Like I said, these numbers are a matter of some debate.(And continue to be such.) I'm sure your numbers are dead on, but do they account for any undocumented passangers, stowaways and the like? I'm not convinced that White Star was quite certain even back then.
But then that's the real problem, isn't it? The numbers are not entirely reliable.
Hmmmmmmmm...if there were stowaways, then the information probably went down with the ship, and that graciously assumes they would have been caught. For obvious reasons, these people weren't anxious to advertise their presence. That it could be done was a fact the shipping lines were equally unenthusiastic to advertise.
Michael, let me see if I can put this another way. When you are looking at any set of Casualty figures whatever number of lost stowaways you may accept must be added to each and every set. All of those Casualty figures come from Statistical Reports of Lost and Saved and those Reports are based on Passenger and Crew Lists; none of which allow for or consider stowaways.
Each List then has to be analized; both for the names themselves and because generally a hand count of the individual names leads to a correction of the end figures. For example: Time and again sets of figures show 11 1st Class W&C were lost. The correct figure is 5. The result is that survivors were counted among the missing. It also goes the other way with some of the missing being listed as having survived. So all Lists of Lost and Saved have to be re-worked. But I re-emphasis that no Casualty figures make any allowances for any lost stowaways who you may accept as having been onboard.
Oh points taken. I neither accept nor reject the idea of stowaways. As I said, these people...if any were aboard,(Unlikely but not impossible) had every incentive to avoid advertising the fact. My concern is over some of the varience in figures that I've seen over time. 1497, 1503,1515, 1528...I've seen these numbers kicked about in any number of sources over the years, including the media.
In your opinion, who has the most reliable stats on this?
Well Michael, the obvious answer is Hermann and myself.
Apart from the question of Frederick Miles we are in total agreement with regard to the number of Passengers who were lost. - 818 or 817. - See my paper in ET Research.
With regard to the Crew; because I have never undertaken a full study I defer to Hermann. - 679
Apart from Hermann's 1497 (or my 1496); all of the other figures you mention (as well as some you do not) suffer from the problems I mentioned in my last message. The only question is 1497 or 1496 and that depends on Frederick Miles. Was he onboard? Perhaps you could try and solve that question?
I was recently scanning over the figures from the Titanic disaster and came across the number of bodies recovered. Off the top of my head i can't remember but i'm sure it was something like 300??
Anyway, next to the death toll it seems over 1,000 bodies wern't recovered??
Shouldn't the majority of the bodies have been together as the current should have kept them relatively together?
I also read that it is thought many bodies became trapped inside the wreck but how is it there have been no traces found of bones inside the wreck?
Matt, this has been looked at on another thread. Evidence, especially the statistics compiled by Bill Wormstedt, suggests that a substantial number did go down inside the ship. Their bones were dissolved over the years, like those of the owners of the famous pairs of shoes found near the wreck.
My own suggestion is that many of the crew and third class passengers did not wear lifebelts. There's plenty of evidence that those who made it to the boat deck and into boats wore them, but not much is known about those below decks. Add those not wearing lifebelts to those below decks and the 1,000 undiscovered bodies looks reasonable enough.
As to the bodies scattering, that's no surprise to sailors. Tiny differences in wind resistance and water drag accumulate as the days pass and floating objects get scattered. Captain Larnder of Mackay-Bennett was rather surprised to find so many bodies, which is why he ran out of coffins and buried many bodies at sea.
I know it's Hobson's choice - whether you die inside a ship or die in the water - but I've always had a horror of being trapped inside a sinking ship, and would much rather be out on deck and take a chance in the water. It's probably not logical, as it may be quicker if you're inside it for various reasons e.g. implosion etc. But I dislike modern ro-ro ferries because there is so little deck space, and so much toughened glass - they found that out on the Herald of Free Enterprise - not that they had much time to get out onto whatever (little) deck space existed.
Monica, you are in good company. Here's what Joseph Conrad wrote in an article about the disaster.
"I know very well that the engineers of a ship in a moment of emergency are not quaking for their lives, but, as far as I have known them, attend calmly to their duty. We all must die; but, hang it all, a man ought to be given a chance, if not for his life, then at least to die decently. It's bad enough to have to stick down there when something disastrous is going on and any moment may be your last; but to be drowned shut up under deck is too bad. Some men of the Titanic died like that, it is to be feared. Compartmented, so to speak. Just think what it means! Nothing can approach the horror of that fate except being buried alive in a cave, or in a mine, or in your family vault."
It doesn't do to think too much about how the victims of Titanic died.
Oh Lord, Dave. You're right. It doesn't do to think too much about it. I hadn't realised I was in such distinguished company, and Conrad put it much better than I could. And now we build what Inger described to me as floating condo's and shopping malls - she's right. Not much way out of them, then.
I won't detract from Dr. Ballard's discovery and science. His chemistry is probably right on. That being said, Robert Ballard has made some pretty imperious statements about the wreck, and some have been proven incorrect. His beliefs about how the ship wreckage should remain is from his interpretation, and not from hundreds of thousands of other opinions.