Sunday, 18 September 2016

Phantom Ships and Déjà Vu

Recently, while looking for phantom ship stories, I came across the following, which appeared in the Derry Journal of 10 June 1936. While not particularly exciting, it caused a major case of déjà vu and had me thumbing through my files.
The fishing community of Doonalt have been perturbed and somewhat alarmed by recent occurrences which are said to have taken place in the Glen Bay.
While returning from the Poll na Bpiobac pier a few nights ago, a number of residents saw a yawl leaving the anchorage and heading for the other side of the bay, but no boats left the place in question. Nor were there any at lobster fishing on that particular night.
On Sunday night, while the High Flier, which was engaged at Glasson fishing at Rathlin o’ Beirne fishing grounds was returning home to Doonalt, her crew saw the glimmering lights of another vessel following in their wake. Believing it to be that of another boat which was engaged fishing on Rathlin o’ Beirne grounds, no notice was taken of it until the first boat arrived within a short distance of the harbor when the pursuing boat disappeared.
Some fishermen have endeavoured to connect the mystery with the activities of foreign fishing vessels, but the crew of the fishing boat in question have discounted the theory and maintain that their pursuer was a phantom ship.
In my files I found this, from the Derry Journal of 2 November 1934:
The fishing community of Downings have been perturbed and somewhat alarmed by recent occurrences which are said to have taken place in Sheephaven Bay.
While returning home from the pier some nights ago a number of residents in the Downings district beheld a yawl leaving the anchorage and heading for the opposite side of the bay. But no boats left the place in question, nor were there any at the herring fishing on this particular night.
On another occasion while one of a trio of motorboats which were engaged at herring fishing in Dunfanaghy Bay was returning to port her crew beheld the glimmering light of another vessel following in the wake. Believing it to be that of one of the other boats, no notice had been taken of it until the former vessel had arrived within a short distance of the harbor when the pursuing boat had disappeared.
Some fishermen have endeavoured to connect the mystery with the activities of foreign trawlers which of late have made frequent visits to the bay, but the crew of the fishing vessel in question have discounted the theory and maintain that their pursuer was a phantom ship.
Any comments?
Sources:
  • Derry Journal, 2 November 1934 & 10 June 1936

1 comment:

  1. Nice catch! I wonder if the Derry Journal made a habitual practice of, uh, "recycling" stories.

    ReplyDelete