The sad fate of the RMS Titanic continues to haunt us. On April 14, 1912, over 1500 people lost their lives due to a tragic combination of human errors.
Oddly enough, the disaster could have been avoided if Captain Edward Smith had only read Futility, a work of fiction that was published fourteen years before Titanic sank.
Futility is the story of the Titan, a fictional ocean liner that was of nearly the same length and tonnage as the Titanic. Both ships departed from Southampton, England; both carried 3000 passengers; and both had three propellers. Each ship had many wealthy passengers, and both struck an iceberg at the same spot in the same month and sank.
Many passengers died on the fictional Titan for the same reason they did on the Titanic–a critical shortage of lifeboats.
Oddly, one of the people who died in the Titanic disaster was W.T. Stead, a famous journalist and spiritualist who had written a short story in 1892 about a similar sinking.
Meanwhile in Winnipeg, a Canadian prairie city, Reverend Charles Morgan arrived at church to post the day’s hymns. He then decided to nap until it was time for the service, but his sleep was disrupted by terrible nightmares of crashing waves and darkness. Above the commotion, he could hear a choir singing an old hymn he hadn’t thought of in years.
Shrugging off the disturbing dream, he went back to sleep, but the same nightmare awakened him. This time, he felt compelled to act, so he posted a new hymn number on the board.
When the service began, the congregation sang the hymn from Morgan’s nightmare–an odd hymn for a church thousands of miles from the ocean. “Hear, Father, while we pray to Thee, for those in peril on the sea.” Still upset, Morgan’s eyes filled with tears.
Soon afterward, the reverend learned that as they were singing the hymn, the Titanic was sinking on the North Atlantic. Several prominent Winnipeggers lost their lives on the ship.
Years later, in April 1935, sailor William Reeves was standing watch on the Titanian. Memories of the Titanic disaster haunted him, especially since his boat was traveling the same still waters. At midnight, the hour of Titanic’s end, Reeves remembered that the great ship had sunk on his own birthday.
Completely freaked out, Reeves yelled, and the Titanian stopped just short of a massive iceberg. Other icebergs were nearby. The steamer was marooned for nine days until icebreakers from Newfoundland cut them free.
What do you think about these Titanic mysteries? Were they simply coincidences, or was something else at work?
If you can’t get enough of the Titanic, check out my post Tragedy on an Epic Scale.
– With files from Charles Berlitz’s World of Strange Phenomena