Conspiracy


Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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When I spoke to John Pearce about the Lusitania, he said that the information about salvage, plus the controversy about the "sacrificing" of the ship, illicit cargo etc. was broadcast on a BBC "Newsnight" show (late night discussion programme) in 1983. You could try writing to the BBC Written Archives dept. to see if transcripts and other info is available, or try writing to the British Film Institute/National Film and Television Archive to see if they can provide you with a viewing copy - the only downside being that you must be present to see it at their offices in London!

Cheers

Paul

 
May 8, 2001
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Eric. Did you ever get a copy? Robert recorded the 20/20 special off public TV back in the 80's. It is only about 06 minutes long, and uncertain if it is an edited version of what you are speaking about. (It looks like the same text as what Jon placed up here, but it is so fuzzy, I can't tell with 100% certainty.)In re-watching it, Robert and I felt it unusual that the British Government sent a telex to them while on scene, and advised the research team to stop, as IF there were munitions aboard, danger exists, but they didn't know of such a thing existing. It was the only time I saw a conspiracy theory, except the brief clip on the National Geographic special with John Light speaking about the huge hole blown in the side of the ship, that they (N.G.) were unable to locate.
If not, Come on over, and we'll watch it!
 

Jon Hollis

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Jan 23, 2004
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> [Wrote to Eric and was wondering if anyone has a direct contact with Hugh Downs. Might be a great interview if someone could get him to talk about the mission. I do recall that a magazine published quite a few photos of the stuff they salvaged then, like Window Frames and the Propeller. I think the magazines may have been either Sea Classics or Skindiver. Do you remember that the Propeller was melted down to make Golf Clubs. I think a New York store Hammacher Schlemmer (sic) advertised them in their catalog some years ago at a high price. Mike.....Hmmmmmmmm! Cheers Jon]
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Golf clubs??! I can scarcely believe what I'm reading. Powerful lot of 'hmmmmmmms' on this thread. This may sound daft, but I do wonder if Governments don't admit to this sort of stuff these days, even decades afterwards , because of litigation. I don't know much about statutes of limitation etc., but it seems fairly stupid for a Government of 50+-year olds in 2004 not to admit that, say, the Lusitania was carrying something fishy, unless they were worried about people taking some sort of action - descendants it would be now, like Holocaust descendants wanting money from Switzerland (that I can understand) or various governments wanting items back from museums around the world ... sounds silly, I know. But one does wonder what other explanation there can be? After all, HM Gov can hardly be responsible for something that happened nearly 90 years ago. Mind you, governments do love witholding information just for the sake of it, or so it seems.
 
Sep 22, 2003
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I'm not sure how any of this proves or disproves a conspiracy theory. I am open to the idea of a conspiracy theory, even though I think the odds are against it. the reasons for being open to it are: no matter how many documents, books, files, videoes, pics, and interviews you go through, your still only getting a fraction of that persons life, a very small fraction for that, plus we dont know what was realy going on in peoples minds back than any way.
 

Jon Hollis

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Jan 23, 2004
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> [Hi Monica, Nice post lots of questions Fun ain't it.More Hmmmmmmm's.Some years ago I heard a point made that although it is very far fetched it may shed some light on why the ongoing controversy. A theory mentioned was that "IF" it could be proved that England deliberatley set the ship up to bring America into the war and that she was a belligerent ship carrying arms and muntions for the war front and using passengers as shields it could be a big can of worms. The theory was that where there is no statue of limitations on murder it is remotely possible the British Government to this day could find itself defendants if next of kin/relatives, should seek court action and the German Government could file action as well. This is a far far fetched theory but sometimes fiction is stranger than fact. So shall we throw in another Hmmmmmmm? Cheers and again Monica good post. Nothing to do with this but maybe some reader might have the info. I asked administration but they never ever replied. I would like to contact Marine Artist Stephen Card so if anyone has his e-mail or mailing address please send it to me as a private e-mail? Many many thanks Cheers Jon]
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Hi Jon,
I have to go with Paul Rogers here - if it was a scam to bring America into WW1, it failed. But that has nothing to do with HM Gov's reluctance to discuss the issue after all this time. Plot thickens, eh? Or thins? My guess is she carried 'stuff'; Churchill didn't know or particularly care; and people since have decided to keep it quiet. But that still doesn't explain why people today won't come clean ....
 

Jon Hollis

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Jan 23, 2004
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Hi Monica, I wouldn't say it failed it just took a little time to get Washington to react to the public outcry, plus perhaps the arms companies wanted to get as many sales in as possible before the Government would control their interests. But like you say one wonders why they will not come clean even the recent expeditions like Oceaneering in the 80's who say they have no records now. If you were a big company like them and did this historic/controversial expedition would you not save ALL your records? Hmmmmm! They,Oceaneerings Glascow office was reported to have been refused permission to return to the site for a U.S. Movie Companies plan to do a film. Also correct me if I am wrong but if one goes back to when Ballard was "planning" his expedition to the Lusitania did he not say in words something to the effect that he knew and was going to find the proof that the ships was armed and blow the whistle on the Brits? Yet when he got there he pulled a John Kerry and flipped sides???
More and more Hmmmm! He said he didn't see any big hole as the ship was collapsed. But it was not collapsed when Oceaneering was there and they say the hole as did John Light. Well going to see if I can find a Golf Club. Cheers and take care Jon
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Hi Monica, I wouldn't say it failed it just took a little time to get Washington to react to the public outcry,<<

Two years is a long time to get anyone to react to a public outcry, especially in a nation with isolationist sentiments, and with a president who won re-election based on the premise that he kept the nation out of war and would continue to do so.

While the factors leading to America's entry into the war are as many and as varied as they are complex, the straw that broke the camel's back was not the Lusitania. This incident was one that came, had a lot of fluster that went with it, and just as quickly went away. Readers might be interested in reading about The Zimmerman Telegram, the full text of which is
"On the first of February we intend to begin submarine warfare unrestricted. In spite of this, it is our intention to endeavor to keep neutral the United States of America.
If this attempt is not successful, we propose an alliance on the following basis with Mexico: That we shall make war together and together make peace. We shall give general financial support, and it is understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The details are left to you for settlement.

You are instructed to inform the President of Mexico of the above in the greatest confidence as soon as it is certain that there will be an outbreak of war with the United States and suggest that the President of Mexico, on his own initiative, should communicate with Japan suggesting adherence at once to this plan; at the same time, offer to mediate between Germany and Japan.

Please call to the attention of the President of Mexico that the employment of ruthless submarine warfare now promises to compel England to make peace in a few months.
It's not hard to see why something like that would ruffle more then a few feathers. A photo of the actual encoded telegram can be seen HERE.
 

Jon Hollis

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Jan 23, 2004
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> [From Hmmmmmmm! Thanks Mike that was a very interesting piece indeed. Bye the Bye you did know that the Germans were coming in and out of the U.S. during that period carrying and picking up cargo from the East Coast using a Submarine and proteted by the U.S. while in port. Cheers Senor Hmmmm.]
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Thanks Mike that was a very interesting piece indeed<<

Indeed it is. I think one can see where something that explosive would get more then a few eyebrows raised.

>>Bye the Bye you did know that the Germans were coming in and out of the U.S. during that period carrying and picking up cargo from the East Coast using a Submarine and proteted by the U.S. while in port.<<

Yep...the Deutschland. As far as I know, this was the only submarine ever put into commercial service. She survived the war only to be taken over by the British. She was scrapped in 1922.
 

Eric Sauder

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Nov 12, 2000
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Hi, Colleen:

I did record about four minutes of the second segment of the show. I totally missed the first segment.

When I get back from England in June, I'll come over, and we'll have a Lusitania party.

Eric
 
May 8, 2001
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You got yourself a deal! A conservative Boogie man Lusitania party! I can't wait!
grin.gif

Have a safe trip!
 
Sep 22, 2003
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A Party and I Wasn't Invited *Shocked*. Just Kidding. Though i do like parties.

I was wondering if anyone here had considered the Idea of a German Conspiracy? This is mainly talked of in Preston's book, and she seems to support the whole idea, well except for mass explosives on board, w/ the exception of Alumninum Powder.
 
A

AmyJo Decker

Guest
Well wasn't something said about someone Trying to contact the German sub? They never replied. Then a short while later they torpedoed the lusitania...
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I don't think any German Conspiracy could be taken very seriously as the actual history is very much against it. The U-20's encounter was a chance one and the attack was made long after the boat had submerged, with the Lucy having no idea anyone was there until the torpedo exploded in her side. I don't see how anyone then could contact a submerged submarine and a skipper working up a firing solution is going to have other things on his mind. Communicating with a ship he wants to catch by surprise isn't one of them.

My bet is that if a tale like what Amyjo suggested was circulating, it was one of those tall tales that gets started in the wake of any such event.
 

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