Monday, February 11, 2013

Ghosts of the SS Watertown

December 1924: The S.S. Watertown is enroute from New York City to Panama Canal. Crew members James Courtney and Michael Meehan are killed through a freak accident of dying by gas fumes. The sailors were buried at sea off the Mexican coast.

The following day, the first mate reported seeing the faces of the two dead sailors in the waves off the ship's port side. They were visible for 10 seconds before fading.  For several days thereafter, the phantom-like faces of the sailors were clearly seen by other members of the crew in the water following the ship. Captain Keith Tracy was successful in catching the images photographically, and the picture became one of the most famous paranormal photographs of all time.

Then in April 2010, paranormalist Blake Smith revealed the results of his in-depth investigation of the photo: It is a fake. Smith's research included searching the National Archives, recreation of the ship's stanchions and posts, Culver Studios and Reader's Digest. The photograph had been undeniably tampered with and, as Smith claims has thus, "no value as evidence for ... ghosts."

Smith's entire report can be read at

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