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Ghost Shipwreck

Gayle, IL, USA
February 2005

This story took place on Lake Michigan off of Milwaukee WI about 15 years ago.

My husband and I bought an old 26 foot steel boat for scuba diving on wrecks. One particular day, we brought another diver with us. His nic-name is Noodle.

This particular day was beautiful. Sunshine, and the Lake was flat calm. Not a ripple all the way out to a shipwreck called the Kate Kelley. There was not one bit of breeze when we anchored on the wreck and the anchor line hung loose with about 4 feet of slack off the bow of our boat. It was early morning, and we were seven miles off shore.

You cannot see shore from where we were. The sky was crystal clear, and flies hung over the boat like a cloud because of no wind. Noodle and my husband geared up and went diving while I stayed on the boat as a safety diver.

There was not a boat in sight of us, nor any noise at all. It was deathly quiet. Noodle and my husband finished their dive and came aboard. It was time for lunch, so we sat in the boat outside and ate lunch. The boat we dive off of weighs a hefty 4000 pounds and is made of steel. A person can stand on the side of this boat and it does not tip or lean in any way. We were not talking and just enjoying the sunshine and calm water. We could see the anchor line off the bow of the boat drooping and not taught. We were very quiet and were finishing lunch, no one had spoken, and there was not one noise of a bird, boat or anything. With us all in the boat, the boat began to rise upward into the air. We watched the anchor line tighten until it was taught. We were not scared, just didn't know what to do or think. We looked over the side of the boat and the boat was out of the water about three inches, the line off the bow was still taught. We looked at each other in wonderment and still no one said a word. The boat gently went down and back into the water, and you could see the ripples in the water go outward from the boat. Just like putting a cup into a bathtub of water, the ripples went outward. We all stood up and looked around the boat to see what could have caused this. There were no waves, no swells, no wind, no nothing. Not even a noise. We didn't think anything of it much and went on a second dive.

About a year later, I was talking to the person who found the shipwreck, and he had another tale of his own.

The day that he found the shipwreck, he was the only diver that swam down the anchor line to investigate the bleep on the fathometer that showed something was there. He told me he was going down the line hand over hand very slowly because he was getting scared. He saw a faint outline of the shipwreck laying on the bottom of the wooden hull. When he arrived to about three feet above the wreck, all of a sudden, something grabbed him and twirled him around in a circle while he still had ahold of the anchor line in his hands. He said he almost panicked, but didn't. He thought a ghost was trying to tell him something, and in his mind, he saw an old man with a beard and mustache sailing this vessel.

He did some investigating, and it was found there was no recorded history of what caused this ship to flounder and sink. He found the daughter of the captain of the ship who was now an old woman. She had a picture of her father, and the guy who found the wreck said it was the exact picture of the person in his mind when he found the wreck and was spun around. Apparently, there was gold on this ship, and it had never been found, neither was this captain's body. We are not sure what to think about the story, but I do know that my boat went into the air, and then settled back down into the water. Why? I am not sure, nor do I know if this captain was trying to tell me something. I do know that between us all that were there, we know it wasn't something done by nature. Maybe we'll never know.

Gayle, IL, USA
00:00 / 01:04
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