Anyone who has studied Titanic will eventually come upon a variety of conspiracy theories to explain what happened that fateful night in 1912. Becky Little over at History.com has put together the top three of the craziest in an article reviewing these theories. The top ones are:
1. JP Morgan planned the disaster to kill off Jacob Astor, Isidor Straus and Benjamin Guggenheim.
2. Titanic was switched with Olympic and never sank.
3. A Mummy’s curse doomed the Titanic
I had not heard of the first one but it connects to the one concerning the Illuminati and Jesuits conspiring to bring about the Titanic disaster. The Titanic switch theory keeps getting dusted off every decade or so but easily disproved since the wreck found clearly is of Titanic and not Olympic. As for the mummy curse, well it is pretty much debunked now but it too occasionally gets new life on the Internet as well. I pretty much stick with the theory that Marvin the Martian was testing out his new ray weapon at the time.
1. First Titanic, then Empress: an Irish Man’s Lucky Escapes
There are those that survive not one but two major disasters in their lifetime. Such is the case with William Clark of Greenore, County Louth, Ireland. He was reportedly in the Boer War. In 1912 he signed on as a fireman on Titanic and listed Southampton as his home. He was one of the few fireman to survive Titanic and was in lifeboat 15.
How he escaped he does not know. He was caught in the swirl of waters as the vessel plunged down – dragged down into the ocean depths with the crippled leviathan as she sank to her last resting place. Even then his abnormal luck did not desert him. He never thought to come up again, but the force of the boiler explosion lifted him and rushed him up to the surface. He struck out vigorously; was pulled aboard one of the boats, and came home to tell the tale.
Then in 1914 he was a fireman on Empress of Ireland when tragedy would strike there as well. On 29 May 1914, the ship collided with the Norwegian coal freighter Storstad in the Saint Louis River at Pointe-au-Père, Quebec. Unlike Titanic which took over two hours to sink, Empress of Ireland would sink quickly resulting in over 1,000 deaths. Clark escaped but his description shows how harrowing it was:
His lifeboat station was No. 5, and somehow or other he got there, but he cannot remember how she was launched. His mind is a blank concerning some of those awful moments spent on the canting decks of the doomed liner. They had to crawl on hands and knees on the sloping hull in order to get the boat clear, and then their best chance of escape was to plunge into the water in the hope of being able to scramble aboard. Clark was drawn under several times before he got into the boat, and afterwards, he said, they were able to pull about sixty men into her.
2.Irish firm’s virtual reality Titanic trip to launch on PlayStation (Irish Times, 15 Nov 2018) Irish firm VR Education’s virtual reality trip on the Titanic is set for launch on Sony’s PlayStation later this month. Titanic VR puts players aboard the doomed vessel the night it hit an iceberg and sank in April 1912. It will be available from November 22nd. The Titanic experience has already been launched on PC, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality. But the company said it expects the PlayStation VR version to drive sales, replicating the experience of its Apollo 11 VR showcase.
Sorry folks for being down but all is fixed. There has not been a lot of news since the sale was announced. I expect there will be some legal action to try and get it changed but till then we have to wait. So here is your pre-Thanksgiving Titanic news.
1. “Titanic historian” Who Resembles Captain Smith Gets Role Playing Him
The BBC relays a news story from Irish News about an Australian man named Michael Booth. He grew up listening to Titanic stories about the ship and, quite naturally, became a Titanic enthusiast. Owing to his resemblance to Captain Smith, he was asked to play the role in a Titanic show.
Source: Titanic’s new captain and spa scrapped (BBC News,13 Nov 18) https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-46191449
2. Titanic Marriage Proposal
If you have not heard about it, a chap decided to pop the question to his girlfriend on the Titanic replica staircase at Titanic Pigeon Forge. Really, just watch it. Enough said.
3. A purported haunted mirror where Titanic captain Edward J Smith appears is up for auction in the UK for £10,000 (about $12,775). According to the story, a servant who worked for the captain took the mirror from his home after his death. And then the ghost of Captain Smith supposedly appeared in the mirror scaring the person who took it and then others as well. Not quite sure why Captain Smith would hang around in a mirror but that is the story. For 10,000 British pounds, it can be yours. The ghost is free.
Source: Haunted mirror ‘possessed by the GHOST of the Titanic captain’ up for sale (The Sun,18 Nov 2018) https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7771542/mirror-possessed-ghost-titanic-captain-for-sale/
Brian Ticehurst, who was a founding member of the British Titanic Society and did much to expand knowledge of Titanic, passed away recently at age 82. He did a lot to bring information about Titanic survivors, memorials, and the ships crew to light. His deep knowledge of Titanic made him a well known expert who frequently contributed his knowledge through books, articles, and online forums. He even was asked to testify in court trials concerning Titanic memorabilia. It is through him that much about the Titanic’s crew and Southampton were documented. And still are required reading to this day.
His contributions to our knowledge of Titanic will never be forgotten. RIP Brian.
There is nothing like taking a nice cruise. You board the ship, stow your things, and prepare for a nice cruise enjoying the sights and sounds. Except that is not what happened recently to passengers aboard the Carnival ship Sunshine. Hours after leaving Port Canaveral Florida, it experienced what the Carnival called a “technical issue.”
I didn’t think anything of it, since it’s not uncommon for ships to rock back and forth. But it didn’t rock back. It kept leaning,” said passenger David Crews, according to CBS Orlando. “Plates and silverware started sliding off the tables. Then the tables themselves started to slide. Glasses and plates started to fall and shatter. At this point, it was pure chaos. Screams. Cries. Panic.”
An electrical switchboard problem resulted in the ship tilting to one side (whether it was port or starboard is unclear right now). The result was panic. Like most people you take the occasional bumps and jolts when on the ocean as nothing. But when it did not right itself quickly and things began sliding and coming off the walls, people began to panic. And of course water started coming in making it appear the ship for the moment was in serious peril.
The situation thankfully did not last long and apparently was corrected quickly by the ship officers. The damage was done though as passengers took to social media to report what happened. Although the ship’s crew quickly got to work to clean up all the mess caused by the tilt, many just wanted to get off the ship at the next port of call (many did). The initial offer of a $50 credit by the captain was considered insufficient by many. Carnival likely had to offer other compensation to passengers who choose to leave early. And you cannot blame them. That is a pretty scary thing to go through. Thankfully though it was not at all like Titanic. However it is not a great way to start your vacation.
The judge in the Premier Exhibitions bankruptcy case has approved the sale of the artifact collection to a hedge fund consortium for $19.5 million. The Equity Committee filed objections to the sale but the judge overruled them. A UK consortium attempted to raise funds to purchase the collection but withdrew after the judge ruled that potential buyers would have to raise $21.5 million to trigger an auction. Criticism of the sale process has been raised by both National Maritime Museum Greenwich (NMMG) and National Museums Northern Ireland (NMNI) who were part of the UK consortium.
It is unknown at this time whether the Equity Committee will appeal the judge’s decision. The artifact sale will still have to be confirmed by the Federal Court in Virginia where the salvage award was litigated.
1. Rare Titanic Poster Surfaces
The Irish Mirror reports that a rare Titanic poster has been found and soon will be up for auction. Red,white and blue posters were put up around lower Manhattan in New York during the spring of 1912. After the sinking,the posters were taken down by White Star. The posters advertised Titanic as “Queen of the Ocean.” They included two black and white photos of the interior with Olympic as the stand in. And they were for the return journey set for Saturday, April 20, 1912. The Mirror reports only a handful survived and the one up from auction cam from a private source. Henry Aldridge & Son is handling the auction. The presale estimate is £60,000-£100,000 ($78,580-$130,968).
Source: Rare poster on return voyage of the Titanic surfaces over 100 years after sinking (Irish Mirror,17 Oct 2018, )
(Due to policy of Irish newspapers to impose fee on links to news articles, we are not providing one here.)
2. Titanic II in 2022?
Well say this about Clive Palmer, he is not given up on the idea of creating a seaworthy replica of the famous ship. It was a total bust last time since he could not get Chinese investors aboard. Now he is claiming it will launch in 2022 after being built in China, sail to Dubai following a shakedown cruise from China to Signapore, and then to Southampton. The project is expected to cost $500 million. Whether this is just a publicity stunt remains to be seen.
Source: New Titanic to set sail from Dubai in 2022, says Clive Palmer (arabianbusiness.com,16 Oct 2018) https://www.arabianbusiness.com/travel/406296-new-titanic-to-set-sail-from-dubai-in-2022-says-clive-palmer
On 8 Oct 2018, Premier Exhibitions filed a Notice of Cancellation of Auction with the federal bankruptcy court as no other bidders met the minimum required. This means that the bid submitted by PacBridge Capital Partners (HK) et al for $19.5 million will stand. The company will now seek the court approval to sell the company and artifacts to them.
The Equity Committee has filed motions opposing the sale and still seeks other bidders.
According to Daily Mail, a recently uncovered letter from White Star Line apologizes for losing a wine delivery due to Titanic sinking. The later, dated 16 April 1912, apologizes to Berry Bros and Rudd for losing 69 cases of its wine.
Dear Sirs, referring to your shipment by this steamer, it is with great regret we have to inform you that the ‘Titanic’ foundered at 2.20am 15th instant, after colliding with an iceberg, and is a total loss. Details of shipment are shown at foot. Yours faithfully, for White Star Line.
A framed copy of the letter now hangs at Berry Bros and Rudd in London while the original is in a safe. A sales ledger from 1909-1912 confirms the wines were aboard Titanic and that a replacement shipment was sent out after the sinking.