In search of the origin of an Antarctic ghost ship: The legend of the Jenny re-evaluated
When Sir John Franklin’s expedition ships, lost since 1845, were found in the Arctic in 2014 and 2016, respectively, they were referred to several times in the media as ghost ships. However, such a comparison is not new. In 1862, an article linking the disappearance of the Franklin expedition to that of a ghost ship in Antarctic waters appeared in ... a newly founded German geographic journal aimed at a general audience. The story of the ghost ship Jenny in the Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica would probably have been long forgotten had it not appeared again in this journal in English translation a century later. Since then, the story has appeared again and again in publications about mysterious phenomena, without succeeding in answering the question of whether such a ship ever existed at all. Instead of continuing to look for evidence of the actual existence of the ship, the following article not only presents the sources of the 1862 journal article but also examines how the story itself might have originated. In addition to a well-known legend about a ghost ship in the Arctic waters of Greenland, which will also be analysed in greater detail, oral tales and tradition about two almost forgotten voyages into Antarctic waters and a well-known one have probably also been incorporated into the tale of the ghost ship Jenny. All translations from German are by the author.
Polar record 58 (2022), 1-9, e13