'TITANIC'S Final Moments: Missing Pieces' on The History Channel

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Inspector Hammer!, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Interesting, however these men did not do their homework before heading out, or they would have known ahead of time that Paul Mathias located one of those pieces of keel when he did his survey of the wreck site back in 99. In fact, throughout this doc I kept asking myself "If these men are so hell bent on examining a piece of TITANIC's keel, why not seek out the piece Paul Mathias found?"

    But, this program did make me rethink the nature of the break-up, at least somewhat, it is entirely possible that what they concluded was the case, but it's nothing really Earth shattering in the grand scheme of things, and contrary to what they said, Thomas Andrews gave a very precise time frame for the ship's survival, there was none of this assuming the ship would become it's own life boat and stop sinking (WTF), it was going to go down, Andrews made no mistake about that.

    The only time the passengers thought the ship may become it's own life boat was after the stern had broken away from the bow and settled back into the water momentarily before rising up again for the final plunge.

    This documentary was an interesting revision of what happened, but again nothing Earth shattering, and like I said Paul Mathias spotted and filmed one of those pieces already, if they had dug deeper in their research in preparation for this expedition, they would have known that. Heck, Mathias even mapped it LOL!

    I'm embarassed for them thinking that if I, a simple TITANIC enthusiest with not a shred of under sea exploratory experience, had been there with my copy of TITANIC: Anatomy of a Disaster, I could have saved them A LOT of time and effort LOL.
     
  2. SteveJKo

    SteveJKo Second Unit

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    John, are several passengers actually on the record as believing this to be the case? I have never heard any historian report that a passenger believed this. Matter of fact, the only person I've ever heard mention this is artist Ken Marshall, in the A & E documentary Titanic: Death Of A Dream / The Legend Continues. At the time of that broadcast it sounded more to me like a good myth rather than a fact. As far as I know Walter Lord never reported anything like this.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Don't quote me but I'm pretty sure that a few people said that the ship broke up and floated. If people saw it broken in half and that it was 'floating', it must've looked like it would've stayed afloat on its own. The board of inquiry didn't believe them or talk to them though. Second Officer Lightoller said that the ship went down in one piece and as the highest surviving officer his word had a lot of weight to it. It's impossible to say if in the turmoil that he honestly didn't know or if he was just being a good employee by saying that. Prior to finding the wreck, the official version was that the ship went down intact.
     
  4. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I don't see any reason to doubt that he was accurately reporting his recollection, and he was hardly the only one. As I recall nearly half the survivors questioned on the point reported that the ship went down in one piece, while the other half said it broke in two. It is possible that those nearer the stern never realized that the front portion of the vessel broke off and sank first because of their viewing angle. They was the ship rise out of the water, settle again, then sink. I believe this nearly even split among the survivors on this key point of what was the most dramatic event of most of their lives has been cited for years in law and criminal justice classes to underscore the limitations of eye-witness testimony. Hundreds of people in a restricted space, all viewing the same hugely important event and fully half of them got it wrong. Food for thought.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  5. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Keep in mind that TITANIC was in total darkness during the break-up because the lights had all gone out, so it would figure that some would say that it broke and some say it did not.

    Still, I would imagine that the ship made quite a racket when it broke and many said that they heard a tremeandous thunder-like sound, to me that could only have been the break-up.

    I can't really say how the legacy that people thought that the stern would become it's own life boat got started but I have heard that, but my point was that during the documentary they made it seem as if people thought this would certaintly happen during the sinking while the ship still had power and was intact, maybe some did, but Andrews made it clear that the ship was going down, no question about it.

    It was just a thoery these men came up with, I agree with their revised assesment of the break-up, but they lost me on that "life boat" part, there was no hope for the ship, and certaintly most of the passengers knew that once the ship reached a certian angle it was going to sink. And regarding Lightoller, he said what he said because he did not want to go agaist White Star, he wanted to command a ship of his own one day and saying publically that one of their ships was faulty and fell apart would have hurt his carreer in the long run...he was covering his ass.

    Again, I don't know if any passengers actually said "Look, the stern is going to float all by itself!", but that's what i've heard, probably from Ken Marschall.
     
  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Someone in this doc said something to the effect of "We're talking about an event that occurred 93 years in the dark so we're never going to know exactly what happened." I never thought of it that way but it's pretty darned accurate.

    Personally, I don't find it hard for people to have thought that the ship might float when it broke and came back down into the water. At that point, people would have been hoping for anything to save them and for a brief moment that would have looked like it was their salvation.
     
  7. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    It could, in theory, be argued that the only people who even knew that the stern had settled back down into the water were the unfortunate one's that were still on it, it was too dark for those in the lifeboats to say anything with certainty because they could no longer see the ship, except for perhaps a black sillouett against the stars.

    But, the ships baker was one of the lucky one's to have been stuck on the stern and lived to tell what happened.
     
  8. David_Jr

    David_Jr Supporting Actor

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    Overall I found this program reasonably interesting. Kind of reiterates the idea of just how horrific this must have been to go through, especially for those that did not survive. Regarding a tragedy that occurred 93 years ago in the dark, it reminds me of a scene from the movie Titanic where they send up a flare and the camera pans out to space. We then see have a perspective of this tiny, match box sized, ship against the vast darkness surrounding it. That moment in the movie hit me the hardest as it drove home the hopelessness of the event. It seems from many accounts that not everyone on the ship was aware of that hopelessness. Perhaps many thought the ship would float for at least several hours. If the ship had just stayed afloat four hours the Carpathia would have been there. I don't recall them saying whether the Carpathia could have taken all of the passengers on board or not if that had been the case.



    This point is driven home at the end of the documentary where they show the funeral of the orchestra leader, where thousands attended. Then they show the bill that the White Star Line sent to his family for his lost uniforms. Quite touching.
     
  9. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Carpathia, assuming it got there in time, could have simply pulled herself alongside TITANIC and taken on a great deal of her passengers.

    It would have made a world of difference for countless famlies.
     
  10. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Cinematographer

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    I wasn't able to see this because History Channel is not available in Canada (in fact, whenever CNN or A&E airs a commercial for a show on History, it always says at the bottom of the screen "not available in Canada"... )

    Anyway, correct me if I'm wrong but, in one of the countless TITANIC TV specials of 1998/99, one that was narrated by actor Victor Garber (from "Alias" and Thomas Andrews in the 1997 film) titled "Beyond Titanic" mentioned something about plans to build a full scale working replica of the ship for it's 90th (already past) or 100th anniversary. Anyone here know what I'm talking about? I know it was certainly mentioned, but I don't know if there was any follow-up/truth to it.
     
  11. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Yes, Nicholas, there were plans to build TITANIC II, I even had an issue of Popular Machanics that had a full article about it, it was to have a front Bow thruster, larger screws and rudder, it would of course have been electrically driven and all four funnels would have been dummies.

    However, a ship with the specifications that TITANIC II had (a virtual duplicate of the original in almost all respects) coupled with the fact that they build ships using plates that are welded and not riveted together now, was deemed unsafe by the maritime board of safety and the project was scrapped.

    Funny, they were essentially saying that TITANIC herself would have been unsafe today.

    An interesting footnote, in a book I have called Anatomy of the TITANIC, it states that the plates of steel that comprised the hull of TITANIC are still shipped to construction sites in the same dimensions that were used in 1912.
     
  12. Greg.K

    Greg.K Screenwriter

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    I wonder why they couldn't do it with modern hull construction (possibly with a facade of fake rivets)?

    What else was deemed unsafe?
     
  13. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    The same thing crossed my mind, Greg, regarding the construction and rivets.

    I remember reading that it all had to do with what was being left out of the new one, for instance because it was going to be electric there would be no need for boilers and that would have dramatically change the weight of the ship and it would ride too high in the water making it unstable.

    I don't really know what other factors were involved to be honest, it's been at least 8 years since that article came out. It might still be available to read on the net somewhere.
     
  14. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Cinematographer

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    A shame. I could just picture that endless line-up at the bow, all for people wanting to either yell "I'm the king of the world!!!" or gently exclaim "I'm flying!"...

    Or course, at that height, the bow would likely be permanently sealed off for safety reasons. [​IMG]
     
  15. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    LOL, i'm not even sure they would allow anyone to do that in 1912, but it would have put a damper on the "I'm flying" scene if you suddenly heard someone yell "You kids get away from there!!" from behind them. [​IMG]
     
  16. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

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    This is why I didn't go to school for marketing. I simply cannot see selling voyages aboard Titanic II.
     

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