SS Watertown ghost faces
The ghosts and spirits stories are told for thousands of years because death is the only mystery that we will never be revealed by science and we have no choice but to rely on faith or myth to try to find some answers.
But, a little over a century, to oral tales of those who claim to have seen one or more ghosts, photos and videos were added. Too bad that in many cases these testimonies have proved less reliable than the same tales of ghosts.
Photos of ghost faces
One of the most famous photos taken over the past 100 years is that the alleged ghost faces of James Courtney and Michael Meehan, two crew members of the tanker S.S. Watertown who lost their lives while travelling and were buried at sea, only to appear in the form of ghosts in the waves just off the ship in the following days.
The photo that dozens of sites around the world have shown has long been considered authentic, until in 2010 Blake Smith, writer, and researcher of the paranormal did not unveil the mystery.
Too many details don't match
First, the story is presented with numerous details that vary each time, from the date that would have happened the fatal accident to the distance to which the ghost faces of two sailors would appear respect to the vessel.
The first time the story was told it was in 1934, ten years after the alleged incident and its ghost faces “appearance” in a corporate magazine of the oil company Citgo, the Watertown owner, and already were inserted many “embellishments” to make the story more interesting.
Ghost faces mystery solved
Even if what is narrated is true, the photo, which was taken by the ship’s captain with five other shots where you could see just the sea (without any ghost face in the waves) and which many claims to have been judged authentic by the Burns detectives agency (but questioned by Blake it denied ever looked at the picture) to a careful investigation was found to have tampered.
Not only it has never been possible to identify at what point in the ship could take the picture, but the photo consultant Tom Flynn, charged by Burns to examine the photos, said that while one of the two faces could be explained by a case of pareidolia, the second would be added.
Other details, examined by increasing the contrast of the image, appear to have been inserted to cover areas of the picture where would be uncovered signs of tampering due to the inclusion of the second face. In short, we face a story created to fascinate readers also resorting to contrived images, which does not mean you should not believe in ghosts, but only that you should not think that since there is a picture the “ghost” image immortalized have necessarily to be true.