Truth Seeker: Sometimes just a journey offers adventure

Photo by Tom Moore The USS Sachem served in World War I and was later renamed the USS Phenakite in World War II.

Searching the web or listening to stories to find new allegedly haunted locations to visit can be exciting but also a long process. Trying to find the right person to contact to gain access and finding directions to the right place can make one almost give up on even visiting such sites. But with me I always consider it an adventure. Why not? Sometimes it can turn into a story-telling adventure.

I remember several years ago we began looking for more locations to seek out the unexplained. We came across information concerning an old abandoned train tunnel that we all felt we needed to visit. I quickly pulled together a few things and made plans for us to go on a search for it.

After arriving at a location close to where I felt the tunnel would be we pulled our equipment from our cars and began making our way toward where I thought the tunnel should have been. After hiking a distance, a few began asking if I knew where we were going. I kept saying that I did and it would not be much further. The sun did set on us and I, too, then realized that I had made a mistake. Now we were walking back to our cars in the dark with flashlights. The fog set in and made it a very creepy setting but we made it back to the cars. Later, after doing further research I realized we were indeed close but I had led the team in the wrong direction.

But that does not always happen. Sometimes a little information can get you to where you want to go. Recently, I went on an adventure to find an old abandoned ship. No, it was not a pirate ship filled with gold owned by One-Eyed Willy like in the movie “Goonies,” but a ship that was originally built in 1902 and called the “Celt” but later known as the “USS Sachem.” This ship had served in World War I from 1917 to 1919 and then been reacquired by the Navy to serve in World War II from 1942 to 1944 as the USS Phenakite. This is the same ship that one can see in the background of Madonna’s music video for “Papa Don’t Preach.” I am sure this ship has many historical stories within it but what about those of the paranormal?

I have not heard of any about this particular ship but I still wanted to visit and find out more information. Who knows what or who may still be there?

After making the trip to the Cincinnati and Kentucky area I made my journey to find it. As I began making my way closer to where I thought it should be I began feeling my stomach sink. Thoughts of not finding it were crossing my mind. Shortly after thinking of giving up I came around a corner and in the midst of trees I could see the ship that I had been searching for. I hiked down through mud to be able to see it better. I took several pictures and paused for a moment, thinking to myself I am here viewing a piece of history.

This alone was worth the trip. As for the paranormal side … that is still undetermined because “dead men tell no tales;” or do they?


Tom Moore is a founding member of Mid-Ohio Valley Ghost Hunters and has been conducting research for 14 years. He can be reached at