As the small, one-person submarine travelled slowly to the bottom of the ocean the water changed from light blue, to turquoise, to a murky green colour. Visibility was reducing with every meter as the sea bed slowly came into view. The marine biologist from Portsmouth University peered through the gloom to see, for the very first time by anyone living, the mysterious landscape.
Michael Green had been waiting a long time to see this, and wasn’t disappointed. He looked cautiously into the gloom, and there, slowly revealing itself, was the outline of a long forgotten ship. Forgotten, that is, until now. Michael had been searching for HMS Cudham for ten years and finally his search was over.
Unexpectedly he saw emerging from the gloom what he thought at first was a large jellyfish. As it came closer Michael’s blood seemed to turn to ice, as the thing he had mistaken for a jellyfish was the figure of a man, not a normal scuba diver that he had seen many times on his underwater trips, but a transparent man dressed in the clothes of a sailor, a sailor who had lived, and died, over a hundred years before. Michael looked at the figure as it moved closer to the submarine. After a moment he came to his senses.
“I must be low on oxygen,” he thought. “I’m imagining things,” and he moved his hands across the controls to start making his ascent back to the surface of the ocean.
Just as he was about to pull the lever the power died and Michael was plunged into darkness. No sunlight reached the murky depths of the ocean, but he could see, shining brightly, the ghostly sailor still coming nearer and nearer. He jabbed at the controls, frantic to escape before he came face to face with this apparition, but despite his desperation the power remained off. The figure was only inches away and Michael could see his features clearly, the long hair pulled into a low ponytail at the back of his neck, a small hat perched on his head and his blue and white stripped sailors uniform, flapping in the current of the sea as if he was taking a stroll on a windy day.
As the figure reach the submarine it stopped briefly and Michael and the ghost looked at each other. Then the strangest thing happened. The ghost smiled at Michael and gave him a navy salute and, despite himself, Michael saluted back. Then the figure continued to move forward, right into the submarine itself, past Michael and out the other side, back into the depths of the ocean. As he passed through the submarine the power restarted and Michael was blinded for a second by the brightness of the lights after the darkness of the moments before.
Michael never told anyone about what he had seen, but from that day onwards his quest to find HMS Cudham was at an end, and he left it, and its ghost crew, to rest in peace.