The Mysterious SS Ourang Medan

I read about this story for the first time in my favorite blog about mysteries called enigma. The reason why this story attracts me is because the Ship name is “SS Ourang Medan” while Medan is a name of a City in Sumatra Island, Indonesia, my country.

This incident was first published by the United States Coast Guard in the Proceedings of the Merchant Council, in May 1952 issue. Due to the insufficient number of witnesses, there are no other media that published or publicized about this incident, which is why many people didn’t believe about this incident.


Well, it was a perfect weather for a voyage in February 1948. The ocean wave was peaceful and serene. There were several vessels traversing the trade routes of the Straits of Malacca. That serenity was suddenly crooked by a series of SOS distress signal from an unknown ship. Evidently that SOS Signal was from a Dutch Cargo Ship called SS Ourang Medan. There were only two vessels that received the SOS signals from the Radio, those are City of Baltimore and The Silver Star. The crews’s screaming and shrieking panic was heard on the radio, makes whoever heard it creeps the shit out.

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

The other vessels could receive the signal, but only The Silver Star that could determined the exact coordinate location of the SS Ourang Medan, hence the Silver Star captain instructed his crew by sending a group of man to see what’s going on and rescue if there any survivor. They haven’t arrived to their destination whilst suddenly the previous communication from the radio was followed by a indecipherable Morse code, then a final grim message;

“I die.”

This vague yet eerie declaration was followed by a tomb-like silence.

In a couple of hours the Silver Star crew arrived in the SS Ourang Medan’s location. They could see the vessel from distance. Seemingly the vessel was surrounded by sharks–well but not that many. Looks like the smell of blood tempted them. They sent a communication signal, but no reply.

As soon as they boarded into the vessel, they just saw something they could barely forget in their entire life.

The Dutch crew corpses were scattered and straggled on the vessel’s deck!

Bloodcurdling! Their eyes wide open, their arms grasping at unseen assailants, their faces twisted into revolting visages of agony and horror. Even the ship’s dog was dead; its once intimidating snarl frozen into a ghastly grimace. It’s quite bizarre I think to have such similarity among those crews.

Indeed, they were shuddered with horror. They hasted to the Map Room to find the captain. As they arrived there, they found the captain and the other officers were sprawled lifeless. As if they are in middle of arguing something, or presumably in the middle of insistence.

Subsequently, they hasted to the radio room, they found the telegraph officer drooped lifeless in front of his telegraph.

Well, The Silver Star team checked the entire vessel to find something that could indicate the cause of this sinister incident.
Peculiarly, they did not find any system breakdown or anything that indicates violence behavior. When they examine the straggled corpses they could not found any wounds, cuts neither injuries.

So, what really happened to them?

As they increasingly puzzled, abruptly another peculiar occurrence happened. Abruptly–don’t know why, the cargo from the vessel burned fire. The Fire wormed and started to burn to whole vessel. Fortunately, the Silver Star Team succeed to rushed to their sloop. They paddled the oars hurry-scurry as they hear a massive detonation from the SS Ourang Medan. They could only watched the horrid vessel burned and drowned along with the mysteries they had just seen.

Well, did it creeps you out? For me, well yes–since I’m a scaredy-cat, lol.



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