50 years ago three men successfully escaped from one of the highest security prisons in the world by plunging into the deep dark depths of the ocean. This year they are rumoured to return to the sight of their incarceration. We take a look at how they pulled it off as well as discovering some other strange phenomena the sea has been privy to over the years. It looks so innocent when you’re standing on the beach doesn’t it? How wrong we are.
Digging through a six inch wall of dirt and rubble with just a spoon sounds like no mean feat,but the only three captives ever to escape from island prison Alcatraz in San Francisco did just that. Brothers John and Clarence Anglin escaped the highly guarded prison with Frank Morris in 1962 by making a nifty raft out of regulation raincoats and swimming the one and a half mile stretch of water to the mainland. To keep their mission secret, they fashioned heads out of paper, paint and hair that they put in their beds to fool the guards. Many people believe the three died during their voyage yet no bodies have ever been found. Tales of their sightings, such as the brothers supposedly turning up at their mother’s funeral in drag, lead others to believe they are still roaming free to this day. A warrant is out for their arrest even half a century later but part of me hopes they won’t be found. Surely their talents would be better suited in some government funded project than rotting behind bars?
Other attempts to escape this water borne jail included sawing through bars, overpowering guards and making a simple run-for-it but none were successful.
A morbid tale of distressing SOS calls and scores of dead crew members surrounds this next one. Upon hearing an anguished call from fellow ship SS Ourang Medan in February 1948 the Silver Star vessel raced to help them. The message went like this, “All officers including the captain are dead, lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew are dead…I die” Upon arrival they discovered that the crew were indeed all dead, lain out around the deck, frozen with open gaping mouths. Even the dog was no more; his teeth snapping at an invisible enemy. No survivors remained and yet there were no signs of wounds on any of the bodies. Suspicious, no?
The crew upon the Silver Star decided to haul the ghostly vessel back to the mainland but before doing so it exploded with such venom that it disappeared entirely under water. To this day no one can explain this strange occurrence and others question its existence entirely. Aliens, pirates, some rare disease? Who knows – it’s pretty spooky though.
A strange, underwater and as yet unidentified noise has been haunting scientists for a number of years. Nicknamed the 'Bloop' it has the same varying frequency of marine animals but is far too powerful to be coming from any creature known to mankind. Many speculate that it is, in fact, originating from some Kraken-like monstrosity. A huge octopus that has the power to submerge ships with a flick of a tentacle and can bring down whales with ease. No sightings of such creatures have ever been documented yet enormous squid have been found washed up at sea, reaching up to 30 feet in length. Now that’s a hell of a lot of calamari.
Nestled 300 feet at the bottom of the Baltic Sea sits a strange looking object whose origin is yet to be determined. Discovered last year it resembles a large mushroom shape rising ten to thirteen feet from the bed. Reported to have what looks like a runway extruding from its mass many people have likened the one grainy image of this object to the Millenium Falcon ship in Star Wars. It even renders electrical equipment useless as a team of divers trying to uncover this mystery discovered when above it. Those with no imagination believe it to be just some kind of rock formation or volcanic outcrop but I like to imagine that it was a failed UFO landing.
A tale of unrequited love inspires this next one. Lady Lovibond, a ship that went down in 1748 off the Kent coast of South-East England, is said to reappear every 50 years since its unfortunate fate. A ghost ship may not be an unusual tale but the story behind Lady Lovibond’s demise is intriguing. The voyage on which it embarked was a celebration of the captain’s recent nuptials. Despite the superstitions surrounding women on board a boat he decided to take his new wife on his trip, but little did he know that his best friend harboured a deep-set jealousy for his spouse. Enraged with pent up lust and longing the friend saw red during the celebrations below deck and took a club to the crew member at the helm. Seizing the wheel he then drove the ship into the treacherous Goodwin Sands where it met its fate and sank to the bottom of the ocean, killing all those on board. Why it reappears every half a decade can only be guessed at.
Come, join us for a schooner of rum and share some spooky tales from the deep.
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