Newspaper date January 6, 2004
Valencia Tragedy Shocks! Is the Paranormal
of Valencia Ghost Ship
It was our unpleasant duty to report the wreck of the SS
Valencia in January of 1906. Since those most wretched of
days, the tragic events of the sinking of the Valencia have
become well known to all who travel Vancouver Island’s
coast. But the story of the doomed vessel did not end when
the Valencia descended into the deep. The Shipwreck Times
has launched an investigation into paranormal activity.
There are some who believe that the Valencia continues to
sail as a ghost ship.
Wrecks Near Pachena Point
On January 20, 1906, the Valencia departed San Francisco
for Seattle with close to 108 passengers and 65 crewmembers
on board. Thick fog forced slowed speeds. Sleet and wind
assaulted the vessel. The ocean currents played at will
with Captain Johnston’s plotted course, and the worst
came to pass. Mere minutes before midnight on January 22,
1906, the Valencia plowed into the rocks three miles east
of Pachena Point.
Fight For Life
For two days, passengers and crew
attempted to cheat death. The inquiry
which followed the agonizing wreck
found that the launching orders for
the lifeboats were poorly timed, and
that the crew had not been properly
trained and drilled. The passengers
were tossed from the twisting boats
and into the sea before even being
lowered from the Valencia’s
sides! The sound of splashes mingled
with the crashing waves. The frantic
fight for life continued on.
The suffering seemed to grow ever
worse. Soaked, shivering and terrified, men, women and children
clung to the rigging as the Valencia broke apart. By miracle,
a few men made the shore! But could they help? Would they
be able to scale the cliffs and run a line to their shipmates?
These survivors turned their backs on the desperate souls
and began the hike that would save themselves and doom an
estimated 117 others. Not a single woman or child could
hold on to life through the ordeal.
Keeper Telegraphs For Help
Some time later, the Cape Beale lighthouse keeper opened
his door. A band of weary survivors stood on his threshold
and related the staggering tale of the Valencia. Help would
be sent! The call coursed through the telegraph lines, and
the tug Salvor, and the vessels Queen and the City of Topeka
rushed to the scene, but to no avail.
Rescue Attempts Offer Little Chance of Success
Waves surrounded the Valencia in a cage of angry water!
Captain Ernest Jordan of the Salvor attempted a final approach
of rescue, but he lost hope. “I was not permitted
to make the attempt, which even at the time I realized offered
but a hundred-to-one chance of success. It was terrible
to stand off there and watch the wreck break up, and see
the people who were in the rigging drop off into the boiling
So much wasted life, say some, bodes of ill things. Could
the souls of the Valencia have been cursed to steam the
Pacific in a phantom vessel? Shipwreck Times paranormal
correspondents say “yes.” Indeed.
Fact #1: It seems that the ship’s
cook, a veteran of four other shipwrecks, felt unnatural
foreboding from their departure. His last mortal words as
he went down are now legendary: “I should have known
all along that she was doomed!” Fact #2: Sailors who
have exhibited no motive for the fabrication of such heartless
falsehoods claim to have seen a steamer working the coastline
near the wreck, years after the tragedy. They say that the
vessel “resembled the ill-fated Valencia” and
that they “could vaguely see human forms clinging
to her mast and rigging.” Fact #3: As though a message
from the beyond, the Valencia’s #5 lifeboat came ashore
in Barkley Sound. It displayed a startling aspect. In a
remarkable indication of unseen specters, the small craft
was in a solid state. But its arrival on shore took place
in 1933, 27 years after the wreck!
The Shipwreck Times has dutifully
recorded the facts for readers. They are encouraged to establish
their own position on the matter.
Issue: The Vanlene