Waratah Found

Nov 22, 2000
1,458
3
168
Jason, If I recall, it was a British book and only briefly mentioned the fact that "Jack" may have sprung over the Atlantic! As far as I remember it was a well presented book which was based on the pros and cons of the contemporary statements. Hope you enjoy it if you find it.

Geoff
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
James -

I, too, regret parting long ago with all my marvelous little paperbacks from the Berlitz school of writing. I wonder what became of them - do they lurk yet among the groaning bookshelves in the family home back in Oz? Did I take them back to the second hand booksellers whence they came, to enthrall a new generation of pre-teens and convince them that there was an incident in WWII when seven planes flew into a cloud and one dropped out the bottom, one came out the top, and the rest vanished into thin (and/or cloudy) air? Where is From the Devil's Triangle to the Devil's Jaw now?

You've got me on the 'Shrieking Spirits of Vanderbilt Reef' - I'd love to see that one. The Asp story first appeared in the Pembroke County Guardian, written by Commander George Manley Allridge, and is somewhat different from the usual run of tales in that it has a couple of componants that can be verified: a.) Alldridge was indeed a commissioned RN officer who commanded the ship in question, and b.) her logs do exist, and are currently held in the PRO at Kew. Other than that, well...

From memory, the Fortean Times you'd be looking for is an issue from either 1999 or pre-March 2000 (a flatmate was a regular reader - I unfortunately tossed the copies out when we moved).

~ Inger
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,107
12
198
Inger- The Vanderbilt Reef thing started out as a throwaway line, intended to establish atmosphere, in an article about the either the Princess Sophia
or Pacific Northwest shipping. I forget which, but I DO remember thinking "my, how inane" as it read like something out of a bad paperback of the 1970s. It must have stuck in OTHER minds as well, because I've subsequently seen the reference used again and NOT to establish atmosphere. When it turns up in paperback format, we'll know for sure that it has become a true legend. JIM.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,107
12
198
INGER: I've resisted asking this for days, but now feel that I must. Where did you read the debunking of the Ouran Medan story? That one was particularly weird as told, and I'd love to read something rational on it. JIM. PS About those planes and that cloud; you mean to say that was a cruel hoax as well? I'm staggered.
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
Erm...good question there, James. It was in one of three British magazines in 1999 - either 'Seabreezes', 'Ships Monthly' or 'Shipping: Today and Yesterday'. I should say in fairness to the researcher that he did not completely rule out the possibility of the incident having occured, but as he had failed to find any record of the 'Ouran Medan' having existed despite fairly specific dates being given he sounded rather skeptical. He did suggest that, if she was carrying a cargo of toxic chemicals that caused the mysterious deaths of the crew, it might explain why even her very existance was covered up. He noted that the ships that were said to have answered her wireless calls did indeed exist.

In a follow up piece in the same magazine, he wrote that he had subsequently discovered that one of the ships named as having come to the Ouran Medan's could be traced, but she was sailing under a different name at the time of the purported incident. He concluded by suggesting that it would be helpful if anyone who served on either of the two ships would come forward.

Should the magazines and articles surface from somewhere in the periodical piles heaped around this room, I'll give you more details :)

~ Inger
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,107
12
198
INGER: Toxic chemicals DOES seem to be a good choice as an explanation, IF in fact this happenned at all. But, that just doesn't match the spine chilling implications of the mythical version, with that tag line about "....destroying the ship ALMOST as if whatever had killed the crew didn't want to be found." Or some such nonsense. Thanks for the magazine tips. All three can be found, with some searching, in NYC so you've given me a good starting point. JIM PS I'm hoping to start a legend concerning the foundering of the SeaBreeze but am looking for the proper eerie angle.
 
J

Jason Bidwell

Guest
Back to the Waratah. It seems that its discoverers are shopping around for a TV documentary. Emlyn Brown is wanting any prospective co-producers to email him at numa@new.co.za or call him by phone at (+27 21) 790-7675.

Brown promises to send to these prospective co-producers by FedEx a.... 30-minute video on Brown's research and expeditions, a synopsis of "Scend of the Seas" by Geoffrey Jenkins, a copy of the "Sceend of the Sea" novel, technical investigative reports on the Waratah, documentary showreels of Emlyn Brown, research and publication material on the Waratah, 40 betacam tapes for documentary production, photographs and slides of all expeditions, audio cassettes of "Scend of the Sea" and the British Board of Trade enquiry.

Is there anyone here who actually is a film producer and can legitimately request this stuff? Because I've got a feeling that the only way we're ever going to see photos and video of the wreck is if this documentary ever gets off the ground.
 
J

Jason Bidwell

Guest
More on the Waratah documentary.

"It is proposed that a 2-part television drama be based on Geoffrey Jenkins' novel, Scend of the Sea. The discovery and exploration of the Waratah and the lost aircraft will add a new dimension to the proposed television drama, and the actual explorations could be incorporated into the final script, or at least form part of script development.

"However a documentary spin off of the discovery and exploration of both ship and aircraft could be used to promote the proposed 120 minute drama.

"This is a very exciting project with good prospects as Jenkins' book was an international best seller and the Waratah is one of the most celebrated names in shipping disappearances.

"Prospective co-production partners should identify themselves and the companies they represent. However, by no means are we opposed to independent producers who feel they could interest a second party."

You can view this page at http://www.numa.net/waratah/project.htmlOLD

Jason
 
J

Jason Bidwell

Guest
One other thing: at http://www.numa.net/waratah/ there is a Waratah index that, while it does not provide any links to wreck photographs, does have some rather good paintings of the Waratah at sea.
 
Dec 8, 2000
1,289
2
168
Ah memories,

That Reader's Digest book gave me awful nightmares as a kid, but I just couldn't stop reading it. I also seem to remember an over the top version of the Waratah's story - long on drama, short on fact - being in a state government grade three school reader or the like.

Looking for some cyber-guff on Borley Rectory (don't ask) I tripped over a site that has a picture of the Watertown 'faces'. Just in case anyone's interested: http://www.parascope.com/articles/0397/ghostin.htm See 5: The S.S. Watertown, Ghostly Faces at Sea.

Sorry for the intrusion, but I also wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying this thread.

F
 
J

Jason Bidwell

Guest
Thanks for the link, Fiona, and no intrusion at all. Another article there on the Brown Lady of Raynham sure brought me back. The detail of that ghost always appearing with its eyes ripped out of its sockets always creeped me out when I was a child. Ah, memories.

Jason
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,107
12
198
Fiona; EXCELLENT link, and as Jason said, no intrusion at all. I'm still not exactly convinced by that picture, but that was the best print I've seen of it, and the first I've seen in which I could actually make out the faces without being prompted. Yes, that Readers Digest book certainly DID disturb the sleep patterns of a whole generation of adolescent readers, with its entirely too convincing evidence that the world is a place fraught with monsters, Spring Heeled Jacks, teleportation, and ghosts who manifest themselves as faces on ceramic floor tiles. So, you are a Borley Rectory researcher? I know you said "don't ask" but I had to.
NOW BACK TO STRANGE SEA LEGENDS: Is there anybody out there who knows the actual details of the Clara Nevada sinking and resurrection? There are three different versions of the story: one utterly unbelievable; one somewhat believable; and one likely to be true, so if anybody can give me a link or has any information on this, don't hesitate to jump in.
OVER THE TOP WARATAH STORY IN SCHOOL PRIMER: I'd like to see that one. Back during the '70's the Scholastic Book Service ( a company which used to direct market paperback books to children through leaflets distributed at school) was a prime source for some of the most bizarre books aimed at young readers, and through them I was introduced to dozens, if not hundreds, of uncritical looks at the world of the paranormal. Eyeless phantoms; Scotswomen with severed hands; phantom elevator operators, and so much more and all with the blessing of the School Board! As I recall, their young adult version offered the Amityville Horror which was a boon for those of us with parents who "wouldn't allow them to read garbage like that." I guess the theory behind offering those books was was "well, at least they are reading."
 
Dec 8, 2000
1,289
2
168
Jason & James - Thanks for that. Maybe it's time to talk class action re interrupted sleep?
wink.gif


James,

I couldn't find guff on the Clara Nevada stories that you mention, even after a quick web search. Resurrection? After being blown/burnt down to her component bits? Crikey. Sounds a good one. Care to share?

A lot that I did find was intriguing and contradictory: mystery explosion, carrying $1,500,000+ in gold - never recovered, no surivivors, survivors (including the ship's carpenter who wrote to The Seattle Daily Times pointing out that the report of his demise was somewhat premature), sank in 1897, sank in 1898, hurricane force winds, unseaworthy, overloaded, overcrowded, carrying dynamite... Clearly a disaster looking for somewhere to happen.

Thanks,

Fiona

Seattle Times article mentioning Clara Nevada and someone who witnessed the aftermath
Maritime Ghosts of the Klondike, a snippet on Clara Nevada
Letters to and from Robert Bruce Banks who died on Clara Nevada

Best site found: Shipwrecks Off Alaska's Coast a site maintained by the Alaska region Minerals Management Service (US Department of the Interior). Many happy hours ahead exploring this one, I suspect.
happy.gif
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,107
12
198
Good evening, Fiona! THANK YOU for the excellent links! Here for your reading pleasure are the three versions of the Clara Nevada story. UTTERLY UNBELIEVABLE PULP PAPERBACK VERSION: Well, according to this one, some years after the Clara Nevada was lost, the wrecked ship REFLOATED ITSELF during a storm and was cast ashore still "crewed" by the Skeletal Remains of those lost aboard her. Yeah, right......

SLIGHTLY MORE BELIEVABLE VERSION: As told in Pacific Coastal Liners, says that some years later the remains of the ship and skeletal remnants were cast ashore following a storm. Basically, the same story as before, but not told for thrills and without the added detail of the ship actually SAILING ashore crewed by corpses
BUT
THE LIKELY TO BE TRUE VERSION, from Jim Gibb's Pacific Coast Graveyard says that the hull drifted ashore some DAYS after the sinking.
AND
The link you provided says that the hull is a popular spot for divers, so now we can assume that A) the resurrection never happened to begin with, or B) yet another storm submerged it again later. My own hunch on this is that the whole thing never happened. Another good story shot to heck! Thanks again, Fiona for the links, which will probably have me up half the night reading. JIM. PS Those contradictions you pointed out from the articles about Clara Nevada add another interesting dimension, don't they! Not only is the Ghostly Legend a fraud, but so apparently is at least one version of how the ship came to sink. Tomorrow let's discuss the Valencia, Ghost Ship of Vancouver. Interesting wreck, trite story....
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
Fi -

Thanks for the SS Watertown link - there it was, in the full glory I recall. Is the figure on the right generating his own little bow wave effect, or is that a raised arm doing the Aussie crawl? Am sitting back here in Oz with my books restored to me (if only temporarily) and right next to me is 'Stories of the Sea' by E Abranson and E Mortelmans, notable chiefly for its rather attractive illustrations. I have rediscovered, however, that...erm....I committed a fairly heinous sin with this book some years back. At the age of 11 I found the Octavius painting so disturbing I chopped it out of the book. And there the poor mutilated thing stands to this day in permanent reproach for my cowardly childhood!

Borley rectory, eh? Harry Price's greatest sham :) Always wanted to get there and check out the church, though.

Was chuffed to recently find an account of a crisis apparition connected with one of the Titanic's crew...only problem is, it concerned his brother-in-law and not the Titanic crewman himself.

All the best,

Inger
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,107
12
198
Inger: If it isn't part of your research, could you give the outline of the Titanic crewman brother-in-law crisis apparation story? Sorry to hear about the mutilated book, but these things happen. If you get the chance, Borley Church is quite interesting and worth the drive out. Interesting enough to cushion the blow of how ORDINARY the rectory site proves to be. Enjoy your time in OZ. JIM
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
James -

Briefly, the brother-in-law of one of the Titanic's crew committed suicide. At the moment of his death he is supposed to have appeared to a family member, who said 'Harry (name of the suicide) is in trouble'. As it almost always runs in these stories, the date/time were later found to correlate with the moment of death. I have no independent verification of the story, and heard it from the daughter of the woman who it is claimed experienced the apparition.

Is there anything left of the Rectory itself? I understand it was burned down. The church sounds quite interesting, though...one of those lovely old English structures, complete with family tombs.

Fished out a ghost story concerning the SS Yongala while I was here that I'll have to post, if only in commemoration of the Oz visit :)

All the best,

Inger
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,107
12
198
Inger: There is nothing left of the Rectory itself, and the seemingly interesting gardens are gone, too. What remains at the site (or remained as of ca. 1988) was the Coach House which was built with many of the same architectural features as the Rectory and which makes a fairly quaint looking home. The Church at Borley is more interesting than is the former Rectory site, so if you are ever in the vicinity it IS worth a look. I took a lot of photographs at the site and when I had them developed.....NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY showed on any of them. As I expected. But then, later, some "evil force" compelled me to leave the lot of them in London when I returned to the U.S. ("evil force" sounding better than "gross carelessness") so I was never able to FULLY examine them for signs of Meehan and Courtney-esque hauntings in the trees. I look forward to your S.S. Yongala tale, and am now going to attempt to trace the Yongala wreck while I wait, for I am not familiar with it. JIM
 
J

Jason Bidwell

Guest
I was checking up on Numa's Waratah page, and found that it had been updated. According to the new information, the South African Revenue Services and National Monument Council have issued Emlyn Brown a permit to protect the wreck of the Waratah from looting. It also says that Brown is "proposing" to acquire the Delta submarine used to explore the Lusitania, and to visit the Waratah with it. I got the impression, though, that the submarine expedition is still in the pipe-dream stage.