Titanic’s Marconi Radio & a Spirit’s Reaction

DATELINE: Titanic Spirit

 New Book: Titanic’s Forgotten Movie.

You may have noticed the latest Titanic news: a judge’s ruling that violates the graveyard sanctity of shipwrecks in the name of historical preservation. The Titanic will now be drilled open like a can of sardines, and the Marconi radio will be extracted.

The arguments in favor of this are that the ship is collapsing and, if salvage does not occur immediately, all these historical items, lost for over 108 years will be lost forever.

My own personal interest in the topic may be tied to a couple of books I wrote about the Titanic (if you are interested, the latest is TITANIC’S FORGOTTEN MOVIE,which details the attempts to have Greta Garbo and Alfred Hitchcock join the movie manifest).

I also have a personal interest in that my home once belonged to several victims of the White family, who died during their first-class voyage to destiny.

Richard White was a 21-year old Bowdoin student coming home to graduate in 1912, but he only made it there for a memorial service. His body was recovered among the 300 or so, and he was brought home to a cemetery one mile from where I live and he lived. I often visit him there.

Some time ago, I discovered he was hanging around in spirit. Never believing in that stuff, I went to various psychics who confirmed he selected me to write his biography. I have done so, and he continues to visit me from time to time, a grateful spirit friend.

The preferred method of communication with someone on the Other Side for me is divining rods. He always responds quickly for me, and so I asked him what his opinion might be about the retrieval of the Marconi.

Richard’s response on the metal sticks was surprising. He is often strong in his responses to me, but there was a great great deal of ambivalence about this going into the ship for the Marconi. He had strong mixed feelings. I think he feels helpless to react to it.

His answer reminded me me of my own reaction to the coronavirus. What can we do? Profiteers want their profit.

As far as Titanic is concerned, I do think this opens the door to retrieving safety deposit boxes and the like. If you decide the ship is collapsing, they will take all they can out with that excuse.

By the same token, there is not much an oldster can do when the doors are open to ending social distance. Victims are always victims. Old people may be susceptible to the virus, but the greater need to have society continue on its merry way supersedes those whose lives are nearly over.

Richard White could surely empathize with a death that causes respiratory failure: fluid in the lungs killed him too.

Now the place where his father’s body was never recovered will be violated for profit and the higher motive of historical value. Those always take precedence over the life of an individual.

Richard White and I can only shrug at the latest turn of events.

 

Pandemic & Titanic

 DATELINE: History Repeats

Sizes of disaster!

Our lectures at a local college on Titanic are sunk with the coronavirus.

We have had to cancel several college presentations we planned to deliver on the anniversary of the infamous Titanic disaster in mid-April. It now appears another, even worse disaster is in the making.

The Pandemic of coronavirus and the Titanic of nautical history share many similarities. I might have noted these if my lectures were going to be held, but it seems I am lucky to find an escape hatch in this life, far from the crowds with social distance.

My books on Titanic include studies of one local Massachusetts family, whose wealth did not save them. As lore presented, men stayed on board and went down with the ship.

Our ship of state has hit a tiny virus who has left bits of fever and respiratory arrest on our decks.

Perhaps women are not spared from the virus, guaranteed a precious seat on the escape boat, as their casualty numbers are equal to their counterparts. However, in one way, the two disasters share victims:  the old and the poor were the most likely to die.

The third-class passengers did not have the luxury of paying for ventilators—or do we mean lifeboats? Even rich women and their pet dogs could escape where those below deck and uninsured found a sorry end.

It was ineptness and lack of preparation that doomed Titanic, and we have no tests available and massive denial that our economy could sink so quickly. Like Titanic, we have been the victims of hubris: the belief that we are invincible.

How else can you explain ignoring the warning signs and dancing in the ballroom, or cavorting on a Miami beach?  There was no inoculation for stupidity in 1912, and there is still nothing available to treat stupidity in 2020.

Titanic hit an iceberg, and a microbe has hit us. The damage does not depend on the size of your nemesis.

In its own way, Titanic is a microcosm of our pandemic. One took a small sample size to their graves, and this world- wide disaster may take millions. We can only compare it to the grandiose Bubonic disaster of the 1300s, but that’s another comparison for another day without comfort.

Dr. William Russo is author of Titanic’s Forgotten Movie, Tales of a Titanic Family, and Spooky Geology and Titanic. All are available for housebound victims of virus and those undergoing social distance.