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Updated on June 15, 2013
The Marie Celeste.
The Marie Celeste.


There are many well known tales written of Ghost Ships with perhaps the story of the Marie Celeste being the most well known, the Marie Celeste was found abandoned, completely intact with her cargo virtually untouched and the personal belongings of passengers and crew including valuables still on board floating aimlessly in the Atlantic Ocean.

The fate of the crew and passengers of the Marie Celeste was never discovered, various theories have been put forward to explain her abandonment ranging from the mundane alcohol poisoning to the implausible attacked by a sea monster, legend says that the Marie Celeste had sailed through the Bermuda Triangle an area associated with the strange loss and disappearance of aircraft and ships although there is no evidence to support this.

A far lesser known Ghost Ship tale is the story of the SS Ourang Medan ( Malaysian meaning Man From Medan ). One night in February 1948 numerous ships sailing around the coast of Indonesia picked up a distress call from the Ourang Medan, it stated " All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possible whole crew dead". After some further indecipherable morse code was heard, the words " i die " came through. An American vessel the Silver Star answered the stricken ships distress call and on boarding found all crew including the ships dog dead, strangely all crew died with a look of abject terror on their faces looking towards the sun, with their arms outstretched and the dog snarling at some unseen enemy. A decision was made to attempt to tow the ship back to port, as the preparations for towing were being made smoke began to appear from the ships hull and the crew of the Silver Star decided it was best to abandon this attempt, just as the tow lines were cut and the rescue crew returned to the Silver Star the Ourang Medan exploded and sank. So what caused the horrific demise of the Ourang Medan?

One very plausible theory is that the ship was carrying chemical substances possibly even nerve gasses that were to be used during wartime, an escape by these could easily have poisoned the whole crew, an escape of carbon monoxide is also a rational explanation of possible poisoning although these theories do not explain the terrified look on the crews faces or why their arms were outstretched and pointing as if towards an unseen enemy, various outlandish theories have been suggested to explain this event, a paranormal attack, UFOs etc but it is possible we will never find out the real reason behind the unfortunate events surrounding the SS Ourang Medan.

The Kaz 11

On the 15th of April 2007 Derek Batten and his neighbors, brothers Peter and James Tunstead set off on a journey that would take them around the coast of Northern Australia to Townsville in Western Australia sadly they would never be seen again. On the 18th of April the boat was spotted by helicopter drifting aimlessly towards the Great Barrier Reef and obviously in some distress, on the 20th of April the boat was boarded by the Australian marine authorities, everything looked normal yet there was no one on board. Strangely a lap top computer was still switched on, tableware was laid out and the boats GPS system was fully functional, the only thing out of the ordinary was damage to the ships sails. A coroners report based on the available evidence including a video of the crew filmed by themselves concluded a likely scenario was that a fishing line got trapped in the boats propellers, one the men slipped in trying to free the line, when the other two dived in to save him they then found themselves unable to get back into the boat. The bodies of the crew were never discovered.

The Kaz 11 found drifting.
The Kaz 11 found drifting.


When events such as above are discovered theories are put forward ranging from the probable to the downright crazy , ships taken by Aliens, Giant Squid etc. There are very likely really mundane reasons for these disappearances, the sea can be a very dangerous place where so many things can go wrong, without a witness to these events it is so easy for them to be turned into a mystery.


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    • nuffsaidstan profile image

      nuffsaidstan 3 years ago

      Thanks for the comment Ruth.

    • ruthwalker profile image

      ruthwalker 3 years ago

      Interesting hub, find stuff like this fascinating, like you say there's probably reasonable explanations for what happened, but does make you wonder.