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Mystery wreck discovered in the Baltic Sea!
UPI ^ | Published 10/8/2002 3:06 PM | (Reported by Charles Choi, UPI Science News, in New York)

Posted on 10/12/2002 8:19:23 AM PDT by vannrox

Mystery wreck discovered in the Baltic Sea

UPI Science News

From the

Science & Technology

Desk

Published 10/8/2002 3:06 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The Royal Swedish Navy said Tuesday it has discovered an underwater mystery shipwreck with skulls littering its centuries-old wooden decks.

The sailing ship, which marine archaeologists think is more than 200 years old, was found standing upright on the bottom of the Baltic Sea. The reason for why it sank is so far an enigma, because its hull and masts remain perfectly intact.

"We don't have any clues whatsoever right now on what made it sink. We don't have any hints whatsoever," marine archaeologist Bert Westenberg of the Swedish National Maritime Museum in Stockholm told United Press International.

The Swedish rescue ship HMS Belos was searching for a lost dredger in the middle of the Baltic Sea when a sonar sweep picked up signs of a wreck more than 300 feet down in early 2002. The crew then deployed a remote controlled robot Sjöugglan -- Swedish for "sea owl" -- to check out the murky sea floor.

Their TV monitors revealed a beautifully preserved 85-foot-long ship, with twin 65-foot-tall masts standing upright and a gilded seahorse on its prow -- a pony's head with human hands instead of front hooves clasped under its belly and instead of rear legs, a fish's tail.

"Everything's in mint condition," Westenberg said. "It must have went down very fast. Everything looked the way it did when it was sailing. Perhaps it met some bad weather, or it started leaking and then went down very fast."

In an unusual detail, skulls are lying on the ship's deck from at least two crewmen. Normally, casualties float away as their ships sink into the deep. "They could have been trapped," Westenberg speculated.

What appear to be gunports are visible on each side. No guns, however, are seen. "We're not sure they're gunports. They could be decorations to make this ship to look like a naval vessel, maybe to fool pirates and keep them away," Westenberg said.

Researchers at the Swedish National Maritime Museum said that judging by its rigging, the twin-masted vessel appears to be a snow brig, a type of fast sailing vessel from the 18th century. Westenberg said the low salinity of the Baltic Sea, coupled with its far-off, deep-down location, have helped preserve the ship.

"What a wonderful find. It's a great discovery," said marine archaeologist Kevin Crisman at Texas A&M University in College Station. "It's pretty rare to find 18th century wrecks with the masts still standing and the carvings still preserved. You get that in few parts of the world, and the Baltic's one of them."

The identity of the ship is a mystery, researchers said. The ship appears to be a naval or postal ship and is not any known Swedish vessel. It could be from Russia or elsewhere, Westernberg added. The researchers hope archive searches will reveal more about the ship's history.

"We haven't been able to go down and look in the cargo holds and see if there's any post that are late for delivery by several hundred years," Westenberg said.

At present, neither the Swedish National Maritime Museum nor the Royal Swedish Navy has the money for an investigation.

"I hope they can do more with it," Crisman said. "This is a magnificent find. A wreck like this offers a great window to life in the 18th century. We can research it in libraries, but there's no substitute for an actual ship like this."

(Reported by Charles Choi, UPI Science News, in New York)

Copyright © 2002 United Press International


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: bodies; discovery; diver; exploration; fortean; godsgravesglyphs; grave; masted; past; schooner; skull; twin; unusual; water; wreck
Really exciting. I have always been interested in sea mysteries and the like.
1 posted on 10/12/2002 8:19:23 AM PDT by vannrox
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To: vannrox
At present, neither the Swedish National Maritime Museum nor the Royal Swedish Navy has the money for an investigation.

This is because Sweden spends all its money on social programs. I'm sure the money will be raised by some private group, and we'll learn more about this ship.

Good find!

2 posted on 10/12/2002 8:23:26 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: vannrox
sunspots. either that, or aliens.
3 posted on 10/12/2002 8:25:30 AM PDT by justsomedude
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To: vannrox
Wow!
4 posted on 10/12/2002 8:26:14 AM PDT by hapsgroupie
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To: vannrox
Nice post. I was at sea in the mid-70's when the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a November storm on the Great Lakes. Photos of that wreck exist.

Hopefully some photos will be available of this new discovery.

5 posted on 10/12/2002 8:27:15 AM PDT by RipeforTruth
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To: justsomedude
A methane cloud rising from the bottom of the Baltic Sea woul dhave altered the bouyancy of the wooden ship and it would also have poisoned the crew at their posts if a large enough cloud.
6 posted on 10/12/2002 8:29:59 AM PDT by MHGinTN
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To: vannrox
Maybe it was one of those special Swedish self-sinking ships like the Vasa:

    "In 1628 the ship was ready. Sunday August 10 was the day of the Vasa's maiden voyage. The beaches around Stockholm were filled with spectators, among them foreign diplomats. The maiden voyage was to be an act of propaganda for the ambitious Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus.

    The Vasa set sail and fired a salute. But only after a few minutes of sailing the ship began to heel over. She righted herself slightly - and heeled over again. Water started to gush in through the open gunports. And, to everyones horror and disbelief, the glorious and mighty warship suddenly sank! Of the 150 people on board, 30-50 died in the disaster. When Vasa had been salvaged in 1961, archaeologists found the remains of 25 skeletons."

Funny, the whole idea of a self destructing boat never caught on.
7 posted on 10/12/2002 8:33:47 AM PDT by TomB
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To: RipeforTruth
Sounds like it went down during a storm,the crewmembers on deck probably lashed themselves to the helm to keep from being washed overboard.
8 posted on 10/12/2002 8:34:03 AM PDT by eastforker
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To: vannrox
Could be a Viking submarine that somehow got runed.
9 posted on 10/12/2002 8:41:22 AM PDT by Consort
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To: vannrox
Intriguing story--thanks for posting it.
10 posted on 10/12/2002 8:41:29 AM PDT by NautiNurse
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To: vannrox
How in the world can two 65-foot masts survive completely intact after 200 years in 300 feet of salt water?

This reminds me of the improbable final scene in the movie "The Goonies" where the ancient fully-rigged pirate ship sails away.
11 posted on 10/12/2002 8:57:51 AM PDT by AngrySpud
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To: TomB
I thought the correct spelling was "Wasa"? At least that's how I've seen it before.

The reason the ship sank so quickly is simple. In the original design, the king's shipbuilders gave it one deck of guns. King Adolphus insisted on a second deck being added. Nobody dared contradict the king, so it was done. Which, of course, made the ship top-heavy.

What an idiot.

12 posted on 10/12/2002 9:10:04 AM PDT by THX 1138
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To: AngrySpud
Probably because of lack of oxygen, like deep in Lake Superior.
13 posted on 10/12/2002 9:10:49 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: AngrySpud
If the water is cold enough it will preserve the wood. People have started salvaging century old logs that sunk during logging operations in the great lakes. The logs are in excelent shape, and worth quite a bit of money.
14 posted on 10/12/2002 9:15:52 AM PDT by tjg
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Are there extensive methane hydrates on the Baltic Sea floor?... I seem to recall so from a world map of major methane deposits in the form of hydrates. BUT I could be mistaken.
15 posted on 10/12/2002 9:16:35 AM PDT by MHGinTN
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To: AngrySpud
The Baltic isn't as salty as the rest of the seas/oceans.
16 posted on 10/12/2002 9:18:25 AM PDT by Darksheare
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To: AngrySpud
Eric above is probably right. It's the lack of O2.
17 posted on 10/12/2002 9:19:02 AM PDT by tjg
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To: THX 1138
I thought the correct spelling was "Wasa"? At least that's how I've seen it before.

The link and the article are both from the official museum website. So it's safe to assume it's "Vasa",

18 posted on 10/12/2002 9:23:29 AM PDT by TomB
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To: vannrox; dd5339
Neat Swedish ping
19 posted on 10/12/2002 9:25:07 AM PDT by Vic3O3
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To: Vic3O3
Yah! You betcha!
20 posted on 10/12/2002 9:29:44 AM PDT by Lower55
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To: tjg
The logs are in excelent shape, and worth quite a bit of money.
And they make great sounding musical instruments out of it.
21 posted on 10/12/2002 10:30:53 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: vannrox
"with skulls littering its centuries-old wooden decks."



See stanza three of:
A Ballad of John Silver by Poet Laureate - John Masefield

We were schooner-rigged and rakish,
with a long and lissome hull,
And we flew the pretty colours of the crossbones and the skull;
We'd a big black Jolly Roger flapping grimly at the fore,
And we sailed the Spanish Water in the happy days of yore.

We'd a long brass gun amidships, like a well-conducted ship,
We had each a brace of pistols and a cutlass at the hip;
It's a point which tells against us, and a fact to be deplored,
But we chased the goodly merchant-men and laid their ships aboard.

Then the dead men fouled the scuppers and the wounded filled the chains,
And the paint-work all was spatter dashed with other peoples brains,
She was boarded, she was looted, she was scuttled till she sank.
And the pale survivors left us by the medium of the plank.

O! then it was (while standing by the taffrail on the poop)
We could hear the drowning folk lament the absent chicken coop;
Then, having washed the blood away, we'd little else to do
Than to dance a quiet hornpipe as the old salts taught us to.

O! the fiddle on the fo'c'sle, and the slapping naked soles,
And the genial "Down the middle, Jake, and curtsey when she rolls!"
With the silver seas around us and the pale moon overhead,
And the look-out not a-looking and his pipe-bowl glowing red.

Ah! the pig-tailed, quidding pirates and the pretty pranks we played,
All have since been put a stop to by the naughty Board of Trade;
The schooners and the merry crews are laid away to rest,
A little south the sunset in the islands of the Blest.


22 posted on 10/12/2002 12:16:27 PM PDT by APBaer
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To: blam
Don't know if you saw this one... pretty interesting.
23 posted on 10/12/2002 12:56:55 PM PDT by Notforprophet
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To: vannrox
Yes, but skulls?? How did they survive this long time period, with all the bacteria and scum eating fishes and such, there are never human remains fond in ships older than a year I thought! Just clothes and such, not body parts!
24 posted on 10/12/2002 1:16:21 PM PDT by RaceBannon
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To: vannrox
Bump
25 posted on 10/12/2002 1:25:49 PM PDT by Fiddlstix
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: RaceBannon
there are human remains on the empress of ireland in Canadian waters, and it sunk like 90 years ago
29 posted on 10/12/2002 1:40:01 PM PDT by ContentiousObjector
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To: vannrox
The identity of the ship is a mystery, researchers said. The ship appears to be a naval or postal ship and is not any known Swedish vessel.

This goes a long ways to help explain the eternal mystery of why Express Mail isn't. There must be more, loaded with important shipments (like Christmas cookies) that never made it.

30 posted on 10/12/2002 1:48:24 PM PDT by Hank Rearden
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To: Hank Rearden
There must be more, loaded with important shipments (like Christmas cookies) that never made it.

And fruit cake, which was really the reason why it sank.

31 posted on 10/12/2002 1:56:18 PM PDT by jackbill
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To: jackbill
ROTFLMAO!
32 posted on 10/12/2002 1:59:41 PM PDT by Hank Rearden
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To: Jimer
"Could be a Viking submarine that somehow got runed. "

Har-har-har matey!....Good one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

33 posted on 10/12/2002 2:09:58 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: aculeus; blam; thefactor
Thought you would be interested...
34 posted on 10/12/2002 2:14:13 PM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: philman_36
Really? Is it just because it's good wood or is there something about sitting around in the water that improves it?
35 posted on 10/12/2002 2:21:22 PM PDT by tjg
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To: Pharmboy
Thought you would be interested...

Yes! Many thanks.

36 posted on 10/12/2002 2:35:05 PM PDT by aculeus
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To: Latina_Abogada
You've been waiting YEARS to use that one, haven't you?
37 posted on 10/12/2002 2:49:57 PM PDT by TomB
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To: Jimer
Nice one. You've got a sense of swedish/norwegian/danish humor!
38 posted on 10/12/2002 3:14:06 PM PDT by Endeavor
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To: tjg
Is it just because it's good wood or is there something about sitting around in the water that improves it?
Timeless Timber: Resonance
Debra Powers’ violin is made of spruce and maple—not especially rare trees, but this wood is special. It came from logs that were retrieved from the bottom of Lake Superior, where they had sunk during logging operations in the 1800s.
“There’s something about wood that’s been submerged in water that enlarges the cells of the wood and it helps it capture the sound. It’s exactly how Antonio Stradivarius made his violins and his violins are the best in the world. He never made a violin out of wood that had not been submerged for over 50 years.”

Snip...“What happens when you soak the wood for a period of years is the starchy, gummy matters that is in the cell walls of the wood is leached out over a period of time and it’s replaced by water. When dried, you have a zillion hollowed-out cell walls that act like speaker cabinets that resonate the wood.”
39 posted on 10/12/2002 3:14:46 PM PDT by philman_36
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To: philman_36
Wow. Thanks for the link.

Who would have thought it was the secret (or one) of Stradivarius?

40 posted on 10/13/2002 9:44:27 AM PDT by tjg
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To: tjg
It is amazing to me the amount of stuff I keep stored in my noggin. It's the recall that is the problem.
The "on the tip of my tongue" syndrome.
I've read something else unique about the making of violins by Stradivarius, but I'll have to try to remember just what it was now.
41 posted on 10/13/2002 2:08:15 PM PDT by philman_36
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To: vannrox
In an unusual detail, skulls are lying on the ship's deck from at least two crewmen.

Hmmm. "At least two crewmen" but at most ... four? Seven? Assuming there would be at most one skull per crewman and none of them were Siamese Twins, then we can surmise two skulls were found.

42 posted on 10/13/2002 2:20:23 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: philman_36
Accessing all that info gets more and more difficult as you get older.

Drop me a line if you remember the other Stradivarius stuff. That sort of thing always interests me.

Thanks.
43 posted on 10/13/2002 6:36:16 PM PDT by tjg
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To: vannrox

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks vannrox.

Note: this topic is from 10/12/2002.

Blast from the Past.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


44 posted on 01/28/2012 7:05:19 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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