Now we’ve all heard of ghost stories in Central New York dealing with the Oriskany Battlefield, and some of the haunted houses throughout the region. Have you ever heard of a ghost ship? Have you ever heard of the SS Ourang Medan? It’s a pretty creepy story if you have a minute.

Let’s take a trip back to February of 1948. A 200-inch telescope was installed at Mount Palomar. Man is able to take a better look into the heavens. But here on Earth, in the Ocean, a great mystery will be born. In February, 1948, distress calls were picked up by numerous ships near Indonesia, from the Dutch freighter SS Ourang Medan. Two American vessels navigating the City of Baltimore and the Silver Star, among others, picked up these bleak distress messages.

The chilling message was, “All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” This message was followed by indecipherable Morse code then one final grisly message… “I die.””

When the Silver Star crew located and boarded the apparently undamaged Ourang Medan in a rescue attempt, the ship was found littered with corpses (including the carcass of a dog) in what appeared to be terrified postures, with no survivors and no visible signs of injuries on the dead bodies.

When nearing the bodies in the boiler room, the rescue crew felt a chill, though the temperature was near 110°F. The decision was made to tow the ship back to port, but before they could get underway, smoke began rolling up from the hull. The rescue crew left the ship and barely had time to cut the tow lines before the Ourang Medan exploded and sank.”

To this day, the exact fate of the Ourang Medan and her crew remains a mystery. Some speculate that the crew might have been attacked by UFOs or other paranormal forces.


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