In February 1948 a series of distress calls were sent out by the Dutch freighter Orang Medan in the Straits of Malacca between Sumatra and Indonesia.
"All officers including captain dead, lying in chartroom and on bridge, probably whole crew dead… " This chilling message, accompanied by a spate of desperate SOS calls, was followed by indecipherable Morse code… then a final message just two stark words "I die."
Boarding parties found the dead radio operator, his hand on the Morse key, eyes wide open. The entire crew even the ship’s dog were discovered in the same terrified posture, all dead.
According to The Proceedings of the Merchant Marine Council, the crew were found “teeth bared, with their upturned faces to the sun, staring, as if in fear…”
Following this grim discovery, a fire broke out in the ship’s hold.
The boarding parties were forced to abandon her. Shortly after, a violent explosion described in some accounts as so violent the vessel “lifted herself from the water” and she quickly sank.