What are some myths about Titanic that wont go away


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Jan 7, 2002
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What are some mysths about Titanic that wont go away?

*There still are books insisting Titanic was trying to break a speed record..

*There are still people who think Titanic was the largest ship ever build...

Any other annoying misconceptions about Titanic that still pop up?

Tarn Stephanos
 
Apr 16, 2002
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That there were "locked gates"
That Murdoch shot himself
That people were shot while trying to board lifeboats. (Little evidence)
That's just the tip of the iceberg!
 

Bob Godfrey

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From recent observations in the guestbook:

That the wreck will be raised
That 'they' are building a replica
That there were thousands of great grandparents onboard who are not listed here at ET!
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Another myth was that there was 'mass pandamonium' at the end..

By all accounts the sinking took on the air of surreal detachment, and there was never any panic on a large scale...

I think there were some locked gates, American immigration laws of 1912 required that- But i think in many instances 3rd class did not enter 1st class because noone came down to say it was okay- The steerage may have felt it 'was not thier place' to cut through first class, even if there was easy access.
It was this Edwardian class segragation mindset that is alien to the modern Elizabethans-

And every other person seems to think a new Titanic is being built! That must have been the most popular myth...


Tarn Stephanos
 

Dave Gittins

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One that amazes me is the number of people that have heard of the Olympic/Titanic swap, even though they have little interest in Titanic and probably have not read Gardiner's silly books.

There are also those who think the lack of lifeboats was something unusual and only happened through some wicked conspiracy of White Star.
 
Mar 18, 2000
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That 'most' survivors did not see the Titanic break apart. Very few actually claimed to see it sink intact - and most of those were Titanic officers!

That the British Inquiry lifeboat launch times are correct.

Tarn: I wouldn't say "By all accounts" relating to panic. There was the crowd that Gracie reported coming out of the Grand Staircase lobby, just as the bridge was dipping under.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Then there's the stoker who survived the Titanic, the Lusitania and the Empress of Ireland and/or the Brittanic - and in one version eventually comes to grief on HMS Hood.

And of course another all-time favourite ... the curse of the mummy.
 
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Good point Bill...
Was it in Gracie's book or his testimony at the inquiry when he made mention of the crowd coming from the grand staircase lobby?
 
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Hillary Kidd

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Dave wrote: There are also those who think the lack of lifeboats was something unusual and only happened through some wicked conspiracy of White Star.

I got into a heated discussion on this topic in a class about underwater archaeology a couple weeks ago. Many of my classmates assumed that the ratio of lifeboats to people was only a problem on Titanic. Pretty much all the myths mentioned here were brought up. Someone also mentioned a moving-picture theater room on board. Now, maybe I've been living under a rock and need to come up for air, but I've never heard that one before. Has anyone else?

Hillary
 
Jun 4, 2000
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Hi Hillary,

The 'cinema on Titanic' does come up every now and then* - as does the associated furphy that an early version of The Poseidon Adventure was the feature! See The Repository of Lost Legends on Snopes.com for further info.
happy.gif
(Snopes also has a section devoted to Titanic legends.)

* ie https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/5660/5101.html, https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/5921/5185.html, etc.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Oh noooooo....not that mummy! For a dead person, she sure does get around.

A few other myths;

The 300ft gash.
The myth of inferior steel.
The myth of inferior rivets.
Sideswiping the iceberg (Physically impossible given the way ships actually manuever.)
 
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sheila springsteen

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What about the coal fire? Is that a myth as well? I've read theories that suggest that the fire was hidden from inspectors and passengers and may have compromised the ship. Any comments?
 
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Alex McLean

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The story that the sinking was caused by a coal bunker explosion, or by explosives in the cargo. Also during the sinking, the talks of explosions come up a lot. Simply annoying. Also that the collapsibles were rubber dinghys according to a classmate.
 

Pat Cook

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What about dear old "No Pope" - 390904?

And let's not forget Captain Smith and the crew being drunk?

I suppose the ONE myth that WAS destroyed was...Titanic is unsinkable.

Best regards,
Cook
 
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Alex McLean

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Never saw you there, Bob. I guess I was too busy playing Mini Golf.
 
Oct 28, 2000
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My list of myths is less amusing, but consider the source...

1. That Titanic was racing pell mell across the North Atlantic unlike other mail steamers of 1912.

2. That iceberg warnings were ignorged.

3. That one particular wireless message warning of ice sent by Mesaba was put under a paperweight.

4. That no attempts to avoid ice were made prior to the accident.

5. That Captain Smith went to bed or was at least resting at the time of the accident.

6. That an unseen iceberg was suddenly perceived by the lookouts at close range in front of the ship and/or that the lookouts were the first to see the iceberg.

7. That everything was against Titanic that night.

8. That Murdoch issued a "hard a-starboard" command to avoid the fatal iceberg.

9. That Murdoch crashed back (emergency reverse) the engines while trying to steer around the iceberg.

10. That Murdoch's intention was to "port around" the iceberg.

11. That the starboard bow sideswiped the iceberg while the ship was turning left.

12. That all of the damage was done to the starboard side of the ship above the turn of the bilge.

13. That boiler room #6 flooded immediately.

14. That open seams found on the starboard bow by echo sounding were the damage that sank the ship, but greater amounts of open seams found by the same expedition with the same echosounding equipment on the port bow had nothing to do with the sinking.

15. That the rivets were of poor quality and the steel brittle.

16. That the bulkheads were too low and water simply overtopped them like water flowing down an ice cube tray.

18. That the time duration from the accident at 11:40 p.m. to the midnight change of watch was 20 minutes.

19. That Titanic was foundering from the moment of impact with the iceberg.

20. That Boxhall was in the head or having tea at the moment of the accident.

21. That the ship stopped and remained stopped as it sank.

22. That J. Bruce Ismay was a passenger.

23. That Boxhall made a "mistake" in calculating the lat/lon coordinates for the wireless distress messages.

24. That the breakup was a sudden failure of the hull only in way of boiler room #1 and the reciprocating engine room.

25. That the ship disappeared at 2:20 a.m.

26. That the British inquiry was fair, impartial, and unbiased; and that the BOT final report on the sinking is factual.

27. That Titanic represented state-of-the-art ship design and management in 1912.

28. That Lightoller was the only one to wield a "whitewash brush" during the inquiries.

29. That the 1912 maritime community at any time believed the sideswipe/gash/side openings theory.

-- David G. Brown
 

Inger Sheil

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Mind you, not all of the statements can be proven to be false, even if the writer doesn't personally believe in them. Stories about shooting or suicide, for example, can't be put on any sort of par with the Mummy. And take Point 20. above in David's list. I still reject your reasoning for rejecting Boxhall's own statement on this matter, David - and I note that the 'myth' that Boxhall was in the head has its origins in your own book. As far as I'm aware Boxhall never claimed he was in the head, and - to my knowledge - no one else did until you introduced this bit of conjecture into writing on the subject.
 
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