1947. In the middle of the vast Indian Ocean. A ship was discovered drifting. The entire crew on board was found dead. Despite this, the ship was undamaged. The bodies of the crew members were found to be completely uninjured. The ill-fated ship was The Medan Ship and it is still regarded as the most inexplicable and mysterious ship ever.
The Strait of Malacca
The Straight of Malaca has a strategic location between Malaysia and the island of Sumatra. Thus, the Strait of Malacca has become one of the world’s busiest and most important shipping lanes. This network links Significant world economies, such as China, India, and Japan. Approximately 260 ships passed through the Strait of Hormuz every day, transporting about one-quarter of the world’s traded goods.
Its importance as a major logistical highway of the seas is only rivalled by its notoriety as a tourist destination. It was completely at the mercy of pirates for centuries.
However, because it is one of the most congested shipping lanes globally, it is also one of the most dangerous. It narrows to just one point, five miles wide at the Philips channel. And, this makes it impossible for some of the world’s largest ships to pass through.
Possibly to their advantage because there is, of course, another reason for the Straits’ unwelcome reputation over the last century. It has over 30 ships assigned to the deep sea.
The SS Ourang Medan
One of these ships was the SS Ourang Medan. It would eventually meet with such an unusual and violent end. It would cause consternation among seafarers for decades and, according to legend, would eventually become legendary in June 1947.
Ships navigating the Strait of Malacca received a strange SOS communication from an unknown source. The message was transmitted in Morse code, prompting them to investigate.
The message was delivered in two parts. Neither of the codes contained any information about the ship or its location. But, both provided a chilling insight into its predicament.
It has been reported that this was followed only minutes later. It turned out to be a rather distressing conclusion. this stated that no further transmissions had been received after this point. The authorities were forced to race against the clock to locate the ship in question.
There were alerts issued to all the ships in the area. They were asked to remain on the lookout for anything unusual. Nothing was discovered in the initial stages of the search.
They could finally triangulate the signal source with the help of British and Dutch listening stations. Then, they discovered it was located thousands of miles away. It was in the middle of an uncharted part of the Indian Ocean. In fact, it was a long way from well-established shipping lanes.
The Silver Star was an American merchant vessel. It was the closest to the source of the signal at the time. and, was sent the coordinates. The captain of the Silver Star was aware of the contents of the SOS. He wasted no time in rerouting the vessel.
Several Attempts to Contact
A ship on the horizon, which turned out to be the SS Ourang Medan, was spotted within a few hours of being sighted. She did not appear to be under the influence of steam or any other form of control, and she was described as drifting aimlessly across the open ocean when she was approached by the crew. Several attempts to contact her crew were made, but all of them were met with disappointment.
There were no signs of life to be found anywhere, and it was becoming increasingly obvious that something had befallen the ship and all those aboard. As the rescue vessel approached on her starboard side, a deafening silence descended over the scene.
The two ships were connected by a tether. A rescue team was assembled in a jiffy. The crew of the Silver Star prepared themselves as a thickening cloud of apprehension hung over them.
Decks Littered with killed Crew Members’ Bodies
Their worst fears were confirmed as soon as they boarded the ship and discovered that the decks were littered with the bodies of the Dutch crew members who had been killed.
According to the police, each of them was discovered with wide-eyed fear, mouths gaping, their faces twisted in horror, and their limbs frozen in positions that suggested they had been attempting to fight something off of them.
Even the ship’s canine companion was discovered dead alongside them. A vicious snarl escaped his lips as his teeth were exposed and his lips were peeled back. After searching the rest of the ship, they discovered the body of the captain on the bridge, as well as the bodies of the remaining officers in the wheelhouse and chartroom.
The engineering crew was discovered at their workstations, and the radio operator, the man who had sent the SOS signal, was discovered at his workstation, his body sprawled over the communications equipment, was discovered at his workstation. They all had fear-filled expressions on their faces, and their arms and legs were contorted in the same way.
The Terrifying Damages
The obvious fact was that everyone on board had died in some degree of discomfort. The cause of their deaths, on the other hand, could not be determined. The ship was not damaged, even though it appeared as if the crew had been terrified. It is believed that they had no visible injuries at the time of their death.
Other than that, their bodies would have been perfectly healthy if it hadn’t been for another strange factor that was becoming increasingly apparent to the rescue team. With each passing minute, the corpses were already beginning to decompose at a significantly faster rate than what would be expected under normal circumstances.
This wasn’t the only strange thing that was going on aboard the ship. Onboard the stranded vessel, the Silverstar crew noticed that, even though it was an exceptionally sunny summer day with temperatures over 37 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit), there was a noticeable chill in the air.
Measurements were taken while onboard. Temperatures as low as four degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit) were recorded in some locations, according to the Arang Madame. Despite these facts, the Silver Star captain towed the ship back to port for salvaging and repair services.
Soon after, however, smoke billowed from below decks, particularly from the number-4 cargo hold, and the rescue ship could cut the tow ropes just in time to prevent the ships from being towed further apart.
Within seconds of doing so, the Arang Madonna exploded with such force that her hull was completely lifted out of the water, destroying everything in its path.
The Silver Star
She broke apart quickly and sank to the bottom of the dark Indian Ocean, never to be seen again after that. Fortunately, no one onboard the Silver Star was injured or killed because of the explosion, and no one was aboard the sinking ship at the time of the explosion.
As a result, none of the crew members will stay aboard and accompany her back to port for obvious reasons. It was also fortunate that the explosion did not occur while the two ships were docked next to each other, and it is only because of the crew’s vigilance that we have any information about what happened at all during the incident.
After all, in May 1952, the United States Coast Guard published the first official report on the incident in question. The crew of the ill-fated ship has remained a mystery ever since, and many have questioned what happened to them. As is always the case, there has been no shortage of wild conjecture.
Without fail, comparisons to the Philadelphia Experiment were made, with some theorists suggesting that the Ourang Medan had been a participant in some secret government experiment that had gone horribly wrong.
Others have speculated that the ship had been attacked by supernatural or paranormal forces, claiming that no rational explanation could be found for the strange deaths of everyone on board. Of course, some question whether the ship even existed at all.
When the investigators looked into the story, they discovered that the name Arang may down did not appear in any maritime records, nor had it been registered in any known port. This was a fascinating discovery.
However, there may explain this. In 1954, a German author named Otto Mielke published his investigation into the case, which was reportedly authenticated by members of the Silver Stars crew who had been on board at the time of the incident.
The Elks’ work cited several previously unpublished details, including the ship’s last-known location and its intended route, which were previously unpublished.
It mentioned the ship’s cargo, a point that appeared to imply that the Arang maiden had been transporting lethal substances such as potassium, cyanide, and nitroglycerin that had been secured for transportation.
If this had been true, the authorities would have regarded it as the height of negligence, and the ship carrying such cargo could never have left port.
Because of this, some believe Arang maiden was a smuggler or was otherwise involved in smuggling. In fact, it was yet another ship that had been renamed in haste while at sea to conceal her true identity from view.
Being unregistered and therefore unable to be tracked down could also explain why she had strayed so far from established shipping routes to avoid detection.
It is hypothesized that seawater entered the cargo hold and reacted with the potassium cyanide, releasing toxic gases that poisoned the crew as the day progressed. It is also hypothesized that saltwater made its way to the nitroglycerin, igniting it. In the end, it caused the violent explosion.
That being the case, it begs the question why no one from the rescue team succumbed to the lethal effects of the cyanide gas, which would have been extremely concentrated by the time they arrived.
Another flaw in this theory is that, while cyanide kills quickly, it does not result in a painful death like that experienced by most people.
Why Were The Bodies of The Crew Members Contorted With Terror and Pain As a Result?
Other researchers have speculated that the ship was not carrying potassium cyanide at all. However, another substance is known as table given, an extremely toxic nerve agent that was mass-produced by the Germans during World War II has been discovered on board.
Following the defeat of the Axis forces in World War II, this toxic agent was distributed in large quantities to the Germans’ Japanese allies during the postwar years.
They were busy persuading German scientists to defect and gaining many enemy war assets, among which the table would have been one.
The United States was heavily involved in chemical weapon research and elements of the US military and the Japanese military were able to commandeer large quantities of supplies from the Japanese government.
They may have contracted with a nondescript freighter to transport the goods to avoid the inevitable paper trail and hired a foreign crew to keep themselves as far away from the operation as possible.
It’s also worth noting that Haben has a very low persistence level, so it would have completely dispersed by the time the rescue crew arrived.
It also interferes with the neurotransmitter responsible for signalling the muscles to relax, which helps ease the contorted appearance of the bodies’ appearance.
The story of the SS Ourang Medan can’t be proven or disproved because it’s a myth. Even though it is entirely possible, it is nothing more than another tall seafaring tale.
However, the official mentioned by the United States Coast Guard appears to be on the opposite side of the argument; in addition, some researchers have dedicated over 50 years of their lives to researching the case. As a result, there must be something more to it than a fabricated story.
Whether officially or unofficially, the possibility that something more clandestine was taking place is not out of the question. This would also explain why there is no recorded evidence, which is not uncommon in such situations.
To summarize, this story has been around for over 50 years, and interest in researching it any further has long since dwindled. If the Arang Madan existed, nobody is looking for her, and we would never know the truth about her whereabouts until someone discovers her ultimate resting place by chance or otherwise. We are once again left to wonder what it would be like to see you on fire.