Thursday, April 14, 2011

'Titan' in fiction sinks in 1898 -- And Titanic reality of 1912 [Pt2]

How would Robertson have known in 1898 the great ships of the future would have been an average of 800 ft in length?  Probably because they had already started to build such ships like the 704ft  RMS Oceanic which was to be built 1 year later in 1899. Undoubted Robertson read journals describing the future build of passenger ships as well indicating the sizes would be even larger. What about having the ship hit a berg as the disaster scenario? What else could you have? You might have the ship hitting another  as the Titanic nearly did do with the 570ft ship  'SS City Of New York' when it left the port in Southampton [see picture directly above] but no I'd say the more interesting and believable thing, would be using a berg. 

Hitting icebergs were the number one thing feared at the time and being cautious concerning such was top priority for any ship's captain. Robertson imagined however there'd probably be one which would move out into being presumptuous setting aside normal safe protocols.  Can we not imagine a captain of whatever type of vessel making a horrendous mistake today? We'd hope not but who could be such an optimist? Concerning his calling the fictional ship  'Titan' one wonders if he knew of possible names White Star Line were considering when it came to the future build of their ships.

Even if he did I would have to acknowledge it is rather peculiar that he'd guess that right on. It is said as well that truth, can be many times stranger then fiction and here's something to consider. Robertson  in his fictional story didn't have the great ship 'Titan' sink on it's maiden voyage but it floundered rather on it's third trip. Why not it's maiden? Could it be that he felt nobody would believe such a thing and that it would be too much of an unbelievable tale loosing credibility with the readers? After all, with everything or anything  isn't the usual manner common to men to wisely take special care of the whatever thing new? Here's one you may have heard, "Be careful of that new car you might put a scratch on it!" How about, "Be careful with that new ship, you might...." Maybe nobody reading fiction would consider it probable for a ship to sink on it's first journey out.   I conclude by saying again, truth can indeed be stranger than fiction.  

Part 3 Coming Soon!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

'Titan' in fiction sinks in 1898 -- And Titanic reality of 1912 [Pt1]

It's April, the actual month in which the Titanic sank  in the North Atlantic.  I've always thought  I'd like at some point, touch on the Titanic theme and what better time to do so then the date in which it occurred.  No, I won't bore you with the same ole details concerning the event---I'm sure you've heard them all . There are I think a few discussions not directly about Titanic itself but what I'd call,  OTHER THINGS. I trust you'll find them of interest. The first, is something which has mystified or that many have considered quite unusual, something occurring  14 years before the great ship floundered.  

In 1898 a novel was written by Morgan Robertson entitled  Futility and the Wreck of the Titan’ which seemed to describe in an uncanny fashion through fiction the almost identical event as the real life Titanic. Robertson wrote about a great passenger ship in 1898, called of all things 'The Titan'.  The Titan was a brand new ship, on only it's third trip back from New York to Liverpool. The Titan was in fiction, 800 ft long, had 15 watertight compartments and had a weight of 45,000 tons. On it's way back to England it struck an iceberg, in the North Atlantic in the month of April, near midnight. Excessive speed in the running of the ship was considered to be a contributing factor in the disaster, and negligence was cited as well for not having enough life boats on board.

And now the real life Titanic, it had a  name so similar to the Titan, and Titanic was 880ft long, had 9 watertight compartments and had a weight of 46,000 tons. On it's way to New York it struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic, likewise in the month of April at 11:40 p.m.. Excessive speed in the piloting of the ship was also considered to be a contributing factor and also not enough life boats aboard, the same as the fictional Titan. Is that the music of the Twilight Zone I hear playing?  Was Morgan Robertson some type of prophet? A seer perhaps?  Could he have been inspired with certain insights from one outside the realm of time and space as many have suggested? I'd say not.  Consider that good writers do their homework properly researching their subject and theme. How would Robertson have known in 1898 the great ships of the future would have been an average of 800 ft in length? 

[Part 2 coming soon!]