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Old 13-12-2015, 07:44   #1
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Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

This post is related to news stories currently appearing in major media and online. I did not make this stuff up. I am not posting it here to incite fear or to spread rumors. I am posting it because it is a newsworthy topic and a topic that concerns sailors or boaters. Because it is a mystery, there are reports and speculation, with few published facts.

Recently there have been news accounts of "Ghost Ships" being found washed up on shore or in the waters around the Sea of Japan.

Here is an excerpt from a CNN report:
"
The Japanese Coast Guard says that it's been happening for years, though it only has data for the last five. In 2011, 57 were found. In 2012, it was 47, and in 2013, 80 washed up or were found floating at sea.

In 2014, 65 were found and the count so far this year is 34. That's a total of 283 boats in five years -- however the Coast Guard hasn't disclosed how many bodies were on board.

What's unusual about the current batch of boats is that so many have been found in such a short period of time -- 12 within five weeks."
_____

There is a good article on Snopes.com about this topic: Korean Ghost Ships Wash Ashore in Japan : snopes.com
_________

From the news accounts I have seen, here are a few facts:

Facts:

1. The ships (or fishing boats) contain a few or several bodies. The bodies are generally in a state of advanced decomposition.

2. There is no clear identity of the origin of the ships. Some few items of Korean language texts were found, but nothing else mentioned as definitive source of the boats.

3. There have been 283 boats like this found in the last five years!
__________

Speculation

Some Speculation I have seen online:

1. The boats may be fishermen who were blown out to sea and did not survive after being at sea for too long (without food and water). They were simply unlucky and not prepared for the sea or the voyage. They died of natural causes.

2. The boats were being used by people who wanted to defect from North Korea to Japan. They did not know how to operate the boats, or misjudged the risk, or used faulty engines that died on them, dooming them to a slow death by lack of water and food.

3. The boats were fishermen who were forced by the North Korean government to go fishing to meet demand or goals for more fish, while the fishing grounds were depleted due to overfishing, causing them to go farther out to sea.

4. The boats belong to fishermen who have been victims of pirate attacks. The Pirates killed the crew and stole the fish catch.

5. The boats belong to fishermen who have been killed by rival fishermen who want the catch and fishing grounds for themselves.

6. The boats have been used by North Korea for some kind of chemical or biological warfare tests, and the men aboard the boats were killed to test the BioChem weapons. The reason this was done at sea and not on land is because the weapons are being designed to be used against opposing navies who would be in a conflict with North Korea in the future.

__________

What do you think is causing these 283 boats to show up in the Sea of Japan with only dead people aboard?
___________
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Old 13-12-2015, 08:06   #2
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

Almost certainly fishermen blown out to sea.

NK does not have much fuel and given that NK does not want people to leave their Workers Paradise, fishing boats are not going to be given much fuel. It would not take much current and/or bad wind to push them past their fuel range.

Given that the NK population is fed, at best just above starvation level, boats certainly are not going to sea with large stores of provisions.

Later,
Dan
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Old 13-12-2015, 09:16   #3
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

If the ghost ship numbers are accurate, to me, the deaths of unknown people seem more deliberate than accidental.

If these are fishing boats, why are the people starving before they make a catch? Surely there is some fishing gear? Sailors have survived hundreds of days at sea with no fishing equipment. Blowing off course, maybe, bUT dying when your lively hood is food gathering seems a greater stretch.

As for the refugee idea, that seems too pat too. The boats, as far as I can tell, have been too uniform in design. That's not to say impossible. Just unlikely.

I speculate that NK is deliberately setting political dissidents afloat with no provisions. This is just speculation of course. But the uniformity of conditions, boats and high numbers does seem to point to more than "accident".
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Old 13-12-2015, 09:53   #4
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

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Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
If the ghost ship numbers are accurate, to me, the deaths of unknown people seem more deliberate than accidental.

If these are fishing boats, why are the people starving before they make a catch? Surely there is some fishing gear? Sailors have survived hundreds of days at sea with no fishing equipment. Blowing off course, maybe, bUT dying when your lively hood is food gathering seems a greater stretch.

As for the refugee idea, that seems too pat too. The boats, as far as I can tell, have been too uniform in design. That's not to say impossible. Just unlikely.

I speculate that NK is deliberately setting political dissidents afloat with no provisions. This is just speculation of course. But the uniformity of conditions, boats and high numbers does seem to point to more than "accident".
I do not they they are refuges either.

I doubt NK would waste an expensive and useful resource like a boat to kill people without profit. They would put them to work digging tunnels for nuke tests, farming/working in a prison/reducation camp, perform weapons tests on the dissident or execute them in public. Sending them off to possibly survive at sea in a valuable boat is not really likely.

This is s regime that executes senior leadership with mortar fire, by firing squad using anti aircraft cannons, etc. Often while family and friends are forced to watch.

People in rural areas of NK are often starving and certainly not well fed. It will not take them long to become unable to work if they cannot catch fish and their food supply is exhausted. Just because they are a fishing boat does not mean they will catch fish. They are most likely told to fish in over fished areas before being blown out to sea and they might not have the gear to catch fish in deeper waters. Even if they have the equipment, catching enough fish for a handful of people lost at sea for months is going to be problematic.

Assuming they have enough fresh water which is doubtful.

While some people have survived long periods of time at sea, they seem to be an exception not the rule and they were not in good shape when found. Given that the people in NK are starting from a very deep diet and calorie deficit it is not going to take long for them to finish starving. Most people would die of lack of water before lack of food but the poor people of NK or already at the edge diet wise, who knows which will kill them quicker, lack of water or food.

Later,
Dan
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Old 13-12-2015, 10:05   #5
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post

What do you think is causing these 283 boats to show up in the Sea of Japan with only dead people aboard?
___________
i would tend to think it's the current that is making them show up there.
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Old 13-12-2015, 11:13   #6
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

Video clip from CNN showing one of the most recent boats.

Grisly detail: two of the bodies were missing heads!

http://youtu.be/4Umd9PmnXHc
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Old 13-12-2015, 11:18   #7
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

I find it extreamly curious there is no written evidence, no log or diary, no notes to loved ones.

If true this is a strong argument they were dead when placed aboard or killed shortly thereafter.
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Old 13-12-2015, 11:30   #8
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
I find it extreamly curious there is no written evidence, no log or diary, no notes to loved ones.

If true this is a strong argument they were dead when placed aboard or killed shortly thereafter.
I'm kinda with hpeer on this. If the bodies are found without heads, and all of them decomposed, it seems like they were executed first and then placed on a boat. Kinda like a Valhalla burial, only without the tradition or honor.
Is this so the families have no place to grieve for their loved one? How many of these boats are actually launched but have a hole in them, so they will sink offshore? Is this just a minority that are showing up?
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Old 13-12-2015, 13:47   #9
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

Because of the bodies missing heads, I suspect this is a crime by rival fishermen who do not sink the boats because they want the boats to be found, as evidence the fishermen were not simply sunk in a storm. The missing heads could be to send a message to other fishermen.

Or it could be the BioChem tests needed a brain tissue sample.

Who knows? It is a mystery on the high seas!
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Old 14-12-2015, 08:30   #10
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

Could D Trump be behind this?
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Old 14-12-2015, 09:00   #11
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

I've lived in Korea for a short while, I don't see NK wasting a boat to get rid of a few dead, or even risking eventual discovery. There have been very many people disappear without the need for boats.
The video posted, notice that boat had no prop?
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Old 14-12-2015, 09:19   #12
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

I agree with 'First Wind'. The Kuroshio (黒潮 , "くろしお"?, [ku͍ɽoɕio] "Black Tide", "Japan Current") is a north-flowing ocean current on the west side of the North Pacific Ocean. It is similar to the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic and is part of the North Pacific ocean gyre. Like the Gulf stream, it is a strong western boundary current. The 'Kuroshio countercurrent' and 'Tsushima Current' run north, on the east side of Japan, bringing floatsum from Korea at up to 5 knots at times.

I read about this in "China Voyage" It describes how in April 1993 Tim Severin set sail from Vietnam in a bamboo raft on a 6000-mile voyage to America. He made several landings in Japan while being carried in this 'Black Tide'.
China Voyage, the by Tim Severin €” Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

Japan current Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuroshio_Current

Most likely, a combination of pirates and disabled fishing boats. Tim Severin had a pirate encounter in this area in his book.
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Old 14-12-2015, 10:25   #13
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannc View Post
Almost certainly fishermen blown out to sea.

NK does not have much fuel and given that NK does not want people to leave their Workers Paradise, fishing boats are not going to be given much fuel. It would not take much current and/or bad wind to push them past their fuel range.

Given that the NK population is fed, at best just above starvation level, boats certainly are not going to sea with large stores of provisions.

Later,
Dan
Dan, I think you nailed it. It's not a ghostly occurrence. Makes for good hype as such.
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Old 14-12-2015, 10:32   #14
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

This article was recently posted on gCaptain:

North Korean Ghost Boats - gCaptain
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Old 14-12-2015, 10:35   #15
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Re: Ghost Ships in Sea of Japan

Got to remember the Chinese, Russians, and North Koreans lurk in this area, not to mention the Black Hand and the Yakuza. All deadly. Remember one time seeing a rather large fishing boat(100+ feet) throwing two girls overboard to their death. Usually pick up girls before going offshore and after fun and games dispose of them. Unfortunately we were on a mission and could not stop and divulge ourselves. Rough part of the world.
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