One day while we were off the coast of NC doing some grouper/snapper fishing, the bite suddenly fell off and everything disappeared off the scope, shit went silent. everyone’s rods bend over at the same time, we all have something enormous on our lines. after about 15 minutes of slowly bringing our lines up, we all have 15+ft long bull sharks on. they were completely calm, no thrashing or anything. the creepy part was right below them in the water was a wall of bull sharks, had to be hundreds of them. just swimming in circles. we dehook them and they slowly swim back with the giant school. we left.
My dad was a merchant sailor. He has seen and done some shit. Some things he still won’t even tell me.
Apparently there was this crew once (probably more than once) that included this crazy fucking guy that slept with a hatchet, who was one room over from my dad, and also a guy who everyone hated. One day, they woke up, and the guy everyone hated was missing. There was some blood around one of the portholes.
The way my dad puts it “you can’t fit a grown man through one of those portholes whole…I’ve tried”
We are treasure-divers from Key West and we were out fishing late night/early morning . Everyone that has spent time on the water knows the “witching hour” on the sea is about 2:AM to 5:30. It was about 5:AM and with the sun coming up, and the water gin clear we could see our chumming was bringing some interesting critters to the surface. Some big sharks cruised by, and different things too but suddenly one of the guys screamed out, ” LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THIS MANTA RAY ON THE PORT SIDE!
At the same time, another guy said, ” Wait, I can see him on starboard side too… and he is wider than the boat!! He was too, over 18-20 Feet wide and he lazily cruised under us and circled back again and again. The sea has many secrets and she hasn’t given up many of them despite what people and scientists claim. We know more about the moon than we do the deepest oceans and our seas. Recently a friend told me she met people in the Southwest that claim extra-terrestrials live in the deep ocean and have been there for a long time. They claim they’re safe there because humans can’t live and survive in the deepest oceans…
I worked for a nonprofit that relied on big donations from very wealthy donors. This meant cultivating relationships with some very wealthy people.
One of the donors I was tasked with shepherding (let’s call him D) invited me out for a weekend yachting off of / around / near Catalina. I was excited–my partner gets seasick, so we never did boat trips even though we lived near the coast. Our first night out was beautiful, and we’re all lounging on the deck of this gorgeous yacht talking about eerie ocean stuff. D mentions that he has this thin, inflatable roll-out panel that he tethers to the boat and lets float out in the water, with 100′ or so of rope, that people can use as a sort of swimming platform.
We get the idea that we should unfurl this thing into the darkness and experience the freakiness of it at night. I was equal parts frightened and curious, as was everyone else, so a group of four of us did it while two people stayed on the boat. We get the thing out, slide it into the water, check the rope, and push off. It’s pretty instantly terrifying–you can see the dim lights on the boat, but after about 40′ it seems really, really far away–but it was undeniably awesome, too. We’re chatting quietly to ourselves, but mostly we’re being quiet and just taking in the weird mix of fear and awe of being so close to the water in the middle of the night.
We get to the point where the tether gets taut and you can immediately feel the current tugging us away from the big boat. Which, again, freaky but we’re confidently tied to the big boat. It’s hard to see much of anything other than a few lights on Catalina (we’re on the ocean side, not the bay side, even though we’re not far from shore). I lie back flat on the platform and everyone else does the same. The water wasn’t rough but it was moving, so you get rocked in random directions, splashes of water that lip up over the edge and get everyone wet. It was nice.
All of a sudden the feeling of the waves (kind of random and choppy) transitions to a very smooth swell, which makes us all gasp–we’re rising, rising, rising, quickly but smoothly, and everyone jolts upright. There’s virtually no light from the moon, but it’s enough for us to notice the gigantic fucking thing just under the surface of the water from us. As soon as we notice it it’s already passing, and it sets in that it must be a massive, massive whale moving right below us, maybe a foot or two down, and we’re feeling the water displacement from it. No one makes a fucking peep.
I immediately grab the tether and start pulling us in. Others start to help. No one makes a sound until we get back to the big boat, which no one leaves for the rest of the trip. It’s all we talk about for the next 24 hours. Needless to say I now have a healthy fear of the ocean, especially at night. People are tiny, ocean is big.
Well, it’s not the ocean, but apparently this also happens in the sea. My friend’s brother works as fire fighter in Korea, but he used to work as diving instructor. Near end of his college years, one of the jobs he took was diver – as in someone who dives to retrieve the bodies of drown people. While he didn’t get a lot of cases, I remember him telling me this one story about his experience.
On this particular day, he was diving in a river after it flooded due to typhoon. They had report of a drowned person, and they were searching for the body. After an hour of searching, his colleague informed that he found a body, and few divers went to retrieve it. The water was murky, but you could still make out figures in the water. When the divers were close to retrieving the body, the search party leader told everyone to surface.
Back on the ship, he explained that this body shouldn’t be touched because unlike normal bodies that float on water, this one was “standing” in middle of water. Apparently, in Asian cultures, grim reapers can’t cross over water, so people who drown must replace their spot with another person in order to pass on to afterlife, and the “standing” corpses are the ones that are looking for people to replace their spots. Also, these spots with “standing” corpses are more likely to have underwater whirlpools or currents that can trap people easily. They marked the spot and checked it every day, and retrieved the body after 3 days when it floated on top of the water.
In June of 1947, multiple ships traversing the trade routes of Malacca, which is located between Sumatra and Malaysia, claimed to have picked up a series of SOS distress signals. The unknown ship’s message was as simple as it was disturbing: “All officers including captain are dead, lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” This communication was followed by a burst of indecipherable Morse code, then a final, grim message: “I die.” This cryptic proclamation was followed by tomb-like silence.
The crews that received the message were able to triangulate the source of these broadcasts and deduced that they were likely emanating from a Dutch freighter known as the SS Ourang Medan. A merchant ship known as the Silver Star was closest to the presumed location of the Ourang Medan – 400 nautical miles south-east of the Marshall Islands. Within hours, the Silver Star caught sight of the Ourang Medan rising and falling in the choppy waters of the Malacca Strait.
As the merchant craft neared the ill-omened vessel, the crew noticed that there was no sign of life on the deck. The men on the Silver Star began to call out and motion to the Ourang Medan. There was no response. The Captain of the Silver Star assembled a boarding party. The brave men boarded the ship and made a grizzly discovery.
The decks of the vessel were littered with the corpses of the Dutch crew; their eyes wide, their arms grasping at unseen assailants, their faces twisted into revolting visages of agony and horror. Even the ship’s dog was dead; it’s once intimidating snarl frozen into a ghastly grimace. The boarding party found the Captain’s remains on the bridge, while his officers’ cadavers were strewn about the wheelhouse and chartroom. The communications officer was still at his post, as dead as the rest, his fingertips resting on the telegraph. All of the corpses, according to reports, bore the same terrified, wide-eyed expressions as the crew on deck.
The temperature outside was 110°F, but the search party reported feeling a cold chill in the nadir of the hold. The Captain of the Silver Star decided that they would tether themselves to the Ourang Medan and tow it back to port, but as soon as the crew attached the tow line to the Dutch ship they noticed ominous billows of smoke pouring up from the Number 4 hold. The boarding party scarcely had a chance to cut the towline and make it back to the Silver Star before the Ourang Medan exploded with such tremendous force that it lifted itself from the water and swiftly sank. The crew watched the Dutch vessel disappear beneath the briny depths.
So what exactly happened? Theories have ranged from pirates to the paranormal. The most widely believed claim is that sea water could have entered the ship’s hold, reacting with the perilous cargo to release poisonous gases, which then caused the crew to suffocate. At this point the onrushing salt water might have reacted with the nitroglycerin, creating the explosive effect that was said to cause the ship’s ultimate demise.
The fact that there are no registration records for the Ourang Medan remains a troublesome detail. There have been many claims that records may have been eradicated by a savvy group of governmental conspirators due to the nature of the ships mission. Nobody knows what happened to the SS Ourang Medan except for the crew who now rest at the bottom of the ocean.
As I have said in previous posts, I work at sea. Last month we came into dry dock to carry out refit and repairs. Dry dock is when a ship is brought into a lock, the gates closed and all the water pumped out, leaving the ship high and dry ‘on the blocks’, thus allowing repairs/inspections etc.. of the underside of the hull.
Next to us was an old Military frigate being broken down for scrap. She had arrived about two weeks prior to us. Once the Frigate was on the blocks and dry, all of the crew left the old girl to her fate. A sad sight but that’s how these things go. Once all the sensitive stuff had been removed, the dock workers were free to go on.
The dock foreman, ‘John’ went on board first with a camera to take pictures of work areas. He took a couple of hundred all in all. This was one of them. He later sent all of the pics to his boss, who upon seeing this one, called John straight away asking “Who is the guy with the axe at the edge of the camera flash?” John had no idea. He never saw anyone. The area where this picture was taken was in a cross alley way, deep inside the ship. He was going around with a torch and a camera.
When he’d go to take a picture, he would turn off the torch (leaving him in total darkness) snap the shot, turn the torch back on and be on his way. Due to the fact that it was a military vessel the police were called. A search was carried out but no one was found. There was one way on and off the ship, and that was by a gangway covered by CCTV. (You couldn’t jump over the side as it was a 25 meter drop on to concrete).
No one was seen to leave the ship after John had taken this. I am a sceptic. Maybe its a trick of the flash reflecting off something, but if you really zoom in you can just make out the fuckers face, ear, collar of his jacket and the fucking axe in a meaty fucking fist. Now it could be John blowing smoke up my ass, but when he was telling the story he seemed genuinely rattled. And the guy in the pic looks nothing any of the other workers we met at the dock.
If someone who is handy with cleaning up pictures, I’d be really interested to see what you can pull out of it. And before anyone asks, I’m not going to name the ship or even where she is, as I’m not sure if I’m supposed to have a picture of the innards of a military vessel. This gave me serious goosebumps. Needless to say, I did not go on board for a look.
Some posts have been edited for clarity.
Photo by Cristian Palmer on Unsplash