Flying Dutchman
Flying Dutchman

There are many legends about ships without a crew, with only the dead on board. Today it is believed that the legend first appeared about 300 years ago.

Today it is believed that for the first time the legend of the "Flying Dutchman", whose captain cursed the elements of the sea and was doomed to wander the sea forever, never touching the shore, appeared almost three hundred years ago.

During this period, the legend has grown so much that it went far beyond the scope. Now there are many legends about ships that rushed through the depths of the sea without a crew, with only the dead on board.

All stories about The Flying Dutchman are based on the Dutch legend about the captain of a ship who, in a violent storm, vowed to go around the Cape of Good Hope that lay in his path at all costs, even if it took him forever. The ship's officers demanded that the captain turn back. The sailors and passengers begged for the same. However, the captain refused to change course. Instead, he ordered sails to be added. Furious waves shook the sides of the ship, a fierce wind bent the masts and tore the sails, but the captain stood his ground, challenging the Lord God himself. The crew and passengers rioted in an attempt to seize control of the ship, but the captain killed the rebel leader and threw the body overboard.

The moment the body touched the water, the clouds in the sky parted, and a ghostly figure descended on the captain's bridge. “You are a very stubborn person, but I can help you,” said the alien. The captain answered him with a choice abuse. “I didn’t ask anyone for calm weather,” he croaked. “I never asked anyone for anything, get out before I shoot you too.” But the figure did not move. Grabbing the pistol, the captain tried to fire, but the weapon exploded in his hand. The ghost spoke again. He said that the captain was now cursed: from that day on, he would sail the seas forever, unable to enter the port. His ship will always go ahead of the storm. “Bile,” said the shadow, “will be your wine, and red-hot iron will be meat! Horns will grow on the blasphemer's forehead, and his face will turn into the face of a tiger."

In a fit of recklessness, the captain cried out: “Let it! I do not care!" And for many centuries the ghost ship "The Flying Dutchman" plows the oceans, pulling all the sails, and the masts of his ship creak from the furious gusts of wind. The Flying Dutchman is always followed by a powerful storm that sinks any ship. It is said that the Flying Dutchman sometimes lures other ships onto rocks or underwater reefs. Sometimes the ghost ship is accused of suddenly spoiling all the provisions. It also happened that the looking quite harmless "Flying Dutchman" approached another ship and handed over a bundle of letters on board. As soon as the sailors opened and read at least one letter, the ship immediately went to the bottom.

Those who have seen the captain himself claim that he is standing on the bridge, clutching the steering wheel, finally repenting, and begging heaven for forgiveness. Some say that they saw his crew - these are skeletons, which, smiling, raise more and more sails.

Most likely, this legend was born in the era of great geographical discoveries, and the historical outline for it was the expedition of the Portuguese captain Vasco da Gama, who was the first of the Europeans in 1497 to be able to round the Cape of Good Hope.

Quite quickly, the legend was firmly entrenched in all European port taverns, gradually acquiring more and more details and horrors. To meet the "Flying Dutchman" on his way was considered an extremely bad sign.

The legend gained wide popularity outside the marine environment thanks to the German poet Heinrich Heine, who in 1830 used it in his work. And in 1843 the German composer Richard Wagner wrote the opera The Flying Dutchman on the same theme.

Today it is believed that the legend first appeared about three hundred years ago. During this period, the legend has grown so much that it went far beyond the original narrative. Now there are many legends about ships that rushed through the depths of the sea without a crew, with only the dead on board.

Sailboat "Marlboro"

In 1890 the sailing ship "Marlboro", loaded with frozen lamb and wool, sailed from New Zealand to the English port of Glasgow. There were twenty-three crew members and several passengers on board, one of whom was a woman. After several weeks of sailing, the ship disappeared in the area of Cape Horn. An investigation by the maritime authorities has yielded no results. The commission came to the conclusion that the cause of the death of the sailboat was the violent storms that rage in these places three hundred days a year. The sailboat was considered missing.

But twenty-three years later, "Marlboro" appeared off the coast of Tierra del Fuego. Long years of wandering did not change it at all, the ship was sailing again under full sail, as if it had just left the stocks. Everything was in its place. Only instead of people it was inhabited by skeletons in decaying rags. What happened to the ship and its crew, no one could say - the logbook was covered with moss and mold. The captain of the ship, who discovered the Marlboro, ordered his sailors to count the skeletons. It turned out that there were ten fewer of them than was listed in the crew list. Where did the rest go? Died during a storm, or died from an epidemic or poisoning?

Unfortunately, bad weather did not allow to take the ghost ship in tow and deliver it to the port. But everything that was stated in the report of the captain who discovered the "Marlboro" was confirmed under oath by witnesses of this mysterious story. Eyewitness statements were recorded by the British Admiralty. There were various rumors about the reasons for the death of the team. Some believed that the crew members perpetrated a riot on the ship, killed the captain and his assistants, and then left the sailboat in fear of what they had done - such cases were not uncommon. Others argued that the presence of a woman on board was to blame.

Since then, “Marlboro” has never been met again, and no one has been able to verify the reliability of the information provided by the captain.


The ship is the ghost of the Lemer Strait

At the beginning of the twentieth century, skirting the ill-fated Cape Horn, the sailors of an Italian merchant ship saw a three-masted barque rushing to the shore. It seemed that the ship had lost control and was on the brink of disaster. The sailors hurried to his aid. This noble deed turned into a tragedy for them. The ghost ship disappeared, and the Italian ship ran into an underwater reef and crashed. As soon as the sailors had time to transfer to the lifeboats, their ship went down. Considering this and many other reports, the Argentine government sent out a special expedition. A small warship plowed the waters in the vicinity of Cape Horn for several days and, not finding the sailboat, headed home.

All members of the commission came to the unanimous conclusion that the rumors about the mysterious barge were a hoax. But then the lookout reported that a sailing ship in distress was right ahead. Everyone rushed to the deck, and in the bright rays of the rising sun they saw the barque lurching to starboard. The boats were immediately launched, and all the members of the commission, together with the crew, went to the spotted ship. But as soon as the boats approached the barge, its silhouette disappeared, leaving only a slight haze in its place.

It turned out that the fault was the rays of the morning sun, which gave rise to a kind of optical illusion at sea. The outlines of the rocks in the reflected rays created the appearance of a brig, and the high banks that rose above them - sails. Longitudinal crevices in the mountains looked like masts from afar, and there was a complete illusion of a barge rushing under sail. This vision lasted exactly thirty minutes. As soon as the sun rose to the zenith, it disappeared.

So the legend about the ghost ship of the Lemer Strait was dispelled.

The riddle of "Rosalie" and "Sea Bird"

In 1840 the ship "Rosaly" was discovered in the Caribbean Sea. It went by the will of the waves and the wind, but not a single member of the team was on it. The version that the ship was attacked by pirates immediately disappeared: the cargo in the holds was intact. A terrible mess reigned on the sailboat - scattered things, broken dishes, and food remnants were scattered everywhere. The canary was the only living thing on board. Where and why did people disappear? This question remained unanswered.

Ten years later, the residents of Eastons Beach witnessed an extraordinary spectacle. The ship "Sea Bird" entered the port under full sail and, without stopping, crashed into the coastal shallow at full swing. To the surprise of eyewitnesses, the ship was empty! The impression was that the people left the ship a few minutes ago - there was still a warm dinner in the galley, and the cigar smoke had not disappeared in the cockpits. Searches for the missing crew have yielded no results. Scientists have put forward various versions of the death of the crew. Some researchers insisted on the version of poisoning by "sleepy fish", the meat of which contains hallucinogens.

The hallucinations caused by such poisoning are usually nightmares. Often people see an ocean enveloped in flames, they are seized by fear and an irresistible desire to leave this terrible place. In a panic, they launch boats and disappear into the vast ocean expanses.

There are more scientific explanations as well. In the mid-1930s, Academician V. Shuleikin put forward an interesting theory of the occurrence of infrasonic oscillations in the ocean during storms and strong winds. Infrasound, inaudible to the human ear, can have a powerful effect on the subconscious. Even with low-power infrasound, many people feel unreasonable anxiety, fear, they may lose consciousness, go crazy, leave the ship in panic, or simply throw themselves overboard.

Chestplate "Maria Celeste"

The American brigantine "Maria Celeste", laden with cognac, left New York in 1872 for the shores of Italy. However, she was not destined to reach it. Enough time passed to swim across the Atlantic, and the ship sank into an abyss. Two months later, sailors sailing the Atlantic sailing ship "Day Graysha" noticed an unknown brigantine sailing, and began to give her signals. There was no answer from the stranger. The strange brigantine seemed to walk by itself at the behest of the wind and waves. The sailors realized that something had happened to the wanderer's crew.

Morehouse, captain of the sailing ship "Day Graysha", ordered to catch up with the brigantine, so that in case the worst fears of the crew were confirmed, to help the ship in trouble. When the ships drew level, the senior officer of the sailing ship "Day Graysha" Divo with two sailors boarded the brigantine. According to eyewitnesses, having passed the deck and compartments, they were amazed to find that there was no one on the brigantine. The hollow emptiness gave an eerie echo in the holds, the sea breeze was merrily walking along the deck. And … not a single person anywhere - alive or dead. The rescuers shivered. Isn't the legend of The Flying Dutchman a fiction? It looked like the vanished team had fled from the brigantine in a hurry. In the sailor's quarters, disorder reigned - everywhere hastily thrown clothes, chests with belongings and other household items were scattered. Another strange detail spoke of the tragedy that had taken place - the ship's documents were nowhere to be found. Neither were the essentials: a sextant, nautical charts, navigational books. One of the lifeboats was also missing. But what extraordinary circumstance forced the crew to leave the brigantine far from the coast? It is not clear. They were able to find out only one thing - the brigantine was called "Maria Celeste". The ship at that time cost a lot of money and this circumstance decided the fate of the abandoned ship. The sailboat "Day Graysha" took him "on a trailer" and after forty days brought him to Gibraltar. The captain of the Day Greishi was confident that he would receive a decent reward for the rescued ship. Despite the fact that immediately upon arrival at the port, the police began to investigate the reasons for the disappearance of her crew, the bonus to the captain of the sailing ship "Day Graysha" was paid in the amount of twenty percent of the cost of "Maria Celeste", which made him a very wealthy person. However, the news of the mysterious find could not be kept secret, rumors spread about a new "Flying Dutchman", allegedly brought to Gibraltar, a wanderer who sailed the ocean without any command.

Despite all efforts, the investigation into the case of "Maria Celeste" has reached an impasse. However, the ship was not in port. There were some daredevils who chartered it, although notoriety went about it, and "Maria Celeste" sailed the seas for another twelve years. And yet, fate is clearly lurking in the intention to deal with the damned ship. In 1884, the Maria Celeste hit a reef off the coast of Haiti and sank, taking an unsolved mystery with it to the bottom. However, from time to time there were versions of the disappearance of the team of the unfortunate brigantine. One is more terrible than the other and all are very far from the truth. According to one of them, the team was captured by pirates. There was no confirmation of this. They talked about the plague epidemic that had suddenly broken out on the ship. But where would the plague carriers come from on a secluded ship, if none of the crew was sick when leaving the port, and in the ocean the ship did not meet with any ships before the crew escaped. At least, according to the information available to the investigation. And where did the corpses of those who died from the alleged epidemic go? Couldn't they have thrown themselves into the sea before they died? All versions were as full of mysticism and incredible as the attack of unknown sea monsters or the fall of a meteorite on the deck. But where did the Maria Celeste team go? After all, not a single corpse was found! In fact, the sailors died, or are hiding in uncharted lands under assumed names, as do people who do not get along well with the law?

Three generations have changed, but no reliable information about the missing team of the brigantine "Maria Celeste" has been found. In 1935, the English journalist M. Keating made an attempt to get to the bottom of the truth. The investigation began with a study of the archives of the investigation, but did not bring anything new. However, fate smiled at the meticulous journalist - he managed to find Pemberton, a cook from a mysterious brigantine, a deep old man who miraculously escaped. He told the story of the tragic voyage more than sixty years ago. Here is what the ship's cook told.

The fateful voyage was truly cursed. The captain of the Mary Celeste was a man named Briggs. According to the documents presented to the marine prosecutor by the shipowner, there were seventeen sailors in the crew, in fact there were only ten of them. At the same time, only the captain with his wife and his first mate Hoolok were on the list and were actually on the ship. The rest of the team did not appear on the list containing fictitious names. Thus, the list was "fake", which in itself was already a grave violation of the law. The reason for this was the fact that it was very difficult to recruit sailors for this difficult voyage, and the list of "dead souls" was submitted in advance. Until the last hour before the brigantine's departure, the recruiter walked through the port taverns, soldering to unconsciousness the hefty brutes that attracted him, dragged them onto the ship, and after sobering up, the poor fellows found themselves on board the ship already far from the coast. Three of the sailors recruited in such a brutal way were missing on the sailing ship "Day Graysha" - the sailors of this sailing ship decided to take a walk in the seaside tavern, and ended up on the damned flight of "Maria Celeste".

Not surprisingly, the unwitting "recruits" soon after leaving New York refused to obey the captain. To forestall an impending riot, Chief Officer Hulok beat one of the rebels to a pulp. Khulok was the captain's "right hand" and his faithful assistant, who doted on his "cap", which could not be said about his relationship with the captain's wife. Hoolok and the captain's wife hated each other from the very first meeting. Madame loved to strum on the ship's piano, indulging in this occupation for hours, and Holok, whose patience had run out, yelled at her. However, the captain somehow managed to hush up the quarrel, and suppress the riot. But fate is already hanging over the ill-fated brigantine. The hatred that reigned on the ship clearly angered the god of the seas.

The lull did not last long. A few days later the brigantine was overtaken by a storm. The clouds seemed heavier than lead, the sky seemed to split at the will of the angry Gods, the waves threw the boat like a splinter, flooding the deck. The ship heeled and was about to go to the bottom. The senior officer rushed to the steering wheel to save the day, but at that moment a heartbreaking cry rang out from the cabin. From the sudden and violent roll, the massive grand piano leaped from its place and crushed the captain's wife. Seeing the body of the deceased, Captain Briggs lost his composure, breaking into screams and threats. He considered the helmsman, who did not keep the steering wheel, the culprit for the death of his wife and demanded that Holok immediately hang him on the yarn. Hoolok objected. For the first time, he refused to obey the cap's order. The enraged captain threatened to hang the entire crew and set the ship on fire. A panic began on the ship, which grew into a riot. Not knowing how to escape, the entire team, led by Hulok, indulged in unrestrained drunkenness as if before the end of the world.

While there was a binge on a ship bouncing like a ball in the stormy waves, the captain unnoticed disappeared from the ship. Had one of the roaming sailors pushed him into the sea? Did he throw himself overboard in a fit of grief? Unknown. The sailors continued their drunken revelry, and in a state of insanity they killed one sailor. The death of the poor fellow sobered the maddened somewhat. Hoolock realized that a crime had been committed on the ship, and that he would have to be held accountable at the port of arrival. Considering the death of the sailor, the captain and the mutiny on the ship, he faced the death penalty. And then Hoolok decided to persuade the crew to leave the ship. Of the ten crew members, after the death of the captain's wife, the death of the sailor and the disappearance of the captain himself, seven people remained on the ship. Three of them, including Hulok, sailed from the brigantine in a rowboat. On the ship remained the cook Pemberton, who told this story to a journalist many years later, and the very three sailors from the sailing ship "Day Graysha" who got on the ship by deception. They decided to wait for salvation.

If the coca were to be believed, when the Day Graysha sailboat finally found the abandoned ship, there were still people on it. However, the captain of the rescue sailing ship Morehouse colluded with the remaining members of the Maria Celeste crew and decided to present the case as if the brigantine had been abandoned by the crew. In this case, no one will have to answer in court, and besides, for the delivery of the find, Morehouse was waiting for a bonus, which he promised to share with the four cunning ones. Otherwise, they would have had to answer before the court for the murder. At the port, Morehouse presented a report in which he frankly admitted all the details of the incident. Except for one. He hid the fact that he had met four people on board the "Maria Celeste", unwittingly letting the legend of a ghost ship wandering without a command around the world.

It would seem that the story from the mystical becomes just a criminal, and historians believed in this. However, those who sailed on the boat disappeared without a trace. Sank into the depths of the sea? Most likely. One more question remains. Where did the captain of the Maria Celeste go? After all, he was not in the boat, and in general, from the very beginning of the riot, no one saw him. In addition to the words of the cook, who could well be an impostor who wanted his name to remain in history, no one can confirm the information about the miraculous salvation of the four. Moreover, the lists of the crew members of the ghost ship were false. It is said that the ghost of the captain of the "Maria Celeste" visited the members of the new crew of the ship before the brigantine's death in 1884. And this death itself is evidence of a curse weighing on the ill-fated ship. The sailors are convinced that even now, in the most remote corners of the seas and oceans, a brigantine suddenly appeared from nowhere with the inscription "Maria Celeste" on board and a ghost at the helm. Those who see this ghost ship are in for trouble and even death.


The Paula Baer case. Unknown ship

In August 1997, the coal king Donald Dukes of New Mexico, along with his wife Susan and 19-year-old daughter Margaret, sailed on his own yacht "Paula Baer" in the Caribbean and Sargasso Seas. The yacht was built according to an individual project. In addition to a sturdy armored hull and a powerful turbine installation, it was equipped with powerful radar devices and an ultra-modern transmitter. The team consisted of 9 people, including the captain. On August 28, the yacht was located 110 kilometers north of the island of San Salvador, which is part of the Bahamas archipelago. The weather was beautiful.

As usual in the tropics, night fell instantly. The morning was also clear and cloudless. Suddenly, unexpectedly, a bright lightning flashed in the blue sky, and immediately there was a terrible clap of thunder. And instantly the weather changed dramatically. A stormy northwest wind blew out, which, in essence, made the yacht uncontrollable. With incredible speed she was driven through the waves, despite the fact that the "Paula" had a powerful engine.

Suddenly, the hurricane wind instantly died down. The motor started up as before, and the yacht returned to its previous course. And the sea was calm again, the sky was cloudless. Neither the passengers nor the crew have ever seen anything like this. It sounded like some ridiculous farce.

Then the sailor of the watch shouted into the communication tube: "Captain, all of a sudden a ship has appeared on the south-west course and is heading straight for us!" A few minutes later, everyone on the deck saw the sailboat. He moved across the yacht. “It's a strange thing,” exclaimed the captain, “such ships haven’t been built for at least 400 years! Where did he come from, from the maritime museum or what?"

Meanwhile, the sailboat at full speed rushed straight to the yacht. It was already possible to make out the people crowded on its deck and dressed in strange clothes. Those people, too, seemed to be in complete disbelief, looking at the yacht of the Americans.

And suddenly a thin column of water swirled between the ships, the strange alien disappeared, literally vanished into the air.

Everyone was shocked. Then one of the sailors, Henry Hoare, who was interested in all sorts of paranormal phenomena and had sufficient knowledge in this area, suggested that, most likely, the unknown ship "appeared from another time dimension." He returned there when he disappeared.

This point of view was later shared by the famous American physicist Francis Osborne. He believes that this case vividly confirms the well-known theory of relativity of A. Einstein. According to this theory, there are other worlds that are different in time from ours. It is there that people and various objects occasionally get.

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