Titanic's popularity


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Jul 9, 2000
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>>IF everybody would have been saved?<<

Probably not. There's something about maiden voyages coupled with high body counts and international politiking around coupled with press hysteria that just holds one's attention.
 
Let's add another "what if" layer. Do you think the Titanic would have been more popular or fascinating if the Carpathia had NOT come that quickly and everyone in the lifeboats died of exposure?

Think of what a story that would be. 2/3 drown/freeze to death quickly. While the other 1/3 slowly freezes to death in the boats.

Ghoulish but an interesting thought.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I'm sure Charles Berlitz would have made quite the Bermuda Triangle mystery out of it, Jeremy. Something about ghost lifeboats or something like that.

Irrational?

Perhaps, but the Bermuda Triangle crowd is not renowned for their critical thinking talants.
 

Jeff Wilson

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Jan 28, 2008
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I think that if all had perished, the Titanic would have been the historical footnote that it was destined to be until Walter Lord snatched it from the depths of obscurity and placed it firmly in the public consciousness. You must ask yourself the simple question. What is it that draws people to the story of the Titanic? In my humble opinion, it is the fact that it is the classic Greek tragedy come to life. From alleged improper handling of iceberg warnings to inadequate lifeboats to Cyril Evans staying at his post another 30 minutes, one can "what if" this scenario ad infinitum.

Were all of the involved parties to perish that fateful night, the impetus for all of these stories being hashed out would have been lost to the cold dark depths of the North Atlantic. Walter Lord would have had no personal interviews to base his book upon, thus I hypothesize that "A Night To Remember" would never have materialized and the mass public appeal of this tragedy would have sunken to the depths with the ill-fated liner.

Consider the Inquiries. Edward Wilding, Guglielmo Marconi, and officials of the White Star Line, H&W, and possibly IMM would have taken center stage. For the events of the evening and crossing itself, it would have been limited to massive amounts of speculation based on the scant few messages received from MGY after the collision , coupled with some of the personal marconigrams sent to others during the earlier part of the passage. There would have been lots of discussion regarding the construction of the ship, whether or not the bulkhead construction was adequate and so on. But one must consider that the only solid information the outside world would have had about the collision would be the fact that the Titanic struck an iceberg. No one would know the extent of the damage, the fact that it was a glancing blow to the starboard side of the ship, nor how long it stayed afloat after the collision(other than based on the time of the last wireless transmission from MGY). Very possibly, had all perished the entire "lifeboats-for-all" and "24 hour wireless" issues would have to wait for the next tragedy to take place before becoming standard practice.

The survivors added the human element to this story that makes it so intriguing. Without survivor accounts, all of those interesting topics that gives us pause would have been lost forever. Ben Guggenheim trading his lifebelt for his evening best. Jim Farrell smashing a seemingly impenetrable barrier with his powerful voice as his small band of steerage passengers attempted to reach the boat deck. Lightoller refusing any man admittance to the lifeboats in his charge. The whole class warfare issue between who, if anyone, had preferential access to the lifeboats, etc. etc, would never have seen the light of day.
 

Will C. White

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Given the sea conditions, the persons who did make it to the boats were not in immediate danger of death from exposure or starvation, not at least until dark fell again, minimum, and perhaps not all of them even then, if evidence from MM experiences in WW 2 can be trusted. One must consider that a distress call with a fairly accurate location was sent, and there were many more ships in those days, since there was no air cargo, and cargo ships were much smaller than today. At the time of the Titanic's foundering, at least three other British flagged passenger liners were plying the Atlantic, and I don't include anyone else. Name three today that are on regular trans-Atlantic runs. One container ship doesn't make up for fifteen or twenty old tramp steamers when you're hoping somebody is coming to find you.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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quote:

Perhaps, but the Bermuda Triangle crowd is not renowned for their critical thinking talents.

I don't mean to digress from the main topic of this thread, but I must ask:

Why not? Several of those who have researched this phenomenon have claimed that, after investigation, many questions are still left unanswered. Supposedly, many of those vessels and airplanes disappeared in ways that don't seem rational or possible, and many of those lost have not been found in areas where they should have gone down. I admit that my knowledge of this requires updating, so I am perhaps missing something. I am merely inquiring.

Please keep in mind that I am not suggesting that something supernatural has taken place here, only that there seems to be this ongoing mystery.

And, no, I am not a BT devotee, hehe.​
 
Jun 12, 2004
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As for the main topic, I believe that the ongoing myths have created popularity as well. That's unfortunate, but people like legends because they are colorful and mystifying.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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As a starting point on the so-called Bermuda Triangle, see http://www.skepdic.com/bermuda.html

Be sure to follow the links to the other resources. Quite a number of the unexplained disappearances were not unexplained at all. The Marine Sulpher Queen for example (Which was nowhere near this area but which gets trotted out anyway) was in sufficiently bad shape that the next of kin were able to sue the company and win.

The Mary Celeste was little more then a panic party where the people took to the boat, presumably because of the barrels of alcohol were found open, but the ship got away from them and they were lost at sea.

The USS Scorpion was a possible victem of one of her own torpedos (That's one theory.) The USS Cyclops was in poor material condition and known to have serious topweight issues. Not a good thing when you're sailing into a storm.

The Martin Mariner which went searching for the missing torpedo planes in 1945 was known to have exploded shortly after takeoff. A surprise to nobody considering the aircraft's notoriety for gasoline leaks.

The small craft which go missing are no surprise either when a lot of them are conned by weekend sailors who have no respect for or understanding of the treacherous weather conditions, and then there are pirates who are known to be active in this area.

Pretty mundane stuff on close examination. But then, close examination doesn't always make for a compelling read. The fact that marine losses are greater in the North Atlantic sea lanes rather then the Carribean doesn't help either. Were the area really as dangerous as the pulp writers maintain, you would expect the marine insurance rates to be preportionatly higher.

They're not.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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quote:

But then, close examination doesn't always make for a compelling read.
That is so very true Michael. And the same applies to other subjects as well including those directly related to Titanic. Something we all should keep in mind. Beware especially of those that suggest everyone has been mislead and that only they must be right and everyone else is wrong. As Walter Lord once said, "It is a rash man indeed who would set himself up as the final arbiter on all that happened the incredible night the Titanic went down."​
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Beware especially of those that suggest everyone has been mislead and that only they must be right and everyone else is wrong.<<

I usually take that to be a red flag. Especially when somebody or a group of somebodys asserts that they have some sort of monopoly on "The Truth!
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Perhaps they've paid their Direct-Line-to-the-Elysian-Fields phone bill and the rest of us haven't?<<

Errrrrr...the only way to get to the Elysian Fields is to get dead. My real phone bill is expensive enough. I don't think I want to pay up a bill that high!
mad.gif
 
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