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Observations placeholder

Madame de Ferriem- Prophesying a dock disaster in New York



Type of Spiritual Experience


Madame de Ferriem, in a vision that took place early in 1899 ‘saw’ a catastrophic dock disaster in New York [the prophecy is below]. 

Godefroy the recorder of the prophecy, much alarmed at its severity, took it upon himself to warn America.  The New York Herald of April 25th 1899 carried a news item in a box on page 11,  signed "Frederic Godefroy Kerken," and dated April 12th from Berlin:

"I hereby beg you kindly to take notice of the following communications (of Madame de Ferriem of Berlin)." The German text is given, and beside it the German translation, evidently supplied by Godefroy (Kerken) :  ‘The adherents of the prophetess confirm that the lady has also foreseen the two last conflagrations."

No one took any notice.

An account was published again in December, 1899, in the "Neue Spiritualistische Blatter".

No one took any notice.

The great fire of the Hoboken docks took place on June 30th 1900. The North German Lloyd suffered heavily in that fire, but no American ship was touched.  Three ships as well as the docks – the Main, Saale and the Bremen were completely destroyed.  The New York Herald on July 1st 1900 carried on its front page the main headline, "Three Ocean Liners Destroyed by Fire." The disaster of the North German Lloyd docks at Hoboken filled the newspapers for days.

But no one remembered the prophecy.

Another of the Herald headlines on July 2nd stated: "Lives Lost in Hoboken Horrors May Exceed 300" and also "Bodies Still Hid in Smoldering Wrecks" as well as  "Two Hundred and Twenty of the Three Ships' Complements Still unaccounted For."

The newspaper described the smoke as "like a thunder cloud over New York City."

The loss was variously estimated at between $5,000,000 and $10,000,000. The salvage claims alone amounted to nearly a million. For days after, bodies were still being recovered from the wrecks and from the river. It was a major catastrophe.

And an astounding prophecy.

Despite the accuracy of Madame de Ferriem’s prediction, yet again I think the composer and possibly a whole number of other composers saw this as an accident waiting to happen.  They have fed her with a vision wholly in keeping with what was likely to happen and sufficiently frightening to spur her and Godefroy to try to warn  people. 

And like a true prophet they ignored her.

A description of the experience

"What a terrific fire," she said, fixing her gaze upon a spot on the floor of the room in which she was sitting. "An appalling fire. So many ships. A ship is burning. Clouds of black smoke, coal-black smoke. How thick it is! The docks are burning. Oh, this is terrible! . . . A conflagration in New York. I see it clearly."

 (She had visited New York and recognized it in her vision.)

Later she added:

I see a ship burning in New York harbor and I hear a terrible crash. So far as I can see it is not an American ship. The city is New York; I know I am right. I remember it well from my American visit."

 In addition we have:

....The extension of this fire will be favoured by wind. A very great number of men perishes by this catastrophe. ... This future burning concerns a catastrophe on the water.

The source of the experience

Madame de Ferriem

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Science Items

Activities and commonsteps