The SS Ourang Medan Mystery

The SS Ourang Medan Mystery

This article will be covering the SS Ourang Medan mystery of 1947, when the troubled Dutch merchant ship managed to enter the list of famous unsolved mysteries…


The SS Ourang Medan Story

1947, and two US vessels making their way through the strait of Malacca received a frantic and seemingly troubled Morse code message…

“All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.”

That initial message was freaky enough…but then it was followed by a coded gibberish message…which was then followed with…

“I die.”

The Morse code message then stopped – and only silence was heard.


The Silver Star

The American ‘Silver Star’ crew were understandably disturbed by this strange message, and the vessel set off to locate the Ourang Medan. Within a couple of hours, they located the ship drifting slowly on the water.

The ship looked fine – completely undamaged, but when the Silver Star attempted to hail it’s crew…there was no response!

They decided to send over a small party and board the vessel, to find out what was going on. As the party made their way on deck, they came across a truly twisted scene.

The Ourang Medan’s crew were scattered all over the decks of the ship, dead. They all lay on their backs with their eyes wide open…and their arms outstretched towards the sun. The boarding party also noted that the ship’s dog was dead.

The SS Ourang Medan Story

The bodies were checked, but no visible wounds were found on them.

They found more bodies below deck, including the communications officer who sent the Morse coded message. They also found the captain and his officers on the bridge – dead.

More of the Silver Star’s crew began to board the ship, to carry out a more thorough investigation. They later reported that the boiler room of the ship was incredibly cold…whilst the rest of the ship was really quite warm in temperature.

Without warning, a mysterious fire broke out below deck, and as the boarding party were unable to contain it. They had to get off the mysterious ship instantly.

The Ourang Medan Wreck Theories

Unfortunately they never got the opportunity to get back on the Ourang Medan…as the mysterious fire destroyed it and sank it into the sea.


The Ourang Medan Wreck Theories

The most popular theory linked to this mystery involves hazardous chemicals – many believe that the ship was secretly carrying these chemicals and they reacted with the salt water…resulting in a gas that asphyxiated the crew.

A number of skeptics now believe that the SS Ourang Medan never really existed – it is nothing more than a sea-bound urban legend…but numerous reports were put forward by the crew of the Silver Star?

Unfortunately, no published documentation about the event appeared until a full four years after it was supposed to have happened.

Extraterrestrials, spirits from the deep, an ancient curse…what do you think?

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the SS Ourang Medan mystery of 1947, please leave them in the comment section below.

8 comments on “The SS Ourang Medan Mystery

  1. Wow … this is a chilling article.

    Was there really a ship called SS Ourang Medan?  Surely there would have been records of where it set sailed from?  And thus record of it never arriving at its destination?  

    How come it took 4 years after the incident for the story to come out?

    The story raises so many questions … I can imagine this will make a great plot for a movie!  It can go either as a ghost ship story or a conspiracy thriller, wouldn’t you agree?!

  2. I love your site! I love these unexplained mysteries. They intrigue me. I had never heard of this ship, but it is totally up my alley. Do you know if anyone ever did a diving exploration? Is there evidence now that the ship actually did exist? A chemical reaction sounds most likely, but they might have seen a UFO which killed them? Who knows? I sure would like to read more about this ship! I have been completely in love with stories of the sea for most of my life. It began with my fascination with the Titanic. Now you have added one more story to my love of the sea and unexplained mysteries!

    Thank you and I look forward to your reply. Karin

    1. Hi Karin, 

      As with most ‘stories’ on the internet, it’s hard to pin down the truth about this one. There are new articles surfacing on the subject from time to time – I suggest you keep an eye out for them! 

      Great to hear you enjoyed the article so much!!! 🙂

  3. I remember reading about this a while ago and what a crazy story! I feel like it could be something that maybe is being partially covered up, because there seems to be a lack of information out there right? I would love to find out what really happened! I love your site!

    1. Hi Sydney, 

      Yeah like I explained to Karin – there is a lack of info on this one, and new ‘stories’ that are linked to it keep popping up all the time! 

  4. Hello there,

    This is truly horrifying, but a very engaging story nonethnless! The initial Morse Code message was very creepy and gave horror-like atmosphere, which was later followed by words ”I die” which totally set a true captivating, scary and mysterious storyline for me! I was very shocked and surprised when the ”Silver Star” crew discovered that the whole Ourang Medan’s crew was found dead, even though there weren’t any visible wounds and the actual ship itself was absolutely fine and didn’t show any signs of attack. However, it eventually exploded and caught on fire….  Very strange. I agree with the theory of hazardous chemicals being the cause of this tragic, but who knows… Thanks for such an awesome article, it was pleasure reading it and learning something new and interesting! Keep up the good work and have a great day! 

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