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Modern Mysteries

Did a solar flare cause the Titanic disaster ?

By T.K. Randall
September 17, 2020 · Comment icon 14 comments

Even the slightest course change could have proven disastrous. Image Credit: Willy Stower - 1912
It is now believed that a geomagnetic storm interfered with the Titanic's navigation and communications.
Situated 13,000ft beneath the surface of the Atlantic, the wreck of the Titanic was discovered in 1985 and has since served as a humbling reminder of the disaster that claimed over 1,500 lives.

Many factors have been attributed to the string of events that lead to the iconic vessel's demise, including a lack of binoculars for the crow's nest and the fact that the ship's captain had insisted on speeding through a region known to contain icebergs.

Now however, a new study has highlighted another potential factor that may have tipped things over the edge - a geomagnetic storm produced by a solar flare that may have had an impact on the Titanic's navigational and radio capabilities.

"The Titanic struck an iceberg at 2340 ship time on April 14, 1912 (0310 UTC, April 15) in light winds and a relatively calm sea state," writes independent researcher Mila Zinkova.

"The Titanic's Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall worked out the ship's SOS position. Boxhall's position was around 13 nautical miles (24 km) off their real position. "
"The rescue ship Carpathia received this wrong position, but somehow miraculously streamed directly to the Titanic's lifeboats. Both the error and correction may have been caused by the effect of space weather."

"It is considered here that a significant space weather event, in this instance a geomagnetic storm, was present during the period around the Titanic's disaster, with some impacts upon navigation and communication."

While it isn't clear just how severe an impact the geomagnetic storm may have had on the ship's navigation, even the slightest change of course could have made all the difference.

"A negligible compass error, which might have resulted from the storm, could have placed the Titanic on the collision course," Zinkova wrote.

"The geomagnetic storm might have been partly responsible for the incorrect calculation of the Titanic's SOS position in both direct and indirect ways by influencing the compass, and by adding to the stress level of the navigators who performed the calculations."

Source: Meaww.com | Comments (14)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Mr.United_Nations 4 years ago
But why only the Titanic? 
Comment icon #6 Posted by stereologist 4 years ago
This idea sounds fishy to me. The night was clear and one of the stars that would have been visible was Polaris, the north star. That's a pretty vague statement. They might as well have stated that the compass was not properly calibrated. This site gives an account of the arrival. http://www.titanic-titanic.com/carpathia-to-titanics-rescue/ They spot a flare from a life boat. https://titanicfacts.net/carpathia/ At this site it states they traveled 56 miles to get to the site. Here is a discussion of how the location was given incorrectly. https://timmaltin.com/2019/04/08/titanic-distress-signa... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by docyabut2 4 years ago
I just don't believe it was from sun flares, but just from hitting a ice burg ")
Comment icon #8 Posted by kartikg 4 years ago
All other ships would be also off course. 
Comment icon #9 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
Whatever... they didn't have the Iceberg location. So planning a route at that time was going to Europe and not running aground...  Navigating was working on a charts and approximative at a certain degree because of winds and current until landmarks... a couple degree of deviation was accurate more or less.
Comment icon #10 Posted by DanL 3 years ago
I don't think that anybody has inferred that the Titanic didn't sink as a result of it hitting an iceberg. The question is WHY. A well-seasoned captain and crew in an area known to occasionally have icebergs and the recent sightings and reports should have been enough to make them more careful. What is the most likely theory, with some testimonial evidence, is that the Captain, having a new and powerful ship, wanted to set a new record for a transatlantic crossing. Instead of either slowing down or changing his course to a more southern and safer line he instead forged ahead. There are also so... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by DanL 1 year ago
The Titanic ran into an iceberg. This unfortunately happened because the Captain was trying to set a new speed record crossing. By the time the berg was spotted, it was too late to avoid it. The other problem was that they were all so sure that it was an "unsinkable" ship that there were not enough lifeboats. Stupidity and COLD water killed them in mass!
Comment icon #12 Posted by Scholar4Truth 1 year ago
J. Bruce Ismay one of the owners of the Titanic blamed himself for their deaths and lived the rest of his days with regret.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Antigonos 1 year ago
He also criminally ignored several warnings of ice ahead in his path given to him earlier that day and evening by ships passing in the opposite direction.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Nosy.Matters 1 year ago
Yes state of the art ship has an off compass, possible,  but -- iceberg warnings? What do you not understand about ice ahead? Was that ever stated? However, most of us in the same frame might have done the same, well maybe, benifit of the doubt whatever the made up phrase could be true.


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