Mystery Ship the Samson


Dec 2, 2000
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John said; "The tale is sheer blarney!"

G'Day John, I didn't know it was that good!

I propose that the mystery ship was the Good Ship Lollipop ably commanded by Captain Ahab with Shirley Temple on a bad hair day as the chief officer! (That's a fish story too, but what the hell, we can still have fun with it.)
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Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Now, by George, I think *you've* got it!

After all ... Who could hear rockets with all that blasted tap-dancing going on??

"Animal crackers in my soup! ... TAP TIPPY TAP TIPPY TAP TAP TAP" ARRRGGGHH!
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Dec 3, 2000
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Nathan,

This board is for discussion amongst fellow board members and we all have different opinions on the mystery ship. It is not a place to issue threats and attack people.

The mystery ship was not the Samson. No way. End of story.

Jason
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Sep 20, 2000
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On a slightly more serious note, I have to admit that one of the things that really tickles me about Naess's story is the part where he claimed that -- while serving as OOW! -- he was actually down below, having a "tot of rum" with the Captain!

Watches on that boat must have REALLY been something other than else!
["Hic! Wha was zhat? Ooooo boy."] :)

Cheers,
John
 
Mar 3, 1998
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<font color="#006600">Uhhhh...Nathan, communicating threats in any forum is a really, really, really, BAD idea! Especially when the target of said threat is a former police officer.

Michael,

Not to mention that Nathan would have a long way to drive from Columbus to deliver such a threat.

Parks
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Bad form Nathan.

Good grief, took some days off from here, was reading this thread and boom!

Nathan, no one, including you, deserve to be threatened on this board like you threatened Tracy. But what totally blind sided me was that Tracy had not posted here to this thread for a long time and you come up with this? What's that about? Even if you have the world's greatest excuse (in your mind), there is no justification for treating Tracy like that.

Personally, I agree with Jason "This board is for discussion amongst fellow board members and we all have different opinions on the mystery ship. It is not a place to issue threats and attack people."

Sorry, Nathan, but Tracy deserves to be treated with respect in the first place and she has every right to feel safe on this board.

Also, Nathan. From life experiences, my respect for what any man has to say who gets his kicks from threatening people hits a flatline on the oscilliscope every time. If stiking a person down is the only way to make your point, then it is not much of a point in an informal discussion area like this.

Since the last post to this was on the 9th, I assume most people have merely left it alone. I know Tracy and had to make a statement here.
Maureen.
 
N

Nathan Lee Casteel

Guest
Ok I understand now I have read this on the Forum and you guys are right I'll treat Tracy the respect that she deserves if she respects me and does not make me mad. Well other than that Tracy has my RESPECT now.
 

Don Tweed

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Mar 30, 2006
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Make you mad!!! Nathan, friend, no one person is trying to upset you, this is a place for opinions, and insight to the one reason we are all here!

We are moved to be here, we want to be here.

Let's go somewhere else with this and find common ground.

You take care, -Don
 
N

Nathan Lee Casteel

Guest
ok I give her my Respect and I will move on.


Nathan
 

Arne Mjåland

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Oct 21, 2001
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Here is the first part of the obituary about the famous Henrik B. Ness on the Samson. Even if Samson is not mentioned at all, I thought you after all may find it interesting to read:
ADRESSEAVISEN, Trondheim, Norway 22 July 1950:
The man who discovered the coal reservoirs on Spitzbergen has died 82 years old. What made his name known widely was in particular his discovery of the coal reservoirs at Spitzbergen and his struggle to sell og to get exploited that. It is due to his efforts that Spitzbergen has become a valuable Norwegian province.
Ness was born in Tromso and was only 8 years old when he for the first time arrived at Spitzbergen. After some trips at Ishavet he hired himself as 14 years old as a schooter . That explains a little bit about his qualifactions. He took the mate degree. Then he travelled far with sailing ships a couple of years, then back to "Ishavsfarten". He became later a skipper. He was hunter in the "Nordishavet" for 36 years.
In 1911 he hired himself as shooter on a Norwegian whalehunter and in 1913 he started to work at a lighthouse, first as assistant at Fuglehuk lighthouse - later as lighthouse watchman at Tennholmen and at Støtt.
I will let you have the rest of the obituary later in some interest among you for it.
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Arne: Fabulous! And pardon me for being a bit dense in the past -- it hadn't occurred to me that you were actually *in* Norway. (Obviously, you're in a highly enviable position for this research.)

I'd love to see the full obituary myself, at your convenience. (I'm always interested in the "history of the history".)

Also, if you're inclined -- I'm not soliciting, mind you, just thought I'd pass along the information in case you don't already have it -- I located the references to Captain Naess's two published accounts in Reade's [& De Groot's] 1993 book, "The Ship that Stood Still", last night. (The first is merely *attributed* to Naess by Reade, though it's presumably a reasonable guess):
  • Norsk Geografisk Aarbok 1916-1919; published at (then) Christiana; 1921; page 238.
  • Trondheim Arbeider-Avisen, 9 June 1928, p.2 [an interview with Captain Naess].
The third (unpublished) account by Naess was in the form of "a long letter dated 18 November 1939, from Naess to Adolf Hoel, the former head of the Polarinstitutt" [Reade, 1993]. I'm not entirely clear on Reade's meaning, but he seems to be saying that the letter itself is in the library of the Polarinstitutt.

There were also contemporary (c. 1913) newspaper accounts of the Samson story, but none are *directly* attributable to Naess, as far as I know. That information came from Sir Ivan Thompson, so there were no direct references. (Apparently it was one of the 1913 newspaper articles that coined the phrase "The Norwegian Fairy Tale".) [Reade, 1993]

Incidentally, Reade mentions that Naess was apparently well-regarded by Arctic explorers of the day, and thus fairly notable beyond the Samson story, as the obituary also makes clear. (Which only makes one wonder even more at the underlying implausibibity of the Samson-Titanic tale.)

One part of your post above I couldn't quite figure out: Is a "schooter [shooter?]" a navigator? That's the best guess I could come up with from the "Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea".

And do you know, is (or was) Christmas ever celebrated in Norway in January (like Eastern Orthodox Christmas)? Reade reproduces Naess's reference in the Polarinstitutt letter to "Over jul 1912 ..." ["After Christmas 1912 ..."?].

Thanks very kindly. Well done!

Cheers,
John
 

Arne Mjåland

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Thank you John for the information you came up with. I will find some of the articles you refer to later.
Many years ago it could happen that Norwegians celebrated Christmas during the first days in January as well.
A schooter is one who shoots whales or seals from ships.
Here is the rest of the obituary:
The discovery of the coal fields:
Ness knew very early that there was coal at Spitzbergen, but for the first time in 1899 he mentioned it by incident during a conversation with butcher Solberg in Trondheim. The conversation lead to the year after, 1900, was formed a company lead by Mr,. Solberg - and Ness was sent north to find and make the coal reservoirs into Norwegian property.
May 17 1900 he sailed in a small ship with a crew of 5 north to the Isfjorden. In the summer the same year there were made research at some places, including in Advent Bay, where the richest reservoirs were found. Ness went back during autumn to Trondheim. He tried to establish a company, but his efforts got no support. The fields were examined closer in 1901, and it was confirmed that there was enough coal there.
Also another time a company was tried to get established, but in vain, and because of the great difficulties they had to struggle with, the mines were left to an American mining company, which started mining at a large scale. Ness was the master (or captain) for one of their ships for 5 years, but then the American cmpany came into difficulties and had to hand the field over to Store Norske (coal company) which is well known at Spitzbergen.
This is shortly the story about the discovery of the Spitzbergen coal. Ness left the coal trade in 1911, but also later his knowledge about Ishavs questions came to use. In 1928 he was hired as known man and icepilot from the Swedish salvage expedition after Nobile.
When he left as "fyrbøter" in 1926 he was awarded The King s medal of honour in gold for his excellent work. His last years Ness spent at Seamen s Old home at Lade (Lade is near Trondheim)
 

Arne Mjåland

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Oct 21, 2001
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Here is the story about the fishing boats that turned into icebergs at dawn April 15 1912. It is from an article in the Daily Phoenix April 19 1912. I got it sent from the public library in Saskatoon, Canada.

Quaint man in the sea.
Our rescue showed up rapidly and as she (Carpathia)swung round we saw her cabins all alight, and we knew she must be a large steamer. She was now motionless and we had to row to her. Just then day broke, a beautiful quiet dawn, with faint pink clouds just above the horizon, and a new moon, whose crescent just touched the horizon. "Turn your money over boys" said our cheery steersman, "that is if you have any", he added. We laughed at him for his superstition at such a time, but we counted very greatly by adding, "well I shall never say again that 13 is an unlucky number, boat no. 13 has been the best friend we ever had". Certainly the thirteen superstition is killed forever in the minds of those who escaped from the Titanic in boat thirteen. As we neared the Carpathis, we saw in the dawning light what we thought was a full rigged schooner standing up near her and presently behind her another, all sails set and we said: "They are fishing boats from the Newfoundland banks and have seen the steamer lying are standing by to help", But in another five minutes the light shone on them and we saw they were icebergs lowering many feet in the air, huge glistening masses deadly white, still peaked in a way that had easily suggested a schooner. We glanzed round the horizon and there were others wherever the eye could reach. - The steamer we had to reach was surrounded by them and we had to stake aidetour to reach her, for between her and our boat lay another huge berg and we rowed up to the Carpathia about 4.30 a.m. and were hoisted or climbed up the ship s side with very grateful hearts.
Any comments?
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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It's very familiar. It's actually from Lawrence Beesley, who gave the papers his story very soon after reaching New York and later used the same passage in his book The Loss of the SS Titanic.

By the way, it wasn't a new moon. It was the last of the old moon. I guess it was no time for astronomy.
 

Arne Mjåland

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Here is the most important part of the interview with Henrik Naess in Arbeider-Avisen, Trondheim, Norway June 9 1928 translated into English language:
CAPTAIN HENRIK NAESS. TRONDHEIM; KNOWN MAN FOR THORNBERGS EXPEDITION.

He is going to meet the Swedes in Tromso wednesday - 500 kilometers just north of Spitzbergen there is no land, tells Naess.
Will "Hobby" and "Braganza be blocked by ice?

According to what the Arbeider-Avisen have heard has the Swedish aid exedition after Nobile and his men engaged the known iceocean man, captain Naess, Trondheim as known man and ice pilot. According to the telegramme to captain Naess from the master of the Swedish aid expedition captain Thornberg, the expedition is estimated to be in Tromso on wednesday. The expedition will use the from the Hyrd expedition well known ice ocean ship "Quest", in addition to the ice ocean ship "Tonja"
Captain Naess leaves this town to day at 11 o clock
One of our journalists talked yesterday evening with Captain Naess, who made necessary prepeirations for the voyage.
Captain Naess was ice ocean man for the first time in 1877.later through several years ploughed the Ice ocean as hunter and ice pilot. We mention here that he in 1896 was ice pilot and intepreter on Sir Baden Powells expedition with the yact "Otoria" for studies of total sun eclipse in artic areas. It was from the return from this voyage that "Otoria"in august same year took onboard Fridtjof Nansen in Vardo after Nansens and Hjalmar Johansens famous trip across Greenland.
In 1912 was Naess hired as schooter and mate on the known ice ocean ship "Samson". During this expedition he had an unpleasant and terrible experience much worse than many days and nights in Ishavet.
We hunted in illegal territory, Naess tells. One night while the skipper and I sat down in the ship(in the kahytt), the rormann told us that there was light.It was about 11.30 at night and the weather was clear. I ran up to the deck. We felt not quite safe for the Americans. Out in the horizon, a couple of miles west of us we saw light - Put the binouclar at it, I instructed the rorman. I see lots of light he answered. We realized it was sent up rockets. This lasted until 00.30 o clock.light disappeared. A month later we came to Iceland. There we got the message that "Titanic" had gone down a month ago, and it was exactly that night we noticed the lights out in the ocean. The time and place matched exactly our observations. Skipper Naess seemed quite a bit touched when he told how the message effected him and the others. We had no clue of what happened out there. Had our ship been equipped with radiotelegraph, then we would probably with our 12 "dorryer" (dorryer are presumably some small lifeboats?)have saved most of the people.

To prevent misunderstanding, I do not claim that the story is true. I just bring it exactly as is was. I am looking forward to comments from others of you.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I don't know what can be said that hasn't been said already. The port records in Iceland already cited put the lie to the whole thing. The Samson just wasn't there. (Further, the Titanic sank in international waters well out of anyone's jurisdiction. There was nothing illegal about hunting anything in interantional waters at that time.)

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

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