The vast and endless ocean stretches , the rising and falling waves, silent icebergs resting beneath the sea, a vast sky above and a cool breeze whistling with joy, that is how life has been around a ship in calm waters. But apart from all the blissful moments to marvel the beauty of nature, many ships have had their stories of misery and misfortune that ever struck their crew, leaving trails of mystery and amazement on the pages of marine history. From pirates to murders, angry ocean to treasons, sea monsters to the mysterious Bermuda Triangle, there are a lot of things that can happen in the water, and have left many ships abandoned and lost in the mist of desolation. The world calls them ‘Ghost Ships’ that have been found deserted and crewless, thus peppering the account of many mariners since time immemorial. While many have evolved out of figments of imagination of the sailors there are a few who are grounded to reality but are yet mysterious and unexplained.
So let us take a look at some of these enduring legends of the sea with baffling evidences, inexplicable incidents and bizarrely wiped out existence of the crews that may have at some time, sailed merrily across the sea.
Go back to 1872 and sail through the Atlantic Ocean, Mary Celeste was a merchant ship found derelict by mariners and became the most famous of all the real-life ghost ships. When located, the ship had all its sails up and was in much seaworthy condition. It housed all the personal belongings of the crew and cargo of over 1,701 barrels of alcohol and ample food storage to last for 6 months. Strangely there was no crew on board and the life boat was missing. A number of theories and stories were spawned around this mysterious disappearance. Many believed the crew to have either mutinied or have left the ship after witnessing some technical or environmental issue finally dying in the life boat. Many said the crew may have eaten a flour contaminated with fungus that led all the passengers to have delusions and go crazy. One report even suggested that there were bloodied weapons on board and blood stains on some of the sail hinting some pirate activity on the ship. Many speculations have continued to emerge with few even blaming the sea monsters or aliens abducting the people. Image Source: 1
The Baychimo was a cargo steamer that was deserted and left to drift the seas near Alaska for nearly forty years. Used to trade pelts and furs the ship was owned by the Hudson Bay Company that was built in Sweden in 1914 and launched in 1920. In 1931, however, the Baychimo’s met the unwanted fate when an arctic icepack moved in, locking the steamer in an icy grip. The crew abandoned the ship fearing that it would break down which strangely did not happen for decades. Baychimo managed to stay afloat, and for the next 38 years, it remained adrift in the waters off Alaska without ever being salvaged. It was seen for the last time in 1969 after which it disappeared forever.
A 3-masted sailing barge was found abandoned two days after it was set off from the port in Southern England in October 1917 with a cargo hold full of coal bound for Saint-Brieuc, France. There was no damage to the ship except for some disarrangement of the rigging. It was believed that a threat of gunfire from a German submarine may have threatened the crew to board the U-boat preparatory and taken to the submarine sinking the vessel. The U-boat on seeing another Allied vessel may have either departed before submerging Zebrina or sunk itself taking the Zebrina crew along. The mystery remains unsolved. Image Source: 1
Also known as “the ghost yacht” was 9.8-meter catamaran which was found drifting 88 nautical miles (160 km) off of the northern coast of Australia on April 18, 2007. Everything on the boat was just perfectly placed with a laptop opened and turned on, food served on the table, radio and GPS were working and life jackets hung neatly on their hooks. Only things that went missing were its three men who had set out for a journey three days ago. The sails were up but badly shredded. The search was abandoned finally after four days on 22nd . The speculations were that one of men may have fallen off the board killing the other two who may have tried to save their companion. Image Source: 1
The Queen Mary was also known as “The Grey Ghost” and is now permanently docked as a tourist attraction and hotel. The ship is said to have ghosts on board that haunt its various areas. Some of these include the first class swimming pool, where guests have seen people in period bathing suits and heard sounds of water splashing. Also Queen Mary’s third class children’s playroom is said to be haunted by the cries of an infant who died on board. People have also sighted a lady dressed in a white evening gown dancing in the Queen’s salon. Other stories that revolve around are phones ringing in the midnight, man appearing in the mirror and lots more giving people a shudder in their spine. Image Source: 1 , 2