Since the Tik Tok viral video claiming Titanic was switched with Olympic, many are asking if the claim has any validity. Judging from comments posted around the Internet, some are certainly thinking it is a possibility. Reaction from those in the Titanic community-organizations and scholars-has not been seen as much but has been reported by news outlets. Now as said in another posting, this claim is nothing new. There have been many conspiracy theories about the disaster over the years (including a mummy’s curse) and for the most part debunked. Most Titanic historians do not spend a lot of time discussing them (except in directed conversations about them). When they do pop up from time to time, then you hear from them on the validity of the claims.
This time this theory got the social media treatment, so it spread far and wide faster than what happened in the past. The response from the Titanic community was left running catch up with this chetah as it spread quickly around the world. The fact so many readily found it believable was shocking to say the least. Now there is an effort to set the story straight. The Associated Press wrote up a fact check on the switch theory. Amongst the things they found:
–Both ships were inspected by British authorities prior to sailing and met the required specifications.
–Each ship had a specific yard number (400 for Olympic, 401 for Titanic) which was put on metal and wood panels throughout the ship. Many of the artifacts brought up from the wreck bear the yard number 401 on them. When Olympic was retired, its fittings went up for auction and they bore the number 400 on it.
–In order to pull off the switch, it would require considerable labor and a place to do it in. You would need a large place like where it was built (Belfast) to do just that. You could not do this quickly since you need to remove a lot of fittings and markings from one ship to the other. And with all that labor needed, it would be hard if not impossible to keep it a secret.
In other words, pulling off such a switch for a rather paltry insurance payment (Titanic was not insured at full value) would hardly seem feasible nor practical. Nor would you sink the ship just to kill 3 people as some theories would suggest. To sum up, artifacts from Titanic and looking at the wreck itself confirm it is RMS Titanic that sank in 1912. Even the great detective Sherlock Holmes would agree with this finding.
Claims the Titanic was secretly switched with a sister ship are unfounded
AP News, 27 Jan 2023