In 1898 a novella entitled Futility, written by Morgan Robertson, was published. In the story we are introduced to the hero, John Rowland, who is a deckhand on a ship called the Titan. About halfway through the novella, the Titan is sailing on the Atlantic one night in April when it strikes an iceberg and begins to sink. Before it is completely submerged, John Rowland saves the young daughter of a former lover by jumping onto a nearby iceberg- and thus begins the second half of that story where he slays a polar bear, so on and so on. More stuff like that.
These similarities, of course, are eerily parallel to the events that happen to the Titanic 14 years later. To read the story in full, you would only find more similarities; such as the Titan (the biggest ship ever built) was said to be unsinkable, there were not enough lifeboats on the Titan for all the passengers, and more than half the passengers died when the Titan sank.
Is this some weird coincidence or a prophetic narrative conjured up by Morgan Robertson? As in most cases, this is simply a case of coincidence. Morgan Robertson was well read and had many real-life experiences on the seas, and his maritime knowledge led him to present a practical story where realistic threats would present themselves to a ship of such a size. Turns out, unfortunately, he was absolutely correct in his assumptions of what could and would happen. Still, the similarities are striking.
The Titanic is such an iconic moment in history that it deserves more than one fact. So we’ll give it two.
Everyone always chalks the sinking of the Titanic up to bad decisions made by the Captain, the lookouts, the architects, but were they really at fault? Or was the Titanic, as they said, the greatest ship built up until that time? Misconceptions abut the Titanic…next Friday.