On 14 April 1912, the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg off Newfoundland. This sinking killed 1,513 of the people who were on board the largest ocean liner in the world at the time.
The ‘unsinkable ship’, as it was called, became one of the greatest maritime tragedies in history, which will be 111 years old in 2023.
But perhaps the story is not quite as it is told. We are not referring to the romance between Jack and Rose in James Cameron‘s film, but to what happened, when the ship sank. There is a widespread theory that the ship that hit the iceberg was not the Titanic, but her sister ship, the Olympic, all in a ploy to collect the company’s insurance.
The theory: Titanic didn’t sink, Olympic did
The official version says that they hit an iceberg and the ship sank. The giant chunk of ice grazed the ship, starting to flood the holds and then every compartment of the ship. The blow caused a 120-metre-long breach in the hull, yet experts say underwater ice from an iceberg could not cause a crack of that size in the 2.5cm double-plank steel hull that covered the Titanic’s structure.
It points directly to the ship’s captain, Edward Smith, who is said not to have changed course south to avoid the larger icebergs. He was a sailor of 25 years’ experience and knew the route perfectly, so it is surprising that he did not act after seeing seven iceberg warnings issued earlier that day.
Furthermore, as can be seen in the film itself, the lookout was unable to see the iceberg any earlier because he did not have his binoculars at his disposal. Nobody knew where the keys were that opened the cupboard where they were kept.
There were many coincidences, also taking into account that five days after the Titanic left, another ship of similar dimensions and belonging to the same owner, J.P. Morgan, left loaded only with blankets and jumpers, and remained anchored close to the scene of the disaster.
The Titanic left Southampton harbor with half the lifeboats. The ship had a capacity for 3,327 people, but there were only boats for about 1,178. But the company, White Star Line, stressed that this was for aesthetic reasons, so as not to overload the deck.
What’s more, the Titanic’s radio was switched off minutes before the collision, missing an iceberg warning from a ship called California. Forty minutes later the Titanic crashed. Another detail concerns the flares used. The SOS flares are red, but Captain Smith‘s ship fired the white ones, symbolizing celebration.
What was the purpose of the sinking?
All this led to the collision and sinking of the liner. It was said that the aim was to deceive the insurance company. In fact, Captain Smith had previously commanded the Olympic, which had a collision with an English ship, which, not being insured, could not be repaired, while the Titanic was repaired by the company.
Both ships were moored in the same shipyard, it is said that at that time the hulls were renamed.
It is an accident that is also related to the creation of the Federal Reserve. Morgan wanted to create the Federal Reserve – which acts as the US’ central bank but is in fact privately owned – but it was something that not everyone wanted, such as Guggenheim, Strauss or Astor families, who, coincidentally, were travelling on the Titanic.
Moreover, another detail is that J.P. Morgan, despite the fact that it was his ship’s first voyage, decided not to go on it, as did 50 of his partners who also supported the creation of the Federal Reserve. This Federal Reserve was created in 1913, a year after the sinking.
As if that were not enough, trips to the depths of the ocean to see the wreckage of the ship in 1985 found no 120-metre-long breach, but 50-centimetre holes in the hull, explaining that they had been caused by explosions from inside the ship.
In addition, they say that the ship’s propellers say “Olympic” and not “Titanic”. So, the theory is that Morgan used the ship to get rid of his enemies and collect the money from the insurance company.