Talk:RMS Titanic alternative theories

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Purposely sunk[edit]

Some conspiracy theorists believe that the Titanicwas sunk on purpose to eliminate opposition to the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank. Some of the wealthiest men in the world were aboard the Titanic for its maiden voyage. Several of whom includingJohn Jacob Astor IV, Benjamin Guggenheim, andIsidor Straus were allegedly opposed to the creation of a U.S. central bank. All three men died during the sinking. Conspiracy theorists suggest that J.P. Morgan, the legendary 74-year-old financier who set up the investment banking firm that still bears his name, arranged to have the men board the ship and then sink it to eliminate them. Morgan, nicknamed the “Napoleon of Wall Street,” had helped createGeneral Electric, U.S. Steel and International Harvester, and was credited with almost single-handedly saving the U.S. banking system during thePanic of 1907. Morgan did have a hand in the creation of the Federal Reserve, and owned theInternational Mercantile Marine, which owned the White Star Line, and thus the Titanic, but that is about where the evidence for the conspiracy theory ends.[5][6]

Morgan, who had attended the Titanic's launching in 1911, had a personal suite aboard the ship with his own private promenade deck and a bath equipped with specially designed cigar holders. He was reportedly booked on the ship's maiden voyage but instead canceled the trip and remained at the French resort of Aix-les-Bains to enjoy his morning massages and sulfur baths.[6] His last-minute cancellation has fueled speculation among conspiracy theorists that he knew her fate.

Edit: This is all wrong, Titanic sank by a iceberg because at night, the could not see well and they did not have their binoculars, therefore, they hit the iceberg, sank slowly bow first, (did not sink sideways) and snapped in half in center, and then sank completely. Whoever made that area, please fix it, it drives me crazy about people who get titanic sinking wrong, and yes, i am correct, I'M A EXPERT AT TITANIC! I STUDY IT EVERY DAY! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1017:B111:F17A:DCF6:70E0:CF19:C131 (talk) 22:50, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

'berg and debunking[edit]

Not sure if it belongs here, but, the latest I've heard is, the 'berg didn't "push in" her plate, it popped her rivets because the iron in them was brittle (or the plate was). Trekphiler 09:07, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

I am an unregistered user...apologioes, but I had to remove some rubish from this page: the debunking section had been got at by someone who clearly believed the ship was scuttled as the ex-Olympic, and this, wasn't the whole point of the Debunking section... remember NPOV


First off, I was not participating in any debunking... Now, re your comments, why not then "debunk" the "official" (aka government sponsored propaganda) version too? That article is clearly written by people who believe in the so-called official version. Why stop here?


But surely if it is valid information, why cant it be posted, how in an unsolved mystery can you draw the line of input of information, if the debunkers points can be debunked, why cant that go on the article aswell, is something is blatantly an invalid comment, just because someone said it, doesnt mean it should be the final word in this debate. Philc -Talk to me baby- 19:28, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

             Phil, please use periods.

Over this morning I've removed all of the anti-debunking items in the article. They strike me as disingenuous, and designed to flog one person's point of view. If Gardiner's work is solid, it can stand on its own; else it deserves to be debunked. Iceberg3k 12:58, 27 September 2006 (UTC)


So, where is the mummy? First time i read the article. Did the mummy exist before the trip? Where is it now? --Striver 13:55, 5 June 2006 (UTC) this was a lie The mummy is an urban legend and there is no historical proof it even existed - desperadonige —Preceding unsigned comment added by Desperadonige (talkcontribs) 15:14, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Not quite, Desperadonige. A gentleman named W.T. Stead wrote a fictious horror story regarding a particular mummy in the British Museum. After Stead went down with the Titanic, the story arose that the mummy itself had been on the ship. Not true--the mummy remains in the British Museum to this day. Snopes has a pretty decent article on it. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 16:16, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Theres more to it then that. Margret (Molly) Brown had been to Egypt earlier that year and was carrying serveral artifacts with her on board. While there wasn't a mummy there were still artifacts on board. The Titanic museum in Branson, MO has on display an artifact that Brown gave to the captain of the Carpathia after the rescue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:58, 4 October 2008 (UTC)


Added link to author Mark Chirnside's dissertation paper discussing the conspiracy theory. It appears to be the most comprehensive analysis/rebuttal of the conspiracy theory available online:

Olympic & Titanic - An Analysis of the Robin Gardiner Conspiracy Theory

Reciprocating Engine Vibration[edit]

Now reads: 'Titanic spent many hours at high speed (for the day, 20+ knots qualified as high speed) on all three days of her voyage (confirmed by both ship's logs and passenger reports), invalidating the assertion that she was somehow speed-restricted during her voyage.'

The statement that reciprocating engines vibrated badly at speeds above 15-18 knots is not accurate, and demonstrably wrong by referring to Olympic's performance in service (and passenger accounts from Titanic).-- 18:56, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Isolated text moved from article[edit]

"The Titanic was sunk on purpose due to insurance claims. The ship captain directed the ship towards the iceberg and then into it, he planned to survive and inherit the insurance, however he also died along with most of the other passengers".

Text moved by Jbhood 18:47, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

re: debunking (Updated September, 2008)[edit]

An individual who most recently attempted to debunk Gardiner's account is a totally shameless idiot who expects the readers to be as retarded as himself and nod to his 'thoughtful' remarks with approval. Go finish your bag of doritos...

   lol, good jokes
Just stumbled onto this article after a very long hiatus. The rationale given for the May 17, 2007 removal of the "debunking" section is just hysterical, given that Gardner's entire theory amounts to little more than "unsourced speculations" (and this article, overall, is fairly poorly sourced too). I'm putting a revised version of it back, and in time will attempt to source each claim to either Chirnside's paper, Beveridge and Hall's work, or discussions by reputable historians on Mgy401 1912 (talk) 18:20, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Would whoever removed the "Arguments Against Gardner's Theory" section please explain their conduct? I've restored it, and really don't want to get into an edit war. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 00:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)


User again deleted the "Arguments Against Gardner's Theory" section. The ostensible reason:

identical nonsense, crafted by a anyone but a researcher, was deleted from this page 2 years ago. please do not reinsert these amateur-made botched up "debunkings"

The arguments outlined in the section stem from two sources--Beveridge and Hall's The Truth Behind the Conspiracy, and Mark Chirnside's on-line article. (The article in its current incarnation cites the first, and links to the second.) Beveridge and Hall probably know more about the layout of the Olympic class ships than anyone alive today, and are also the authors of the seminal "Titanic: The Ship Magnificent" volumes. Chirnside is one of the leading experts on the history of the RMS Olympic.

The arguments are sourced (answering your first allegation of "unsourced assertions"). The sources are respectable (answering your second allegation of "amateur-made" arguments, which I reiterate is hysterical in light of Gardner's own status as the laughingstock of the Titanic research community). Why do you continue to insist on removing them?Mgy401 1912 (talk) 18:33, 26 September 2008 (UTC)


Can we discuss this, please?

Okay; my last edits were reverted by PlanBRecords, who suggests I "use discussion page to reach a consensus before implementing any questionable alterations to the article".

I must confess that seems to be an odd position, considering that no pro-conspiracy editor has posted on this talk page for a year at least. Is it normal for the development of a Wikipedia article to be singlehandedly thwarted by some anonymous "editor" who will not be bothered to discuss his/her actions on the article's talk page?

So, (and anyone else who objects to my adding some form of criticism of Gardner's theories to this article): let's start a discussion as to exactly why it is problematic for this article to include counter-arguments to the discussion of Gardner's theory, but (apparently) not problematic to have a counter-argument against the "Mummy's Curse" theory.

If I see no response within this Talk page by Monday morning, I'll assume that we've reached the consensus that the additions should stay and will update the article accordingly.Mgy401 1912 (talk) 22:22, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

if anyone cares to debate this flagrant shill, hell bent on adding slip-shod rhetorics (aka "counterarguments") to the article, be my guest. (talk) 23:51, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Could you diversify your sources and condense your text ? This article is poor-quality for the least, and largely unsourced or single-sourced. It needs much trimming. A small and well-sourced paragraph with a name like 'Reactions of Titanic experts' (to avoid the POV of criticism) would make a good effect. Cenarium Talk 03:09, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
they are not titanic experts. that's the problem. (talk) 03:11, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I think that's do-able, Cenarium. I'm a little reluctant to trim the summary of Gardner's theory--I think that would be better done by his supporters. I'll post a draft of some kind of "expert reaction" section on my talk page over the weekend that'll cite Beveridge & Hall and Chirnside. I think there are also some on-point comments from noted Titanic book critic Michael Tennario (of and author George Behe over on the discussion boards at, which can be put into the article. It won' be ideal, as sources go--but considering that the pro-conspiracy arguments pretty much all come back to Gardner's books, I think it should be more than adequate.
Dr. Paul Lee also has a theory to the effect that (if I remember correctly) British Intelligence actually located the Titanic wreck during anti-submarine operations back in the 1970s, and the claim got some press in a very public dispute between Dr. Robert Ballard and Dr. Paul H. Nargeolet of IFREMER a year or two ago. Perhaps I'll add a section on that, as well. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 03:30, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to have a third opinion on the sources before using them, though. A generic name like 'Criticism' could work, and I'd prefer it in fact, it's true that 'Titanic experts' is a bit broad and unclear. They are some examples of alt. theories articles around here that could serve. Cenarium Talk 03:38, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
paul lee is an australian kid. he is just some titanic "buff", he is no expert. his doctoral title is irrelevant to the matter. hey, cenarium, if you wanna mediate this discussion, you gotta watch out for sand being thrown in your eyes in the form of various appeals to (non)authorities. (talk) 03:53, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree--I'd initially used the header "Arguments against Gardner's theories", and when I do a new draft I'll probably stick with something similar in tone (but less verbose).
I think it's a good idea about getting a third-party review of the sources. Are you volunteering to serve as "third party"? :-) (talk) 03:47, 27 September 2008 (UTC) (EDIT: This was me--I'd accidentally logged out-- Mgy401 1912 (talk) 03:50, 27 September 2008 (UTC) )
To, I do. Mgy401, I'm overloaded on Wikipedia, there are a lot of discussions going on recently. So I don't think I'll be able to investigate on the sources. Though I'll try to find some place where someone will. Cenarium Talk 14:34, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Proposed new "Criticisms of Gardner's Theory" Section[edit]

Is posted at the bottom of my talk page (User Talk: mgy401_1912). I've also provided background on each of the four sources I use. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 02:27, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

I am very perplexe on the notablity of these alternative theories, the book of Gardiner has only 1880 google hits. I do think there's an enormous undue weight here, as mentioned in the May AfD. It's quite difficult to find reliable sources. Per our policy on verifiability, most of the material here should be removed. The article should, either be trimmed to a single section, but it would be as small as the one from Titanic if correctly sourced, or redirected to RMS Titanic#Alternative theories. I see that the proposed merge was completed, but reverted. Cenarium Talk 00:32, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
My basic outlook is that if it is done right, this article can be very useful. If it is done wrong (as, in large part, it currently is), it winds up being hijacked as a forum for . . . uh . . . the unchallenged airing of generally questionable ideas and theories.
My vision of a "Titanic alternative theories done right" would be to include balanced views of the following, which all (in my experience) get a good bit of press and tend to spark genuine interest even among non-Titanic buffs:
  • The Mummy's curse
  • Robin Gardner's switch theory
  • L. Marmaduke Collins' "no iceberg" theory
  • (possibly) David Brown's grounding theory
  • (possibly) Lee's pre-1985 discovery theory.
I would exclude Roger Long's "expansion joint" theory, mostly because I think it comes down to a "how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin" discussion that doesn't interest most laymen I've talked to. (It is also terrifically complex, and I think even many of its most noted critics don't fully understand the argument Long is trying to make. Certainly the section currently in the article doesn't do his position justice.)
The trouble would be getting good sources for these sections. I think we're okay on the "Mummy's curse" (not ideal, but it'll do for now). We seem to be "getting there" with Gardner--I'm willing to add a list of his other books to the article as a "see generally" footnote to the pro-section, and can try to streamline the language if no one objects. There are good sources out there in favor of both Collins' and Brown's theories, though sources contra would be problematic as most of that comes from discussion boards (albeit very reputable ones). Even the pro- sources for Lee's claim are likely problematic--it's up on his website--but the claim may be notable because it came up in a very public dispute between Robert Ballard (who found the ship) and P. H. Nargeolet (of IFREMER, a member of salvage teams heavily criticized by Ballard). That dispute was basically an extension of the (in)famous salvage war that has been raging since the first artifacts were recovered from the Titanic wreck in 1987.
It's also probably worth noting that this article has existed for almost three years. Apparently there just isn't that much interest in making it much better than it already is. I don't have the time or interest right now to write up the Collins and Brown sections (maybe in the next six months-year, but not now), and seems uninterested in making additions to the Gardner section. I'm also not interested in a protracted behind-the-scenes battle where fights me tooth and nail on every modification to this article merely because I am the one proposing it (see, e.g., his comments appended to his second September 27th edit of this talk page [1]). If this is as good as the article's ever going to get, I (regretfully) say that we may as well delete it. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 17:13, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Proposed Draft[edit]

Given that it appears this article will exist for a while longer, I propose the following addition.

Gardiner’s theories have not found acceptance with the bulk of Titanic researchers. Olympic historian Mark Chirnside claims that British Board of Trade survey records reveal the presence of numerous structural anomalies peculiar to the Olympic (but never the Titanic) both before and after 1912. (Chirnside paper at 31). He also questions the story of insurance fraud, pointing out that Titanic was underinsured and that the White Star Line lost a significant sum of money when the ship sank. (Chirnside paper at 28-29). Finally, Chirnside notes several examples of what he claims to be Gardiner's "selective and flawed use of evidence" and cites several other Titanic historians who have made similar observations. (Chirnside paper at 26; see generally pp. 16-26.)
Perhaps the most detailed criticism of the switch theory comes from historians Bruce Beveridge and Steve Hall, who authored the book Olympic and Titanic: The Truth Behind the Conspiracy as a direct answer to Gardiner's claims. While many of their criticisms are the same as those Chirnside makes, Beveridge and Hall dwell at length on the numerous physical differences between the two ships and the alleged impossibility of making every single requisite modification in the time frame Gardiner allows. (See generally Olympic and Titanic: The Truth Behind the Conspiracy)

If there are no objections or suggestions, I'd like to post this Thursday evening. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 18:01, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

i object to this sort of additions. they are just a few paraphrases, but it's the same unsubstantiated content. (talk) 21:12, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your input. Per my understanding of Wikipedia's WP: Verifiability policy, I have sourced it properly. I claim that Chirnside has specific disagreements with Gardiner, and I provide a specific source wherein he explains those disagreements. I do the same for Beveridge and Hall. I'm a little unclear as to why you consider the content "unsubstantiated".
If we aren't going to streamline or reduce Gardiner's arguments, then it strikes me that we compromise Wikipedia's policies on WP: NPOV and WP: Fringe theories if the article simply parrots Gardiner's claims and leaves it there. I'd be interested to hear what you think should be done to improve the article. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 22:00, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
By the way,, would you be interesting in discussing this with me over at WP: Fringe theories/Noticeboard so we can get some third-party opinions? Mgy401 1912 (talk) 22:25, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
beveridge and hall were commissioned to debunk gardiner. none of the above individuals are neutral observers. there's nothing to discuss. (talk) 22:39, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
By whom? What is your source for that allegation? Mgy401 1912 (talk) 22:41, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
oh, it's outthere. (talk) 22:47, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Q.E.D. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 22:54, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
providing nonsensical sources is worse than that, actually. (talk) 23:00, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

A Note on Chirnside

I note that User:NJGW suggests adding Chirnside's paper as an external link, but not as a source. I would respectfully disagree with the allegation that Chirnside's paper is "unpublished"; rather, it is self-published. I agree that self-published works are generally frowned upon at Wikipedia; however, there is an exception per Wikipedia:Verifiability#Self-published_sources:

Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. However, caution should be exercised when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so. For example, a reliable self-published source on a given subject is likely to have been cited on that subject as authoritative by a reliable source.

I propose that this statement applies to the portions of my addition that cite Chirnside. He is the author of the books The Olympic Class Ships: Olympic, Titanic, & Britannic (Tempus Publishing 2004); RMS Olympic: Titanic's Sister (Tempus Publishing 2004); RMS Majestic: The 'Magic Stick' (Tempus Publishing 2006); and RMS Aquitania: The Ship Beautiful (The History Press 2008). Chirnside has had letters (and potentially articles; I'm not sure) published in the Atlantic Daily Bulletin (journal of the British Titanic Society), the Titanic Historical Society's Titanic Commutator, and Titanic International's Voyage. He was also interviewed for a Sky Television (UK) documentary of Gardner's switch theory which aired in September, 2004.

By the way, I also note that the Mummy's Curse section has been deleted; however, the revised article lead still alludes to it. Was this intentional? Mgy401 1912 (talk) 15:10, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

I removed that section because it was tagged CN since April. If nobody cares enough to find a citation for that long (and I see people have been editing), then either there are no wp:RS sources or perhaps it's not worth citing (akin to the "God did it" legend above). The statement in the lead wasn't tagged, and there do appear to be some people out there who think there was a curse, so I'm giving at least that little phrase the chance to get cited. It will be interesting to see if what notable journal is going to say, "actually no, we don't believe there was a curse," not to mention what research methods they use to validate that statement. NJGW (talk) 21:41, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Fair points, NJGW. I think I have an old issue of the Titanic Commutator that deals with the mummy legend as part of the biography of Titanic passenger W.T. Stead, who was apparently the source of the story. I'll dig it out tonight and, if it checks out, slip in a cite. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 22:03, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

New proposed draft[edit]

Now that the section describing Gardiner's theory is closer to WP: NPOV, my above draft may be overkill. How about simply adding the following:

Researchers Bruce Beveridge and Steve Hall took issue with many of Gardiner's claims in their book, Olympic and Titanic: The Truth Behind the Conspiracy. [Footnote to the full cite of the book]. Author Mark Chirnside has also raised serious questions about the switch theory. [Footnote to link to his paper] Mgy401 1912 (talk) 15:40, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

OK; I'm going to go ahead and add it. If you decide to revert, feel free--but let's discuss it here, too. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 20:10, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

In full agreement with the above. The limitations and flaws in Gardiner's conjecture need to be noted, somewhere, or the NPOV policy becomes meaningless. It doesn't require any great expertise, or research, to detect the most obvious flaw in Gardiner's ideas. If there ever had been a conspiracy to dispose of the ship, it would have been obvious to even the most dimwitted conspirators that the logical time to arrange the deed would have been during the sea passage from Belfast to Southampton. In other words, before the ship was boarded by the rich, the influential and the litigious! signed J.Fowler. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:23, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
doesn't hurt to re-read one's own comments before posting some authoritatively asserted nonsense. (talk) 17:58, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
When an advocate resorts to slurs, it's a sure sign he doesn't have any confidence in the merits of his case ! signed J. Fowler —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:45, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Expansion Joint Theory[edit]

I believe the primary source for this has been a documentary that aired on the History Channel some time back. However, Long's theories have now apparently been included in a companion book called Titanic's Last Secrets: The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler by Brad Matsen (Twelve: 2008) (ISBN 978-0446582056). I haven't read the book, but I'm told it contains some discussion of Long's theories and is probably as good a source as we'll find for this section. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 18:21, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

What about the power of God?[edit]

I have heard for many years that one of the courses that the Titanic had, was because that statement that "it is a Ship that even God Can't Sink". I don’t know if any of you have heard about it before, but there is a kind of belief that nobody must challenge the Lord. There are persons who believe that this is the same reason why John Lennon was shot (remember, the Beatles and Christ analogy)

Probably for many people it would sound ridiculous, but is part of pop culture and an urban myth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect usage of the word 'theory'

In section 3 (The ship that never sank)the use of the term 'theory' is incorrect. To be valid, a theory must have logical arguments as it's basis. It would be more accurate to state that Gardiner's ideas on the fate of the Titanic form a "conjecture". (i.e. an idea based on partial or selective evidence). If all the known evidence about the Titanic and the Olympic is considered in a logical manner, it becomes obvious that Gardiner's premise is unsound. sgn J.Fowler —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:02, 15 October 2007 (UTC)


Would anyone object if I redirected to Sinking of the RMS Titanic and merged a note on these into that article? Biruitorul Talk 04:46, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I'd hope not. It seems this was initially split out from the article on the Titanic because it cluttered the article with silly conspiracy theories. Seems like much of the more credulous stuff could be removed using Snopes as a resource. John Nevard (talk) 10:29, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
OK, I'm going ahead with the merge. Biruitorul Talk 21:40, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I have restored the text. i am not trying to circumvent past discussions, but it appears there is some consensus in favor of the article. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 20:22, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I think we should give the article a chance, too. Cenarium Talk 09:37, 3 October 2008 (UTC)


Here are some from google:

[2] is from the Telegraph, it mentions Long and [3] is from the age. It may be related. However, almost nothing for "expansion joint theory" or "expansion joints theory".

This mummy curse theory seems to have been weakly relatively relayed by medias.

Find sources: "titanic" "Robin Gardiner" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference

No mention in medias. 7 mentions in books, 1 in scholar. This would confirm that Gardner's theory is very fringe.

Considerably relayed by medias (in comparison).

Not so relayed by medias, but present in literature.
Cenarium Talk 10:40, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure on the reliability of Encyclopedia Titanica. Snopes is often used as a source and seems to be reliable, there is this on the mummy. Cenarium Talk 12:09, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I don't recall having seen Long's ideas dubbed as "Expansion joints theory" anywhere but here.
Having newspaper sources at all is certainly a step in the right direction. The problem is, Long himself has disavowed several popular interpretations of his research (including, specifically, the Telegraph article--see Matsen's book (mentioned above) allows the team to speak for itself, and I think it would wind up being more accurate. (The trouble is, I haven't read it yet. I've read forum posts from people who were involved in writing/editing the book, but that's all for now.)
The real controversy, for Titanic techies, comes primarily from Long's claim that the expansion joint contributed to the ship's break-up at all. The conventional wisdom had been (and, for the most part, still is) that Titanic's expansion joint did not penetrate the strength deck and that, from a naval architecture standpoint, it should not have compromised the strength of the ship's hull girder. There's a secondary aspect in that Long's theory plays into a long-standing-yet-obscure debate that basically boils down to whether the Titanic broke from the top downwards (like a stick would) or crumpled from the bottom upwards (like a toilet-paper tube would).
Barring over-sensationalized press coverage, the main sources of which I am aware are as follows:
  • Debates in the online forums of the Titanic Research and Modeling Forum and Encyclopedia Titanica, with the participation of Bruce Beveridge of TRMA and Parks Stephenson and David Brown of the documentary team (with occasional re-postings of e-mails written by Long himself);
  • An exchange of e-mails between some of the team members, author Charles Pellegrino, and filmmaker/explorer James Cameron, which Pellegrino has posted on his website; and
  • A paper that Roy Mengot was writing at one point for the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, which I'm not sure was ever released.
Given the highly technical nature of the controversy combined with the scarcity of sources that meet Wikipedia's standards, I wonder whether the topic is really worth covering. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 19:34, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
There are several other news items, but they are derived from the Telegraph article. There is however this one from news24 dating back to 2006 (confirming the debate with Stephenson). It should be possible to vary the references (to a certain extent), provided key statements are backed up by reliable sources. Cenarium Talk 22:22, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Adding one more source: I forgot that Parks Stephenson has posted some of his own views on his website at This version is self-published, but the very same article evidently has appeared in the Titanic Commutator. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 22:48, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
And another one, an article from Encyclopedia Titanica detailing the state of the break-up controversy as of 2002. It doesn't take Long's work into account, but it may be useful for background in a rewritten "Expansion Joints Theory" section. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 14:41, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
And an article regarding the evolution of Olympic/Titanic/Britannic's expansion joints, from the prolific Mark Chirnside: [4]. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 14:57, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Source Clean-Up, November 2008[edit]

NJGW, as I understand it, you're wanting to eliminate the "References" section and move the full publication details of the cited books into the footnotes themselves. I have no problem with that--the prior regimen was implemented by Cenarium on October 4th, and I am willing to defer to the judgment of others--but I'm concerned that your most recent edit may have inadvertently lost some of the details for Lynch & Marschall, Lord, and Ballard. I've restored them for the present, but will leave the final clean-up for someone more knowledgeable about citing formats than I. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 20:15, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I think everything's mostly OK now. Let me know if not. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 20:48, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
It's good enough for government work ;-) Much better now that there are no duplications of inline and endnote citations. In general, the in-line style (what you're referring to as footnotes) is the more accepted form of creating references on Wikipedia. They can also be used with the 'group' argument to create a separate Notes section when needed. Good job fixing this, and sorry about the confusion. NJGW (talk) 20:58, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Entombed Hull Worker[edit]

Ever since this section was added I've been disinclined to have it remain in the article, since 1) Snopes debunks the story pretty well at, and 2) I'm not sure the article should really diverge into "ghost stories" (for the same reason, I'm going to de-emphasize the supernatural by moving the "Mummy" section to the end of the article). When the "Entombed Hull Worker" section was added I figured I'd wait and see if anyone could provide a source; as that hasn't happened in nearly a month I've now removed it. Please feel free to revert if you can provide a reliable source. Mgy401 1912 (talk) 17:09, 22 December 2008 (UTC)


I added this to the article but removed it when I was asked for a ref. it's a video. I've been asked to place the link on this talk page because it may actually be of use. i'm trying to find a better ref. but here's the link: --VampireKen (talk) 21:24, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

After watch that video and a few others, here's what I found: this isn't an alternative hypothesis about why the Titanic sank, it's an alternative hypothesis about what happened once the ship was already sunk. Check out this video. I don't think it's about the same topic as the rest of the article. NJGW (talk) 05:52, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
At the risk of sounding like a pompous jackass, I have a fairly extensive Titanic library and keep a pretty close ear to the ground on the major Titanic discussion forums. This is the first I've heard of any capsize theory (which is not the same as the scenario presented in the video NJGW linked to--that is the "expansion joints theory" already discussed within the article). I'm not sure that theories posited for the first time in a YouTube video rise to Wikipedia's notability requirements--at least, not until they've generated some real discussion/controversy. Feel free to prove me wrong, though.  :-) Mgy401 1912 (talk) 19:39, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

That's why I was debating whether or not to put it in the article. I myself loved Titanic when I was a kid. My house actually went through 4 sets of the 1997 film on Vhs I watched it so much. I have not studied titanic for about 7,8, or 9 years. These theorys sound ridiculous to me. What I mean by that is I don't understand why these came about. The ship hit an Iceberg and sank. broke into two pieces (someway) and sank. but enough of that. I'm looking for a better ref or research site. I remember going to a traveling Titanic museum a few years ago when I was on vacation and something about this actually popped up. It was in a video or something. I know they had live recreations of the rooms flooding but it might have been the video. Anyway I'll look into this more.--VampireKen (talk) 01:01, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Sea Monster[edit]

Removed strange addition about sea monster. No citations and poor capitalization made it sound like a joke. ReelExterminator (talk) 01:34, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Most recent[edit]

See Titanic#Alternative_theories from the main article. hydnjo (talk) 01:17, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Rivet Failure Theory[edit]

Deitz, D. (1998). How did the Titanic sink?. Mechanical Engineering, 120(8), 54.

In this article it explains a few of the different theories that were formed about how and why the Titanic Sunk. I find that when it discusses the rivets most interesting. This article is also very broad in the sense that it goes through more than one theory as to why the Titanic sank.I also like when the article discusses modern computer models that where run to see exactly how it sank.

New data support Titanic rivet theory. (1999). Quality Progress, 32(3), 20.

This particular article provides the actual theory behind the Rivet failures and how they failed if that was what happened. Chrispy824 (talk) 19:04, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Closed watertight doors[edit]

The line: ...there were no watertight doors between any of the first four compartments -- contradicts the evidence, e.g.: Comprehensive Floor Plans, F-Deck shows: 'W.T.D.' (water-tight door) in W.T.B. 'C' (water-tight barrier 'C', separating 3rd and 4th compartments). ~Eric F (talk) 17:37, 2 May 2012 (UTC) Perhaps change to "...was only one watertight door..." -- unless it contradicts cited source? -- Or: ... between any of the first three... ~E 17:58, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Riveted Plates[edit]

I have moved and reworked the line New pictures have emerged from the wreck site that clearly where two riveted plates spelling Titanic fell of the wreck with the letters MP stamped into the hull thereby give a high level of certainty that the switch had occurred as all other White Star Line Ships had the name engraved into the hull plating and not riveted to the hull. as it was out of place where it existed and disrupted the flow of its surrounding paragraphs. It also used charged words such as "high level of certainty", so I have toned it down to be more neutral.

I also merged it with the line Gardiner states that few parts of either ship bore the name, other than the easily removed lifeboats, bell, compass binnacle, and name plates., which was out of place in the context of its paragraph.

DiscantX (talk) 10:57, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Promotion of Fringe Theories w/o Providing Mainstream Response[edit]

A discussion concerning this article is now taking place at the Fringe Theories Noticeboard. Interested editors are invited to join the discussion and/or to help improve the article. -13:43, 15 April 2016 (UTC)


I suggest posting tis at the FTN discussion. -Ad Orientem (talk) 19:05, 21 April 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Erickson, Jim (November 6, 2004). "Geology Meet: Rocks, Papers, Whizzes Who's Game for Denver Summit?". Rocky Mountain News. Denver: via HighBeam (subscription required). Retrieved April 21, 2016. Ohio State University engineer Robert Essenhigh will argue that an uncontrolled coal fire aboard the Titanic may have led to its collision with an iceberg in 1912. Titanic held six coal bunkers. Coal was shoveled from the bunkers into the ship's steam-engine boiler. Records show that Titanic had a smoldering coal fire in forward bunker No. 6 during its maiden voyage, Essenhigh said. The standard technique for stopping such fires on steam ships was to shovel coal out of the problem bunker until the burning coal was located and removed, he said. Coal from the problem bunker would have been shoveled directly into the ship's boiler, increasing Titanic's speed. Perhaps that's why Titanic sailed at full-steam through a known iceberg field at night, said Essenhigh, who admits that the theory is "very speculative." 
  2. ^ "New Titanic Theory Claims Fire On Board Caused Sea Disaster". Chicago Sun-Times. via HighBeam (subscription required). March 5, 1995. Retrieved April 21, 2016. a British television documentary has come up with a new theory on the cause of one of the great sea disasters of all time: a fire in a coal bunker...An uncontrollable fire started in a (coal storage bin) before the Titanic sailed that was not extinguished, forced the chairman of the liner to ignore iceberg warnings and to order a faster course to New York, George Tulloch, chairman of RMS Titanic said. 
  3. ^ McCarty, Jennifer Hooper; Foecke, Tim (March 1, 2009). What Really Sank the Titanic. Kensington Publishing Corporation. pp. 176–. ISBN 978-0-8065-2896-0. 
  4. ^ Griggs, Ian; Bignell, Paul (April 12, 2008). "Titanic doomed by fire raging below decks, says new theory". The Independent. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 

Coal fire[edit]

Are this article's authors only interested in the fringiest theories? The known existence of coal fire in a bunker in the Titanic -- a fire which started days before she arrived at Southhampton and was -not ever- put out -- and which Ismay ordered the crew to keep silent about -- needs to be addressed if this article is to carry any weight. Twang (talk) 03:42, 2 January 2017 (UTC)