All rights reserved. In the late 1940s, the SS Ourang Medan, a Dutch freighter, sent out a distress signal seeking rescue. NBC News/Youtube. Later, the sea water would have reacted with the nitroglycerin, causing the reported fire and explosion.[2]. They got off the distressed ship just in time to watch it explode and sink beneath the waves. The story still appears to originate with Silvio Scherli in Trieste. ... Other theories behind the death of the crews include aliens and pirates. Check out the CIA Document by clicking here. This would also explain the deaths of the crew and since methane is a quite volatile and reactive gas if it were to reach the boiler room, it would be likely to cause an explosion that would explain the untimely explosion of the Medan. Again, there were differences in the story. Theories: The most obvious explanation is that Cabot’s fleet was lost at sea. The presence of the CIA letter along with the involvement of Dutch and British listening posts all point to the existence of the Medan and due to that, I think that this is a true theory and not just a made-up legend. Could you help out and Suggest a Topic for a Future Blog Post? 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 … This would … Many people have tried to solve the mystery of what happened aboard the SS Ourang Medan. Soon after, Ourang Medan was observed to explode and sink. THEORIES. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This theory states that some unnatural ghostly forces must have taken over the ship and killed everyone on board causing their frightened expressions. An effort was made to bring the SS Ourang Medan back to port, but before it could be transported, the ship exploded and sunk underwater. All officers including the captain, dead in chartroom and on the bridge. Theories run the gamut, from the S.S. Ourang Medan simply being a strange, urban legend of a ghost ship all the way to conspiracy theories like it was carrying a top secret chemical weapon (which explains why the incident was not reported on until years later). While some are the believers of these legends & mysterious stories, there is yet another camp that does not believe in these tales. Fatal Mishap. Many skeptics believe that the ship didn’t exist at all and that this whole legend is just an imaginary story but according to me there are too many supporting facts present for this to be possible. 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. Suggestions that the Ourang Medan had ties to Unit 731 is the most detailed theory about the Ourang Medan. [10], According to the story, at some point of time in or around June 1947[2] (Gaddis and others list the approximate date as early February 1948[11][12]), two American vessels navigating the Straits of Malacca, the City of Baltimore and the Silver Star, among others passing by, picked up several distress messages from the nearby Dutch merchant ship Ourang Medan. [8] The story is mostly the same as the later versions, but with significant differences. It suddenly ran into mysterious problems and sent a horrifying distress call to nearby ships. 24 The SS Valencia. 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. Top 10 Mystery Secrets of the S.S. Ourang Medan. Welcome to Beyond Science! Nothing satisfies our spooky cravings like the tr agic tale of a shipwreck, pieces of stories and rumors floating amidst memory and imagination like bits of wood and timber drifting aimlessly until they sink or are washed ashore. [11], Several authors note their inability to find any mention of the case in Lloyd's Shipping Register. Remember that this incident reportedly happened soon after WW2 so that hypothesis is seemingly plausible given its time and place in history. from Ourang Medan * * * We float. Another theory put forward for the mass deaths onboard the Ourang Medan is carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a malfunction in the ship’s boiler system. This version had a whole backstory with the Ourang Medan as a penal transport vessel with an enslaved crew. This was a unit in Japan known for gruesome chemical experiments on Prisoners of war without mercy. Welcome to Beyond Science! 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. [2], One English reference to the ship and the incident is in May 1952 issue of the Proceedings of the Merchant Marine Council, published by the United States Coast Guard. Dutch newspapers from the 1940s have told the story of a ship receiving a distress call from another peculiar ship named Ourang Medan while they were at sea. Why don’t you start the discussion? You may have heard the mystery of the Ourang Medan ghost ship - in 1947 (or 1948, accounts vary) distress SOS's were sent by a ship called the Ourang Medan … Other than that, I personally love the theory that it was ghosts as it fits the whole theory perfectly because ghost ships with actual ghosts would make for an amazing story. Your email address will not be published. The vessel which had picked up the call for help – the S.S. Silver Star – arrived at the Ourang Medan and some of the crew had time to board her. The crew of The Silver Star then proceeded to board the Medan only to be greeted by the horrific sight of the whole crew being dead with no signs of damage or a fight. [3] No survivors were located and no visible signs of injuries on the dead bodies were observed. Everyone on board the vessel had suddenly died, from the captain all the way to the ship’s dog. The mystery of SS Ourang Medan remains largely unsolved up until this day. The name, by the way, is in Indonesian: ourang means man and Medan is the name of the capital city of the North Sumatra province; so it translates roughly to "Man from Medan". The SS Ourang Medan was a Dutch cargo ship that sent out a distress call, but by the time help arrived the entire crew were dead with their eyes open, staring ahead with a look of incredible horror on their faces. 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. S01E05 - The Curse of the Ourang Medan - In 1947, a ship was found drifting in the middle of the Indian Ocean. 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. Check out the CIA Document by clicking. This theory just fits the best and covers a lot of aspects of this mystery with a decent explanation. Some believe that the Ourang Medan was transporting a top-secret chemical weapon. In the late 1940s, the SS Ourang Medan, a Dutch freighter, sent out a distress signal seeking rescue. Another theory posed that the ghost ship carried chemical agents, possibly nitroglycerin. Then, after that chilling message, there was nothing more heard of. And the lone survivor in the lifeboat landed in Fiji, not … It may seem obvious that this is a thrilling romance of the sea. The Ship Never Existed. I’ve merged 2 theories here due to them both being somewhat similar, pirates or aliens. The theory for the crew death of the S.S. Ourang Medan states the experiments and biological weapons of Unit 731. Some mistakes must’ve taken place causing the gas to leak and leading to the deaths of the whole crew. [11][12] Just as the ship was to be prepared for a tow by the Silver Star to a nearby port, a fire then suddenly broke out in the ship's No. Soon after, the Ourang Medan was witnessed exploding before finally sinking. The ship was not found on any official listings or registry and all traces of it seemed to have been hidden which is quite a strange thing to happen after a shipwreck of such calibre. The tense climate caused by WWII lends … Furthering this, theorists believe that the ship was carrying cargo from “Unit 731′” of Japan. No U.S. ship could transport it as it would leave a paper trail. In short, Unit 731 was a unit in the Imperial Japanese Army that researched and developed biological and chemical warfare during World War ll. Required fields are marked *. Everyone on board the vessel had suddenly died, from the captain … One theory was made that the Ourang Medan had been transporting nerve gas. Basically … ... Other theories behind the death of the crews include aliens and pirates. Your email address will not be published. [2][13] A radio operator aboard the troubled vessel sent the following message in Morse code: "S.O.S. 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,[6] February 28, 1948,[7] and March 13, 1948). Thanks a lot for taking out the time to read my post and I hope you enjoyed it! These events themselves are very strange but there were also some things that followed leading to more suspicion around the Ourang Medan. Some hypothesize that Ourang Medan might have been involved in smuggling operations of chemicals, such as a combination of potassium cyanide and nitroglycerine and or … 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. It suddenly ran into mysterious problems and sent a horrifying distress call to nearby ships. [1], The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan, "The Myth of the Ourang Medan Ghost Ship, 1940", Readings in policy and practice for international business, Edwin F. Wigglesworth, T. Ashwell, 1959, An in-depth look at the 75+ Year Old Legend of The SS Ourang Medan, Shipwrecks and maritime incidents in 1947, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ourang_Medan&oldid=999575343, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The ship is briefly mentioned in the 2016 film, This page was last edited on 10 January 2021, at 22:01. In short, Unit 731 was a unit in the Imperial Japanese Army that researched and developed biological and chemical warfare during World War ll. A few confused dots and dashes (of Morse code) later, two words came through clearly. Explore the unknown. Thus, killing its crew and causing the final explosion that sunk the S.S. Ourang Medan. 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 … No comments yet. But there was little the Star’s sailors could do, and they were forced to beat a hasty retreat when the Ourang Medan caught fire. Bainton and others have put forward the possibility that accounts of, among others, the date, location, names of the ships involved, and circumstances of the accident might have been inaccurate or exaggerated, or that the story might be completely fictitious. "[8], Silvio Scherli is said to have produced a report on Trieste "Export Trade" on September 28, 1959. This is associated with this theory as paranormal activities are said to lower the temperature of an area quite rapidly and sharply. The Japanese might have been making the confidential shipments over in China so no paper trail followed any U.S. attempts. The mystery of SS Ourang Medan remains largely unsolved up until this day. Dutch newspapers from the 1940s have told the story of a ship receiving a distress call from another peculiar ship named Ourang Medan while they were at sea. The tragedy of SS Ourang Medan crew remains a mystery and has become an urban legend among Indonesian sailors. For any future post suggestions or comments please feel free to contact me on any of our social media pages or leave a comment below! 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. Officially, it appears as that the ship never existed, although the … The second and third articles describe the experiences of the sole survivor of the Ourang Medan crew, who was found by an Italian missionary and natives on Taongi Atoll in the Marshall Islands. As she was about to be towed to land the ship exploded, and sank to a watery grave – refusing to give up any answers as to what happened on her salty decks. /. The letter (linked at the end of the article) was from a member of the CIA to an unknown individual stating that the Ourang Medan and its mysterious events may hold the key to many secrets of the unknown and that it was supposedly dealing with “something unknown”. We must repeat that we don't have any other data on this 'mystery of the sea'. Accounts of the ship's accident have appeared in various books and magazines, mainly on Forteana. Some conspiracy theories sound absurd and ridiculous, but maybe that is exactly what makes them so real, the disbelief that something like this could have happen. The SS Ourang Medan was a Dutch ship that was passing through the Strait of Malacca sometime between June of 1940 and 1948. Explore the universe and the unexplained. Gaddis puts forward the theory that an undetected smouldering fire or malfunction in the ship's boiler system might have been responsible for the shipwreck. The SS Valencia was a small iron-hulled passenger steamer that set sail from San Francisco to Seattle in late January 1906. This was proven to be false because when records were checked, it was discovered that at the time of this incident The Silver Star was owned by a different company and went by the name, “The Santa Juana” which was a registered ship. Across the globe, innumerable stories of ghost ships and ships with ill-omen are popular among the sailors. The final theory is the most spooky and one that has to be present for a ghost ship legend, ghosts. Some researchers have speculated that if the Ourang Medan was a genuine ship it likely hailed from Sumatra, which at the time was a colony of the Netherlands in what was referred to as a the Dutch East Indies. With the aliens theory, the mysterious deaths could be explained but there are no real supporting facts to this and it seems too far fetched to be true. The SS Ourang Medan was a Dutch cargo ship that sent out a distress call, but by the time help arrived the entire crew were dead with their eyes open, staring ahead with a look of incredible horror on their faces. [11][14], Bainton and others hypothesize that Ourang Medan might have been involved in smuggling operations of chemical substances such as a combination of potassium cyanide and nitroglycerin or even wartime stocks of nerve agents. The Japanese might have been making the confidential shipments over in China so no paper trail followed any U.S. attempts. The vessel which had picked up the call for help – the S.S. Silver Star – arrived at the Ourang Medan and some of the crew had time to board her. It leaked and killed the crew. Carbon monoxide is a odorless toxic gas that can kill if too much is inhaled. They were "I die." It’s believed the Ourang Medan was transporting a top secret chemical weapon. Quite similar to the first theory, there is another theory which claims that a large bubble of methane gas trapped underwater must have burst under the ship. According to these theories, sea water would have entered the ship's hold, reacting with the cargo to release toxic gases, which then caused the crew to succumb to asphyxia and/or poisoning. Several theories have been produced over the years ranging from plausible to imaginative. This theory says that an undetected, smoldering fire or a malfunction in the … Later, the sea water would have reacted with the nitrog… Another theory is that the ship was transporting nerve gas which the Japanese military had been storing in China during the war, and which was handed over to the U.S. military at the end of the war. NBC News/Youtube. Copyright 2021 — The Conspiracy Legend Blog. Several theories have been produced over the years ranging from plausible to imaginative. 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