Saturday, October 1, 2011

USS Hornet: The Gray Ghost

Chelle and I were wondering what to do today for fun, just to get out of the house, so we decided to go visit the USS Hornet berthed over in Alameda. She's one of the United States' most decorated ships, served in World War II (with her pilots shooting down over 1400 Japanese planes over the course of the war); served in Vietnam; and served in the first few Apollo moon missions (the astronauts were fished out of the water and taken aboard the Hornet, where they had to undergo quarantine).

It's also a famous ship because she's said to be haunted, and if you watch Ghost Hunters on the Syfy Channel, then you know Grant and Jason both declared the ship definitely had paranormal activity aboard. She's retired now, of course, and the ship is a museum.

A day that started off cloudy wound up glorious. Here is a shot of the San Francisco skyline across the Bay from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier.

It was altogether an interesting tour. Tourists were pretty much free to wander all over, and not much of the ship was cordoned off. So we went up and down ladders, got lost in the maze that was the bowels of the ship, walked the length of the flight deck, checked out the Apollo exhibits, saw the mess and berths and briefing rooms and officers' quarters and so on. Then we climbed on up to the Island, which is a series of shorter decks with the navigation bridge, captain's cabin, chart room, pilot house, flag deck, etc.

Chelle parked herself in a chair in the pilot house and declared she could drive the colossal ship, and I wandered away laughing at her. I saw a catwalk outside so stepped through a door to get some fresh air and see where the catwalk led. I took a few paces and felt Chelle touch my arm. So I turned to see what she wanted.

Except nobody was there!

Okay, it was just a gentle hand on the inside of my arm, right by my elbow, but it was firm enough to be a clear touch. There was nobody else on that catwalk with me. I turned around a couple times, trying to see if I'd bumped into anything. Nothing but the steel railings, which would've hit the outside, not the inside, of my arm and felt like a bump, not like a touch.

I patted my pockets. There was a brochure stuck in my back pocket, so I pulled it out, then tucked it back in, then let my arm swing against it to touch it (which involved twisting my body a little, which I hadn't done anyway), but no, that felt like paper, not a touch.

So... I have no idea. I either totally imagined that, or I was touched. I can't say it was scary, either. It wasn't cold or creepy or whatnot. It was just a touch. Like I said, I'd honestly thought Chelle had caught up to me and done it.

So that's my USS Hornet ghost story.

Oh, a final point worth noting about the Hornet: she's a Rosie the Riveter ship. Approximately 30% of the crew who built her were women.


Di Diamund said...

My 5yr old grandson saw the photo of the "big o boat" and said..."we should buy that the next day"
~giggle~ he is so cute.

Joyce said...

No concept of money yet, huh? LOL