A massive headline was written across the second 2014 issue of Maclean’s magazine that read: MISSING SHIP L’ACADIEN II DISCOVERED. To many treasure hunters, collectors, and the curious public, this was quite the opportunity. Ship wrecks often meant money to be harvested, jewelry left about to pawn, and to those hopeful few, even a few rare treasures worth the freezing dive for. In the insuing days since the wreck had been discovered, authorities had arrested at least three men attempting to dive and recover anything of value that hadn’t been rotted or completely washed away by the rough waters of Cape Breton. And strangely enough, each one of the men that dove into the frigid waters said the same thing: there were three distinct knocks coming from inside the old, rotten, algae-ridden safe in the captain’s quarters. One man, John Gilford, reported that with each dive, the knocks became louder and louder, so loud that the water surrounding the safe seemed to shudder with every pound. Gilford’s warning to those who wanted to dive was loud and strong: “Do not go down there,” he exclaimed to reporters. “There is something down there, and whatever it is, it doesn’t want intruders.”
Days after Gilford’s warning was placed on every local news channel and newspaper in Cape Breton, several more divers attempted the dive in the sunken ship, just to disprove Gilford’s so-called wild imagination. But each diver returned to the surface pale-faced and wide-eyed, heading for shore within just ten minutes of exploring the wreck. And each diver muttered the same thing through grinding teeth and shocked eyes “There is something down there. There is something pounding on the door of the old, rotten safe in the captain’s quarters.”
Ten days after the wreck was discovered off the coast of Cape Breton, forensic scientists finally hoisted the ship out of the water for further criminal investigation. More and more people complained of knocking, some even reported they could hear knocking just off the shores. A few reported they had seen green fog coming off the water and towards the beaches. Authorities were on site to rid the ship of the old, rotten safe to finally end the uproar about the three distinct knockings that had been reported since the discovery of the 6-year missing ship.Some bystanders waited by the beach for researchers to return with their findings. Of the 60 bystanders waiting on the beach, I can tell you that every single one of them reported of hearing the same horrific, blood-curdling, satanic scream from the shores of Cape Breton.
When the safe had finally been removed after being wedged in the closet of the captain’s quarters, one brave assistant took a crowbar to the door of the safe. The safe door opened after only two attempts. And what fell out of the safe was not treasure as every diver had been hoping for like in the Titanic, but the still-decomposing body of the missing and unaccounted-for crew member was cramped inside the safe. As the rotting body fell from the safe, it let one horrific scream loose before any person could react.
To this day, the people of Cape Breton still talk about the three knocks being heard on every clear night on the shores. Knock, knock, knock.