Sunday, April 14, 2013

101 years ago....

101 years ago, the world changed as the biggest moving object built to that point, sank to the bottom of the cold, unforgiving, unbiased ocean floor. I have a slight obsession with the Titanic. Not because of the movie, or the tragedy, but with the ship itself. The Titanic was unlike any ship build, and it's luxury, innovation, and spender was unbelievable. The cruise ships today are not build to the same standard, and it is unimaginable to see the luxury that was the Titanic. Even the third class cabins were better than it's competition.

Everyone has heard about the Titanic, but many people still believe many myths, and that is a real tragedy. Don't get me wrong, it's not the same as the loss of life, but if a convicted murderer is found to be wrongly convicted, we consider that to be a tragedy. So should blame in the wrong place in the loss of 1500 souls. Some of these myths make me a bit crazy! Like I said, I am a Titanic Buff. I watch every special, read every book I can, and go to any exhibit I am able to. Recently, I was able to visit the Titanic Experience in Orlando, and even got a chance to talk to someone who has dove down to the wreck site.

Myth 1: The Titanic was arrogant, just ramming into icebergs
Actually, the Titanic was following the eras normals. Captains often hurried through the iceberg areas to get through them as quick as possible. Under normal seasonal conditions, look outs would have seen any icebergs with enough time to move. The night 101 years ago was a flat calm, near freezing. This created a mirage, raising the horizon, and with no waves, and pitch black sky, the look outs didn't stand a chance. It was a rare set of events that doomed the ship. Sure, we can say "if they were going slower" or "if this" and "if that." The world is full of ifs. We make decisions based on our normals. The normals of 1912 are what influenced the decisions made that night, We can't make decisions based on future knowledge, and neither could the people on the Titanic.

Myth 2: It was not right to carry the minimum requirement of life boats.
Actually, in the early 1900's, the Atlantic Ocean was filled with ships. The life boats were normally used as a ferry between ships in the case of an emergency. It is also important to note that only 50 crew members were trained to launch life boats. More life boat with out crew to lower them, would not have saved any lives.

Myth 3: The ship was just not built as well as they thought.
Actually, through out history, ships that were sinking would cap size, causing a whole new problem for passengers trapped on the ship. The Titanic sank quickly, but stayed up right as long as possible. If the ship had capsized, the tragedy would have been greater, with a larger loss of life.

Myth 4: This is a big misconception- The builders claimed Titanic was "Unsinkable"
Actually, the builders and owners never stated that the ship was unsinkable, but that it was "virtually unsinkable." While it is a small difference, when taken in context, it changes things. The "virtually unsinkable" statement was in reference to the technologies available at the time as they were applied to the ship. This was referring to the double bottom, and water tight compartments. To the fact that it was as unsinkable as they could make it, not a claim that "God himself could not sink this ship" as movies would have us believe.

After 101 years, many movies have changed our perception of that cold April night.  We always tell our children not to believe everything they see on TV, and yet, we can find our selves doing the very same thing. We remember the heroes as the movies portray them.  This is not always the case. Most of the time the movies take some facts, and fictionalize them to create entertainment.

While I was at the Titanic experience, I leant more than I expected. I leaned about heroes I had never heard of. This year, I am remembering the victims of this tragedy by learning about the heroes the movies leave out. Like John Harper, a Baptist preacher who gave up his life jacket, and gave his life to share the gospel. I just ordered a book about it "Titanic's Last Hero" and I can't wait to read it. Not every hero is in the movies. Some are the ones who gave their lives so others can live, and some are the ones who built a ship that was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that stayed above water as long as possible, to save as many lives as possible.


  1. Great information. What a cool thing to get to do - the Titanic Experience in Orlando!!

  2. This is a great post. We have the Titanic Museum, near us, in Pigeon Forge, TN. It was such a neat experience. So glad to see someone else enjoying a similar venue.

  3. Wow sounds like an awesome experience.

  4. That is so cool! I loved the movie and of course the story is so awesome yet sad. My sister has an obsession with the Titanic too! She visited the museum last year and said it was one of the best experiences of her life!

  5. I went to the Titanic exhibit when I was in Branson and it was definitely worth the visit.