SS Ourang Medan



The hoax

The last, but not least theory is that the whole story is just a hoax and those events never took place.

Facts that are supporting the theory:

  • there are no official records of SS Ourang Medan in Lloyd’s Shipping Register,
  • there are no records of SS Ourang Medan in the Dutch authorities either,
  • there are no records of the event in Dictionary of Disasters at Sea 1824-1962,
  • there is record of Silver Star vessel, but in 1947, at the time of the story, it was ran under the new name Santa Juana - there is possibility that the name of SS Ourang Medan was misspelled, but if both names were misspelled it looks suspicious,
  • the distract call itself is very suspicious: radio operator, feeling he is going to die, gives the description where the bodies are, but don’t mention the reason behind it, then he obviously feeling worse is sending incomprehensible signals, and moments before death he regains full control just to send the words "I die" - in case of poisoning or death from some sort of force his state should have just get worse and worse and not suddenly got better and then he would just died.


Facts that oppose the theory:

  • there is possibility that the name of SS Ourang Medan was misspelled or (if it was smuggling hazardous materials) that it was false name of the vessel or even the flag, but that would not explain the lack of any records about the sinking,
  • in May 1952 in United States Coast Guard published in the "Proceedings of the Merchant Marine Council" the account of the events as described in the story (including the horrified faces of the dead crewmen), which is the only official publication supporting the legend, but on the other hand we don’t know on what was the account based.



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SS Ourang Medan comments

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Great (01-02-2017 20:34:41)






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