Honestly, not everything is true and accurate and if they are, chances of exaggerations and embellishment can’t be understated. Estelle found newspaper articles in the British Newspaper Archive with tellings of the story as early as 1940. Details of the ship’s existence, the vessel’s construction and history remain unknown. The second and third articles were about the experiences of the accident’s sole survivor of the Ourang Medan crew. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. The information contained included the ship’s route, tonnage, engine power, and, of course, its illicit cargo. However, she goes on to argue he tried to sell the story to the papers in 1940, but due to the war didn’t receive the notoriety he was looking for. Not exactly the most cheerful message to receive in the middle of the ocean. It may not be as famous as the other ghost ships to have sailed the high seas but it’s every bit a terrifying ordeal. Explore the universe and the unexplained. [indistinguishable] …I die.”. While this is a compelling theory, evidence like Bainton’s German booklet indicate that at least some truth may lie in the story of the SS Ourang Medan. When all is said and done, one thing remains certain, that whatever the truth is behind this miserable tragedy, it remains one of the most astonishing and downright scary maritime enigmas of this century. The sources are yet to be documented. Asphyxiation due to methane gas occurs when methane gas displaces the surrounding oxygen until there isn’t enough for us to properly function. Their evidence is the evident lack of natural cause, the odd, contorted expressions of the crew, and the unnatural chill felt by the rescue party. That is, the legend of the S.S. Ourang Medan. They were “I die.” Then, nothing more. admin. Monsters (92) Mysteries (138) Mysterious Places (43) Sky Monsters (4) Underwater Monsters (67) Theory number four is that the Ourang Medan was an unregistered smuggling ship and that's why we've never been able to find it in any registry. That is what’s known as infinity. The enduring mystery of the of SS Ourang Medan who’s crew sent a terrifying SOS message before all being found dead with their faces frozen in horror – fact or fiction? There exists hot debate amongst believers and skeptics about accounts of these natures. However, the location of the encounter is approximated at around 400nautical miles southeast of the Marshall Islands. The story in this case comes from an officer of the rescuing ship, but once again hails from Trieste. 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. Eventually, Bainton came across a German booklet written by a man named Otto Mielke which just so happened to have too much information about the Ourang Medan to be a coincidence. Consequently, a legend comes into existence. The distress signal said: “All … It was a morse code message saying: "All crew and captain dead, … Bainton, like many other curious minds, began with shipping records from the years surrounding the supposed sinking. For instance, in the first article, the name of the ship that found the Ourang Medanis is not mentioned. While most of these tales originate from centuries ago, at least we have a recent one that we can relate. Many ships ran on coal at the time, producing large amounts of carbon monoxide. Mielke wrote that the ship was secretly carrying smuggled nerve gas from the Japanese scientific faction Unit 731. . In June of 1947, the Dutch freighter ship Ourang Medan sent a series of ominous distress messages from a position 400 nautical miles south-east of the Marshall Islands. Another theory comes from author Vincent Gaddis. There were allegations that it was carrying nerve gas which Japanese military had been storing in China during the war, which was given to U.S military after the war. Ghost ships are one thing, however, mystery of a ship with its entire crew dead onboard causes gossip churns like an undercurrent. Before perishing he managed to narrate to the missionary about the details of the ship. There were also rumors that the crew were somehow pointing the unknown enemy’s direction. “SOS from Ourang Medan…we float. All officers including the Captain, dead in chartroom and on the bridge. Beg ships with shortwave wireless get touch doctor. Just as we could have expected, the mystery of the SS Ourang Medan led to development of several theories which include: Unsecured hazardous goods cargo: There are hypothesis that Ourang Medan was smuggling chemical substances or wartime stocks of nerve agents. The story of the Ourang Medan has, to some degree, become a legend. You must be logged in to post a comment. Answering these calls, the first rescue ship arriving to the struggling SS Ourang Medan came upon a confusing scene, they attempted to hail the “Ghost ship” their calls failed to get a response, so a boarding party was then organised. They were secretly shipped from the country to another that ended up leaking onto the ship. Some believe that methane bubbles could have suddenly escaped from a fissure on the seafloor and poisoned the sailors. This lead to evacuation of Dutch freighter thus preventing further investigations. SS Ourang Medan on emaze On February 1948 a distress signal was sent from a Dutch ship that was located in between the shores of Sumatra and Malaysia that two American ships as well as a British and a Dutch post picked up. The Ourang Medan then exploded and sunk. Sometimes there’s an explanation…but in this case there’s not. The Silver Star’s crew moved throughout the ship, becoming more concerned at each moment. SS Ourang Medan. This was based on the absence of natural cause of death and the evident terrified expressions on faces of the deceased. Ultimately, if anyone has information on what really happened to the SS Ourang Medan and her crew, then they should come out and talk about it. Well, since time immemorial, maritime history has and is still full of tales of ghost ships and sea serpents. The SS Ourang Medan was a supposed ghost ship which, according to various sources, became a shipwreck in Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia) in the Straits of Malacca waters, or elsewhere, after its entire crew had died under suspicious circumstances, either in 1940, 1947 or 1948, depending on the newspaper source. SS Ourang Medan - Ghost Ship 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. Whichever you believe, it’s certainly been aptly dubbed a ghost ship by its followers. From his story, the Ourang Medan was sailing from an unnamed small Chinese port to Costa Rica and deliberately avoided the authorities. Though there are significant differences, the story was very related to the later version. They claimed to experience an “extreme chill” when moving below decks, despite the fact that it was a 110℉ day. 20 Mystery Facts of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Mystery has its own mysteries, and there are gods above gods. An original publication regarding the fate of the Ourang Medan first cited the date of June 1947 and claimed the events took place around the Marshall Islands. Such a malfunction would cause carbon monoxide to be released, and silently asphyxiate the crew and result in the ultimate explosion of the ship as the fire spread and reached flashover. Estelle theorizes that Silvio Scherli did in fact share the story with newspapers. The escaping carbon monoxide could be the cause of the deaths leading to vessel’s destruction. The Straits of Malacca, Malaysia–Sometime between June 1947 and February 1948, the American Merchant ship, the Silver Star, received a distress signal from the SS Ourang Medan. There were no signs of injuries on the frozen bodies as they laid facing the sun. (7) There has been clear evidences that the crews of this ship have to face extremely, though the exact cause of suffering was never explored. The Silver Star was closer than its companion ship and hurried to the ship’s aid. This version had a whole backstory with the Ourang Medan as a penal transport vessel with an enslaved crew. Sometimes there’s an explanation... and sometimes not. Supposedly the first mention of the story in English was 1952. The eerie description of the crew is missing, the ship is a steamship not a freighter, and the location has changed once again, this time to the Solomon Islands. Arguably the most disturbing of all these legends is the shocking case of the SS Ourang Medan. Allegedly, the ship sent out a distress call, it went something like this: "All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Many people have tried to solve the mystery of what happened aboard the SS Ourang Medan. One popular theory is that posited by author and historian Roy Bainton. The message was divided into two parts separated by Morse code that has never been deciphered. Over 80 books, close to 2 billion copies sold worldwide, and one . There were speculations that the ship could have been attacked by paranormal forces before their deaths. Disregard medical consultation. There’s no doubt that methane is dangerous, however this doesn’t account for all of the details provided by the crew of the Silver Star. Don't miss out on the latest from Historically Strange! The pair have cited many entities from sea wraiths to ghost pirates. The theory for the crew death of the S.S. Ourang Medan states the experiments and biological weapons of Unit 731. Illegal smuggling of chemical substances. The ship’s accident has appeared in various books and magazines mainly on Forteana. Most of us will be familiar with the story of the Jamestown settlement, be it the factual or fictional version, from history classes and movies . Although we generally stick to verifiable history on I […] Probably whole of crew dead…. In June 1947, a freighter called SS Ourang Medan was sailing past Malacca, Malaysia, when it sent a distress signal out. (However, don’t forget there could have been a coverup). According to widely circulated reports, in June of 1947 — or, according to alternate accounts, February of 1948 — multiple ships traversing the trade routes of the straits of Malacca, which is located on the sun-drenched shores of Sumatra and Malaysia, claimed to have picked up a series of SOS distress signals. Professor Theodor Siersdorfer of Essen in Germany has spent much of the last 50 years researching the story of the Ourang Medan. The turret that finds itself in the bow of the freighter is the same one that knocked down the B-29 when it was going to rescue the already affected soldiers of the same maritime vehicle. What is the SS Ourang Medan? Once there, a game of telephone ensued. According to this theory, the act of the radio operator to sense and say he is going to die is suspicious as there was no evidence of sensible reasons. Failure to detect malfunction in the ship’s boiler could have led to the shipwreck. Possibly whole crew dead." However, depending on which report is accurate, it’s either in June 1947 or late February 1948 when a curious radio message was received by numerous ships traveling along the Straits of Malacca, situated around Sumatra and Malaysia. Conspiracy Theories According to this man, the ship was carrying a badly stowed cargo of sulphuric acid. The rescue ship was eventually renamed, and no connecting paper trail exists between the SS Ourang Medan and the Silver Star, or any of its other names. Several theories have been produced over the years ranging from plausible to imaginative. The details of the Dutch ship SS Ourang Medan are murky at best, but the generally accepted story is that sometime around 1947 or 1948, two American ships picked up the above distress call from the nearby SS Ourang Medan and rushed to find a ghost ship awaited them. He tried again later, this time embellishing the story; the papers accepted the story as we know it today. 20 Mystery Facts about the Skinwalker Ranch. It suddenly ran into mysterious problems and sent a horrifying distress call to nearby ships. Additionally, though methane is highly flammable, the crew of the Silver Star claimed they saw smoke coming from the cargo hold and had time to evacuate; the explosion from igniting the gas should have been immediate. Additionally, there are varying accounts as to whether the Silver Star was still called the Silver Star at this point in time. De acordo com estas teorias, a água do mar teria entrado pelo porão do navio , reagindo com a carga para liberar gases tóxicos, que, em seguida, levaram o grupo a sucumbir à asfixia ou envenenamento. Efforts to get any official registration of accident investigation recorded have been futile. The crew member explained the ship had been carrying an illicit load of sulphuric acid and the fumes killed everyone, but is this really all there was to it? Obviously all of the above was horrible, but with the arms race against the Soviets about to kick into high gear, the US secretly granted immunity to the group in exchange for their research. Gaddis believed that an unobserved fire or failure in the ship’s boiler system might have been responsible. The story is roughly the same as the later ones, with some key differences. Search for: Categories. He stated that upon the occurrence of the accident, the poisonous fumes from the broken containers were the main cause of most of the crew. The saltwater would then further react with the nitroglycerin to create the deafening explosion the crew of the Silver Star witnessed. It’s the unknown that draws people. If Bainton is correct in stating the Ourang Medan was carrying such a cargo, it would be a direct breach of the Geneva Protocol, something no country would want to own up to, and certainly not something they’d bother keeping extensive records of. terms and conditions, disclaimer, & privacy policy, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window). The Silver Star crew then plunged into rescue mission only to find the ship littered with corpses including a dog’s carcass sprawled on their backs. A boarding party was sent across to investigate, and sure enough the message was true. In the late 1940s, the SS Ourang Medan, a Dutch freighter, sent out a distress signal seeking rescue. A U.S. ship couldn’t transport it as it would leave a paper trail. Perhaps the most fear-provoking theory proffered by those who believe that the demise of the Dutch freighter was explicable by natural means is that the crew of the Ourang Medan was asphyxiated by clouds of noxious methane that gurgled up from a fissure on the sea floor and poisoned the sailors before eventually engulfing the ship. This is the strange and chilling tale of a Dutch freighter ship, the Ourang Medan, which sent out a SOS distress signal in June of 1947 while crossing the Straits of Malacca between Sumatra and Malaysia. On a chilly morning of February 1948, a number of ships near the coasts of Indonesia received a … Another theory is that some methane bubbles had risen from the seabed and was released into the air around the Ourang Medan, and was like an 'overdose' to the crew, which once again had no connection to the terrified faces. Our final theory isn’t exactly a theory about what happened, but rather what didn’t. After the end of World War II, smuggling was extremely popular. The unknown ship’s message was as simple as it was disturbing: “All officers including captain are dead, lying in chartroom and bridge. Existe a hipótese de que o Ourang Medan poderia ter sido envolvido em operações de contrabando de substâncias químicas, tais como uma combinação de cianeto de potássio e nitroglicerina. Just as we could have expected, the mystery of the SS Ourang Medan led to development of several theories which include: There are hypothesis that Ourang Medan was smuggling chemical substances or wartime stocks of nerve agents. All officers including the captain dead in chartroom and on the bridge. Over six decades and it still remains a mystery. The story of the Ourang Medan has, to some degree, become a legend. Ourang Medan Explained The SS Ourang Medan was a supposed ghost ship which, according to various sources, became a shipwreck in Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia) waters, or elsewhere, after its entire crew had died under suspicious circumstances, either in 1940, 1947 or 1948, depending on the newspaper source. “Time is the best killer” – Agatha Christie You’ve probably heard of her. We have ours, they have theirs. . Enter your email address to receive notifications about new posts via email. This theory/legend is not as popular as the others I've covered so far but is very mysterious and ranks high on my list of favourites. In the Dutch-Indonesian newspaper De locomotief : Samarangsch handels- en advertentie-blad three articles were published about the sinking of the Ouran Medan (03 February 1948, 28 February 1948, 13 March 1948).. The SS Ourang Medan was found with the entire crew dead with faces frozen in fear. In the Sept-Jours version, the Ourang Medan was found in November 1939, by an American destroyer, not by the Silver Star — which makes sense, as the Silver Star Park had not yet been launched. The details of the Dutch ship SS Ourang Medan are murky at best, but the generally accepted story is that sometime around 1947 or 1948, two American ships picked up the above distress call from the nearby SS Ourang Medan and rushed to find a ghost ship awaited them. It observes that those events never took place. (6) The dead body of the communication officer of SS Ourang Medan was observed to be sitting on his Duty chair, with no signs of life in his body. That’s the mysterious tragedy on the S.S Ourang Medan. If you Google “Ourang Medan” you’ll get about 165,000 returns, almost all of which outline the 70-year-old mystery of a ship that may or may not have existed. The story supposedly made its way to the public through a chain of people. It’s the unknown that draws people. Unfortunately, the sole survivor who was an unnamed German died shortly after narrating his story to the missionary. The biggest difference is the message. The SS Ourang Medan was a ghost ship which was reportedly a shipwreck in Dutch East Indies waters. It suddenly ran into mysterious problems and sent a horrifying distress call to nearby ships. In the 1940 version it reads “SOS from the steamship Ourang Medan. It suddenly ran into mysterious problems and sent a horrifying distress call to nearby ships. Welcome to Beyond Science! SS Ourang Medan, The Death Ship In Feburary, 1948, eight ships in the Malacca straight came to a stand still, as they listened to a distress call coming from the SS Ourang Medan, a dutch freighter. When the party reached the communications room, the comms officer was found sitting at his post with his finger still resting on the telegraph operator. The crew of the SS Ourang Medan was discovered dead, chillingly with their mouths and eyes still wide open. Probably whole of crew dead * * *.” A few confused dots and dashes later two words came through clearly. The man told his story to a missionary who in turn told a native of Trieste, Silvio Scherli, who then gave the story to the papers. They conducted horrifying experiments on humans, including women and infants, such as exposing them to sub-zero temps and forcing them to endure vivisection. Oddly, the crew of the Silver Star could see no visible damage to the ship when they arrived. Up to date, the big question is whether the mysterious tragedy on the S.S. Ourang Medan really occurred or it’s just a legend. 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. The SS Ourang Medan was a supposed ghost ship which, according to various sources, became a shipwreck in Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia) in the Straits of Malacca waters, or elsewhere, after its entire crew had died under suspicious circumstances, either in 1940, 1947 or 1948, depending on the newspaper source. Other members crew also killed. One theory about the cause of the crew's death is that the Ourang Medan was carrying chemicals, which could have released gases that lead the crew to suffocate. However, other accounts claim it was actually February 1948 and the ship was in Indonesian waters in the Straits of Malacca. Some who’ve looked into the fate of the ghost ship have taken the paranormal moniker literally. It’s reported to have fell under distress in 1947 when a pair of American vessels got a distress message from the Medan. T We have ours, they have theirs. Post navigation. These substances, such as nitroglycerin and potassium cyanide, could have reacted with seawater in the event of a breach to form poisonous gas. The SS Ourang Medan. A Dutch freighter, SS Ourang Medan, sent shivers down the spine of the rescue crew that landed on it after they were alerted of its peculiar behavior in 1948. Beyond this, there is little to no record of a ship called the SS Ourang Medan. The Morse code message stated “S.O.S from Ourang Medan *** we float. The SS Ourang Medan was a Dutch ship that was passing through the Strait of Malacca, sometime between June of 1940 and 1948. Records on the Ourang Medan aren’t the easiest to find, which could certainly suggest a cover-up. Another, simpler, theory suggests a more natural cause for the death of the crew. Somehow one man had escaped the gruesome fate of his shipmates and swam to an island. Drug smuggling; Back in that time it wasn't unusual for drug smuggling. Thus, killing its crew and causing the final explosion that sunk the S.S. Ourang Medan. Additionally, the crew had no visible wounds, which has led many to believe something paranormal was involved. This is due to lack of official records of SS Ourang Medan in either Lloyd’s Shipping register, Dutch authorities or in the dictionary of disasters at sea 1824-1962. Personally I find it hard to believe that *everyone* was in a space small enough for this to happen. Siersdorfer was the first to mention the names of the American ships that originally went in pursuit of the Ourang Medan and refers anyone interested in their own research to a German booklet written in 1954. Explore the unknown. However, this long held belief was actually refuted by historian and ameatuer sleuth Estelle. The story’s first appeared in a series of three articles in the Dutch-Indonesian newspaper in February 3, 1948, February 28, 1948 and March 13, 1948 respectively. Unit 731 was colloquially referred to as the “den of cannibals”; a bit of a misnomer considering the group’s one and only purpose was to create deadly chemical and biological weapons, not eat people. . Authors Robert V. Hulse and Frank Edwards wrote that they believe something supernatural may have been involved in the deaths of the Ourang Medan’s crew. I think I found the origin of the Ourang Medan story, and it looks like a hoax. Shiro Ishii founded the group in 1932 and nobody was exempt from his cruelty. Bainton speculated that the US may have wanted to transport their samples using a ship of a lesser, unassuming country (sorry to the Netherlands!). Thereafter, a fire broke out in the ship’s cargo number 4 cargo hold. S01E05 - The Curse of the Ourang Medan - In 1947, a ship was found drifting in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It details that the man was found by a missionary and natives in the Marshall Islands. . This is the last but not the least theory about the whole story. This led to it being carried via non-registered ship for transport to U.S or Island in the Pacific. The SS Ourang Medan Fact or Fiction? By this time, the Geneva Protocol to the Hague Conventions had banned the use and production of chemical and biological weapons. The SS Ourang Medan was a Dutch ship that was passing through the Strait of Malacca sometime between June of 1940 and 1948. SS Ourang Medan. SOS urgent assistance warship.” Finally, the series of messages was ended by the words “crew has…”. Mystery has its own mysteries, and there are gods above gods. The first mention of the SS Ourang Medan and all its suddenly dead crew was in a periodical published by the United States Coast Guard. The captain of the Silver Star was naturally disturbed and had just resolved to tow the ship to shore when smoke began pouring from the cargo hold. Ourang Medan, shouting and sending ... One far out theory — ghosts. By the time they caught up with the vessel, what they found was beyond belief, if not beyond description. Just as the boarding party returned to the safety of the Silver Star, the Ourang Medan exploded and sank into the ocean, taking the bodies of her crew with. The SS Ourang Medan was a Dutch ship that was passing through the Strait of Malacca sometime between June of 1940 and 1948. Urgent.” A second message followed saying “Probable second officer dead. This time, the name of the Silver Star was closer than its companion ship and hurried to missionary. “ all … SS Ourang Medan was a Dutch ship that was passing the. Crew death of the Silver Star was still called the SS Ourang Medan story, the series messages. 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