Hull Daily Mail - Monday 13 September 1915
Gloucestershire Echo - Wednesday 15 September 1915
Hull Daily Mail - Thursday 16 September 1915
Hull Daily Mail - Tuesday 14 September 1915
The true story of the KW171, a lugger (fishing ship) from the Dutch coastal town Katwijk aan Zee, took place in september 1915. Ever since the story is known as the "gekkenlogger" (lunatics lugger) In what follows the story has been accounted historically correct, including all names of ships and seamen. Episodes from the story are indented and preceded by the date they took place.
One of the days before sunday 5th (september 1915)
The crew hauls the nets while singing psalms on a truly wonderful summer day. When the work is done the crew holds a spiritistic seance on the afterdeck. The chief mate PIETER VAN DUYN throws the portraits of his wife and father in law to pieces on the deck. "When I come home it will thunder, they are devils." Pieter explains that he doesn't know who made his wife pregnant. Later that day a shark is caught and Pieter chops the beast to kill the devil. Seaman JACOB JONKER tells he has been to heaven.
The crew witnessed the community of the fysically impressing seaman ARIE VLIELAND with God. That night Arie tells that he had been like dead for half an hour and that afterwards he saw Christ hanging on the cross saying "It is accomplished." Arie is admired by the crew.
One of the days before sunday 5th (september 1915)
In the early morning Arie, captain NICO DEN HAAS and seaman ARIE ROS hear the blast of trumpets. Arie tells he heard the voice of God telling the world has perished and that they have to sail to the New Jerusalem. Their wives and children will await them there. They will meet a ship called "De hoop" (the hope) to bring them there.
At daybreak a few crewmen see the New Jerusalem rising from the horizon. One of the crewmen tells he has seen a saint, who was he? In the evening Arie puts a bible inclined on the table and suggests that nobody can push it over. Indeed nobody can.
Nearly everybody says to be converted. Arie asks each of the crewmen personally whether he is converted and wants to fall guilty. In the evening seaman KLAAS KUYT says it is a deceit and dances on the deck, maybe to challenge Arie.
In the morning the crew brings Klaas to Arie because of his jeering conduct last evening. In the afternoon Arie manes Klaas to dance. Arie says that he can let Klaas dance until he drops dead. Klaas obeys Arie's order under pressure and dances as if besides himself with a grim face. Eventually Arie has Klaas carried down and locked up in the toilet. Later on Arie says that the devil has taken posession of Klaas and that he will kill himself in the toilet. The crew takes Klaas from the toilet and throws him overboard. Klaas is able to grasp a rope hanging overboard but one of the crewmen cuts it swiftly. Klaas drowns in a phosphorescing sea. From now onwards the crew is in fear for the vengeance of God. Finally the crewmen wash Arie and themselves. Arie and his brother LEENDERT move into the saloon and the captain and the chief mate, who actually belong in the saloon, move into the crew's premisses.
Arie orders everybody to put on their best clothes because working is no longer necessary. On full sea the KW171 meets with the KW157, a white ship by the name of "De hoop". The captain and three crewmen, but not Arie, visit the KW157 and explain that they are sailing to the new Jerusalem. Captain PLUG of the KW157 tries in vain to change Nico's mind. The ships go their own way. In the evening Pieter says he doesn't believe in Arie anymore. Arie reaches his hand to Pieter but Pieter refuses. After three refusals Arie becomes furious and smashes the table. Pieter is seized by panic and starts blowing. He hangs on to some crewmen for dear life but Arie throws him into the crewmens's premisses. Next Arie and Jacob slaughter Pieter using iron and wooden shovels while singing psalms. Eventually Jacob splits Pieter's head with an axe, "The devil has hard bones." From now onwards Arie only speaks in condemning terms. That night Jacob visits Arie in his berth but Arie only answers "World, world, world."
You are all crazy, do you still believe in all this?" And he locks himself in his berth. Later on Arie summons everybody to kneel down. At first Jacob refuses. His face turns ash-gray. When at last Jacob kneels down Arie summons that Jacob shows his belief, which he hadn't shown by just kneeling down, by jumping overboard while everybody knows that he can't swim. Jacob flees into his berth and locks it. His berth is broken open with axes and Jacob is dragged unto the deck and is beaten to death by all men and by all means. To really expel all devils from the ship Arie summons to throw as much overboard as possibl, nets, rigging, the steamengine, sails, compass, food, everything. God will lead them. Arie sends seaman WILLEM HOUWAART up the mast to throw down pulley-blocks and related items and summons everybody to to stay on deck because God will protect them.
in ruinous state, still in neat clothes, but very tired the ship is discovered by the Norwegian cargo ship "Joan Rein".
Monday 22 November 1915
The Ballarat Courier
CREW OF MADMEN DEMENTED DUTCHMEN KILL COM-RADES.From Grimsby comes amazing reportsof the entire crew of the Dutch fishinglugger Noordzee going mad and of a terrible fight, which resulted, it is believed,in three men being killed. The Norwegian steamer Jonas Reid, outwardbound from the Tyne, sighted a sailingvessel, apparently derelict about 130 milesfrom the English coast. The steamer boredown to the lugger, and it was seen thatthere were men on the deck signallingfor help. Approaching nearer. it wasseen that the craft was almost a wreck.All her canvas, spars, deck fittings, andhatches were missing, and aft there werepools of blood on the deck.As far as could be gathered, some members of the crew had become demented.They had attacked the others on board;and there had been a general fight, inwhich three men were killed. One hadhad his head almost severed with a chopper, and another had been mutilated witha sheath knife.The Norwegian streamer took the vesselin tow, and later communicated with anaval craft. The Dutchmen remainingon the lugger were put in irons, and thevessel brought to anchor off the Humber.The 10 surviving members of the crowincluded two boys, whose loss of reason isbelieved to be due to the horrible scenesthey witnessed. The local Netherlands Consul states that, in all probability the affair was the outcome of religious dementia, and this view is supported by the police. lndeed from the few intelligible remarks uttered
by the men sufficient has been gleaned toindicate that the madness arose through belief that the vessel was full of devils.There is no actual proof at present that three of the crew were butchered and their bodies thrown into the sea, except that the survivors declare that they killed the supposed victims as they were man-devils.
The story of The Lugger Noordzee is kept quiet in Katwijk.Everybody knows the story but is it not done to talk about it .
There was a book in 1915 Hellevaart.(decent into Hell'
A few years ago Robert Haasnoot decided to write a book about it called `Waanzee`(sea of delusion).
On arrival in Holland the men were put in an asylum.