Every year when the calendar turns to autumn, I always look for the
first Titanic themed Halloween story. Sometimes it is stories of ghosts at Titanic exhibits or other such things. Well Premier Exhibitions has decided to capitalize on this interest by offering their own Haunted Ghost Tours at the Luxor Hotel exhibition in Las Vegas this Halloween season. According to the press release:
One of the most interesting spirit stories told is the “Lady in Black” who is often seen on the Grand Staircase crying for her famous friend, Margaret Brown. Visitors will also get the chance to feel the presence of Frederick Fleet, Titanic’s look-out on the ill-fated night, who watches over the Exhibition’s Promenade Deck as he attempts to make up for his unfortunate late sighting of the iceberg. Additionally, guests will learn about the passenger who prophesied the sinking of the Ship of Dreams by writing to a friend just a few days before perishing in the North Atlantic, “Right now I wish the ‘Titanic’ were lying at the bottom of the ocean.
These special tours are only on Saturday nights at 8pm in October. I am surprised they will not have a special midnight tour on Halloween itself since it will be a Saturday (they will have the 8pm one though). Perhaps those ghost hunter guys will show up with those gizmos that detect ghosts to add an air of authority and perhaps a special on the History Channel (real Ghosts of Titanic!). Or just send in that poor sidekick from Muppet Labs. The last time he visited a haunted house, it was quite memorable.
The Titanic X-Files concerns the supernatural, otherworldly, or just plain mysteries about Titanic and has been updated with some newer information since I last updated it a few years back (on the Titanic News Channel website). I see a lot of queries about the mummy, no pope and other related issues. One item deleted and moved to Titanic Sinking Theories are conspiracies. I think those entries are better placed there rather than here.
1. Was There A Cursed Mummy Aboard Titanic?
Here is one version of this story that is circulating out there on the Internet: The Princess of Amen-Ra lived some 1,500 years before Christ. When she died, she was laid in an ornate wooden coffin and buried deep in a vault at Luxor, on the banks of the Nile. In the late 1890s, 4 rich young Englishmen visiting the excavations at Luxor were invited to buy an exquisitely fashioned mummy case containing the remains of Princess of Amen-Ra. They drew lots. The man who won paid several thousand pounds and had the coffin taken to his hotel. A few hours later, he was seen walking out towards the desert. He never returned. The next day, one of the remaining men was shot by an Egyptian servant accidentally. His arm was so severely wounded it had to be amputated. The 3rd man in the foursome found on his return home that the bank holding his entire savings had failed. The 4th guy suffered a severe illness, lost his job and was reduced to selling matches in the street. Nevertheless, the coffin reached England (causing other misfortunes along the way), where it was bought by a London businessman. After 3 of his family members had been injured in a road accident and his house damaged by fire, the businessman donated it to the British Museum. As the coffin was being lifted up the stairs by 2 workmen, 1 fell and broke his leg. The other, apparently in perfect health, died unaccountably two days later. Once the Princess was installed in the Egyptian Room, trouble really started. Museum’s night watchmen frequently heard frantic hammering and sobbing from the coffin. Other exhibits in the room were also often hurled about at night. One watchman died on duty causing the other watchmen wanting to quit. Cleaners refused to go near the Princess too. When a visitor derisively flicked a dust cloth at the face painted on the coffin, his child died of measles soon afterwards. Finally, the authorities had the mummy carried down to the basement figuring it could not do any harm down there. Within a week, one of the helpers was seriously ill, and the supervisor of the move was found dead on his desk. By now, the papers had heard of it. A journalist photographer took a picture of the mummy case and when he developed it the painting on the coffin was of a horrifying, human face. The photographer was said to have gone home then, locked his bedroom door and shot himself. Soon afterwards, the museum sold the mummy to a private collector. After continual misfortune (and deaths), the owner banished it to the attic. A well know authority on the occult, Madame Helena Blavatsky, visited the premises. Upon entry, she was seized with a shivering fit and searched the house for the source of “an evil influence of incredible intensity.” She finally came to the attic and found the mummy case. “Can you exorcise this evil spirit?” asked the owner. “There is no such thing as exorcism. Evil remains evil forever. Nothing can be done about it. I implore you to get rid of this evil as soon as possible.” But no British museum would take the mummy; the fact that almost 20 people had met with misfortune, disaster or death from handling the casket, in barely 10 yrs, was now well known. Eventually, a hardheaded American archaeologist (who dismissed the happenings as quirks of circumstance), paid a handsome price for the mummy and arranged for its removal to New York. In April, 1912, the new owner escorted his treasure aboard a sparkling, new White Star liner about to make its maiden voyage to New York. On the night of April 14, amid scenes of unprecedented horror, the Princess of Amen-Ra accompanied 1,500passengers to their deaths at the bottom of the Atlantic. The ship was the “Titanic.”
The legend of a cursed mummy began not long after the Titanic disaster. Supposedly the mummy of an ancient Egyptian princess, whose curse warned not to disturb her tomb, was placed aboard the Titanic. Then we are supposed to believe that the ancient gods of Egypt condemned everyone on Titanic to death for this desecration. The ancient princess referred to was Queen Hatshepsut who did rule Egypt about 1640 b.c.e. Her tombs (there are apparently three that were built) do exist but her mummy has never been positively identified although there are some that could be hers. Additionally no curse exists or has been found in any of her tombs. Nor is there any proof she was loaded aboard the Titanic. In short, no proof has been found to substantiate almost all of the facts claimed in most versions of this story. Nor that the mummy was in the British museum, which by the way fields calls and letters to this day asking about the cursed mummy. As to the curse, it should be noted that the most famous curse of all- King Tut- was a fabrication as well. In this case it was created by Howard Carter to keep people away from the tomb. While much has been made of some prominent deaths after the discovery, the vast majority of people who were involved in the excavation lived long lives, including Howard Carter who discovered the tomb.
Barbara Mickleson over at Snopes.com did an examination of the legend and found new information (at least to me) about how this legend came about. It comes down to an inner coffin lid and a desire to get publicity for a new book. It turns out that writers William Stead and Douglas Murray, who were writing a horror book about an Egyptian mummy, decided to use this coffin lid with the image of an unidentified woman (possibly a priestess of Isis) to generate interest. They concocted stories of items being moved around in the area of the British museum, strange noises, frightened workers and even a death and crafted the legend it being cursed. Needless to say, it was all a fabrication. The inner coffin lid is at the British Museum and there is no mummy that came with it (apparently still in Egypt).
2. Did The Book “Wreck of the Titan” Foresee The Tragedy?
In 1898 the book Futility (later retitled Wreck of the Titan when republished after Titanic tragedy) by Morgan Robertson was published. The book told the story of a large ship called Titan which struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage in which close to 3,000 people died.
Many who have read the book believe it was prophetic in light of Titanic. Robertson himself was a known believer in the occult so many hold his book was a psychic vision. The fictional Titan was indeed similar in many way to the actual Titanic. Here are some interesting similarities:
Length (feet) 800 882.5
No. of watertight compartments 19 16
Passengers (maximum) 3,000 3,000
Passengers Onboard 3,000 2,200
Lifeboats 24 20
Month of Maiden Voyage April April
Time Hit Iceberg Near Midnight 11:40 P.M
Collision location North Atlantic North Atlantic
Deaths 2,987 1,523
As one can gleam from the table, there are similarities between the two ships. While similarities abound, there is no real proof that can be put forward this was a psychic forewarning of the tragedy. For instance, it is more than likely that Robertson learned of White Star’s plans to build a fleet of giant passenger ships that would travel the North Atlantic route (New York-Southampton).In 1892 the White Star Line announced it had commissioned Harland & Wolff to build large Atlantic steamers. Many newspapers carried information about it (like the New York Times on September 17, 1892). The New York Times article mentions a ship called Gigantic would be built and many of the specifications given are close to what Robertson used in his book. It is not hard a stretch to believe that Robertson used this information when writing his book.
For many though, it is the collision with the iceberg that seems the strongest part of the psychic warning theory. Both the fictional Titan and Titanic collided with an iceberg within the same time frame. Titan struck the berg near midnight, Titanic at 11:40 P.M. Also the warnings are almost the same. On Titanic, the warning to the bridge by lookout Fleet was “Iceberg, Right Ahead!” Titan’s lookout shouts: ” Ice, Ice ahead. Iceberg. Right under the bows.” The similarities are certainly striking. But there are crucial differences as well. On the night the real Titanic sunk, the sea was remarkably calm almost like a pond. It was moonless as well making it very dark. And the temperature was below freezing. Now compare it to what Robertson writes of the night:
When the watch turned out at midnight, they found a vicious half-gale blowing from the northeast….a fairly uncomfortable whole gale of chilly wind. The hard sea, choppy as compared with her great length, dealt the Titan successive blows…. A fog-bank, into which the ship had plunged in the afternoon, still enveloped her….
In both cases the lookout was unable to see the iceberg until it was fairly close. Another crucial difference is the impact of the berg. On the real Titanic, not many people felt the impact except in the forward areas. And it struck on the starboard side. But in Robertson’s book the impact was far different:
But in five seconds the bow of Titan began to lift, and ahead, and on either hand, could be seen, a field of ice which arose in an incline to a hundred feet high in her track. But a low beach, possibly formed by the recent overturning of the berg, received the Titan, and with her keel cutting the ice like steel runner of an iceboat, and great weight resting on the starboard bilge, she rose out of the sea, higher and higher-until the propellers in the stern were half exposed-then meeting an easy spiral rise in the ice under her port bow, she heeled, overbalanced, and crashed down on her side to starboard.
Crucial differences such as these support the proposition that Robertson’s book was not a psychic forewarning. Rather the book was made one after the demise of Titanic. Certainly many books can be considered prophetic after the fact. Oliver Stone produced a movie called Wall Street which was about an evil mogul and a naive stockbroker. Yet news was soon filled with real-life stock manipulators like Michael Milkin. A coincidence to be sure. Just like in 1912 when Titanic sank the publishers of Futility decided to reprint the book under a new title,Wreck of the Titan.
Behe, George & Goss, Michael, LOST AT SEA, Prometheus Books, 1994. Chapter six of this book deals specifically with occult warnings of Titanic’s demise.
Gardiner, Martin ed. THE WRECK OF THE TITANIC FORETOLD? Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY 1998
Robertson, Morgan THE WRECK OF THE TITAN OR FUTILITY, Bucaneer Books, Cutchogue, New York 1994 [Originally published 1898]
3. No Pope
Various supernatural warnings have been identified as signs Titanic was doomed. Some have argued that a reading of the stars (practiced by astrologers not astronomers) indicates the planets were aligned in a way that foretold this disaster. Still others claim strange birds seen flying over the shipyard or landing on Titanic (well not strange birds just birds not normally seen) were a warning as well. Another intriguing warning comes in the form of numbers. In John Eaton and Charles Haas book Titanic: Destination Disaster, they write on page 18:
“There were those that said Titanic had been doomed from the start, from the moment the hull number 390904 had been assigned by her builders, a number some Harland & Wolff workers read in mirror images as NO POPE.”
When one gathers up all the various supposed supernatural warnings, Titanic was doomed! Throw in the mummy curse and this ship was lucky to have even left Southampton. Some have claimed to have precognitive dreams as well of the disaster. One explanation that people turn to superstitution to explain tragedies is that we do not see improbable events as probable. Yet the chance of something bad or something good, however improbable, is possible. When you buy a lottery ticket the statistical chance of winning is low but not improbable. Same with disasters.
Many have sought supernatural explanations for the loss of ships. The whole concept of the “Bermuda Triangle” is to try to explain ships disappearing. Various explanations by sensationalist authors have put forth theories like vile vortices, cursed ships, alien spacecraft, and Atlantis to name a few. Yet in most cases one can draw rational answers from studying shipping reports and weather forecasts for the day concerned. A ship that disappeared during a storm is likely to have suffered a fate known to all sailors.
In the end, most of the supernatural warnings are probably nothing more than coincidence at best.
And finally number 390904 does not read as NO POPE when read backward, forward, or viewed as a mirror image.
4. Was Someone Buried Inside The Hull?
Another popular legend is that a worker got buried in the hull. According to the legend, workers and even passengers heard someone banging from inside the hull. While accidents did occur at the ship yard, there is certainly no proof anyone was entombed in the hull. Wags say that perhaps it was the mummy that was trapped inside the hull.
5. Fake Descendants & Memorabilia
From time to time various people have come forward to claim they are related to people who survived Titanic or perished that night. So many claims have come up that one could write a whole book on the subject. Why do people make such false claims? The general reason is to gain attention. After all, claiming to be related to a person on Titanic offers a certain cache.
While imposters can and do fool people, fortunately there are ways to often to verify the accuracy of a claim. A fairly complete list of passengers is available and many scholars, both professional and amateur, have studied the many people aboard Titanic. Additionally various public records are searched and checked to make sure a claim is legitimate. From time to time some on the Internet have claimed to be descendents but often, unless proven, such claims should be taken warily.
Another area of concern is fake memorabilia. Ever since the great ship went down, and especially after the recent movie, the desire to acquire things Titanic has grown. However with the exception of coal sold by RMS Titanic, the company in charge of the salvage operation, nothing brought up from Titanic has been sold publicly.On occasion items do appear at auction houses from families of survivors. Thanks to the resurgent interest, the price of Titanic collectibles has swung up. So families do put items up for auction and usually they are authenticated before auction. The premium on these rare collectibles, usually letters or other items, is pretty high. Be on the look out for anyone who claims to have “genuine” artifacts from the Titanic. More often than not, they are fakes. Be especially careful of so-called signatures of survivors.
Update 2/2015 Loraine Allison/Helen Loriane Kramer
Perhaps the most notable story in recent years. In 1940 Helen Kramer of Berkley, Michigan claimed she was Loraine Allison, the daughter of Hudson and Bessie Allison who perished with them in 1912. Their infant son, Trevor, did survive because Alice Cleaver (the nursemaid)took the child and headed out presumably to meet up with the rest of the family. Unfortunately it appears they did not know Cleaver had done this and spent most the time looking for their missing child and died when Titanic went down. Helen Kramer claimed she had been saved by a man named Hyde who had taken her to England and raised her as his own child. However she also claimed Hyde was none other than Titanic designer Thomas Andrews. However the death of her lawyer and a subsequent fire destroyed the paperwork and ended the story.
That is until many years later when apparently her granddaughter found all the papers her grandmother had on the issue and started the whole issue up again. The big difference between 1940 and now is that we have better ways of determining whether someone can be genetically proven to be related or not. The case of Anna Anderson, who claimed to be the only surviving member of the Russian royal family executed by the Communists, was finally put to rest with a DNA test that proved she was not related in any way with them. And a mitrochrondial DNA test has now shown that Helen Kramer could not have been Loraine Allison or any other member of that family.
7. Ghostly Encounters
From time to time there are news reports about people claiming to see, hear, or feel ghosts specific to Titanic are around. Sometimes it is around objects once owned by those that perished or perhaps in places where they once lived. There is no way to really investigate each claim without going to each alleged occurrence, conduct interviews, and do an on site inspection. Sometimes there is a perfectly rational explanation to strange sounds such as buildings that settle or voices from the outside coming through pipes or vents. It is easy for our eyes to be fooled. The late Arthur C. Clarke related the story of someone spotting a monster in the water between Sri Lanka and India. From a distance it looked like something out of a Jules Verne story as all you could see was the top and something that looked like a trunk. Not to worry though, it was an elephant merely crossing over but the optical illusion that was created by the water, sun, and the half submerged body of the elephant made it look like a monster.
More recently some have claimed that ghosts are following the Titanic exhibitions. We have to keep in mind that sometimes promoters of events recall the old carnivals in trying to get people to come in and see the strange creature inside. So putting out stories of ghostly sightings and sounds may draw people in out of curiosity. Certainly when a television show that follows around “ghost hunters” to a alleged haunting at a Titanic exhibition suddenly pops up, the alarm bells ought to be going off as to what is going on here. It is likely there are more logical explanations rather supernatural ones. For now this case file remains open.
The Pageant of Monsters, an occasional event of Festival Of Arts in Laguna Beach, California, will be including in their spooky family-friendly haunted house a tour of a sunken luxury liner inspired by Titanic. Actors will be made up as ghosts as you pass through rooms converted to look those on the sunken liner. Inspiration, reports the Coastline Pilot, came from a Titanic memorial a few years ago. So it was decided to include Titanic in this years haunted house. In addition to the haunted house, the event includes live music, fortune telling, wandering zombies and even surgeons conducting an alien autopsy.
The Pageant of Monsters will be at the Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach from October 24-31 from 6 t0 9:30 p.m.. Cost is $15 for adult, $10 for children 12 and younger (kids under 5 not recommended). Further information is at Festival of Arts or by calling 1-800-487-3378.
Pumpkins are starting to appear along with scary and sometimes funny Halloween décor. And to go along with the season we have a Titanic themed Halloween story. Now this is something we hear about regularly here at Titanic News Channel. Stories of Titanic ghosts have been around a long time. Sometimes connected to things once owned by Titanic victims, hauntings where they once lived. One person claimed that spectral voices would be heard out in the area where Titanic sank. Titanic exhibitions are also places where ghosts, possibly of Titanic victims, seem to hang out.
And one such place is Titanic:The Experience in Orlando, Florida. Using artifacts and storytellers in costume, it sets a wonderful stage for people to enjoy learning about Titanic. Now according to one news article, they are adding ghost tours in October for those wanting to find out about the supernatural aspects of the exhibit. On a few select days at 5 p.m. in October, people will be guided through the exhibit by actors who portray passengers. They will note areas where alleged supernatural events have occurred.
Jac LeDoux, floor manager and director of the exhibit, reports he has had many ghostly encounters. He does not call them spirits and does not believe they are evil or violent (good to know!). He says a little girl called Catherine haunts the attraction. A Raggedy Ann doll was even put on the shelves behind the register to amuse her by staff members. Most of the ghostly encounters occur in the grand staircase, engine room and outside deck areas of the exhibit. Kimberly Button, writing for Attractions Magazine, said there was a spooky feeling in some of the rooms though nothing was seen or heard by them. One person on the media tour did report feeling like moving on water while on the outside deck area.
Titanic: The Experience is promoting the ghost tours this way(taken from their website):
DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS?
AT TITANIC THE EXPERIENCE WE DO… COME EXPERIENCE THEM FOR YOURSELF
For the past few years staff members at Titanic The Experience have encountered some strange and unanswerable events within the Exhibition. Some say it is the spirits of passengers and crew of Titanic reaching out from “the other side,” while others speculate it’s their minds playing tricks on them.
To put the debate to rest and finally find answers to these unusual events, Titanic The Experience hosted a paranormal investigation which claimed to find conclusive evidence of paranormal activity generated by those who sailed on the legendary Ship on the evening she met her fate.
Experience these spirits and hear the stories yourself by taking a Titanic The Experience Ghost Tour on Oct. 17th, 24thand 31st at 5pm. Beware of wandering ghosts, whispers, howling winds, shadows and bizarre noises. Reservations are required as attendance is limited.
They are advertising their version of a haunted house, only that instead of manufactured scares, chills, and thrills they are offering the possibility of the real thing. Notice they do not actually promise you will see something supernatural, just that you might. They give a disclaimer of sorts by saying “some say it is the spirits of passengers and crew of Titanic reaching out from “the other side,” while others speculate it’s their minds playing tricks on them.” As for an investigation, one wonders who conducted it.They do not say but if history is any guide, it likely is one of those ghost teams armed with fancy looking devices that measure changes in temperature, fluctuations in energy nearby, infrared cameras to pick up spectral movements, and possibly digital voice recorders to pick up voices from beyond. Perhaps they were accompanied by psychic, who being sensitive to such things could tell them if their exhibit was haunted or not.
Of course some will wonder whether this is just something manufactured to draw in visitors.The article concludes with:
Guests and staff often see and hear weird occurrences during normally scheduled tours. The ghost tour is a chance, though, to learn about the staff’s long-time interactions with the spirits of passengers who sailed on the Titanic and seem to have never left.
If the goal is to learn about Titanic, I applaud the effort. But not with gimmick like this. I doubt they called up anyone like Joe Nickell* to come and examine the stories and determine if there really is any supernatural activity going on.
Okay I predicted this. Every year we get a news story usually around Halloween about a alleged haunted Titanic exhibit or something connected to Titanic (like a replica of the famous ship). Over at the Titanic Exhibition in Luxor (Las Vegas) reports of the supernatural are being reported in local press.
The Las Vegas Journal-Review reported that these alleged supernatural events include overhead music being turned off, strange orchestra, spectral voices calling names or giggling, and hair being tousled or unseen force grabbing at jackets. Now the person making many of these claims is Joe Zimmer, an artifacts specialist for the exhibition. He claims to be sober and telling the truth.
“I’ll say this a million times and on my deathbed, and maybe come back and say it after my death: I would not lie to you,” Zimmer says. “What I’m asking you is to keep an open mind. Some of the docents and even guests have had some serious experiences here. Now, is it a trick of the mind or something else?
Time to call the Ghostbusters, sorry, professional ghost hunters. These are the people who walk around with equipment that will detect the presence of a ghost. The journalist accompanied by Tina Carlson and Nancy Riggs (director and co-director respectively) of the Las Vegas Society of Supernatural Investigations decided to explore the exhibit after hours one night. They toured the exhibit and places where strange or spooky things have been reported, like the replica of the grand staircase where a figure dressed in black has been spotted.
Another is a picture of J. Bruce Ismay, which apparently fell off the wall by itself (security cameras showed it falling off with no one touching it). So the journalists and the ghost hunters walked around. A security alarm goes off! The alarm near the Ismay picture has been tripped! It is a motion sensor on glass display case. Then later in the hallway of the third class bunks footsteps are heard coming towards them. A check of the room shows no one there!
The emf detectors went off but it may have been the electronics all over the place giving them false readings. So the ghost tour ended with not much except the motion sensor going off and strange footsteps. No real proof but lets review what we do know for certain.
1) The falling picture
Putting aside spectral hands doing it, is there another plausible explanation for a picture suddenly coming off a wall? Vibrations can cause it if the fitting is not tight. I have seen this happen when something causes a major vibration (lots of people moving about, a truck or household appliance) that shakes it enough something to fall off a shelf or wall.The fact the security cameras saw no one suggests this a possibility. My guess is that the picture was not quite secure and vibrations (which can come from a distance and not be readily apparent) likely caused it to fall.
2) The Motion Detector
These are temperamental devices but models vary as does quality. Many things can set them off but if they are set to only go off when someone breaks the glass (or I suppose leans too hard on it). My first act is not to assume supernatural but test the equipment. if it is going off when no one is breaking or touching the glass, it likely is a malfunction. It could be a number of things from wiring going bed to the sensor being temperamental requiring adjustment. How would a ghost set it off and humans not? If people just walked by and then suddenly it goes off, that does not mean a ghost did it. That sounds like a vibration (that word again) the alarm picked up and sensed might be a problem. At any rate the alarm needs to be examined by an electrician to determine what the problem might be.
This is more common than realized. Sometimes we here footsteps only to learn no one is there. For instance you are inside a building and you hear what seems like footsteps going up the stairs nearby. But no one is there! However outside are stairs and when someone walks up and down they sound like someone is walking on the stairs inside. Long time ago I was in the basement of a home watching television. I distinctly heard what I thought were footsteps above. Even the dog woofed a bit. Nothing was there though so what caused the sound of footsteps! Contracting floorboards. It was a cold night (below freezing) and the wood was constricting and as it did, caused those sounds.
So what did they hear that night? One possibility is they did hear footsteps but actually was someplace nearby. It only sounded like it was coming towards them. A simple experiment would confirm this hypothesis. Another possibility is fooling ourselves. We are so keyed up to experience something supernatural our brain latches on to something but it did no really happen.
Of course these days one has to suspect trickery as well. Too often clever pranksters can cause things to happen, like things appearing to fly off shelves as examples of poltergeists. There are many ways we can be fooled. Like the infamous Amityville Horror where it was simply all made up (virtually none of the things in the book or movie ever happened)by a defense attorney in cahoots with the Lutzes. Causing a chandelier to swing is not difficult with the right tools. Just ask Pen & Teller.
So if you are planning a trip to a Titanic Exhibition and worried ghosts might be about, do not worry yourself. The only ghosts you are likely to meet will be living ones dressed as people back then or the famous Captain Smith.
Stephen King’s Christine was about an evil car that terrorized people. Now we have a Titanic replica that may be haunted.
Wyatt Jason Moore (aka Chuck) built a nine foot long Titanic replica that looks pretty cool complete with crewman, children playing on deck, ladies in period costumes and even someone walking a dog. But when he examined photographs of the replica he began noticing something not easily seen by the naked eye.
An unexplained image in the portholes just above the life boats – on the port side of the vessel. According to Chuck, it looks like a bald headed man with a handle bar mustache looking out. And he just recently identified a woman in one of the portholes appearing to lean forward to see the view.
So let me understand this. These are ghosts peering out of small portholes on a Titanic replica that can only be seen by examining photographs. Sort of like those ghosts that can only be “heard” when you leave a tape recorder around a graveyard or old house.
Well the good news is that he intends to partner with a museum so the Titanic replica will be heading there. So if the ghosts decide to get more active, it will be their problem and not his.
A recent article in the Quad City Times reports several people smelling a cigar odor near a sealed glass case at a Titanic exhibit. A passenger’s cigar holder is in that case fueling speculation that a spectre is at work. Ciara Tanaka, a volunteer coordinator at the museum, says the odor was “strong.” Another person who works there also detected the odor and checked a garbage can to see if it had a cigar in it. A paranormal expert, Jason Hess, states the reports are credible. “The smell of cigar smoke at the Titanic exhibit is highly credible. Artifacts, such as from the Titanic, hold energy from bodies and souls that had died quickly. The odor can be like a rewind of tapes from the past.”
That theory is an old one called psychometry, which believes that certain gifted people are allowed to see, hear, and even smell things from the past. It is often used to explain hauntings. In theory a gifted person would be able to see whatever event the haunting is about. What often happens is simply a case of now you see it–or not type of thing. Science thus far has not confirmed the theory has any merit. So what did the people smell at the Putnam museum?
There are several possibilities. One is that they did smell something. Perhaps it was someone smoking a cigar near the building and got picked up by the outdoor air vents. Or someone might have been smoking a cigar illegally (the museum is a no-smoking zone) and its aroma was picked up and recirculated by the air conditioning system. Or it might have been something that smelled similar to cigar smoke. Another possibility is someone is playing a prank on them. Never dismiss this. It has happened before when suspected hauntings or poltergeist activity is being investigated that someone is found to be responsible for it.
There is also the power of suggestion. Our minds are curious things and can be easily fooled at times. Take waking up at night where, between being fully awake and sleeping, you see strange shapes in your room. Once you are fully awake there is nothing out of the ordinary. People having day dreams can have this happen too, where they see or hear things that are not really happening. It is possible some who smelled cigar smoke were getting into the moment, so to speak, and suddenly the smell of cigar smoke was there. In this scenario the people are reacting not to any ghostly encounter but are in a suggestive state where such things are possible.
So is there a haunted cigar holder a the Putnam museum? I suspect there are more plausible explanations than a deceased Titanic passenger enjoying a cigar at the Titanic exhibit.
Over the years there have been a variety of supernatural claims around Titanic. Some have claimed Titanic was doomed right from the beginning or that an cursed Egyptian mummy was to blame. Haunted relics of Titanic are claimed and even a reproduction of the famous Titanic stairway might be haunted. My criticism of those going out to seek Titanic ghostly voices got some reaction. So far no one has conclusively proved (under scientific conditions) that such recordings are ghosts.
Mostly you get, no pun intended, dead air when you record nothing, You get whatever ambient noise is going on, traffic sounds (if near a street) and animal sounds (if recording outside). Weather plays a factor as well if recording outside. Ghostly voices, such as they are, could be people talking nearby whose sound carries just far enough to be picked up by the recorder. Consider it even more so out in the rarely peaceful North Atlantic. All that noise (waves, wind etc) which you have to filter out if ghostly voices of torment can be heard. Providing of course they are there. I doubt it and most who skeptics who study such things offer more plausible explanations for hearing the occasional word(s) on these recordings without resorting to the supernatural.
A Bad Cruise
Most cruises are pleasurable and offer lots of distraction. Unless of course you recently were aboard the Carnival ship Splendor. A fire disabled its main engines forcing them to use auxiliary power for navigation. That meant no hot water for cooking or bathing, toilets that did not work, dimmed lighting (emergency only) or no lighting, and uncomfortable rooms without air conditioning. Without power much of the food spoiled quickly leaving them with whatever the staff could pull together. The U.S. Navy did render aid with supplies and—gasp!—spam. Actually spam is not that not bad (Hawaiian’s love it) but with little options but eating it cold, not that great either.
According to CBC News the Urban family from Edmonton was aboard. When asked about the fire, Rosalie Urban is quoted as saying:
[I had] thoughts of the Titanic, I’m like, ‘Did we hit an iceberg or something?’ But we were down south, so I didn’t know what was going on.
Fortunately it was not an iceberg but they did have to spend several uncomfortable days at sea being towed to San Diego with cold showers and cold food. It was at least memorable and something years later one can laugh at. Needless to say they are not laughing at Carnival since they had to refund all the passengers fares and give them vouchers for free cruise in the future. Travelers rebooking on Carnival will not want to sail on Splendor again.
Pastor Feels Like Captain Smith
Biloxi’s Church of the Redeemer is relocating after many decades on the beachfront. It withstood two hurricanes and probably seen a lot of history. Now it is relocating to Popp’s Ferry and of course parishioners are sad to see it go. According to WLOX , parishioners have been helping to paint the new place and move items. As they move to abandon the old church, church leader Fr.Dr. Harold Roberts said (in jest):
“I keep telling people, I feel like the captain of the Titanic.”
As an occasional listener of the old Art Bell Coast-to-Coast (now done by George Noory), I learned of something called EVP. Ghost hunters go to cemeteries, homes, and anywhere where ghosts may be lurking about. They then tape dead air–literally. Later they play it back to determine if they can pick up ghosts talking on lower frequencies. Sometimes they do pick up an occasional word, perhaps a phrase but rarely anything more. Mostly you get a lot of nothing.
But what about sunken ships? Well according to a recent article in the Orlando Sentinel ghost hunter William Brower believes that voices of Titanic’s doomed passengers are just waiting to be heard. In the spring 20 paranormal investigators plan to mount an expedition to where Titanic sank. They hope to pick up the wails, moans, and cries of the doomed from using special microphones.
The Titanic Endeavor Tour, headed by Matthew “Sandman” Kelley, a paranormal researcher from Markleysburg, Pa., will charter a boat to the shipwreck 960 miles east of New York and try to invoke the spirits of those who died there. Expedition members will dine from the Titanic’s menu, observe a memorial service and strain to detect, through psychic sensitivity or special equipment, traces of souls who haunt the site.
One problem with EVP is suggestion. Many want, if not believe, they will hear spectral voices. This can make you think that you hear words when there is nothing there. Or there really is something being heard but has a more mundane explanation: radio chatter that ends up going down into the lower bands. You just get bits and pieces but not the whole thing.
Another problem is why ghosts would communicate this way. It is hit or miss for the ghost. After all they have to hope someone comes by with recording equipment. And even then they do not communicate directly; it has to be played back and analyzed for speech. Even then it is hard to discern coherent patterns due to background noise. Perhaps the ghosts are pulling one hell of a prank on sincere ghost believers. After all you have to buy or get the equipment to do this, go out to a place where you think ghosts may be, and then hope they have something to say. All that for the occasional word or seeming sentence like “Get Out!.”