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Monday, April 16, 2012
OLYMPIC & TITANIC – AN ANALYSIS OF THE ROBIN GARDINER CONSPIRACY THEORY
OLYMPIC & TITANIC –
AN ANALYSIS OF THE ROBIN GARDINER CONSPIRACY THEORY
By Mark Chirnside
May 8th 2006
Chapter One: The Olympic-Hawke Collision 8
Chapter Two: Gardiner’s Methodology – An Assessment 16
Chapter Three: Insurance 27
Endnote References 37
Figure 1: Olympic scraped against the pier when she 11docked in New York on her maiden voyage. (Courtesy Bruce Beveridge.) BAD CONDITION, NOT REPRODUCED
Figure 2: Plans of B-deck on Olympic and Titanic in 20 1911-12. (Courtesy J. Kent Layton.)
Figure 3: This grainy photograph shows the promenade 23 deck of Titanic’s port side ‘millionaire suite.’ (The Daily Sketch, April 16th 1912.)
This dissertation studies the conspiracy theory published by Robin Gardiner in his 1998 book, Titanic: The Ship That Never Sank? Gardiner alleges that the Titanic and its nearly identical sistership Olympic were swapped as part of an insurance fraud, and the Olympic (posing as Titanic) was scuttled. He believes that the Olympic had been damaged enough to become an economic write off, in a collision with the cruiser HMS Hawke in 1911. As this belief is at the heart of the conspiracy theory, indeed the very reason it is alleged that the ships were swapped, I examine the available evidence surrounding the Olympic’s collision damage – from surveyors’ testimonies, to more recent technical analyses. I argue that there is no reliable evidence to indicate that the damage was worse than admitted and find Gardiner’s research lacking. I move on to discuss Gardiner’s methodology. I am critical of his text for omitting relevant information from key arguments. I also analyse a number of examples of flawed logic in the text itself, and quote the assessments of several modern researchers who have publicly criticised Gardiner’s work. Finally, I set out to assess the issue of insurance, and to a lesser extent some of the practicalities that would have been involved in swapping the two ships. I present evidence that the Titanic was under-insured, and provide information such as the shipping company’s profits, including reports in the 1912 financial press. I conclude by arguing that the Olympic was not as badly damaged as Gardiner states; that Gardiner’s arguments and methodology are flawed; and that the Titanic’s owners would not have benefited from an insurance fraud.
‘Conspiracies beset popular culture,’ writes Jane Parish.1 ‘Television programmes about mysteries and “inexplicable” events command peak time viewing schedules, reinterpreting “old” conspiracy theories with new evidence. Sky television devotes a single channel to programmes about mysterious happenings. In the tabloid papers, conspiracies have caught the public imagination...the best-selling books of the ‘90s reflect a widespread fascination with conspiracy, intrigue and secret organisations: The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Gods of the New Millennium, and the predictions of Nostradamus.’
As interest in the Titanic was high during the 1990s, especially after James Cameron’s film was released, it is not surprising that there is a conspiracy theory surrounding the ship’s sinking, as this renewed interest in the ship coincided with the modern popularity of conspiracy theories. Historians have to base their interpretation of the past upon scholarly research and a rational interpretation of the available sources in their totality. There is merit in attempting to analyse conspiracy theories with a rational approach. Parish states: ‘the links between progressive rationalisation and a decline in mystical or spiritual belief are never so straightforward.’2 If any conspiracy theorist has an almost mystical belief in their view that their opinion of events is correct, then progressive rationalisation may not contribute much towards any debate. Whether this is the case or not, it is worthwhile attempting to analyse alternative points of view.
And so we come to the purpose of this dissertation: to analyse the Robin Gardiner conspiracy theory, as published in his book Titanic: The Ship That Never Sank? (Surrey: Ian Allan; 1998.) Gardiner’s theory has received widespread attention in a recent Sky television documentary, which first aired in September 2004. In light of this attention, it is important that to analyse the theory with the intention of drawing attention to any positive and negative factors, and offer a balanced conclusion as to whether or not there might be any truth to it.
Gardiner’s theory is outlined in his book’s preface:
• ‘That the collision between HMS Hawke and RMS Olympic may have caused more serious damage to the liner than its owners were prepared to admit at the time.
• That the enquiry, which automatically followed any collision involving a naval vessel, was not entirely unbiased.
• That, as a result of the enquiry, the White Star Line could not recover the cost of repairs to its ship from the insurance companies.
• That, given the immense initial outlay in constructing Olympic and Titanic, and the amount of income lost by the former’s two-month lay up following the Hawke incident, the owners and builders were left with serious financial problems.
• That the owners, with the help of the builders, might have decided to switch the brand new Titanic with her slightly older sister in order to get at least one vessel back to sea and earning money.
• That the owners, deciding that repair of the Olympic was uneconomic, might have resolved to dispose of the ship in such a way as to be able, this time, to collect on their insurance.’3
For the purposes of this study I intend to focus on the damage to the Olympic, Gardiner’s methodology, and the twin issues of the practicality of insuring and switching the ships.
CHAPTER ONE: THE OLYMPIC-HAWKE COLLISION
When we consider that the conspiracy theory centres on the collision between the Olympic and the Hawke on September 20th 1911, it is worthwhile assessing the collision damage. If there is any truth in his allegations that the damage to the Olympic was worse than had been admitted, then this would lend some support to Gardiner’s theory. It is worthwhile comparing the primary source material with Gardiner’s own statements. This will be done in detail.
Gardiner writes that following the collision:
‘A large hourglass-shaped hole had been punched in the side of the Olympic, supposedly about eight feet deep and extending from D-deck down through E, F and G-decks, well below the waterline, about eighty-six feet from the stern. However, there is some reason to doubt the accuracy of the published assessments of damage sustained by Olympic in the Hawke incident. It now appears that following the collision hull plating required replacement over more than a third of the vessel’s overall length...’4
There is extensive testimony available from the subsequent case between the Oceanic Steam Navigation Co. (the legal personification of the White Star Line) and
the Admiralty. Harry Roscoe was a ‘consulting naval architect, practising at Liverpool.’ He ‘had a long experience of over 25 years of surveying large steamers’ and had ‘a very extensive experience in damage cases.’ He surveyed the Olympic at Southampton on September 22nd and 23rd 1911, and later in Belfast in dry dock, and his lengthy testimony is enlightening:
‘2900. Mr. Laing. Dealing with the Olympic first; I daresay I may lead about this; no doubt, we are agreed about this. Was there a large triangular hole extending from immediately above the D deck to above 15 feet below that deck?
2904. Q. A large triangular hole immediately above the D deck and about 15 feet below the deck. And was there a large penetration in D deck extending inwards about 8 feet?
2905. Q. Is that where the bows of the other vessel had entered?
A. Yes, the upper portion that was about 14 feet long, I think, from memory.
2906. Q. Extending in? A. About 8 feet.
2907. Q. The next deck you come to is the E-deck. Was that cut into? A. Yes.
2908. Q. In the same way, but to a lesser degree? A. Yes.
2909. Q. Did the damage continue below the waterline; I think you surveyed that after she got into dry-dock?
2910. Q. Were the frames, beams, and stringers, broken and bent around the hole that you have been just describing?
2911. Q....Now with regard to below the waterline. After she got into drydock, did you find the damage similar in character, but inverted in shape in F and G [decks]?
A. Broadly speaking, that is so.
2912. Q. Was the hole below deck pierced by the Hawke’s ram?
A. I think so.
2913. Q. Something in the shape of an inverted pear?
2914. Q. And was that in position below the larger hole in deck D. Was the inverted pear under the larger hole in deck D?
2915. Q. And did the broken and indented plating extend over these decks D, E, F, and G?
2916. Q. Did the penetration cease between G, and the orlop deck?
A. It did.
2917. Q. Was the ship’s side scored at all?
A. Yes, aft of the hole, for about 38 feet...’
Roscoe summarised the other collision damage, saying that the ‘centre of the two large holes is 86 feet forward of the stern post’; the starboard propeller bossing was ‘badly indented and torn’ from eleven feet aft of the centre of the hole; the starboard propeller’s three blades were damaged; the ‘after low pressure crankshaft was strained, on the starboard engine’; ‘the extent of the penetration into the Olympic’ was between six feet eight inches to eight feet; and the he agreed with the proposition that the Olympic’s hull plating had received a ‘heavy blow.’ Roscoe’s testimony is supportive of the known assessments of the damage to the Olympic, in spite of the doubt cast upon them in Gardiner’s text by his use of the word ‘supposedly.’ Similarly, other relevant testimony comes from Robert Steele who described to the court that he was ‘a member of the Institute of Naval Architects, and a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, and I have been practising in London as a consulting naval architect and engineer for over 20 years.’ He had surveyed both ships with Mr. Roscoe and agreed with his damage assessment, yet he did mention a key point with regard to the power of the Hawke’s ram:
‘5779. Q. But there was very substantial damage into the decks of the Olympic?
A. In one deck, yes. 5780. Q. The D deck?
A. Yes, the D deck.
5781. Q. And that, of course, is a very strong structure?
A. Yes, it is.
5782. Q. And I suppose you will agree that the Hawke’s steel and ram were very powerful?
5783. Q. I suppose the ram is really made for ramming, is it not. I suppose that is the idea with which it is put there?
A. Originally, yes, but I have seen a good many cases of ram damage, and, I am sorry to say, the ram has not shown itself to be a very powerful weapon of offence. [my emphasis]
5784. The President. But why do you say “originally”?
A. Because I think in fighting vessels now, with those projecting ram bows, they find that they are not so useful as they were originally intended to be.
5785. Q. But when this vessel was built, it was built to be strong?
A. Yes, it was intended for that purpose.
5786. Mr. Laing. And of course, it was made as strong as it could be made? A. Yes.’
While agreeing with Roscoe’s damage assessment, Steele brings up an interesting point when he confirms the structural strength of the Olympic’s hull and mentions that ‘the ram has not shown itself to be a very powerful weapon of offence.’ Gardiner does not mention this in his chapter covering the collision,5 and merely writes: ‘The purpose of the [Hawke’s] beak was to inflict the maximum amount of damage on opponents should the opportunity arise to ram them. This armoured ram was about to prove just how effective it could be.’6 It does seem unfortunate that Gardiner does not mention Steele’s view that rams had not lived up to original expectations, since this casts some doubt on his opinion that the damage to the Olympic as worse than admitted at the time.
Another piece of evidence against Gardiner’s theory comes from the testimony of Commander William Blunt, who was in charge of the Hawke:
‘3318. Q. Do you think that the turning in of your vessel to port, and the stopping and reversing of your engines, had any effect on your headway?
A. Yes, I do. My engines reversed before the blow [collision]. They were actually going astern at the time of the blow. I could tell that by the vibration of the ship, and I consider that the speed of the Hawke was materially lessened. [my emphasis]
3319. Q. Do the screws of the Hawke readily take her way off when they get working astern?
3322. Mr. Butler Aspinall. Before you put your engines astern for the purpose of avoiding the Olympic, at what speed was your ship travelling through the water?
A. The ship was travelling at a speed of about 151⁄4 knots through the water.
3323. Q. The next, no doubt, is judgement, but what do you think was her speed at the time she struck the Olympic?
A. I should say, so far as I am capable of judging, about 8 knots. 3324. Q. That is judgement?
A. Judgement, pure and simple.’
Blunt’s statement regarding the significant reduction in his ship’s speed is
important, since it is clear that the slower the Hawke was going at the time of the
impact, then the lesser the potential damage caused to the Olympic. While Gardiner does write that Blunt had ordered ‘full astern both’ before the collision, he does not mention the considerable reduction of the Hawke’s speed.7 This gives the impression that the Hawke was going faster than she actually was, thereby falsely buttressing his argument that the damage to the Olympic was more serious than admitted at the time.
Gardiner’s assertion that the Olympic’s hull plating needed replacing over one-third of the ship’s length is questionable. It is true that in 1997 Harland & Wolff indicated that some of the bow plating below the waterline was replaced after the Hawke collision,8 but Beveridge and Hall state that ‘there is absolutely no evidence that the forward plating as seen in the Harland & Wolff drawing had resulted from the collision with the Hawke.’9 It was common for large liners to scrape piers or be involved in minor collisions (see Figure 1), and it’s entirely possible that Olympic had damaged plates below the waterline at some point that were repaired when the opportunity arose after the Hawke collision.
Figure 1: Olympic scraped against the pier when she docked in New York on her maiden voyage. (Courtesy Bruce Beveridge.)
In addition to the damage to the hull plating, Gardiner writes:
‘Hawke’s ram had done more than merely punch a whole in the outer plating of Olympic. The liner’s starboard main propeller was damaged, eighteen feet of the outer steel propeller shaft covering [bossing] was crushed and torn, the starboard propeller shaft was bent and the crankshaft of the starboard engine was badly damaged. The impact must have given the starboard engine quite a jolt, which might well have caused further structural damage that was not apparent on initial inspection.’10
It is correct to state that there had been damage to the starboard propeller, propeller shaft bossing (that is, the plating covering the propeller shaft), and the shaft itself. However, Gardiner makes a minor error when he says that ‘the crankshaft of the starboard engine was badly damaged.’ Roscoe’s testimony, as I have cited earlier, states that it was the after low-pressure crankshaft of the starboard engine that was damaged. Yet Gardiner’s belief that there ‘might well’ have been further structural damage that was not initially apparent is speculative, since it is not supported by testimony.
Perhaps the most serious charge Gardiner makes is that Olympic’s keel was damaged, and he writes: ‘A broken keel would entail expensive and extensive repairs, which would keep the ship in the [ship] yard and not earning money for months.’11 During the journey to the shipbuilders for repairs after the collision, Olympic used only her port engine, since the starboard engine had been damaged, and Gardiner asserts:
‘Able to use only one main engine, the crippled liner made the voyage at an average speed of about ten knots, wasting the exhaust steam from the one usable [port] engine. This steam would normally have driven the central turbine engine, which shows that this engine, its mountings or shafting, had been damaged in the collision. As this engine sat on the centreline of the vessel, immediately above the keel, which the propeller shaft ran through, we can reasonably assume that the keel itself was damaged.’12
There is no dispute that only the port engine was in operation. Technical expert Scott Andrews has written: ‘The turbine could have been configured to run at much reduced power from the steam of one reciprocating engine...,’ but states: ‘The
work involved...just to gain a knot or two in speed would have been impractical given the short distance to be travelled from Southampton back to Belfast.’13 One wonders how the keel could possibly have been damaged in the first place, when we recall Roscoe’s testimony that the collision damage extended eight feet into the Olympic and the ‘penetration ceased’ between G-deck and the orlop deck. Since the Olympic’s extreme breadth was ninety-two feet six inches, and she drew nearly thirty-four feet of water at the time of the collision, then it is clear that the damage ceased about thirty-eight feet away from the keel on the starboard side and considerably above it. Bearing in mind the alternative explanation as to the reason that the turbine was not used, with a distinct lack of evidence in support of Gardiner’s statement as to the turbine and the keel being damaged, it is plausible to suggest that Gardiner’s assumptions are merely based on a conspiracy theorist’s suspicions.
Once again, during Olympic’ s trip to the builder’ s for repairs, Gardiner writes: ‘the emergency [wooden] patch had failed during the short trip back to the builders, showing that the hull was no longer structurally sound.’14 In fact, it does not cast doubt on the hull’s soundness at all, since Beveridge and Hall write: ‘It is not surprising that the patch did not hold as well as might be expected. They did not have underwater welders at that time. Many of the open holes were patched with wood or steel; the repair workers did the best with the resources they had.’15
Every one of Gardiner’s points – such as the failure to use the turbine engine on the journey back to the shipyard, the ‘failure’ of the emergency patch – can be explained with knowledge of contemporary steamships and mechanical engineering without recourse to an astonishing conspiracy theory. There are no credible sources indicating that the damage to Olympic was worse than reported at the time – and indeed ample sworn expert testimony to the contrary.
CHAPTER TWO: GARDINER’S METHODOLOGY – AN ASSESSMENT
In assessing the conspiracy theory put forward by Gardiner, it is necessary to explore the strength of his arguments and the methods that are used to put them across. Gardiner writes about the Titanic’s speed during her maiden voyage, and states:
‘The last thing that the White Star Line would have wanted was for the ship to arrive [in New York] before the reception committee, press and crowds had assembled to greet her on completion of a triumphal maiden voyage. Nevertheless, many survivors made persistent references to their belief that the Titanic would have arrived in New York late on Tuesday night instead of when scheduled [i.e. Wednesday morning]. If the Titanic had only maintained the speed she was making on the [Sunday, April] 14th she would indeed have arrived on the Tuesday evening.
‘Late on the 14th it was planned that the vessel would put on more speed and yet more again on the following day. So we know that the ship was going faster than she needed to arrive on time. Clearly there was an intention to get somewhere in a hurry, but not to New York [my emphasis]. The question that arises is why?’16
It appears important that Gardiner asserts that the Titanic was in a hurry to get somewhere other than the maiden voyage destination of New York. Since he believes that the Titanic (or rather, Olympic posing as Titanic) was going to be deliberately sunk, Gardiner also postulates that two ships were in the general area of the collision site as part of a pre-arranged effort to rescue passengers and crew: ‘It is more than likely that another ship was also laid on to assist Californian in removing all the passengers and crew from Titanic...’17 (Californian, another vessel in the area of the disaster, was subsequently criticised for failing to respond to Titanic’s distress signals.) Gardiner states: ‘If the plan had worked, all aboard Titanic might have been saved before the ship was allowed to sink. If the collision had not occurred where, when and how it did [then] the rendezvous would have been effected...As it was, Titanic was fatally damaged in a freak accident while her officers were trying to stage a fake one.’18 Details of the proposed ‘fake accident’ are unclear, but Gardiner’s statements as to the ship’s speed and a proposed collision site warrant discussion.
Since Gardiner asserts that the ship was speeding to a pre-arranged collision site, it is necessary to consider if he provides any evidence that the ship might have been going at such a high speed for any other reason. To his credit, Gardiner does explore the possibility that the Titanic may have been attempting to gain the ‘Blue Riband’ for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic, correctly noting that the ship’s maximum speed was not high enough to make such an attempt credible.19 Similarly, it is evident from the above quote that he notes that a number of survivors believed that the ship would have arrived in New York early on the Tuesday evening; and that the ship would have arrived early had she maintained her speed. Yet Gardiner appears hasty in dismissing the idea that the Titanic may have been aiming to arrive on Tuesday.
The evidence for the Titanic arriving on Tuesday is stronger than Gardiner’s text indicates. Gardiner cites George Behe’s book, Titanic: Safety, Speed & Sacrifice, which offers a detailed analysis of the evidence and argues strongly that Titanic was aiming to arrive on Tuesday.20 It seems fair to assume that Gardiner is aware of the evidence and arguments presented in Behe’s book, but unfortunately Gardiner’s text does not reflect this. He does not provide any substantial counter- arguments. Gardiner offers a blanket dismissal that the Titanic was hurrying to New York, but by failing to outline the available evidence that she was, then this brings this methodology into question – and with it, the value of his assertions. He does not mention the statements of first class passenger Elizabeth Lines, for instance, who survived the disaster and overheard a conversation between Bruce Ismay – the White Star Line’s Managing Director – and Captain Smith about the Titanic’s speed:
‘Q51. Mrs. Lines, if you recall anything else said at that conversation, either in words or substance, please state it.
A. There was a great deal of repetition. I heard them [Bruce Ismay and Captain Smith] discuss other steamers, but what I paid the most attention to was the Titanic’s [daily] runs [mileages], and it was simply that Mr. Ismay repeated several times “Captain, we have done so and so, we have done so and so, everything is working well.” He seemed to dwell upon the fact, and it took quite a little time, and then finally I heard this very positive assertion: “We will beat the Olympic and we will get into New York on Tuesday” but he asked no questions...
Q.58. And what was the substance, or the words if you can give them, of the conversation as regards the Olympic?
A. It was comparison, and that the Titanic was doing equally well, and they seemed to think a little more pressure could be put on the boilers and the speed increased so that the maiden trip of the Titanic would exceed the maiden trip of the Olympic in speed.’
In light of the fact that Elizabeth Lines stated that she had overheard these two men discussing the possibility of arriving in New York on Tuesday, this testimony does merit a mention. Nor does Gardiner seem to adequately consider the Titanic’s coal supply. Gardiner provides evidence in favour of a coal shortage (rendering an early arrival impractical were it true), yet fails to cite the evidence that the supposed ‘coal shortage’ was a myth. Gardiner quotes an exchange between Second Officer Lightoller and Thomas Scanlan at the subsequent British investigation into the sinking of the Titanic: ‘When he was asked by Thomas Scanlan MP, “Were you not making all the speed you could?” Lightoller replied “No, there was a shortage of coal and a number of the boilers were off, so there could not have been the desire to make the most speed we could.”’21 Lightoller’s statement that he believed that the ship was short of coal helped to defend the charge that the Titanic was being driven too fast. He later admitted that ‘in London it was very necessary to keep one’s hands on the whitewash brush.’22 Gardiner acknowledges this when he states that Lightoller ‘obviously tried to look after the interests of the White Star Line as well as his own while giving his evidence,’ and even opines: ‘this makes a good deal of Lightoller’s evidence useless [my emphasis] for anyone attempting to make sense of the events surrounding the loss of the Titanic.’23 Yet Gardiner uses Lightoller’s evidence to support the theory of a coal shortage without qualification.
Third Officer Pitman stated that he knew from an engineer that: ‘we had not sufficient coal on board to drive her full speed all the way across.’ Behe notes Pitman’s statement and writes that it: ‘does not preclude the possibility that the vessel was capable of finishing the second half of her maiden crossing at full speed. [my emphasis]’24 Bruce Ismay told the American investigation into the sinking that Titanic had ‘sufficient coal to enable her to reach New York, with about two days’ spare consumption.’ Similarly, more recent research appears to effectively disprove the idea that the Titanic was in any way short of coal for her intended voyage.25 Titanic had 5,892 tons of coal to draw upon, whereas Olympic had only burned 3,540 tons on her maiden voyage.26 Ismay’s and Pitman’s testimony has been available since 1912, and Gardiner’s failure to point out the alternative viewpoint that the Titanic was not short of coal again casts doubt on his argument.
As I have outlined, Gardiner dismisses the belief that the Titanic intended to arrive on Tuesday without giving weight to the arguments in favour of this view, or presenting all the evidence. Similarly he presents evidence in favour of the belief that there was a coal shortage, from a man whose testimony Gardiner himself partially describes as ‘useless,’ and fails to put forward the evidence that there was not a coal shortage. Gardiner certainly does not prove that Titanic was racing to a pre-arranged collision site.
There are other instances when Gardiner does not mention relevant information. As I have recorded in the first chapter, Gardiner neglects to mention Steele’s view that underwater naval rams had not lived up to expectations, nor does he mention the considerable reduction of the Hawke’s speed prior to the collision. Both these facts cast doubt on Gardiner’s assertion that the damage to the Olympic was more serious than admitted at the time. If Gardiner was unaware of this information, then since the damage to the Olympic lies at the heart of his conspiracy theory then this would seem to be inadequate research, and if he was aware of it then it should have been included as part of a balanced historical discussion. The failure to include it has the result of strengthening his theory by the mere omission of important facts.
While this critique has so far focused on Gardiner’s omission of relevant evidence, there are other aspects of his methodology that need to be considered. Gardiner’s methodology has been publicly criticised by researcher Inger Sheil, who is working on a book about the life of Titanic’s Fifth Officer Lowe: ‘What matters is the quality [original emphasis] of research, and it is here – in his methodological approach – that Gardiner and his theories demonstrate fatal weakness. His distortions of facts, selective use of eyewitness testimony and sloppy inattention to detail are indicative of [a] poor historiographical method.’27 She has also stated:
‘...Some of his claims might be based on an element of an eyewitness account, but his loose methodology and tendency to emphasise anomalous elements rather than reading them in the context of other evidence distorts whatever grain of truth there might be beyond all recognition.’28
These comments are borne out by comparing Gardiner’s work with the available primary sources. As an example of a distorted and selective use of eyewitness testimony, Gardiner refers to the configuration of Titanic’s B-deck and alleges: ‘B-deck remained effectively a promenade deck from which a person walking along could see the lifeboats, if they were swung out, just as Steward Alfred Crawford did on the night of the sinking.’29
Whereas Olympic’s B-deck had a promenade running along both sides, Titanic’s promenade vanished with the installation of larger luxury suites (as shown in Figure 2):
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Figure 2: Plans of B-deck on Olympic and Titanic in 1911 and 1912. (Courtesy J. Kent Layton.)
If it could be proven that Titanic’s B-deck was a promenade area, then this would agree with the Olympic’s layout and lend credence to Gardiner’s theory.
However, Gardiner seems to be confused when he cites Crawford, since elsewhere in the book he attributes some comments about B-deck to Steward Edward Wheelton:
‘Also on B-deck, but on the starboard side, Steward Edward Wheelton met Thomas Andrews who was looking into cabins to ensure that they were empty. Wheelton noticed that [life] boats 7, 5 and 9 were gone but that number 11 was still hanging in its davits...Wheelton’s statement also tells us that the boats were visible from the corridor on B-deck, which of course they would not have been if the cabins on that deck extended right out to the sides of the ship. This argues that the internal layout of B-deck more closely resembled Olympic’s configuration than that of Titanic and is yet another pointer toward a switch having taken place.’30
Gardiner cites Colonel Gracie’s book on the disaster as his source for Wheelton’s statement, yet Gracie devotes a mere five lines to the relevant details from Wheelton.31 There is nothing wrong with Gracie summarising survivor accounts, as he freely stated that his book included ‘tabulated statements,’32 yet perhaps Gardiner should have used the more detailed statement from Wheelton which he gave to the American investigation into the sinking:
‘I went down to the [boat] deck. They were just getting away [lifeboat] No. 5 then. I assisted in getting away lifeboat No. 5. I was ordered to the storeroom. I went down to the storeroom. The way I went to the storeroom was down B- deck, along B-deck. As I went along B-deck I met Mr. Andrews, the builder, who was opening the rooms and looking in to see if there was anyone in, and closing the doors again. I went along B deck and used what we call the accommodation staircase, which goes through the ship, and is used by the stewards. I went down to the storeroom and I got a bottle of biscuits, and I carried them up to the main dining room, through the reception room, up the main staircase. I got onto the deck; the boats had gone.’
There is nothing in his statement to contradict the assumption that Wheelton walked along B-deck deck using the interior corridor. The fact that Wheelton saw Mr. Andrews opening the cabin doors to see if any passengers remained behind would support the view that Wheelton used the interior corridor. Wheelton does not support Gardiner’s assertion that B-deck resembled Olympic’s configuration. Yet Gardiner goes even further: ‘People were getting into lifeboats from B-deck, which they could not have done if that deck had been laid out as it should.’33 Not only does Gardiner appear to distort Wheelton’s statement, elsewhere confusing Wheelton for Crawford, but the assertion that people actually boarded lifeboats from B-deck appears entirely unsubstantiated. In fact, Wheelton himself contradicted this belief when he answered questions as to what happened when he left the ship:
‘Senator NEWLANDS. When you left the ship where were the bulk of the remaining passengers located?
Mr. WHEELTON. There was no bulk at all, sir. They were scattered all around the deck.
Senator NEWLANDS. What deck?
Mr. WHEELTON. There were a very few, only our own men, left on A- deck when the boat went down, sir.
Senator NEWLANDS. As you went down [in the lifeboat] to the deck below –
Mr. WHEELTON. I did not see any deck below, sir, because it is all closed in.
Senator NEWLANDS. That would be B deck? Mr. WHEELTON. We passed B, sir.’
Another blow to Gardiner’s theory comes from our knowledge of the passengers who had booked the first class suites on Titanic’s B-deck. These passengers had booked suites which extended to the ship’s side and had a sea view. Two of the enlarged B-deck suites – unique to Titanic – earned the nickname the ‘millionaires’ suites’ based on their expensive price tag (see figure 3), and in a review of Gardiner’s book Michael Tennaro has noted: ‘One of Titanic’s [millionaires’] suites was used by the Cardezas [an American family] during the maiden voyage. Did they just imagine they were living in these sumptuous quarters?’34 Gardiner does not address this, and even more inconsistencies become apparent.
Figure 3: this grainy photograph shows the promenade deck of Titanic’s port side ‘millionaire suite.’ (The Daily Sketch, April 16th 1912.)
Having argued that B-deck was an open promenade, elsewhere in his book Gardiner argues that partitions were erected to enclose the promenade area and create the illusion that larger suites had been installed: ‘Ismay’s suggested extra cabins [the enlarged first class suites] need not really be built in, as long as the windows along the outside of the deck were made to look as if the work had been completed. Some partitions would have to be put up, of course, to fool passengers into believing [that] they were aboard the new Titanic.’35 Gardiner is arguing that B-deck remained an open promenade deck (like Olympic), and that passengers boarded lifeboats from this deck, yet on the other hand he is arguing that partitions had been installed (thereby enclosing the promenade deck) in an effort to ‘fake’ the enlarged first class suites present on Titanic. As seen from Figure 2, Titanic’s á la carte restaurant was also enlarged compared to Olympic’s, while a new café was installed (and photographed) on the starboard side. These substantial differences are never addressed. Gardiner’s argument that B-deck resembled Olympic’s layout appears to distort eye witness testimony, is inconsistent and contradictory, and is not based on any sound analysis.
Turning to other areas, Gardiner discusses the ship’s bells on Olympic and Titanic:
‘While there was no need to have new bells made for the ship, she could hardly go to sea as Titanic with Olympic written all over them [the bells]. The simple way around that little problem was to grind the names off the bells or to switch those bearing the ships’ names. One of the ship’s bells was recovered from the wreck but, although in excellent condition, there was no name on it.’36
The absence of a name on this particular bell does not prove that the ship was the Olympic. Nor does it prove Gardiner’s speculation that the name had been ground off the bell. In fact, according to American researcher Jon Hollis, the bell recovered from the wreck was actually the crow’s nest (or lookout) bell, and he states: ‘on ships the crow’s nest bell seldom has any writing on it.’
Another inconsistency relating to the names displayed on each ship appears when Gardiner writes about the ship’s name visible on the wreck, as seen in an underwater video:
‘The video shows part of the ship’s name in raised letters that appear to be stuck to the plating. Some of them seem to have dropped off; something that is patently impossible with incised letters. Nonetheless the complete name is not visible. What is visible are the letters “M” and “P” that seem to have been overwritten with the raised lettering. There is no “M” or “P” in Titanic.’37
Gardiner has earlier said that the ship could not have gone to sea as Titanic with Olympic written on the ship’s bells, yet here he seems to be arguing that some of the letters from the name Olympic are visible on the wreck after decades of exposure to the sea water and subsequent corrosion. While Gardiner suggests the name Olympic was overwritten with the name Titanic, it does seem fair to suggest that this change would have been visible at the dockside in 1912. It seems that the only logical conclusion is that the name Olympic was never present on the ship’s bow; that nobody saw the name Olympic on the bow prior to the sinking because it was never there; and that Gardiner’s citation of the video is incorrect. An expedition
led by the late George Tulloch in the mid-1990s managed to photograph some of the letters of the ship’s name which were visible on the bow, including the letter ‘A.’ There is no ‘A’ in Olympic, and there appears to be no independent corroboration for Gardiner’s claim that an ‘M’ and a ‘P’ are visible on the wreck – if there was, it would no doubt have caused a sensation.
Inger Sheil has noted Gardiner’s selective and flawed use of eyewitness testimony, and the general air of suspicion she believes Gardiner attempts to create. Meanwhile, Michael Tennaro has summarised Gardiner’s approach in his review of Gardiner’s book:
‘Rather than putting forth his evidence for a switch, Gardiner instead focuses on retelling the story of the disaster itself, but putting his own spin on the accepted version of events.
‘He does this by imbedding leading accusations, implying sinister motives, and asking open ended questions for which he usually supplies no answers...
‘...The inconsistencies go on and on... Many of the author’s criticisms are based on flimsy testimony from witnesses whose reliability is questionable. Contrary evidence, even if abundant, is ignored if it does not support the author’s agenda. These issues, taken together, damage the author’s credibility to the point that it is difficult to take his radical theories seriously.’38
Taken together with the material I have presented, Tennaro’s comments serve as a fitting conclusion to our consideration of Gardiner’s methodology.
CHAPTER THREE: INSURANCE
Since Gardiner’s theory embodies the view that the Olympic, posing as Titanic, was deliberately sunk in order to gain an insurance payment, then this seems worthwhile examining. How expensive was the collision damage to Olympic? Would the liner’s owners have benefited financially from the liner’s loss?
Titanic was operated by the White Star Line. The White Star Line was the trading name of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, whose stock was owned by Liverpool’s International Navigation Company Ltd. The International Navigation Company Ltd.’s stock was ‘controlled and owned by the IMM Co. [International Mercantile Marine Company], through the bondholders,’ according to Philip A. S. Franklin, the American Vice-President of IMM. Franklin summarised the situation by stating ‘in a general way, the International Mercantile Marine Co., through its various ramifications, owns the White Star Line’ (in addition to other companies including the American Line and Red Star Line). Among the White Star Line’s company rules was rule 101, which included the statement: ‘Commanders are reminded that the [company’s] steamers are to a great extent uninsured and that their only livelihood, as well as the company’s, depends upon immunity from accident. No precaution which insures safe navigation is to be considered excessive.’ Franklin did ‘not believe there is any company crossing the Atlantic that carries such a large proportion of its own insurance as the subsidiary companies of the International Mercantile Marine Co.’ In the Titanic’s case, Franklin explained the insurance policy:
‘This ship was insured from outside underwriters for $5,000,000, in round figures. It was, in pounds, about a million pounds. The company carried the remainder, up to about $600,000 – between $500,000 and $600,000. That is, our insurance fund carried the remainder.’
Bruce Ismay confirmed that the Titanic ‘cost $7,500,000’ – and was insured ‘for $5,000,000, I understand.’ When we compare the value of the insurance to the cost of the ship, then it can be seen that the Titanic was only insured for two-thirds of her cost, so that there was a $2,500,000 difference between any insurance benefit and the cost of building the ship. By any standards, this was a significant sum of money, and it brings to mind Franklin’s statement as to the great proportion of their own insurance carried by the White Star Line.
Following the ship’s loss, there was speculation as to the extent of the financial blow. In New York, Dow Jones & Co. published additional information on April 16th 1912: ‘Her cargo was worth $750,000. Insurance men estimate [the] loss to [the] International Mercantile Marine Co. will be somewhere around $3,000,000.’ The Dow Jones & Co.’s Managing News Editor Maurice Farrell, estimating that the ‘net loss might be $2,000,000 to $3,000,000,’ opined that the loss ‘would not break a company like the International Mercantile Marine Co., or ought not to do so, at any rate.’ Even if such a loss could be withstood by the company, were an insurance fraud involved then surely the company would have ensured that the Titanic’s insurance covered the entire vessel’s cost?
As I stated in chapter one, I do not believe that the damage the Olympic sustained was worse than admitted. Bearing this in mind, in November 1911 it was ‘unofficially estimated that the Olympic’s damage did not exceed $125,000, consequently if the findings of the court is not favourable to the [International] Mercantile Marine, the entire amount will doubtless have to be met by the company’s own insurance.’ There was apparently a policy clause whereby ‘no payment will be made for any damages under $750,000.’ If the report was correct, it would seem that the entire $125,000 cost of repairs would have had to have been met regardless of the court’s findings, as they were under $750,000. If lost passenger receipts could be claimed, then this may have changed, but only if the court’s findings had been favourable to Olympic. (IMM ‘claimed damages of $750,000,’ apparently including lost passenger receipts.39) However, for IMM any financial loss caused by the collision was hardly an insurmountable problem: the company’s surplus on the profit and loss account had risen from $48,585 in 1910 to $821,062 in the year ending December 31st 1911. Even if the insurance would not pay out the $750,000, IMM would have remained in surplus. In 1910, IMM’s net profit was a mighty $4,849,580, and this slipped to $4,509,270 in 1911. As for the White Star Line itself, it was ‘the principal constituent’ of IMM and ‘enjoyed continued prosperity, its profit distribution for 1910 being 30 percent’ after depreciation. In fact, White Star’s profit and loss account for the year to December 31st 1911 was in surplus by £1,102,756 – even higher than IMM’s.
The initial findings of the court, delivered on December 19th 1911, blamed Olympic’s ‘faulty navigation’ for the collision, but the White Star Line succeeded in their argument that Olympic was ‘under compulsory pilotage’ at the time and were therefore not liable for compensating the Admiralty. However they were unable to succeed in a claim from their own insurance. Despite the company’s appeals, by 1913 the verdict had not changed. Gardiner argues that ‘if the appeal were to go in their favour they could recover £1,000,000 from the insurance companies and the cost of the Olympic’s repairs from the RN [Royal Navy].’40 It is unclear where the £1,000,000 figure comes from, for although it was the sterling figure for Titanic’s insurance, Gardiner states that this was separate from the cost of repairs. Perhaps this could have been more clearly explained.
Gardiner claims that sinking the liner in disguise would ‘rid them of the white elephant Olympic had become and, at the same time, finance her replacement.’41 This is not the case. If a ship – under-insured by $2,500,000 – was scuttled in order to recoup some insurance money, then several questions come to mind. In the first place, it is very clear that losing their newest flagship on its maiden voyage would have been a massive blow to the company from a publicity standpoint. Were travellers to lose confidence in the White Star Line, then plunging passenger numbers could have been catastrophic. This is a serious argument against the conspiracy theory. Certainly a loss of $2,500,000 would be preferable to a loss of $7,500,000 if the Olympic had been a write-off, yet by any standards such an insurance fraud would be a drastic measure. Were there a conspiracy, one would expect that the insurance policy would have been changed to cover the entire value of the ship. As it was, White Star could only expect to recoup two-thirds of the ship’s value. Another consideration regards the inevitable investigations that would follow the sinking, for ‘negligence on the part of the shipping company might pave the way for millions of dollars in damage claims.’42 That being the case, why take such a horrendous risk? These questions surrounding the conspiracy theory are never truly explained.
We also need to consider the inevitability of expenses being incurred swapping the Olympic and Titanic. It is all too easy to forget the practical details that were noticed by people who inspected, operated and worked on them. In any case, Gardiner effectively minimises the differences between the two ships – neglecting to account for Titanic’s unique café and enlarged á la carte restaurant (for instance) as we have seen. Even if the ships had been as similar as Gardiner indicates, it is simply impossible to pass off a one-year-old ship for a new one. Wear and tear is inevitable, and this is reflected in the details recorded by the Board of Trade, who surveyed merchant ships to ensure that they were seaworthy. Early in 1912, Olympic experienced a very heavy storm, and in early March 1912 the survey reports went so far as to detail the exact number and location of rivets that subsequently needed caulking. As the younger sister, Titanic’s design incorporated modifications based on experience with Olympic, and in February 1912 the shipbuilders fitted several one- inch thick steel ‘straps’ to the Titanic’s hull ‘in consequence of observations made onboard the Olympic.’ There are many examples of changes that could be cited, but it seems fair to include one more. In 1911, additional steel plates were fitted to the bedplates of Olympic’s engines, and these changes were still evident in 1927 and 1932. These were being fitted in early July 1911, long before the Hawke collision, and whether similar changes were incorporated into Titanic’s design or not the 1927 and 1932 observations – by professional ship surveyors – do signify that the Olympic of November 1932 was the same ship as the Olympic of July 1911.
When survey reports were as detailed as to recording the exact location of caulked rivets, it is hard to believe that the professional Board of Trade surveyors could have failed to notice any swap if one had occurred. It could be argued that these surveyors could be bribed, or somehow ‘in,’ on a conspiracy, but simply suggesting that is not any evidence or proof that they were.
In my view Gardiner does not provide enough evidence to support his claim that deliberately sinking the ship would have benefited financially IMM or the White Star Line; he glosses over the fact that Titanic was under-insured; he fails to debate the obvious counter-arguments; nor does he indicate the practical problems of swapping the two ships. While financial arguments are complex, I do not believe the idea of an insurance fraud stands up to scrutiny.
The aim of this dissertation has been to try and provide an objective, rigorous analysis and discussion of the conspiracy theory. If the major elements of the theory stood up to a rigorous historical analysis then Gardiner’s work would earn the right to be taken seriously and investigated further.
Gardiner’s theory is built on the premise that the damage sustained by the Olympic was far worse than admitted, effectively making the liner an economic write-off, yet that premise falls apart upon investigation. Gardiner, to his credit, did discover the bow damage to the Olympic that was repaired after the Hawke collision, yet there is no evidence that this was damage caused during the collision. Had the Hawke come alongside the Olympic’s bow prior to the collision, this would have bolstered White Star’s case that the Hawke was the overtaking vessel (thus being at fault rather than Olympic) and it is hard to believe White Star would have kept this evidence – the bow damage – secret. It is Gardiner’s duty to provide incontrovertible evidence in favour of his premise when introducing such a radical theory, which would be libellous were those involved in any conspiracy still alive.43 He fails to do this. Gardiner’s statements as regards the damage to the Olympic’s turbine engine and keel simply do not stand up to scrutiny, and there are alternative explanations that fit with the other available evidence. Gardiner’s discussion of the Olympic’s damage appears incomplete, and indeed he does not quote from any of the testimony relating to the damage assessments. Experts such as Harry Roscoe and Robert Steele had the advantage of inspecting the Olympic first hand and their sworn testimony as to the damage’s extent must be considered accurate. The idea that the Olympic was an economic write-off is unsupported by any reliable evidence.
Our consideration of the methodology used in Gardiner’s arguments comes to mind. His work has been publicly criticised for distorting facts, selectively quoting eyewitness testimony, and generally failing to provide sufficient evidence to support his assertions. In my view, Sheil’s and Tennaro’s comments are entirely borne out by the research I have presented into the issue of Gardiner’s discussion of B-deck alone, not to mention the question of the ship’s coal supplies, speed, estimated arrival time, and the issues of the bell recovered from, and the lettering of the name on, the wreck itself. Aside from confusing a key witness with another with regard to the B-deck configuration, Gardiner makes apparently contradictory suggestions throughout his book and some of the statements that he quotes do not seem to merit the importance he attaches to them. The methodology simply does not conform to the standards expected of any serious historical study. Alternative interpretations of evidence are not provided and some of Gardiner’s arguments seem to be mere speculation. He does not explore the argument in favour of the view that Titanic was attempting an early arrival, despite being aware of Behe’s work, and does not mention key evidence. Instead, Gardiner appears to pick and chose facts to support his argument – for instance, by referring to the ship’s high speed and dismissing the idea that an early arrival was being attempted. Similar problems are inherent in Gardiner’s mention of the ship’s coal supplies. He does not elaborate upon the details of staging the supposed ‘fake’ accident, which seems astonishing in light of the fact that his theory requires a credible explanation for how the ship was to be scuttled. While it is true that the Californian was criticised in 1912 for her failure to respond to the Titanic’s distress signals, that does not prove that she was part of any pre-arranged plan to act as a rescue ship once the Titanic was scuttled. In any case, if Titanic was damaged in a ‘fake’ accident prior to an intended scuttling, surely it must be an astonishing coincidence for an arranged rescue ship to be close enough to the ‘fake’ collision site to see (if not recognise) the ship’s distress signals.
Deliberately sinking a ship that was under-insured by $2,500,000 hardly sounds credible. Aside from being a criminal act, if the conspiracy theory were correct it is only to be expected that the company would have made sure the insurance policy covered the entire ship’s value. That they did not is a strong argument against the theory, and Gardiner does not attempt to explain why this expectation did not materialise. Gardiner’s theory does not account for the inevitable concerns, such as the enquiries that would be held after any major shipping disaster, nor the differences between the two ships that were noted by competent surveyors. Were the White Star Line to be found negligent following the disaster, far from helping the company the entire conspiracy would have opened the way for liability claims which might have bankrupted the company itself. Inevitably, expense would have been involved in swapping the two liners – how much is impossible to speculate upon, yet it is something that Gardiner should have addressed. Nowhere does Gardiner cite any of the relevant financial figures that I have presented – such as the White Star Line’s and IMM’s profits for the year 1911, and the question of whether the ship’s owners would have benefited from a financial perspective is simply taken as a given. Yet, since the motive of financial gain is so important to the credibility of Gardiner’s theory then it is fair to suggest that this merited a far more detailed discussion for the benefit and enlightenment of his readers. By failing to address this issue, Gardiner does his work a disservice.
No theory should be dismissed simply because it involves a sensational ‘conspiracy.’ It is necessary to test it and analyse it using a wide range of sources. Yet in my view Gardiner’s theory simply does not stand up to any serious, informed scrutiny or debate, and I do not believe that it has earned the right to be considered a serious work that contributes to our understanding of the Titanic disaster.
1 Parish, Jane. ‘The Age of Anxiety.’ In: Parish, Jane, and Parker, Martin. (Eds.) The Age of Anxiety: Conspiracy Theory and the Human Sciences. Oxford: Blackwell; 2001. Page 1.
2 Parish, Jane. Op. Cit. Page 3
3 Gardiner, Robin. Titanic: The Ship That Never Sank? Surrey: Ian Allan Publishing Ltd.; 1998. Page 9.
4 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Pages 35-36. 5 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Pages 33-39. 6 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 34.
7 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 35.
8 Beveridge, Bruce, and Hall, Steve. Olympic & Titanic: The Truth Behind The Conspiracy. Haverford: Infinity Publishing; 2004. Page 21.
9 Beveridge, Bruce, and Hall, Steve. Op. Cit. Page 65.
10 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Pages 35-36.
11 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Pages 264-65.
12 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 264.
13 Beveridge, Bruce, and Hall, Steve. Op. Cit. Page 64.
14 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 265.
15 Beveridge, Bruce, and Hall, Steve. Op. Cit. Page 76.
16 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 77.
17 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 266.
18 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 268.
19 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 76.
20 Behe, George. Titanic: Safety, Speed & Sacrifice. Illinois: Transportation Trails; 1997. Pages 13-34.
21 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 79.
22 Forsyth, Alastair, Hyslop, Donald, and Jemima, Sheila. Titanic Voices: Memories from the Fateful Voyage. London: Chancellor Press; 2000. Page 238.
23 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 246.
24 Behe, George. Op. Cit. Page 18.
25 Chirnside, Mark. The ‘Olympic’ Class Ships: Olympic, Titanic & Britannic. Stroud: Tempus Publishing; 2004. Pages 328-34; Layton, J. Kent. ‘The Arrival That Never Took Place.’ Voyage 2005; Issue 54: Page 58.
26 Oldham, Wilton J. The Ismay Line. Liverpool: Journal of Commerce; 1961. Page 172.
27 Sheil, Inger. ‘Conspiracy Theory.’ Encyclopedia Titanica. March 5th 2004. http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/5664/49072.html?1083898244 (Accessed September 22nd 2005.)
28 Sheil, Inger. ‘Robin Gardiner: Gardiner’s Claims.’ Encyclopedia Titanica. May 11th 2004. http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/5671/86342.html#POST119208 (Accessed November 21st 2005.)
29 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 265.
30 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Pages 134-35.
31 Gracie, Colonel Archibald. Titanic: A Survivor’s Story. Stroud: Sutton Publishing; 1998. Page 285.
32 Gracie, Colonel Archibald. Op. Cit. Page 225.
33 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 139.
34 Tennaro, Michael. ‘Author Page: Robin Gardiner.’ Titanic Book Site. 2001. http://www.titanicbooksite.com/GardinerRobin.html (Accessed December 5th 2005.)
35 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 46.
36 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 46.
37 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 262.
38 Tennaro, Michael. Op. Cit.
39 Beveridge, Bruce, and Hall, Steve. Op. Cit. Page 20.
40 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 46.
41 Gardiner, Robin. Op. Cit. Page 46.
42 Lynch, Don, and Marschall, Ken. Titanic: An Illustrated History. London: Hodder & Stoughton; 1998. Page 182.
43 Tennaro, Michael. Op. Cit.
UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT COLLECTIONS
Deposition of Mrs. Elizabeth L. Lines, In the Matter of The petition of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company Limited for Limitation of its Liability as Owner of the Steamship Titanic. October 27th 1913.
Letter written by White Star Line Superintendent Engineer Blake, enclosing ‘report from the Chief Engineer of the Olympic.’ July 6th 1911. Unknown recipient, at Messrs. Ismay, Imrie & Co., Liverpool.
Board of Trade Surveyor’s Office. Letter written by Principal Ship Surveyor F. Carruthers, re.: SS Olympic O.N. 131,346. Inspection of Hull. March 6th 1912. Unknown recipient.
Board of Trade Surveyor’s Office. Letter written by Principal Ship Surveyor F. Carruthers, re.: SS Titanic Mssrs. Harland & Wolff No. 401. February 13th 1912. Unknown recipient.
Letter written by Superintendent Engineer J. Goodie, re.: SS Olympic – Main Engine Bedplates. November 3rd 1932. To the Principal Officer, Board of Trade Southampton.
US Senate, 62nd Congress, 2nd Session, report number 806: Titanic Disaster, report of the Committee on Commerce, United States Senate, pursuant to Senate Resolution 283. Government Printing Office: Washington; 1912. Accessible online: ‘Titanic Inquiry Project.’ November 24th 2005. http://www.titanicinquiry.org (Accessed November 29th 2005.)
In the High Court of Justice. Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division. Stating the case between the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited, Owners of the Steamship Olympic verses Commander William F. Blunt, of H.M. Cruiser Hawke and the Commissioners for Executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom verses Owners of Steamship Olympic. London: commencing November 16th 1911.
Court of Appeal. On Appeal from the High Court of Justice, Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division. Stating the case between Folio 400 (The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited, Owners of the SS Olympic verses Commander
William F. Blunt, of H.M. Cruiser Hawke) and Folio 382 (The Commissioners for Executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom verses Owners of SS Olympic). London: commencing January 21st 1913.
Ulster Folk & Transport Museum. Letter from T. Kenneth Anderson re.: photograph catalogues of Olympic, Titanic... May 31st 2000. To the author.
Mersey, Lord J. B. ‘Report of a Formal Investigation Ordered by the Board of Trade into the Loss of the SS Titanic.’ London: His Majesty’s Stationary Office; 1912.
‘[International] Mercantile Marine.’ The Wall Street Journal, 1911 November 16th. No. 7.
‘International Mercantile Marine.’ The Wall Street Journal, 1912 June 24th. No. 60.
‘The American Shipping Combination. II.: Its Financial Career.’ The Times (Finance and Commerce), 1912 May 6th.
‘White Star Line Accounts For 1911.’ Journal of Commerce, 1912 May 24th.
Behe, George. Titanic: Safety, Speed & Sacrifice. Illinois: Transportation Trails; 1997.
Beveridge, Bruce, and Hall, Steve. Olympic & Titanic: The Truth Behind The Conspiracy. Haverford: Infinity Publishing; 2004.
Chirnside, Mark. The ‘Olympic’ Class Ships: Olympic, Titanic & Britannic. Stroud: Tempus Publishing; 2004.
Eaton, John P., & Haas, Charles A. Falling Star: Misadventures of White Star Line Ships. London: Patrick Stephens Limited; 1989.
Eaton, John P., & Haas, Charles A. Titanic: A Journey Through Time. New York: Patrick Stephens Ltd.; 1999.
Forsyth, Alastair, Hyslop, Donald, and Jemima, Sheila. Titanic Voices: Memories from the Fateful Voyage. London: Chancellor Press; 2000.
Gardiner, Robin. Titanic: The Ship That Never Sank?. Surrey: Ian Allan Publishing Ltd.; 1998.
Gardiner, Robin, and Van der Vat, Dan. The Riddle of the Titanic. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson; 1995.
Gracie, Colonel Archibald. Titanic: A Survivor’s Story. Stroud: Sutton Publishing; 1998.
Lynch, Don, and Marschall, Ken. Titanic: An Illustrated History. London: Hodder & Stoughton; 1998.
Marcus, Geoffrey. The Maiden Voyage: A Complete and Documented Account of the Titanic Disaster. London: Unwin; 1988.
Marriott, Leo. Titanic. New York: Smithmark; 1997.
Maxtone-Graham, John. (Ed.) Olympic & Titanic: Ocean Liners of the Past. New York: Amereon House; 1995.
Oldham, Wilton J. The Ismay Line. Liverpool: Journal of Commerce; 1961.
Parish, Jane, and Parker, Martin. (Eds.) The Age of Anxiety: Conspiracy Theory and the Human Sciences. Oxford: Blackwell; 2001.
Beveridge, Bruce. ‘Never Mind The Heretics: Titanic Certainly Sank.’ White Star Journal 2002; Volume 10 Number 2. Pages 10-13.
Beveridge, Bruce. ‘Olympic and Titanic: Sisters But Not Twins.’ Voyage 2001; Volumes 35 and 36. Pages 140-45 and 166-73.
Beveridge, Bruce. ‘RMS Olympic: Evolution of a Design.’ The Titanic Commutator 2000; Volume 24 Number 152. Pages 246-56.
Layton, J. Kent. ‘The Arrival That Never Took Place.’ Voyage 2005; Issue 54. Pages 56-64.
Sheil, Inger. ‘Conspiracy Theory.’ Encyclopedia Titanica. March 5th 2004. http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/5664/49072.html?1083898244 (Accessed September 22nd 2005.)
Sheil, Inger. ‘Robin Gardiner: Gardiner’s Claims.’ Encyclopedia Titanica. May 11th 2004. http://www.encyclopedia- titanica.org/discus/messages/5671/86342.html#POST119208 (Accessed November 21st 2005.)
Tennaro, Michael. ‘Author Page: Robin Gardiner.’ Titanic Book Site. 2001. http://www.titanicbooksite.com/GardinerRobin.html (Accessed December 5th 2005.)
‘Conspiracies: Titanic – The Ship That Never Sank?’ Sky One; 9 p.m. September 16th 2004.