lafitte
and the Phantom Pirates of Barataria TO READ MORE PLEASE VISIT HERE

Lafitte's disappearance
After his departure from Galveston, Lafitte was never heard from again. Rumors have long circulated that Lafitte died in a hurricane in the Gulf or in the Yucatan around 1826. A controversial manuscript, known as the Journal of Jean Laffite, relates how, after his announced death in the 1820s, he lived in several states in the United States, and raised a family until his death in St. Louis in the 1840s. Reportedly at his request, the publication of the journal was delayed for 107 years and surfaced in the 1950s in the hands of a man claiming to be the pirate's descendant.

Lafitte claimed never to have plundered an American vessel, and though he engaged in the contraband slave trade, he is accounted a great romantic figure in Louisiana. The mystery surrounding Lafitte has only inflated the legends attached to his name. Lafitte was said to be a master mariner; according to one legend he was once caught in a tropical storm off the coast of North Galveston and steered his ship to safety by riding the storm surge over Galveston island and into the harbor. Lafitte's lost treasure has acquired a lore of its own as it, like his death, was never accounted for. He reportedly maintained several stashes of plundered gold and jewelry in the vast system of marshes, swamps, and bayous located around Barrataria Bay. One such legend places the treasure somewhere on the property of Destrehan Plantation, and Lafitte's spirit walks the plantation on nights of full moons to guide someone to the treasure's location. Other rumors suggest that Lafitte's treasure sank with his ship, the Pride, either near Galveston or in the Gulf of Mexico where some believe it went down during an 1826 hurricane.

Jean Lafitte

His legend was perpetuated in Cecil B. DeMille's classic film The Buccaneer and its 1958 remake.


 


 

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