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Gloomy Sunday – The Urban Legend of MOST dangerous Suicide Song

In December, 1932, a down and out Hungarian named Reszo Seress was trying to make a living as a songwriter in Paris, but kept failing miserably. All of his compositions failed to impress the music publishers of France, but Seress carried on chasing his dream nevertheless. He was determined to become an internationally famous songwriter. His girlfriend had constant rows with him over the insecurity of his ambitious life. She urged him to get a full-time 9 to 5 job, but Seress was uncompromising. He told her he was to be a songwriter or a hobo, and that was that.

One afternoon, things finally came to a head. Seress and his fiancée had a fierce row over his utter failure as a composer, and the couple parted with angry words.

On the day after the row – which happened to be a Sunday – Seress sat at the piano in his apartment, gazing morosely through the window at the Parisian skyline. Outside, storm-clouds gathered in the grey sky, and soon the heavy rain began to pelt down.

“What a gloomy Sunday” Seress said to himself as he played about on the piano’s ivories, and quite suddenly, his hands began to play a strange melancholy melody that seemed to encapsulate the downhearted way he was feeling over his quarrel with his girl and the state of the dispiriting weather.

“Yes, Gloomy Sunday! That will be the title of my new song” muttered Seress, excitedly, and he grabbed a pencil and wrote the notes down on an old postcard. Thirty minutes later he had completed the song.

Seress sent his composition off to a music publisher and waited for acceptance with a lot more hope than he usually had in his heart. A few days later, the song-sheet was returned with a rejection note stapled to it that stated: “Gloomy Sunday has a weird but highly depressing melody and rhythm, and we are sorry to say that we cannot use it.” The song was sent off again to another publisher, and this time it was accepted. The music publisher told Seress that his song would soon be distributed to all the major cities of the world. The young Hungarian was ecstatic.

But a few months after Gloomy Sunday was printed, there were a spate of strange occurrences that were allegedly sparked off by the new song. In Berlin, a young man requested a band to play Gloomy Sunday, and after the number was performed, the man went home and blasted himself in the head with a revolver after complaining to relatives that he felt severely depressed by the melody of a new song which he couldn’t get out of his head. That song was Gloomy Sunday.

A week later in the same city, a young female shop assistant was found hanging from a rope in her flat. Police who investigated the suicide found a copy of the sheet-music to Gloomy Sunday in the dead girl’s bedroom.

Two days after that tragedy, a young secretary in New York gassed herself, and in a suicide note she requested Gloomy Sunday to be played at her funeral. Weeks later, another New Yorker, aged 82, jumped to his death from the window of his seventh-story apartment after playing the ‘deadly’ song on his piano. Around the same time, a teenager in Rome who had heard the unlucky tune jumped off a bridge to his death.

The newspapers of the world were quick to report other deaths associated with Seress’ song. One newspaper covered the case of a woman in North London who had been playing a 78 recording of Gloomy Sunday at full volume, infuriating and frightening her neighbors, who had read of the fatalities supposedly caused by the tune. The stylus finally became trapped in a groove, and the same piece of the song played over and over. The neighbors hammered on the woman’s door but there was no answer, so they forced the door open – only to find the woman dead in her chair from an overdose of barbiturates. As the months went by, a steady stream of bizarre and disturbing deaths that were alleged to be connected to Gloomy Sunday persuaded the chiefs at the BBC to ban the seemingly accursed song from the airwaves. Back in France, Rizzo Seress, the man who had composed the controversial song, was also to experience the adverse effects of his creation. He wrote to his ex-fiancée, pleading for a reconciliation. But several days later came the most awful, shocking news. Seress learned from the police that his sweetheart had poisoned herself. And by her side, a copy of the sheet music to Gloomy Sunday was found.

At the end of the 1930s, when the world was plunged into the war against Hitler, Seress’ inauspicious song was quickly forgotten in the global turmoil, but the sheet-music to the dreaded song is still available (on the Net too) to those who are curious to know if the morbid melody can still exert its deadly influence…

It is said that you will commit suicide right after listening to the “overture to death”. Hundreds of people (including the composer and his wife), commited suicide right after listening to this song, for some strange reason. It is said that you will hear a subliminal message deep in this song. This song, unlike the others, is the ORIGINAL 

[youtube]It starts in 1933 when Hungarian composer Rezso Seress broke up with his girlfriend on a Sunday. In utter despair he pens ‘Gloomy Sunday.’ The first publisher rejects his song as too depressing. The second commits suicide. But the third sees the potential and publishes ‘Gloomy Sunday’ throughout Europe.
People start dying immediately. In Berlin a man shot himself after telling relatives he couldn’t get that damn song out of his head. In Rome, an errand boy heard a beggar humming the tune, got off his bike, gave the beggar all his money and jumped from the nearest bridge. In one year alone in Hungary seventeen suicides were found with notes quoting the ‘Gloomy Sunday’ lyrics.
Of course sceptics dismiss these claims as anecdotal, quoting the rather strange fact that Hungary was so well known for its high suicide rate that seventeen people found dead in one year clutching the lyrics to a song was ‘par for the course.’
In 1936 the song reached New York and was marketed as ‘The Hungarian Suicide Song.’ Within a week a typist had gassed herself, requesting ‘Gloomy Sunday’ be played at her funeral.
As the death toll mounted, a third verse was added to the song. A happy verse that was intended to counter the depressive urges of the first two. A verse that said: wait, it was all a dream, she’s not dead, there’s no reason to commit suicide and, look, the sun’s coming out!
It didn’t work. The power of ‘Gloomy Sunday’ wasn’t confined to the lyrics. It was the dirge-like melody. As the BBC found out when they banned ‘Gloomy Sunday’ but allowed an instrumental version. A recording was made and released on a 78. Which caused panic in North London when a woman kept playing the record over and over. Neighbours banged on her doors, the police were called, the door forced open and … she was found dead inside – of an overdose.
With the BBC, the US and France all banning the song, another attempt to rehabilitate ‘Gloomy Sunday’ came in 1978 when English psychologist, Sir Edmund Hendricks, suggested an alternative third verse. Sir Edmund was a controversial figure in the world of psychology and a strong proponent of stiff upper lips and ‘tough love.’ His third verse went along the lines of: pull yourself together! You think Sunday’s bad wait until Monday and you have to go back to work!
This re-released version sparked the infamous ‘I don’t like Mondays’ California school shootings.
So, urban legend or frightening fact? The jury, what’s left of them after four hung themselves, is still out.
But judge for yourself. Here’s a short sample of the song and here, below, are the English lyrics as translated by Sam Lewis.
Sunday is gloomy, my hours are slumberless Dearest the shadows I live with are numberless Little white flowers will never awaken you Not where the black coach of sorrow has taken you Angels have no thought of ever returning you Would they be angry if I thought of joining you?
Gloomy Sunday
Gloomy is Sunday, with shadows I spend it all My heart and I have decided to end it all Soon there’ll be candles and prayers that are sad I know Let them not weep let them know that I’m glad to go Death is no dream for in death I’m caressing you With the last breath of my soul I’ll be blessing you
Gloomy Sunday

Singers who have recorded this song include Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Bjork, Sarah McLachlan and Elvis Costello. Some are still alive. Not composer Rezso Seress however. In 1968, you guessed it, he committed suicide. 



The magnetic soul of the universe

“In 1945, the primitive appearance of pre-intelligent primates on planet Earth blew up the first thermonuclear device. They did not suspect that they created an echo in the super-space web, used for non-local communication and the transmigration of souls by the civilizations of the Trans-galactic union, network , which the more mysterious races call the “body of God.”

Shortly afterwards, the secret forces of intelligent races were sent to Earth to observe the situation and prevent further electromagnetic destruction of the universal network. “

The introduction taken in quotation marks looks like a plot for science fiction, but just such a conclusion can be drawn after reading this scientific article. The presence of this network pervading the entire Universe could explain a lot – for example, the UFO phenomenon, their elusiveness and invisibility, incredible possibilities, and besides, indirectly, this theory of the “body of God” gives us real evidence that there is life after death.

We are at the very initial stage of development, and in fact we are “pre-intelligent beings” and who knows if we can find the strength in ourselves to become a truly intelligent race. Astronomers have discovered that magnetic fields permeate much of space. Hidden lines of the magnetic field extend for millions of light years throughout the universe.

Each time astronomers come up with a new way to search for magnetic fields in more and more distant regions of space, they inexplicably find them.

These force fields are the same entities that surround the Earth, the Sun and all galaxies. Twenty years ago, astronomers began to discover magnetism permeating entire clusters of galaxies, including the space between one galaxy and the next. Invisible field lines sweep through intergalactic space.

Last year, astronomers finally managed to explore a much more sparse region of space – the space between clusters of galaxies. There they discovered the largest magnetic field: 10 million light-years of magnetized space, covering the entire length of this “thread” of the cosmic web. A second magnetized thread has already been seen elsewhere in space using the same methods. “We’re just looking at the tip of the iceberg, probably,” said Federica Govoni of the National Institute of Astrophysics in Cagliari, Italy, who led the first discovery.

The question arises: where did these huge magnetic fields come from?

“This clearly cannot be associated with the activity of individual galaxies or individual explosions or, I do not know, winds from supernovae,” said Franco Vazza, an astrophysicist at the University of Bologna, who makes modern computer simulations of cosmic magnetic fields. “This goes far beyond all this.”

One possibility is that cosmic magnetism is primary, tracing all the way back to the birth of the universe.In this case, weak magnetism must exist everywhere, even in the “voids” of the cosmic web – the darkest, most empty areas of the universe. Omnipresent magnetism would sow stronger fields that bloomed in galaxies and clusters.

Primary magnetism could also help solve another cosmological puzzle known as Hubble stress – probably the hottest topic in cosmology.

The problem underlying Hubble’s tension is that the Universe seems to expand much faster than expected based on its known components. In an article published on the Internet in April and reviewed with Physical Review Letters, cosmologists Karsten Jedamzik ​​and Levon Poghosyan argue that weak magnetic fields in the early Universe will lead to the faster cosmic expansion observed today.

Primitive magnetism removes Hubble’s tension so simply that Jedamzik ​​and Poghosyan’s article immediately attracted attention. “This is a great article and an idea,” said Mark Kamionkovsky, a theoretical cosmologist at Johns Hopkins University who proposed other solutions to Hubble’s tension.

Kamenkovsky and others say that additional checks are needed to ensure that early magnetism does not interfere with other cosmological calculations. And even if this idea works on paper, researchers will need to find convincing evidence of primary magnetism to make sure that it is the missing agent that formed the universe.

However, in all these years of talking about Hubble stress, it is perhaps strange that no one has considered magnetism before. According to Poghosyan, who is a professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada, most cosmologists hardly think about magnetism. “Everyone knows this is one of those big puzzles,” he said. But for decades there was no way to say whether magnetism is indeed ubiquitous and, therefore, is the primary component of the cosmos, so cosmologists have largely stopped paying attention.

Meanwhile, astrophysicists continued to collect data. The weight of evidence made most of them suspect that magnetism is indeed present everywhere.

The magnetic soul of the universe

In 1600, an English scientist William Gilbert, studying mineral deposits — naturally magnetized rocks that humans have created in compasses for millennia — came to the conclusion that their magnetic force “mimics the soul.” “He correctly suggested that the Earth itself is“ a great magnet, ”and that the magnetic pillars“ look toward the poles of the Earth. ”

Magnetic fields occur at any time when an electric charge flows. The Earth’s field, for example, comes from its internal “dynamo” – a stream of liquid iron, seething in its core. Fields of fridge magnets and magnetic columns come from electrons orbiting around their constituent atoms.

Cosmological modeling illustrates two possible explanations of how magnetic fields penetrated galaxy clusters. On the left, the fields grow out of homogeneous “seed” fields that filled the space in the moments after the Big Bang. On the right, astrophysical processes, such as the formation of stars and the flow of matter into supermassive black holes, create magnetized winds that exit galaxies.

However, as soon as a “seed” magnetic field arises from charged particles in motion, it can become larger and stronger if weaker fields are combined with it. Magnetism “is a bit like a living organism,” said Thorsten Enslin, a theoretical astrophysicist at the Institute of Astrophysics Max Planck in Garching, Germany – because magnetic fields connect to every free source of energy that they can hold onto and grow. They can spread and influence other areas through their presence, where they also grow. ”

Ruth Durer, a cosmologist and theoretician at the University of Geneva, explained that magnetism is the only force besides gravity that can shape the large-scale structure of the cosmos, because only magnetism and gravity can “reach you” at great distances. Electricity, on the contrary, is local and short-lived, since the positive and negative charge in any region will be neutralized as a whole. But you cannot cancel magnetic fields; they tend to take shape and survive.

And yet, despite all its power, these force fields have low profiles. They are intangible and are perceived only when they act on other things. ”You cannot just photograph a magnetic field; it doesn’t work like that, “Van Reuen, an astronomer at Leiden University who was involved in the recent discovery of magnetized filaments, told Reinu Van.

Last year, Van Verin and 28 collaborators suggested a magnetic field in the filament between clusters of galaxies Abell 399 and Abell 401 is the way the field redirects high-speed electrons and other charged particles passing through it. As their paths spin in the field, these charged particles emit faint “synchrotron radiation.”

The synchrotron signal is strongest at low frequencies, making it ready to be detected with LOFAR, an array of 20,000 low-frequency radio antennas scattered across Europe.

The team actually collected data from the filament back in 2014 for one eight-hour span, but the data sat waiting as the radio astronomy community spent years figuring out how to improve the calibration of LOFAR measurements. The Earth’s atmosphere refracts the radio waves passing through it, so LOFAR considers space from the bottom of the swimming pool. The researchers solved the problem by tracking the vibrations of the “beacons” in the sky – the emitters with precisely known locations – and adjusting the vibrations for this to release all the data. When they applied the de-blurring algorithm to the data from the filament, they immediately saw the glow of the synchrotron radiation. LOFAR consists of 20,000 individual radio antennas scattered throughout Europe.

The filament looks magnetized everywhere, and not just near clusters of galaxies that move towards each other from both ends. Researchers hope the 50-hour dataset they are currently analyzing will reveal more details. Recently, additional observations have revealed magnetic fields propagating along the entire length of the second filament. Researchers plan to publish this work soon.

The presence of huge magnetic fields in at least these two strands provides important new information. “It caused quite a bit of activity,” Van Faith said, “because now we know that magnetic fields are relatively strong.”

Light through the Void

If these magnetic fields arose in the infant Universe, the question arises: how? “People have been thinking about this issue for a long time,” said Tanmai Wachaspati of Arizona State University.

In 1991, Vachaspati suggested that magnetic fields could arise during an electroweak phase transition – a moment, a split second after the Big Bang, when electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces became distinguishable. Others have suggested that magnetism materialized microseconds later when protons formed. Or soon after: the late astrophysicist Ted Harrison claimed in the earliest original theory of magnetogenesis in 1973 that turbulent plasma of protons and electrons may have caused the appearance of the first magnetic fields. Nevertheless, others suggested that this space became magnetized even before all this, during space inflation – the explosive expansion of space that supposedly jumped up and launched the Big Bang itself. It is also possible that this did not happen before the growth of structures a billion years later.

A way to test theories of magnetogenesis is to study the structure of magnetic fields in the most pristine parts of the intergalactic space, such as the calm parts of filaments and even more empty voids. Some details — for example, whether the field lines are smooth, spiral, or “curved in all directions, like a ball of yarn or something else” (according to Vachaspati), and how the picture changes in different places and at different scales — carry rich information that can be compared with the theory and modeling, for example, if the magnetic field occurred during the electroweak phase transition, as suggested by Vacaspati, the resulting power lines should be spiral, “like a corkscrew,” -. he said.

The catch is that it is difficult to detect the force fields, who have nothing to press on.

One of the methods, first proposed by the English scientist Michael Faraday back in 1845, detects a magnetic field by the way it rotates the direction of polarization of the light passing through it. The magnitude of the “Faraday rotation” depends on the strength of the magnetic field and the frequency of light. Thus, by measuring the polarization at different frequencies, you can conclude about the strength of magnetism along the line of sight. “If you do it from different places, you can make a 3D map,” Enslin said.

Researchers have begun making rough measurements of Faraday rotation using LOFAR, but the telescope has problems emitting an extremely weak signal. Valentina Wakka, an astronomer and colleague of Govoni from the National Institute of Astrophysics, developed an algorithm several years ago for the statistical processing of thin Faraday rotation signals, adding together many dimensions of empty spaces. “In principle, it can be used for voids,” said Wakka.

But the Faraday method will really take off when the next generation radio telescope, a gigantic international project called “an array of square kilometers”, is launched. “SKA should create a fantastic Faraday grid,” said Enslin.

At the moment, the only evidence of magnetism in voids is that observers do not see when they look at objects called blazars located behind voids.

Blazars are bright beams of gamma rays and other energy sources of light and matter, fed by supermassive black holes. When gamma rays travel through space, they sometimes collide with ancient microwaves, turning into electron and positron as a result. These particles then hiss and turn into low-energy gamma rays.

But if blazar light passes through a magnetized void, then low-energy gamma rays will appear absent, argued Andrei Neronov and Evgeny Vovk from the Geneva Observatory in 2010. The magnetic field will deflect electrons and positrons from the line of sight. When they decay into low-energy gamma rays, these gamma rays will not be directed at us. Indeed, when Nero and Vovk analyzed the data from a suitably located blazar, they saw its high-energy gamma rays, but not its low-energy gamma signal. “This is the lack of a signal, which is the signal,” said Vachaspati.

The absence of a signal is hardly a smoking weapon, and alternative explanations have been proposed for missing gamma rays. However, subsequent observations increasingly point to the hypothesis of Neronov and Vovkov that the voids are magnetized. “This is a majority opinion,” said Dürer. Most convincingly, in 2015, one team superimposed many dimensions of blazars behind voids and managed to tease the faint halo of low-energy gamma rays around blazars. The effect is exactly what one would expect if the particles were scattered by weak magnetic fields – measuring only about one millionth of a trillion as strong as a refrigerator magnet.

The biggest mystery of cosmology

It is amazing that just this amount of primary magnetism can be exactly what is needed to resolve the Hubble stress – the problem of the surprisingly fast expansion of the Universe.

This is precisely what Poghosyan understood when he saw the recent computer simulations of Carsten Jedamzik ​​from the University of Montpellier in France and his colleagues. Researchers added weak magnetic fields to the simulated plasma-filled young Universe and found that protons and electrons in the plasma flew along the lines of the magnetic field and accumulated in areas of the weakest field strength. This coalescence effect caused protons and electrons to combine into hydrogen — an early phase change known as recombination — earlier than they might otherwise have.

Poghosyan, reading an article by Jedamzik, realized that this could relieve Hubble’s tension. Cosmologists calculate how fast space should expand today by observing the ancient light emitted during recombination. Light shows a young Universe dotted with blots that were formed from sound waves lapping around in the primary plasma. If recombination occurred earlier than anticipated due to the thickening effect of magnetic fields, then sound waves could not propagate so far forward, and the resulting drops would be smaller. This means that the spots that we see in the sky from the time of recombination should be closer to us than the researchers assumed. The light emanating from the clots had to travel a shorter distance to reach us, which means that the light had to pass through a faster expanding space. “It’s like trying to run on an expanding surface; you cover a smaller distance, ”said Poghosyan.

The result is that smaller droplets mean a higher expected speed of cosmic expansion, which greatly brings the estimated speed closer to measuring how fast supernovae and other astronomical objects actually seem to fly apart.

“I thought, wow,” said Poghosyan, “this may indicate to us the real presence of [magnetic fields]. Therefore, I immediately wrote to Karsten.” The two met in Montpellier in February, just before the prison closed, and their calculations showed that, indeed, the amount of primary magnetism needed to solve the Hubble tension problem is also consistent with the blazar observations and the estimated size of the initial fields needed for the growth of huge magnetic fields , covering clusters of galaxies and filaments. “So, it all somehow converges,” said Poghosyan, “if that turns out to be true.”

References: Quanta Magazine

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The Montana base incident: UFO disconnects 16 nuclear missiles

In central Montana, on Thursday morning, March 16, 1967, an E-Flight nuclear missile crew was located underground at the Echo-Flight Mission Control Center (LCC) in a fortified bunker.

During the early morning, there were several reports from security patrols that they had seen a UFO. A UFO was spotted directly above one of the E-Flight (LF) launchers above the mine. It turned out that at least one security officer was so scared by this meeting that he never returned to the Security Service.

After a while, the deputy calculation commander (DMCCC), 1st lieutenant, informed the calculation commander (MCCC), the captain, about the condition of the missiles in the mines when an alarm sounded. Over the next 30 seconds, all ten of their missiles issued a No-Go status report. One by one, each rocket became inoperative, From that moment, as his former rocket launcher describes:

“All hell broke loose! Among the many calls to the electronic switch. The matter was compounded by the fact that the same event happened on another launcher on the same morning (6 rockets disconnected)”.

In this case, we have a strategic nuclear missile stop coinciding with the sighting of a UFO over a missile shaft! These were missiles lost by the American nuclear deterrence forces. According to Robert Salas, who was counting that morning:

“As far as I remember, while on duty as deputy commander of a missile combat crew underground in the LSS, in the morning hours of March 16, 1967, I received a call from the sergeant responsible for the security of the facility Launch control center”.

He said that he and other guards observed unidentified flying objects in the immediate vicinity, which several times flew over the mines in which the rockets were. At that time, he could only describe them as “lights.” I did not take this message seriously and told him to continue observing and reporting if something more significant happened. I believed that this first call was a joke.

A few minutes later, the security sergeant called again. Now he was thrilled and upset, saying that the UFO hovered right behind the front gate. I ordered him to guard the fenced area. While we were talking, he had to leave, because one of the guards approached the UFO and was injured. I immediately woke up my commander, who was just resting and began reporting on telephone conversations. Immediately, our missiles began to quickly move from an “alarm” state to a “no launch” state. Some kind of signal was sent to the missiles, which made them emerge from a state of alert.

Having reported this incident to the command post, I called my guard. He said that the man who approached the UFO was not seriously injured, but was evacuated by helicopter to the base. Once at the top, I spoke directly with the guard about the UFO. He added that the UFO has a red glow and saucer shape. He repeated that it was right behind the gate and soared silently.

We sent a security patrol to check our ODS after a trip, and they reported that they saw another UFO during this patrol. They also lost radio contact with us immediately after reporting the UFO. Later that morning, we were replaced by our full-time shift crew. The missiles were still not put on alert by on-site maintenance teams.

Again, UFOs were spotted by security personnel during or around the time of the shutdown of Minuteman strategic missiles. An in-depth investigation of the incident was conducted. Full-scale field and laboratory tests were conducted at the Seattle-based Boeing plant.

Both the declassified documents of the strategic rocket wing and the interviews with Boeing engineers who tested after the investigation of the incident, confirm that no reason was found for shutting down the missiles. The most that could be done was to reproduce the effects by directly injecting a 10-volt pulse into the data line. One of the conclusions was that the only way to do this from outside the shielded system was through an electromagnetic pulse from an unknown source.

During the events of that morning in 1967, UFOs were spotted by members of the Security Service on the east side of the base and one on north. Other members of the Security Service witnessed UFO’s on the west side. These observations were reported by separate security teams at about the same time that Minuteman strategic missiles were stopped at both sites. The U.S. Air Force confirmed that all Echo flights shut off within a few seconds, one after the other, and that they did not find any reason for this.

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Ship of death. What happened to the sailors of the mysterious vessel Ourang Medan?

“The ship of death” – that is what the American sailors boarded the ship in distress called the Ourang Medan. The entire crew of the ship was dead. Eyewitnesses assured that the faces of the crew were turned to the sky and distorted by torment.

Save our souls

In June 1947, British and Dutch radio stations received a very strange SOS signal, which someone transmitted in Morse code. The message transcript read:

“This is the Dutch ship, Ourang Medan. The captain and all the officers are dead in the cockpit and on the bridge. Perhaps the whole crew is dead.” 

Then came an incomprehensible series of dots and dashes, but they still managed to decipher the end of the message. Somewhere in the expanses of the Indian Ocean, an unknown radio operator clearly tapped out:

“I am also dying.”

Despite the brevity of the message, a few distress ships managed to receive the distress signal not far from the Strait of Malacca, which separates the island of Sumatra from Malaysia. Among these ships, by a strange coincidence, there were two American ships that were the first to establish the approximate location of the ship in distress. One of them – Silver Star (“Silver Star”) – went to the rescue of “Medan”.

Despite the fact that the width of the Strait of Malacca is only 40 kilometers, the length of the strait is more than 800 kilometers, so the drift ship was not immediately found. Sailors with Silver Star immediately noticed something was wrong – no one answered the greeting signals, and even a soul was not visible on the deck. Therefore, the captain of Silver Star decided to send a boat with a reconnaissance detachment to Medan.

The Americans who got on board got a terrible picture: the deck and bridge of the ship were littered with corpses. Even the dog died – apparently, the favorite of one of the officers. The radio operator who transmitted the SOS was found in the radio room – he was also dead, and his hand still lay on the transmitter. What terrified the Americans most of all was the fact that most of the dead lay with wide eyes and contorted faces, which testified to unbearable torment at the time of death. The sailors wanted to go down into the hold to inspect the cargo, but quickly abandoned this idea – an incredible cold reigned inside the ship, in some places the corridors were covered with hoarfrost.

After consulting with the captain, the Silver Star sailors decided to take the Medan in tow and deliver it to the nearest port, where it would be possible to find out the cause of the death of the sailors. But as soon as the ship was towed, a trickle of smoke appeared over the deck of the ill-fated ship – a smoldering fire began to break out. This was a paradox – despite the polar cold, fire raged inside the ship.

Photo © Andrew H. Hochheimer

The members of the Silver Star team barely had time to cut off the towing ropes and escape from the ship, when in the hold of the Medan there was such a strong explosion that the ship lifted above the water, and then it quickly sank, forever depriving the Americans of the opportunity to find out what happened.

The Research Begins

60 years later, American researchers became interested in the story of Medan. But they were surprised to find that the only document confirming the authenticity of the story of the Medan crew was a brochure published by the US Coast Guard in 1952. The brochure published the testimonies of sailors boarding the “flying Dutchman.” This proved that the story really happened.

As it turned out, the US archives confirmed the existence of the Silver Star ship. According to the papers, it was sold in the same 1947 to Grace Line and received a new name – Santa Juana. But finding documentary evidence of the existence of the Dutch vessel Ourang Medan was not so simple. Neither in the International Register of Ships, nor in the Singapore Maritime Archive, nor in the archives of Amsterdam, a ship of that name has ever been.

But it turned out that the traces of the ship must be sought in … Germany. The scientist Theodor Sirsdorfer, who devoted 50 years to the study of Medan and managed to establish the names of American ships that received the SOS signal (the second was a vessel called City of Baltimore), found a brochure by another German author – Otto Milke; the brochure was called Das Totenschiff in der Südsee (“Death Ship in the South Sea”) and was published in 1953.

In it, the author spoke in detail about the Ourang Medan ship, indicated its technical characteristics and claimed that the ship really died with the crew in 1947. Moreover, Milke shed light on the causes of the death of the ship, hinting that the fourth compartment in the hold of the ship was indeed filled with dangerous cargo, which caused the death of the crew – potassium cyanide and nitroglycerin.

Photo © Andrew H. Hochheimer

Versions for the Crew Death

But there was an even more terrible version of the death of the Medan crew, and it led from Nazi Germany to another country with a militaristic regime – Japan.

Division 731, which the Japanese called the “division of Togo,” was founded in 1932 by the Japanese bacteriologist Shiro Ishii and gained such terrible fame that people did not call it “cannibal lair”. The task of the department was to develop the deadliest bacteriological weapons and the most terrible poisonous substances.

In Harbin’s laboratories, the Japanese tested these substances on prisoners of war – Chinese and Russians, as well as on the civilian population of China – on women and children. The Japanese doctors did not stop the suffering of people – they opened the victims alive to see the effects of poisonous gases on their internal organs, froze the still alive “patients” and infected them with various combinations of infections.

Despite the war crimes of scientists, the Americans granted them immunity in exchange for research results. For transportation of toxic substances of unit 731, Medan, a ship of Sumatran or Malaysian smugglers, not registered in any of the marine registers, whose task was to take out the deadly substances to the United States, could be chartered. In the hold of the Medan, containers were leaked, the crew died, and the gas managed to disappear by the time the Americans approached.

However, this is only one of many versions of the death of the team “Medan”. Some researchers suggested the impact on sailors of powerful ultrasound, which can occur in the ocean and kill people. Conspiracists believed that the team was killed by the undead or met with a UFO. Scentists spoke of a cloud of methane that rose from the depths of the Strait of Malacca, covered the ship, and the crew simply suffocated without oxygen.

Photo © Historic Mysteries

The version with the Nazis was continued – the researchers found a publication in the Indonesian newspaper Lokomotiv dated February 3, 1948. It said that after the explosion on Medan, a boat with a starving man was thrown ashore on one of the Marshall Islands. This man spoke German and told the translator that the Ourang Medan actually belonged to Germany and sank 400 miles southeast of the Marshall Islands. In 1945, it supposedly transported containers of nerve gas, but, learning about the surrender of Germany, it began to hide, moving from port to port and moving on to South America. The Germans’ journey was interrupted by an accident – one of the containers was depressurized, the team died.

But there is another plausible explanation for what happened on the ship. Perhaps the smugglers’ vessel was transporting such a seemingly ordinary cargo as ammonium nitrate. This is a fertilizer that is used in the manufacture of explosives. After getting into the hold of sea water, ammonium nitrate entered a chemical reaction with water and began to decompose, releasing laughing gas, which causes drug intoxication and dulls vigilance. At the same time, a decrease in temperature occurred, since the reaction proceeds with the absorption of heat, which could explain the severe cold in the hold. And the introduction of ammonium nitrate into the reaction with any alkali that came on board could lead to the formation of ammonia, the choking from which could explain the terrible torment of the crew. Heating the fertilizer near a steam or diesel engine could lead to heating of the cargo,

Most likely, the violation of safety rules during transportation of hazardous chemicals is to blame for the death of the crew. The smugglers simply pushed the containers into the cargo compartments of the ship and went to sea, hoping for good luck. But this time she turned away from them.

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