The Big Splash


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Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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I had an utterley bizarre Titanic dream last week, and I woke up with a thought running through my head.

For quite a while, I have been bothered by the depiction of the Titanic sinking in Cameron's film, specifially the huge splash at the stern hits the water. Of course, Cameron is right. Thousands of tons of steel in near free fall would create a huge tidal wave.

But I don't recall anyone anywhere witnessing, hearing, or even feeling the spray from such a huge displacement of water. Does anyone else?
 
Apr 16, 2002
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There was no "wave". In fact, the stern broke off mostly below the surface, and slowly attained a level angle. It was nothing like the depiction in Cameron's film.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Kind of hard to witness something that never happened, and the current thinking on the breakup would preclude such an event from happening, that is if the breakup happened at a reletively shallow angle. There may well have been some sort of wave, but I think what happened in the flick was little more then dramatic license.
 
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Matt Pereira

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I would think she could have been high out of the water and not create a wave cause in my thinking Titanic was made up of thousands of steel plates, and during the break it wouldnt be a quick break plates would have bent then break or just slowly pop the rivets. I feel that the break didnt just plopped the stern into the water like in Cameron`s film, it should have been a slower fall and I also feel that she was never tilted more than 20* during the sinking before the break (I honestly feel 10 - 12 degrees)
 
Feb 24, 2004
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>> . . . but I think what happened in the flick was little more then dramatic license.

Well, it certainly grabbed people's attention, which is about all I'd be willing to say for it.

Col. Gracie seemed to think he regained the surface just as the stern (although not the broken stern) was disappearing behind him. All he heard was a slight gulping sound, or some description like that. He turned his head and there was no ship.

Roy
 
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Matt Pereira

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Roy thats basically what he said in his book. But he was also pulled under water as the bow did its nose dive and he was propelled to the surface but a blast of bubbles which he assumed was from the boilers
 
Feb 24, 2004
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Doubt if he had the presence of mind to perform a truly dispassionate forensic analysis of his situation.

Lightoller was also freed by a blast of hot air.
 
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Matt Pereira

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Nope he isnt a good witness to after he got pulled under water. Now while he was on deck helping to load the lifeboats and all that I feel that he was of sound mind to tell what he experianced and what was happening.

Lightoller was also, He also was swimming towards the Crows Nest which he stated was level with the water when the water reached the bridge which to me sounds like he wasnt really thinking that straight himself but he did say that the forward expansion joint opened up causing the aft stays to the #1 funnel to snap and let the funnel collaspe. How true is this I wouldnt know, I would think the forward expansion joint would have been covered by water at the time of the funnel stays snapping so I doubt he could really see the expansion joint opening up like he stated.
 
Feb 24, 2004
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Gracie swore that at the time he "went over," the forward expansion joint hadn't parted. He used that to justify his view that the T sank intact, and that to edit out of his book other survivors' claims of a breakup.

There's a curious quotation (not in Gracie's book) from 3rd Class passenger Carl Jannson, which I have only in abbreviated form. If anybody knows where I can find the full quotation, I'd really like to read what he had to said during the elipses - but it sure sounds as if he's talking about the breakup.

“We were suddenly plunged into darkness, save for the cold, clear light of the heavens, for it was a starlit night. I could not accustom myself to the change for several minutes. I think I was in a sort of daze and have no clear recollection of what happened afterward or how long a time had elapsed. Suddenly I heard shrieks and cries amidships. . . . People began to run by me toward the stern of the ship, and as I started to run I realized that the boat was beginning to go down very rapidly . . . her nose was being buried. A wave struck me and I went overboard.”

Any thoughts on Jannson as a witness?

Roy

BTW, I don't believe Jannson's "wave" is the same 50-foot tsunami that's under discussion here.
 
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Matt Pereira

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Gracie I feel didnt witness the break up he did witness a large crowd of people coming up from the grand staircase at about the same time the so called "wave" came up over the bridge bulkhead wall onto the boat deck which is when he jumped to reach the railings atop the deck house roof near the Gymnaisum which he missed at first then got ahold off when the wave picked him up some.

I would have to go back through my Titanic Explorer cd to check but I think I heard a simmilar statement from another passenger in one of the lifeboats about seeing the Titanic blacking out the stars then seeing her settle back again thinking she was floating herself again. Have to get the name though.

I will also look into Jannson and if possible get the fuel quotation.
 
Feb 24, 2004
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>>I will also look into Jannson and if possible get the fuel quotation.

Much appreciated, Matt. Good hunting!

>>seeing the Titanic blacking out the stars then seeing her settle back again thinking she was floating herself again.

If you find anyone specific, let us know. Some of these reported quotes were simply voices of people closer in that were overheard in the dark: "She's broken!" "She's going to float!" etc.
 
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