Titanic anniversary is awash in conspiracy theories
Sure, there are Martians living under Denver International Airport, and the New World Order has concentration camps there. Still, all the conspiracy theories about DIA don't hold a candelabra to the flotilla of rumors floating around the hundredth anniversary of the Titanic tragedy. And we're not just talking about the fact that the real Margaret Brown was nowhere near as perky as the "Molly" made famous by Debbie Reynolds.
Among the rumors floating around right now:
1) The Jesuits engineered the shipwreck to get the Federal Reserve through. Here's just a snipped of that complicated theory on titanicuniverse.com:
Necessary to their plans, the Federal Reserve did have some opposition; those who saw what the future would become if banking was outside of the government's hands, the rates set by a private company such as the Fed. All the wealthy and powerful men the Jesuits wanted to get rid of were invited to take the cruise. Three of the richest and most important of these were Benjamin Guggenheim, Isador Strauss, the head of Macy's Department Stores, and John Jacob Astor, probably the wealthiest man in the world. Their total wealth, at that time, using dollar values of their day was more than 500 million dollars. Today that amount of money would be worth nearly eleven billion dollars. These three men were coaxed and encouraged to board the floating palace. They had to be destroyed because the Jesuits knew they would use their wealth and influence to oppose a Federal Reserve Bank as well as the various wars that were being planned.
Within a year, the Federal Reserve was created -- and a year later, World War I began! Coincidence or conspiracy?
2) It was a massive case of insurance fraud. From the-titanic.com
One of the more bizarre conspiracy theories, concocted in 1995, was that the owners of the ship had switched a damaged Olympic for Titanic and deliberately scuttled Olympic (through collision with an iceberg) in order to secure the larger insurance compensation should Titanic sink. True, there was a brief suspicion that a cruelly untrue cable from the White Star Line to its owners claiming that Titanic was steaming towards Halifax with all its passengers safe was a stalling device so that the ship could be re-insured.
3) The Titanic fell victim to the Curse of the Unlucky Mummy. From theunmuseum.org:
In the late 1890's a rich, young Englishman visiting the archaeological digs near Luxor purchased the coffin and mummy of The Princess of Amen-Ra. He arranged for it to be shipped back to his home, but was not there to receive it. He disappeared, never to be found. One of his companions on the trip later died, another lost an arm in an accident and a third lost his fortune in a bank failure.
The coffin reached England and was purchased by a businessman. Three members of the businessman's household were injured in an auto accident and his house caught on fire. Convinced that the mummy was unlucky, the man donated it to the British Museum.
The staff at the museum reported hearing loud banging and crying noises coming from the coffin at night. Things were thrown around the exhibit room without explanation. Finally a watchman died. Then a photographer took a photo of the coffin. When he developed it, the image that appeared was so horrifying that the photographer killed himself.
The museum wanted to get rid of the unlucky mummy, but with it's reputation they could not even give it away. Finally, an American archaeologist, who didn't believe in the stories, purchased the mummy and coffin and had it sent back to the states on board the Titanic. The rest was, well, history...
4) Captain Edward Smith was drunk when the ship hit the iceberg. Wrote one survivor:
'The Captain was down in the saloon drinking and gave charge to some-one else to stare(sic) the ship.
'It was the Captan(sic) fault.
'My poor brother George ... drowned as far as we know now.'
5) And then there's this bit of wackiness, from thebestpageintheuniverse.net, which claims that Jews sank the ship:
Abraham Lincoln dies the exact same day the Titanic sinks, except 47 years prior! The Titanic had the capacity to carry 3,547 passengers aboard! They both have 47!!!!
Want a dose of reality on the Titanic? Visit Denver's Molly Brown House Museum, which guarantees that the following are true:
1) The gift shop has one of the largest collection of Titanic books in the world, as well as 10,000 pieces of Titanic merchandise.
2) The museum doubled its March attendance this year, as people from around the world were anticipating the Titanic anniversary.
3) One of the most unusual artifacts at the museum is a binnacle from Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic, that housed the ship's compass. This 500 pound case was found with compass intact on a Denver porch where it has stayed for more than 16 years and is now on loan to the museum for the year.
4) In her insurance claim, Margaret Brown included a necklace valued at $20,000.
For more, go to www.mollybrown.org.
The movies about the Titanic are awash in more crasy theories. See the top five Titanic film flubs here.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- NFL's Marijuana Ban the "Correct Policy," Says Commissioner Roger Goodell
- Reader: I Own a Subaru Outback and I Admit I Can Be an Ass on the Road
- Denver's Ten Best Restaurants for a Great Date Night