Ep. 17: Error 401: The Titanic
Did the Titanic actually hit an iceberg, or was it sunk by a rich man's conspiracy to commit murder? Or was it a mummy in London cursing whoever it saw fit? Find out about these and other theories as Shannon tells Emma about her all-time favorite morbid fascination!
Speaker A: I know what you mean. Even though that's not how you spell uh it, no one can see it. Mhm was it happening? Yes. I just decided to turn it on and not wait for anything because otherwise I'm still having to cut out the very beginning of me leaning back against this creaky ass thing. That's true. Okay, how do we do this? Hello? Okay, it's been like two weeks. Not even didn't we do anyway? I don't know. Now sounds. Hello. Hi, I'm Shannon. I'm Emma, and welcome to this podcast. Doesn't exist. Why are you laughing at me? Because when you said Hi, I felt like I looked over and your jaw was, like so tight. You look like a ventriloquist jump. Hi. Not the creepy way. I don't know. I don't know. You want to know who had a ventriloquist dummy? Is it Lean? No, it's my father. Oh, that makes sense. So when he was a kid in the it must have been 60s something because he was old enough to know better than to get a benchmark. His parents got him one for Christmas and there is this creepy picture, and if my dad has it, I will find it and we can post it because it's one of the funniest family photos that we own. But uh it's my dad adorable, tiny dad. And my uncle is sitting on one side of him at the table, and then on the other side of my dad is this French filicus dummy in a chair. And my dad is like, looking at the dummy, like, all excited that he got a dummy for Christmas. And my uncle, you can tell in his eyes he's like, what the hell is that thing? I'm going to stop you because this is my episode. I'm so sorry. We're not going back to Robert the Doll Creepiness uh creepiness. My parents really enjoyed that episode, though, by the way, they listened to yours too, on the way back from dropping Liam off at College. They listen to yours on the way there and they listen to mine on the way back. Thanks, mom and dad. Yeah, we appreciate the support. Speaking of support, have you subscribed to our podcast? We know we're listening. You're listening to this right now, but have you? What about the future episodes? What about the past episodes? They're all waiting for you, so you should subscribe. Also rate and review while you're at it. If you're feeling fancy, let us know how you feel about us. Do you like us? Do you hate us? If you hate us, don't say anything because I prefer I do that enough to myself. Yeah, I prefer to know if people like me invalidate me. Thank you. Do you feel like we have forgotten how to talk because it's so early in the morning or is it just me? I've never known how to talk. That is true. Is that helpful? Does it make you feel better? Yeah. I feel like there are moments on every podcast where we both sound slightly like a robot, but hopefully like a friendly, healthful robot. Not a scary one. Are you afraid of robots? I mean, I have a healthy dose of fear. Our overlords are going to rise up against us someday. That's why I always say thank you to Alexa and Siri, just in case my Google Home won't turn um off until I say thank you. They're training. See, now I want to make people's devices don't know. Are you sure? Yeah. If I deem this to not be okay, then I'll get rid of it. But what would you think would be an appropriate thing to ask? Alexa or Echo or Google Home? I love the years turning all of them. You're welcome. Okay, mhm this will only work for a specific genre of people because they have to have the right device and the right app. We'll find out. But see if we make friends or lose them. Alexa play the Wellerman on Spotify. You said that so perfectly well. I really want her to hear me. That's fair. So I hope you're listening. Well, I guess if you're listening to a sea shanty, you're no longer listening to us. You're uh a terrible marketing decision. But I feel like a C. Shanty sort of relates. Does it? Yes, because the question up for today. No, that's not how we work the question up for debate today. Emma, is this. How did they build Titanic? What? Or rather, how did they sink it? Who is they was the most famous sinking in history. A set up. Dude, I'm so excited. This is one of Shannon's very favorite mysteries and things in the world. Anyway, so this is so. It's so true. I'm so excited. It's one of my middle school morbid fascinations. But I had not heard. I did not realize there were conspiracies about the sinking of the Titanic. But I guess this podcast has taught us that there are conspiracies about everything. Absolutely everything. So buckle into your life preserver. She started to reach for a seatbelt, you guys, but I got confused when you said life preserving. First I got to put life preserver on. Yeah. Get it over my head. Yeah. And then I got to do it on both sides of the side and then got to make it really tight around me. Yes. All right, I'm done already. All right. So for any skippers, which, first of all, Emma, do you think that we have enough fans to have skippers yet? Like, skip ahead, people. I've never been a skipper, so I don't really understand the principle of it. We'll have to ask Declan. Isn't he a skipper for certain things? For my favorite murder, he is. They've gotten a little. I listened to an episode recently, and it was like 45 minutes, but it's just nice because we aren't around friends anymore. My main reason for listening chatting. But then I uh realized it was like 47 minutes and they were just getting to the episode. I was like, all right. I don't feel bad when our episodes are 51 minutes total and theirs are like an hour 47. They have more tenure, too, though. But yeah, it's true. To answer your question, I don't think we have Skippers just yet. You better not juggling. I don't think, though, that's a reflection on our fan base, I guess I don't like saying that. No, on our listeners. Um i think it's more of a reflection on the fact that we generally get right into it. We try. Yeah, it's true. I think it's more than the middle that we take detours. Yeah, I'm happy with that, though. Yeah, we're hilarious. You're welcome. But do you have thoughts and feelings about the length of the show? Please share it with us. You can send us an email. This podcast doesn't firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you like a uh short and sweet, like, 30 to 40 minutes episode? Do you care if I go off on a national treasure tangent for an hour and 15 minutes? Let us know. This is not a national treasure podcast. This is not. Also, it's not a Ghost Adventures podcast. It's not a Zack Vegan podcast. I watched three episodes last night. Oh, my goodness. Ignited. I love it. My favorite old married couple adventures. Yeah, that's going to be you, though. It's going to be uh you. Anyway, the reason I asked about the skippers is not that I'm concerned that we have them. Although if you are a Skipper, like to each their own. I just ask mainly uh to make fun of you. Me? Yeah, because I was going to say, for any Skippers who are familiar with the old RMS Titanic, feel free to skip ahead. I'll be reviewing uh the basics for Emma because she refuses to watch the movie and I will forever mock her for it. Okay, again, I have seen the movie. This is one you've actually seen, unlike other sad movies that I make fun of you for. Yeah. So I've never seen The Notebook and never will I. But no, for Titanic, I have seen it. I just saw it when I was really young and so it's just um in my brain as something traumatic. So I'm just like, yeah, but I am so very excited because it is now one of my favorite musicals. The storyline itself is beautiful. I was, in fact, listening to the cast recording last night while I was doing my research and I was like, oh, I'm really glad that Emma and also everyone else. Nobody uses the desktop version of Spotify where you can see on the Sidebar what your friends are listening to. Hi friends. This is how I check in on you to see if you're sad, um because sometimes I get a little concerned. Do I need to text you and make sure that you're doing a song? How many times have you listened to the same Taylor Swift song over and over? I'll just send you a gift of a puppy just because. Um yeah, because then I don't know, I was paranoid that it'll give it away. And then I get very paranoid that we're going to spoil each other, which also leads to me being paranoid that we're doing the same thing, which Emma assures me we're not. And I guess she can confirm that now. So I still don't know what next week's episode is going to be about, and neither do you. All right, Emma. The year was 1912. What? The White Star Line was ready to premiere the second of its iconic new ocean liners, the Royal Male ship Titanic, her sister ship. And the headliner of the White Star Line, the Olympic, had made her seafaring debut when she was launched on October 19, uh ten and commissioned on June 14, 1911. By tradition, the White Star Line never christened any of their vessels. Vehicles? No, any of their vessels. And for the launch, the Hull was painted a light Gray color for photographic purposes, which was actually a common thing to do with the first ship in a line in a new class um because it made the outline of the ship cleaner in black and white photographs. So after the photographs uh were taken, the Hull was painted black for, like, normal usage. Fascinating. But I guess it would be too blurry against the water in a while to put into it. Yeah, I just thought that was interesting. That is really interesting. And they never used champagne either. So what you think of in your head of, like, Christmas ship? They didn't do that. That just was the Whitestar uh traditional. Traditional. So the White Star Line at this time in the early 1900s was facing a growing challenge from one of its main rivals, the Cunard Line, which had just launched the Lusitania and the Mauritania, the fastest passenger ships then in service. Also, the Lusitania um didn't end well for that ship either. But we don't have time for that. That's another episode. Uh that's another episode. But I do remember there was this book in my middle school library, which I feel like middle school libraries are quite sad. Like, you go to an elementary school uh library. There are a ton of books. Right. Because you have to have picture books for the little kids and like middle grade readers, chapter books. And it's colorful and it's great. And then you go to a middle school library and they recognize that this is the first time that you've had to do actual school work. So there are it's very small and dingy. I feel like I was one of the only people to actually go to the library at my middle school. Of course you were. And I checked out a lot of books about figure skaters. Of course you did. And there was also this one specific book that was like it was relatively short, but it was kind of a summarization or an anthology uh of all these shipwrecks because I was fascinated with shipwrecks and Lusitania was one of them. But anyway, not the point of today. Interesting. Yeah. To have in a middle school library. I mean, it was, like, geared towards young readers. I love that. It's so good. That's the kind of author I aspire to be here's this very morbid thing. Enjoy. Yeah, I put pictures in it. Dude. Feel free to cut this out if you feel like it's not relevant. But there was this book. I think I've told you about this book before. There is this book called Buried in Ice. Yes, you have told me about this. I might do an episode about it. I don't really know if it's like a conspiracy or an unsolved thing. I'd have to like, I wonder if our local library has that book. Potentially. But I remember they had photos of these mummified sailors because they were buried in ice in the Arctic or Antarctic. So they were, like, terrifying, uh like archaeological photos. So they were not, like, intense. I remember when I um would read it because I checked it out from my elementary school uh library multiple times. They should have had a therapist on your real quick. As if I wasn't already in therapy. Psychiatrist is like, yeah, no, um we've already got her, actually. Honestly, shout out to my little Department of Defense uh Dependent schools elementary school, because uh we actually had a fair amount of support. But it was very clever. What they did was there were different little groups, and each group had, like, a little paper symbol. I think ours was like a pink Seahorse, and it was on your desk and had tape on it. Oh, I see. But that meant you didn't know what they were for. So unless you were also in the pink Seahorse group, you didn't know it was for, like, kids whose parents were getting divorced Seahorse. Yeah, me and my friend Annie and a bunch of other kids were in that group, but I don't know what the purple seashell group was there for. It was so nice. So uh everyone got to have their support, but it's not time. But it wasn't like, oh, you're in the Dyslexic group. They gifted. Okay, this is a very long rant. I'm so sorry, y'all. I mean, you might edit it. Who knows? Yeah. I genuinely dislike because I hate using the word hate. Genuinely dislike the idea of a space called gifted and talented to separate children from the, quote, unquote normal classes, the peasants. Yeah. It's very interesting to me because what ends up happening is that it's not that the gifted and talented kids are like, oh, I'm gifted and talented. Well, there are a couple. Well, Noah Miller, I'm talking about you. Whoa. Call out. He's never going to listen. Oh, my God. But he deserves it. In any case, there's very few kids in that group who are like, oh, my gosh, I'm gifted and talented, aren't I special a lot of the time. Neurotic and anxious. Those kids are us, the neurotic, anxious, nervous kid, because you're supposedly gifted and talented and you're like, but what if I'm not? What if I'm not living up to the potential that somebody has already placed for me when I was in second grade? So I would appreciate if when I eventually have children, when we eventually have children, that there is a system in place that makes sure that you are better or worse than anyone else. You have opportunities to advance in classes, but it doesn't mean you're better than the kids who do my experience. It's also you have a lot of niche, interests, talents. Because in our middle school, gifted, talented was not. It didn't have any bearing on which classes you could take or anything like that. That was like a separate thing. But we got to do special projects um about architecture, and we did, like a debate unit for us. I remember because I was only ever placed in the gifted and talented section when I was in fourth grade. And it was because I was reading well above my level, and it's because I like to read. Um but when I was placed in there, it wasn't necessarily that. It was like, you can't take another class. This is basically a study hall for you to sit here and do whatever you want. Almost. I would have loved that. I uh didn't mind it, but I also was kind of like, why am I here? I would have loved that. I just had a recovered memory. Oh, my God, this is so long. That in fourth grade, also, Emma and I haven't seen each other in person. Sorry, guys. We just talked about do we have Skippers? Feel free. I just had a recovered memory of four um th grade gifted and talented class. The only thing I remember from my class is that we had to try and build out of, like, a shoe box and toothpicks and tin foil and the Saran wrap. We had to try to build a device that would Cook a hot dog in the sun. I remember doing it with cookies. I don't remember uh not being hot dogs. Well, I think because the hot dog is technically already cooked, we're just trying to warm it. Warming it. Anyway, back to the Titanic, right? The Lusitania is to blame for that whole detour that we just took on. We um wouldn't go into the Lusitania, but we could definitely go into the dog. Oh, my God. All right. So. Right. The Cunard Line fastest passenger ships in service, the Lusitania being one of them. So the White Star Lines chairman, J. Bruce Esme, knew that his ships could not compete in terms of speed necessarily. So he decided to bump up the luxury opulence uh for all of our RuPauls drag race fans out there. You own everything. Uh cross off your fandom reference on your bingo card if you haven't already. Go ahead, Tom King and Haley. Haley. As should we all. Someday. You'll watch it. It'll be great. All right, so all three of the ships in this new White Star line in the Olympic line of ships were constructed in Belfast, uh Ireland, by the ship builders Harland and Wolf, um who had a long established relationship with the White Star line dating back to 1867. So I've actually been to the Titanic Museum in Belfast. Yes, you have. And you bought me a necklace with an acre on it. Yes. It's so good. I think other people uh on my study abroad trip were a little weirded out. And I was like, oh, not everyone is obsessed uh with the Titanic. Like me. That's okay. I'm going to have fun anyway. You're lost. I remember a lot of people um sitting in the lobby because there was free WiFi for one of the first times on our trip. So people were like, telling me to talk to you, timing or whatever. And I was like, who needs friends or family? I'm going to go learn about the second class. Bye. So the construction of Olympic began three months before Titanic to kind of spread out the workload on uh the shipyard, which makes sense if you got all your welders, they maybe finish their phase and then they can start over here. I don't know anything about building chips, but that makes sense to me. You kind of, like, spread out the production line. A fun fact that I learned in my research was to accommodate the construction of these massive ships. Harley new Wolf upgraded their facility, combining three slip ways into two larger ones, which just goes to show you how big these ships were that they were like, usually this space takes up three moderately sized boats ships. What's the difference? I don't know. But now we're going to have two. Both ships took approximately 26 um months to build, respectively. So just over two years, although the construction um on the Titanic kept being delayed because of repairs to the Olympic. Oh, so, yeah, they were like uh less than over here. At one point, they had to steal um a propeller from the unfinished Titanic to put it on the Olympic. We'll get into it more later. All right, here are a few stats um for you for any numbers people out there. When completed, both ships individually obviously weighed 46, um 328 tons, and the Titanic was um 882ft and nine inches long. That nine inches is very important, which is 269.1 meter and was 170. Uh 5ft or 53.3 meters from keel to the top of the funnels. Tall Jeez, which I'm not a numbers person, so that doesn't mean anything to me. I mean, we all know that the Titanic was massive. It was, in fact, Titanic a little bit of ominousness for you. Six um people died on the Titanic while she was being constructed and fitted out, and another two died in the shipyard work, shops and sheds of anything in particular. Safety standards were highly um lacking at this time. So, like, falling metal or wood or construction that's fair in my head for a second. I went. So was there, like, one dude who was actually really sick the entire time and over the course of almost two years, just ended up dying. And they added it to the actually lung cancer. Yeah. Blaming the cursed ship. No. Yes, ma'am. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. Thank you. Time. Um i had to take her out before I left. Massive shit. Hopefully she feels better. She also hates having the cone on. Yeah. All right. So the Titanic successfully completed her C trials on April 2. Twelve. Just eight days prior to her maiden voyage. Wow. A variety of systems were checked, including the Marconi wireless transmitters, and they performed a crash stop. So they go from pretty close to full speed to a complete stop. And that took approximately uh three minutes and change. So pretty good. And the ship was tested up to 21 knots, which is a measurement of speed for anyone who doesn't know. On Wednesday, April 10, 1912, Titanic's maiden voyage began. Leonardo DiCaprio decided to Stow away. He didn't Stow away. He won a ticket playing cards with his friend Fabricio. That was significantly louder than last time. I was buried in my titties before you titties soaked it up. Truly, they do. Can you stop thinking I couldn't remember uh her name. Kate Winslet Rose. But yes, that's the actress's name. After making several stops to pick up passengers, Titanic cast off for the final time on April 11 at 130 P. M. To uh quote Miss T. Swift herself, anything bad happening aboard those first few days was nearly champagne problems, at least for the first class passengers. Maybe not as great for the folks down in steerage, because classism capitalism not great, but overall nautically uneventful. Until April 14, at 11:40 p.m., the ship collided with an iceberg that fatally wounded the ship, affecting its supposedly watertight series of compartments. Another Taylor Swift quote. Long story short, it was a bad time. It's Taylor Swift. Quote. Yes. From her most recent album, I'm Sorry you boomed me. I'm sorry. Long story short, it was a bad time anyway. Not to make light of the situation, nearly um 1500 souls were lost in the sinking, making it the most deadly peacetime shipwreck in history. There was only the bare minimum of lifeboards. There was only the bare minimum of required lifeboats aboard. Excess boats had been cut for aesthetic purposes. Um the wrong reason. Yes. But who cares about safety when the first class needs more deck space and the requirements for the number of um ships had not inflated with the times as these more massive ships were being committed? That's not good. Yeah. Uh not great. And to add to the not greatness of it all, many of the lifeboats were deployed only partially filled, which further contributed to the loss of life aboard the ship. Partially filled, as in like didn't have the capacity that it could hold in terms of people. Yeah. They were launching lifeboats hassle because the crew was not prepared. They had never done any sort of safety drills with the passengers aboard. So everyone was freaking out. They were worried. Some passengers didn't trust the lifeboats because they were being lowered from the sides, which was like a massive 175. I mean, they weren't being launched from the top of the funnel. So 100ft in the air still. Yeah. So a variety uh of calamitous circumstances uh combined for all of these things. I'm not getting into the Nittygritty because there's lots of information out there. And you know what? We're here for conspiracy. I would end up running out of breath somehow. Yeah. I don't know. You got to weird. I got to take a huge breath. Well done. Thank you. All right, so we're in the conspiracy category. We're starting out strong with a cursed mummy. What? Sorry. One of the victims that went down with the illfated ship was an English spiritualist named William Stead. So for several years prior and up to the sinking, he had been spreading the story that occurs to mummy was causing all sorts of havoc to take place in London. Audience ever just took a sip of tea. That was maybe not the best time. I wasn't prepared. I said cursed mummy. I know. I just find it funny that there's a spiritualist running around London going, it's because of a mummy. Yes. And he's on board the ship. He's telling the story. It's because of a mummy, which is truly just like great cocktail hour conversation. Um heck, yeah. If we were on the boat, we would have cut across that immediately. Hi. Please continue your story about this cursed mummy. Yes. All right, so a month after the sinking, a survivor shared Stead's tale. And the Washington posted the following headline, Ghost of the Titanic, vengeance of who do money followed man who wrote its history. So this guy that was talking about the money, the spiritualist, he died when the ship went down. So a month after the sinking. I get it. People are trying to make reasons. And it got your attention. When I said curse, mommy, uh I did appreciate the article that I read that pointed out um that these sort of, like, curses and myths surrounding these kind of artifacts are really reminiscent of colonizer guilt, of uh feeling bad that you stole from a native people and were probably terrible to them. Like the King Tut curse, which actually was proven to be just illness. I think it was like the dust or the mold or whatever that they ended up breathing in, ended up breathing, destroying them. And they were like, oh, my God, it was a carrots. It's like biology. It's way more exciting. It's like the same on witch trials. It's like, oh, they have some funky bread. They did have some funky bread. It's a moral funky bread. Just wanted to say funky bread again, guys, it is just now 10:00 A.m.. And for both of us, that is early. I was up till two this morning. Um yeah. So we're going a little flat. Happy. I apologize. Also, I'll be very honest with you. And again, feel free to cut this if you don't think you don't deem it interesting or appropriate. I don't deem you honest enough. Not bad. But I feel like for me personally, the uh last two episodes that I posted, they went really well to, toot. But now I'm nervous. Last night. I think that's part of the reason why I was, like, nervous to start, like, we was Atlantis. I was so nervous about Atlantis um anyway, so we should focus because people uh don't like it. You have to go to work at some point. I'll talk faster. I won't some link the mummies curse, quote unquote, to Egyptian um artifacts that survivor Margaret Brown, aka The Unsinkable Molly Brown, really did take with her on the Titanic to deliver to a Museum in Denver. She was awesome. Long story. In sync with Molly Brown. She was one of the first women in the United States to run for political office and ran for Senate eight years before women had their right to vote. Yes, girl. And she has her own musical titled The Unsinkable Molly Brown. So check it out. In conclusion of this conspiracy, there was never actually um a real mummy on board. Yeah, that was my next question. No, the mummy is still in the British Museum. It's a particular mummy. Yes. That this guy was blaming it's from like 945. 45. From the future. From the future. A future mummy that would bring a curse. Yeah. Space mummies. That's like a Doctor Who episode. We don't have time. We don't have time. But there will be a photo of the mummy in question on the Instagram at um this podcast doesn't exist. There's a lot of photos for this episode. There's a lot of photos for this episode, most of which are of boats, as one might expect, but enjoy. All right, next option. Espionage spies, sort of. So, even though the Titanic set sail two years prior to the start of World War I, some speculate that a German Uboat, not an iceberg, is to blame for the disaster. This would predate the sinking of the Lusitania as the aforementioned. In 1915, a German Uboat torpedoed the British ocean liner off the coast of Ireland, killing nearly 1200 people in front of a US Senate um inquiry panel regarding the sinking of the Titanic. Several survivors, including passengers and crew members, testified that they had never felt an impact or heard any sound when this supposed collision with the iceberg happened. Whoa. However, they did hear four explosions from within the depths of the ship to perhaps torpedoes the question Mark. Uh i've never heard that many survivors reported seeing a search light across the water. Some claim that this was from the SS Californian, the ship now most famous for its inaction during the Titanic disaster. But the Californian's captain swears it was not his Searchlight, but that instead it came from a vessel located between his ship and the wreckage of the Titanic. So theorists claim that this was perhaps a German Uboat torpedoed popped up to survey the damage and then shrunk away into the night. Oh, my gosh. I've never heard this before. You want to meet a comment on your hands? No, I'm just having fun. We're both so tired. You're more tired than me. Mhm you're done? Yeah. I felt like you were having a thought about the UVA theory. No, I don't have any thoughts on it. It's just fascinating because it's not something that I've ever heard of before. I'd heard about the Californian and the fact that they basically did nothing while the Titanic was sinking. But I had never heard before that they hadn't heard the impact, and I had never heard before there was a Searchlight. Yeah. So he could mhm have been saved even if he hadn't gone on that door. Oh, I know. We're not picking anyone up, though. The Californian put up in defense of the Californian. They were in an ice field, so they couldn't move till morning. It was still, like, still sad. Yeah. Anyway, Anywho onto another theory that I've never heard of before, which means I probably haven't. No, this one's less scandalous and more just kind of scientific, but I'm referring to this as the coal bunker theory. So, around ten days prior to its maiden voyage, the Titanic had a fire start in one of her coal bunkers. This fire continued for several days into the voyage. This is a relatively normal thing to happen. Though coal has been known to spontaneously combust and start uh a fire, it is a flammable substance. So standard procedure to extinguish the fire would um be the use of fire hoses or to move the coal on top to another bunker. Or removing the burning coal and feeding it into a furnace starting on fire. Chuck it into the fire. Yep. So theorists claim that this prolonged fire um somehow weakened the structural integrity of this Titanic Hull and or one of its bulkheads, thereby exacerbating the effects of the iceberg collision. Wait, so the hole made of metal was weakened mhm by fire? I don't know. I know that metal and heat, so long as it's hot enough, will make it bend or malleable or anything, but I don't know, somehow I am not a scientist. What? I know. Fascinating, right? Yeah. Not a scientist. It just sounds iffy to me. Maybe you're wrong. Tell me I'm wrong. I dare you. Welcome to the call out episode we're airing. Grievances. Say me, for those of you listening at home, which is all of you, Emma just did this weird robot puppet arm thing. Thinker guns. Oh, I just saw this. Anyway, I think your guns visual bits. Very good at that. Some point to this coal bunker fire as part of the reason the Titanic was traveling so fast at the time of the crash because there's so much coal feeling it. Yes. So remember, the Titanic had only been speed tested up to 21 knots, but at the time of the collision with the iceberg, they were traveling at 22 knots, which is just two knots below the ship's maximum speed. Uh they had also received numerous ice warnings from different ships in uh the area. But if they were trying to feed all of this, quote unquote bad coal that was um burning into the furnaces, this would have resulted in an increase in speed. So some point to that. Most experts and Emma dispute the idea that um any structural damage could have been done because of this fire. And then here's a we quote for you. It has been suggested that the coal bunker fire actually helped Titanic to last longer during the sinking and prevented the ship from rolling over to starboard after the impact due to the subtle Port list created by the moving of coal inside the ship prior to the encounter with the iceberg. So this idea that because of the fire, they had redistributed the coal in a way that they wouldn't typically have done if that hadn't happened, it would have been like gas insided. Yeah. Um much quicker. So there's a lot of science for you, probably fake science, but something to consider science. We all learn something about coal bunkers today. Next up in the conspiracy list, we have religious superstition. Uh okay, just continue. Yeah. One myth claims that Catholic employees at the shipyard. Yes, ma'am. Those Dingdang Catholics. Sorry, sister something. We'll be seeing you. She'll be seeing you after class for detention with the ruler. What's funny is that every nun I ever had that taught I went to Catholic schools. Any nun that I ever had teach me. I never had any bad experience. But I was talking about this with Josh last night because my mom did. My mom was a lefty until a nun slapped her across the wrist with a ruler one too many times when she became a righty. But um I never had a bad experience. But I also went to these Catholic schools, like in the early 2000s in pretty large cities. So it would have been an issue, I think, if there had been a trial to be. Yeah, my head went rapping none. But like a rapid, she's ready to lip sync to her life. She's a rap Queen. All right. As I was saying, so sorry. One myth. I'd like to point out that my notes for this episode are only seven pages long. I'm very proud of you. And my usual episodes are 14. I feel like this episode is still going to be the normal language it is because I can't keep my mouth shut. Thank podcast true. So one myth claims the Catholic employees at the shipyard of Harland and Wolf were freaked out that the Titanic's ship number 3909 space four, when reflected in a mirror, like on the water backwards reads no Pope. Yes, you're right to laugh, because this is total Tosh, like, not real at all. For one, there was no such number on the ship. Like, ships weren't labeled with numbers. The main number related to her was her yard assignment, which was Friday Terror. Wow. It was a glitch in The Matrix. Uh we're all just in a gods video game. Truly, though, that's another episode two. There were um no Catholics working at Harland and Wolf because they had driven them all away. This is Belfast, Ireland. The late eighteen hundred s. And they were known for only hiring Protestants at this point. Yes, this is Belfast, Ireland. Belfast, right. I think that's correct. I think if you were Irish, you'd say like Belfast. It is Belfast, though. Yes. Correct location. Correct. I thought you're requesting pronunciation. No, you are correct. So that's completely made up. Not uh relevant. They don't like the Catholics in the Orange County. No. Next up, we have a little theory. A low one. A low one. Uh i don't have a lot of information about it. A little. In 2010, Louise Patton asserted that her um grandfather, Charles Lighttoler, who died before she was born and he was the only surviving crew member or one of um the only surviving crew members from the Titanic, claims uh that the helmsman, Robert Hitchens, initially panicked during the iceberg encounter and turned the rudder in the wrong direction, which init caused the collision at a more aggressive angle. Basically, if they had just kept straight or like the correct way, they skimmed it. So this theory is actually what got me started on um this topic, because fairly recently you sent me a Tik Tok. I did. I remember sending a back one. Yeah. I could not find it. For the life of me, I did go on last night, scrolling through our messages, trying to find it. I'm sorry. No, I'm sorry because I sent you so many because I was trying to link it in the show notes. But if I find it, um I might be able to find it. Yeah, but anyway, that's what started at all this time. Also, I understand not wanting to disrespect the dead. So I understand why Charles Lighthole wouldn't have said anything closer to. He's one of the only ones that survived. I get it. Not one fingers. That someone who ended up dying. Yeah. So the next theory is that the sinking was an elaborate cover up for marriage. Wow. That's a very elaborate cover up. That then results in much more murder than you anticipated. Sorry. Well, when you're a millionaire, you do what you want. Is this a Vanderbilt? No. You just named the first rich person you could think of. Yeah. No conspiracists claim that American financier J. Pierpont Morgan. Morgan. Here we go. Who controlled the White Star Lines parent Corporation. The International Mercantile Marine Company, orchestrated the sinking as a way to eliminate three other prominently wealthy Americans. Jacob Aster Isidor Strauss and Benjamin Guggenheim, all three of whom died in the sinking. Jp Morgan was initially booked aboard the Titanic, um which makes sense. You own the parent company. This is a big deal. You'd want to be on board. Right. But he canceled a mere day prior to the ship's departure. Suspicious. Um how did he orchestrate the sinking? She hadn't just waved me away. I don't have time for this. Did you send the German Uboat suspicious? No. Shed. Yes, shed. It's very suspicious. No, Emma, not really. Not really suspicious that he canceled so close. He was actually kept in Europe due to delays with shipping his art collection. He needed, like, an American Inspector that was delayed. So he sent his regards uh off to the Whitestar. I will not be available for the Maiden via it. Yeah. Basically, this doesn't work out. One, based on what Emma pointed out, like, how on Earth would you orchestrate that? And two, it doesn't really make sense because this theory claims that Morgan wanted to kill these men because they opposed the creation of the Federal Reserve. But Aster and Guggenheim had not publicly taken a stance and Isador Strauss actually supported the creation of the Reserve. Well, then that doesn't fly. No. To add to the insanity of all of this, this J. P. Um morgan cover up conspiracy has been taken up by uh QAnon. Oh, golly. As one of their theories that uh they believe that's not even pertinent. Well, in other um versions of the theory, they like to blame the Roth Child family, which is their Jewish. Yeah. Antisemitic banking money. Um qanon sucks. Moving on. And you're going to love this theory. Okay. I think it's fascinating, too, and I'm shocked that I'd never heard of it before. I'm very excited. She moved her classes. Finally, Emma, the final conspiracy is that the Titanic never sank. I can see your face. You're very confused. So confused. They do not claim that there was not a shipwreck. It was just not the Titanic. Yes. So some claim that the ship that went down on April 15, 1912, was, in fact, originally launched as the Olympic. So the primary proponent of this theory is Robin Gardner. He wrote a book um in titled Titanic. He wrote a book in titled Titanic, the Ship mhm that never Sank. Question Mark. There is a question Mark. Okay. So how does this parent trap situation go down when you're dealing with two ginormous ocean liners? Yeah, that seems a bit much. In September 1911, Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic, mhm collided with the British cruiser HMS Hawk in the solemn I don't know how to say that I could have looked it up, but I didn't. Which is a channel separating the Isle of White from Great Britain. Oh, yeah. The Solent. Uh i don't know what it's called, but yeah, I know where we are now. Well, that's what it's called. Okay. I just don't know how to pronounce it. I feel like you're right. The student. So the Hawk um was equipped to basically head butt other ships. It was a military ship. Oh, why? It was designed to head butt other ships with its bow. So it put quite a gash in the side of the Olympic, which uh forced her to return to Belfast for repairs. Here's a little photo. You can see the big old gas Lane side of the ship. Again, you can see this photo on the Instagram. So there was a trial after this, um like a court trial, which deemed that the Olympic was at fault, although multiple witnesses were uh like, no. Basically, the way it was described is that the Olympic was making a turn um and the Hawk was surprised at, like, the turn radius and didn't get out of the way in time. But because the court found the Olympic to be at fault, the insurance company, Lloyds of London, would not cover the cost of their repair. Oh, golly. So the WhiteStar's flagship would be out of action during its extensive repairs. And the Titanic's completion date, which was already behind schedule, would have to be delayed. So it's just compiling problems. Titanic was already running behind. Now it's going to be further behind because the Olympic is back in the shipyard for repairs. So the conspiracy theory States that in order to both make and recover money, the White Star lines conspired to swap the sister ships so the damaged Olympic would go out in Titanic's place with a plan to purposely sync the ship. I can't read and talk at the same time. That's an issue purposefully. What's the difference? There isn't much. All right, roll it back. The damaged Olympic would go out in the Titanic's place with a plan in place to purposefully sink it as safely as possible to collect the insurance money, while allowing the original Titanic to be finalized and relaunched as the elaborate flagship of the line. How do you safely sink a ship? We'll get there. So most fixtures and outfittings on the ships were standard issue to the White Star line, with just a few items on board bearing a specific ship's name. So the bells, the lifeboats and name plates on the ships were easily swapped. Everything else just said White Starline. It didn't say, like the Titanic. Some people point to the sea trials as evidence of this. The Olympic, originally during its sea trials, spent two days at sea. For these trials, uh the Titanic only had one day. Some suggest that the Board of Trade did not feel the need to test out the Titanic extensively. Since the two ships were practically identical, it would make sense not to push the speed during Titanic speed trials if it were secretly the damaged Olympic. So if they took the original Olympic, just kind of did a patchwork job of like, okay, this looks it doesn't have this giant gas inside anymore. But maybe things are a little bent, maybe not up to code, but if we're going to sync it. It's fine. But like, oh, we don't need to speed test it because that would reveal the conspiracy. So to answer your earlier question, conspiracists proposed that the plan sinking would be due to slowly opened seacochs, which is a word that I learned, which are valves in the Hull of a ship which are opened to bring water aboard for cooling purposes or to release waste water. So it's normal to have these open, which things I didn't know about boats. And this would cause a slow enough sinking that there would be plenty of time for nearby ships to ferry passengers from the same Meanwhile, those ships, if this was the way that it went down, those ships probably would come by and be like, uh did you close your seacochs? Have you checked? Well, Emma, actually, the theory shows that all of the nearby ships were also belonging to the International Mercantile Marine. I can't talk. It's okay. Actually, Emma, uh stop laughing me. The iceberg was, in fact, actually a rescue ship from the parent company, the parent Corporation, the International Mercantile Marine Company, IMM. They just didn't have its lights on. That was the iceberg. Yes. So the idea was, oh, we were going to safely sink the ship, but because the rescue ship didn't have its lights on, we crashed into the rescue ship instead. Oh, my gosh. And then the rescue ship did nothing. Well, if it was also damaged, I don't know. They don't have that. The ice on deck on the Titanic that was reported to be seen uh after this iceberg collision is said to have come from the rigging of both ships. So, like, if they knocked together, it would have loosened out any ice that was um in the rigging. Also, Gardner, the main proponent of this theory, does not think that an iceberg would be capable of causing as much damage uh as another ship. So if it had been an iceberg, maybe they just would have gotten a scrape or like a little puncture. But it had to have been another boat. But did the other boat sink? Why haven't we found it at the bottom of the ocean? Like, right where we found the titanium. But according to Gardner, the emergency flares that were seen by the SS Californian um were actually from this rescue ship, not from the Titanic. And this would explain some of the confusion and the inaction on the part of the Californian, because they, as another IMM ship, were expecting a rendezvous, not a rescue. They were expecting this rescue ship to pick up a bunch of passengers, which I'm like, how big is the rescue ship if you're going to but I guess I don't know. I don't know. I don't have the mind of a conspiracy theorist. This all seems very, very convoluted, too. Okay. I mean, most conspiracies are, but as I mentioned before, I had never heard this theory. I guess they tried to keep conspiracy theories kind of out of middle school libraries and thought it was totally nuts. Totally not possible, just like you, until I saw the photos. So I found a Reddit thread which like grain of salt. Uh but also this Reddit thread was mentioned in uh an article that I read. Okay, awesome. So folks at home, you can play along on your Instagram. Um folks at home, you can play along on your Instagram. I'm going to walk Emma through a series of photos. Okay. So here you will see the Olympic in dry dock in Southampton. I want you to pay attention to the five innermost portholes uh that you see at the top. You see this white band, there's a bunch of portholes here. You'll see these final five, you got too close together. A space, a single porthole, a space, two other close together. Right. Okay. All right. Next up, you'll see the Titanic under construction. You'll see here these final five, the most innermost five portholes are evenly spaced. Correct. And you see the side says Titanic. We get it. Next up, you'll see the Titanic at harbor before it's departed for its maiden voyage. What do you see here, Emma? You see those five innermost portholes, too close together. A space, single porthole, a space, too close together. So if they had swapped the ships, why would they read through the porthole? There would be no reason. Because it's already built. Right. And the Titanic hadn't been to C yet. So why would they need to change the portholes? Furthermore, Emma, also, I just love this little man uh sitting in the corner. Actually, very sweet. Furthermore, this, you'll see, is a photo of the quote Olympic after it had been repaired when it had sailed to New York. What do you see, Emma? Evenly spaced portholes. Yes. By um this theory, the evenly spaced porthole ship was originally the Titanic, but this photo was taken after the sinking of the Titanic. I will say one little like Skeptic comment is that this photo is the only one taken from the other side. The first three photos are all taken. I don't know ship terms. So like starboard or starburst, whatever the other one is, Starburst, I think I'm not going to do this again where I'm too long. If you care, you'll look it up. Think Star was right. I need to do it. I don't want the possibility of being right so badly. I do. She's willing to fall on her own sword. I do. So if this were the case, the true Titanic, the ship originally built as the Titanic, went on to spend 25 years in service now as the Olympic um and was scrapped for parts in 1935. She served in World War I and afterward returned to civilian service as a glamorous ocean liner, hosting celebrities such as Marie Curie, Charlie Chaplin and Prince Edward. Then the Prince of Wales. She was dubbed Old Reliable, which I kind of love, because if they were swapped, did that mean that the real Titanic was truly unsyncable as old reliable. We love that. In truth, it just doesn't add up. Uh those two portholes on the Olympic were refitted in March of 1912, well before the sinking of the titanium. So they got evenly spaced portholes. Uh dang it, you have me convinced. I, too, was convinced. Not a single artifact, however, recovered from the wreck of the Titanic. Boy, the yard assignment, number 400, which is the Olympic Titanic. Exactly. So either there was an incredibly meticulous cover up team uh or it never happened. And this included the woodwork, all of the things. Not just like, oh, I picked up a bench and it said this number and not that number, which makes sense. If you're building two ships simultaneously, you would stamp the bottom of fixtures with the ship. That's the whole purpose of having the numbers, which shipyards to bring it to. Furthermore, the insurance policy, which is the center of this whole elaborate proposed cover up swap situation, was for a near £5 billion, whereas the Titanic cost £7.5 billion to construct. So would it really have been worth it? No. Okay, but talk it through with me, because I could not do this at two in the morning. This was like there's too many numbers. So assuming both the Olympic and the Titanic cost approximately? 7.5 billion to build, the Olympic is damaged and they're not going to get any insurance money from the previous accident. Mhm so if they sink it, they get £5 billion and their fancy new ship that has never been damaged can start carrying passengers and stuff. It's not a bad idea. Having 5 billion is better than no billion. But also, I'm sure the repair on the ship was an equivalent to 5 billion. I don't know. I've never repaired an ocean view. I haven't had to go, obviously, but that's my guess. Yeah, I don't know. But anyway, that's all I've got for you. Go listen to the musical. Yeah, the musical is great. I'm surprised that you didn't mention this, but there is a book that was written a few years before the Titanic was even announced as a thing, and it was called the Titan, and it was about a ship that crashed into an iceberg and sank. And it was a novel. And there's this whole conspiracy about it being like a prophetic book and it's a white starline, like someone involved with it, read the book um and was like, oh, I like the vibe, I guess. I don't know. But I remember that from a while ago. I obviously don't have all the research of the details, but that's what I remember. Yeah, I don't know. My follow up question that I just thought of is, would you ever travel on a recreation of the titanium? No. You're too superstitious? No. Well, I don't know if it's superstitious. I just hate the idea of cruises. All right, that's fair. There's also that recreation of the Titanic somewhere in Tennessee. Or something, right? Yes. There is a man quoted in one of these articles who's the head of the Missouri and Tennessee Titanic exhibition. I'm like, why is that there? What's, in the middle of the country? I mean, no offense to the Midwest, but I guess kind of offense. Sorry. But like, uh is there such a dearth of culture that you just have to pick stuff up and be like, this is the thing now, foam Henge Titanic experience. That one place that shows Jesus riding dinosaurs. My gosh, that is in Tennessee, because Shelby sent that to us. The little video of that, like the whole recreation of the Titanic. I think it's in the Mississippi River or something somewhere. I don't know. I'm speculating. Uh but they have the portion of it which freaked me out. And I was like, I absolutely would not get on this thing because it's an actual ship that you get up and go into and look around, and there's a portion of it where it's like a portion of the stairs, like the servant stairs or shipstars that is uh blast off. And every so often it will fill with water, the same way uh that the Titanic would have filled with water when it was sinking. And it's like you sit there and watch it and. No, absolutely not. Shannon is very excited. Shannon wants to go. I do fine. You can go to that. And I will go find something else fun to do in Tennessee. I'm going to go find an ice cream shop. The same way. Deep fried something. Yeah. The same way that you will go and watch drag Queens while I investigate Zack Bagan's haunted Museum. Goodbye. Goodbye. I don't know why it is that the haunted stuff doesn't freak me out, but the actions, you're very empathetic. You're like, oh, real people died. Yeah. Not to say I'm unempathetic, but it's also fascinating. I think for you, the history is more of a draw. Whereas I think it's sort of like how I felt with Georgia Tan and the Tennessee Children's Own Society. It's awful. It's horrible, but it's like, how could this happen? It's like if we don't talk about it, if we don't research it, if we don't pay attention to it. Yeah. Those people suffering becomes meaningless or like, I don't know which I think is empathy. It has to be. That's true. That is empathy. You're not a nonempathetic person. I know. I appreciate the fact that I am empathetic in very different ways. I think you don't like crying. You're incredibly, visually empathetic. I think, yes, I can't deal with the actual versus. I'm more like experientially. Um i've realized that when I watch movies in my house by myself, I'm less likely to cry. But if I'm in a movie theater and it's a giant, like, overwhelming experience, there are people around you. What's happening with you? Not so much people in that sense, but like, or I compare it to if I'm sitting in my car listening to a CD, maybe I'll cry, but probably not. But if I'm at a concert and it's this group experience kind of thing, or if I'm at a Museum and I like the Titanic Experience in Belfast, you go on this little people mover sort of ride. It takes you through the construction, the different stages and things. But then you do a walk through and this exhibit, um it's like glass off. So it's not like you can stand in it, but it shows um you like, this is an example of a second class cabin, and you can see how small it was and how like. And it'll kind of experiencing it that way and I don't know. Very cool. I'm glad that you find it cool. I uh would have been the kid sitting in the Bobby. No, I would have died, too. And I would have been crying the entire time. Yeah, that's true. We both cried during the opening number of Titanic. I cried during every opening number of every musical. I cried during the opening of Lion King. Yeah. And Parade. But that one, I knew what was coming. So I was like, this is so heart wrenching. This isn't related at all, except that it's theater. But those videos that I own TikTok where it's like numbers that are going to get emotional. Standing uh ovations. And Broadway is allowed to happen again. I started crying during the whole day. Even if it's just some rinky Ding community theater production. Don't care. The overture is going to start, and we're going to be like, uh rinkydink. I would relive the worst community theater experiences of my life right now. That's how much I want to be in theater. It's a fall out episode. I would do Annie again. I knew it. You know how much of a roller coaster that was? I used to text Jonathan, you should and be like, hello, would you like to single handedly put together a production? Let's keep screaming, children. He's a superhero. The children didn't scream. They were just. They were miked and they were loud. Oh, see, I was hardly ever on stage with them, which was great um being an audience member. They were miked and loud. And I was to someone. I think it might have been Rose sitting next to each other. Bother and I are like, this is very loud. I don't know. It was Eric on one side, Rose on the other. There we go. So you were incredibly short. Yes. Any fools. I hope you enjoyed hanging out with us. I guess at the beginning we should have told you, get a cup of something warm, settle in, because this is going to feel like you're at a coffee shop with us getting distracted, catching up different thoughts and feelings. We have a lot of them. Yeah. I mean, we've already plugged our email. We've already plugged our Insta. We've already made sure to tell you to rate, review and subscribe share it with your enemies. Share it with your friends. So I think that we've covered it all, have we? Sorry. I was waiting for that to be done. I can't hear it all. Your boobs are soaking up and sound one self got the sound. If you put this in, I'll kill you. Okay. Hold on. I'm going to make a joke. Hold on. I'm going to make a joke. I just composed myself first. My brain can't do it right now. Yeah, Emma, shut up. Yes, uh Emma. Um and like the likelihood of these conspiracy theories being real, remember this podcast doesn't exist so messy. Oh my God. Do you want to do it again? Hello. All right. Bye.
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinking_of_the_Titanic, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanic, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanic_conspiracy_theories and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Olympic
The History Channel: https://www.history.com/news/titanic-sinking-conspiracy-myths-jp-morgan-olympic
The Huffington Post: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/-did-a-german-uboat-sink-_b_1413770
Popular Mechanics: https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a26533526/olympic-titanic-conspiracy-theory/
Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/titanic-sinking-conspiracy-theories-2018-4#the-ship-was-attacked-by-a-u-boat-3
The Washington Post (possible paywall): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/08/04/how-j-p-morgan-didnt-sink-the-titanic-and-other-qanon-conspiracy-theories-debunked/
The National Archives (UK): https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/titanic/stories/margaret-brown.htm
Titanic: A New Musical: https://open.spotify.com/album/6C4TnyShiHnUHzJojd2gCV?si=zUeZ-Du_Rd2zWJoBtVYGIQ