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A Book Written Way Before Its Time With An Ending That Historically Came True 14 Years Later.

Part 1 - Crazy story folks with many nooks & crannies. Time for a journey into the past with a little bit of history for you that you may not know.

Morgan A. Robertson, an American author born in 1861 wrote many short stories. He was a self-proclaimed inventor of the Periscope. Perhaps the most haunting book he wrote was the fictional one at left. It was published in 1898 and the 1st edition book cover is shown - Does it look familiar to you?

The book information can be found here as a story for your reading pleasure: The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility. As the story goes, a fictional British ocean liner named the SS "Titan" sinks in the ocean on a fateful chilly day. Wait... what?? Let's delve a little into this one as my interests were peaked to say the least....

Many eerily similar coincidences to the eventual wreck of the not fictional RMS Titan"ic" which occurred 14 years later on April 15, 1912. However, this book above, Futility, was published as a fictional novel of interest way before its time historically on many levels. Hmm....

The uncanny mouth-dropping similar details are as follows with Titan, the novel vs. Titan "ic", the horrific event :

  • Titan was 800 feet long; Titanic was 882.

  • Titan was sunk by an iceberg; Titanic likewise sunk by an iceberg.

  • Titan sank in the North Atlantic; So did Titanic.

  • Both ships sunken location was about 400 miles from Newfoundland.

  • Both ships were British owned.

  • Titan met its fate at sea in the month of April; Wow, so did Titanic.

  • Both ships were struck on the starboard bow side around the midnight hour.

  • Titan was labeled as “among the greatest works of men”. Interestingly so was Titanic.

  • Titan was cast as the "unsinkable" in the novel; Whereas, the Titanic was historically written as the same in many newspapers after her fateful demise. herein is a snapshot from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram dated April 27, 1912.

  • Titan had 2,500 passengers on board for her sailing; RMS Titanic had 2,200.

  • Berth size for both of these vessels was about 3,000.

  • Titan had 24 life boats - Titanic had 20.

  • Titan hit the infamous "iceberg" in the story at 25 knots; Titanic hit it at 22.5 knots.

  • Titan's storyline shows passengers died due to lack of lifejackets & the minimal life boats; Isn't that odd? As all the Titanic Passengers who died met their fate because of just the same. As both ships fictional and factual were NOT prepared physically for a sunken event.

What are the chances of distinct similarity in all of the above bullet points for one of the world's worst tragedies in history? I would assume those chances to be incredibly high if not impossible. Yet one was written and another happened and they are nearly one in the same. And, here we are today talking about it.

Here's a snapshot of Morgan A. Robertson, the one, I would agree was penned the "clairvoyant author". A token name I believe fitting of him for above reason and a couple other details of why below. Let's dig in further....

Over his lifetime, Morgan A. Robertson, the son of a Sea Captain from the Great Lakes and a former Merchant Marine of 10 years, wrote many collections of stories to captivate his readers. Some of his stories are very thought provoking. Many involve interesting topics worth studying. A couple were seemingly before their time and very similar to a historical tragedy. One developed a tool before its time and a couple were likely the inspiration of the creation of the Blue Lagoon movie & also the origin of Tarzan of the Apes.

  • Spun-Yarn: Sea Stories, (Harper & Brothers, 1898) / 6 Stories

  • Wreck of the Titan; Futility, Or (M. F. Mansfield, 1898)

  • "Where Angels Fear to Tread" & Other Stories of the Sea (Century., 1899) / 11 stories

  • Shipmates (D. Appleton & Company, 1901) / 11 Stories

  • Masters of Men (Curtis Publishing Co., 1901) / 4 Books

  • Sinful Peck (Harper & Brothers, 1903) – novel

  • Land Ho! (Harper & Brothers, 1896–1905) - 12 Stories

  • Down to the Sea (Harper & Brothers, 1905) - 14 Stories

  • McClure's/Metropolitan Magazines (1912) - 4 -Volume set of short fiction

  • McClure's/Metropolitan Magazines - Three Laws & the Golden Rule (1914) - 11 Stories

  • McClure's/Metropolitan Magazines - Over The Border (1914) - 13 Stories

  • McClure's/Metropolitan Magazines - The Grain Ship (1914) - 10 Stories

Not only was Robertson's book The Wreck of Titan: Futility, Or quite an enigma of mystery to beholden that was soon to be revealed 14 years later oddly with the RMS Titanic. But Robertson also had a few other "coincidental" writings/situations that cause me to ponder the following questions..."Can someone foresee the future? " And, "How could he possibly know some of this stuff before its time? "

Robertson wrote The Submarine Destroyer which can be found in his above collection entitled Land Ho! published by Harper & Brothers. The collective body of these stories reflects the years of being published fully by 1905 yet spanning compilation over 6 years: 1896 to 1905. The storyline of The Submarine Destroyer showcased Robertson's self-invented version of a prototype telescopic periscope on the submarine in that story. The periscope invention he wrote about in real life was later was denied a patent. As, it was accepted for patent by Simon Lake in 1905 & manufactured by Sir Howard Grubb thereafter. Image of one of these very first periscope's was found on the BBC site - A History of the World.

No one can deny that the latter two men above (Lake & Grubb) were influential developers likewise of a periscope that became utilized in the Royal Navy predominantly for the war ships. But the question in my mind is...Whom of the three men came up with "the idea" surrounding the periscope first.

As the collection Robertson wrote this story of his periscope in was from 1896 to1905. One could theorize that Robertson could have had the idea first. We may never know whom deserves the credit fully as a whole on this one. The historical credits based on research of the device/invention thereof for a periscope unfortunately for Robertson go to someone else other than him.

The other story that Morgan A. Robertson wrote that is quite "before its time" (in my opinion) was about a future war between the United States & the Empire of Japan. It was about Japan launching a sneak attack on United States ships en-route to the Philippines & Hawaii; (of all places)

It was about a Japanese invasion fleet about to launch a surprise attack on San Francisco. The story is called "Beyond the Spectrum" and was published for Robertson by McClure & Metropolitan Magazines in 1912. It can be found here if you want to read it on page 270 of this collection of his stories : HERE

Hmmm... Didn't the United States eventually go to war with Japan because of a Japanese invasion of American ships in Hawaii? Yes we did ladies & gentlemen! In fact, war was declared by the United States government on December 8, 1941 by Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), our 32nd President. You can listen to the audio of President Franklin Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" Speech carried over the airwaves to the world that following morning December 12, 1941 regarding that declaration HERE.

The day after the attack, Roosevelt delivered the above famous Day of Infamy speech to a Joint Session of Congress, calling for a formal declaration of war on the Empire of Japan. after their bombing United State's territory at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii that left our fleet in ruins after the event.

Wow - yet another direct coincidence of writing something with such similarities of great significance many years before its time. Its obvious to me that Morgan A. Robertson was a writer with some sort of unusual ability to forecast events.

Sadly Mr. Robertson died in 1915 tragically from an apparent drug overdose of paraldehyde when he was found alone in his hotel room in Atlantic City, NJ. I find that a little out of the ordinary personally for his death. Given he was a man who had really many interests, was very well versed and was kind of at a peak with his writing for his career in 1914 for two magazines.

But not without a very nice closing about his life of all sorts of interests..... South Bend Tribune May 21, 1915 to right and in The Bee in Kentucky July 9, 1915

The timing of this man, Morgan A. Robertson's death, I will point out is just a few years after the Titanic sinking that he foreshadowed in that first book highlighted - The Wreck of Titan; Futility, Or.

Likewise, his death was just a couple of years additionally outside of another deep dive story with scrupulous ties related to the Titanic. But for interim - if ever in parts of Brooklyn, NY near the Green-Wood Cemetery - be sure to stop by and pay respects to Morgan A. Robertson and his wife Alice. He was indeed in my opinion a very clairvoyant writer with a sort of mystical edge that has left a mark on me when I found out... God speed Mr. Robertson.

I will unveil all for you starting in Part 2 of this "journey into the past" that changed the world's finances as we know it. Stay tuned!

Queen V signing out...

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