Study Sinks One Titanic Iceberg Theory
1912 wasn't a year packed with huge crop of icebergs
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2014 2:26 AM CDT
A lifeboat crane is seen on the wreck of RMS Titanic.    (AP Photo/RMS Titanic Inc.)

(Newser) – The year the Titanic sank wasn't one with "an enormously large crop of icebergs" as has long been believed, according to new research. Researchers who analyzed Coast Guard data going back to 1900 found that 1912 had a relatively large but by no means exceptional number of icebergs drifting south across the 48th parallel, the BBC reports—and as Greenland warms up, recent years have seen more icebergs than 1912. Some 1,038 icebergs crossed the parallel in 1912, but there were at least four other years between 1901 and 1920 when 700 or more moved south—and 1909 actually saw a higher number of icebergs, 1,041.

"This really refutes the arguments that have been around about things like high tides or sunspots generating excessive numbers of icebergs in that year," the lead researcher tells LiveScience. Using computer models, the researchers also determined that the iceberg that sank the Titanic probably broke off from southern Greenland in the late summer of 1911, starting out 1,640 feet wide and 985 feet tall and shrinking to around 325 feet wide by the time it hit the "unsinkable" ship in April the next year. (More fresh insight: A maid's letter provides a look at the ship's final moments.)

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
wrtblc20115957
Nov 10, 2014 2:23 PM CST
Well since I have worked as a sea captain a few years, I know that even around the turn oof 20th Century theere were safety regulations that state that when a passenger liner is in an icefield of possible large iceflows and it is after dark and there is less visability, they were reqired to heave to until morning for better visabilty to proceed. There was a ship a few miles away from the Titanic doing just that. Also, I know there is a regulation that says when in distress, fire RED flares. The Titanic only fired white flares. The captain of the ship sitting still a few miles away lost his licsence because he was awakened from sleep against his orders when his next in command reported seeing the white flares and lights of the Titanic going out a little while later when she sank. Some of the Titanics passengers were had never planned to sail on her but certain people urged them to go for a cruise. The certain people were working for an organization that were being politically prevented from making progress at what they do by those specific passengers. With them out of the way, a major political project could get the go ahead without resistance or interference. The captain was one of, if not the most experienced sea captains of that time. He previously had a long and successful and trusted carreer, aaccording to the Admiralty. He would not have violated Admiralty Law with all those passengers lives at stake. He was order to schuttle the Titanic and while on that voyage, he was for some reason very nervous about his orders and it was obvious to other crew members who new him well. Since the Titanic was claimed to be unsickable, it was easy to convince their political enemies to take a cruise. And there were not enough life boats for all passengers. Also, under Admiraly Law, the Captain's first priority is the safety of his crew. Then the passengers or the vessal and or his own safety. The investigation of the passengers that died found these facts and prompted further investigation of their political enemies witch seems to have shed much light on what really happened to the Titanic. I think there were some later declassified documents and confession or something, but those investigators seem to be fully convinced that it was done intentionally.
JackNelsonSteward
Apr 11, 2014 4:01 PM CDT
Well, no matter how many there might or might not be, ... it only takes ONE. Now ... Mr. Quinn ... the iceberg "hit the "unsinkable" ship?" How fast was that MOST unusual "berg" going when it hit the ship?
ewd76
Apr 11, 2014 11:53 AM CDT
Can't wait till they raise the titanic. Then a lot of mysteries will be solved.