Maiden Voyage of Doom – Mysteries Still Shroud the “Titanic:” Christine’s Chronicles


Over a Century Later, Research Unearths More Mysteries About the “Titanic’s” Sinking

May 17, 2009

A cursed Egyptian mummy, a barking ghost dog, and death by delayed shock depict the tip of the iceberg regarding the mysteries that still shroud the Titanic’s maiden voyage of doom.

In the early morning hours of April 15, 1912 glowing electric lights eerily illuminated the inky black, shimmering water as the Titanic’s gigantic stern lurched upward into the air, towering crookedly in the cold darkness. Crushing waters angrily shattered the ornate glass dome that once bedazzled affluent first class passengers, and thousands of personal belongings and pieces of furniture were washed away, into the sea’s vast expanse.

Peruse this collection of mysteries, myths, legends and facts that still fascinate millions a century beyond the Titanic’s tragic plunge to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean:

Dangerous Premonitions

A number of people may have foreseen the Titanic’s pending disaster:

* “Futility” was a story that spun the tale of the British ship “Titan,” which struck an iceberg at a high rate of speed and plunged to the ocean’s bottom, causing many deaths. It was authored by Morgan Robertson in 1898.

* One person felt so strongly about the Titanic’s fate that this potential passenger abandoned ship in advance, and declined to board the Titanic in Southampton.

* More than one clairvoyant attempted to warn of the Titanic’s cruel fate, but their predictions were not taken seriously.

Canine Catastrophe

As the Titanic sunk, survivors saw a woman submerged in the water, clutching her dog. The following day, a seaman who was helping to recover bodies heard a dog barking. The problem with this situation is there were no dogs nearby, but the barking persisted throughout the recovery mission.

Decades later, when the Titanic’s undersea ruins were discovered, one of the explorers reportedly observed a dog running haphazardly upon the ship’s deck.

Severe Delayed Shock

The last known survivor to leave the sinking Titanic was retired U.S. Colonel Archibald Gracie, who clung for dear life to the railing of the uppermost deck just prior to the final wave that swept the Titanic to the ocean floor. He was saved from a half-submerged raft hours after hitting the frigid water.

He passed away in December 1912, and his physician and family members opted to believe that the severe shock he suffered as a result of the Titanic’s demise was the true cause of his death. Reports indicate that Gracie became so obsessed with his horrifying experience that he contacted other survivors and gathered material for his book entitled, “The Truth About the Titanic.”

Although his death was officially attributed to a complication of diseases, the timing was ironic because Gracie had just finished his manuscript and sent it off to be printed when he was struck with his final illness.

Just prior to his passing, Gracie uttered, “We must get them into the boats. We must get them all into the boats.”

Cursed Cargo

For nearly 100 years there has been much speculation regarding a cursed mummy’s role in the Titanic’s cruel fate. The story surfaced when the initial survivors of the Titanic hit the shore. They graphically told the tale of a fellow passenger, William T. Stead, who disclosed to them that he had brought a cursed Egyptian mummy on board. Stead, a notable chess player, shared his story with them the night before the Titanic sank.

Egyptian Princess of Amen-Ra was laid to rest around 1050 B.C. in an ornate wooden coffin near the Nile River.

Four wealthy Englishmen visited Egypt in the 1880s, and one of them decided to buy the Princess’ mummy case containing her royal remains. The purchaser of the mummy took the coffin to his hotel. Several hours after the Princess’ arrival, the gentleman who made the investment was observed walking toward the desert, a journey from which he did not return.

Eventually, the coffin arrived in England, where it was purchased by a man from London. Three days later, three family members of his were injured in a road accident, and his house was burned. This chain of unpleasant events prompted the Londoner to donate the Princess’ coffin to the British Museum.

After causing more death and destruction to those who cared for it at the museum, a tenacious American archaeologist bought the mummy for a sizable sum. His name was William T. Stead, and he decided that the notorious devastation that appeared in the mummy’s wake was a matter of coincidence. Stead arranged for the Princess’ remains to be transported to New York.

Stead was well aware of the mummy’s reputation, so he allegedly initiated a secret arrangement for its transport to America. It was hidden beneath a new Renault automobile which was being shipped to the United States. Stead did not tell anyone else about his cursed cargo until April 13, 1912, when he discussed these arrangements with other passengers aboard the Titanic.

Stead’s fellow passengers say that he sat serenely, reading in the smoking room, as she ocean liner sank with him and the mummy of his Princess aboard.

Et Tu Brute?

J. Bruce Ismay, chairman of White Star Line, was nicknamed J. “Brute” Ismay shortly after the Titanic disaster. He reportedly lived the remainder of his life in disgrace because he survived when such a large number of his passengers did not. An ornate marble fireplace from his luxurious suite is still in decent condition and recognizable as of this writing.

Phantom Rescue Ship
Freezing in a lifeboat, Titanic passenger Alfred Fernand Omont claimed he saw a distant light several miles away that appeared to be moving toward him and his fellow survivors. The lifeboat’s passengers yelled and tried to wave the approaching ship down so it might help them, but it apparently sailed away, leaving the desperate people stranded.

Conspiracy Theory

Why was the Titanic’s entire crew demoted one place to pave the path for Henry Tingle Wilde, first officer of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic? Wilde’s assignment to the Titanic was made on short notice, and happened while the Titanic was docked at Southampton.

A rather complex theory has evolved that Wilde’s last-minute appointment was made due to his familiarity with the Olympic because the Titanic was replaced by the Olympic prior to its departure.

This conspiracy theory was constructed in the 1990s, and might explain the appearance of the curious ship that ignored pleas for help from the Titanic’s lifeboat passengers.

The theory alleges that the Titanic was fatally damaged while moored in Southampton by another vessel. Due to the large investments tied to the Titanic’s maiden voyage, it would not have been wise to cancel the journey. Thus, the Olympic was revamped, renamed, and ultimately replaced the Titanic prior to sailing.

This secretive change might have been performed successfully because many of the postcards from the period that showcased the Titanic’s mighty exterior and posh interior are actually pictures of the Olympic, a commonly known fact.

The supposed plan was to choreograph a fire in the coal bunker, which would lead to a large explosion beneath the decks. The damages would be far enough below the decks that it would not injure any passengers. To further ensure passengers’ safety, the Carpathia and other unidentified ships were in the area, ready to rescue the Titanic’s distressed passengers.

The unforeseen variable with this multi-faceted plan was the ship’s unscheduled collision with the treacherous iceberg. One bit of fact that is also mentioned by supporters of this concept is the fact that there were no binoculars available for the Titanic’s crew. This lack of visual tools made sure that they could not see if other ships were nearby.

The problem was that the lack of binoculars prevented the crew from spotting dangerous icebergs in the ship’s immediate path. How could such a huge and commonly used visual tool like binoculars not be available to crew members aboard the Titanic? Because the ship’s supply of binoculars were stashed away in the crow’s nest locker where they were needed them most.

And the key to that locker was not on board the ship.


Historic Facts

* The Titanic carried 1,324 passengers and 892 crew members.

* Lifeboat capacity was 1,178

* 711 people survived

* 1 first class child was lost, 2-year-old Lorraine Allison

* 53 children from 3rd class did not survive

Other known ships supposedly near enough to help the damaged Titanic included:

  • Mount Temple
  • Samson, a schooner that was hunting seals illegally
  • Virginian
  • Dorothy Baird
  • California
  • Carpathia

“Titanic Ghosts of the Abyss,” Scholastic/Madison Press

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