Late in the evening on April 14, 1912, the historic RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sank into the icy waters of the North Atlantic, killing over 1,500 of the 2,223 passengers and crew members aboard. To make sense of this tragedy, people over the past century have come up with weird, strange conspiracy theories that were supposedly ignored beforehand. Here, we talk about the craziest conspiracy theories about why the ship sank.
One: It wasn’t the Titanic that sank
This has been a conspiracy theory that often comes up online. We know. It sounds insane but let us explain. Everyone seems to agree on one fact: A ship really did sink in the icy waters of the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912, and approximately 1,500 passengers aboard that ship died. The theory suggests that the Titanic’s parent company the White Star Line swapped ships for the voyage from Southampton to New York and the ship billed as the top-of-the-line Titanic but was, in reality, an older ship: the Olympic.
Two: JP Morgan planned the disaster to kill his enemies
According to this conspiracy theory, millionaire banker JP Morgan planned the Titanic disaster to kill off rival millionaires Jacob Astor, Isidor Straus and Benjamin Guggenheim, who all actually perished aboard. The theory builds upon the fact that Morgan had originally planned to sail on the Titanic but later changed his mind shortly before it took off. Yet it doesn’t offer any real explanation for how he caused the ship to hit an iceberg and kill over 1,500 people, let alone the three men he supposedly intended would die. Apart from this, the theory claims Morgan wanted to kill them because they opposed the creation of the Federal Reserve, even though Astor and Guggenheim don’t appear to have taken any sides on it and the third actually supported it.
Alternative versions of the same theory claim the Rothschild banking family or the Jesuits were the ones who arranged Astor, Straus and Guggenheim’s deaths on the historic ship. As The Washington Post notes, invoking the Rothchilds as international conspirators is “a centuries-old anti-Semitic trope… The Rothschild family founded banking houses across Europe in the early 1800s, and they have been a favourite target of conspiracy theorists ever since.”
Three: Titanic sank because of its watertight doors
Another theory talks about watertight doors. This theory suggests that if these doors had been opened, the Titanic would have settled on an even keel and therefore, perhaps, remained afloat long enough for rescue boats to arrive. However, this theory appears to be far from reality for mainly two reasons, according to Wikipedia: “first, there were no watertight doors between any of the first four compartments, thus it was impossible to lower the concentration of water in the bow significantly. Second, Bedford and Hacket have shown by calculations that any significant amount of water aft of boiler room No. 4 would have resulted in capsizing of the Titanic, which would have occurred about 30 minutes earlier than the actual time of sinking. Additionally, the lighting would have been lost about 70 minutes after the collision due to the flooding of the boiler rooms. Bedford and Hacket also analyzed the hypothetical case that there were no bulkheads at all. Then, the vessel would have capsized about 70 minutes before the actual time of sinking and lighting would have been lost about 40 minutes after the collision.”
Four: A mummy’s curse led to the sinking of the Titanic
One of the passengers who went down with the Titanic was William Stead, a British editor who has been claiming a cursed mummy was causing mysterious destruction and disaster in London. Onboard the Titanic, Stead repeated his tale of the mummy’s curse to other passengers. After the ship sank, a survivor recounted his story to the New York World, and the media picked it up. The next month, The Washington Post ran this headline: “Ghost of the Titanic: Vengeance of Hoodoo Mummy Followed Man Who Wrote Its History.” But the truth is the so-called “unlucky mummy” is still at the British Museum, and in reality, no mummy was ever loaded onto the ship. So, probably it was an iceberg, not a curse, that sank the Titanic.
Five: This one’s about the movie
There is a theory on the internet that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Titanic and his character in The Great Gatsby are the same person. “[T]he movie is obviously an alternate timeline where he survived the sinking of the ship and went on to build a life for himself in America in an attempt to reunite with Rose,” writes Chris Lough on Tor.com, a science fiction and fantasy site. “He survives, builds himself into a party-going showman in the Jazz Age in hopes that Rose will one day appear, but ends up finding love with another woman, Daisy.”