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Ghost caught in photograph: USS Yorktown
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SCETV Producer/Director, Mark Adams, revisited the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point to take a new look at the ghost photos he took on the ship in 2014. He filmed in that hallway and explained where and how the photos were taken, what he did to enhance the photos to see the ghost, and interviewed Bruce Orr about his reaction to the photos and why he’s using them in his Ghost Tour of the ship.
The Story Behind This Haunted Ship In South Carolina Is Truly Creepy
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With hundreds of years under her belt, the Charleston area is easily one of the most haunted places in the South. But there’s a ship in the harbor with a much shorter history of less than a hundred years, and she is considered by some to be among the most haunted places in the Lowcountry. Take a look:
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Do you believe ghosts are real? Head to the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant for a great chance to capture some hard evidence that ghosts do exist.
For more otherworldly adventures in the Palmetto State, visit this chillingly haunted fort .
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Haunted Charleston: USS Yorktown
MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - ALL ABOARD.
The USS Yorktown is a legendary World War II aircraft carrier docked in the Charleston Harbor. The great ship set sail in 1943 and participated in three wars.
In the third, and final, part our Haunted Charleston series – we’re exploring the unexplained mysteries that have happened aboard the haunted vessel.
141 men were lost while defending our freedom on board the USS Yorktown. As we move forward in time, with fewer veterans still alive, this ship becomes more than just a symbol; It becomes the legacy of those men who’ve served and died. But are some of those men still around?
“When people ask if there are ghosts on the ship – we say we don’t know that but if they are – they’re our guys!” Mac Burdette, the Executive Director at Patriots Point, said.
Burdette said it’s up to each person to decide if they believe there could be ghosts.
“For whatever reasons, IF they’re allowed to come back from the hereafter, they love this ole ship so much they decided to come back and visit and stay a while,” Burdette said.
There have been many unusual happenings and occurrences on the ship that are difficult to explain. The first one being a photo Burdette has in his office. It was taken by people who were visiting the ship on the flight deck at one of the helicopters. Behind the seats, you can see what could be a figure dressed in what looks like an airman’s uniform.
“We’ve had many, many reports of visual sightings, filming, etc. but you have to look at it yourself and decide if that’s compelling evidence that there are ghosts on the Yorktown,” Burdette said.
Another experience was captured by the popular show – Ghost Hunters. In one of the interior rooms – you can see a figure leaning up against a wall, stand up, and then walk off into nothing.
From visual sightings – to things actually happening.
“It was a couple of years after that when I was down here working and happened to walk through,” Brian Parsons, the Supervisor of Museum Services at Patriots Point, said.
Parsons has worked on the ship since he was 14 years old and describes an experience that sticks out most to him.
“Right about where I’m standing, the room is a lot more crowded than when I was in it then but, when I came through everything was pushed to the walls and there was nothing around me. When I got about halfway through, I felt a tug on my radio. It was one of those with a mic on it and a stretchy chord. I got all the way to the middle of the room and I felt a pop… It’s happened a thousand times – I knew what it was. But when I looked down – I realized I was about five feet away from anything. There was no way that radio and mic could have stretched more than two feet. No way. So I always took that as maybe a sign that somebody down here was letting me know that they’re here.”
Whether there are ghosts – again that’s up to you to decide. We will always remember the men who died – defending our freedom while serving aboard the “Fighting Lady.”
Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.
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The USS Yorktown
The USS Yorktown is a haunted living museum that’s sure to delight ghost hunters and fear fans. Encounter maritime spirits and relive important American naval battles aboard this grand vessel. She is named after the Battle of Yorktown, which ended in a decisive victory by Franco-American forces. The city of Yorktown is just as historically significant (and haunted!) as Colonial Williamsburg.
The three cities that form the points of Virginia’s Historic Triangle are Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown. They are linked by the scenic, twenty-three mile long Colonial Parkway. Each of these settlements has its own unique claim to fames. Jamestown, for instance, was the first permanent English settlement in the United States. It was established as “James Fort” on May 4, 1607. Its original team of settlers set sail from England late in 1606. Their fleet of three ships was commanded by Captain Christopher Newport, an ex-privateer known for plundering Spanish freighters during the Anglo-Spanish War. During the voyage, Captain Newport charged John Smith with mutiny and planned to execute him upon landing. To learn more about John Smith and the establishment of Jamestown, check out a few of our other posts, here , here and here .
Colonial Williamsburg was originally called Middle Plantation and was settled in 1638. Prior to the founding of Jamestown, Williamsburg was a heavily wooded area and was occupied by the Powhatan Confederacy. The chiefdom’s leader, Wahunsunacock, captured and imprisoned John Smith in 1607. Smith was released a few weeks later, and the Native Americans became trading partners with the English colonists in 1608.
After Jamestown was burned during Bacon’s Rebellion, Williamsburg became the colony’s new capital. What was once a sleepy little town became alive with activity. For eighty one years, it was where great political leaders, such as Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, George Washington and Patrick Henry, met to shape our nation. State legislators would gather regularly at Williamsburg’s Capitol building, which was constructed by Henry Cary and completed in 1705. Cary was an acclaimed American contractor whose other projects include the Governor’s Palace, the Wren Building at the College of William and Mary, and the President’s House. He designed Williamsburg’s Capitol as a two-story, H-shaped structure, which really functioned as two buildings. One wing was dedicated to the Council, while the other served the House of Burgesses. Cary made sure the structure had no fireplaces, as many of Virginia’s earlier capitols had been destroyed by fires.
Yorktown, Virginia is the famous site at which General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. General Charles Cornwallis was a British Army officer born in London. He began his military career as a member of the 1st Foot Guards. He studied at the military academy of Turin, before participating in fights including the Battle of Minden, the Battle of Villinghausen and the Battle of Wilhelmsthal. When the American Revolutionary War broke out, he played a pivotal role during the Virginia Campaign. The Virginia Campaign (also referred to as the Yorktown Campaign) lasted from January to October 1781. Two British officers – General William Phillips and Benedict Arnold – had been sent to raid Virginia. Franco-American forces responded by dispatching the Marquis de Lafayette to defend the colony. Due to a series of confusing orders from General Sir Henry Clinton, General Cornwallis eventually found himself and his troops trapped in the Virginia Peninsula. Thus, during their final attack on October 14, 1781, Franco-American troops easily battered the British. General Cornwallis, realizing that the situation was hopeless, was forced to surrender. In the morning of October 17, he sent a drummer and an officer to the battlefield with a white handkerchief, to signal the British army’s relinquishment.
We have previously posted about some haunted structures in Yorktown (including the Nelson House, the Moore House and the Dudley Digg’s House), but did you know that the city is also the home of a haunted ship? If you are interested in encountering some maritime ghosts, stop by Patriots Point’s Naval & Maritime Museum and climb aboard the USS Yorktown (CV-10). This grand aircraft carrier “is the fourth of five United States ships to bear the name, a name that was taken from the [aforementioned] Revolutionary War battle”1. It is rumored to be haunted by members of the ship’s old crew.
Patriots Point’s museum was established in the 1970s and is located on Charleston Harbor. Besides the USS Yorktown , it houses 2 the USS Laffey destroyer, the USS Clamagore submarine, the Vietnam Experience exhibit and the Medal of Honor Museum. The USS Laffey (DD-724) was named after the famous seaman Bartlett Laffey and is also known as “The Ship That Would Not Die,” due to her ability to withstand numerous assaults during D-Day and the great Battle of Okinawa. The USS Clamagore (SS-343) was built in 1945 and served in the United States Navy for thirty years. The Vietnam Experience exhibit spans two and one-half acres and simulates wartime experiences, complete with 3D holograms of marine officers. Finally, the Medal of Honor Museum displays interactive biographies of American heroes who served during the Civil War, the War on Terror, etc.
The USS Yorktown was originally named Bon Homme Richard , which means “good man Richard” in French. She was renamed to commemorate the USS Yorktown (CV-5), which was lost during the Battle of Midway. The Battle of Midway occurred during WWII and lasted from June 4 to June 7, 1942. The USS Yorktown (CV-5) was found, remarkably well intact, over five decades later, by a team of scientists and veterans.
CV-10 was built in 1941 and first launched on April 15, 1943. She served during the Pacific Theater, WWII and the Vietnam War. In total, she has earned eleven battle stars. In 1974, she was donated to Patriots Point Development Authority to become a part of their living history museum. Since then, multiple scary incidents have been reported by vessel visitors. On a cold evening in 1987, for instance, a group of Boy Scouts having a sleepover on the ship saw several apparitions all dressed distinctly in sailor uniform. One lad also witnessed a series of eerie red lights emerge from just below the surface of the harbor. According to the book Haunted Harbor: Charleston’s Maritime Ghosts and the Unexplained , “no phenomena in Charleston has elicited so much haunting at one time”3. Then, in August 2008, William Butterfield took a photograph of what looks suspiciously like a ghost in the USS Yorktown’s radar room. The locker room, where many sailors committed suicide, is another area that people have frequently encountered spirits.
The Executive Director of the museum became concerned by the vessel’s high level of paranormal activity. Thus, in February 2012, the T.A.P.S. team from SciFi channel’s Ghost Hunters were invited to investigate the haunted ship. The team cites hearing odd noises (including door slams and disembodied voices) and spotting strange movements as some of the supernatural occurrences they experienced. While on the second deck of the USS Yorktown , two members actually managed to film a ghostly figure “ stand up and move ”4. Spirits were also seen by T.A.P.S. on the flight deck.
During the Battle of Midway, one hundred and forty-one men were killed on USS Yorktown (CV-5), and it seems that many of their spirits have made CV-10 their new home. If you need more proof that the vessel’s haunted, check out the “Ghost Caught on Camera at USS Yorktown”5 video filmed by the ETV production team in 2014.
1. Orr, Bruce. Ghosts of the USS Yorktown: The Phantoms of Patriots Point. Charleston: The History Press, 2012. Page 31.
2. “Explore.” Patriots Point , n.d. Web. 5 June 2016.
3. Buxton, George and Ed Macy. Haunted Harbor: Charleston’s Maritime Ghosts and the Unexplained. Charleston: The History Press, 2005. Page 53.
4. “Haunted by Heroes.” Ghost Hunters – Season 8, Episode 10 Recap. NBCUniversal , 2015. Web. 5 June 2016. Para. 4.
5. “Ghost Caught on Camera at USS Yorktown | Palmetto Scene.” Media.KnowItAll.org. Footage filmed on October 6, 2014 by ETV Crew. South Carolina ETV Commission , 2016. Web. 5 June 2016.
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Ghost Caught on Camera at USS Yorktown | Palmetto Scene
It's no secret that Charleston is one of South Carolinas most haunted cities. In 2014, the ETV production team decided to highlight a place with lots of claims of unexplained paranormal phenomena the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point. The USS Yorktown has a long history dating back to World War II. The ship was a safe haven for her crew and now is a symbol of freedom and liberty.
On Monday, October 6, 2014 the ETV crew decided to learn more about the ship and investigate the claims of ghostly events by spending the night on the ship with cameras rolling. What they didn’t expect was actually to catch a ghost on camera.
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Haunted by Heroes
- Episode aired May 2, 2012
TAPS heads to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina to help the USS Yorktown's crew determine if the paranormal activity they are experiencing points to their fallen heroes lost at sea. TAPS heads to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina to help the USS Yorktown's crew determine if the paranormal activity they are experiencing points to their fallen heroes lost at sea. TAPS heads to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina to help the USS Yorktown's crew determine if the paranormal activity they are experiencing points to their fallen heroes lost at sea.
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Patriots point, fort sumter, uss lexington, 529 uss yorktown stock photos & high-res pictures, browse 529 authentic uss yorktown stock photos, high-res images, and pictures, or explore additional aircraft carrier or patriots point stock images to find the right photo at the right size and resolution for your project..
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Pictures: life and death of the uss yorktown.
Follow the USS Yorktown from the moment her keel was laid, through sea trials and into the Battle of the Coral Sea. Damaged in that battle she is repaired in Hawaii after which she sets sail in her final voyage for the battle for Midway. There she is heavily damaged from the air and eventually sinks after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.
Next Page, Coral Sea
Battle of the Coral Sea
In the Coral Sea
Repairs from the Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle of Midway
Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The USS Yorktown is shown burning from a Japanese bombing attack shortly after noon on 4 June 1942 during the Battle of Midway.
Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command Damage control teams struggle to repair the damaged flight deck of the USS Yorktown during the Battle of Midway.
Next page: The end
Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command Two Type 97 attack aircraft from the Japanese carrier Hiryu fly past the USS Yorktown amid heavy anti-aircraft fire after dropping their torpedoes during the mid-afternoon attack of 4 June 1942.
Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command Life rafts dot the water between the sinking USS Yorktown and a waiting destroyer as the carrier’s crew abandons ship during the Battle of Midway.
USS Yorktown Ghost Tour with Exclusive Night-Time Access
- 90-Minute Guided Ghost Tour aboard the USS Yorktown
- Exclusive After Dark Access to the USS Yorktown for a unique experience
- Explore areas of the ship that are closed to the public, including access to the flight deck
- Learn about maritime superstitions and hear stories of mysterious sailor disappearances
- Hear stories of the sacrifice and heroism of the people that once inhabited this ship
- Entry/Admission - Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
- Guaranteed to skip the lines
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Service animals allowed
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not recommended for travelers with back problems
- Not recommended for pregnant travelers
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
- Tours do run rain or shine. The USS Yorktown is not climate controlled. It is hot in the Summer and cold in the Winter. Please dress accordingly and wear closed-toed, comfortable shoes. There is a good amount of walking and lots of narrow stairways to navigate up and down and throughout the tour. There are also ladders used that are not easy to navigate for one having trouble walking.
- **Please note the tour is not handicapped accessible.
- For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
- Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
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USS Yorktown Ghost Tour with Exclusive Night-Time Access provided by Bulldog Tours
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Smart News | September 22, 2023
See Underwater Wreckage From the Battle of Midway in Stunning Detail
Never-before-seen photos and videos shed new light on the pivotal World War II conflict
In June of 1942, thousands of American and Japanese forces faced off in the Pacific Ocean in a deadly World War II conflict known as the Battle of Midway . After four days of fighting , the Japanese were forced to retreat.
This key United States victory stymied Japanese efforts to become the dominant power in the Pacific—but not without a cost. The fighting killed 3,057 Japanese troops and 362 U.S. seamen. It also resulted in the loss of seven large ships and hundreds of airplanes on both sides, according to the National WWII Museum .
Now, researchers have completed in-depth underwater archaeological surveys of some of the wreckage, shooting photos and videos that could reveal new insights into the momentous battle.
The group behind the survey is the nonprofit Ocean Exploration Trust. Earlier this month, researchers studied three aircraft carriers that sank during the battle: one American ship, the USS Yorktown , and two Japanese ships, the IJN Akagi and IJN Kaga.
The wrecks are located more than 16,000 feet below the surface and within the bounds of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument , one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site .
The Battle of Midway survey was part of a broader mission called Ala ʻAumoana Kai Uli , which included 27 days of deep-water exploration to help support the management of the national monument.
The crew reached the site onboard the research ship E/V Nautilus . They then used remotely operated underwater vehicles to capture photos and videos. All told, they spent 43 hours studying the wrecks.
“We methodically circumnavigated these historic wrecks, bringing to light many features in great detail, including their armament, battle and sinking-related damage,” says Daniel Wagner, Ocean Exploration Trust’s chief scientist, in a statement from the group. “Many anti-aircraft guns were still pointing up, providing clues about the final moments on these iconic ships.”
The on-site team worked with more than 100 experts around the world, including archaeologists from Japan, via telepresence technology .
“We meet on those same Pacific waters in which Japan and the U.S. once met in battle, but this time as allies and fellow researchers,” says Kosei Nomura, minister of the Japanese Embassy, in Ocean Exploration Trust’s statement. “We are reminded that today’s peace and tomorrow’s discoveries are built on the sacrifices of war, and so in my view, it is meaningful that Japan and the U.S. are now deepening their cooperation at Midway, utilizing such cutting-edge technology.”
The group also collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which manages the national monument.
After each dive, the crew held ceremonies to honor the men who died at the site. They also live-streamed the video footage online so that those with a personal connection to the conflict—as well as any other interested members of the public—could see the wreckage themselves.
The underwater survey marked the first time anyone had seen the Akagi since it sank in 1942, though it was located in 2019. It also offered the first opportunity to observe the Yorktown in real-time; that vessel was initially found in 1998.
The Battle of Midway took place at the Midway Atoll, a cluster of islands located roughly 1,000 nautical miles northwest of Honolulu. The U.S. Navy had a strategic sea and air base there, which the Japanese tried to occupy as a base for attacking Pearl Harbor.
Though they tried to keep their plans secret, U.S. code breakers were able to decipher their messages. As a result, when Japanese aircraft began attacking U.S. facilities at Midway, American aircraft carriers were already lying in wait.
U.S. aircraft began attacking the Japanese fleet, ultimately sinking three of four Japanese ships. The remaining vessel, the IJN Hiryu , bombed and severely damaged the Yorktown , which a Japanese submarine sank a few days later. Eventually, U.S. dive-bombers also sank the Hiryu.
The victory “put the United States in a position to begin shrinking the Japanese empire through a years-long series of island-hopping invasions and several even larger naval battles,” per the National WWII Museum.
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Sarah Kuta | READ MORE
Sarah Kuta is a writer and editor based in Longmont, Colorado. She covers history, science, travel, food and beverage, sustainability, economics and other topics.