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Unsolved Mystery of SS Ourang Medan Freight Ship

Updated on November 12, 2019
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On June 1947, a chilling call was received by several ships including Dutch and British listening posts. Through triangulation the vessel that sent the distress call was identified as SS Ourang Medan, a Dutch freighter.

The chilling message that was sent from the freight ship read: “All officers including captain are dead lying in chart room and bridge. Possibly whole crew is dead.” Some hard to decipher Morse code was heard, then one final disturbing message: “I die.” Silence ensued after the final message.

Silver Star, an American merchant ship which was closest to the location of the freight ship changed its course to rescue the crew on board of the freight ship. The crew on the American merchant ship was met with a quiet sight from the freight ship. There were no crews visible above the deck of the ship. They hailed the Dutch vessel using hand signals, calls and whistles but they received no response.

The lack of response from the Dutch vessel compelled the captain of the American merchant ship to assemble a boarding party. When the boarding party landed on the freight ship, they were mystified at what they saw. On the decks, dead bodies of the ship’s crew laid scattered. The dead body of the captain was on the bridge and his officers’ dead bodies were scattered in wheelhouse, chartroom and wardroom.

The expression on the faces of the dead crew, captain and the officers was horrific. Their eyes were wide open, their faces facing upwards with some of them having their arms outstretched. Their mouths were wide opened. A section of them looked as if they were growling at something like an animal that snarls against something or somebody. The expression on the faces of some of them had their mouths resembling an animal snarling at something or someone.

The ship’s operator (communication officer) who had sent the distress call was found dead. HE was sited, his fingers still on the Morse code keys. The expression on his face was of a man snarling at something. The ship’s dog also showed the sign of an animal scowling at something. What was it growling at?

The Legend Of The SS Ourang Medan

When they entered the chartroom and boiler room of the Silver Star, they temperature therein felt cold. How could this possible when the temperature outside the room was 43 degrees centigrade?

The captain of Silver Star determined it would be better to attach a line to the Dutch vessel and tow her onto the dry land. This was never to be the case. As the crew was attaching a line from their ship to the Dutch ship, they saw smoke emanating from the lower decks. The vessel had caught fire.

The Silver Star’s crew who had landed on board of the freight ship had little time to cut the towline and return to their ship. Time was running out before the ship exploded. Luckily, they had reached on their ship. The American merchant ship and their captain watched in awe as the freight ship exploded into flames. The explosion resulted in the ship sinking into the sea, burying with it the secrets of what might have caused the demise of the crews of the ship.

What happened to the crews of the Dutch freight, SS Ouran Medan is still unsolved. No injuries no wounds were found on any of the crews before the ship sank. So, what happened? No one knows for a fact. Only theories and speculations abound.

The story of the ship of death the SS Ourang Medan

The theories have gone as far as to claim the ship was attacked by aliens or pirates. Some believe the ship was haunted by ghosts. Others try to justify the ship’s boiler malfunctioned leading to leakage of carbon monoxide that resulted in the fearful expression on the face of the crew and the captain as they inhaled the toxic gas and the eventual explosion. Did the ship carry chemicals which were not allowed? The chemicals might have affected the health of the crew on the freight ship and the reason why it exploded. Did a lethal gas kill the crew of the freight ship and lead to the explosion and sinking of the ship?

An interesting question to ask is whether the ship ever existed? No records exist of the ship by the name of the Dutch freight ship.

Might this story be a hoax? Is it one of those sea stories told of ships haunted by ghosts? Nevertheless, one thing rings true: the existence of Silver Star, the American merchant ship is not disputed. Also, it is not disputed the American merchant ship did change its course.

A disturbing phenomena is why the bodies of the dead crew and captain decomposing in a shorter time – less than 24 hours.

Will we ever find the truth about the Dutch freight ship, SS Ourang Medan.

Do you think the story of SS Ourang Medan Freight Ship is true or a hoax?

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© 2014 Alianess Benny Njuguna


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