12 Eerie stories about the sinking of the Titanic | Sunday Observer

12 Eerie stories about the sinking of the Titanic

11 April, 2021

I will not doubt your intelligence by retelling you the story of this tragic crossing for the umpteenth time. You saw the movie.

On the other hand, let us go over what you probably do not know; all these little-known stories, these astonishing anecdotes, and these disturbing coincidences that lie behind the incredible story of the Titanic.

You shouldn’t be alive

Masabumi Hosono was the only Japanese aboard the Titanic, and he didn’t hesitate to jump into one of the last lifeboats.

Back in Japan, the man lost his job and was described as a coward by the press. His country considered his attitude as a betrayal of the samurai spirit of self-sacrifice that was considered the national ideology of Imperial Japan.

His name was even included in school textbooks as an “example not to be followed.” Hosono lived the rest of his life in shame.

The premonitory novel

In 1898, Morgan Robertson published a novel telling the story of the sinking of a ship.

The name of his ship was the Titan. It measured 244 metres for 70,000 tons (the Titanic, 269 metres for 66,000 tonnes), three propellers, and could reach speeds of 24 to 25 knots (like the Titanic).

In the book, the Titan could accommodate 3,000 people, including the crew, and there were not enough canoes, but no one cared because the Titan had been declared unsinkable.

In Robertson’s novel, the Titan hits an iceberg on a cold night.

Father Thomas Byles, improvised martyr

Father Thomas Byles was not the Titanic‘s chaplain but a simple second-class passenger travelling to New York to celebrate his brother’s marriage.

Byles, a Roman Catholic Priest, volunteered to hold services and give sermons to the second and third-class passengers.

Until the end, he tried to help and reassure the passengers. Today, the Roman Catholic Church considers Byles a martyr.

The saving birthday

John Pierpont Morgan, the Titanic’s owner, should have been present for the inaugural crossing but cancelled to celebrate his birthday in Vichy.

Black passengers

Louise Laroche, her sister, and her father were the only black passengers aboard the Titanic. They were emigrating to Haiti to flee the racism of France.

The fourth fireplace

The one closest to the Titanic’s stern was a fake. It only had an aesthetic function (to give the impression of power) and only emitted kitchen fumes.

It was used as a storage room, and the ship’s employees stored the deckchairs there.

The legend of the man disguised as a woman to save his skin

A deleted scene from James Cameron’s film takes up this legend. In reality, there is nothing to prove it, but three testimonies of men using the art of deception to save their skins serve as the basis of this legend:

  • Daniel Buckley, a 21-year-old Irishman traveling in 3rd class, admitted in front of the Commission of Inquiry having hidden under the shawl of a woman who told him not to move. He died six years later during the First World War.
  • 5th Officer Harold Lowe, in charge of boat number 14, told the Board of Inquiry that he had an altercation with an Italian man wearing a shawl and a skirt, trying to get into the boat.
  • Edward Ryan, another 24-year-old Irish 3rd class, of whom a letter has been found in which he confesses to hiding under his scarf and bundling up in his coat to jump into a boat at the very last moment.

There were no binoculars

The lookouts did not have binoculars, although they had requested them several times.

But, this indispensable tool, which could have enabled the iceberg to be seen earlier, was nowhere to be found. They seem to have been forgotten in Southampton!

Lorraine Allison

Little Lorraine Allison is the only first or second-class child to have perished in the shipwreck. Years later, a woman attempted to impersonate her, claiming she had survived without much success.

The fierce orchestra

It is often considered that the orchestra played until the last moment. The last hymn played is for many Closer to you, my God, although some testimonies evoke the Autumn hymn or the Dreams of Autumn waltz.

Yet, some survivors claimed not to have heard a single note of music.

Long live rum

Chef baker Charles Joughin survived the shipwreck ‘thanks to’ the alcohol he had drunk: it allowed him to withstand the contact of the frozen water for several hours.

Eye test for everyone

Following the sinking of the Titanic, the White Star Line gave its crews vision tests. This forced Herbert Pitman, the ship’s third officer, a survivor of the disaster, to give up his career as an officer, becoming a ship’s marshal.

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