She could still have gone down in one piece


James Hill

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Feb 20, 2002
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in Walter Lords THE NIGHT LIVES ON it says that the ship could have went down in one piece because if we think carefully she could have went down and her hull shatters on the ocean floor her stern blows away in another direction and the peice we usualy see is torn of the stern by impact and goes flying 1,970 feet away before most of it shatters into pieces.this could still be a mystery we might never get right.what do you think?
 

Adam Leet

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May 18, 2001
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I strongly disagree with this theory. First, you mentioned the distance between the parts - 1,970 feet. That alone is cause for doubt. The stern section alone weighed around 20,000 tons, and getting it to "fly" that long distance is nothing short of supernatural.

The second problem is that there is a large field of debris, that extends for more than a mile from the site. The only real explanation we have is that the ship broke up at the surface, creating a "salt shaker" effect, whereby the debris rained down onto the seafloor, spread across great distances by the currents.

So no, I don't think there's much stock in the idea she broke in half when she hit the bottom. It simply isn't possible.


Adam
 
B

brendan kilmartin

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got to agree with adam on this one.The hull section found suggests a steady seperation of bow and stern.Also the state of the stern would suggest it's own journey the the bottom of the ocean was far more tramatic than that of the bow.
one being full of water the other as yet not, once the stern took in water and reached a depth where water pressure was massive it would have imploded then exploded.It's highly unlikely they were together through this.
as for seperation at the bottom, two and a half miles down the water pressure would be so huge it would be impossible.Remember the bow section was found with two large mounds of sea bed at its rear and front, also suggesting a seperate journey to that of the stern.Nice thought though...
brendan
 

John Lynott

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Apr 2, 2002
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Excuse me if this item has been discussed before, being new to the site, but I do not recall any survivors from the stern of the ship (esp Baker Joughin) referring to that section 'slapping' back onto the sea surface following the break-up of Titanic as seen on the ET animation and Cameron's Titanic. No doubt the ship broke up in her death agony, but perhaps not on the surface?
 

John Lynott

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Apr 2, 2002
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Point taken re Michael and evidence from crew (and Jack Thayer) who witnessed surface break-up but no one has confirmed stern section falling back into water a la Cameron's Titanic in 1997. Surely water displacement of 10,000 tons of steel would have swamped several adequately-lowered lifeboats, not to mention upturned Collapsible Boat B. Only evidence I've read is that Boat B was swept further away from the site of the sinking by collapse of forward funnel.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Whether the boats would have been swamped would depend on the size of any wave produced and how close they were to the ship when the break up occurred. Most had put some distance between themselves and the ship by the time this happened.

FWIW, while based on theories in vogue at the time, the best evidence indicates that the midsection didn't so much snap apart vis a vis the movie portrayal as it did collapse/cave in on itself, with the stern settling back reletively slowly.

Still dramatic, but not as much so as in the flick.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

James Hill

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Feb 20, 2002
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i have thought of another way the ship could have went down in one peice.it is finaly below the surface,it splits and the stern drops to the bottom.the bow goes strait on course and the stern also lands many feet away.
 
May 5, 2001
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James,

I hardly think that is a viable theory....you need certain situations to occur for something that big to split in two and it being beneath the surface and then splitting into two isn't one of them.

Regards,
Bill
 

Paul Rogers

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Hi there James.

I think there's a good argument for saying that the bow and stern could have been connected in some way before finally breaking apart beneath the surface. One could argue this because of the way the stern rotated just before sinking. Mind you, that could also have been down to how the stern flooded. (I'm no expert!)

However, there were so many eyewitnesses in lifeboats who stated that they *saw* the ship break apart on the surface, I think it's a fairly safe bet that it did indeed happen that way. Plus, as Bill stated, I don't believe the physics would support a sub-surface breakup. (Personal opinion - no evidence to back it up! It just *feels* right.)

Those Officers who stated that she sank intact at the Enquiries may have had ulterior motives for their words, as postulated in David Brown's book: "Last Log." Plus, a lot of them had other things on their minds at the time! (Lightoller, for example, was hardly in a position to observe closely what was happening to the ship whilst he was endeavouring not to drown.)

Not that it matters, but I always wanted to believe that she sank intact, and I was gutted when Ballard found her broken on the bottom.

Regards,
Paul.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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The only thing that surprises me is that anyone is surprised that the ship made it to the bottom in two big peices, a midsize peice (That section of the double bottom that was located a few years ago in the debris feild) and thousands of little ones.

Even if the ship had gone down intact, there is still the matter of air being trapped in a lot of the after compartments. Once the hull reached a depth at which the steel could no longer withstand the mounting water pressure, a violent implosion was inevitable.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Jason D. Tiller

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I'd like to think that the ship sank intact, but the fact is she didn't. As posted above, many survivors witnessed the Titanic breaking in two between the third and fourth funnels which was a weak point in the structure, including Eva Hart who said in an interview "and we rowed away and I didn't close my eyes at all, I saw that ship sink and I saw that ship break in half, I know she did, I saw that."

It has been suggested before that the Titanic sank beneath the surface or that she sank intact and snapped in two at the bottom, but their's just not evidence to support these theories. Michael is correct in saying that air would be trapped in the aft compartments. The air wouldn't be able to stay in the ship, it would have to come out sometime.

Best regards,

Jason
happy.gif
 
May 5, 2001
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Well I have to concur with Paul on this one, I too, was heartbroken when I found out that The Titanic broke in two and not intact at the bottom.

When I heard the words "Back near the tear in the stern", I almost died....I wasn't sure if I heard it right, after watching ANTR almost everytime it came on TV in the 70s and 80s along with Raise The Titanic, I WANTED SO BAD to believe she did go down in one piece.....Ahh well....now her future uncertain, I suspect she may not last till her 100th anniversary down there.

Regards,
Bill
 

James Hill

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Feb 20, 2002
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i thought of another way she went down.her lights go out the aft part of the 3rd funnel where the aft grand staircase is goes under water and splits and part of it can be seen then the bow goes strait to the bottom while the stern also goes strait down.
 

James Hill

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Feb 20, 2002
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heres another i do belive in boiler explosion on the ship.
as she is going down and water comes up to the 3rd funnel and an explosion weakens the hull at the aft grand staircase,she gose under and gently separates from the bow.i will admit it i do belive she went down in 1 piece.
 

Adam Leet

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May 18, 2001
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That theory has been around for some time, and has been thoroughly debunked. It doesn't explain why the boilers in Boiler Room 5 are still intact in the bow section, or why the boilers from BR 6 are intact in the debris field. Both these boiler rooms used the third funnel as their uptake, so the theory doesn't hold well.

Also, about the ship sinking in one piece, where did it break apart? Certainly not upon impact on the seabed.


Adam
 
Dec 2, 2000
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James, if you take a look at the ships plans-they're available on this website-you'll notice that among other things, there are somevery large open areas in the region of the break, like a boiler room and the 1st Class Dining Saloon. These were structurally the weakest points of the ship.

No boiler explosion was needed to cause the break-up, and no physical evidence has ever been found for same. There were some fears that this would be possible, hence the reason for drawing the fires, but most all of the ship's steam was vented out when the safeties popped open. Not much chance of an explosion when there's nothing left to explode.

The seperation from the bow was far from gentle. When that much metal comes apart in a few seconds, it makes for an impressive racket. The din that resulted from this event was heard by hundreds of witnesses.
 

Erik Wood

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Apr 10, 2001
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Hmmm,

This sounds like something that may be discussed in Topeka in September. Let me ask this 5 dollar question.

In Cameron's movie he shows port holes and steel sections of the ship basically "exploding" off of the rest of the structure. Did he get this part right?? Or is it Hollywood poopy?? What kind of structural outward signs would preceed the breakup???

Erik
 

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