Flying Dutchman, The Ghost Ship, A Terror Across The Seas
There’s a good chance you know him, maybe after seeing him come out of the sea in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead
Man’s Chest. The idea of the Flying Dutchman did not come out of nowhere for the writers of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Their inspiration was undoubtedly the real Flying Dutchman of the oceanic tradition.
According to legend, it is a ghost ship doomed to sail the seas and oceans forever. The first written accounts date from
the 18th century. The majority of reports claimed that the ship looked the most unusual as it was still glowing in some
sort of ghostly light. The sight of this ghost ship was nothing but the worst omen of all, and that belief persisted for
quite a long time. If any member of the ship’s crew had seen the Dutchman, they were certainly worried that some
misfortune would come soon after them.
The first printed reference to the famous ship can be seen in “Voyages to various parts of Europe, Asia and Africa”;,
published in 1790 and attributed to John MacDonald, where a passage in one of the chapters reads:” The weather was
so stormy that the sailors said they saw the Flying Dutchman. The common story is that this Dutchman came to Cape
Town in distress of time and wanted to enter the port but could not get a pilot to drive her and was lost and since then
in very bad weather his vision appears .”
Several accounts claim that the ghost ship has often been spotted on the southern coast of Africa, where hurricanes are
triggered by the appearance of a ghost ship, called the Flying Dutchman.
Many have tried to find a logical explanation behind the whole story of the Flying Dutchman, and why this ship was
even doomed.They say the ship’s crew had been cursed due to serious criminal actions carried out on board, such as
killings and acts of piracy. People wondered who could be the captain of such a ship, hence the famous quote from the
movie that the Dutchman must have a captain.
A 17th century Dutch captain named Bernard Fokke was suspected. He who sailed the seas for the Dutch East India
Company. He was well known for the speed with which he completed his voyages from the Dutch ports to Java,
Indonesia. In one case, he would have traveled this distance in 3 months and 10 days, to deliver a stock of letters to the
Dutch governor. Such quick trips have led some to suspect that the captain is being helped by the devil.
One of the most famous reports was made by Prince George, the future King George V. The diary of the royal family
dates the event of the Flying Dutchman’s visit on July 11, 1881. The incident allegedly took place offshore off the
Australian coast, in the middle of the Bass Strait between Melbourne and Sydney. As described in their journal, the
ghost ship appeared in an unusual bright red light. As Prince George’s ship neared where the mysterious ship was
believed to be, there was no sign of it in any direction, even though the night was clear and the sea was peaceful.
The Flying Dutchman may have remained an inexplicable mystery forever.