The Flying Dutchman Ghost Ship
Doomed to Sail the Oceans Forever
|The Flying Dutchman Ghost Ship
Doomed to Sail the Oceans Forever
The Flying Dutchman is a famous tale that involves a crew that is doomed to never go home and must sail the seas forever. In 1680 the Captain swears a curse against god that he'll succeed at rounding the cape of good hope and continue trying until judgment day. The ship and their crew never return home. But they are seen again as a spectral vision.
The Flying Dutchman, according to folklore, is a ghost ship that can never go home, doomed to sail the oceans forever.
The Flying Dutchman is usually spotted from far away, sometimes glowing with ghostly light.
It is said that if hailed by another ship, its crew will try to send messages to land or to people long dead. In ocean lore, the sight of this phantom ship is a portent of doom.
Versions of the story are numerous in nautical folklore and related to medieval legends such as Captain Falkenburg, who was cursed to ply the North Sea until Judgment Day, playing dice with the Devil for his own soul.
According to some sources, the 17th century Dutch captain Bernard Fokke is the model for the captain of the ghost ship. Fokke was renowned for the speed of his trips from Holland to Java and suspected of being in league with the devil.
There have been many reported sightings in the 19th and 20th centuries. One was by Prince George of Wales (later King George V of the United Kingdom).
During his late adolescence, in 1880, with his elder brother Prince Albert Victor of Wales (sons of the future King Edward VII), he was on a three-year voyage with their tutor Dalton aboard the 4,000-tonne corvette Bacchante. Off Australia, between Melbourne and Sydney, Dalton records:
"At 4 a.m. the Flying Dutchman crossed our bows. A strange red light as of a phantom ship all aglow, in the midst of which light the masts, spars, and sails of a brig 200 yards distant stood out in strong relief as she came up on the port bow, where also the officer of the watch from the bridge clearly saw her, as did the quarterdeck midshipman, who was sent forward at once to the forecastle; but on arriving there was no vestige nor any sign whatever of any material ship was to be seen either near or right away to the horizon, the night being clear and the sea calm. Thirteen persons altogether saw her...At 10.45 a.m. the ordinary seaman who had this morning reported the Flying Dutchman fell from the foretopmast crosstrees on to the topgallant forecastle and was smashed to atoms."
The Flying Dutchman
The real Flying Dutchman.
They used this ship for the Pirates of the
Caribbean movies. Now it's dropped at the shores of Castaway cay.
Disney's own private island in the carabbean, used for there guests on
the Disney cruises.
Most versions of the Flying Dutchman say the captain swore he would continue round the Cape of Good Hope in a storm even if it took until Judgment Day.
Other versions say some crime took place on board, or the crew was infected with plague and not allowed to sail into port. Since then, the ship and its crew were doomed to sail forever.
Probably the most credible explanation is a superior mirage or Fata Morgana seen at sea.
The news soon spread through the vessel that a phantom-ship with a ghostly crew was sailing in the air over a phantom-ocean, and that it was a bad omen, and meant that not one of them should ever see land again.
The captain was told the wonderful tale, and coming on deck, he explained to the sailors that this strange appearance was caused by the reflection of some ship that was sailing on the water below this image, but at such a distance they could not see it.
There were certain conditions of the atmosphere, he said, when the sun's rays could form a perfect picture in the air of objects on the earth, like the images one sees in glass or water, but they were not generally upright, as in the case of this ship, but reversed—turned bottom upwards.
This appearance in the air is called a mirage. He told a sailor to go up to the foretop and look beyond the phantom-ship.The man obeyed, and reported that he could see on the water, below the ship in the air, one precisely like it.
Just then another ship was seen in the air, only this one was a steamship, and was bottom-upwards, as the captain had said these mirages generally appeared. Soon after, the steamship itself came in sight.
The sailors were now convinced, and never afterwards believed in phantom-ships.
Another optical effect, known as looming, occurs when rays of light are bent across different refractive indices. This could make a ship just off the horizon appear hoisted in the air.