Tag Archives: rubber tablets found on Newquay beaches

Tjipetir Update:Possible Source of Rubber Blocks Identified

Gutta-percha factory 'Tjipetir' Circa 1920-1930 Source: Tropenmuseum,G.F.J. (Georg Friedrich Johannes) Bley (Fotograaf/photographer)
Source: Tropenmuseum,G.F.J. (Georg Friedrich Johannes) Bley (Fotograaf/photographer)

Back in 2012 it was reported that rubber blocks were washing up in the UK and northern Europe with the word Tjipetir engraved on it. Titanic was suggested as the source but Tracey Williams of Newquay, Cornwall possibly has determined the source BBC News is reporting. These rubber blocks were gutta-percha from an Indonesian rubber plantation named Tjipetir and were cargo on Titanic. But Williams thinks after charting where the blocks have been found and learning information from two sources that it is from the wreck of a Japanese cargo ship sunk in World War 1. Specifically the Miyazaki Maru which was sunk 150 miles west of the Isles of Scilly.

She learned that during the salvage large amounts of gutta-percha and rubber bales were released from the ship’s hold. And of course they are picked up by the current and tossed around in the ocean until it lands on a beach somewhere.  It turns out that the Miyazaki Maru was sunk by the same U-Boat captain who sank the Lusitania in 1915–Walther Schwieger who was one of Germany’s top U-Boat captains during the war. He died in 1917 when his U-Boat struck a British mine while being chased by HMS Stonecrop.

It is speculated that these rubber blocks may be washing up on UK and northern Europe beaches for years to come. It is possible there is more than one source of these blocks as many ships carrying them were sunk during the war. And there still is the possibility some might be from Titanic.

Source: Tjipetir Mystery: Why Are Rubber-Like Blocks Washing Up On Beaches?(30 Nov 2014,BBC)

Rubber Tablets From Titanic?

There is a minor mystery afoot concerning four rubber tablets found on Newquay beaches. Each tablet contains the word Tjipetir on them. According to This is Cornwall, that is an Indonesian rubber plantation from the early 20th century. The particular natural rubber, gutta-percha, was cargo aboard Titanic. While some speculate the rubber could be from Titanic, others are not sure.

Jenny Wittamore, assistant curator at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth,points out there have been many ships that carried this cargo. And a shipwreck in the 1920’s, according to an investigator, could be the source of these rubber tablets.

There is no way to determine precisely what shipwreck the tablets came from. So the mystery continues.


1. Are Rubber Tablets Beached On Newquay Beaches From Titanic?(24 April 2013, This is Cornwall)

2. Why ARE 100-year-old rubber blocks washing up on shores all over Britain and northern Europe? (24 April 2013, Daily Mail)

Shop Amazon – Perfect Gifts for Mother’s Day