Famous Disasters of the Gilded Age

Mar 28, 2002

I can't believe you haven't heard! This asteroid is headed our way and is probably due to hit on 1st February 2019 but no-one knows where yet. We've got 17 years to do something about it but I've since heard that they don't want to spend the estimated 4 billion ($ or £, I don't know) on defending the planet and that the estimated 1/10 of the world's population that would be wiped out is an "acceptable risk".

I'm sure Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck can get their red space suits on and do something about it though.



Dave Moran

Apr 23, 2002
I wanna know where all these asteroids are suddenly coming from ? I mean, for thousands of years we've lived on this planet - from the time of Homer up until about twenty years ago - and we never even noticed the ruddy things, let alone have one hit us ( apart, perhaps, from Tunguska ).

Now, suddenly, there's dozens of the flipping things ?

What's going on here ? Are we being bombarded by horrible space aliens with tiny wee bodies and huge bulgy brain shaped heads ? What are our leaders keeping from us ?

Dearie me, I'm very concerned...
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
Actually, the Earth has been bombarded continuously throughout it's history by asteroids. They've always been there, but it's only recently that we've developed the technology to actually find them. Finding evidence of these impacts is not that easy though as billions of years of wind and wave to say nothing of constant geological activity have worn the impact craters down.

As this is far from a Titanic related subject, may I suggest that anyone so interested talk to a geologist about it or do some research on the net.

Tracy Smith

Apr 20, 2012
South Carolina USA
I read in an article that the odds are rather low that it will actually hit Earth. It's just a slight possibility.

No need to get our knickers in a twist just yet.
Feb 14, 2011
Thats it- im saving every penny to pay the $35,000 to dive on the Titanic- Seems I have enough time to save up...

John Meeks

I think you're safe, Tarn...

...and if not - you won't care...!

Hope you have a great dive!

John M

Dave Gittins

Apr 11, 2001
The latest calculations show that we won't be hit in 2019. Not so sure about 2060. That lets me off the hook, but young James and Adam had better buy themselves hard hats.

Bob Cruise

I am a geologist/paleontologist.

Actually, asteroids hit our Earth everyday.

But the really "beeeeg" ones come along only every 10-20 million years or so.

When that happens - KABOOM - life was a cabaret ol' chum.

But Michael wants us to remain website appropriate.

Okay, Mikey.

On that note, COMETS also hit the earth every now and then - just like the comet Shoemaker-Levy, when it fragmented and smashed into Jupiter back in 1994.

Tunguska was, many believe, a comet, as was another occurrence in the Amazon jungle during the 1930s (big boom but a very little in way of a crater, since comets are frozen gas and liquid while asteroids are solid rock).

But I digress.

Halley's comet passed us by in 1910, so close that it still outshone the bright lights of Broadway in NYC.

The earth at one point passed through the comet's tail, which contained a good deal of cyanide. Hysteria prevailed, inciting the public to ingest "comet pills".

In the end, all was well.

Maybe "comet pills" need to make a come-back in 2019.

Any investors?????
Mar 28, 2002
Going back to the Iroquois Theatre fire in Chicago, 30th December 1903 which killed 602 people, many of them children. Two of the dead were the sons of Titanic first class passenger Ida Hippach and brothers to Jean Hippach. What effect do you think their boys' deaths had on them during and after the Titanic disaster?



Kris Muhvic

Sep 26, 2008

Just getting back from Alaska, I heard of the Katmai Volcano at Novarupta that erupted June 6, 1912. It was the largest eruption of the 20th century; steam escaping from the ash covered ground until 1930.

No people were harmed, though. Animals and vegetation were the victims here. Just something interesting I thought to share-


Bob Godfrey

Nov 22, 2002
In 1912, the most serious volcanic eruption was Mount Nyamuragira in what was then the Belgian Congo (20 fatalities). But 10 years earlier Mont Pelier on the island of Martinique blew its top and the resulting pyroclastic flow (like that which destroyed Pompeii and the fictional version shown in the film Dante's Peak) annihilated the town of St Pierre and the ships in the harbour, causing the instant deaths of nearly 30,000 people. When nature wants to remind us who's boss, icebergs are small fry in its weaponry. But even volcanos do less harm than earhquakes, hurricanes and droughts.
Jun 24, 2003
Iain-I was in Halifax, Nova Scotia two years ago and while on our tour, our guide pointed out where the ship explosion actually took place. He also commented that there was an anchor that traveled from the ship into the middle of a park in the city. I think he said it was still there but I cannot be sure of that.
Jan 28, 2003
If we're trying to frighten ourselves here, what about the super-volcano under Yellowstone Park which is 'over-due' for eruption by some few thousand years, and is now bulging ominously? Nothing to do with Titanic, I know, but there we are ....

Jim Kalafus

Dec 3, 2000
DARK TIDE: Just read the new book on what has to be the ultimate freak accident- the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919. 1919, the year of the anarchist bombings in the US, began with the collapse of a 50'X 90' molasses storage tank in North Boston- the ensuing viscous tidal wave destroyed buildings, killed 21 (quite horribly) and left others maimed. 'Though initially suspected to be an act of terrorism, it turned out that it was just the end result of corporate negligence and cost cutting. Stephen Puleo's book is the first non- tongue in cheek accounting of the tragedy I have seen, and is definitely a worthwhile read.
Dec 2, 2003
I think a wide covering thread like this is not complete without mentioning the sinking of the "Leinster" in 1918. The Leinster was more a large ferry than a liner, transporting passengers between England and Ireland. Torpedoed and sunk by a German u-boat on October 10th of that year, it was, after the Lusitania, the second largest sinking of a civilian ship in WW1 in terms of casualties. 528 or so men, women and children were drowned (according to the book "1918" by George Dallas), a mere month before the cease of hostilities. Exact numbers however can never be confirmed, as there seemingly were no passenger lists on these ferries. Bodies were reported to float ashore on the Irish coast for several weeks after the sinking, and was in this experience similar to the aftermath of the Lusitania.

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