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The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial Museum

Do you recall the Staten Island Ferry Disaster of 1963? The news flew under the radar because it happened on the morning of November 22, and the media became overwhelmingly focused on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But now there’s a memorial and a museum dedicated to the memory of the disaster and those who lost their lives. From the memorial page:

It was close to 4am on the quiet morning of November 22, 1963 when the Steam Ferry Cornelius G. Kolff vanished without a trace. On its way with nearly 400 hundred people, mostly on their way to work, the disappearance of the Cornelius G. Kolff remains both one of New York’s most horrific maritime tragedies and perhaps its most intriguing mystery. Eye witness accounts describe “large tentacles” which “pulled” the ferry beneath the surface only a short distance from its destination at Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. Nobody on board survived and only small pieces of wreckage have been found…strangely with large “suction cup-shaped” marks on them. The only logical conclusion scientists and officials could point to was that the boat had been attacked by a massive octopus, roughly half the size of the ship.

You can find out more about the memorial and the attached museum at its website. See a short documentary on the incident here. You can even get a memorial t-shirt. Residents of Staten Island were surprised by the sudden opening of the memorial, but that’s to be expected, because after all it was 53 years ago. It also didn’t happen. The story is a hoax by artist Joe Reginella, a Staten Island native who has been handing out brochures for the memorial (he is also the one who designed the Jaws Baby Bed). The memorial does exist, if you can find it, but the museum does not. Workers at other Staten Island museums have been busy fielding questions from people looking for it. The ferry Cornelius G. Kolff existed at one time, but was not attacked by a giant octopus. The t-shirts, of course, are real. The brochures, t-shirts, and the actual statue depicting a ferry being devoured by a tentacled monster will go a long way toward perpetuating the urban legends city dwellers like to tell tourists. -via Metafilter


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