There was no Titanic disaster, and there is another ship at the bottom of the sea: a conspiracy theory on the verge of common sense
Take any historical event about which an incredible number of fact-based books have been written, go online and you will easily find a conspiracy theory that tells you that it was not really like that. But it's not even about the Internet, because the desire to find the hidden even where it doesn't exist has existed for a long time. One of these conspiracy theories, which is very popular on the Internet, says that the Titanic did not actually sink in 1912.
All the details of this somewhat crazy theory were collected by Popular Mechanics. Proponents of the conspiracy theory believe that it's all about large insurance payments.
Did the Titanic sink or not?
It is well known that on 15 April 1912, the Titanic, which at the time was considered a technological marvel, sank in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, taking about 1500 passengers with it. But conspiracy theorists believe this information to be true with one exception. The sunken ship was not actually the Titanic.
Based on rather unreliable evidence, conspiracy theorists believe that the White Star Line shipping company replaced the Titanic with another, but very similar ship, the Olympic. All in order to pull off an insurance scam, which in the end did not go quite as planned.
Olympic and the beginning of conspiracy theories
At the beginning of the 20th century, the British company White Star Line found itself in a market where large and successful players already existed, so the company needed something amazing. The company decided that it was not able to compete with the speed of rival ships, but it could create Olympus-class ships that would impress with their luxury.
Three ships were invented in this way: Olympic, Titanic and Britannic.
The Olympic became the symbol of the new class, being the first to be commissioned and widely advertised. But everything went wrong on the fifth voyage.
On 20 September 1911, while passing the warship Hawke, the Olympic made an unexpected turn, which led to a collision that seriously damaged both ships, and the court subsequently found White Star Line responsible for the incident.
It was after this collision that the conspiracy theory began to take shape. According to its authors, the Olympic turned into an economic disaster for the company, and the lost court case did not allow the repairs to be covered by insurance. And without repairs, the ship could not be put to sea to bring in money. So the situation was somewhat hopeless.
But someone at White Star Line had a cunning idea. Since the company was just finishing the refurbishment of the Titanic, it was decided to rename it the Olympic and send it on a voyage to make money.
It was decided to visually patch up the damaged Olympic after the collision and turn it into "Titanic. This was only to fake a maritime incident that would result in the ship being damaged and sinking. And the company would finally receive the insurance money for it. Meanwhile, the real Titanic would continue to make money for the company under the name of Olympic.
The only thing that stood in the way of this plan was an iceberg that sent the overcrowded ship with people to the bottom at the wrong time.
The evidence for the Titanic replacement theory includes the fact that experts who were supposed to conduct a public inspection of the ship before it sailed were not allowed to board it. In addition, the ships, which were basically twins, allegedly differed in the number of portholes. And the Titanic, which sailed from Southampton, allegedly had the wrong number.
There are other arguments in favour of the Olympic lying at the bottom of the ocean, but historians do not believe them.
What's wrong with the conspiracy theory
Titanic researchers Steve Hall and Bruce Beveridge immediately refute the porthole argument. They point out that both ships originally had 14 portholes, the number of which was later increased to 16.
Historian Mark Chirnside also believes that the story of the insurance claim does not seem very likely, as the Titanic cost $7.5 million to build, while the insurance payment covered only $5 million. Therefore, a conscious decision to sink the ship looks at least financially unprofitable.
He also notes that the ships were not identical inside, so it was impossible to simply change the inscription on the Olympic and pretend it was a different ship. Moreover, the renovated restaurant and unique cafe on Titanic were widely advertised in the press.
He also notes that in 1911, after almost a year of operation, additional steel plates were installed on the Olympic's engines, which had remained in place during inspections in the 20s and 30s. These plates were not present on the sinking Titanic.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL also talked about James W. Bancroft's book, which describes the surprising circumstances surrounding the Titanic tragedy, which suggest that the ship was doomed.