Titanic, false prophecies and predictions (5 photos)

“Tell me, is it true that Abramovich won a million in the lottery?

– True, only not Abramovich, but Rabinovich, not in the lottery, but in cards, not a million, but ten rubles, and did not win, but lost … “

Reality and fantasy

In 1898, Morgan Robertson published a book entitled The Vanity or Death of the Titan, about the sinking of the giant ship Titan in the North Atlantic when it collided with an iceberg. This ship was the most incredibly huge and far exceeded all ships built before it. The author described it as a handsome liner in terms of size, displacement and engine power extremely close to the Titanic, which died 14 years later. It even coincides with the fact that the lifeboats on the ship are only enough for a third of the passengers.

What is the story behind this book – is it a reality or a myth? Did the author of the novel describe the ship itself, its name and the circumstances of its death with amazing accuracy?

No, the book and the author actually existed. Here they are – Morgan Robertson and the 1912 edition.

Titanic, false prophecies and predictions (5 photos)

I spent half an hour carefully reading and leafing through this book.

What can I tell you about her? Firstly, I am very sorry for the time spent on this certainly very weak “novel”, which at best looks like a thin brochure of 24 pages in large print with tear-jerking pictures, and secondly… remember the joke?

“Tell me, is it true that Abramovich won a million in the lottery?

– True, only not Abramovich, but Rabinovich, not in the lottery, but in cards, not a million, but ten rubles, and did not win, but lost … “

Under the indicated title, the book was published precisely in 1912, and before that its title was “Vanity” and was dedicated to the story of a degraded sailor who eventually became a hero. The death of the ship is indeed one of the key scenes, but perhaps still not the main one. It was in the 1912 edition that the performance of the Titan approached the actual performance of the Titanic. The author simply made the necessary edits to the text and changed the title of the book AFTER the real disaster.

There is a wonderful moment in the “novel” – raising the sails (?!) on the “Titan” in order to maximize its speed. No less exciting is the description of the death of the ship. “Titan” at full speed (about 50 km per hour) completely flies on a gentle iceberg without damaging the ship’s hull! Then it falls on its side and huge steam engines, breaking off their mounts, ram and break through the side. The ship slides off the iceberg and … immediately sinks almost instantly. Miraculously, the captain, the first mate, seven sailors and one passenger on one single (!) boat managed to escape.

Now you can decide for yourself how much the story of the sinking of the ship is similar to the real wreck of the Titanic. Yes, the highlight is that the main character with a child (of course, the daughter of the same rescued passenger, who in turn turns out to be the hero’s former lover) find themselves on an iceberg, where an impudent polar bear wants to feast on a defenseless child. The protagonist in a brutal battle manages not only to scratch the beast with a knife with a blade as long as twelve centimeters, but also heroically kill him.

But what about the name, you ask? The author predicted the name almost exactly, making a mistake only by two miserable letters!

Hmm .. Two letters say, a surprisingly accurate prediction. And if I tell you that long before the novel, in 1880, an article appeared in the newspapers about the sinking of the ship Titania, which was sailing from England to the USA and died in a collision with an iceberg? The difference is only one letter! Only this is no longer a prediction, but a real fact. A ship with that name really died under such circumstances.

Life sometimes gives rise to a bunch of amazing coincidences, which in themselves are neither predictions nor mystical prophecies.

Why this story of coincidences?

You will understand after my story about one of the passengers from the first class of the Titanic.

Titanic, false prophecies and predictions (5 photos)

No, this is not a millionaire and not a rich man. Journalist William Thomas Steed. One of the many who did not act like a hero, but simply helped women and children get into the boats. He didn’t beg or beg, he didn’t thrust crumpled banknotes into the officer’s tunic with trembling hands.

Here, according to all the laws of the genre, he simply had to survive in order to tell the truth about the last hours of the Titanic. William Steed was a pioneer of investigative journalism, where the journalist himself is no longer just a person writing about something, but actively participating in events.

Absolutely fearless, imperturbable, he always said that he was not destined to die in his own bed. “I’ll either be lynched by ‘my heroes’ whom I expose, or I’ll drown.” Strange, why was Steed so afraid of drowning? We will return to this a little later.

The “heroes” of the journalist’s revelations were a variety of people – from the owners of brothels to the very top of the political establishment in England. So he brought down his career and brought Sir Charles Dilke to ruin, and he was one of the main contenders for the post of the next Prime Minister of Great Britain.

In the career of William Steed there was also a prison term – for kidnapping a child. As part of a journalistic investigation into child prostitution (in enlightened England, girls were allowed to sell their bodies from the age of 13!) He bought the virginity of a thirteen-year-old girl from her father for only 5 pounds through intermediaries, the owner of a brothel, who found a delicacy in the form of an untouched girl for a voluptuous gentleman . It was precisely the fact that he took the girl away from her father that was interpreted as a kidnapping. As a result, Steed received three months in prison, and the English public received a deafening shameful slap in the face in the form of a series of shocking articles that exposed the entire industry of trafficking in girls.

Journalist in prison uniform while incarcerated

Titanic, false prophecies and predictions (5 photos)

William Steed was the first in the history of journalism to introduce the concept of an interview. Before him, this genre did not exist at all! Among those whom he interviewed was the emperor and autocrat of all Russia, Emperor Alexander III.

How did the famous journalist end up on the Titanic? He was personally invited to the United States by President William Howard Taft for an international peace congress.

That fateful evening at a dinner in a restaurant, Steed was, as always, in the spotlight – he joked a lot, told entertaining stories and tales, including about the curse of an ancient Egyptian mummy. After good wine and a smoked cigar, he went to bed and came out on deck at about midnight after hitting an iceberg. The journalist turned out to be one of the few who immediately understood the seriousness of the situation and persuaded the women to get into the boats. He even gave his life jacket to one of the passengers.

How exactly William Steed died is not exactly known. One of the witnesses said that just before the end, he went to the smoking room to calmly smoke the last cigar in silence.

So what about coincidences, premonitions and predestination?

In 1886, William Thomas Steed published the story “How the Mail Ship Drowned in the Mid-Atlantic. Survivor’s story. It told in the first person about the crash of a steamer in cold waters, when the boats turned out to be only 400 people with 916 on board. How the officers stopped the panic and tried to put women and children first, but the list of the ship became threatening and the half-empty boats leave the ship, leaving 700 people to die. Those who rushed after the boats and ended up in the water died, the main character remained on the sinking ship.

How did he survive? But he didn’t survive … don’t laugh, the author just takes a break and informs the readers that the story is fictional, it shows what can actually happen in a similar situation.

Is this not enough for you? Well, get more. In 1892, the journalist writes another story, “From the Old World to the New.” In it, the author travels on the White Star Line campaign ship, and in the North Atlantic they pick up lifeboats from another ship that was lost … in a collision with an iceberg.

Coincidences, predictions, forebodings… But is it really that important?

It is much more important to just remain a man when the distraught crowd storms the last boats …

PS In the comments there are links to the previous parts of the series of articles: “Facts and myths. Titanic.”

Titanic, false prophecies and predictions (5 photos)

“To the brave men – to all who died in the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912. They gave their lives so that the women and children might keep theirs. Erected by the women of America.”

“Young and old, poor and rich, ignorant and learned, all who gave their lives nobly to save women and children.”

Inscription on the Titanic memorial (1931). Washington. The monument is pictured above.

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