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Ourang Medan

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The story's first appearance was a series of three articles in the Dutch-Indonesian newspaper De locomotief: Samarangsch handels- en advertentie-blad (February 3, 1948, February 28, 1948, and March 13, 1948). The story is mostly the same as the later versions, but with significant differences. The name of the ship that found the Ourang Medan is never mentioned, but the location of the encounter is described as 400 nautical miles (740 km; 460 mi) southeast of the Marshall Islands. The second and third articles describe the experiences of the sole survivor of the Ourang Medan crew, who was found by an Italian missionary and natives on Toangi (sic) atoll in the Marshall Islands. The man, before perishing, tells the missionary that the ship was carrying a badly stowed cargo of sulphuric acid, and that most of the crew perished because of the poisonous fumes escaping from broken containers. According to the story, the Ourang Medan was sailing from an unnamed small Chinese port to Costa Rica, and deliberately avoided the authorities. The survivor, an unnamed German, died after telling his story to the missionary, who told the story to the author, Silvio Scherli of Trieste, Italy. The Dutch newspaper concludes with a disclaimer:

All Officers, including the Captain, are dead. Lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead. … I die.“Their frozen faces were upturned to the sun… staring, as if in fear… the mouths were gaping open and the eyes staring.”The Flying Dutchman was again seen by two crewmen of the H.M.S. Bacchante in 1881. The following day, one of those men fell from the rigging to his death.


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