Undead: the Most famous Ghost ships

Strange thing: in the middle of the sea to meet the drifting ship with no life signs on Board. Empty. No one. Silence. And he himself sways on the waves – calmly, quietly, and if necessary, if he don’t need no one else. If he went swimming enough already with these “conquerors of the sea,” and so they bore him that was just glad the case to part with them… Creepy.

Sailors say that in the ocean – especially in the Atlantic – it happens all the time: across the empty fishing boats, small yachts, sometimes even the ship “Lyubov Orlova”, for example, is still looking for the last refuge. In most cases, the appearance of the vessel immediately clear what happened to him, and the main cause of Maritime accidents, of course, there will always be nature – storm is not easy to defeat even for experienced sailors. But sometimes the disappearance of the crew simply impossible to explain.

Imagine: perfect a undamaged boat, she has working motors and generators, in order, radio and all emergency systems on the dining table untouched food and working laptop, if the crew a minute ago hiding from you somewhere in the bilge compartment, but have you searched everywhere and not found on Board a single soul. You might think that this is another sea story, but really this is an excerpt from the police report about the missing three crew members of the yacht-catamaran KZ-II in April 2007.

We think, now we have intrigued you? In this article we have collected the most famous and intriguing stories about the ships, which at different times were found at sea under the most mysterious circumstances: no crew on Board or with the dead sailors, dead for an unknown reason, or as a Ghost, reminiscent of the tragic events of the past.

MV Joyita, 1955

It was a luxury yacht, built in 1931 in Los Angeles for movie Director Roland West. During the Second world war MV Joyita was outfitted, and she has worked as a patrol vessel off the coast of Hawaii until the end of the war.

On 3 October 1955 the MV Joyita set sail from Samoa to the Tokelau island – a distance of approximately 270 nautical miles. Before the trip she discovered a faulty clutch on the main engine, fix that in place failed, and the boat was out at sea under sail and one auxiliary engine. On Board were 25 souls, among whom a government official, two children and a surgeon that Tokelau had to do the surgery.

The trip was supposed to take no more than 2 days, but the MV Joyita had not arrived at the destination port. Distress the ship is not filed, even though his course lay across a fairly busy road, which often runs coastguard vessels and which is well covered by the relay stations. The search for the yacht was conducted on the territory of 100 000 square miles by aircraft, but the MV Joyita was not found.

Only five weeks later, on 10 November 1955 the ship was found. It drifted 600 miles of the planned route half-sunk in the water. 4 ton of cargo, crew and passengers were missing. The VHF radio was tuned to the international distress frequency. Still had one auxiliary engine and bilge pump included lighting in the cabins. All the clocks on Board had stopped at 10:25. The doctor’s bag were found four bloodied bandages. The log book, the sextant and chronometer were missing, along with three life rafts.

The search team thoroughly inspected the ship for damage case, but have not found them. The fate of the crew and passengers to identify and failed. Intriguing was the fact that the MV Joyita, with interior decoration of balsa wood, was virtually unsinkable, and the crew knew about it. Missing cargo also remained a mystery.

The theory was put forward very different, ranging from the bizarre, like the Japanese Navy still did not stop fighting after the Second world war, is located on some isolated base on an island. One of the versions was also considered insurance fraud, piracy, rebellion.

MV Joyita was repaired, but probably confirming his curse several times found stranded. In the late 1960s, the ship was sold for scrapping.

Ourang Medan (Orang Medan, or orange Medan), 1947

“All dead, it will come for me” and “I die” it was the last two messages received from the crew of the freighter Ourang Medan in the Straits of Malacca Gulf in June 1947. They got together with the SOS signals from two ships – British and Dutch – that is taken as another confirmation of the veracity of this mysterious story.

The first message came in Morse code, the second – on the radio. Vessel in distress looking for a few hours, and the first found the Brit Silver Star. After unsuccessful attempts to welcome Ourang Medan signal lights and whistles, decided to plant a small team. Rescuers immediately went to the wheelhouse where he heard the sounds of running radio, and found there several members of the crew.

All of them, including the captain, were dead. More bodies found on cargo deck. As stated, all sailors Ourang Medan was in protective poses with a look of horror on their faces. Many were covered with frost, and with one of the groups of the crew were found dead dog, which froze stiff as a statue, on four legs, growling at someone in the void.

Suddenly, somewhere in the depths of the cargo deck, an explosion was heard, the fire started. Rescuers did not fight the fire, and hastened to leave full of the dead ship. In the next hour on the Ourang Medan were some explosions, and he went down.

It is highly reasonable to believe that the story of the Ourang Medan, if it was a disaster, for the most part is fiction. Some argue that the ship did not exist – at least, in the list of “Lloyd’s” names “Ourang Medan” was not found. But the conspiracy theorists believe that the name of the vessel was fictional, as the crew was engaged in smuggling, and the same contraband – you never know what cargo was on Board – was the cause of the tragedy.

Octavius (Octavius), 1762-1775

The English trading ship Octavius was discovered drifting to the West of Greenland on 11 October 1775. On Board went up the boarding team from the whaler Whaler Herald and found the entire crew dead, frozen. The body of the captain was in his cabin, and death found him recording something in a logbook, he was still sitting at the table with pen in hand. In the cabin were three more dead bodies: women, wrapped in a blanket of the child and the sailor, who carried a tinder-box.

Boarding team left Octavius in a hurry, taking only a logbook. Unfortunately, the document was so damaged from the cold and water that it was possible to read only the first and last pages. Ended the log entry 1762. This meant that the ship drifted dead for 13 years.

Octavius left England and went to America in 1761. Trying to save time, the captain decided to follow the unknown at the time the Northwest passage, which was first successfully completed only in 1906. The ship stuck in the Arctic ice, unprepared team froze to death – found the remains say that it happened fast enough. It is assumed that some time later, Octavius was freed from the ice and with a dead crew drifted in the open sea. After a meeting with whalers in 1775, a ship was never seen again.

KZ-II, 2007

The crew of the Australian yacht catamaran KZ-II went missing in April 2007 under mysterious circumstances. History received a wide public resonance because it recalls a similar case with the crew of the Brigantine the Mary Celeste (Mary Celeste).

15 APR 2007 KZ-II departed from Airlie beach to Townsville. On Board were three crew members, including the owner. A day later the boat stopped communicating, and on 18 April was accidentally discovered drifting near the Great barrier reef. 20 April, KZ-II landed patrol and not found on Board one of the crew members.

The ship had no damage except a torn sail, all systems worked properly, the generator and the engine was on and the dining table were found untouched food and turned on the laptop. The search for the sailors was continued until April 25, but brought no results.

The official version of what happened was the series of events, partially reconstructed through the records of a camera found on Board the KZ-II. It is believed that one of the sailors for some reason dived into the sea. Perhaps he wanted to free entangled fishing line. At the same moment the boat began to carry the wind to the side, with the first sailor in the water something happened, and the second sailor rushed to his aid. Remaining on Board the third sailor tried to steer the boat closer to friends and switched on the engine, but quickly realized that the movement hampered by the wind. He tried quickly removed the sail, and at that moment for an unknown reason, he went way overboard. The yacht was in itself to go into the open ocean, and the sailors were not able to catch up and eventually drowned.

Young Teazer (Yang Teaser), 1813

Privateer schooner Young Teazer was built in the beginning of 1813. It was surprisingly quick and promising the ship, which already in the first months of hunting very fared well on the trade routes near the coast of Halifax. In June 1813 Teazer began to haunt the Scottish brig Sir John Sherbrooke. The schooner was able to escape in the fog, but soon on her trail was attacked by the 74-gun ship of the line HMS La Hogue and drove Teazer into the trap of Mahone Bay, the Peninsula of Nova Scotia. With twilight to the HMS La Hogue was joined by HMS Orpheus, and they began preparing to attack the privateer, who now had nowhere to go. HMS La Hogue sent to the Young Teazer five boarding teams, but as soon as they approached, the boat exploded. 7 surviving members of the crew Young Teazer subsequently unanimously claimed that this is first Lieutenant Frederick Johnson blew up the ammunition, destroying in this way and the ship, and himself, and another 30 crew members whose unidentified remains are buried today in the Anglican cemetery in Mahone Bay.

Shortly after the tragic events of the locals began to assert that he had seen the burning of the Young Teazer, which rose from the depths. 27 Jun 1814 people in the Mahone Bay were startled to see the Ghost of the schooner in the same place where it was destroyed. The Ghost appeared and then silently disappeared in a flash of flame and smoke. This story is so quickly spread throughout the country next June in Mahone Bay started specifically to gather onlookers. As they say, at that time Young Teazer appeared again, and then appeared every year, and local still claim that the boat was periodically visible on a foggy night – especially the first day after the full moon.

The Mary Celeste (Mary Celeste), 1872

This ship can safely claim to the title of the greatest Maritime mysteries of all time. Still investigating the disappearance of his crew had not advanced a single step, and even after 143 years is the subject of much debate.

November 7, 1872 the Brigantine Mary Celeste left new York and headed to Genoa with a cargo of alcohol. Day 5 December, she was discovered 400 miles off Gibraltar without crew. The ship was raised sail, had no damage and, as it turned out, even the hold with valuable cargo was not touched.

Found and identified the Brigantine captain Morehouse (Morehouse) from another merchant vessel, which ran a parallel course. He, as it turned out, knew the owner of the Mary Celeste’s captain Briggs (Briggs), and was respected as a talented sailor, that’s what Morehouse was very surprised when he realized that he met the Brigantine is absolutely absurd deviates from the known course. Morehouse tried to honk and, receiving no answer, gave chase to the Brigantine. Two hours later, his team landed on the Mary Celeste.

It seemed that the ship was abandoned with haste. Were not touched personal items, including jewelry, clothing, food, and a whole load. There were no boats, and all the papers in the captain’s cabin with the exception of the diary where the last entry is dated 25 November and reports that the Mary Celeste left the Azores.

Signs of violence on Board was not. The only visible damage was extensive traces of water on the deck, and this gave grounds to believe that the crew abandoned ship due to inclement weather. However, this was contrary to the personality of captain Briggs, which was characterized by friends, family and partners as skilful and brave sailor, who decided to leave the ship only in cases of extreme necessity and in the case of mortal danger.

Morehouse took control of the Brigantine, and brought her to Gibraltar on 13 December. There was conducted a comprehensive survey of the vessel, during which the inspectors found a few stains in the captain’s cabin, which looked like dried blood. Also found a few markings on the roof rails, which could be left with a blunt object or an axe, but such guns on Board the Mary Celeste to the time of the study was not. In itself, the ship was declared not damaged.

As versions of what happened was considered piracy, insurance fraud, tsunami, explosion, caused by the fumes from the cargo, ergotism from contaminated flour, which the team went crazy, riot and a few supernatural explanations. There is also a version that the crew of the Mary Celeste reached the coast of Spain, where, in 1873, found a few boats with an unknown ship and a few unidentified bodies in them.

In the following 17 years the Mary Celeste passed from one owner to another 17 times, while often, as they say, was a tragic and fatal cases. The last owner of the Brigantine sank it to adjust the insurance case.

Lyubov Orlova (Lyubov Orlova), 2013

One of the most famous Ghost ship in recent years – liner “Lyubov Orlova”, which was lost in 2013, while towing in the Caribbean and since then, there appears in the Atlantic.

The liner, named after a famous Soviet actress, was built in 1976 and was part of the fleet of far Eastern shipping company. In 1999 the ship was sold to a company from Malta was involved in regular flights to the Arctic. In 2010, the vessel was arrested for debt, and after two years of inactivity in Canada was sent a tug to the Dominican Republic for scrap. During towing in the Caribbean suffered a major storm and the towing cables broke. The crew of the tugboat tried to capture an out of control ship, but, in view of the weather conditions it was not possible – the ship was abandoned in international waters.

Searches of the ship were not successful. Automatic identification system — a system that transmits the geographical position of ships – was in “offline” mode, which is not allowed to establish the location. The canadian government announced that, as the ship is in any case can now only be located in international waters, responsibility for the fate of Canada no longer carries the search was terminated. It was believed that “Lyubov Orlova” was forever lost in the North Atlantic ocean.

Suddenly February 1, 2013 “Lyubov Orlova” was seen drifting 1700 km from the coast of Ireland. Found her oil, the canadian tanker Atlantic Hawk, which, not to give the now famous to the whole world “Ghost ship” to become a real danger to nearby oil rigs, towed the vessel to neutral waters, where they were forced to leave again. February 4, “Lyubov Orlova” was 463 miles from St Johns, Canada. The canadian authorities again refused to take any action and responsibility for the ship in full laid on its owner. A few days later, “Lyubov Orlova” was again lost.

During the year, 4,250-ton vessel, the cost of the stock of which is estimated at 34 million rubles, managed to avoid the prying eyes of the search teams of the company-owner and hunters for scrap metal. The popularity of the Ghost ship has risen to the emergence of social networks of fake users named “Lyubov Orlova” / “Lyubov Orlova” website whereisorlova.com devoted, however, and other ships-ghosts. The phrase is “Where Lyubov Orlova?” has become a meme, as they say, was printed on t-shirts and mugs.

In January 2014, the Ghost ship was again seen drifting 2.4 thousand km from the Western coast of Ireland. The experts believed that the ship is moving to the coast of the UK, where he pushed the recent storms. The UK government was preparing for a meeting with a celebrity, especially fearing that the drifting ship may be inhabited by rats-cannibals, but the “Lyubov Orlova” was gone again.

Lady Lovibond (Lady Lovibond), 1748

In the XVIII century sailors firmly believed in omens, and quite often their superstitions fueled by understandable and even prosaic by today’s standards situations. Maybe that’s why “didactic” history of the sailing ship the Lady Lovibond made him so popular, and the legend is so long-running.

13 Feb 1748, newly married to Simon Reid and Annette went on a honeymoon trip from the UK to Portugal by reed that the ship Lady Lovibond. Before going to sea, John rivers, first mate reed fell in love with the captain’s wife and now were mad with love and jealousy. The Reeves began an uncontrolled fit of anger one day he fell on the steering and lost his temper, killed him. Then rivers took control of the ship in his hands and pointed it at the Goodwin Sands are notorious sandbank in the English channel. The ship crashed, nobody survived.

In 1848, one hundred years after the tragic events, local fishers saw on the Sands the Goodwin crashed the sailboat. At the crash site were sent a rescue boat, but no vessel was found. In 1948, after a hundred years, the phantom Lady Lovibond was again seen on the Goodwin Sands captain Score Prestwick and was described exactly like the original ship 1748, but with a creepy greenish glow. Following the appearance of the Ghost ship is expected in the year 2048. Wait.

Eliza Battle, 1858

Built 1852 in Indiana, Eliza Battle was a luxury wooden boat for entertaining presidents and VIPs. On a cold night in February 1858 on the tombigbee river on the main deck of the ship the fire started, strong winds helped the fire to spread throughout the ship. On Board the flight was about 100 people, including 26 people are unable to escape. Today locals say that during the spring floods, in the period of the moon, Eliza Battle appears again on the river Tombigbee. She swims to the top of the flow with the music and lights on the main deck. Sometimes I see only a silhouette of the ship. The fishermen believe that the appearance promises the Eliza Battle disaster to other ships that still go on this river.

Carrol A. Deering (Carroll A. Deering), 1921

Patamuchta cargo schooner Carrol A Deering was built in 1911 and named for the owner’s son. 2 Dec 1920, she went to flight from Rio de Janeiro to Norfolk, USA, two months later, was found washed up on the stranded and abandoned.

The investigation into the disappearance of the crew Carrol A Deering, which was conducted under the supervision of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover allowed to partially restore the chain of events leading up to the disappearance of the schooner and gather eyewitness accounts.

Thus, it was found that at the beginning of January 1921 on the way to USA Carrol A Deering made a stopover on the island of Barbados, where Wartella captain and first mate Mac-Lallana had a quarrel, and the latter threatened to kill the captain. After a quarrel the Mac Lallana looking for work on other ships, claiming that the team Carrol A Deering does not execute orders, and the captain of Warmer does not allow him to punish sailors. Hiring Mak-Lallana from refused. The next few days in Barbados with his team Carrol A Deering was often seen drunk, with the brawl Mac Lallana even landed in jail where he rescued the captain Wormell. January 9, 1921, the schooner went to sea, and what happened next still remains a mystery.

16 Jan 1921 Carrol A Deering was seen in the Bahamas. She walked with one sail, despite favorable weather conditions, and perform strange maneuvers, occasionally going in the opposite direction. On 18 January she was spotted at Cape Canaveral, January 23 – at the lighthouse the Cape Fear. 25 January in the same area disappeared cargo ship, SS Hewitt, who followed the same course, and Carrol A Deering – this fact also made in materials at the Carrol A Deering, but a direct connection between the incidents was not.

29 Jan schooner in full sail passed Cape lookout. Lighthouse Keeper even took her picture. According to him, the red-haired sailor aboard Carrol A Deering over the loudspeaker called out that the schooner lost their anchors during the storm, and asked to convey a message to the owners of the vessel. The caretaker is not able to convey the message due to the fact that the lighthouse had a broken radio. He later noted that he was surprised to find that the command of the schooner crowded onto the quarterdeck, where they have the right to be only the captain and his assistants, and from the ship talked to him a simple sailor, not a captain or assistant.

January 30, the schooner was seen coming under full sail off Cape Hatteras, and on January 31, the U.S. coast guard reported patination a sailboat stranded in the same area. Its sails were raised, boats were absent. Due to stormy weather at the Carrol A Deering was able to get only February 4 – people on Board was found. Was missing personal items, documents, including ship’s log, navigation equipment and anchors. In the captain’s cabin found three pairs of shoes of different sizes. The last mark found on a map dated 23 January, and made it was not the handwriting of captain Wormell.

In 1922, the investigation Carrol A Deering was terminated without any formal conclusion. The schooner, which had been slowly disintegrating on the rocks and could represent a danger to navigation, was blown up. Its skeleton long remained in the same place, while in 1955 it was finally destroyed by the hurricane.

Baychimo (Bacimo), 1931

The ship Baychimo was built in Sweden in 1911 by order of the German trading company. After the First world war moved Britain and the following fourteen years he served on the routes along the North-Western coast of Canada, carrying fur. In early October 1931, the weather deteriorated, and a few miles from the coast near the town of barrow, the ship stuck in the ice. The team temporarily left the ship and found shelter on the mainland. A week later it was cleared up, the sailors went back on Board and continued the voyage, however, 15 October Baychimo again fell into the icy trap.

This time the nearest town was not to get the crew had to arrange a temporary shelter on the shore, away from the ship, and here they were forced to spend a month. In mid-November, a snow storm broke out that lasted several days. And when on November 24 the weather cleared, Baychimo in the same place was not. The sailors thought that the ship was lost during a storm, but a few days later a local hunter on seals reported that he saw Wausa approximately 45 miles from their camp. The team found the vehicle, took off his precious cargo, and permanently left him.

The story Wowso not over. The next 40 years it occasionally seen drifting along the Northern coast of Canada. Attempts were made to get on Board the ship, some were quite successful, but due to weather conditions and poor condition of the hull, the ship again left. Last time Ausm in 1969, that is, 38 years later, after he left the crew at that time the ship was frozen part of the ice massif. In 2006, the government of Alaska has attempted to determine the location of the “Ghost Ship of the Arctic”, but all attempts to locate the ship were unsuccessful. Where now is Ausm – is at the bottom or unrecognizable overgrown ice – remains a mystery.

Flying Dutchman (the flying Dutchman), 1700-e

This is probably the world’s most famous Ghost ship, the popularity of which has added and “pirates of the Caribbean,” and even the cartoon “spongebob Squarepants”, where one of the characters called the Frying Dutchman the Frying Dutchman.

There are many legends associated with it forever wandering in the oceans of the vessel, and the main one for the Dutch captain Philip van der Decken (sometimes his name is van Straaten), which in 1700-ies returned from the East Indies and carried on Board a young couple. The girl is so attracted to the captain that he faked the death of her mate and made her an offer. The girl refused van der Decken grief and jumped overboard.

Immediately after this, at the Cape of Good Hope the ship was caught in a storm. Superstitious sailors began to murmur. In an attempt to prevent the mutiny of the Navigator to offer to wait out bad weather in some Bay, but the captain, desperate and zapivshego after the suicide of his sweetheart, shot him and some unhappy. One of the popular version of the legend says that after killing the co-driver van der Decken swore bones of the mother that no one will go ashore while the ship does not pass the Cape; he has brought the curse and is now doomed to eternal voyage.

Usually people see the Flying Dutchman in the sea from afar. According to legend, if near to it, the team will try to convey to shore the message to people long dead. It is also believed that the meeting with the “Dutchman” promises to sickness and even death. Latest explain yellow fever, which is transmitted by mosquitoes that reproduce in containers with food water. Such a disease could decimate the entire crew, and meeting with such infected ship could actually be fatal: mosquitoes attacked the sailors of the living and infect them.

    Constantine Kuhlow
    Author ruYachts

    Editor, co-founder of the portal ruYachts.com.

    All articles/Write the author

  • © Photo material: Archive version of the portal ruYachts.com

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