Friday, September 16, 2011
All About Ghost Ships
The Flying Dutchman has been spotted many times in the last two centuries, with the late King George V of England writing a detailed account of his own sighting in 1880 off the coast of Australia: "At 4 a.m. the Flying Dutchman crossed our bows. A strange red light as of a phantom ship all aglow, in the midst of which light the masts, spars, and sails of a brig 200 yards distant stood out in strong relief as she came up on the port bow, where also the officer of the watch from the bridge clearly saw her, as did the quarterdeck midshipman, who was sent forward at once to the forecastle; but on arriving there was no vestige nor any sign whatever of any material ship was to be seen either near or right away to the horizon, the night being clear and the sea calm. Thirteen persons altogether saw her...At 10.45 a.m. the ordinary seaman who had this morning reported the Flying Dutchman fell from the foretopmast crosstrees on to the topgallant forecastle and was smashed to atoms."
Why do ghost ships seem like such romantic images? Perhaps because if the crew is not aboard, it is still sailing with no one to handle it. Where is the crew? Davy Jones' locker, huh? You can take a person out of a car, but the car will crash. A ship, could float months, even years, without facing doom and sinking or even being found. It's a vast ocean out there!
The Mary Celeste (or Marie Céleste as it is fictionally referred to by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and others after him) was a brigantine merchant ship famous for having been discovered on 4 December 1872 in the Atlantic Ocean unmanned and apparently abandoned, despite the fact that the weather was fine and her crew had been experienced and able seamen. The Mary Celeste was in seaworthy condition and still under sail heading toward the Strait of Gibraltar. She had been at sea for a month and had over six months' worth of food and water on board. Her cargo was virtually untouched and the personal belongings of passengers and crew were still in place, including valuables. The crew was never seen or heard from again. Their disappearance is often cited as the greatest maritime mystery of all time.
The fate of her crew has been the subject of much speculation. Theories range from alcoholic fumes, to underwater earthquakes, to waterspouts, to paranormal explanations involving extraterrestrial life, unidentified flying objects (UFOs), sea monsters, and the phenomenon of the Bermuda Triangle, although the Mary Celeste is not known to have sailed through the Bermuda Triangle area. The Mary Celeste is often described as the archetypal ghost ship, since she was discovered derelict without any apparent explanation, and her name has become a synonym for similar occurrences.
I'd suggest you watch "The Fog" (original) if you're in the mood for a ghost ship now.
**Tonight is Lonely on a Friday Night from 7 pm EST onward. Come and hang out with me here if you're bored like me**
at 10:30 AM