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originally posted by: Riffrafter
a reply to: TheChuckster
One of my favorite quotes is from Poe:
"Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect."
We can not stop to wonder if indeed Poe and who knows what other specific people through history might have too been time travelers.
Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan is an 1898 novella written by Morgan Robertson. The story features the fictional ocean liner Titan, which sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg. The Titan and its sinking have been noted to be very similar to the real-life passenger ship RMS Titanic, which sank fourteen years later.
Plot: The first half of Futility introduces the hero John Rowland. Rowland is a disgraced former US Navy officer. Now an alcoholic fallen to the lowest levels of society, he's been dismissed from the Navy and works as a deckhand on the Titan. One April night the ship hits an iceberg, sinking somewhat before the halfway point of the novel.
Similarities to the Titanic
Although the novel was written before the RMS Titanic was even conceptualized, there are some uncanny similarities between both the fictional and real-life versions. Like the Titan, the fictional ship sank in April in the North Atlantic, and there were not enough lifeboats for all the passengers. There are also similarities between the size (800 ft (244 m) long for Titan versus 882 ft 9 in (269 m) long for the Titanic), speed (25 knots for Titan, 22.5 knots for Titanic) and life-saving equipment.
Beyond the name, the similarities between the Titanic and the fictional Titan include:
Both were triple screw (propeller)
Described as "unsinkable"
The Titan was the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men (800 feet, displacing 75,000 tons, up from 45,000 in the 1898 edition). The Titanic was 46,000 tons and 882 feet long and was deemed "practically unsinkable" (as quoted in Robertson's book).
Shortage of lifeboats
The Titanic carried only 16 lifeboats, plus 4 Engelhardt folding lifeboats, less than half the number required for her passenger and crew capacity of 3000. The Titan carried "as few as the law allowed", 24 lifeboats, which could carry less than half of her total complement of 3000.
Struck an iceberg Moving at 22½ knots,
The Titanic struck an iceberg on the starboard side on the night of April 14, 1912, in the North Atlantic, 400 nautical miles (740 km; 460 mi) away from Newfoundland. Moving at 25 knots, the Titan also struck an iceberg on the starboard side on an April night in the North Atlantic, 400 nautical miles (740 km; 460 mi) from Newfoundland (Terranova).
The Titanic sank, and more than half of her 2200 passengers and crew died. Of the Titanic's crew and passengers, 705 survived. 1523 were lost. The Titan also sank, and more than half of her 2500 passengers also drowned. In fact, only 13 ultimately survived the disaster.
Following the Titanic's sinking, some people credited Robertson with clairvoyance. Robertson denied this, claiming the similarities were explained by his extensive knowledge of shipbuilding and maritime trends.