Hi I've just joined the forum.
Apart from my interest in anything to do with ships, one of my reasons for joining was a recent comment I heard from a lecture given by a well known historian (currently in the news) about the Flying Enterprise. The epic story was a major news story in 1952.
On 21 December 1951, under the command of Henrik Kurt Carlsen, she left Hamburg, Germany bound for the USA. Among her cargo was 1,270 long tons (1,290 t) of pig iron and 486 long tons (494 t) of coffee, 447 long tons (454 t) rags, 39 long tons (40 t) peat moss, twelve Volkswagen cars, antiques and antique musical instruments, typewriters, 447 long tons (454 t) of naphthalene as well as ten passengers. There is speculation that the cargo also included gold and zirconium.
That's the official story.
She was hit by a storm on Christmas night in the Western Approaches of the Atlantic. She was a Liberty Ship, built very quickly during WWII. She suffered structural damage and began listing. She sank on 10th January 1952.
Now you can get the story from Wikipedia Here
What caught my attention recently was the comment from the historian and he was talking about Fake News
and how it is not new. As the news of Captain Carlson was shown all over the media at the time he remembered his mother's comment that 'The Government are hiding something here'
I've been looking at the story of Captain Carlson and the Flying Enterprise and sure enough all is not what it seems.
Here are a few bullet points:
The Captain's reluctance to abandon ship.
The sudden appearance of US Navy warships surrounding the stricken ship. They sent nearby merchant ships that had answered the distress call away.
The fact that Falmouth was chosen as a port to try to tow her to when Cork was much closer. Half the distance.
The crew of the British Tug Turmoil was visited by the FBI when they reached harbour. Why did Kenneth Dancy (died in 2013) leap from the Turmoil onto the listing Flying Enterprise?
A statement from a diving company who had dived on the ship in 2002 saying that the wreck has been tampered with. Attempts to find out who has dived on the wreck has drawn a blank.
Questions about the ship's cargo is met with suspicion and silence even today.
The importance of the ships documents seemed to hold more importance than the safety of the crew.
Now the cover story is that she was carrying Zirconium which was to be used in the world's first Nuclear Submarine USS Nautilus.
But even this story does not stack up to close scrutiny. The main sources of Zirconium in order of quantity are Australia, Brazil, India, Ukraine, South Africa and the United States. Notice that Germany is not an exporter of Zirconium whereas the USA has its own supply. Plus I've never marked wartorn Germany as being an exporter (486 long tons apparently) of Coffee to the US.
She was coming from Hamburg to the US, this was just six years after WWII.
I suspect she was carrying something that the Powers That Be didn't want the world to see.