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Pamir The Phantom Ship

The Pamir was built at the Blohm & Voss shipyards in Hamburg, and launched on 29 July 1905. At 275ft (83m) in length, with enough sail to cover 45,000sq ft (4,180 square metres), this four-masted barque, was one of the famous Flying P-Liner sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz. She was the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn, in 1949. By 1957, the Pamir had become a sail-training vessel for the German Merchant Service. In command was Captain Diebitsch with a 35-strong crew, augmented by 51 sea cadets aged between 16 and 18. She left Buenos Aires in August 1957 carrying 3,790 tons of barley. Five hundred miles (800km) from the Azores, on 20 September, she met up with Hurricane Carrie. Her final message was heard on the airwaves at 8pm on 21 September: ‘Heavy hurricane – all sails lost – 45 degree list – danger of sinking – need help…’

When the US freighter Saxon arrived at the Pamir’s last position, all they found was a lifeboat with five survivors. The next day, one more survivor was discovered, but 80 souls had gone to the bottom. The Pamir’s story should have ended with this tragedy… but did it?

Four years later, another sail-trainer, the Esmereld, from Chile, was battling a gale in the English Channel when she sighted another sailing vessel; it was identified as the Pamir. The Esmereld’s report was taken with a large pinch of salt until some months later, when the yachtsman Reed Byers reported seeing the Pamir off the Virgin Islands.

Other sail training vessels – the German Gorch Foch and the Norwegian Christian Radich – also reported sighting the phantom ship, and the US Coastguard vessel, Eagle, crossed her path too.

As if this wasn’t dramatic enough, some embroiderers report that each time she is sighted, the Pamir’s crew are seen lined up on deck… and with each sighting their number decreases. On her last materialisation, only 20 were visible.


The Fortean Times Paranormal Handbook: Casebook Phantom Ships written by Roy Bainton;

Pic Source:

The Fortean Times Paranormal Handbook: Casebook Phantom Ships written by Roy Bainton page 21

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