Ghost vessels or ships have continuously haunted sea travelers all throughout the world. The mere thought of encountering a ghost ship in the middle of an expedition is enough to give you chills, right?
But, what is more astonishing is the truth that these ‘ghost ships’ exist.
A solid proof to this is the SS Baychimo, launched in 1914, the ship could carry a total weight of 1,322 tons.
The ship is reportedly made in Gothenburg, Sweden, and was originally named Ångermanelfven. It’s main function is to carry goods between Hamburg and Sweden.
During the World War I in 1921, as part of Germany’s reparation for shipping losses, the Ångermanelfven was transferred to the Hudson Bay Company in Great Britain. Soon after, it was renamed the SS Baychimo and shipped to Ardrossan, Scotland, for good.
The Baychimo shipped various materials such as tea, sugar, tobacco, and even weapons between Scotland and Canada during the summer months. It even shipped fur and pelts all over the world from 1924 to 1931.
However, in one of it’s trips, the ship became trapped in an early season ice pack.
Baychimo’s crew members, stranded and alone, had no choice but to hike half a mile to get to Barrow, Alaska, to wait for the ice to break apart.
A few days later, they attempted to sail home, unluckily, they were trapped again. They had to be rescued and airlifted to safety. Several men stayed behind, and tried to seek shelter in the nearby town. Their sole intention is to keep an eye on the ship through the winter and sail back the following summer.
On November 31, 1931, the temperature suddenly rose drastically from negative 60 degrees Fahrenheit to a flat zero degrees. When the storm passed, the crew went outside, only to find the SS Baychimo gone!
The crew assumed that the ship had sunk, however, an Inuit seal hunter explained to them that the ship broke away from the ice and was last seen floating 45 miles away at the sea.
Sydney Cornwell, the captain of the ship, found it a few days later and after ruling out that it was no longer worthy of sailing, he unpacked all their goods and valuables and left the ship to the whims of the sea.
Soon after, Sydney was proven wrong. The Baychimo was seen 250 miles from where he’d originally abandoned it. Later in 1932, the Hudson Bay company heard it was still afloat, but deemed it too far away to rescue.
In 1935, Captain Hugh Polson attempted to board the ship, but was unable to due to icy conditions. Nevertheless, the Ghost Ship sailed on.
Similar reports and sightings of the SS Baychimo continued to pour in over the proceeding 38 years, right up until 1962. Then, in 1969, the ship was spotted for the last time floating in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. While the Alaskan government launched a search for the ship, either floating or sunk, in 2007, it had yet to yield any results.