Your help needed in refuting a wild theory


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Tim Hatcher

Guest
I recently ran across an online review of James Cameron's TITANIC which includes what I think is a ridiculous assertion about the actual sinking. The writer states that "there wasn't one, single 'thinking' person anywhere on the ship" because no one thought to take off the doors and use them to float on, in the absence of enough lifeboats. He goes on to claim: "If there had been even one real 'thinking' person on this ship during its sinking then he/she would've realized that removing all the doors and using them as floating boards could've saved, pretty well, everyone on board, except for, maybe, a few idiots."

I commented on his idea, pointing out that it was hypothermia, not drowning, that claimed most of the lives, and that even if doors had been used in the way he suggests, those who clung to them would have still succumbed to the cold. His response to my comment, as I expected, was to ignore the point I had made and to defend his claim that a person on a floating board has a better chance of survival than one without a board. I can't argue with that, of course, except I do doubt that a passenger floating on a board could have avoided hypothermia long enough for the rescue ship to arrive.

I would appreciate it if anyone interested would go to the review, read it, and if you feel inclined offer your own comment to him. To me the writer is so proud of himself for his groundbreaking idea that my own rebuttals would be pointless, as internet debates usually are. Even if you don't care to comment on his review, it makes for entertaining reading, especially to Titanic enthusiasts who have a deeper understanding of the facts surrounding the tragedy. And if by chance you think he's right, do let me know.

The review can be found at http://www.matchflick.com/movie-review/12710-9117. It is written by "Billybob".

Thanks!
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
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Dec 3, 2000
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Another ridiculous theory, by someone who does not have any clue as to what they are talking about...

The crew did not have the necessary tools NOR more importantly the time, to be removing doors from the ship to be used as floating rafts. If more energy was put towards doing that, rather than lowering the lifeboats, then many more lives would have been lost.

They only had two hours and forty minutes to work with, to get as many people as they could off the ship as quickly and effectively as possible. They did the best they could with what they had.

Could they have done better?

Yes.

quote:

If someone with some real insight had gathered together a sizable team of helpers with axes and other tools to remove as many of these solid-wood doors as possible, then the Titanic would never have been remembered as the worst ocean-liner disaster in history.

That sentence reeks of total ignorance on the writer's part and he has obviously failed in understanding and recognizing the pressing issues, that were facing the crew that night. In any sort of disaster, no matter how many steps are taken to try and prevent loss of human life, people are still going to perish. It's tragic of course, but that's the fact of the matter.

This reminds me of another outrageous theory involving the iceberg.

One word: RUBBISH.​
 

Matthew Farr

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Apr 14, 2010
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Tim,

First of all Welcome to ET.
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As for the review you mentioned above, I read it and was totally floored by the writers lack of knowledge on the Titanic. The three scenes he sites as being plagiarized from ANTR are actual events from the sinking! of course they would be in both films. The door idea is ridiculous and I will not comment on it further. I left my own post on the review site as well

Regards
Matthew Farr
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Tim, it seems to me like you already did a decent job in refuting the position taken by "billybob." The problem with trying to deal with people like this...with inconvenient things like facts...is like trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

All other considerations aside, the people on the Titanic hardly had time to ransack the ship for anything that could float, and when you only have a reletively few light tools to do the job and effectively less then two hours to get it done, they were seriously overmatched.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>I had made and to defend his claim that a person on a floating board has a better chance of survival than one without a board. I can't argue with that, of course, except I do doubt that a passenger floating on a board could have avoided hypothermia long enough for the rescue ship to arrive.

They might have lived long enough, however, for the lifeboats to return and pick a few of them up.

Using the Lusitania, my pet project and ANOTHER disaster in which the majority of the victims died of hypothermia, I can tell you that in the 50-55F water:

Within the first 45 minutes everyone who was caught without a lifebelt and with nothing to cling to had succumbed to hypothermic exhaustion and sank.

Within two hours people with lifebelts but nothing to cling to could no longer move their arms, and were beginning to fall into stupors. By the three hour mark, most of these were in deep shock or dead.

After three hours, people who had draped themselves across small objects- hen coops, boards, oars, could no longer maintain their grasps and were letting go and drifting off, alive but in shock. By this time rescue craft were on hand, and subsequently many of these people were saved.

Those who managed to get onto doors, piano tops, deck lockers, etc, were chilled and stuporous but alright. As were those on the swamped collapsibles and overturned boat.

The guy goes a bit over the top, but his point is not entirely stupid. With a crew of 900+ on hand, the inertia shown in actually USING them has always been a puzzle. There was no shortage of stewards, cooks, bath attendants who COULD theoretically have been put to use in a non-lifeboat lowering capacity. Hell, no reason why they could not have been used to free those two collapsibles.

Instead of calling the guy stupid here, you COULD refute his point on the actual site by mentioning that the splitting in half of the ship left the surface of the ocean strewn with all manner of debris on which to cling yet, ultimately, it did not help. And that it would be hard to get the doors, furniture, and such into the water in a place where people could reach it after the ship sank.

Titanic DID borrow heavily from ANTR. I'd hate to have someone beating my shins with a hammer until I could find ANY evidence that Hartley said something to the effect of "It has been an honor playing with you" anywhere other than in the ANTR script. But, there it is, again, in Titanic. Likewise, as he pointed out, the blocking for Andrews' final moments is laughably similar....and since no one lived to TELL about those last moments, again I'd hate to be beaten until I could furnish proof that the scene was accurate in either film.

From the other site:

>Third, in response to you post to Tim. Water is actually an insulator and will not carry heat away as long as you are not moving around a lot. The water in the Atlantic was 32 degrees that night and the air temperature was 29 degrees. Theoretically if you were in the water you would be warmer than if you were on a door exposed to wind.

By that theory, then, should not those on collapsibles A and B died, while at least a few of those in the water survived? If those in the 29F air were that much colder, yet mostly survived, then at least a few in the 32F water should have as well...but didn't.
 

Will C. White

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Apr 18, 2007
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I always say when death is certain, try anything, but that's the biggest hoot I've heard in quite a while. Much better chance just to overload the boats, or even just load them at rated capacity. Still, no matter how you slice it, a lot of people were going to croak-there weren't enough seats and if the sea was any colder, you could've sliced off a chunk. WILL
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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The only figures we have on sea temperature come from Captain Lord, a few miles away. To quote myself---

"Captain Lord's own temperature observations show that between 4-00pm and 8-00pm the sea temperature dropped from 36°F to 32°F (2.2°C to 0°C). By midnight, it was down to 28°F (-2.2°C)."

He made the air -2.8C at midnight. There wasn't much in it.

What the comedian quoted overlooks is that there is precious little buoyancy in an ordinary wooden door. Anybody trying to float on one would be half sunk and that's after getting soaking wet while finding it. The records show that in round figures about 1,550 people went into the water and about 50 lived to tell the tale. Some died even after making it to a boat.

The story about Andrews that appears in both movies rests on shaky ground. It comes from an unidentified witness quoted in Bullock's life of Andrews, but it's very hard to find a survivor that was in a position to see what was claimed.
 
May 27, 2007
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quote:

Yes, there was, George. It's possible it was Fang Lang, but it's speculative.

I knew there was a passenger who was Asian who lashed himself to a door and I remember reading or posting in those threads but I just couldn't remember the names.

quote:

Happy Birthday, by the way.

Thank You. Another year older but no wiser it seems.
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May 27, 2007
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Hopefully Mr. Fong Sum (Married Name) Fong Wing Sun\Fang's grandson will post some more info about his Grandfather in that last thread. Interesting to say the least.

Getting back to topic that is at least one passenger who survived by lashing himself to a door. Does Officer Lowe make any mention of this in his testimony for the Senate Inquiry or during the British Inquiry
 

Russell Smith

Member
Jun 18, 2009
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That reviewer is such a dig dong I didn't bother to post a response.
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quote:

I mean, it wasn't just because of the fog that this ocean-liner struck an iceberg and sank.
FOG!?? What an idiot!

And he fails to account for the fact that most passengers & crew didn't believe the ship would really sink. Not to mention the mysterious ship in the distance that some thought was coming to their rescue. Using his logic, all the passengers should have gotten drunk like the baker who survived 2 hours in the water because all the booze he consumed that night acted as a sort of anti-freeze.​
 
May 27, 2007
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Hey Russell,

I wonder if next he'll mention Rigel the Newfoundland dog who towed a lifeboat to the Carpathia, his joyous barks signaling to Capt. Rostron that he was coming and that Molly Brown ran Lifeboat #6 with a revolver or the tragic story about the lady who refused to leave her great Dane.
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Russell Smith

Member
Jun 18, 2009
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Or maybe that story I once heard from a Tin Hatter that Captain Smith rammed the berg on purpose to prove to the world that the Titanic was truly unsinkable. I swear to God this guy I used to know actually believed this.
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Then again he also believed that the Twin Towers was a CIA inside job.
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Tim Hatcher

Guest
Don't you love it when ignorant people get angry because you disagree with them? The outrageously ignorant Billybob I referred to in my first post above just gets more and more outrageous. His latest stunt is to delete my comments about his "review", and also to delete Matthew's comment. In addition, he accuses me of fabricating Matthew altogether. It's short enough that I"m going to quote some of it here. I have deleted the swearing:

"T-T-T-Tim, or should I call you Matthew? After looking at Miss Matthew's profile I believe that 'Matthew' is really just you trying to drive your ridiculous point home by making it look like you've got the support of another member. Guess I'll never really know. And, frankly, I don't give a wet **** about your assinine opinion, or Matthew's.

After checking out your dreary, little profile with your sucky reviews of Mary Poppins and friggin' Debbbie Reynolds, I don't think you are in any position to be criticizing, or finding fault, or 'correcting' anything that I've written. What I wrote about the Titanic was thought from my own head and not taken from any website, which none-thinkers like youself get your info from. What I wrote may not have been accurate, but it was certainly 100% more interesting than your ***** Nashville review.

Go **** yourself!! Or maybe you should **** Matthew. Don't bother me any more! OK!!!?? And the next time you fake a profile, at least make it look a little more authentic, you dizzy *****!!"

I really had let this rest, but couldn't resist sharing this. I have reported him to the website management at Matchflick.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Tim, you would probably do well to part company with that particular forum if it's causing you this much heartburn.

Beyond that, it would be well to refrain from any further discussion of this. However much it may be deserved, forum trashing is really considered very bad form.
 

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