8. Titanic Premonition
There have been many articles pointing out the seemingly eerie prediction of the fate of the Titanic in the form of novels which mirror many details of the ship and its journey. But perhaps not many people realize that the captain of the liner, Edward J Smith himself, also seemed to have a premonition that all would not go well on the maiden voyage across the Atlantic.
In a collection of his letters, which were sold in 2016, he laments the fact he was no longer taking command of the Cymric, another ship, and instead placed as captain of the Titanic. More ominous is a letter to his sister written just two days before the liner hit the iceberg in which he writes, “I still don’t like this ship. . . I have a queer feeling about it.”
Captain Smith was a highly experienced seaman who had recently been on the Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic, when she was involved in a collision, yet he had nothing but fond feelings for that particular vessel. Why then, did he feel so uneasy about a ship he had only just set foot on?
Whatever the reason, fascination has continued to surround the doomed captain ever since. Many tales have sprung up around him, including the story of Second Officer Leonard Bishop of the SS Winterhaven, who, in 1977, was conducting a tour of his ship to one of his passengers. This passengerwas a quiet, attentive man with a British accent. At the time, Bishop felt there was something strange about the man but could not say exactly what it was. A few years later he came across a picture of a captain of a ship and exclaimed, “I know that man; I gave him a tour of my ship.” The man in the photograph was Captain Edward J Smith.