Eerie ghost ships with corpses are drifting into shore along the fishing villages on the Sea of Japan and while this might creep out the average American, the folks who live in these villages are sadly used to it. The boats are strewn with corpses of men, but because some of the bodies are so badly decomposed it is hard to determine the gender of some.
Fishermen seeing these ghost ships drifting off shore describe how you may see a leg dangling over the side as you get closer to the vessel, much like what they saw with the latest boat to roll in. With 14 of these vessels making their way to the shores of Japan in a little more than a year, the mystery deepens.
According to Jonathan Kaiman from the Los Angeles Times in an article he published on April 10, the sea brings many things into shore, but nothing as gruesome or perplexing as these ghost ships strewn with dead and decomposing bodies. The mystery of their origins are unknown, but some theories have spawned from the clues taken from the boats and corpses.
This isn’t a case of just one or two ships floating ashore. Since last year there’s been at least 14 ghost ships with 30 corpses total between them. The investigators want to know who they are and what has happened to these people. According to the World Tribune, most of these ships are no longer than 30-feet and they are made of wood.
Many of the items found in these ships point to their origin being North Korea. Even the writing on some of the hulls of these boats is North Korean. Sizuo Kakutan is a 71-year-old retired fisherman and who lives in the fishing village of Monzen, which is on the sea of Japan. He talked of a recent ghost ship that was found stuck on a buoy off shore. He said as they came closer to it he could see a leg bouncing from the movement of the waves, then he knew there would be bodies inside.
The leading theory today is that these are North Korean boats and this theory comes from a recent event in the news involving North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un. According to the LA Times, “The basis for those conclusions might be found in a series of undated photographs released in November of dictator Kim Jong Un touring a military fishery base, grinning and examining blocks of frozen fish.”
During that event, Kim said, workers should “realize their lifetime desire by catching more fish for the service persons and civilians,” according to the official Korean Central News Agency. This indicates that the military may be sending soldiers out to sea to do some fishing, but they are not fishermen and they don’t have any training at sea, so they get lost and die. The current and winds could bring these ghost vessels into the fishing villages, still with their occupants on board, but dead.
The smell and the sheer eeriness of these ships don’t make them very appealing and to dispose of them takes money. Monks take the ashes of the dead once they are cremated for a respectful funeral. The boats are dismantle and disposed of. For now it is believed these are possibly the bodies of North Korean soldiers, sent to sea by the military and who lost their way while fishing. This is a trade which takes skill in the unforgiving Sea of Japan and these soldiers were not trained to do this.