Haunted USS Hornet CV-12: Alameda’s Aircraft Carrier Home to Ghosts

USS Hornet CV-12The USS Hornet, nicknamed the Grey Ghost, was commissioned in 1943 during the zenith of the war in the Pacific. She destroyed 1,410 Japanese aircraft and ruined 1,269,710 tons of enemy ships and cargo.

Sailors have walked into the aircraft’s spinning propellers, been sucked into air intake and swept off her deck by their exhaust. There have been explosions.

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At least three men were decapitated by cables used to launch planes. During her twenty years of active service, more than three hundred men lost their lives aboard the Hornet, most of whom died in combat, the others in accidents and suicides.

The ship was decommissioned June 26, 1970 and is, now, the Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet Museum docked at Alameda Point in the San Francisco Bay.

Launching ceremony of Hornet, 30 August 1943

USS Hornet’s Dress Whites Ghost

In February 2009, Coast Guardsman Bob Eiess was painting a compartment with colleagues, some of whom wore protective white paper uniforms. The paint was getting low, so Eiess went to find the man who supplied it.

While en route, Eiess saw what he thought was one of his group step off of the main hall onto a side passage. He called out, but the man kept walking.

When Eiess arrived at the hall, he saw that a chain blocked the entrance and compartment was empty. He returned to the room they were painting. He saw the man he thought he noticed in the passageway and said he ignored him. The man said he hadn’t left the room.

Later, Eiess mentioned the incident to Hornet employees and was told he saw the Dress Whites Ghost, the specter of a sailor wearing his white dress uniform.

Ghostly Banging Sounds in the Hornet

Derek Lyon-McKeil had been a skeptic until 1995 when he was one of a group of volunteers who were staying aboard the ship. They had bunked down when they heard banging noises like someone was opening the hatches.

The supervisor asked who was slinking about opening the hatches and the men looked at each other and saw no one was missing. Then they heard the banging noises again and knew the ship was secure and that no one could have gotten inside.

Ghost ship

Headless Sailor of the Hornet

The catapult is a powerful machine that launches planes off of the flight deck. The wire used with it has a tendency to snap. More than one sailor have been decapitated by the breaking wire.

People have reported seeing a spectral headless sailor pacing up and down in the catapult’s area. Others have only heard his footsteps.

Sea Cadet’s Eerie Encounter on the Hornet

In 2005, a young man was on watch in the CPO Mess Room and heard cries for help. An investigation didn’t reveal the source of the sounds. An hour later, there was an aroma of phantom tobacco smoke.

Footsteps were heard near the head on the deck above them. A search found no human smoking on the deck. When the cadet went to bed, he heard ghostly voices near his rack.

Miscellany of Hornet Ghostly Activity

Doors open and close by themselves, tools vanish and then reappear, objects move of their own volition, lights turn on and off and toilets flush. Phantom officers and sailors have been sighted and their voices and footsteps, heard.

People have sensed an eerie presence and have felt something invisible push or grab them.

Kathleen talks about encounter with a ghost

My husband and I went with my aunt to tour the USS hornet. At the end of the day when the tours were closing down, my husband drug me off into a section of the ship that was obviously not open to tourists.

The hallways were dark, the side rooms had bed frames just tossed into them, debris strewn all over like a trash heap. I was getting nervous we would either get lost or get into trouble for being in a section that was closed.

Suddenly a full uniformed officer came from around the corner. I knew for sure we were in trouble. He walked past us. He never made ANY eye contact, no acknowledgment of our presence what so ever.

He then turned into one of the rooms about 10 feet ahead. We followed behind him, and when passing the side room he went into, again piled high with bed frames and what not, he was gone. I told my husband we had to get out of there.

Just then my camera crashed to the floor. The camera came apart from the strap. I have owned this camera for 8 years. Ne ver before and never since has the camera come off the strap.

I think back now – and I think what sent off alarms was the lack of air movement as he walked by, and NO acknowledgment that we were even there. I truly believe we saw a ghost!



Theories about Hornet’s Haunters

People to this day submit accounts of their experiences aboard the aircraft carrier. The phenomena are hauntings and poltergeist activity.

A haunting is energy imprinted on time and space, like a videotape. It has no intelligence. Poltergeists are manifestations of psychokinesis, PK, the ability of the mind to affect matter. In this case, an entity is the agent.

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