110 years ago today, the Titanic was launched at Harland and Wolfs’ Belfast shipyard. Or so they say. Adolf Hitler is alleged to have said that: ‘If you tell a big enough lie, and you tell it often enough, people will believe you.’ Well, Adolf got a long way with his biggest lie, that the Jews were the vermin of civilisation and should be exterminated. He slaughtered millions of them before the armies of right and might finally crushed him and his evil regime.
So, is the Titanic, and what happened to it, a big lie? One so big that millions have swallowed the story hook, line and sinker for over 100 years. My great uncle was Charles, Herbert Lightoller, the only senior officer to survive the sinking of the Titanic. In 2011, I was commissioned to write a book, telling all that I knew of the famous second officer and the ship that sank beneath him. It seemed like a pretty straightforward writing job until I started to research the accident in detail. I came across the work of an extraordinary man, whose conclusions regarding the loss of the Titanic have so often been subject to ridicule and mudslinging. Yet, Robin Gardiner was an expert engineer who devoted many years of his life to proving that the giant liner that sank on that fateful night of 15th April 1912 was in fact her near-identical sister ship, Olympic.
Titanic and the strange case of great uncle Bertie
Chapter 19, Page 144 is where the ‘swap’ story is investigated.
Robin Gardiner’s 2010 book, ‘The Great Titanic Conspiracy’, totally convinced me, by his meticulous research, expert mathematical calculations, and knowledge of ships and the sea.
Millions around the world have an emotional investment in the glamour of the great ‘unsinkable’ ship going down, carrying rich and poor to a shared icy grave. When my 2012 book came out, I was interviewed on radio and TV and asked to deliver lectures to audiences avid for a new story of their beloved Titanic. I have now, to confound my critics yet again, written a novel called simply, ‘Conspiracy’. And it does what it says on the cover. It imagines two young men stumbling upon the conspiracy around the loss of the Titanic. They are actually onboard the liner when she sinks, and they only escape with their lives by amazing good fortune. The men behind the greatest maritime swindle of all time will stop at nothing to prevent our heroes from publishing the true story of the sinking. But this book is an adventure story, involving, sex, violence, romance and mystery, not just a conspiracy theory. Watch out for its publication later this year.