Octavius The Ghost Ship

In 1774, the crew of the whaler Herald spotted a drifting large sailing ship bearing the name Octavius when they were shivering their way along the Greenland coast. They hailed her and could see by her ragged sails, it looks like that ship has long abandoned. Soon after, Captain Warren, the Captain of the Herald organised a boarding party. When they boarded the Octavius's deck, immediately they clearing the decks from snowdrifts, they wrenched open the forecastle door and forced their way down below. They were greeted with a bizarre sight.

Twenty eight fully-clothed sailors were discovered, all frozen to death. In the captain’s cabin the skipper still sat, frozen solid with the captain's logbook in front of him and his hands still on the desk (similar as in the Schooner Jenny). In the adjoining cabin lay a woman, frozen in a calm posture. Her head rested on her elbow, eyes wide open, staring across the room at another icy corpse, a young man, sitting cross-legged, at his feet a pile of wood chippings. Under a nearby reefer jacket they found the brittle body of a small boy.

The Red line showed the Northwest Passage routes

Unfortunately, in their blind panic to get back to the Herald, the crew let the most crucial centre section of the Octavius’s logbook fall into the sea because it slipped from the binding, leaving only the first and the last few pages in. So no other clues were left what may caused the incident. The last entry in the log was from November 11, 1761. The remaining pages showed she had left England on a voyage to China. The ship's last recorded position while the crew was still alive was 75°N 160°W, about 250 miles north of Barrow, Alaska. Which meant that the Octavius had become trapped in the ice of north Alaska for 13 years later, adrift off Greenland on the opposite side of the continent.

What could have caused this? Had 13 years of drifting pushed her through a then-unknown North West passage?

The Fortean Times Paranormal Handbook: Casebook Phantom Ships by David Sutton;
Sailing's Strangest Moments: Extraordinary But True Stories From Over Nine Hundred Years of Sailing by John Harding;

Pic Source:


  1. Interesting blog friend but a little to heavy on the ads. The site frozen my browser.

  2. @Gatekeeper: Ok, thanks for letting me know. I'll reduce the ads.

    I'm sorry for this inconvenience



Powered by Blogger.