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Kayakers explore 110-year-old 'ghost ship'


Kayakers Stumble Across 110-Year-Old 'Ghost Ship'

Of all the unusual things one could come across while kayaking, an abandoned ship definitely takes the cake for most surprising discovery.



James Malott and his friends were kayaking down the Ohio River when they stumbled across an abandoned 'ghost ship' that had been residing in the same place for almost 30 years. Unbeknownst to Malott, the 186-foot steam-powered yacht had over a century's worth of extensive history to its name.

The Celt, as it was originally called, was built in 1902 and owned by a railroad executive until it was rented by the US Navy in 1917 and renamed to the Sachem. The ship, which was again renamed, this time to the USS Phenakite, survived both World Wars and was even used by scientist Thomas Edison to transport government-funded experiments.

Following the wars, the ship was renamed once more to the Circle Line V after being sold to the Circle Line sightseeing company. It stayed with the company for 41 years before being sold and used in the background of Madonna's 1986 'Papa Don't Preach' music video.

The latest owner then took the boat out on the Ohio River and abandoned it in the same place that Malott and his friends discovered it in July 2012.

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tarlzaralka July 07 2014 at 5:30 AM

So it's not really a ghost ship, and if someone knew the right people they could have found it. thank you for the grossly misleading article title. I was so excited to read about something tragic or something uplifting like an account of valor or bravery involving this ship instead I got, here's a 110 year old piece of history that the previous scumbag owner dumped somewhere instead of donating it or selling it to someone who would care for it and respect it's history.

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13 replies
pooldan July 07 2014 at 5:43 AM

I hope they can charge the person who abandoned this rusted out piece of junk the cost of removing it from the river.

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3 replies
Mike July 07 2014 at 6:48 AM

Who writes this stuff? Monkeys?

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10 replies
bloodcarnage July 07 2014 at 6:03 AM

I would like to meet the article writer and slap them in the back of the head with a chair. I rarely feel the sudden urge to do that unless I read an AOL article.... The persons that come up with the titles for these things have more drama in their head than a 4yo that is tired, lost her Binky and is having a bad day. Seriously... Of course...their desire to write FAKE headlines is even more aggressive than a 10 year heroine addict.

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5 replies
King Curmudgeon July 07 2014 at 6:00 AM

Another non-story except for identifying a big polluting hulk. Would be a story if the media took any initiative to identify the owner and push for prosecution. How much oil, diesel, and other crap has entered the river!

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4 replies
Linda July 07 2014 at 5:46 AM

The latest owner then took the boat out on the Ohio River and abandoned it in the same place that Malott and his friends discovered it in July 2012.

Found in 2012?! Seems this story is a bit of OLD news! And, not really a ghost ship as it was put there on purpose by the last owner.

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1 reply
hellyon3too Linda July 07 2014 at 5:52 AM

Yes, it's really a ghost ship. Look up the meaning of the term.

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1 reply
chuzzlawit hellyon3too July 07 2014 at 9:29 AM

A ghost ship, also known as a phantom ship, is a ship with no living crew aboard; it may be a ghostly vessel in folklore or fiction, such as the Flying Dutchman, or a real derelict found adrift with its crew missing or dead, like the Mary Celeste.

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TripleXKimberly July 07 2014 at 6:09 AM

What a shame to History! The owner obviously didn't appreciate what he had and just left it. I hope now this Ship can get the home it deserves other then the Ohio River.

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2 replies
Wolfman Thomas TripleXKimberly July 07 2014 at 8:05 AM

bring it back to the Hudson River

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1 reply
TripleXKimberly Wolfman Thomas July 07 2014 at 10:28 AM

It needs to be put in or around a Museum for all to enjoy Wolfman.

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Dorothy TripleXKimberly July 07 2014 at 2:36 PM

the owner appreciates it enough to keep it... The person who this article claims owned it is in fact the same person who owns the land that it currently remains on... I used to be a neighbor and trust me... the owner will chase you off his property with a shot gun if you go near his boat

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1 reply
GLENN Dorothy July 07 2014 at 7:43 PM

I wouldn't use the word "appreciates" in regard to what the owner has done with this ship.

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barryp100 July 07 2014 at 6:06 AM

People have been "discovering" this ship for 30 years, ever since it was abandoned in the river. I remember reading about it at least 20 years ago. I mean, it's right there in the river and there's no way to hide it. It is interesting though.

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2 replies
plc52367 barryp100 July 07 2014 at 7:48 AM

Yep.. hence the well worn foot paths through the weeds on the deck ... Not sure why I even bother clicking on any of the AOL "news" stories anymore. You get this kind of misleading sensationalism or you get the liberal belly aching of Huff Post - both pretty pathetic reporting...

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1 reply
bienhoa72alum plc52367 July 07 2014 at 11:28 AM

As with every news agency. AOL also includes human interest stories like this one. Nothing earth-shattering, just interesting.

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prespierce barryp100 July 07 2014 at 2:30 PM

I agree, look at the pathways worn through the brush growing aboard the boat.

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irishtimesguy July 07 2014 at 7:18 AM

Shouldn't there be a law against just abandoning a ship on a river and some huge fine imposed on the owners for doing it?

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2 replies
T Rock irishtimesguy July 07 2014 at 12:07 PM

There sure is in Florida, if your boat sinks YOU pay to get it back on land + the fines

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rwilliamhoward irishtimesguy July 07 2014 at 1:16 PM

There probably is on the Ohio, as well. But... It was abandoned there more than 30 years ago. Were there such laws THERE at that time?

Since it is that recent, why can't the owner or his estate be located? It's not like there is no PAPER WORK involved in transferring ownership of something like this... Even the hulk of a car, abandoned 50 years ago takes paperwork to shift ownership.

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luv2gobowhuntn July 07 2014 at 6:55 AM

Must be a really, really slow day in the news room. A 2 year old article about "discovering a ghost ship"? PLEASE!! What a crock of BS.

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1 reply
j.hehman luv2gobowhuntn July 07 2014 at 12:52 PM

there a lot of people that no that it been there over 30 years people use to go down there and swing of it

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