On April 10, 1912, the newest and largest luxury liner of the White Star Line left Southampton in Great Britain on its maiden journey across the Atlantic to New York City.
Over two thousand passengers set sail that day, many of them, like, for instance, John Jacob Astor, were the cream of society from both England and America. These people were no strangers to elegance, formal evening wear and exquisite jewels, but the opulence of the ship awed even the most jaded.
Extravagantly decorated, staffed with the finest crew and with a kitchen filled with delicious delicacies to tickle any palate, this ship was the match of any luxury hotel. To add to its appeal, the Irish ship builders claimed that, because of its unique construction, the ship was practically unsinkable.
The ship was, of course, the Titanic, and, on April 15, the mighty Titanic collided with an even mightier iceberg about 450 miles south of Newfoundland.
In less than three hours, the ship sank to the bottom of the ocean, carrying to a watery death some of the richest, brightest and most famous people of two continents.
Futility, 1898 Edition About the Titan
In 1898, approximately fourteen years before the sinking of the Titanic, American author Morgan Robertson wrote a novella entitled Futility. In his book, an ocean liner set sail in April on its maiden voyage, hit an iceberg, and sank.
No, not the Titanic, but the Titan, a fictional ship from the mind of the author, created years before the building of such a ship would be feasible. The builders of the fictional Titan said the ship could not be sunk. Morgan Robertson had, unwittingly, predicted the sinking of the Titanic.
The similarities are incredible. Both ships were British, and both were built to accommodate three thousand passengers, although a thousand less than that made up the roster of both ships.
Structural details of the Titan and the Titanic were almost identical, and both ships had a top speed of twenty-four knots. The Titanic left England in April, as did the Titan, and both the liners suffered damage to the starboard side when they collided with their respective icebergs.
Unfortunately, both the fictional Titan and the liner Titanic failed to provide sufficient life jackets for the number of passengers aboard.
John Rowland, Futility’s hero, is a disgraced former Royal Navy lieutenant, who’s a drunkard. After being dismissed from the Navy, he’s a deckhand on the Titan. Then ship hits an iceberg and sinks. There aren’t enough lifeboats.
He saves a former lover’s daughter by jumping onto the iceberg with her. Rowland finds a lifeboat washed up on the iceberg and they’re rescued by a passing ship.
Comparing the 1898 Edition Titan with the RMS Titanic
Obviously, there’s striking similarity between the names. Another similarity is that the reprint of the original edition was published in Mansfield, Ohio and the original publisher was M. F. Mansfield.
The differences between the ships, for the most part, don’t seem to be that great.
– Both collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic due to excessive speed and both ships had too few lifeboats
– Both were launched in April and their disasters happened in the same month
– Both were the largest ship afloat. The Titan was described as one of man’s greatest works. The Titanic was deemed unsinkable and a wonder of its era.
– Both had a displacement of 45,000 tons
– Both had three propellers and two masts
– Titan sailed from New York to Liverpool; Titanic, Southampton to New York.
– It was the Titan’s third voyage; Titanic’s first
– Titan was 800 feet long, weighed 45,000 tons; Titanic, 880 feet long, weighed 46,328 tons
– Titan had fifteen watertight compartments; Titanic, nine
– Titan had 40,000 horsepower; Titanic, 45,000 horsepower
– Titan’s speed, 25 knots; Titanic’s, 24 knots.
Titan and Titanic Coincidence or Synchronicity?
Coincidences are when events happen by chance, although it seems that they might have been prearranged.
Psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung coined the term, “synchronicity,” which is a connection of two or more psychological/psychic phenomena without causation. It’s experiencing two or more events that are causally unrelated happening together in a seemingly meaningful manner and unlikely to occur together by chance.
Some propose the incidents are held together by a higher power. Events may be grouped by both cause and meaning. Meaning is a complex mental process, involving conscious and subconscious influences. Every connection doesn’t need to have an explanation in terms of causation.
The question is did Robertson have subconscious precognition, knowledge of the future, when he wrote the book based on the sinking of the Titan or were all the parallels the result of mere chance?
Morgan Robertson wasn’t the only one who predicted the sinking of the Titanic. Journalist William Stead of the Pall Mall Gazette had several premonitions about the sinking of a luxury ocean liner.
In 1882 he wrote a short story that paralleled the details of the sinking of the Titanic. Stead, also a spiritualist, received warnings from several mediums of his acquaintance not to set sail on the Titanic.
The temptation to make the sea voyage and mingle with so many celebrities was just too great. He chose to sail on the Titanic, and was one of the passengers who perished.
Of the over two thousand passengers who bought a ticket on the Titanic, an unusually high number canceled at the last minute. Others just failed to show up for the trip. Did these people also have premonitions about the safety of the ship?
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