Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Flying Dutchman

The best know ghost ship is The Flying Dutchman.Brought again to prominent attention with the Pirates of The Carribbean movies.There are several versions of the story,from a curse to a horrible crime to a plague. This is the one I like best.

The legend of The Flying Dutchman is said to have started in 1641 when a Dutch ship sank off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope:
Captain van der Decken was pleased. The trip to the Far East had been highly successful and at last, they were on their way home to Holland. As the ship approached the tip of Africa, the captain thought that he should make a suggestion to his employers, the Dutch East India Company, to start a settlement at the Cape on the tip of Africa.An ideal spot to provide a welcome stop for ships at sea.,he thought.

He was so deep in thought that he failed to notice the dark clouds looming. Only when he heard the lookout scream out in terror, did he realize that they had sailed straight into a fierce storm.The lookout had been blown down plunging to death on the deck.

The captain and his crew battled for hours to get out of the storm and at one stage it looked like they would make it. Then they heard a sickening crunch - the ship had hit treacherous rocks and began to sink. As the ship plunged downwards, Captain VandeDecken knew that death was approaching. He was not ready to die and screamed out a curse: "I WILL round this Cape even if I have to keep sailing until doomsday!"

So, even today whenever a storm brews off the Cape of Good Hope, if you look into the eye of the storm, you will be able to see the ship and its captain - The Flying Dutchman. can never go
home, but must sail the sea forever. If she is stopped by another ship at sea, her crew of the
dead will try to send messages to people ashore (who are long since dead).From afar, the Flying
Dutchman is usually described as having a glowing ghost light to it.

Don't look too carefully, for the old folk claim that whoever sights the ship will die a terrible death.

Many people in varied locations have seen The Dutchman.including a German submarine crew during World War 11

.The most well known sighting recorded is on July 11,1881.
The Royal Navy ship, the Bacchante was rounding the tip of Africa, when they were confronted with the sight of The Flying Dutchman. The midshipman, a prince who later became King George V, recorded that the lookout man and the officer of the watch had seen the Flying Dutchman and he used these words to describe the ship:

"A strange red light as of a phantom ship all aglow, in the midst of which light the mast, spars and sails of a brig 200 yards distant stood out in strong relief."

It's pity that the lookout saw the Flying Dutchman, for soon after on the same trip, he accidentally fell from a mast and died. Fortunately for the English royal family, the young midshipman survived the curse.

This is not part of the story but I found it so erie in relation that wanted to add it.
Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained :: Ghosts and Phantoms

The HMS Eurydice, a 26-gun frigate that capsized and sank in Sandown Bay during a blizzard in 1878, is a famous phantom vessel that has been sighted by sailors over the years. On October 17, 1998, Prince Edward of England (1964– ) and the film crew for the television series "Crown and Country" saw the three-masted ship off the Isle of Wight and managed to capture its image on film.


TexasTesla said...

What, no link to the picture of the ghost ship from 1998? That would be too cool.

Anonymous said...

Very intriguing. Thanks for sharing this story. I'm gonna have to go find out some more...

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