The National Geographic reports that last Friday (29 June 2018) the U.K.’s National Museum and National Museums of Northern Ireland have filed papers with the bankruptcy court pledging to raise $19.2 million to buy Premier Exhibitions and the Titanic Exhibition. Both museums would co-own the artifacts and display them in Belfast. The non-Titanic part of Premier would be acquired by another exhibition firm called Running Subway. It is also reported that the CEO of Running Subway is on the Creditors Committee and that Premier’s creditors support the bid. A rival bid by existing shareholders is offering $17.5 million at the moment. Another proposal from the equity holders calls for splitting up the artifacts and selling them at auction.
The National Maritime Museum is pledging to conserve the artifacts and has the facilities to do it. They are worried that history would end up in private hands and possibly disappear. Famed explorer and one of the two men that can claim to have found RMS Titanic (the other was Jean-Louis Michel of Ifremer also aboard Knorr at the time), Bob Ballard, is a supporter. Certainly this adds a new complexity to the upcoming hearing on July 25 where the proposals will be considered by the court. If they can raise the money, they might be able to pull it off. Then again there are a lot of competing interests and lots of jockeying going on behind the scenes. Also the lawsuit against former officers could have an impact as well though hard to say at this point.
Another fascinating wrinkle in this story. Stay tuned, this is going to be interesting.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a equity holders and lenders behind Premier Exhibitions have made a $17.5 million offer to acquire the company. The entities involved are PacBridge Capital Partners Ltd., as well as funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management LLC and Alta Fundamental Advisers LLC and other equity holders as well. The papers were filed with the court on 15 June 2018. According to the Wall Street Journal:
The prospective buyers will hold the sale process open to other qualified bidders, with Aug. 8 as the proposed bid deadline. If other interested bidders come forward, an auction would be held on Aug. 13.
This is a very interesting turn of events. Up till now all attempts to sell the artifacts have failed to materialize (including the more recent famous one by James Cameron). Whether this will bear fruit or wither on the vine remains to be seen. You can view the document here.
Source:Titanic Artifacts May Soon Join Apollo, Alta Portfolios (Wall Street Journal, 20 June 2018)
Titanic postcard with eerie message written by maid goes up for auction (New York Post, 19 June 2018) A postcard written by a maid on the Titanic to a friend which said “wish you were here” is expected to fetch more than $26,000 at auction.
Sarah Daniels wrote to pal Nell Green on April 11, 1912 – four days before the doomed liner hit an iceberg and sank which resulted in 1,503 lives lost. The pencil-written postcard, which bears a black-and-white picture of the Titanic, was addressed to Miss Green of Birmingham, England. The card has a post stamp of Queenstown, now Cobh in Cork, Ireland, which was the port from which mail written on board was posted.
-The postcard will be auctioned as part of a lot on July 18, 2018 by Warwick & Warwick Auctioneers.
Premier Exhibitions Update:
The Lawsuit is filed….After obtaining permission to pursue legal action, the Equity Committee of Premier Shareholders has filed suit against Mark Sellers, Sellers Capital, Daoping Bao and others alleging breach of fiduciary duty, a hasty merger with Daoping Bao without proper consideration of the merger, other opportunities, proper accounting review of Dinoking among other things. In short, you guys did a lousy job of running the company and an even more lousy job with merging with DinoKing. And now we want the shareholders, who lost equity in all of this, to get compensation. Ought to be interesting to watch. You can read the complaint here.
Summer is here and kids want to play? How about a Titanic Bouncy Slide?
The recent Taste of Charlotte festival usually has little controversy. This year for the event there was an inflatable slide in the shape of the sinking Titanic. It struck many as odd and in some cases offensive reported Fox46. Now this slide has been around for a while so it is nothing new. And while some did not like it, others had no problem having fun. Fun or tacky? Well I have said it before, if you turn tragedy into something like this you are bound to not appreciate that 1,500 died on a cold April night in 1912.
Source:Fun or Offensive? ‘Sinking Titanic’ slide at Taste of Charlotte turns heads (Fox46,12 June 2018)
Premier Exhibitions Update-On May 25, 2018 the Bankruptcy Court granted the Equity Committee legal standing to pursue claims against current and former officers and directors of Premier Exhibitions. In short it means they have the ability to demand they pay damages to help reduce the outstanding debts of the company. Since they have retained counsel, it means they expect it will result in litigation to determine whether they are liable and if so, how much they will have to pay.
View original document here.
View materials on the case here.
New Details on Secret Navy Mission Where Titanic Was Found-Some years ago it was revealed Titanic was discovered as part of a secret Navy mission that Ballard was on. He was sent on a mission to try to find out how two U.S. nuclear submarines had sunk. Using new submersible technology Ballard found those wrecks and the approximate location of Titanic. The National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C. reveals more of the details of that secret mission. “Titanic: The Untold Story” delves into the many details that have not been publicly revealed until now.
In 1985, Ballard’s mission was to dive to depths of 9,800 feet using a towed camera system called Argo to find and document the imploded remains of the Scorpion. The objective of the mission was to locate the submarine’s nuclear reactor and nuclear weapons and to gain evidence to help determine what led to her loss. After concluding his successful investigations of the Scorpion, Ballard used the final 12 days of his expedition to discover the RMS Titanic at a depth of 12,540 feet. The following year, while the public was enthralled and distracted by the discovery of the Titanic, Ballard returned on a second classified mission to the Thresher and Scorpion.
Visitors will view artifacts, materials and photographs from the U.S. Navy Archives, and see the submersible Alvin that dived to Titanic. They will also see a variety of Titanic related artifacts from the National Archives and movie memorabilia from 20th Century Fox.
If you have studied Titanic long enough, you are sure to come across various conspiracy theories. They vary from the supernatural (mummy curse) to the exotic (the Iluminati). And some that are even a stretch for conspiracy theorists to wrap around (like time travel or German submarine sinking Titanic). Then there is the switch theory.
What is the switch theory? That White Star switched the ships so that the actual ship that sank was Olympic not Titanic. The reason varies on who is making the claim. Some years ago Robin Gardiner made the claim in his book Titanic:The Ship That Never Sank? that it was done so that White Star could collect damages on the new ship.
The underlying reason for the switch is the HMS Hawke collided with Olympic in 1911. Olympic was determined to be at fault and Lloyd’s of London refused to pay the claim to White Star. So they decided to switch ships and sink Titanic to claim insurance. Of course the planned sinking went awry and you know the rest.
The book is still out there and has some believers on You Tube and elsewhere repeating it as fact to this day. Enter into the fray Myles Power who decided to take on this claim on his YouTube channel. And it certainly has gotten a lot of interest as newspapers like the Daily Star reporting on it. Power spends a lot of time going through the claim and debunking it. At last check it had over 37,000 views and growing.
I read the book when it first came out and shook my head after I closed the last page. It ought to have been an alternative history book. He is not the first nor likely the last that has come up with wildly speculative (and sometimes entertaining) conspiracy theories. In the age of the Internet though, Gardiner is finding that his claims can be debunked for the whole world to see. No word from Gardiner on what he thinks about all of this. He is probably hoping you will spend money at Amazon to buy his book. Check out your local library and see if you can check it out for free.
FYI: Here is a post I did back in 2014 that goes through many of the various theories about Titanic sinking including the conspiracy and supernatural ones.
Relative of Titanic survivor accused of cowardice clears his name (5 May 2018,Hereford Times) Documents and letters written by Sir Cosmo and his wife, a famous fashion designer of her day, came to light in a cardboard box lying for over 100 years in a solicitor’s offices. “I received a phone call out of the blue saying they had found a box with my family name on it and would I like to have it,” said Sir Andrew. “Of course, I said yes.” The find reveals not just the events of that night, which show beyond doubt that the Duff Gordons acted quite properly, but also includes a long list of Lady Duff Gordon’s possessions.
World-renowned Titanic expert Gowan passes away (6 May 2018, Corsicana Daily Sun) “Phil was arguably the top Titanic passengers and crew expert in the world.” Trower said Gowan’s research of the people was groundbreaking in that he was the first to come up with concrete numbers, that are now called the Gowan Numbers. His research revealed that 1,496 people died on the Titanic, and 712 survived. His research was duplicated by others who came up with the exact same numbers, so his are considered the Gold Standard now, Trower said. “We could sit down to dinner as we did in 2013, and Phil could regale us with stories about the passengers, those who lived and died — his knowledge was limitless,” he said. “We could talk on the phone, in person, via email … but he hated text messaging. Refused to do it. He’d never have the same story twice — he had that deep of a knowledge of the stories.”
According to Richmond News, Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition will be at the Lipont Centre in Richmond, Canada from 23 June 2018-11 Jan 2019. The newspaper reports that that Lipont was selected because of its spaciousness and convenient location. Toni McAfee, executive director of Lipont Centre, told the newspaper: “At Lipont Place the Titanic exhibition will find a natural home allowing both the venue and the exhibition to make their debut in Metro Vancouver,” says McAfee. “We look forward to welcoming all visitors, local and international, to the magnificent space and this world-class exhibition.”
Haunting video of Titanic 100 years on exposes the cabins and hallways where 1,500 died (Daily Star, 27 April 2018)
The clip shows the cabins and hallways where passengers slept, ate and partied on their journey from Southampton to New York. It also reveals cooking utensils, bottles and cutlery, in a room where it is likely chef’s prepared meals for their wealthy passengers. Another angle displays the sheer size of the vessel – which remains a shipwreck near the Canadian island of Newfoundland.
Autistic boy overcomes obstacles to build largest Lego replica of the Titanic (WIVB.com,26 April 2018)
The world’s largest Lego Titanic replica is 24 feet long and five feet tall — and it was built by a very special boy. Fifteen-year-old Brynjar Karl Birgisson is on the autism spectrum, and he developed a passion for learning about the Titanic at a young age. When he turned 10, Brynjar decided to combine his passion for the Titanic with his other love: Legos. The painstaking task took 700 hours over 11 months and 56,000 Lego bricks to complete, but when he was finished, Brynjar had built the world’s largest Titanic replica made out of Legos.
Menu for first ever meal onboard the Titanic makes auction record (Antiques Trade Gazette,25 April 2018)
Henry Aldridge & Son offered the lots at its Titanic & Liner Auction on April 21, which made an overall auction total of around £330,000.
The menu for the first meal served on the ill-fated ship had been owned by Titanic second officer Charles Lightoller, the most senior member of the crew to survive the Titanic disaster. It sold for a hammer price of £80,000, a record for a menu from the ship. The menu was previously auctioned in 2003 when it sold for £28,000 at Sotheby’s, and a similar menu, with a strip missing at the bottom and owned by fifth officer Harold Lowe, sold at £51,000 at Aldridge’s in 2004.
His blood ran cold’: The act that sealed the Titanic’s fate (New Zealand Herald, 23 April 2018)
The nearest boat to the great cruise liner, the Californian, was less than 20 kilometres away, within eyeshot — and a crew member informed Captain Stanley Lord the Titanic was sending up distress rockets. Yet, surrounded by icebergs, he decided not to act. He didn’t wake his wireless operator, he didn’t try to contact the ship and he didn’t head towards it. “The hazard to himself and his command was too great to risk responding,” Titanic researcher Daniel Allen Butler told news.com.au. “The Californian did nothing.”
The rarely told story of Jack Phillips, the Titanic hero from Surrey (Get Surrey, 21 April 2018)
The story of Jack Phillips, the Titanic hero from Surrey, is a well-known one. The 25-year-old Godalming-born telegraphist was aboard the Titanic when it hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912. He stayed at his post until the ship sank, frantically contacting nearby ships and saving hundreds of lives. More than 1,500 people drowned but the Carpathia, a ship alerted to the Titanic’s plight by the signals, picked up 705 survivors. Jack sadly died during the disaster but his co-worker Harold Bride survived to tell the story. Following the 106th anniversary of the catastrophic sinking, Titanic enthusiast from Guildford, Mia Fernandez, 30, claims there is a part of the story that is rarely remembered.
The Titanic’s Irish Legacy (Irish America, 20 April 2018)
It was White Star Line who paid for the headstones that went up during the autumn of 1912. The Titanic bodies, those not claimed by relatives, were divided between three different graveyards, the biggest share going to the Fairview Lawn Cemetery. Here, 121 bodies are buried with 42 remaining unidentified. A gentle sloping of the ground made it necessary to lay the headstones out in three curved lines, reminiscent of the curve of a ship’s bow. One of the Titanic occupants is Jack Dawson whose grave, thanks to Leonardo di Caprio’s fictional namesake in the 1997 film Titanic, perhaps rivals Jim Morrison’s grave in Père Lachaise with hundreds of visitors leaving flowers and trinkets around it. The second graveyard, the Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery’s Titanic plot contains 19 victims, including Mrs Margaret Rice from Athlone, Ireland, who was travelling with her five young sons, none of whom were ever found. Four victims were never identified.
Why you’ve never heard of the six Chinese men who survived the Titanic (Washington Post, 19 April 2018)
That man would be one of six Chinese passengers who survived the Titanic, a little-known fact about the historic disaster that has largely remained untold or distorted, owing to a racially hostile environment toward Chinese people in the West at the turn of the 20th century. Now, the lives of these men — who they were, how they survived that fateful night and why they were barred from entering the United States — are being examined in a new documentary, “The Six,” by Arthur Jones and Steven Schwankert.
Michigan Organizers To Unveil Titanic Memorial In May (WKAR.org, 14 April 2018)
The Great Lakes Titanic Connection will reveal the Michigan Titanic Memorial in Marine City on May 12, the Times Herald reported . The memorial will list the 69 names of the passengers headed to Michigan who were among the 1,500 who died while sailing from Southampton, England, for the United States in 1912.The group raised $6,500 to pay for the memorial. The idea began when Margaret Micoff started collecting Titanic memorabilia for her boutique clothing store. She studied the Titanic’s history and stumbled across a community of people who were also fascinated with the story. “When you have that many people, and nobody has done a memorial like other states have done, I thought we should,” Micoff said.
106 years after sinking, Nova Scotians commemorate Titanic victims (CTV News,15 April 2018)
Deanna Ryan-Meister, president of the Titanic Society of Atlantic Canada, says she’s not surprised the disaster is still holding peoples’ attention after more than a century. She says it’s important to continue to honour those who started their voyage with hope and ended it with tragedy.
Initial reporting in American newspapers was a mixture of wishful thinking, press statements from White Star, and jumbled messages that conveyed the disaster was not that bad. Headlines blared the following:
ALL TITANIC PASSENGERS ARE SAFE (Baltimore Evening Sun, 15 April)
ALL SAVED FROM TITANIC AFTER COLLISION (New York Evening Sun 15 April)
And news reports indicated Titanic was being either towed to Halifax or to New York. It turns out though that another ship in distress, an oil tanker being towed to port, got mixed in with reports about Titanic. Wireless messages were constantly being bounced about, were often short, and since Morse code was used easy to mix up things before sending the message forward. And that is what essentially happened. The New York Times was the first to report it correctly. After three days of listening to messages and doing research, managing editor Carl Van Anda realized that no messages had been transmitted by Titanic since its distress calls. Their late edition would read:NEW LINER TITANIC HITS AN ICEBERG;SINKING BY THE BOW AT MIDNIGHT. Other newspapers would be forced to report it as well.
1. Titanic struck the iceberg at 11:40 pm ship time on 14 April 1912. The night was moonless and the sea calm with temperatures at or below freezing. Titanic was moving quickly but did not see the iceberg until it was nearly upon them. An attempt to steer around it resulted in a collision on Titanic’s starboard side. The iceberg would puncture Titanic enough so that the first five compartments would flood. Since the compartments were not totally sealed all the way up, water would go from one compartment to the other making her sink at the bow.
2. Titanic would transmit signals by wireless telegraph, Morse lamp, and rockets. The ship nearest by most accounts was SS Californian. Her telegraph operator turned off his equipment at 11:30 pm and never heard the distress calls. Questions linger to this day whether or not they saw Titanic or her rockets being fired. The RMS Carpathia received the SOS and its captain, Arthur Rostron, immediately ordered to proceed directly to the last known coordinates to locate survivors despite having to navigate a dangerous ice field on a moonless night.
3. Titanic would sink on 15 April 1912 at 2:20 am. Although Titanic met the British Board of Trade regulations and exceeded it for the number of lifeboats required, it did not have enough for the full complement of passengers and crew. As a result over 1,500 men, women, and children would had no means of escape from the sinking ship.
4. Carpathia arrives at 4:10 am to rescue survivors who were in lifeboats or able to reach them. 710 survived the initial sinking but the final tally would be 705 due death from freezing cold. SS California would arrive later but would find no survivors. At 12 noon Carpathia sounded her horns and began heading back to New York.* It was the moment that many wives knew for certain their husbands had perished.
*SS Carpathia was on her way to Fiume then part of Austria-Hungary in the Adriatic Sea. Today the city is Rijeka and major city in Croatia owning to its deep port and cultural significance.
Eaton, John P.; Haas, Charles A. (1994). Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy. Wellingborough, UK: Patrick Stephens
Lord, Walter (2005) . A Night to Remember. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin
Lord, Walter (1987). The Night Lives On. London: Penguin Books
Lynch, Donald (1998). Titanic: An Illustrated History. New York: Hyperion