Where Have Ghost Ships Been Found?
The same term is also used to describe derelict ships found adrift with their entire crew either missing or dead, such as the Mary Celeste or the Baychimo and the crew have eerie expressions and there is no sign of foul play.
It may sometimes also be used to refer to ships which have been decommissioned but not yet scrapped, such as the Clemenceau.
Folklore, legends, and mythology
* Undated: The Caleuche is a mythical ghost ship which, according to local folklore and Chilota mythology, sails the seas around Chiloé Island, Chile, at night.
* 1748: The Lady Lovibond is said to have been deliberately wrecked on Goodwin Sands on 13 February and to reappear off the Kent coast every fifty years.
* 1795 onwards: The Flying Dutchman, a ship manned by a captain condemned to eternally sail the seas, has long been the principal ghost ship legend among mariners and has inspired several works.
* 1858 onwards: The Eliza Battle, a paddle steamer that burned in 1858 on the Tombigbee River in Alabama, is purported to reappear, fully aflame, on cold and windy winter nights to foretell of impending disaster.
* 1775: The Octavius, an English trading ship returning from China, was supposedly found drifting off the coast of Greenland. The captain's log showed that the ship had attempted the Northwest Passage, which had never been successfully traversed. The ship and the bodies of her frozen crew apparently completed the passage after drifting amongst the pack ice for 13 years.
* 1840: The schooner Jenny was supposedly discovered after spending 17 years frozen in an ice-barrier of the Drake Passage. Found by Captain Brighton of the whaler Hope, it had been locked in the ice since 1823, the last port of call having been Lima, Peru. The bodies of the seven people aboard, including one woman and a dog, preserved by the Antarctic cold, were buried at sea by the crew of the Hope, and Brighton passed the account on to the Admiralty in London. The Jenny is commemorated by the Jenny Buttress, a feature on King George Island near Melville Peak, named by the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee in 1960.
* 1880: The ship Seabird, under the command of John Husham, grounded itself at Easton's Beach, Rhode Island. She had been returning from a voyage to Honduras and was expected in Newport that day. The ship was apparently abandoned in sight of land and drifted off course. The only living thing found on the ship was a dog.
* 1947: The Ourang Medan is said to have been found adrift off Indonesia with all of its crew dead. The boarding party found the entire crew "frozen, teeth baring, gaping at the sun." Before the ship could be towed to a home port, it exploded and sank.
* 1872: The Mary Celeste, perhaps the most historically famous derelict, was found abandoned between Portugal (mainland) and Portugal's Azores archipelago. It was devoid of all crew, but largely intact and under sail, heading toward the Strait of Gibraltar. While Arthur Conan Doyle's story "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement" based on this ship added some strange phenomena to the tale (such as that the tea found in the mess hall was still hot), the fact remained that the last log entry was 11 days prior to the discovery of the ship.
* 1884: The Resolven was found abandoned between Baccalieu Island and Catalina, Newfoundland and Labrador, with her lifeboat missing. Other than a broken yard, she had suffered minimal damage. A large iceberg was sighted nearby. It has been claimed that none of the seven crew members or four passengers were accustomed to northern waters and it was suggested that they panicked when the ship was damaged by ice, launched the lifeboat, and swamped, though no bodies were found. Three years later, Resolven was wrecked while returning to Newfoundland from Nova Scotia with a load of lumber.
* 1917: Zebrina, a sailing barge, departed Falmouth, England, with a cargo of Swansea coal bound for Saint-Brieuc, France. Two days later she was discovered aground on Rozel Point, south of Cherbourg, without damage except for some disarrangement of her rigging, but with her crew missing.
* 1921: The Carroll A. Deering, a five-masted cargo schooner, was found stranded on a beach on Diamond Shoals, North Carolina. The ship's final voyage had been the subject of much debate and controversy (see main article), and was investigated by six departments of the US government, largely because it was one of dozens of ships that sank or went missing within a relatively short period of time. While paranormal explanations have been advanced, the theories of mutiny or piracy are considered much more likely.
* 1931: The Baychimo was abandoned in the Arctic Ocean when it became trapped in pack ice and was thought doomed to sink, but remained afloat and was sighted numerous times over the next 38 years without ever being salvaged.
* 1933: A lifeboat from the 1906 wreck of the passenger steamship SS Valencia off the southwest coast of Vancouver Island was found floating in the area in remarkably good condition 27 years after the sinking. Sailors have also reported seeing the ship itself in the area in the years following the sinking, often as an apparition that followed down the coast.
* 1955: The MV Joyita was discovered abandoned in the Pacific. A subsequent inquiry found the vessel was in a poor state of repair, but determined the fate of passengers and crew to be "inexplicable on the evidence submitted at the inquiry".
* 1969: The Teignmouth Electron was found adrift and unoccupied in the Atlantic. Investigation led to the conclusion that its sole crewmember, Donald Crowhurst, had suffered a psychiatric breakdown while competing in a solo around-the-world race and committed suicide by jumping overboard.
* 2003: The High Aim 6 was found drifting in Australian waters, 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) east of Rowley Shoals, with its crew missing.
* 2006: The tanker Jian Seng was found off the coast of Weipa, Queensland Australia in March. Its origin or owner could not be determined and it was scuttled in April.
* 2006: In August the "Bel Amica" (which is one "L" short of the modern Italian spelling of "Good Friend") was discovered off the coast of Sardinia. The Coast Guard crew that discovered the ship found half eaten Egyptian meals, French maps of North African seas, and a flag of Luxembourg on board.
* 2007: A 12-metre catamaran, the Kaz II, was discovered unmanned off the coast of Queensland, northeast Australia in April. The yacht, which had left Airlie Beach on Sunday 15 April, was spotted about 80 nautical miles (150 km) off Townsville, near the outer Great Barrier Reef on the following Wednesday. When boarded on Friday, the engine was running, a laptop was running, the radio and GPS were working and a meal was set to eat, but the three-man crew were not on board. All the sails were up but one was badly shredded, while three life jackets and survival equipment, including an emergency beacon, were found on board. A search for the crew was abandoned on Sunday 22nd as it was considered unlikely that anyone could have survived for that period of time.
* 2008: The abandoned 50 ton Taiwanese fishing vessel Tai Ching 21 was found drifting near Kiribati on 9 November. The ship had suffered a fire several days previously, and its lifeboat and three life rafts were missing. No mayday call was received, and the ship had last been heard from on 28 October. A search of 21,000 square miles (54,000 square km) of the Pacific Ocean north of Fiji by a US Air Force C-130 Hercules and a New Zealand Air Force P-3 Orion found no trace of the Taiwanese captain or crew (18 Chinese, 6 Indonesians, and 4 Filipinos).
* 2012: The Ryō Un Maru, a Japanese fishing vessel swept away by the March 2011 tsunami was found floating adrift towards Canada, no crew believed to be on board. The vessel was sunk on 4 April 2012 by the US Coast Guard.