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Literary Openings, Gadgets and News in Nigeria | Duketundesblog: SATURDAY DIGEST: World's greatest unsolved mysteries (Day 5)

Saturday, 8 August 2015

SATURDAY DIGEST: World's greatest unsolved mysteries (Day 5)

SS Ourang Medan(The Ghost Ship)

According to Wikipedia The SS Ourang Medan was a ghost ship which, according to various sources, became a shipwreck in Indonesian waters after its entire crew had died under suspicious circumstances. Skepticism exists about the truthfulness of the story, suggesting that the ship may have never actually existed, but has become something of a legend, But there have been several accounts from reports of an SOS message in 1947 that mentioned the captain, along with the rest of the crew, was dead. What’s worse, even the telegrapher died during the transmission of the message.

The earliest known English reference to the ship and the incident is in the May 1952 issue of the Proceedings of the Merchant Marine Council, published by the United States Coast Guard. The word Ourang (also written Orang) is Malay or Indonesian for "man" or "person", whereas Medan is the largest city on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, giving an approximate translation of "Man from Medan". Accounts of the ship's accident have appeared in various books and magazines, mainly on Forteana. Their factual accuracy and even the ship's existence, however, are unconfirmed, and details of the vessel's construction and history, if any, remain unknown. Searches for official registration and/or accident investigation records have proven unsuccessful. Search through Lloyd's Shipping register also yielded no clue.
The S.S Ourang Medan. The story's first appearance was a series of three articles in the Dutch-Indonesian newspaper De locomotief: Samarangsch handels- en adver

The story's first appearance was a series of three articles in the Dutch-Indonesian newspaper De locomotief: Samarangsch handels- en advertentie-blad (February 3, 1948, February 28, 1948, and March 13, 1948 ). Although the story is mostly the same as the later versions, there are significant differences. The name of the ship that found the Ourang Medan is never mentioned, but the location of the encounter is described as 400 nautical miles south-east of the Marshall Islands. The second and third article describe the experiences of the sole survivor of the Ourang Medan crew, who was found by a missionary and natives on Toangi (sic) atoll in the Marshall islands. The man, before perishing, tells the missionary that the ship was carrying a badly stowed cargo of sulphuric acid, and that most of the crew perished because of the poisonous fumes escaping from broken containers. According to the story, the Ourang Medan was sailing from an unnamed small Chinese port to Costa Rica, and deliberately avoiding the authorities. The survivor, an unnamed German, died after telling his story to the missionary, who told the story to the author, Silvio Scherli of Trieste, Italy. The Dutch newspaper concludes with a disclaimer: This is the last part of our story about the mystery of the Ourang Medan. We must repeat that we don't have any other data on this "mystery of the sea". Nor can we answer the many unanswered questions in the story. It may seem obvious that this is a thrilling romance of the sea. On the other hand, the author, Silvio Scherli, assures us of the authenticity of the story. Silvio Scherli is said to have produced a report on Trieste "Export Trade" on September 28, 1959.

Reference: @wikipedia

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