The Development of the Sail in the Archaeological Record This is a diversion for this blog from the stories of lost museum ships and tales fantastical pseudoarchaeology to a topic a little larger in the realm of maritime history and archaeology, the very first sail. The development of the sail as a technology within the … Continue reading The Myth of Mesopotamian Sails
This is the tale of the little-known “ghost ship” Sea Bird, and the blogger EsoterX retells it in an entertaining fashion. Stories of ghost ships like those the Sea Bird, the Mary Celeste, the Flying Dutchman, or even the Great Lakes own Bannockburn still persist is because they yet instill a sense of terror and dread in people. That’s why people still gravitate to these maritime stories and still tell and retell them. Due to the mystery inherent with a ship that disappears with all hands or a ship that appears with all hands missing. Sometimes stories like these are what keep the memory of a tragedy like a shipwreck alive like the case of the Bannockburn . Without these stories, it’s only another shipwreck lost to the sands of time. Another reason why maritime tales of ghost ships last is because I believe it’s a coping mechanism to come up with an explanation where there is none to be found; such as those few fringe theorists who initially believed the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald were abducted by aliens. (During the age of In Search Of and Close Encounters of The Third Kind it made sense). (Incidentally, I cannot find any mention of this theory outside of an episode of The History Channel Show History’s Mysteries)
In the case of the Sea Bird, it is partially the result of contradictory history (which all history is fraught with by the way) and the fact that the Sea Bird was operating in 1750 long before the War of Independence. It’s those factors that collude to create historical “plot holes” that made for a compelling story about a ship that appeared without its crew.
“One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep” – Anton Chekhov
Nobody likes a plot hole. How am I supposed to enjoy the narrative if you keep testing the limits to my suspension of disbelief? I mean, nobody was actually in the room to hear John Foster Kane whisper “Rosebud” as he gave up the ghost, yet Citizen Kane revolves around investigating the meaning of the word. It only took a day or two for Han Solo and Princess Leia to reach Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back, whereas Luke is hanging out with Yoda in grueling Jedi bootcamp, but young Skywalker turns up in Bespin right after they are captured. Heck, in the biblical Genesis story, Cain is the only surviving son…
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