Did the Titanic Really Sink? Or Did its Owner Switch Ships?
by Dulce Maria Vazquez, age 13
The Titanic sank in 1912 and while many were left shocked, others were left questioning: did it actually sink?
There is no denying that on April 15th of 1912, approximately 1,500 people died in a ship that sank in the North Atlantic. But the question is, which ship actually sank? There is a fringe conspiracy theory that the whole crash was actually an insurance scam gone bad.
The White Star Line shipping company had a problem. Their ships were slow compared to their competitors. To solve this problem, in 1902 and WSL Chairman J. Bruce started to work on a new class of ships, the Olympic-class. He had to design ships that would be world class, bigger, and more luxurious than any before. The three ships in the new class were the Olympic, the Titanic, and the Britannic.
The Olympic was constructed first. On September 20th, 1911 while on a voyage, the Olympic made a sudden turn crashing into another ship: the Hawke, a military vessel that was passing by unexpectedly. The Olympic had returned with heavy damages, causing the White Star Line to go to trial. They were found to be at fault and were held accountable for the damages done.
Shortly after the crash, conspiracy theories began to develop. One theory was that since the repairs could not be covered by insurance, the company decided to make a switch: the Olympic became the Titanic. The ship that sunk was the the old damaged Olympic, not the pristine new Titanic.
Another conspiracy theory speculated that J. P. Morgan— the financier who bankrolled the WSL—was involved in the crash, hoping that his enemies who were passengers on board would drown.
The owners of the Titanic didn’t agree with having the public examination the ship before it set sail, so many people believe it wasn’t the real Titanic. They argue that the Olympic lies at the bottom of the sea instead of the original Titanic.
What do you think about these theories? Do you believe these conspiracies are true or false?