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PM 18 Found

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:27 am
by chapmaja
This summer, PM 18, at the time the largest car ferry on the Great Lakes sank while crossing Lake Michigan. The wreck was finally found in July after almost 110 years since it sank. The crew famously tried pushing cars out of the ship to lessen the weight, but it was futile. Despite cutting loose 5 cars from the ship, it sank. What was interesting about the position of the ship is that it apparently hit very fast and the stern sank into the lake bottom. The bow is close to 100 feet above the bottom of the lake, meaning the ship sank going fast to the bottom.

The position of the ship also makes it very difficult to determine the cause of the wreck. It was noted by survivors that it appeared to be taking on water near the stern of the ship, where the crew quarters were located. One of the likely theories is that it was a broken hatch cover or a failure of the propeller tunnel seals which let water enter the ship. Supposedly they had steering control as they attempted to deviate their course to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. This would appear to rule out a rudder problem.

The theory I think is most likely is a problem with the stern plate of the ship. This would have allowed substantial water into the ship and would have been more difficult to detect than a issue with the propeller tunnel.

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:29 pm
by joeyuboats
I do not think the very early car ferries had sea gates to protect the stern of the boats, either.

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:25 pm
by Robert King
This is the ship that had a boxcar full of gold bullion stolen from the confederacy at the end of the Civil War from down south that was brought up to Michigan. Its also said that it was one of the five cars pushed off the ship. The guy that stole it was Benjamin Pritchard from Allegan Michigan and was the one that started the First National Back of Allegan. Link to the site for more information https://k1025.com/benjamin-pritchard-cu ... -war-gold/

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:46 pm
by Steve B
Robert King wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:25 pm
This is the ship that had a boxcar full of gold bullion stolen from the confederacy at the end of the Civil War from down south that was brought up to Michigan. Its also said that it was one of the five cars pushed off the ship. The guy that stole it was Benjamin Pritchard from Allegan Michigan and was the one that started the First National Back of Allegan. Link to the site for more information https://k1025.com/benjamin-pritchard-cu ... -war-gold/
Where did you hear about that theory? It doesn't make any sense. What would a boxcar loaded with Confederate gold be doing running around 45 years after the war ended, 40 years after Pritchard founded the First National Bank of Allegan, and three years after he died? Why would it be in a boxcar anyway-- hardly the most secure mode of transport?

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:42 pm
by kd_1014
Steve B wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:46 pm
Robert King wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:25 pm
This is the ship that had a boxcar full of gold bullion stolen from the confederacy at the end of the Civil War from down south that was brought up to Michigan. Its also said that it was one of the five cars pushed off the ship. The guy that stole it was Benjamin Pritchard from Allegan Michigan and was the one that started the First National Back of Allegan. Link to the site for more information https://k1025.com/benjamin-pritchard-cu ... -war-gold/
Where did you hear about that theory? It doesn't make any sense. What would a boxcar loaded with Confederate gold be doing running around 45 years after the war ended, 40 years after Pritchard founded the First National Bank of Allegan, and three years after he died? Why would it be in a boxcar anyway-- hardly the most secure mode of transport?
If its true, you know what i'll be doing next summer

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:19 pm
by Robert King
Steve B wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:46 pm
Robert King wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:25 pm
This is the ship that had a boxcar full of gold bullion stolen from the confederacy at the end of the Civil War from down south that was brought up to Michigan. Its also said that it was one of the five cars pushed off the ship. The guy that stole it was Benjamin Pritchard from Allegan Michigan and was the one that started the First National Back of Allegan. Link to the site for more information https://k1025.com/benjamin-pritchard-cu ... -war-gold/
Where did you hear about that theory? It doesn't make any sense. What would a boxcar loaded with Confederate gold be doing running around 45 years after the war ended, 40 years after Pritchard founded the First National Bank of Allegan, and three years after he died? Why would it be in a boxcar anyway-- hardly the most secure mode of transport?
I watch a lot of history shows, read lots of history articles, and did some research on this. The house that Mr. Pritchard lived in is only a mile from my house and history of what he did easy to find here in Allegan. (my house was owned by a Pritchard family member). Also, there is an entire show looking for the gold on the History channel. Feel free to check the link for more information. But as the story goes, a boxcar was full of stolen gold bullion (nobody knew about it accept him and whoever checked it) and was pushed off the ship into the lake (the people on the ship did not know what it was) and people have been trying to find it but no success.

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:22 pm
by Robert King
kd_1014 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:42 pm
Steve B wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:46 pm
Robert King wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:25 pm
This is the ship that had a boxcar full of gold bullion stolen from the confederacy at the end of the Civil War from down south that was brought up to Michigan. Its also said that it was one of the five cars pushed off the ship. The guy that stole it was Benjamin Pritchard from Allegan Michigan and was the one that started the First National Back of Allegan. Link to the site for more information https://k1025.com/benjamin-pritchard-cu ... -war-gold/
Where did you hear about that theory? It doesn't make any sense. What would a boxcar loaded with Confederate gold be doing running around 45 years after the war ended, 40 years after Pritchard founded the First National Bank of Allegan, and three years after he died? Why would it be in a boxcar anyway-- hardly the most secure mode of transport?
If its true, you know what i'll be doing next summer
Not sure but i think you need permission from the state government to look for it, seeing its stolen gold bullion

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:50 pm
by CAT345C
I thought the boat with the gold sank earlier and sailed out of Frankfort so wouldn't it have been a Ann Arbor boat that sank with it? Either way for the naysayers there is a tv show on the History Channel about it. Its fascinating.

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:59 am
by Pixl
CAT345C wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:50 pm
I thought the boat with the gold sank earlier and sailed out of Frankfort so wouldn't it have been a Ann Arbor boat that sank with it? Either way for the naysayers there is a tv show on the History Channel about it. Its fascinating.
Yes it was an interesting story. They had found a bar of gold, but had to wait for a permit from the State of Michigan to bring it up. The following season they went down and found it was a brick painted gold. They got scammed by someone and the series abruptly ended.

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:03 pm
by Robert King
Pixl wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:59 am
CAT345C wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:50 pm
I thought the boat with the gold sank earlier and sailed out of Frankfort so wouldn't it have been a Ann Arbor boat that sank with it? Either way for the naysayers there is a tv show on the History Channel about it. Its fascinating.
Yes it was an interesting story. They had found a bar of gold, but had to wait for a permit from the State of Michigan to bring it up. The following season they went down and found it was a brick painted gold. They got scammed by someone and the series abruptly ended.
It was a good series because you actually learned a bit about the stolen gold bullion and how it got to Michigan and for me the show was from Michigan. Like nothing is from Michigan (tv shows). Be cool if someone would find that gold but I bet its under a lot of sand because of the lake moving things around.

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:13 pm
by hoborich

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:40 am
by DaveO
The History Channel produces shows for entertainment purposes.
There are at least 2 variations of the confederate gold story out there. That should give a clue as to how valid either one is.

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:43 pm
by Steve B
If someone came up with actual evidence that a car of gold was loaded onto the PM 18, I'd love to read about it. As it stands now, there's nothing but fevered dreaming. "You can't prove it didn't happen" isn't a sufficient argument. I also can't prove that aliens didn't land 1,000 years ago where my house stands.

Re: PM 18 Found

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:34 pm
by PatAzo
A brief video of the wreck



DaveO wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:40 am
There are at least 2 variations of the confederate gold story out there. That should give a clue as to how valid either one is.
One account is a Frankfort lighthouse keeper who witnessed cars being pushed off the ferry. The other is a death bed confession of a banker (not Pritchard) who said he was involved in the theft. The ships differ too. One is the car ferry and another account is silver bars locked in the safe of an 1800's tug.