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Episode 131: Sea of Change


While the ocean represents opportunity and hope, it also holds more mystery than most feel comfortable with. Yes, we’ve explored it in search of new lands and discoveries, but we’ve also lost much in the process. Amazingly though, some things that are lost...occasionally return.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
They call it the wild coast. It's a stretch of land on the eastern side of Africa, starting around the coastal city of Durban and any nine hundred miles later and Cape Town, and as far as long as you Seven sailing their there has been tragedy. They call it the wild coast because of the frequency of shipwrecks that have taken place over the years, Acento Alberto in one thousand five hundred and ninety three, the good hope in one thousand six hundred and eighty five and the bond
sure a year after that, even today, ships occasionally fall victim to the rocky coast and stormy waves, like the greek cruise liners, the which, which down in August of nineteen ninety one one. Thankfully there were no casualties, but one ship wasn't so lucky the S S. Moratorium was also a passenger liner, built and launched in nineteen o eight measured over five hundred feet long with the weight of ten thousand tonnes. It was a big ship and as a passenger liner, it was designed to hold a lot of people in relative luxury on its fateful journey. There were over two hundred past injures on board, as well as dozens of crew members who served them and operated the ship in July of nineteen o nine, the war or to approach the southern Tipp of Africa after a long journey from Australia, and it came within sight of the wild coast It made a routine stop at Durban and then continued south with a new destination of Cape town, but a store
caused ocean swells is highest sixty feet and in conditions like that view, ships stand a chance. somewhere on the way to keep down the water disappeared. There were no survivors ships vanish, it's one of the risks they
humans accepted when they began to venture out into the dark mysterious waters that separated them from the undiscovered. Because if we are honest, there are simply too many opportunities for tragedy on the open water and sadly, some ships don't make it home. But if you read enough of the stories about lost ocean liners and missing, schooners you'll start a notice, an exception to the rule. Yes, sometimes ships vanish from sight, but every now and then the unthinkable happens. They return, AIM Erin Monkey and this is lore.
our love affair with the sea is thousands of years old. All you have to do is red the histories and mythology of ancient cultures and you'll notice, right away just how central the open water was to their world view Homers odyssey written around the eighth century BC tells the tale of Odysseus and his decade travels around the ancient world, and he does much of that travel by sea, countless other ancient. lorries are connected to the ocean is well four hundred years after homer, the greek historian Herodotus recorded the Egyptians hail of a Pharaoh named Nikko. The second who had lived in ruled two centuries earlier, go was said to have assembled an expedition that left Egypt through the Red Sea and the northeastern corner and then slowly circumnavigate in Africa. They arrived at the mouth of the Nile three years later,
but sailing wasn't a new thing even back, then most historians think that humans, first job into small sailing ships, similar to catamaran all the way back in three thousand b c began their migration from the island of Taiwan and slowly said, the South and EAST, a thousand years later they were firmly established in what is now Indonesia and soon after that, they spread as far as Vanuatu in Fiji, by the tenth century. They had reached more remote places of the Pacific like Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island, and so even made it all the way to the West Coast of South America. Now I believe in what is now Chile, four thousand years of expansion giving birth to dozens of culture in all of it. Thanks to sailing.
Of course it wasn't always about migration. For many cultures, the ocean represented the unknown, and each of them had a deep desire to go out to explore and discover and learn, oh and to get rich, of course, because nothing kick starts in new industry like the price, nice of massive wealth does it, but as more and more ships set sail for uncharted, Lance or even simply became part of growing naval fleets and merchant routes, the odds that tragedy could strike begin rise. Most of what we know today about ancient seafaring cultures was born from that tragedy to in the form of shipwrecks, and every year it seems Older and older rex are being discovered. Just last year, inactive or of two thousand eighteen researchers announced the oldest. Yet a two thousand four hundred year old, greek merchant vessel. That was discovered at the bottom of the black sea. It so
preserve that researchers were able to recognise its design from images painted on ancient wine jars, which is crazy to think about. But of course the shipwreck is real, and that means we can learn so much more about it than a wine jar could ever have taught us shipwrecks were. Tragic necessity in an age when humanity was spreading out and taking risks so much so that shipping companies just sort of assumed they would lose some of their ships in the course of doing business, and that, of course, help give rise to commercial insurance or companies could hedge their best. and avoid going bankrupt when random chance got in the way of the bottom line in and in many local sailors and ship owners would gather in a coffee house owned by a man named Edward Lloyd by the late sixteen eighties he had so many customers who were connected to the shipping industry. Betty posted daily shipping news to keep them informed but, as CAFE also became VP
to buy insurance for ships and even when all of those insurance underwriters left the cafe and set up shop on their own. They remembered his info. whence by naming their group after him today it still around and known as Lloyds of London. So many ships have sung to the bottom of the ocean over the past few thousand years that we ve even created stories about them stories that hinted our regrets and longing at the loss we suffered through and the deepest desire of our hearts, namely that those long lost vessels one day return. They even have a name go. Ships and folklore is filled with them. One example is a schooner known as the young teaser. It was active
during the war of one thousand eight hundred and twelve and worked as a privateer. A government approved pirate ship in an effort to torment and hamper the british ships off the coast of Nova Scotia, and things went according to plan for awhile until June of one thousand eight hundred and thirteen. That is, after an encounter with a british naval vessel, the crew of the young teaser found themselves trapped in Mahone Bay on the eastern coast of Nova. Scotia fearing that his capture might lead to execution. One of the crewmen was said to have ignited the powder magazine below deck. The resulting explode. Left thirty men dead and the ship nearly destroyed, while the survivors were all captured and thrown in prison by the British But it also begin a new chapter in the ship story. Over the past two centuries, stories have been whispered about a flaming. That has appeared in Mohune Bay locals refer to it as teaser light, and even though many sceptics have pointed out
The sightings could be nothing more than the reflection of the full moon on the water. It hasn't stop folks from hoping for the alternative. Another go ship found in folklore is also the most famous the flying Dutchman. As far as early modern go ships go. The Dutchman is one of the oldest most likely dating back to the late. Sixteen hundreds All of the siting seem to repeat the same frightening details to a mysterious ship spotted off in the distance, wind with an eerie, luminescence and devoid of all human life. But these stories are all just legends yarn, that's been spun on the wheel of fantasy, sometimes stitching together. Real events in people, but never fully. True and folklore is full of stories about ghosts for a very good reason. We like to think that, however dangerous the seas might be at against all odds.
those lost ships might somehow come back. Amazingly, though, life has managed to imitate art over the last few centuries, some law ships have pulled off the impossible, and in doing so, they put themselves into a whole new category, real ships that were once thought to be lost. Only to return to the land of the living. They ve been expecting its arrival in Newport Rhode Island, but it never sailed into the harbour. The S view see. Bird was a merchant ship that had departed weeks earlier from Honduras were made regular trips, the ship's captain, John Hugson, knew the right well and shouldn't have had any trouble, but it's never safe to assume is
When the ship was later found on near by Eastern Beach, it was clear it had experienced trouble and when those who discovered it stepped on board, they entered into a mysterious seen coffee was boiling on the stove in the galley. A pair of pets were walking on the deck, but other than that the ship was completely and utterly empty. No crew were on board most people think the captain hucks them in the others must have exiting the vessel, while it was still a way off from shore. The missing lifeboat seem to confirm that idea and with a bit more time to investigate, there's a good chance. The authorities might have solved riddle, but a week later, they travelled back to the beach only to discover the ship was gone and it was never seen again A century later in eighteen, eighty four another merchant ship was found drifting through the Atlantic. The s be resumed. Even with cited just outside of Catalina Harbour on the EAST coast of Newfoundland, like the sea birds
Solving was also missing its lifeboat and had been completely abandoned. Any sign of damage was broken yard that horizontal beam at the top of the mass that the sales hanging from the ship that on the resolve and was the h m s Mallard, and they did their best to put the pieces together. They'd cited a tall iceberg in the region and assumed the resolve and had come a bit too close to it, which would explain the damage. But it wasn't enough to justify abandoning ship. Which struck them as odd, even more mysterious, where the signs of normal life inside the ship, all of the lanterns, were still lit and below deck. The stove in the galley was hot, with fire still burning in sight,
it and most mysterious of all was the ship's log which contain records of all the activities on board. The most recent item on the page had been written down just six hours prior to the mallard arrival. But if we're going to talk about actual ships that have turned up empty, we simply cannot ignore one particular story, because it's quite possibly the one that to reduce the idea of go ships to american culture, giving us our own version of those old world legends. the Amazon was built in eighteen. Sixty burst sliding into the water at the shipyard owned and operated by Joshua. Do us up in Nova Scotia, it was a wooden brigantine to masted sailing ship and it was of an size measuring just shy of one hundred feet long, but life didn't start out smooth for the Amazon. on the ships Maiden voyage, which began in June of eighteen sixty one the captain became ill before they can even begin to transport their cargo.
the Atlantic. The Amazon was forced to return to its home port, where the captain died. A few days later, the next captain didn't fair any better. You're the supervision of John Parker, the Amazon had a number of accidents, including crashing into a brig in the english channel. Somehow, though, the ship survive, when Captain William Thomson took over command in eighteen, sixty three the ushered in a period of peace for the ship and it travelled all over reforming the duties it had been designed to do, but for years later, in October, of eighteen, sixty seven an ill wind blew the Amazon off course. Where ran aground on Cape Breton Island at the northern Tipp of Nova Scotia, the extensive damage led the crew to abandoned In four days later, the wreckage was hauled off by a salvager, but the Amazon wasn't finnish, just yet after being sold to a local business.
Men and restored to ceiling condition. It was moved to New York City, where I became part of a merchant fleet owned by a man named James Winchester, oh, and they changed the ship's name too No longer would it be called the Amazon. Instead, it would be the merry Celeste. The first job for the newly restored ship was to carry a cargo of over seventeen hundred barrels of denatured alcohol. A type of ethanol- that's been coloured in May, toxic to discourage consumption. The ship owners brought on a man named Benjamin Briggs is Captain and allowed him to hire a crew of seven experience sailors, and then they began to plan the route to Genoa on the north western coast in ITALY, Captain Briggs was so confident in his ship and crew that he brought his wife, Sarah, along as well as his son, Arthur and daughter Sophia, together with the crew. they all settled into the merry Celeste and left ports on November seventh of eighteen. Seventy two. It was the last time any of them were seen alive
A week later on November fifteenth another ship left, the same harbour in New York City Grata was. Captain by a man named David Moorhouse and depending on the sources you accept as reliable. He was a casual acquaintance of Benjamin bricks. Their destination was Gibraltar located at the southern Tipp of Spain, where the Mediterranean Sea me the Atlantic, and it was around the place them on roughly the same line as the merry Celeste among later on December. Fourth Degrasse, I was off the coast of Portugal when someone spotted a ship about six miles away as they drew closer to it, everyone could make out the name on its turn. It. the merry Celeste from a distance. They noticed a few key details. The sails were in poor condition, some of the deck hatches were wide open and the lifeboat was missing. Moorhouse ordered two of his crew to row over and investigate. If on the interior
Cabins to be wet and disorderly as if a storm had blown through and Captain Brig sword was discovered beneath a bed. The ship's compass was damaged in the cargo. Hold was filled with about three feet of water. It was chaos and disorder, but not entirely while the whole had taken on water. All of the valuable cargo. Was still on board ruling out pirates and the ships kitchen was needs an orderly too, with no signs that anyone rushed out unprepared after searching the whole ship. Nothing else alarming could be found. The crew and passengers had simply vanished, In the end, Moorhouse decided to bring the ship with him to Gibraltar, where he might be able to earn a portion of it salvage price. It took another week, but eventually the merry Celeste arrived in port. Bringing its mysterious journey to an end.
but at least one abandoned ship in the past managed to evade capture entirely it slipped from their grasp and drifted. Leaving its owners wondering if they would ever see it again and in We saw it Everyone involved a valuable lesson. The only thing more mysterious than a ghost ship is one that keeps coming back When comes to abandon ships. Few have drifted into the minds of sailors like the story of the S s, but It was a thirteen hundred tonnes steamer built in nineteen fourteen for many years. It served in the merchant fleet of the Hudson Bay Company, but that's not where it started out.
It seems the GMO had actually been a german vessel for its first few months in the water running the trade route between Germany and Sweden, where the company that operated it was located. But when World WAR one ended, part of Germany's reparation agreements included making demands for the loss of ships suffered by other countries and the bitch Emma was given to the United Kingdom. It was there in western Scotland that the Hudson Bay Company took ownership and because the GMO is equipped with a powerful steam engine and ethics, steel huh It was assigned a route between Scotland and Northern Canada where were picked up animal pelts in exchange for goods that were, available to the Inuit communities who live there. it wasn't always uneasy trip, though, in eighteen, twenty eight The ship ran aground Camden Bay in Northern Alaska. Thankfully it was undamaged and move back into the water, keeping the Hudson Bay Company from losing the cargo,
But when it comes to the constant barrage of dangers from the sea, it's impossible to dodge all the bullets, Three years later, in October of nineteen thirty one the GMO got caught in heavy ice in the waters north of Lascaux bringing the massive steamer to a halt, the crew, initially abandoned ship when the ice began to break up. They happily returned. Week later, though, what happened again this time farther out from land the save the crew, the Hudson Bay Company sent an airplane to rescue them. When the plane arrived all thirty, seven crew members exited the ship. For the last time, only twenty two were able to fit on the aircraft, so the other fifteen stayed behind a wait for a second flight. A few days later, a powerful snow storm brought white out conditions and when it was over, the ship was gone sunk by the heavy ice. No doubt but it hadn't a few days later, the ship was spotted in a new location and the remit.
Crew were able to board its and remove the valuable cargo in case tragedy, finally did catch up with it, and then they left abandoning the, but she moved to the ice and harsh conditions and kicking off a string of sightings that owns it. A powerful reputation as in Alaska go. In March of nineteen, thirty to a man named Leslie Melvin was guiding his dogs led team along the coast on his way back to the city of known in Western Alaska Ass, he looked up from the sledge at the scenery around him is. I was drawn to the ocean and he spotted something. It was the GMO floating peacefully without power up the coast Later that summer, a trading party spotted the ghost ship farther north off the coast of Wainwright, actually manage to board the vessel when they discover but it was empty, though they exited and went on their way. In March of nineteen thirty, three, a group of Alpha Basque,
part of the indigenous community in Alaska, also boarded the Goshen only to be trapped inside it for ten days, while the winter storm cut them off from land. I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like to be inside in the dark, with all the unidentified sounds that come with being on the ship trapped in the ice and wind as the months went on more and more rumour spread out trickling through each of the nearby Hudson. Bay. Company outposts, like water, through a network of pipes, is a July one thousand nine hundred and thirty four sighting by a team of scientific explorer, as well as multiple reports in September of nineteen thirty, five from farther up north, it was clear The GMO had not gone away for good and it was out there halting the shores and waiting for someone to capture it. Last time the ship was boarded was in November of nineteen thirty. Nine. Eight years after it at first disappeared, a captain by the name of Hugh Paulson brought his whole.
On board hoping to either be able to get the ship running again, or at least till it supports where it could be salvaged for its valuable materials with a longer. They stayed on ship, the more ominous and oppressive it felt when the ice began to build up around them. They panicked and headed back to their own vessel, leaving the ghost ship to fend for itself. No one boarded the Cima ever again. The idea of go ships is one that we have held on two for a very long time, whether it's the ancient tales of ships like the college a chill away, island or the flying Dutchman of Europe or newer ones such as the Valencia
Vancouver Island and the governor PAR near Nova Scotia, it seems no matter what we do. We can't escape the stories go ships, it seems, are here this and they become one of the most popular bits of folk lore too, they in their way into film television in books. Over the past couple of centuries, we see glimpses those legends in the rime of the ancient mariner. An epic poem from one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight by Samuel, Taylor, Coleridge and the pirates of the caribbean films have their own interpretation possible to say how long we ve been telling their stories but its clear. That will never really stop. The Mary Celeste has had quite an impact on its own to, since the thence surrounding its abandonment in eighteen. Seventy two whispered versions of the story have spread all throughout pop culture. It's been subject of multiple films novels and television episodes. It's even appeared in the british cipher series. Doctor
go ships have proven themselves to be a thing that simply won't go away. They may drift off into the fog for a little while, but eventually, when we least expected they wilma their return appearing in some new context or location, and no leginn backs up that dependability like the S S but GMO ship was spotted often on over the years that followed its abandonment, making the first eight years of its story, something of a mystery and that's how it went decade after decade until one final, citing was reported in nineteen sixty nine, almost forty years after the original crew been rescued. After that, the authorities lost track of the ship once more and to this day no one is quite sure or where it might be, perhaps the ice. Finally one and its resting on the ocean floor, or maybe it's just drifting a bit too far outside normal shipping.
round to be spotted in our modern world of satellite imagery and commercial air travel. One would think it would be easy to find, but so far we ve had no luck. Like many of the ghost found in folk lore. The big has come to represent equal parts, hope and despair. It shows us just how much as possible when it comes to abandon ships and their longevity, making it clear that not all that is lost is gone. Ever, but it also reminds us that real life can sometimes be a bit more frustrating then we'd like just because we want the answers. Does it mean will always get them?
Tales of ghostly ships that never seem to go away are one of the most attractive and popular stories. For lovers of the strange and the unusual- and I hope you enjoy your voyage- on board many of the better known once today, but there's one more step He doesn't get told enough and it adds a new twist to a classic legend. I tell you all about it right after this short sponsor break This episode was made possible by stamp stock, come if you're, a small businesses you're busy enough as it is needed, have time to deal with a hassle of going to the post office with stamps dot com. You can skip the trip. never waste. Another dollar or minute steps that come with you print official postage right from your computer, so you can spend less time at post office and more time running your business simply put stamps dot. Com saves time, money and stress for more than twenty years, stamps that come here an indispensable for over one million businesses giving you access.
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The Ellen Austin was a three mast: schooner it slid off shipyard and into the cold Atlantic Waters way back in eighteen. Fifty four under the ownership of one captain Tucker back then main was the place to be. If you wanted timber for building- and it had been for centuries. prior to the revolutionary war. There is a constant flow of resources headed back to England, but now local it builders up on the coast of main we're getting rich, making new vessels for wealthy owners and the Tuckers, where one such group could tell you about how large the ship was. How it was over to her feet long and waited at eighteen hundred tonnes. Tell you how was sold a few years later in eighteen, fifty seven, but the most important thing to know about the Ellen Austin is that it was very good at making the trip between London and America Actually, eighteen, fifty seven really wasn't a good year for the crew of that ship. In February,
that year a report was published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that claim the current captain, William Garrick I've been using violence too views and control his men. It seemed he had a temper intended to take his anger out on any one near him. Months later in July of eighteen, fifty seven, the ship left Liverpool full of passengers and began headed toward New York City. but along the way a wave of smallpox broke out on the ship and it had to be quarantine so that the sick could be taken care of by months later it happened again The Ellen Austin didn't just travel to New York City, though in the late eighteen sixty it was making trips to San Francisco. though, after a number of accidents that involves running into other ships, it was eventually repaired and brought back to the east coast through most of the eighteen seventies, it was back to that Standard, London, New York, rat and then something changed in December of eighteen. Eighty, the ship had been sold to new owners sometime.
That year and was sent on a journey farther south toward Florida and the Caribbean, which is where something rather strange happened to them off in the distance. They spotted another ship, but it was moving The captain at the time was a bright fellow who was very aware. The pirates often use tactics like this to their advantage retain the ship was empty, wait for another ship to come closer and then pounce. So instead of approaching them, curious vessel, they lowered their sales and set a watch on it after two days. A vigilant observation. and the captain of the Ellen Austin decided that it was safe to approach once on board. They discovered The vessel had in fact been abandoned. The cargo was still intact and safe and there seemed to be a full supply of food rations, but if the former crew had left because of some emerge, see their didn't seem to be any sign of it on board. They were just gone,
so the captain is signed, a small party of his crew to get the ship ready to sail, and then the pair of vessels left the area together, headed for London to cash in on their newly salvage prize. Only the weather had to other eye a storm blew in three days later and the two ships became separated, looking back, we now know that it was a large hurricane that was headed toward the southern portion of the United States, but to the of the Ellen Austin. It was just frustration. They had lost sight of the other ship captain ordered the ship to turn around and search the area it took them days, but finally spotted the missing ship off in the distance relieved that would be reunited with their prize and the fellow crew members who are operating it. They sailed toward it, but even from a distance things didn't look right. The captain of the Ellen Austin inhaled the other ship Bobby his men had safely weather the storm, but
surprisingly, no one replied, so they approached the lifeless vessel and boarded it guns drawn in case of pirates what they found no defied explanation. Everything seemed just as they had found it days earlier. The valuable cargo was still in the hold safe and sound the store of food. still untouched, and the beds all seem to have been unused and yet no, where on the ship, could they find any sign of the small crew they had transferred over the men were gone over the years. Do details have been added to the story Some claim that the captain ordered a second team to pilot the ship home only to have fog separate them again, resulting in yet another lost crew, but that. Story comes to us from a naval officer who wrote about it in the nineteen thirties, and there doesn't seem to be much proof of it outside of that. Still it's a fantastic tale that takes the notion,
the ghost ship and turns it around in a way that defies explanation. also reminds us of just how unpredictable and mysterious life on the open sea really can be. We humans love the predictable we love can still see and dependability and being able to count on life going a certain way. We build our sense of security and safety around the notion that everything will be ok,
But once we set our orders in the ocean or raise our sales and travel to distant lands over treacherous waves, it becomes clear that we stepped into a whole new world that is outside of our control. We might find it or try and plan against it, but in the end we are completely at its mercy because we can never be fully prepared or a sea of change. This episode of law was researched, written and produced by me, Aaron Monkey, with music by Chad, Lawson, more
is much more than just the podcast. There is a book series available in bookstores in online and two seasons of the television show on Amazon Prime video check in both out. If you want more lore in your life, I also make two other podcast, Erin, monkeys, cabinet, curiosities and unobserved, and I think you enjoy. Of them, each one explores other areas of our dark history, ranging from bite sized episodes to season long dives into a single topic. You can learn more about boy of those shows and everything else going on over in one central place, the world of lore dot com. Slash now
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.