Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Haunted McMurdo Station

As early as 1902, Robert Falcon Scott would establish a base along McMurdo Sound on Antarctica's Ross Island. However, it wouldn't be until 1956 that the United States would open its first base nearby, now known as McMurdo Station. Originally named Naval Air Facility McMurdo, the station opened on February 16, 1956 and quickly became a hub of both scientific and logistical operation. All supplies headed for the South Pole come through this little 'community' of scientists and support staff which can see a population boom of over 1000 residents during the summer months.

McMurdo Station is also a hub of paranormal activity. While there are several places throughout Antarctica that are believed to be haunted by those who have perished on this cold, unforgiving continent, McMurdo is at the top of the list, plagued with eerie disembodied footsteps, apparitions, and feelings of general unease, mostly attributed to the spirits of the victims of New Zealand's most infamous air disaster.

On November 28, 1979, Air New Zealand Flight TE-901 crashed into the side of Mount Erebus, located on Ross Island near McMurdo Station. The flight was the 14th trip of a popular sight-seeing flight that took passengers from New Zealand to Antarctica, passing low over the landscape for a better view.  All 257 persons on board (which included 237 passengers and 20 crew members) died in the tragedy. Sixteen bodies were left unidentified, and 28 people were never found.

The bodies that were recovered, however, were taken to McMurdo Station and stored there until they could be transported back to New Zealand, a fact that many attribute as the leading cause of the hauntings.  According to Allie Barden, an American who works at McMurdo, one of the hot spots is building 174, where flammable and toxic materials are now stored. She had her own experiences there with footsteps and feelings of not being alone, despite being the only LIVING person in the area. She has chronicled her experiences on her SandwichGirl blog, along with those of others, specifically mentioning the ghosts of the Erebus crash haunting the big gym and a ghost customer that frequents the coffee shop.

Article by John Henzell
Allie Barden's Blog
McMurdo Wiki
Erebus Crash Wiki

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