Category Archives: Titanic

Major Update on Premier Exhibitions

As most of you are aware, Premier Exhibitions filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 which allows it to reorganize. On Friday it was announced that the Premier Exhibitions Equity Committee had entered into an agreement that “will include the sale all of the Debtors’ assets, including the entire Titanic Artifacts Collection either as assets of the estate or through the sale of RMS Titanic Inc., the company that holds the Titanic Artifacts. The remaining Debtors and their assets likewise would be sold.”

What it means is this: the company can be sold either whole or in parts depending upon the buyers interests. And the Titanic artifacts can be sold either as part of the sale of the whole company or through selling RMS Titanic Inc. The snag that has caused no sale on those artifacts under the salvage award is that they cannot be sold in lots or individually but as the one collection. And the price is simply too high. Under the present circumstances, the price might be lowered and also the possibility the bankruptcy judge might order it sold in lots in order to be sold. Before any of this can move forward, the judge has to agree to a disclosure statement.

Long ago when RMS Titanic Inc was made part of Premier (after some of the original founders of the company were removed and replaced) many thought it would lead to a better valued company. One wonders what really happened here. Titanic became very big after the movie and the centennial of the sinking. Belfast Titanic has done very well and makes money. Either the company was mismanaged and got way over their head or totally miscalculated how to monetize the assets (their exhibitions) to make a profit. Instead of Chapter 11, this is more like Chapter 13 now. The company’s assets are going to be sold in whole or in part to others now. The ghost of George Tulloch is laughing  at those that brought this about.

Sources:
1. RMS Titanic, Inc., et al. (D/B/A PREMIER EXHIBITIONS)
2. Premier Exhibitions, operator of Titanic and Bodies shows, putting itself up for sale (Atlanta Business Chronicle, 21 May 2017)

Update on Chinese Titanic Replica: Sinking Simulator Canceled

Photograph of iceberg taken by chief steward of Prinz Adalbert on morning of 15 April 1912 near where Titanic sank. At the time he had not learned of the Titanic disaster. Smears of red paint along the base caught his attention. The photo and accompanying statement were sent to Titanic’s lawyers, which hung in their boardroom until the firm dissolved in 2002. Public Domain

Readers of this blog are well aware the Chinese are building a Titanic replica of their own for a theme park. It will be a full size replica and will operate not only as a tourist attraction but a hotel as well. They had planned a “Sinking Simulator” that would demonstrate what it was like on that fateful night. It did not sit well with a lot of people, especially those who had a familial connection to those who perished. The Chinese at first were steadfast in saying there was nothing wrong with such simulation. Now it appears the idea was shelved due to the outcry. According to The Christian Post, the idea was shelved was in January. Author Bruce Beveridge, who heads up design team, is quoted as saying “It was shelved back in January when they hired me as design supervisor. I told them, ‘Do not do this, it’s in bad taste.”

It is a wise decision. There are many ways to demonstrate what happened that night without some tacky sinking simulator akin to a game. And with modern technology these days, you probably will do it through virtual reality glasses in the near future.

Source: Protests By Survivors’ Families Prompt Chinese Theme Park to Scrap Titanic Disaster ‘Attraction’ (Christian Post, 12 May 2017)


Titanic News: Fur Coat Sold for £150,000 and other news

Sorry to not post in a while. It was due to both work and the tax season. Now for the news.

Collapsible lifeboat D photographed by passenger on Carpathia on the morning of 15 April 1912.
Public Domain(Wikipedia)

1. Titanic stewardess’ fur coat fetches £150,000 at auction (Independent, 23 April 2017)
Fur coats used to be a stylish thing to wear but these days they are despised. Back in 1912 though, they were an important status symbol.In this case it was neither style nor class but the need to keep warm. Mabel Bennett, a first-class stewardess aboard Titanic, threw it on to keep herself warm. She kept it one while on Carpathia and for the rest of her life. After her death, it was sold to Henry Aldridge and Son who loaned it to a museum in the U.S. It was auctioned off on Saturday far above the estimated price of £50,000-£80,000 and sold for a staggering £150,000 ($191,767USD). The buyers name was not announced but surely one of the highest prices paid for a collectible mink coat.

2. Lost Titanic letter expected to fetch big money at auction (New York Post, 20 April 2017)
A “Wish You Were Here” letter written aboard the Titanic could fetch thousands of dollars at auction this weekend. Four days before the ship sank, Swiss banker Alfons Simonius-Blumer penned the missive to his wife and daughter — in which he expressed regret they were not aboard the ship.Simonius-Blumer was sailing to New York on business with a colleague, Max Staehelin, but without his wife, Alice, and their daughter, Ella. He wrote the letter the morning of April 11, 1912, while the supposed unsinkable pride of the White Star Line steamed between Cherbourg in France and Queenstown, Ireland, its last stop before the fateful Atlantic crossing. Simonius-Blumer also described visiting the ship’s gym, enjoying the Turkish baths and lighting up in the smoking room. As a first-class passenger, he was able to get on a lifeboat after the Titanic struck an iceberg late at night on April 14 and was rescued by the RMS Carpathia the following morning.
The letter was also auctioned off on Saturday at Henry Aldridge for £32,500 ($41,543USD)

3. Titanic relatives mark 105th anniversary in Belfast (BBC, 14 April 2017)
The event was organised by the great-grandson of the man who was at the helm when the ship struck an iceberg. Simon Medhurst, a long-time collector of Titanic memorabilia, said he only found out that he was related to Robert Hichens, one of the ship’s quartermasters, after meeting his birth father in 2012. “It was a complete turnaround for my life, really, from collecting to suddenly being somebody who is connected to the Titanic,” he said. Simon explained that Friday’s event had taken two years to organise. “I wasn’t sure if it would just be our family that turned up, but actually it’s been phenomenal to see relatives and enthusiasts. People just love the story of the Titanic. “I think the importance of this type of gathering is in that it is easy to forget that there were those who lost their lives.”

4. Full-size Titanic replica built in China (Jakarta Post,19 April 2017)
The project was first announced in 2014 and will cost an estimated 1 billion yuan (US$145.4 million). The model will measure out at 269-meters long and 28-meters wide, complete with a ballroom, theater, swimming pool, first-class cabins, and even Wi-Fi, according to Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group deputy general manager Wang Weiling as reported by AFP. The design of the ship is based on the original British passenger liner, and both British and American designers and technicians will assist in the project. And just in case visitors have worries of a second sinking, the boat will be permanently docked on a reservoir in a rural area of Sichuan province, according to Xinhua. No word from Clive Palmer about whether his Titanic replica will ever get funded.


Titanic 2017

New York Times Front Page 16 April 1912
Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons)

In April 1912 the unthinkable happened: Titanic sank taking over 1500 lives to the cold North Atlantic. People were stunned. With the headline Titanic Sunk blazing across newspapers around the globe, it made people wonder what had happened to a ship that defined an age of progress. For those with family, either passengers or crew, it was even more dire. Did my husband live? What happened to that family down the road that decided to go to America for a new life?

In the aftermath two investigations would seek to answer the question of what happened. A short concise statement is that Titanic collided with an iceberg that punctured the hull in many places causing water to enter the forward compartments causing her to founder and sink. Yet the investigations showed all kinds of things that were not right: out of date government regulations about lifeboats, the lack of manning wireless communications during all ship watches, the inattention given to numerous ice warnings, the lack of binoculars for the lookouts and much more. Captain Rostron of Carpathia would be labeled a hero for racing to the scene and retrieving the survivors. Captain Lord of California would come under criticism for his indifference to rockets being seen and failing to investigate.

The world of 1912 was a world on a precipice. Ominous clouds were already gathering over Europe. Titanic represented perhaps the pinnacle of the dying Edwardian age. It had everything that a person of means wanted: a comfortable way to cross the Atlantic in style. Down below was the other side, immigrants desperate to leave home and find a new life in the United States. And sadly many of those third class (or steerage as they were called)would perish.  Titanic sinking left a mark on many that something was wrong and would be confirmed when war broke out in 1914. And that war would cut a wide swath in the upper classes that would have lasting effects.

The lessons of Titanic are many. The most important of all is to never become complacent nor think you are so clever as to be divine. It is a lesson that is sometimes forgotten resulting in tragedies like the Challenger explosion. Sometimes Greek mythology delivers warnings about complacency. Icarus forgot his wings were made of wax when he flew up to the sun resulting in his death. And saying Titanic was practically unsinkable comes pretty darn close as well.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea–And It Will Cost!

Titanic Wreck Bow
Image: Public Domain (NOAA-http://www.gc.noaa.gov/images/gcil/ATT00561.jpg)

Some years ago enterprising chaps started charging people to see Titanic. No, not an exhibition or replica but diving two miles down to the bottom of the North Atlantic to see the wreck. This is no simple task considering it takes three hours down and back in a specially pressurized submersible with few comforts. It stopped for a while but now appears to be back according to various news sources. Blue Marble Private of London, UK is offering a diving expedition in 2018. The eight day journey begins in Newfoundland, Canada and paying customers will become client specialists to participate with the expedition team in the dive. And according to Blue Marble, the price is what it would cost to travel first class in Titanic today (with inflation): a whopping $105,129. It is claimed that is fully booked for the first voyage in 2018.

They are not alone. An Everett, Washington company called OceanGate Expeditions is planning a similar thing and its cost is remarkably the same: $105,129 which makes it look like they may be a US version of Blue Marble. Then there is a company called Blue Fish that is also going to offer dives as well but at a lesser price of $59,680. So it seems a voyage to the bottom of the sea has become popular again for those with a lot of disposable income. Hopefully they will not run into the variety of monsters that Irwin Allen’s show became famous for.

Sources
Titanic: Diving tours of wreck site to begin in 2018 (CNN, 21 Mar 2017)
Everett company planning Titanic expedition with civilians (KOMO,22 March 2017)

Rare Titanic Photo Sells For £360

RMS Titanic beginning sea trials, April 2, 1912.
Public Domain (National Archives and Records Administration,ARC Identifier#306 RG 306)

A rare black and white photograph in a glazed oak frame recently sold for £360 pounds ($374 USD) reports Deccan Chronicle. The photograph was bought by a collector at an auction for £20.  It was estimated to be auctioned off for £200 and was purchased by an anonymous bidder.
Source: Rare Titanic Photograph Fetches 360 pounds at UK Auction(Deccan Chronicle, 19 Feb 2017)

TItanic Replica Mania: Linens

Photo: Vision Support Services

Titanic themed products are popular which is why textiles giant Vision Support Services decided to go all in with their replica Titanic linens they recently unveiled in their Liddell product range. This range is based upon the patterns used by William Ewart & Son Ltd that supplied Oceanic Steam Navigation Company with linens for all their ships which included RMS Titanic. The company merged later with rival William Liddell and Co. to become Ewart Liddell & Co. Vision went to great effort to authenticate the linens by researching records and working with historian and author Tom McCluskie. McCluskie, according to one news report, was thrilled Vision went all out to faithfully reproduce the linens using the same pattern back then. “This strict attention to authentic and historical detail presents the purchaser with a window into time of a bygone age of elegance and luxury,” notes McCluskie. The linens are only available a short time.
Source: Brand creates replicas of linens used on RMS Titanic (Bainbridge Leader, 6 Feb 2017)


Recent Titanic News

[Editors Note-Still catching up on news. Been busy as of late so I have not been able to post much]

1. Rare Titanic photo going under the hammer (Daily Echo, 10 Feb 2017)
A rare photograph of the ill-fated Titanic,which was bought for “a song” at a country auction, is now set to fetch hundreds of pounds when it is auctioned again next week. The black and white photograph, in a glazed oak frame, was taken shortly before the Titanic sank – with the loss of more than 1,500 lives – on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in April 1912.

2. Experts are disputing a documentary which says a fire was partly to blame for the Titanic sinking (thejournal.ie, 11 Feb 2017)
The programme argued that long-hidden photographs from the time showed that the Titanic’s hull had supposedly been damaged by a fire before it set off on its only journey, leaving it weak and susceptible when it hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. In the documentary, Moloney noted that researchers had known about the fire before but had tended to dismiss it as an ‘irrelevancy’, arguing that it should have been taken more seriously as a cause of the sinking. The documentary also claimed there were other issues which contributed to the ship sinking, such as substandard materials and shoddy workmanship, primarily due to cost-cutting. However a team of seven maritime historians has published an article completely refuting the programme’s claim that the coal fire was one of the main reasons why the ship sank. “However intriguing the claims set forth in Titanic: The New Evidence may be, they run counter to a wealth of well-researched facts about the ship and its sinking,” said J Kent Layton, a Titanic historian.

3. James Cameron really has a thin skin it seems when it comes to certain aspect of his famous Titanic movie. Fans debate the many points of this and that in the movie. One such example is whether or not Jack could have fit on the door Rose was on. Now I have not spent any real time dwelling on this point since we know this is just a movie. Apparently it got the attention of Mythbusters and they proved it was possible for Jack to have survived on the floating door with extra buoyancy. Okay that ought to have more or less settled it and we could move on. Not Cameron. So he recently commented on it by saying Jack would never have survived and that Mythbusters was full of poop (he used a barnyard word that is far more graphic for this family friendly blog). Of course he was on that episode of Mythbusters and never said is was all poop. He does say it was in the script he was to die. Okay. Moving on.
James Cameron Debunks ‘Titanic’ Theory That Jack Could Fit On The Door (Huffington Post Canada, 1 Feb 2017)


Recent Titanic News

Catching up on Titanic news so I will be posting updates during the week.
Postcard of the Titanic found in a book donated to Books for Amnesty, 103 Gloucester Rd, Bristol UK
Source: Bristol Post
Date: 20/07/2016
Photographer: Michael Lloyd/Freelance
Reporter: Lewis Pennock
Copyright: Local World

1. Meet the man whose great-granddad sank the Titanic (The Herald, 21 Jan 2017)

“Many descendants of people onboard the ship travelled from far and wide to see the exhibits, which also included a range of items from the Titanic’s sister ships including the Olympic and Britannic. Among them was Simon Medhurst, whose great-grandfather, Robert Hichens, was at the helm of the vessel when it hit the iceberg.The 48-year-old, who travelled down from his home in Chelmsford, said it’s important for people to remember.”

2. Interactive Titanic museum being planned for Niagara Falls, Ont. (Global News,20 Jan 2017)
“A group in Niagara Falls, Ont., has conditionally purchased land that would house the museum and is moving ahead with plans to launch an exhibit dubbed “Experience Titanic.” David Van Velzen, who’s spearheading the project, says the museum will differ from many similar efforts around the world by focusing on an interactive audience experience. Van Velzen says the museum will feature rooms that replicate those on the doomed ocean liner that sank in 1912, and will aim to recreate the experience of striking the iceberg that brought the “unsinkable ship” down. He also says the exhibit will try to educate guests about the various Canadian connections to the ship.”

3. A tragedy of Titanic proportions off the Donegal coast (Derry Journal, 21 Jan 2017)
“She (Laurentic) was on her way to Nova Scotia with German prisoners and 43 tonnes of gold to pay for munitions for the War effort. She was a former White Star Liner, the same as the Titanic, but she was commandeered by the Royal Navy because she was a fast ship and could outrun submarines. The ship struck two mines at the mouth of Lough Swilly and went down very quick. It was minus 13 degrees, it was bitter cold and it was a moonless night and the only light they could see was the light of Fanad Lighthouse. “All or most of the sailors got off and the captain was the last to get off. Even the prisoners were rescued and taken off and they all got into lifeboats, but because of the night that it was, many of them died of exposure, froze to death. It’s the worst place to have a sinking there’s no beaches.”

4. The story behind Saudi Titanic (Saudi Gazette, 21 Jan 2017)
“The wreckage of the ship, dubbed by some Saudis as the ‘Saudi Titanic,’ is one of the main tourist attractions in Hakal province, Sada Tabuk reported. ‘Georgios G’ was built in England after the end of the Second World War, and in 1958 was launched as a cargo liner owned by several individuals and companies. The vessel was owned by a Greek company during its doomed trip, when it got stranded on corals off the Saudi coast in 1978 carrying a cargo of flour. The ship, caught on the corals of the coast, was stuck due to the narrow route available to navigate. The steep, mountain edge rising from the sea made the passage through the valley difficult to maneuver through.”


Titanic Musings

Photo: George Hodan (publicdomainpictures.net)

It is a rainy day here in Northern California. We are being hit with a major storm dumping lots of water and the strong winds are making things treacherous. Trees have come down, power has gone off for many, and some areas have lots of flooding. It amazes me that people will try to drive through large standing pools of water. Most cars end up stranded since waterproofing is not a standard option on most vehicles. And car engines do not like lots of water sloshing about under the hood. Of course the weather forecasters and reporters breathlessly report on every part of storm and the havoc it creates.

Funny thing how repetitive the media can be. For instance the recent claim that the coal bunker fire caused more damage than White Star wanted to admit and contributed to Titanic sinking by weakening the steel, is now going around the world in that all too familiar pattern. It is reported like a new story with headlines that report Titanic’s demise has a new theory. It is not that old since debate on the coal bunker fire has been around for a while. The new claim is that White Star was criminally negligent and ought never to have allowed Titanic to sail. Walter Lord was fond of saying that with Titanic there are many “What If’s.” For instance had they paid more attention to the ice warnings, put more lifeboats on the ship, the lookouts had binoculars and so on much of what happened could have been averted. And this is another one of those type of What If’s.

Over at Bustle they have a listing of the 6 Titanic conspiracy theories. Most are known to Titanic enthusiasts and researchers but here is the list for those who have never seen or heard of them. I am only putting four of the most well known ones on my list.
1) Titanic Switch Theory
No it is not Titanic down there but Olympic. Depending on who is pushing the theory, either the it was done for insurance reasons or to hide something much worse.
2) The Sinking Was Deliberate
This one says Titanic was sunk to kill specific persons (Jacob Astor IV, Benjamin Guggenheim, and Isador Strauss)because they opposed the creation the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. However things got out of control and more people died as a result. And the Illuminati were involved as well.
3) U-Boat
A German U-Boat sank Titanic and depending on who is advancing the theory either it was an accident or deliberate.
4) That Old Standby: Mummy Curse
A cursed mummy was aboard Titanic and that curse means Titanic and all aboard were doomed. Except there was no Egyptian mummy aboard and its story can be traced back to those trying to stir up a story for their own use.

My own “conspiracy theory” is that Marvin The Martian was testing out a new weapon.

Have a nice Sunday everyone.