A video circulating on social media is promoting a conspiracy theory surrounding the sinking of the Titanic. According to the theory, the Titanic ship never sunk and it was actually the HMS Olympic, one of the Titanic’s sister ships, that was deliberately sunk. The theory suggests that the Olympic, which had been damaged in an accident, was returned to the manufacturer for repairs while the Titanic was under construction. To recoup the losses from the accident and claim the insurance, the company allegedly switched the names of the two ships, and the Titanic was then deliberately sunk, resulting in the loss of over 1500 lives. The video claims that the source of these claims was Robin Gardner. Let’s check the veracity of these claims.
Claim: The Titanic ship was switched with the HMS Olympic and deliberately sunk as part of an insurance fraud scheme.
Fact: There is no evidence to support this conspiracy theory. The theory was propagated by British author Robin Gardiner, but it was debunked by many authors and experts, including Steve Hall and Bruce Beveridge. The differences between the Titanic and the Olympic were more than just cosmetic and included many structural differences that would have made it impossible to switch the two ships. The insurance fraud theory also does not hold up to scrutiny. Several documentary films have presented expert evidence to debunk the conspiracy theories surrounding the Titanic disaster. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
Initially, we found that British author Robin Gardiner played a key role in propagating the claims around the Titanic conspiracy theories. In his various books, he suggested that the Titanic did not actually sink but was switched with its damaged sister ship, the Olympic, and then deliberately sunk for insurance money. According to Gardiner’s theory, the White Star Line, which owned both ships, wanted to avoid paying for the expensive repairs on the Olympic, and so swapped it with the Titanic, which had only just been completed. Gardiner claimed that the damage to the Olympic was so severe that it was irreparable, and that the Titanic was modified to make it look like the Olympic. The Titanic was then sent on its maiden voyage and deliberately sunk, with the intention of collecting the insurance money.
However, these claims were debunked by many authors and experts. Steve Hall and Bruce Beveridge co-authored a book titled “Olympic & Titanic: The Truth Behind the Conspiracy.” In the book, they extensively researched the claims made by conspiracy theorists and presented a wealth of evidence to refute them.
They pointed out that the differences between the Titanic and the Olympic were more than just cosmetic and included many structural differences that would have made it impossible to switch the two ships. For example, the Titanic was longer and had a different number of watertight compartments than the Olympic. Additionally, the Titanic had more powerful engines than the Olympic and had a different configuration of its propeller shafts. Hall and Beveridge also provided evidence from contemporary sources such as newspapers and shipbuilding journals to show that the Titanic was indeed the ship that sank in 1912. They presented eyewitness accounts from survivors of the sinking who identified the ship as the Titanic, and they pointed out that the ship’s builders, Harland and Wolff, publicly confirmed that the Titanic was lost.
Furthermore, Hall and Beveridge pointed out that the insurance fraud theory does not hold up to scrutiny. The Titanic was insured for $5 million, while its actual construction cost was $7.5 million. Therefore, even if the White Star Line had intentionally sunk the ship, they would still have suffered a financial loss. Similarly, several documentary films have presented expert evidence to debunk the conspiracy theories surrounding the Titanic disaster. Some of them can be seen here and here.
To sum it up, the evidence gathered from various sources including historical documents, shipbuilding records, and testimonies from experts, researchers, and historians strongly suggests that there is no basis to support the claims that the Titanic was switched with the Olympic and intentionally sunk for insurance fraud. Therefore, the theory remains a baseless and unfounded conspiracy.