Charles Pellegrino's assumptions


Feb 13, 2013
Hi everybody

Last month I read the book "Report into the loss of the SS Titanic A Centennial reappraisal" wich is a must have regarding the details, the facts, and the explanations given, especially when trying to destroy common clichés and mistakes about the story of the sinking. It was a usefull reading for a none expert like me.

This week I found this web site :

Charles Pellegrino Web Site

Therefore, I have some questions for experts :

  • Is still people who believe that the bulkead between BR5 and and BR6 was so damaged by the coal fire to have collapsed under the water weight? The book I read claims it is impossible due to physical and chemical facts.
  • This author claims that if the WT doors have been remained closed, the stern could have float
  • The author claims that the stern was burning at some time.


Mar 18, 2008
Hello, also I like the book "Ghosts of the Titanic" by Charles Pellegrino hie s one of the people who is presenting made up stories as facts. So I would not go with what he writes.

The bulkhead between BR 6 & BR 5 was not damaged. The fire was not strong enough to cause any structural damage. Also the other point you have posted are not true.

Adam Went

Apr 28, 2003
I actually don't mind the work of Charles Pellegrino, but you need to go into it knowing to take what he writes with a large pinch of salt. I have one of his older books - "Her Name, Titanic" - and it really brings the story of the ship to life. If you're looking for a great read, go with Pellegrino - if you're looking for the facts and nothing but the facts, it may pay to look elsewhere.

Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
Don't be so quick to sell the man short. Do all of his ideas and proposals need to be looked at with a critical eye?

Hell yes!

Should it all be dismissed out of hand?

Hell no!

He's not afraid to walk on the wild side and if some of his ideas cause you to take a fresh look at something, that's hardly a bad thing. Besides, walking on the wild side can lead to some interesting insights. Remember how everybody was laughing at his "Downblast Theory" a number of years ago? With forensic evidence out there which tends to support it, Dr. Pellegrino may well have the last laugh.
Mar 17, 2018
I have been reading Pellegrino’s third (and apparently last) book on the subject: “Farewell, Titanic: Her Final Legacy” (2012, John Wiley & Sons Inc.), and I have a question about it for anyone who cares to help answer. Pellegrino has been on expeditions to the Titanic wreck with James Cameron and George Tulloch, and in the book he talks about both the 2001 and 1996 expeditions extensively. It is an event during the 1996 expedition that is puzzling to me. The relevant material is in chapter 21, particularly on pages 195 through 199. Here is a segment:
“The presence of bones in materials ejected from the Titanic’s stern and deposited by surge clouds — even mere cow or lamb bones — told us that sooner or later we were bound to encounter human remains. (Roy) Cullimore and I recommended to expedition leaders George Tulloch and Paul Henry Nargeolet that no more artifacts should be lifted from a hundred-foot radius of the soup tureen. Tulloch went a step further, recommending a moratorium of the ejected materials zone: ‘Attempt no landings there.’
Unwittingly, we had instigated a moratorium that interferes with the sampling plans of a marine engineer for Harland and Wolff (the company that built the Titanic). This was bound, sooner or later, to have a depressing effect on the politics of the expedition, although Cullimore and I and the French conservators were at first oblivious to the situation we had created. Prior to the moratorium, I had already alienated the Harland and Wolff advocate with discussions about the Titanic’s stern breaking away at the surface — which he considered to be ‘a patently false hypothesis.’
There seemed to be a Harland and Wolff insistence that the Titanic had submerged in one piece with a great deal of air trapped in its food lockers, and that massive implosions in the valley area broke the ship in two about the time it reached a depth of about 800 feet. To say otherwise was taken as an affront to the company that built the Titanic and was met by an insistence that the ship could never have broken at the surface — an insistence that was on one occasion yelled in my face.
‘No riveted ship ever broke in two at the surface!’ the Harland and Wolff advocate hollered.
‘The Titanic did,’ I said firmly.”

Now, I am eager to identify this unnamed “Harland and Wolff advocate” that Pellegrino mentions, and either confirm or deny the truth of this story. I’ve read in Susan Wels’ book about the same expedition (“Titanic: Legacy of the World’s Greatest Ocean Liner”, published 1997 by Time Life Books, on page 135) that Pellegrino was present, but also a “David Livingstone, senior naval architect for the shipbuilders Harland and Wolff and the first person from the firm ever to view the wreck of the Titanic...”Is this the right person or was there another expert from Harland and Wolff on that expedition? Is there any truth to Pellegrino’s account or not? Overall, I like Pellegrino’s writing, but if he’s making up a story about Livingstone to sell his book, I would think that would be equivalent to slander! Let’s prove or disprove the credibility of his story, if any of us possibly can.
Jul 5, 2016
The coal fires causing the stern to burn are interesting. Was the fire lit that night in the smoking room? I wonder if it could had been the source of the lights some observed in the stern after the ship broke in half. (Just speculation, I seriously doubt this was the case.)
Mar 17, 2018
I guess it’s possible that the fireplace in the Smoking Room was lit, although I don’t remember offhand hearing any survivor testimony to that effect, I could be wrong. It’s interesting to note that this was the only “operational” fireplace on the ship, the rest were apparently electric-heated. (Bruce Beveridge, “Titanic: The Ship Magnificent”, Volume One, page 447.)

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