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English Channel Wartime Ghost Ship

 

Recently I was commenting upon an wartime ghost encounter submitted on this site and relayed a story to the author which was told to me by my father many many years ago which happened to his brother who served in the Kriegsmarine during World War II.

So taken with the story, a few members asked me to post the story and so I will.

Here goes... My father's brother was named Egon and served on the infamous battleship Bismarck and sadly lost his life when it was sunk. Before its sinking however, and while his brother was in his Kriegsmarine training, his brother came home on leave and told him a story that haunted my father for the rest of his life. My father being only 6 or 7 years of age at the time.

Egon served on a Schnellboot, or S-Boot, meaning "fast boat" in the English Channel 1940. The mission of his service was to try to rescue downed Luftwaffe airman who were at that time fighting England in the Battle of Britain.

One evening during a nighttime air offensive, Egon's Schnellboot left France and sailed into English Channel. As they cut their engines and waited to perform their service of rescue they soon became aware of Spanish voices. Thinking that this might be fisherman from neutral Spain they decided to see if they could pull alongside their boat or move closer as to not have a collision. As the voices grew louder very soon the Schnellboot's searchlight came upon what could best be described as a 16th century Spanish galleon under full sail with crew.

My father told me that Egon and his crew were paralyzed with fear as this 16th Century vessel sailed past them. He said that the ship's details, e.g. Planks, rigging, cannons, etc. Were all distinguishable; including some of the crew who took no notice of them. The vessel proceeded leeward from their point of reference until it vanished and could no longer be seen.

On return to port, Egon's captain made a report which prompted the crew's separation (break-up) and re-deployment. They were told that the incident was not to be spoken about.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Jetson, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Jetson (2 stories) (61 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-31)
Thanks Lotus29 for your comment.

Yes, I have to agree with you that the sentiment that my father conveyed to me in the retelling of his Brother's encounter was that this was something that his brother was deeply worried about.

And although his brother was redeployed to the Bismarck which my father's family at the time were extremely proud of, and knowing that his brother received the rating of a Matrose II, which was unusual to receive after basic training; my father was alone in his feelings of grave concern for the welfare of his brother.

Years later... When I was told the story I have often pondered did this encounter foretell of misfortune for all of the crew?

And now with reading your comment, I wonder did this encounter have a larger context... Misfortune for Germany?

It's all so very strange and unsettling.

Thanks again.
Lotus29 (2 stories) (12 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-28)
Jetson - very interesting story. The Spanish Armada were in the English Channel and tried to unsuccessfully anchor in the Solent near Southampton / The Isle of Wight, before moving to Calais. The English fireship attack scattered the Armada, with a subsequent battle at Gravelines, from which the Armada withdrew north, where most of the remaining fleet was destroyed.

I can't help thinking this was some sort of warning, as this was a resounding defeat for Spain.
Jetson (2 stories) (61 posts)
+1
5 months ago (2017-07-25)
Thanks Biblio... Having read on this site about several wartime ghost encounters and experiences, I can only imagine how unnerving it must have been to be at war, and all that means for a civilian and a combatant; to have the added stress of encountering something paranormal. It must have really played on their minds. Thanks as well for your history on the Spanish Armada... Watching the movie Elizabeth I... I did learn a little but didn't know of any of the details which you wrote about.
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (745 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-24)
Greetings, Jetson.

I'm glad you shared this with us. While I'm turning this narrative over in my head, I keep thinking, "as if Britain didn't have enough problems with the Luftwaffe, the Kriegsmarine, Unterseeboote, V1 & V2 rockets, Mosley's Brownshirts, the George Washington Brigade, food shortages, sabotage, and espionage, the bloody Spanish Armada returned to join in!"

The storm that wrecked the Armada --*before* Drake started obliterating the surviving vessels-- swept them up past the west coast of Scotland, so the remaining ships were in the North Sea between Scotland and Norway: If they had any hope of making their way home, the shortest route would have been through the English Channel.

However, it is worth noting that Spain held territory in the Netherlands from the 1580s until the 1700s. This raises the possibility that your Uncle may have seen a well-defended merchant galleon (not that would be any comfort to the living sailors who encountered it).

Best,
Biblio.
AugustaM (2 stories) (429 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-24)
And I just realized that autocorrect changed Armada to Ramada yet again- my apologies!
Jetson (2 stories) (61 posts)
+1
5 months ago (2017-07-24)
Hello AugustaM... Thanks very much for your comment and for sharing your experience which was fascinating to read.
AugustaM (2 stories) (429 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-23)
What a breathtaking experience!

A phantom Spanish ship in the English Channel? That looked to be from the 16th Century? Well... 1588 - the Spanish Ramada sailed up the channel and found only ruin. I would vote the phantom ship was one of the ill-fated armada galleons.

I actually had something similar happen to me. The area where I live is coastal and consists of many peninsulas so if you want to go just about anywhere there will be a bridge and a tunnel involved... And where there is a tunnel, there is traffic! One day on my way home from work (~5pm - broad daylight), I was stopped on one of these bridges on the approach to one of the tunnels - I didn't mind though as it was a gorgeous summer day and if you have to be stuck in traffic, a waterfront view certainly has a way of improving things. As I sat parked I kicked up my feet and took in the beautiful day and lovely river... When my eyes fell on something strange. Out on the river, about at my 3 o'clock, there was a tall ship. She was dark - as though she had been painted black. Not the first bit of sail showed upon her four masts. Even though the day was clear, a misty haze surrounded her. She seemed so lonely out there - still and sad in the distance. Granted we have five tall ships resident in the area but I know them all very well and have sailed many times on all of them - this was absolutely not one of them. And it was just as I realized this that the traffic began to move. I whipped out my iPad and desperately tried to get a picture of her while driving in traffic. I must have clicked fifty pictures before driving into the tunnel. When I exited the tunnel, she was gone. When I got off the interstate and pulled up to my first stop light, I checked the photos. I had captured the spot where she was, I am certain of it, but she wasn't in the photos.

All of this is a long and round about way to say that I absolutely believe your story and really loved it. I am sorry for your family's loss - my grandfather was in WWII as well and I know how incredibly lucky and fortunate we were that he came home when so many beloved family members did not.
Jetson (2 stories) (61 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-19)
Yes Unexplained... This is all that I know. I did try and ask my Oma (Grandmother) and my dad's sister about the experience but they as well had heard it secondhand through my father who told it to them years after the event and so they really only knew what my father told them.
Jetson (2 stories) (61 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-19)
Yes Melda... I totally agree with you as my comment about the Flying Dutchman was just to suggest another 'what could it be?' scenario. As mentioned, my father was a yachtsman (he partcipated in the Whitbread back in the 70s) and had many a story which was just nerve shattering... Such as sailors being swept overboard never to be heard of again. I have to say though nothing troubled him as much as him speaking about what his brother had encountered. Thanks again for your comments.
Unexplained (2 stories) (111 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-19)
Thanks for posting that ghost ship story, 'Jetson'. Would love to have heard some more details about it, but I understand if this is all you've been told.
Melda (9 stories) (717 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-19)
Jetson - It's highly improbable that your uncle would have seen the Flying Dutchman, given the locality.

However, there are stories of many ancient sunken ships which are seen worldwide and it totally fascinates me!

Regards, Melda
Jetson (2 stories) (61 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-19)
Hello Argette and Melda... Thank you for you comments... As you say perhaps a time slip... Perhaps a residual haunting from a distant point in time... Perhaps the 'Flying Dutchman'... All I can say is that my father who owned a yacht and was a sailor all his life had many an interesting encounter on the sea but none as chilling or unnerving as what happened to his brother.
Melda (9 stories) (717 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-19)
Jetson - Apologies. My last paragraph should have read that YOUR UNCLE was fortunate to have experienced that event.

Regards, Melda
Melda (9 stories) (717 posts)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-19)
Jetson - What an extraordinary experience. I love stories about ghost ships.

We have a very famous legend in South Africa regarding a ship called "The Flying Dutchman", which has apparently been witnessed by a number of seafarers over the years.

Great account. You were very fortunate to have encountered this ancient ship!

Regards, Melda
Argette (guest)
 
5 months ago (2017-07-18)
Time slip? The twig-in-the-river theory come to life? I have no idea, but this is hands down the best account I've read here.

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