Posts Tagged ‘crew’

As regular readers may already know, I love ships, and with it comes a love of ghost ships. So the Chilean legend of Caleuche has gone on to my list of weird and wonderful. Here’s a little tale for a Friday read.

The Caleuche is supposedly a ghost ship seen around a small island of Chiloé at night, it is claimed she appears every night. She is said to be sentient, a bright white sailing shop with three masts, she is always full of lights and the sounds of a party. She also is said to go underwater and can navigate whilst under it, similar to the flying Dutchman. Sources I found also seem to state that the ship is sentient.

In Chilote mythology the dead/drowned are brought to the ship by three siblings – Sirena Chilota, Pincoya, and their brother Pincoy. When aboard the ship the dead are able to carry on their existence there as if they were alive.

There are two types of spirits on the ship, those that drowned at sea who can enjoy the above aforementioned carry on of their lives, these spirits may also go home once a year to visit their families. Those who are more unfortunate who are kidnapped fishermen, they are used to serve the ship performing the various duties of the crew.

Another thing that is claimed is that the ship can summon a magical water horse, this horse can the  gallop upon the surface of the ocean.

The_Caleuche_Ghost_Ship

 

Stockstill: We did something to the altitude.
Loft: What?
Stockstill: We’re still at 2,000 feet, right?
Loft: Hey — what’s happening here?

Eastern Air Lines, Flight 401 is famous due to the tragic accident that occurred, 29th December 1972. The crew did not see the deactivation of the autopilot during a troubleshoot with a malfunction on the landing gear indicator system, as a result 101 people lost their lives. 77 survived but of those 2 died shortly afterwards. It was the first crash of a wide-bodied aircraft and the deadliest in the USA, as it crashed into the Florida Everglades.

Bob Loft had been with the airline for over 30 years, the flight carried 163 passengers and 13 crew. Upon reaching Miami International Airport and all looked fine until first officer Stockstill noticed the green light for the landing gear was not showing and as it was possible the gear was not all the way down so they tried again to try but aborted it when no light arrived.  They flew out around the Everglades to try and resolve the problem, so the autopilot was put on and for 80 seconds they carried on with a level flight.

When it was noticed that they had already descended below, the initial message above is the one recovered from the flight recorder later on. The plane was travelling at 227 miles an hour when it hit the ground and broke up as it slid along the swamp ground.

A hero of the crash is Rob Marquis (Bud) who was in the swamp when the plane hit. He rushed to the scene and assisted with the rescue. His efforts gave him the Humanitarian Award and the Alumitec Airboat Hero Award. In 2007 he was awarded a plaque, but sadly the injuries that he had suffered also contributed to his death in 2008 (Rest in peace hero).

The swamp that they landed in helped to save the lives of some crash survivors as it lessened the impact on the plane, and blocked up some wounds.  Eight passengers were however infected with gas gangrene and hyperbaric chambers had to be found for them to ensure they could recover.

Of the survivors 60 received serious injuries, 17 had minor injuries and did not have to be hospitalised. The most common injuries included fractures and 14 of the survivors had varied degrees of burns.

I am going to leave the crash causes etc and move on to the reason I picked this for a post. Ghosts…

The plane had some salvageable parts and Flight 401’s parts were re-used amongst Eastern’s planes.  Reports had been made on planes amongst the fleet about sightings of the crew and passengers of the flight being aboard. Sightings of Don Repo and Bob Loft were so becoming a worrying problem, the company warned staff of dismissal if they were caught spreading the ghost stories.

It is worth noting that the sightings were only on planes with the salvaged parts too. Whilst the rumours were washed away by the company it is reported that all the parts were then removed and replaced. An original floorboard remains in the archives at History Miami in South Florida. Reports have since petered out.

the crash and a mention of the ghost story is mentioned in Series 5, Episode 9 of Air Crash Investigations.

No I haven’t sneezed! It’s the name of a ship that floated around for over 30 years, and could be attributed to a ghost ship legend.

It was a steel 1,322 ton cargo steamer from 1914 that was owned y Hudson’s Bay Company and was used for trade. She was abandoned in 1931 and then seen numerous times until the last reported sighting in 1969.

1st October 1931 the ship ran into trouble when she got trapped in ice. The crew abandoned the ship and got a half-mile away to a town called Barrow. She loosened up and two days later they set off, but by October 8th she was stuck again and on the 15th the company sent aircraft to retrieve 22 of the crew. 15 stayed behind intending to wait out the winter until she freed up, and made a wooden shelter some distance away.

November came and on the 24th a powerful blizzard struck, there were no signs of the ship and the skipper determined she had broken up in the storm. A few days later however they were informed by an inuit that they had seen her, the 15 men then found her and deciding it was unlikely she would last the winter they took the most valuable furs and they were transported back by air.

She did not sink however and there were sightings of her but unfortunately each time they were either unable to get to her due to bad weather or not well enough equipped to perform a salvage operation. The last sighting was from a group of Inuit 38 years after she had been abandoned. She had been stuck fast in ice but then never seen again.

She had been boarded in March 1933 by a group of Eskimo’s who stayed there for ten days due to a freak storm. In 1969 she was last sited and then in 2006 a project was launched by the Alaskan Government to try and find her.  As of yet she remains not found.

Blog by a descendent. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.