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Creepy Ghost Ship Sails The World’s Seas Unmanned For 38 Years

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Ghost ship stories have been a spooky staple in storytelling for centuries, from the mysteries of The Mary Celeste to the eerie legend of the Ourang Medan. These tales are not limited to the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film. Enter the SS Baychimo, a 1322-ton cargo ship launched in 1914, which eventually became one of the most infamous supposed ghost ships in history.

The story of the SS Baychimo is both heartbreaking and utterly eerie. Initially launched in 1914 as the Angermann Alvin, a 1322-ton cargo ship built in Gothenburg, Sweden, its primary function was to transport goods between Hamburg and Sweden. In 1921, as part of Germany’s reparations for shipping losses stemming from World War I, the ship was transferred to the Hudson Bay Company in Great Britain and renamed the SS Baychimo. It was then shipped to Dundee, Scotland.

In Scotland, the Baychimo transported various goods, including tea, weapons, sugar, and tobacco between Scotland and Canada during the summer months. From 1924 to 1931, it shipped fur and pelts around the world.

However, during one fateful trip, the ship became trapped in an early-season ice pack. The crew found themselves stranded and alone, so they hiked half a mile to Barrow, Alaska, to wait for the ice to break apart. A few days later, they attempted to sail home but became trapped again, necessitating a rescue and airlift to safety.

Some men chose to stay behind in a nearby town, intending to keep an eye on the Baychimo through the winter and sail it back the following summer. On November 24th, 1931, the temperature suddenly rose dramatically, from negative 60 degrees Fahrenheit to a flat zero degrees. During this time, an intense blizzard hit. When the storm cleared, the men ventured outside, only to discover that the SS Baychimo had vanished!

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Although the crew initially assumed the ship had sunk, an Inuit seal hunter informed them that the ship had broken free from the ice and was last seen floating 45 miles away at sea. Captain Sydney Cornwell of the Baychimo found the ship a few days later but deemed it unfit for sailing. He unloaded all of their goods and valuables and left the ship to the sea’s whims.

However, Sydney was proven wrong in a rather embarrassing manner. Just a few months after he had abandoned it, the ship was reportedly seen 250 miles from where he had left it. Over the following year, reports of the SS Baychimo’s sightings came from sailors around the world. In 1932, the Hudson Bay Company confirmed it was still afloat but deemed it too far away to rescue. Several crews attempted to board the ship in the years that followed, all without success.

In 1935, Captain Hugh Paulson tried to board the ship but was hindered by icy conditions. Despite these challenges, the ghostly SS Baychimo continued to sail on. Reports and sightings of the ship poured in until 1962. Then, in 1969, the ship was spotted for the last time, floating in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

Although the Alaskan government launched a search for the ship in 2007, either floating or sunk, it has yet to yield any results. The SS Baychimo may never be found, but its legacy as a mysterious and seemingly crewless vessel will live on forever. It’s truly astonishing how it sailed for so long without a crew.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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