Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228490
Title: THE (RE)INTERPRETATION OF GHOST SHIPS BETWEEN IMAGINATION AND REALITY
Authors: LEONG WEI FENG KEVIN
Keywords: Maritime History
Ghost Ships
Folklore
Abandoned Derelicts
Modern Dangers
“Phantom Ships”
North Korea
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2022
Citation: LEONG WEI FENG KEVIN (2022-03-30). THE (RE)INTERPRETATION OF GHOST SHIPS BETWEEN IMAGINATION AND REALITY. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis explores the functionality of ghost ships, chronologically examining them (on a case-by-case basis) throughout maritime history. The paper not only examines the traditional seafaring folkloric myth that is the Flying Dutchman (seventeenth century), but also analyses the disappearance of the Mary Celeste of the late-nineteenth century, a shift towards more historical ghost ships or abandoned derelicts resurfaced and shipwrecks. The thesis then transitions towards more modern dangers starting with the mid-twentieth century’s SS Ourang Medan, a freighter that was labelled as a ghost ship due to paranormal speculations. The Medan incident arguably acts as a turning point for the ghost ship discourse in maritime history since the vessel was also known to have been involved in smuggling biohazardous cargo, and hence what could be characterised real maritime dangers or threats at sea, an alternative to the traditional folkloric or historical notions of the Flying Dutchman or Mary Celeste. Other “ghost ships” (IMB’s “phantom ships”) of the contemporary era have become increasingly associated with maritime threats or dangers, especially those related to syndicate piracy (1970s and 90s), or “illegal cargo” vis-à-vis from North Korean “ghost ships” (2010s). More significantly, this thesis questions and analyses the (re)interpretation of “ghost ships” today. More specifically, how do modern ghost ships differ (or act similar) to the ghost ships of the past? Ultimately, this thesis argues that while traditional ghost ships play a larger role of mariner superstition, modern vessels are increasingly being re-interpreted as maritime dangers or threats to globalised economies and national security issues.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228490
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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