Everyone likes a good conspiracy theory, don’t they? We here at FTN love them. We’d just like to point out that the conspiracy posts are for fun and speculation purposes. We enjoy a good story well told and that’s how these should be viewed…
The Titanic Conspiracy
As with every good conspiracy theory there are usually many different versions of the theory itself and the Titanic is no exception. For the purposes of this exercise I will be looking at just one. (And if you want to research the others a quick google search will throw up lots of results, just make sure you have a few hours spare before you start, it can be quite engrossing!)
The theory I will be looking at is the old switcheroo. Titanic had a sister ship called The Olympic. The two ships were almost identical in every way.
The Olympic had been involved in a collision with a British Navy Warship called HMS Hawke and when White Star Line brought the incident to court it was ruled that The Olympic was at fault. White Star was therefore left with a badly damaged ship in need of urgent repair and unable to collect money for fares.
It was decided that The Olympic would need to be brought into dry dock at Belfast in order to be repaired. It was while the repairs were taking place that the switch is thought to have occurred.
The damage sustained by The Olympic was significant and the initial estimates to repair her so she would be sea worthy again were through the roof. Not only that but the man power it would take to carry out all the repairs necessary would mean work on the Titanic would be delayed by several months taking it past the scheduled launch date of 10th April 1912. White Star Lines owners soon realised that if The Titanic did not go to sea they would be faced with even more money woes as they would have had to refund all passengers and this was something they could not afford to do.
So a plan was hatched, the badly damaged Olympic would be patched up and fitted out to look like The Titanic and any object bearing the name of The Titanic would be changed to The Olympic and all lifeboats on The Olympic were swapped with the ones on The Titanic. It is thought that Captain Smith was to be paid a lot of money if he agreed to deliberately sink the ship. He was given assurances that everyone would be safe because White Star would ensure other ships would be in the vicinity of the accident in order to perform a rescue operation. One such ship was thought to be The Californian. On the night of the sinking The Californian is said to have been positioned six miles to the north of The Titanic’s position and the night crew are said to have become aware of the liner. Shortly after midnight the Captain was informed that the liner was firing of rockets into the night sky but after it was observed that the rockets being used were white it was assumed that the ship was merely having a party because if there was any distress then red rockets would have been used.
All White Star crossings the week of The Titanic sailing were cancelled and to make more money White Star offered the people on those ships a cheaper ticket on The Titanic. So on April 10th 1912 The Olympic dressed up as The Titanic set sail into the Atlantic not knowing what danger lay ahead. The plan was to sail for five days then deliberately sink the vessel in order to claim the insurance money. White Stars rescue ships would be on hand to ensure all passengers were saved and White Star would be hailed as heroes. Extremely wealthy heroes.
But this plan never came to fruition, for on the 14th April 1912, The Titanic hit an iceberg which tore a hole in the already fragile ship and she sank to the bottom of the freezing Atlantic Ocean taking 1,523 souls with her. The ‘Titanic’ perished in a freak accident while its owners tried to stage a fake one. White Star Lines were able to claim money but a lot of this was then paid out to bereaved relatives in compensation. The original Titanic went on to serve White Star Lines as The Olympic for 25 years without incident.
As I said at the beginning, this is just one of many conspiracy theories regarding the sinking of The Titanic, you might even say that its the tip of the iceberg. (Sorry)