To paraphrase Douglas Adams, in an infinite universe, anything is possible. However the possibility of Capt. Smith being so depressed over his impending retirement that he chose to commit suicide (and take 1,500 others with him) is pretty damn improbable, to say the least.
I, for one, am counting the days to my retirement!
There is evidence that Captain Smith was not going to retire after Titanic's maiden voyage. Rumours of his retirement were denied by White Star's New York office before the disaster. The New York Herald, 11 April 1912.
After the sinking, the media presented the rumours as fact, for dramatic effect. As to the suicide, we Aussies call such theories ratbaggery, which is a kind of flamboyant idiocy.
That would be one interesting theory. I do think its possible he killed himself due to the grief of being the officer on watch when the ship hit the iceberg. We will never know for certain. I sometimes wish i could go back in time for the entire voyage, be invisible and record everything. Fantasy indeed.
That would have been Harld Bride in which he mentioned that in his report to the Marconi Company. You can read about it on Bill Wormstedt's Website in the Primary Accounts which do not mention an officer's suicide. There's even a link to the full text of Bride's report.
Mrs. Widener and James McGann also said they saw Smith jump into the sea, just before the Big Wave hit. Mrs. Widener was in Boat 4 and McGann was on the port boat deck, very near to where Bride was working. There were a few others who didn't actually see Smith jump, but who saw him standing in the same place at the same time.
The statement initially made was improbable anyway due to the fact that Captain Smith wasn't even on the bridge when the Titanic struck the iceberg....and I highly doubt that he told any other officers to purposely crash the ship. Not only would that have been unethical but there would have been serious ramifications for any officer choosing to partake in the conspiracy.
I like this theory of suicide. well let's think here. he ran the ship at full speed, even when it hit. he was going to retire, meaning he could be forgotten in history, and he had iceberg warnings throughout the ill-fated trip. thomas, we should talk more. this is a very intressting theory you have. i would like to hear more about it.
Actually, Titanic wasn't travelling at full speed, and was simply keeping to the standard operating practice of the time - keep going until you see something.
"he was going to retire, meaning he could be forgotten in history"
See Dave Gittins' post, above. It appears unlikely that Capt. Smith was, in fact, going to retire after the voyage. He certainly wasn't forgotten in history either!
"he had iceberg warnings throughout the ill-fated trip"
Indeed, but see my first comment. Warnings were treated as such, but nothing much tended to happen until somebody saw something.
Besides which, as has been already commented on above, Capt. Smith wasn't even the Officer conning the ship when she struck the iceberg. How did he convince Murdoch and the rest of the bridge crew to join him in this alleged suicide/murder conspiracy?
Ahhhhh...no. As Dave and Paul have already mentioned, Captain Smith was not going to retire after Titanic's maiden voyage. In fact, he may have gone on to command Britannic, but that's just speculation at best. As to being forgotten in history, no way. He is a major figure in the great ship's history and still is remembered very much today, as there is a statue of him in Lichfield, England which isn't far from Stoke on Trent; his hometown.
As far as this alleged suicide/murder conspiracy goes, it's just as absurd as the switch theory is.
Captain Smith was not going to retire after Titanic's maiden voyage
Maybe more accurate would be that there's conflicting evidence on the issue; take a look at this thread and this one for what some of us have scraped together over the years. Doesn't conclusively support either conclusion, IMHO.
Then you have a problem since this proposition can barely be described as a theory. It falls squarely in the realm of speculation which has scant evidence to support it and quite a bit to contradict it.
>>well let's think here. he ran the ship at full speed, even when it hit.<<
As pointed out, this is simply not true. The best the ship was known to have done was 78 RPMs on the engines and Titanic was capable of doing better. They may have intended to try a high speed run on the 15th, but if they did, a frozen roadblock canceled the plans in a vry permanent fashion.
>>he was going to retire,<<
A questionable premise.
>>... meaning he could be forgotten in history, and he had iceberg warnings throughout the ill-fated trip.<<
So he was going to ensure his place in history by...for all practical intents and purposes...wrecking a $7,500,000 liner and killing up to 1500 people which would mean he would face criminal charges of barratry and manslaughter if he survived and being remembered as a homicidal maniac if he didn't?
Riiiiiiight....suuuuuuuure he would.
>>and he had iceberg warnings throughout the ill-fated trip.<<
And so did everyone else. Information that would have been badly dated by the time he got to the positions in the reports. Perhaps you forgot to question some sailors and deck officers about their attitudes regarding reports. Well, since I'm a retired sailor, you're in luck.
We regard such reports as exactly that...reports...useful, but only insofar as any such gives us a heads up on places where we need to keep an extra vigilant watch. We know that icebergs move with the current, so the watch team is alerted and the lookouts are brifed to be on the lookout for ice. That's exactly what happened on Titanic. The watch was alerted, and the lookouts were given special instructions to be on the lookout for ice.
They still managed to hit one, but they tried very hard not to!
Well if we're going to bring in the space aliens (Do they ever get a break?) don't forget to invoke the part of them using Elvis and Princess Di in their breeding experiments. (You guys want to do what with that test tube and petri dish?)