Sunday, 17 May 2015

HAUNTED SHIP WRECKS


As followers or investigators of the paranormal, we are inevitably drawn to objects that we can access or see. But what of the innumerable reports of haunted shipwrecks lying from normal access beneath the salty sea?
Here are three of these wreck stories and the history - ghostly or otherwise which surrounds them.

ALKIMOS - A Haunted and Jinxed Wreck



History

A Greek-owned merchant ship which was wrecked on the coast north of Perth, Western Australia in 1963.

In March 1963, the struck a reef off the Western Australian coast. It towed to Fremantle, the port city for Perth, where it underwent repairs for two months. After settlement of a dispute concerning payment for the repairs, the Alkimos left Fremantle under tow by an ocean-going tug from Hong Kong.

Only a few hours out of port, the tow line gave way and the Alkimos was driven onto the shore. Although the ship remained intact, it could not be floated off at that time, and so it was filled with water to secure it in place and left in the charge of an on-board caretaker.
Another tug returned in January 1964 and the ship was refloated, but the planned journey to Manila had hardly begun when the tug was seized at sea by authorities and the Alkimos was left anchored. In May 1964, the vessel broke anchor and was driven onto the Eglinton Rocks near present-day Yanchep. On this occasion it was more severely damaged, and all thought of salvaging it intact was abandoned.

It was later sold by the owners for scrap. However, in 1969, salvage workers were driven off the wreck by a fire. One of the salvage workers also reported hearing ghostly noises. After that time, the partly dismantled remains of the ship sat in several metres of water, visible to visitors, but gradually disintegrating.

A Ghostly and Jinxed History

It`s alleged during it`s wartime construction in 1943 as a `liberty`ship,  that welders were sealed between hulls and their ghosts have haunted the vessel ever since.
Apparitions of a small dog were seen in the engine room during the ship's service and that a woman, working on board as a caretaker, suffered a severe fall leading her to give birth to a premature baby.
Other phenomena reported by salvage workers occupying the wreck, were allegedly footsteps heard on ladders and following workers around the vessel at night, cooking smells and noises emanating from the galley, and tools were reported to be moved by unseen hands.

There has been since an apparition of a human figure in rubber boots and oilskins (nicknamed "Henry"), who has been sighted on the wreck by various people including local cray fishermen.
The skull of Herbert Voight, a prominent long distance swimmer, was found near the wreck after he vanished in 1969, while attempting to swim between Cottesloe Beach and Rottnest Island, and the ship being bought and sold at least eight times while stranded, along with suggestions that purchasers suffered bad luck (such as bankruptcy and life-threatening illness).
A U.S Navy submariner by the name of Ted Snider was killed in a plane crash after assessing the wreck.

THE GHOSTS OF TRUK (CHUUK) LAGOON

History

During WW2, Japan utilised the circular coral reef in Micronesia as a port and airfield to help control their vast possessions scattered across the South Pacific from the Allies.

In 1944, Truk was devastated in one of the important naval attacks of the war.
After the American forces captured the Marshall Islands, they used them as a base from which to launch an early morning attack on February 17, 1944 against Truk Lagoon. Operation Hailstone (as it was named) lasted for three days, as American carrier-based planes sank twelve smaller Japanese warships (light cruisers, destroyers, and auxiliaries) and thirty-two merchant ships, while destroying 275 aircraft, mainly on the ground. The consequences of the attack made "Truk lagoon the biggest graveyard of ships in the world".

Ghostly History

In the years following WW2 the lagoon has proved popular for divers and WW2 historians as the wrecks were fully laden with aircraft and military vehicles, as well as tonnes of ammunition, supplies and other equipment.

During some of these dives, divers were startled to hear engines starting on a cargo/passenger ship, the  Fujikawa Maru including the sights of apparitions on this and other ships lying there.

One common report was the eerie sounds of truck engines on the sunken Hoki Maru ship.
This ship has a full cargo of trucks, and EVP with the sound of truck engines, “turning over and starting up” has been captured. At the time of this recording, there were no boat engines running on the surface.

Other divers have reported strange sounds coming from the shipwreck Fuji Kawamaru. They state when they have been near the engine room they have heard noises of machinery and grinding. Near this engine room is a pile of human remains.


THE TRAGEDY OF THE SS MOHEGAN



History

Mohegan sailed from Tilbury Docks at 2:30pm on 13 October 1898, under the command of the 42-year-old Captain Richard Griffith. She carried 57 passengers, 97 crew, seven cattlemen, and 1,286 tons of spirits, beer, and antimony. She arrived off Dover at 7:30 that evening, dropping her pilot. A report on the progress so far from the Assistant Engineer was probably landed at this time. A few minor leaks and electrical failures were reported but otherwise no major problems had been encountered.

Mohegan then reached her maximum speed as she sailed down the English Channel bound for New York. She kept close to the coast as she passed Cornwall, but took the wrong bearing. This was noticed by some of the officers and crew. They had noticed that the Eddystone Lighthouse was too far away and the coast too close. She neared the entrance of Falmouth Harbour and turned towards the entrance of the Helford River and on down The Lizard coast without slowing from 13 knots. This was noticed by the Coverack coastguard, which attempted to signal to her with warning rockets. The Mohegan either was unaware or took no notice, and maintained her course. James Hill, coxwain of the Porthoustock lifeboat saw the ship, lights ablaze, heading at full speed towards the Manacle Rocks. With a cry of 'She's coming right in!' he called his crew.

 He was unable to avert disaster and the ship tore into the rocks. The ship rolled and sank 12 minutes later, with the loss of 106 lives. Captain Griffith, Assistant Engineer William Kinley and all of the officers went down with the ship. Only her funnel and four masts remained above water. The Porthoustock lifeboat Charlotte was launched in 30 minutes and rescued most of the survivors from the wreck and the water; 44 persons were saved.

Ghostly History

Since the disaster, the shipwreck is rumoured to be haunted.

Divers over the years who have visited the wreck report `electric shocks`when they have touched the wreck, and strange sounds which were described as being outside the normal sounds or noises you would hear under water.

Research & Story: Chris Halton


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