USS CONSTELLATION PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION
Ghost Soldiers went aboard this fine ship to investigate the possibilty of finding a spirit
still within her hull. We were not dissappointed! We had several EMF spikes and were able to identify something
near the medical quarters, but it was gone within minutes. This is a piece of history that everyone should visit and
Constellation constructed in 1854 is a sloop-of-war and the second United States Navy ship to carry this famous name. According to the US Naval Registry the original frigate was disassembled on 25 June 1853 in Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia, and the sloop-of-war was constructed in the same yard, possibly with a
few recycled materials from the old frigate. USS Constellation is the last sail-only warship designed
and built by the U.S. Navy.
The sloop was launched on 26 August 1854 and commissioned on 28 July 1855 with Captain Charles H. Bell in command.
From 1855-1858 Constellation performed largely diplomatic duties as part
of the US Mediterranean Squadron.
She was flagship of the US
African Squadron from 1859-1861. In this period she disrupted the African slave trade by interdicting three slave ships and releasing the imprisoned Africans.
- On December 21, 1859, she captured the brig Delicia which was "without colors or papers to show her
nationality... completely fitted in all respects for the immediate embarcation [sic] of slaves..."
- On September 26, 1860, the Constellation captured the "fast little
bark" Cora with 705 slaves, who were set free in Monrovia, Liberia.
- On May 21, 1861, the Constellation overpowered the slaver brig Triton in African coastal waters. It held no slaves, although
"every preparation for their reception had been made." 
Constellation spent much
of the war as a deterrent to Confederate cruisers and commerce raiders in the Mediterranean Sea.
Pre-World War I
After the Civil War Constellation
saw various duties such as carrying famine relief stores to Ireland and exhibits to the Paris Exposition Universelle
(1878). She also spent a number of years as a receiving
ship (floating naval barracks).
World War I
After being used as a practice
ship for Naval Academy midshipmen, Constellation became a training ship in 1894 for the
Naval Training Center in Newport, Rhode Island where she helped train more than 60,000 recruits during World War I.
World War II
Decommissioned in 1933, Constellation was recommissioned as a national
symbol in 1940 by President Franklin Roosevelt. She spent much of the Second World War as relief (i.e. reserve) flagship for the US Altlantic Fleet, but spent
the first six months of 1942 as the flagship for Admiral Ernest J. King and Vice Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll.
Constellation was again decommissioned
on 4 February 1955 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 August 1955 — about 100 years and 2 weeks from her first commissioning.
She was taken to her permanent berth — Constellation Dock, Inner Harbor at Pier 1, 301 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland (39°17′07.95″N
76°36′40.28″W / 39.2855417°N 76.6111889°W
/ 39.2855417; -76.6111889) — and designated a National Historic Landmark (reference number 66000918) on 23 May 1963 . She is the last existing American Civil War-era naval vessel and was one of the last sail-powered warships built by
the U.S. Navy. She has been assigned the hull classification symbol IX-20.
In 1994 Constellation was condemned as an unsafe vessel. She was towed to drydock at Fort McHenry in 1996, and a $9-million restoration project was completed in July 1999.
On 26 October 2004 Constellation made her first trip out of Baltimore's
Inner Harbor since 1955. The trip to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, lasting six days, marked the ship's first
trip to the city in 111 years.
Tours are regularly available,
self-guided or with the assistance of staff. Nearly all of the ship is accessible, and about half the lines used to rig the vessel are present (amounting to several miles of rope and cordage). A cannon firing is demonstrated daily, and tour groups can also participate
in demonstrations such as turning the yards.
For some time there was controversy over whether or not the 1854
sloop was a new ship or a rebuilt version of the 1797 frigate. Much of the controversy was created when the city of Baltimore promoted the ship and even rebuilt sections of the ship to resemble the
1797 frigate. Geoffrey M. Footner maintained the view in his book, USS Constellation: From Frigate to Sloop of War,
that she was in fact, the original frigate though greatly modified. Additionally, when the ship was to be rebuilt in the 1990s,
naval historians who favored the theory that the ship was indeed the 1797 original relied on three main points:
- Some of the funds used to build the sloop were originally allocated to rebuild
- Some timbers from the broken-up frigate were
used in the construction of the sloop.
- The frigate was never
formally stricken from the Naval Vessel Register — a wooden, sailing man-of-war called
Constellation was continuously listed from 1797-1955.
Supporting the position that they are different ships are the facts that the sloop was designed anew from the keel
up (without reference to the frigate) and was planned to have been built even if the frigate had not been in the yard during
that period. In March 1989 researchers Dana M Wegner and Colan Ratliff from the David Taylor Research Center came upon the builder's hull half model of the Constellation in the U.S. Naval Academy
Museum. This was important because half models are
only built for new designs, not rebuilds, and the use of half models was introduced after 1797. Besides evaluating the half
model the researchers also reviewed all the evidence used in the debate to date, concluding with the help of FBI and BATF forensics that many of the rebuild supporting documents were forgeries.
In 1991 they published their findings in a paper titled, Fouled Anchors: The Constellation Question Answered
and concluded that they are different ships. The proof advanced in this report was confirmed during the 1999 renovation. At that time evidence was uncovered pointing
to the construction of an entirely new sloop-of-war of the 1850s era.