Have you heard of these “ghost” ships?

Mystery, terror, enigma encompass the stories of the seafaring ghost ships or phantom ships that sailors, anglers and others have been passing around for centuries. These enigmatic ships, which seem to be a bad omen, are fantasized as spectral phantasms that materialize in the middle of the sea and rapidly vanish. Moreover, lost ships found adrift, left desolate in fearful and cryptic conditions, are also included in this group.

While all of these are maritime legends and often lack credibility, some of these ghost ships continue to evoke fearful anticipation and speculation. Here are some mysterious ghost ships from the maritime world that would certainly give you an eerie feeling and goose bumps.

  1. The Sam Rataulangi

This mystery of a ghost ship is a fairly new one, and one that has most probably been solved. The mystery of the Myanmar ghost ship was the Sam Rataulangi freighter PB 1600. It was found off the coast of Myanmar, empty of people and freight, in August 2018 by fishermen. Shortly thereafter, however the Myanmar Navy noticed that when bad weather struck, the freighter was on its way to being dismantled, being towed by a tugboat. The cable connecting it to the tugboat broke, so his crew abandoned the Sam Rataulangi.

2. Mummified remains found

When in 2016, Filipino fishermen boarded a seemingly abandoned boat, they were not prepared for the sight they would find: a German sailor’s mummified body. For around 20 years, Manfred Fritz Bajorat has been sailing around the world. He was last seen in 2009, but in 2015 a friend said he had heard from Bajorat on Facebook. There was no proof of foul play, so it would appear that a year was sufficient for the humid, salty air to mummify the corpse… before an autopsy showed that he was actually only dead for a week or so.

3. The Jian Seng

Some of the ghost ships are so enigmatic that they have not even a backstory. In 2006, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, an Australian Coastwatch plane noticed a ship floating 180 kilometers south-west of Weipa, Queensland. It had a broken tow rope, so getting lost could explain why it was empty while being pulled through the water. But that was what the investigators had to go ahead with. It was written on the side with the name Jian Seng, but there was nothing else to distinguish the ship.

No records of distress signals, no identification papers or belongings and no indications of a missing boat were identified by investigations. They were not even able to find out to whom it belonged or where it came from. The most they could guess is that it probably supplied fishing boats with food and fuel, but that didn’t explain why when the tow rope broke, no one tried to save it.

4. The Mary Celeste

On November 7, 1872, aboard the Mary Celeste, a captain, his wife, his two-year-old daughter, and seven crewmen set sail from New York to Italy. A month later, they were expected to arrive, but the British ship Dei Gratia caught sight of a boat drifting in the Atlantic. The crew went to the Mary Celeste to assist those on board, but found it entirely bare. The crew’s possessions and six months’ worth of food were still there, but her lifeboat was gone. The deck of the ship was surrounded by a meter of water, but it was far from being flooded or irreparable. Thanks mostly to the fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used the boat as inspiration for his short tale, J., it has become one of the most famous ghost ships in the world. The Declaration of Habakuk Jephson.

Theories on what happened vary from pirates to murder and mutiny. The most probable theory is that at first sight of shore, the captain did not know the magnitude of the damage and ordered the crew to evacuate the ship, but the world will never know for sure.

5. The Carroll A. Deering

In 1920, despite having to change captains when its original one fell ill, the Carroll A. Deering five-masted commercial schooner and its ten-man crew successfully made it to Rio de Janeiro. However on her way back to Virginia in January 1921, something odd happened. A lightship keeper in North Carolina said that a crewman who did not seem to be an officer reported that the ship had lost its anchors while the rest of the crew was suspiciously “milling about.”

The next day, near Outer Banks, another ship found Carroll A. Deering in an area that would have been a curious path for a ship on its way to Norfolk, Virginia. A shipwreck was spotted the next day but unsafe conditions held investigators away for four days. They found food spread out as if they were getting ready for a meal when they went aboard, but the personal belongings of the crew and the lifeboats were gone. The US government followed leads on pirates, mutinies, and more, but they all came to a dead end.

6. High Aim

The High Goal No. 6 fishing boat left Taiwan on October 31, 2002. Something was amiss when the Australian Navy came across the ship in January 2003. The engine was on full throttle and the main fuel tank was empty, but there were still full and unused auxiliary fuel tanks. Ten tons of bonito tuna have been kept cold, but no member of the crew has been identified. Until one crew member was identified, it was set to be one of the most enigmatic ghost ships of all time. The Indonesian fisherman was arrested and admitted that the crew had collaborated with pirates to kill the captain and principal engineer of the ship, but their motive for doing so remains a mystery.

7. A missing yacht

In 2013, with worries about severe weather conditions, the crew of the Nina yacht reached out to meteorologists, but stopped responding. Given the winds of 116 kilometers per hour and the eight-meter-high waves, it seemed clear that the ship had met its match and had never made it through the storm. If it weren’t for a cryptic letter, a fruitless search attempt would have been the end.

An undelivered text reached one of the meteorologists three weeks after everyone had heard from the crew. “Thanks to storm sails, bare poles were shredded last night,” it read, adding that the ship was still on the move. The message was taken by the family of a 19-year-old girl on the boat as a sign that she was still alive. Their private quest turned up satellite images that they thought the missing Nina could be but most experts claim it was just a big wave.

8. The MV Joyita

The merchant ship MV Joyita embarked on a two-day voyage to the South Pacific in 1955. Never will it reach its destination. The rescue team’s search yielded nothing, and it wasn’t until more than a month later that the partly sunken ship was spotted by another captain. There was no trace of any of the 25 passengers, and its doom was found “inexplicable” by an inquiry.

Dark theories have spread over the years, ranging from Soviet submariners abducting the crew to Japanese fishermen murdering everyone on board. Family members were investigating what might have gone wrong as recently as 2002, and one professor insists the most plausible explanation is that a corroded pipe leaked and f looded the boat, causing the crew to evacuate the ship. All aboard were still declared as ‘missing’ as of 2012.

9. The Kaz II

Two brothers and a skipper set off on a two-month yacht voyage across Australia in April 2007. Just three days later, with a half-empty coffee cup, an open newspaper, and knives strewn on the floor—but no one aboard—the Kaz II was discovered off the Great Barrier Reef. One of the inexperienced sailors had sunk away and the other two had drowned in their rescue attempts, a coroner suggested. But that’s only one hypothesis with no proof to back it up, so their destiny is lost in history.

10. Whaling ship Jenny

Now one of the most alarming of all could be this ghost ship. The unsubstantiated story comes from anonymous accounts of a whaling boat named Hope. As the story goes, Jenny, a schooner, absolutely frozen in ice in the Antarctic Drake Passage, came across the Hope in 1840. The crew of Jenny’s ghost ship were still on board, but they were frozen to death. “The Captain was frozen at his desk, where the last entry in an open log read: “May 4, 1823. For 71 days, no food. “I am the only one left alive.” The story of the Jenny ghost ship is most definitely a little sensationalized, at least, but does it really have a basis?

Check out my related post: Would you buy a “haunted” house?


Interesting reads:

https://yesterday.uktv.co.uk/blogs/article/4-ghost-ships-eerie-mary-celeste/

https://www.boatinternational.com/luxury-yacht-life/lifestyle/best-ghost-ship-stories–29737

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/why-north-korean-ghost-ships-grim-cargo-corpses-washing-up-japan-11418014

https://allthatsinteresting.com/creepiest-ghost-ships

https://www.rd.com/list/ghost-ships/

https://weburbanist.com/2010/06/14/real-ghost-ships-10-mysterious-abandoned-sea-vessels/

https://www.marineinsight.com/life-at-sea/top-10-mysterious-ghost-ships-and-haunted-stories-of-the-maritime-world/

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