Sinking In One Piece Claims Are they crazy


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T. Eric Brown

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Jun 5, 2005
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A ship break in two sounds like it would be pretty noticable to me. How could some survivors possibly have come to believe the ship sank in one piece? I understand most were exhausted and many hypothermic but come on! The only thing audible before the breakup were the screams, so thick steel snaping in half is going to sound twice as loud as a sonic boom. How could some people in the boats have not noticed?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>A ship break in two sounds like it would be pretty noticable to me.<<

And it was.

>>How could some survivors possibly have come to believe the ship sank in one piece? I understand most were exhausted and many hypothermic but come on!<<

I would think in some cases by being...literally...way too close to the problem. Both Colonel Gracie and Charles Lightoller were still aboard when she finally went down and were in a lousy position to play the role of detatched impartial observer. They were too busy trying not to drown to be overly concerned about what was happening to the hull.

>>How could some people in the boats have not noticed?<<

Actually, quite a few did notice the event and went on record with sworn official testimony and depositions to the effect. If you click on THE FACTS By bill Wormstedt, you'll see that he documents quite a bit of what was actually said. (NOTE: This article is stored in the Adobe Acrobat pdf. format.)

You may also notice a very interesting pattern with the Mersey Wreck Commission.

To be fair to the passengers and crew who watched all this happen and failed to notice the ship break up, it should be noted that it was bloody damned dark out there which makes it very dificult for anyone to be sure of what they were seeing, and they were cold, frightened, traumatised and some were greiving for loved ones that some already knew were dead. When you reach a point like that, you tend not to notice or much care whether the ship sedately submerged in one piece, made a dramatic happy dance to music scored by James Horner, or was obliterated by a Martian Death Ray.
 

T. Eric Brown

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Makes sense that people in severe shock might as well not be conscious, being as they were completely detached from the world. If you were on the ship when it broke up, I could clearly see how you could miss it. It's hard to believe any survivors, however were not in a state of shock.

On the stern, my body would be gripped by cold. Gripped by fear. Screams faded by shock and numbed senses. My glass eyes stare into the sullen black mirror of the ocean far below. I look up at my breath ascending into the starry, moonless sky. A sky my soul may soon meet.

In the boats, I am also consumed by cold. The burning chill grips every fiber of my body and binds my mind, numbs my senses, and I can do nothing but breathe. I am completely oblivious to the ship of dreams and nightmares dying in front of me...and entering immortality forever.

And James Horner's music resonates in my head like the entrancing melody of angels in mourning. I lost myself in that tune. The wondrous voice transported me to a place of mournful solace. A place that could mend the angel's broken heart. It is one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard in my entire life.

[slap!] - Uvvv! Snapping out of it, I think the above descriptions tell that I agree with you on many fronts. I now see that to many of them, it was a ship in its death-throes; nothing more. Excuse the poetic detour. On subjects with so much emotion, I sometimes cannot resist
happy.gif
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May 30, 2006
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Isn't the " breaking in two on the surface " merely a theory to explain the large distance between the wrecks on the sea bed ? Couldn't it have snapped as it slowly descended to the bottom ?

For 60 years before the wrecks discovery students of the tragedy had no reason to doubt the eyewitnesses who described the ship sinking in one piece.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Isn't the " breaking in two on the surface " merely a theory to explain the large distance between the wrecks on the sea bed ?<<

That's part of it.

>>Couldn't it have snapped as it slowly descended to the bottom ?<<

Not likely. Since there would have been no signifigent bending loads on the hull girder once it was submerged, if it had gone down in one piece, it's likely that it would have reached the bottom that way.

>>For 60 years before the wrecks discovery students of the tragedy had no reason to doubt the eyewitnesses who described the ship sinking in one piece.<<

Except for the witnesses who said otherwise, and with the physical evidence now backing them up. You may want to click on Bill Wormstedt's article in my post above. You might be surprised at just how many people spoke to that.
 
Dec 3, 2005
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If I recall, a number of people talked about the stern rotating around in the water. I find it hard to believe that it would do the flooded and submerged forward part of the ship still hanging off it. I doubt that the stern could even support that much weight without sinking instantly.
 
Dec 3, 2005
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Correction: "do that with the flooded and submerged forward part of the ship still hanging off it." Fingers are getting ahead of thoughts.
 
Feb 13, 2003
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quote:

Isn't the " breaking in two on the surface " merely a theory to explain the large distance between the wrecks on the sea bed ? Couldn't it have snapped as it slowly descended to the bottom ?

Absolutely! When asked "Do you believe the ship broke in two before she foundered?" Naval Architect Edward Wilding replied,"Not in the least...I feel quite sure it did not happen...The ship was made to go through Atlantic storms, and therefore would be capable of meeting such stress."

There is no conclusive evidence, nor is there any reason to believe, that the Titanic broke in two before she sank. The ship was subjected only to progressive flooding after impacting the Arctic pack ice. Although several witnesses later claimed that the ship had been severed and that the after-part had settled on the water, others, including Second Officer Lightoller emphatically denied it. "It is utterly untrue," Lightoller told the British enquiry, "The ship did not and could not have broken in two." In this, Lightoller's testimony, was corroborated by Third Officer Pitman and Fourth Officer Boxhall.

In December 1996, Harland and Wolff Technical Services Ltd, naval architects determined ,"The ship did not break in two..."

Because the wreck site is some 13 miles east of Boxhall's CQD, armchair navigators and theorists have scrambled to explain the discrepancy, even to the point of trying to determine whether the ship broke in two from the top deck downwards or from the bottom upwards.

Collins​
 

Tad G. Fitch

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"There is no conclusive evidence, nor is there any reason to believe, that the Titanic broke in two before she sank."

You're right, there is no evidence whatsoever or any reason to believe this, but only if you chose to ignore that more people at the inquiries claimed the ship broke in two than those who claimed it did not, and only if you ignore the dozens of private letters where eyewitnesses state the ship broke in two, or the numerous press accounts where survivors claimed the ship broke in two. You're free to believe whatever you want, but with all due respect, to say that there is no evidence that the ship broke in two at the surface is a completely inaccurate statement.

"armchair navigators and theorists have scrambled to explain the discrepancy, even to the point of trying to determine whether the ship broke in two from the top deck downwards or from the bottom upwards."

Once you personally dive on the wreck and personally perform a forensic analysis on it with a team of scientists and with structural engineers, poured over hundreds of thousands of pictures of the wrecksite (including those not published), etc. then maybe you can qualify the people whose work supports that the ship broke in two as "armchair theorists." Many of the people who you are belittling have already done exactly that.

Kind regards,
Tad
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>In December 1996, Harland and Wolff Technical Services Ltd, naval architects determined ,"The ship did not break in two..."<<

Then they better damned well take a look at the bloody wreck. It's condition says otherwise. And please, let's not try and claim that the earthquake dunnit. It just doesn't work that way.

>>Because the wreck site is some 13 miles east of Boxhall's CQD, armchair navigators and theorists have scrambled to explain the discrepancy<<

Boxhall made a simple error, no more, no less, somewhere in his calculations. Hardly fatal and all the discrepancy proves is that human error is always a factor. That and the fact that they didn't have GPS. It's an interesting twist on the story to be sure, but hardly that big a deal.

>>, even to the point of trying to determine whether the ship broke in two from the top deck downwards or from the bottom upwards.<<

Sorry, Captain, but you're comparing strawberries with nuclear weapons on that one. While the location of the wreck speaks to navigational issues, it's physical condition does not. One is backtracking to explain why the Titanic is where she is, the other addresses forensic engineering issues to explain the failure of the hull girder. Since the hull of a ship niether knows nor cares where it is on the face of the earth when it gives up the ghost, you're discussing two seperate issues.
 
May 30, 2006
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After 9/11 a building engineer said that before that day there hadn't been one recorded instance of a fire causing a steel framed building to collapse yet within a few hours three WTC buldings collapsed.


Are there any other examples of rivetted steel hulled large ships/liners splitting in two on the surface while in the throes of sinking?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Are there any other examples of rivetted steel hulled large ships/liners splitting in two on the surface while in the throes of sinking?<<

I'm not aware of any, but then all it takes is one to prove beyond doubt that it can happen.

When you think about it, Titanic was odd man out in a lot of respects, like sinking in a dead flat calm, (Who ever heard of that on the North Atlantic???) not rolling over, (The breakup may have stopped that) rarely taking a signifigent list, although it happened often enough to cause problems in getting the boats away...etc. Maritime casualties are seldom exactly alike. Just when you think you have everything figured cold, something comes along to throw a monkey wrench into the works.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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>>Are there any other examples of rivetted steel hulled large ships/liners splitting in two on the surface while in the throes of sinking?<<

Remove the rivited part, I believe someone had posted photos of a tanker that split in two and was sinking in some thread related to what Jack Thayer saw at this site awhile back.
 
May 30, 2006
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Indeed, for a holed ship to stay upright and ( relatively ) list free in a calm sea for more than two hours was a stroke of fortune that many other tragic wrecks were not afforded.
 
Feb 13, 2003
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Michael H. Standart

quote:

I'm not aware of any, but then all it takes is one to prove beyond doubt that it can happen.

Where is the proof "beyond doubt" that Titanic broke in two before submerging?

"And please, let's not try and claim" that's how the wreck was found on the ocean floor 73 years after she sank.

Regards,
Collins​
 

Eric Longo

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Hello,
If I understand this correctly, in order for the Titanic to break up underwater there would have to be a stress load involved greater than that produced during the sinking, yes? Once submerged and more or less pressure compensated what events would be capable of causing stress enough to break her in two? I would think the ship was generally more unstable during the sinking than after she was beneath the surface?

Best,
Eric
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Very good point Eric.

Before the discovery of the wreck there was a lot of testimony that said the ship broke in two. There was also testimony that said the ship didn't break in two. Without direct evidence one way or the other, the observations of those that said it did not happen overweighed that of those that said it did, especially when you consider the rank of those that said it did not happen. We now of course know that the ship did indeed break in two at some point. That still leaves two possibilities:

1. It happened while at least part of the ship was still on the surface, or
2. It happened after the entire ship was submerged.

Now if it happened while part of the ship was still on the surface, it seems probable that there would be some people in a position to see the break happen. Also, it seems probable that there would be people in a position where they would be blocked from seeing the break happen. However, if the break ocurred when the entire ship was submerged, then there would be nobody in a position to see the break happen, and the number of those that would say they saw a break would obviously be extremely few if any at all.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Where is the proof "beyond doubt" that Titanic broke in two before submerging?<<

I didn't say there was proof beyond doubt, so let's not try to contrive a strawman. I have pointed to the fact that there is documented evidence by way of eyewitnesses who spoke to the break up of the ship, and this was seen as the ship was going down. You can go over the Senate transcripts or you can check out Bill Wormstedts article which gathers it all in one place.

You are of course free to disagree with it, but you cannot call it non-existant. It's there and it doesn't go away.

>>"And please, let's not try and claim" that's how the wreck was found on the ocean floor 73 years after she sank.<<

Well, since I never made that specific claim to begin with...and if you want to see how the wreck was found, you can read Dr. Ballard's work on thew subject. I have and the last I looked, it was still in print.
 
May 30, 2006
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I understand the theory of " Expansion joints " on, say, long metal bridges or on railway tracks.

So could it be explained why a ship of the magnitude of the Titanic required one ( or many )?
 
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Hi John,

quote:

So could it be explained why a ship of the magnitude of the Titanic required one ( or many )?

My understanding has been that their purpose was to allow the superstructure to be constructed of lighter scantling, and the inclusion of expansion joints helped to prevent excessive stresses coming upon the lighter material above the structural hull and the strength deck. In other words, the superstructure (constructed above the structural hull proper) was able to flex as the ship moved through (in particular) heavy seas.

Had there been no expansion joints, then I understand from correspondence with Roger Long that the superstructure would need to have been constructed of considerably heavier scantling -- which was both expensive and impractical from a design viewpoint. It would also have made it difficult as regards passenger comfort -- those long promenades on A and B-deck onboard Olympic, with their rectangular windows. It's no coincidence that portholes are used below the strength deck.

While Olympic and Titanic had two expansion joints, Britannic's design changed markedly. The enclosure of the aft well deck required an expansion joint to be installed there, while the superstructure's design was refined and no fewer than three expansion joints were fitted. In later years, inspecting liners such as the Aquitania and Olympic, one surveyor believed that such large liners ideally required more than two expansion joints. This was more effective at dissipating stresses more evenly and allowed greater flexibility. In this respect, Britannic's arrangement was clearly superior to Olympic's. Harland & Wolff refined the design with experience.

Best regards,

Mark.​
 
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