About a week ago, I stumbled on a book at Borders which put forth the theory that it wasn’t really the Titanic that sank that night back in April, 1912, but instead her sister ship, Olympic, as the result of a switcheroo done to perpetrate a massive insurance fraud. Well, I enjoy a good conspiracy theory, so I wanted to read the book. Wasn’t quite willing to fork out $20 for it, though, so back at home, I tried to find it in the library’s catalogue. Turns out that my local library system doesn’t have a copy, but they did have this book, by at least one of the same authors, so I decided to read it.
This was an interesting book, although the Titanic/Olympic theory seemed a bit weak. Well, weak on evidence, and I’m not sure it satisfies all the logistical questions that arise when contemplating the disaster. I will say it does a decent job of explaining most of the questions of (otherwise) inexplicable human behaviour. Unfortunately, though, this book gave an overview of the theory, but I think I’ll still need to read that original book to get all the details.
I did learn a lot of history, though, not only about Titanic,, but also about Olympic and the White Star Line in general. Since the book wasn’t solely about the Ti/Oly switch, there was a lot of other good stuff there, most notably a good bit of detail about both the American and British inquiries – lots of information I’d not read before. So, while the book was, IMO, weak on actually convincing me that any conspiracies were taking place (beforehand, anyway; it is pretty clear that there was a variety of different white-wash jobs that went on afterward, but that’s to be expected I think, as people try to cover their asses in a case like this, not what I’d call a real “conspiracy theory).” It was an interesting read, even if it wasn’t entirely what I was expecting.
The good news for my local library is that I’ve ordered a used copy of that original book from Amazon (I’m interested in ALL the details of that insurance fraud theory), and after I’ve finished it, I’ll probably donate it, so the library will, at last, have it’s own copy. 8/10