- The source for Carlos Allende's disappearing ship "tale"
may have been discovered.
- The first clue began with Jacques Vallee. In Passport
to Magonia (1969), he wrote, "1908 - Coast of Delaware. The English
ship 'Mohican,' piloted by Capt. Urghart, was going to Philadelphia when
it was surrounded by a thick, luminous cloud which 'magnetized' everything
on board. The compass was observed to swing wildly. When seamen tried to
move some chains on the bridge, they found that they
- were glued to the metal floor. Suddenly the cloud rose
and was seen above the sea for some time." The original New York Herald
source was undated. (This may explain the "1908" mistake.)
- 2.) Now this filler in FATE magazine:
- (FATE, July 1963, page 54)
- PARALYZED BY A MAGNETIC CLOUD
- by Jeanne Booth Johnson
- AN INTERESTING "Fortean" item was reported
in "Shipping News," a chatty column which appeared around the
turn of the century in The Maui News, published on the island of Maui,
Hawaii. The item,
- originating in Philadelphia, apparently reached the islands
by cable, and was not identified with any newspaper or other Philadelphia
source. It appeared in the August 11, 1904 issue of The Maui News.
- "PHILADELPHIA, July 11 - When the British steamship
Mohican, Captain Urquhart, from Ibraila, Roomania (could they mean Braila,
Romania/Rumania? - Goerman), which was in this port today, was making for
Delaware Breakwater, it had a most remarkable experience which terrorized
the crew, played havoc with the ship's compass, and brought the vessel
to a standstill for a half-hour.
- For that length of time the Mohican was enshrouded in
a strange vapor, which glowed like phosphorous. The entire vessel looked
as if it were on fire and the sailors flitted about the deck like glowing
phantoms. The cloud had a strange magnetic effect on the vessel, for the
needle of the compass revolved with the speed of an electric motor and
the sailors were unable to raise pieces of steel from the magnetized decks.
The captain says:
- " 'The seamen were in terror. Their hair stood straight
on end, not from fright so much as from the magnetic power of the cloud.
They rushed about the deck in consternation and the more they rushed about
the more excited they became. I tried to calm them, but the situation was
- " 'For a half-hour we were enveloped in that mysterious
vapor. Suddenly the cloud began to lift. The phosphorescent glow of the
ship began to fade. It gradually died away and in a few minutes the cloud
- passed and we saw it moving off to sea.' "
- 3.) And finally, this:
- A published story in the Philadelphia Inquirer dated
August 1, 1904 reported that a British steamship named "Mohican"
had been enveloped in a strange magnetic cloud. The news account went on
to report that the steamship Captain named Urquhart stated that the "cloud"
was gray in color with glowing spots of light, it was so dense that nothing
could be seen beyond the decks, everything on board seemed to be a mass
of glowing fire. The captain went on to say that the compass
- spun wildly and that the iron anchor chains on board
were magnetized and anything metal were sticking to them. As for the humans
on board, the hair on their heads and bodies stuck out like bristles on
a pig and all of their body joints stiffened, there seemed to be a "great
silence" that surrounded and smothered them causing a feeling of claustrophobia.
After about an half hour, the cloud had lifted and moved off over the sea.
- Carl Meredith Allen (aka Carlos Allende) probably stumbled
across this story in his travels. He practically lived in libraries and
newspaper morgues! This bizarre incident was apparently reported in several
newspapers from Philadelphia to Hawaii and was most likely written up in
a number of private publications and journals as well.
- Any comments and assistance welcomed.
- Yours in research,
- Robert A. Goerman