Rob and I were out running errands today and stopped at Barnes and Noble to look for an issue of Time Magazine that has an article about the benefits of meditation. Rob had hoped to make copies of it to give to the students in his meditation classes. But we couldn’t find a copy of Time. There were dozens of magazines that covered everything from self-help to generals to atheists and astrology and travel. But no Time.
What we did find, though, was a bookazine – magazine size, no ads, the cost of a trade paperback- called Conspiracies, Mysteries, Secrets, & Lies. This sucker probably covers every conspiracy known to man – and then some – but one of the most interesting concerns the Titanic.
Most of us know the specifics about the ill-fated voyage of the supposedly unsinkable Titanic – that on the night of April 15, 1912, it crashed into an iceberg that ripped a hole in its hull and the liner sank. More than 1,500 people died. But the writer of the article in the bookazine, J. Lee Marks, points out that conspiracists believe that the Titanic never sank, that its sister ship, the Olympic, was sunk in its place for the insurance money.
In 1911, the Olympic was the largest passenger ship in the world and on September 20, 1911, it crashed into a British warship. The Olympic was found to be at fault, so the insurance company refused to pay for the damages, which posed a major threat to the cruise line. At the time of the Olympic’s crash, construction on the Titanic was still underway and conspiracists believe that the damaged Olympic was renamed the Titanic and billed as the company’s newest ship.
According to Marks, conspiracists says that the Titanic was repaired, refurbished, but that on the inside still had mechanical and structural flaws as a result of crashing into the British warship. Meanwhile, Marks writes, “production on the Titanic was sped up and completed, and the boat was rechristened the Olympic. It immediately set sail and continued making trans-Atlantic voyages and money for the White Star Line until 1935, when it was retired.”
In order to recoup the insurance payments they didn’t get from the Olympic’s crash, the White Star investors supposedly plotted to sink their damaged boat (the Titanic). They arranged to have the steamship Californian and another ship on hand to rescue the doomed passengers and crew. And supposedly the captain of the Titanic – Edward Smith- was in on the scheme. But things, of course, went horribly wrong, the Titanic sank earlier than it was intended – either because it collided with one of the rescue vessels or because it actually hit an iceberg.
Another theory about the Titanic is that millionaire and White Star investor J.P. Morgan was a last-minute no show for the Titanic’s maiden voyage. At the time, Morgan was trying to form the central banking system we now know as the Federal Reserve – which isn’t part of the government, but is a private company. Interestingly, three men who were opposed to the formation of the Federal Reserve died when the Titanic sank: John Jacob Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim, and Isadore Strauss.
Given the banking debacle that led to the economic meltdown of 2008, this last part of the conspiracy is the part I find the most believable. But, if it’s true, then Morgan went to great lengths to kill off his foes. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just have them knocked off?
This bookazine runs about 130 pages and probably 30,000 -35,000 words; the bookazines Rob and I were working on in 2013 ran from 12,000 to about 15,000 words. The author is listed as J. Lee Marks. So I Googled him and not much showed up. I kept clicking links and eventually came across a blog post about this bookazine.
The author of this blog article, Bernie Suarez, took issue with Marks’ conclusion that NSA spying is really okay since we have to be protected against terrorists, yada, yada. It ticked him off enough that he contacted the president and creative director of The Media Source, who published the bookazine, and asked to interview J. Lee Marks.
Suarez was told that Marks was reclusive and didn’t give interviews. Suarez rips apart the author’s take on a lot of these conspiracies- namely that they are perpetrated and spread by idiots – and yet glorifies professional skeptic James Randi.
I’m no fan of Randi. Rob and I met him years ago when we were freelancing. Back then, he was offering $10,000 to anyone who could prove to him, a magician, that psychic phenomena was real. Now the ante has been raised to $1,000,000. Thing is, if Randi were presented with legitimate evidence that psi exists, he would not only be a million bucks poorer, but would be out of a job, his identity robbed, stripped away. He would be just a senior citizen with a white beard.
But the article and this strange little mystery about J. Lee Marks, got me thinking. I love conspiracies, I love the intrigue and mystery. Since I don’t believe much of what the government tells me, I’m ripe for conspiracies. Do I believe there have been coverups? You bet. Do I believe that the moonwalks were a hoax? No. I think we went there. I heard Edgar Mitchell speak at a public function some years ago and came away believing that he experienced something extraordinary on his re-entry to Earth that turned his worldview inside out.
Elvis? Is he dead? Well, yes, he probably is.
Is the 27 Club real? Seems to be – and it falls under the umbrella of synchronicity.
What about the JFK assassination? And the assassinations of MLK and RFK? What about Roswell? Did it happen?
What about climate change? Is it all a scam just to levy a carbon tax?
If nothing else, this bookazine provides some fodder for blog posts and is a trigger for discussions. But it also prompted me to examine my own beliefs. Where do I fall in the conspiracy scheme of things? Where do you fall?