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Notes For Unsolved: The Queen Mary

Research notes for Supernatural Season 1 Episode 7

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**Research compiled for Ryan & Shane on December 9, 2016 by Adriana Gomez.

History of the Queen Mary:

  • Construction of the Queen Mary began in 1930 in Clydebank, Scotland. During construction, the vessel was known as job #534.
  • The ship was constructed by Cunard Line, formerly known as the Cunard Steam-Ship Company, Limited.
  • Building of the Queen Mary was set back several years due to the Great Depression.
  • It is thought that Cunard Line originally intended to name the ship Queen Victoria. But when the Cunard directors proposed to King George that the ship be named after Britain's greatest queen (meaning King George’s grandmother, Queen Victoria) the king responded that his wife (Queen Mary) would be delighted by the news.
  • The Queen Mary set sail its maiden voyage on May 27, 1936 from Southampton, England.
  • It set a new standard for luxury travel with two cocktail bars, two swimming pools, five dining areas and lounges, a squash court, and a grand ballroom.
  • Legendary passengers included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Winston Churchill, Clark Gable and Bob Hope.
  • The Queen Mary also set the record for most passengers on one ship: 16,683.
  • During WWII, the ship was painted gray and served as transportation for troops and prisoners of war. Her speed out-maneuvered enemy U-boats which earned her the name Grey Ghost.
  • It is estimated that the ship carried over 800,000 servicemen throughout the war.
  • In 1947 the Queen Mary returned to servicing passenger voyages for almost two decades until air travel became popular.
  • In 1965, Cunard Line retired and sold the Queen Mary to the city of Long Beach. She ended her final voyage on on December 9, 1967, docking at Long Beach, California.
  • It now serves as a hotel and contains three restaurants.
  • It is rumored to be haunted by prisoners of war.


Documented Deaths:


Sir Edgar Britten

  • Sir Edgar Britten was the first captain of the Queen Mary. On October 28, 1936, he died of a stroke in his cabin, just two hours before it was to set sail.
  • Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4]


John Pedder

  • According to the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, the ship’s archives report that John Pedder, an 18-year-old, was crushed by Door No. 13, an automatically closing door, during a watertight drill on July 10, 1966.
  • He may be seen wearing white coveralls.
  • NOTE: This image may be real from the Queen Mary since I have read of a plaque with a list of death, it identifies Pedder as a fireman. I think it’d be worth a) looking for this plaque, which may be located in the infirmary, and b) double-checking that Pedder was a fireman.


William Eric Stark

  • A report was written by the captain’s steward F. R. Stokes.
  • On September 18, 1949, Senior Second Officer William Stark drank acid that was stored in an old gin bottle and accidentally poisoned himself.
  • The acid contained tetrachloride and perhaps lime juice.
  • After unintentionally consuming the poison from the poorly marked gin bottle, he allegedly fell into a coma and died within three days.
  • Some say the gin bottle was the captain’s.
  • His ghost has been seen on deck and in his old living quarters. (I could not track down where his living quarters were, perhaps this is something you could ask about.)


HMS Curacao

  • In 1939 the Queen Mary was converted into a warship and painted gray.
  • The HMS Curacao was tasked with escorting the Queen Mary from New York to Glasgow. The HMS Curacao zig-zagged in front the of the Queen Mary in order to confuse potential U-boats and German bombers.
  • On October 2, 1942, the the Queen Mary, traveling at 28.5 knots, caught up with the Curacao, and was set to take out its escort.
  • Crewman on the Curacao were reportedly so shocked that they were frozen.
  • The two ships collided, and the Curacao was cut in half by the vessel 20x its size.
  • The halves settled nearly 100 yards away from each other.
  • Men were thrown into freezing water and watched as others sank, trapped within the remains of the vessel.
  • Due to protocol, the captain of the Queen Mary, Cyril Illingworth, could not stop to rescue the passengers. The threat of U-boats was too great to stop and help.
  • The captain reported the incident to nearby British destroyers. It took them two hours to respond and found that many who waited for rescue had died from hypothermia.
  • Of the 430 crewmembers on board, only 99 survived.
  • In 1945, the Admiralty Commissioners sued the creators of the Queen Mary, Cunard White Star Line. Investigation into the incident revealed:
  • The Curacao was travelling 3 knots slower than the Queen Mary, contributing to the chances of collision.
  • The first officer of Queen Mary took control of the helm just two minutes before the collision because he and Captain Illingworth believed the experienced escorting vessel would take evasive action. The Curacao was also more maneuverable and could respond quickly.
  • It was ruled that the Admiralty Commissioners were responsible for two-thirds of the damage done during the incident. The case was then taken to the House of Lords, but the ruling remained.
  • Supposedly, you can hear the screams of Curacao passengers in the boiler room.
  • Supposedly there is a plaque in the Queen Mary infirmary with a list of deaths and “unexplained tragedies.”


*Reported* Encounters:

*The following are supposed hauntings caused by events that have no historical evidence.

  • Two women reportedly drowned in the first-class swimming pool. One apparition appears in 1930s clothing and the other in 1960s attire.
  • There is also reports of a little boy who fell overboard near the pool who now haunts the passageway.
  • The “tourist-class” swimming pool is also haunted by a woman who reportedly drowned there.
  • The first-class suite area is haunted by a man with black hair in a 1930s suit.
  • Children can be heard playing near a storage room where the ships archives are kept.
  • There may be a poltergeist in the kitchen. Supposedly, during WWII a cook was murdered there.
  • Legend has it the chef’s cooking was so upsetting that the troops became violent, placed him in an oven, and burned him to death. Sometimes his screaming can be heard.


Cabin B340
  • *This is also listed under “Internet Theories” because I found a video of a guided tour from 2011 with a possible explanation, though I couldn’t find a trusted source to back it up. I would still treat their explanation as a theory, unless you can find someone from the ship to verify that there is evidence.
  • Rumor has it that Cabin B340 is haunted by a purser who was murdered there. The room is allegedly unavailable to rent because of multiple disturbances and staff refusing to spend long periods in the room.
  • NOTE: There are multiple sources that claim the room cannot be rented because it is haunted, however, they do not explain the story behind the haunting in any detail. Only a handful of source claim there was a murder, but there is no evidence that any such thing took place.
  • Reported haunting activities in this room include bed sheets thrown across the room and faucets turning on by themselves.


Jackie

  • Allegedly, there is a ghost of a little girl named Jackie who haunts one of the pool areas. It is unclear if it’s the first-class swimming pool or second-class swimming pool area.
  • Around this area, people have reported the feeling of a child squeezing their hand.
  • Apparently, she is a talkative spirit.


Lady In White

  • A woman in a white flowing dress has been seen in the Queen’s Salon, sometimes dancing alone. She often floats toward a piano.
  • Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Lieutenant Carlo Giovetti

  • *Again, even though he has a story, could not find proof of his existence
  • It is rumored that Italian fighter pilot Lieutenant Carlo Giovetti was a prisoner of war aboard the Queen Mary. His plane was allegedly shot down while flying over North Africa.
  • He passed away onboard the ship, suffering from injuries caused by the airplane crash.


Internet Theories:


  • The ship may be haunted because of the tragedies that occurred on board.
  • Ghosts can become emotionally attached to certain objects, perhaps it haunted because of its collection of antiquities and memorabilia.
  • It is theorized that the pool areas are portals to the other side.
  • The Queen Mary website attributes its hauntings to its “intriguing and varied past.”
  • Additional Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Cabin B340

  • According to this video from 2011 of a guided tour:
  • Hauntings in room B340 began in 1971 when the ship was turned into a hotel. Those staying in room B340 would hear knocking on the door when no one was there and bathroom lights turned on and off by themselves.
  • According to the video, records from 1948 revealed that a third-class passenger named Walter J. Adamson was found dead in room B226. It was unclear how he passed away. Room B226 was later converted to room B340.


Contacts:

[redacted]


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