Ghost Ships

My ghost ship painting "Thor's Quest" 

I am and always have been utterly fascinated by ghost ships. This post hopefully will bring your sense of adventure and horror together on the sea for several minutes of reading fascination....

In the Phillipines, a yacht was found adrift.  It's not super rare to find a boat unattended at sea, but this was guarded by the mummified body of its captain. The man, Manfred Barjorat, was asea since 2009 by latest dates and was just found in February 2016. For seven years, his body traversed the globe to unknown places. Of course, there is no telling at what point in his voyage he died, but his body was nicely mummified due to the warmer clime.


Flying Dutchman Ship

The Flying Dutchman ship 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." 

 Mary Celeste

In 1872, the merchant ship, “Mary Celeste” sailed left in November from New York to Genoa. On December 5th, halfway between the Azores and Portugal, the captain of the ship “Dei Gratia” sighted the Mary Celeste ship that he recognized. The only problem was it was riding out of control which was not at all something the ship’s pious and stern captain, Benjamin Spooner Briggs, would have ever allowed. The captain hailed the other ship, but for hours he got no response.

He then set off on a small boat with some men to board her.

The men found the ship to be seaworthy and having the appearance of being left in a rush. The investigating captain’s impression by the possessions left behind is that the crew left in a rush for fear the ship was sinking. The ship had contained 7 crewmen, the captain, the captain’s wife, and his small child.

Over the years, this story has become filled with tales of steaming cups of coffee and food on the stove and such being found. This was not the actual case. Here is what the captain of the “Dei Gratia” found:

One pump out of order
Two hatches off and a fair amount of water between the decks
The clock and compass were destroyed
No alcohol was found on board
The chronometer and sextant were not found on board
The ship’s register and captain’s log were both gone
The stove was off kilter and dishes strewn and lots of water in the galley
There were no boats on board

We’re left with many theories from a small explosion caused by munitions onboard to a rogue wave, and the fact that there had been strong storms for days that may have overwhelmed the ship’s capabilities. With the crew and captain and his family exiting on the small boats, they would have become victims of the rough sea.

Many legends have continued about the ship being a victim of some supernatural occurrence of the Bermuda Triangle variety. Even though these were dismissed, the fact remains; for a time the Mary Celeste was a ghost ship in the true sense, wandering the sea without a crew.

But why?

Carroll A. Deering

The Carroll A. Deering was a 5-masted ship that in 1921 came aground in Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, with all the crew missing. It was one of the greatest sea mysteries. There are many theories from piracy to Bermuda Triangle and everything in between. The log and navigation equipment, life rafts and personal belongings were all gone from the ship. Yet, the galley showed foods in various states of meal preparation. It still remains a sea mystery whispered about in wonder and fear.

Japanese Ghost Ship

This ghost ship was found adrift a year after the Japanese earthquake. Gives one chills to imagine ships with no one sailing them.

Real Life Castaway

Found on the Pacific Ocean, this man is (deliriously) happy to be home! This man from El Salvador said he caught fish, drank bird's blood and was adrift for 13 months! His ship was covered in algae when they found him and had been retreating under a plastic container to avoid the sunlight.

The Devil's Triangle (1974): Documentary about the Bermuda Triangle.
Satan's Triangle: (1975): The female survivor of a shipwreck and two Coast Guard helicopter pilots sent to rescue her find themselves trapped in a mysterious part of the ocean known as Satan's Triangle.
Jaws: A tourist island on Fourth of July is terrorized by a monster great white shark.
Castaway: Following a plane wreck, a man is left alone for years on an island and then finds his way home only to find he wasn't who he was when he went missing.
Titanic: Fictionalized movie based on the events that occurred when the Titanic sank.
Dead Calm: A couple grieves the loss of a child and so goes on a quiet sea trip only to rescue a lone survivor in a life raft who puts them through hell.
The Fog: A town has to come to grips with their dark past and the ship of ghosts who want to roll in with the fog and take their lives one by one.
The Haunted Sea: A crew finds an abandoned ship at sea and an Aztec cursed treasure on board.
The Creature From the Black Lagoon: A team goes to the Amazon to check out a potential relic monster only to find out it's still alive.
Lost Voyage: Twenty five years ago, the SS Corona Queen disappeared in the region known as, "The Bermuda Triangle". Now, it has returned. Seven people go on board to learn the truth behind her disappearance but the ship did not return alone..
Pirates of the Caribbean: Based on the Disney ride, this sea tale is a rich and beautiful one, lighthearted, and romantic.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: A widow moves into a crusty old late seaman's home on the shore only to find his ghost is not happy she's there.
Halflight: A woman grieving for her dead child rents a cabin on the shore in Scotland only to find a man living alone in the lighthouse on an island off shore, a man that might be a ghost.
The Triangle: (2001) A group of friend send up in the Triangle.
Cruise Into Terror: (1978) A pleasure cruise is carrying an Egyptian sarcophagus with the son of Satan inside.
Shock Waves: (1977) Visitors to a remote island find Nazi's breeding zombie soldiers.
Death Ship: A team of salvage workers find a ship dead in the water and look it over for some goods only to find that it's occupied - by ghosts. 

The Philadelphia Experiment: Did the military create a time rift to WWII era?
Leviathan: Deep sea underwater miners might have run into ET.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: A ship encounters a strange underwater submersible that shouldn't exist in their time period.
Sea Beast: A crew on a ship has to deal with a weird monster in the water.