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Did ‘malefic period’ cause the disaster?

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101ST anniversary of Titanic

April 15, 2013 marks the 101st year of sinking of Titanic, the elegant luxury passenger ship and the largest manmade moving structure built up to the time. Erroneous beliefs surrounded the tragedy since the day, Titanic met with the tragedy in its maiden cruise in the night of April 14, striking an iceberg and sinking in the early hours of April 15, 1912, along with some 1,500 of its remaining passengers and crew into the Atlantic waters at freezing temperatures.
Volumes on fictional, mythical, mysterious, ghostly and factual stories and literature have been published on the topic over the century; but without or little emphasis on the astrological forecast. Eileen Grimes’ bestseller, Titanic Astrology: The Grand Design of a Famous Shipwreck being the only text that did some justice to the episode.

On April 14/15, when the Sun moves (in an astrological sense) from House of Pisces to House of Aries in the celestial sphere, the Almanac advocates an observance of ‘bad’ or non- auspicious (malefic) period of twelve hours and 48 minutes also known as ‘Nonagathe’, and is shunned by Sri Lankans for performance of any important activity that includes patronization of rivers, streams and tanks, they even abstain from drawing water from a well, a tradition practiced for millenniums. Hence it would be enthralling to survey the yet unexploded area; the effects of Nonagathe, on this incomparable Titanic misfortune.

Naval architectural wonder
The slogan, ‘Practically Unsinkable’, is also a mystery, it is believed to be coined by the press of the day, as both designer-builder Harland and Wolff, and owners, White Star Line, dissociated themselves from the claim. Titanic, the highest achievement in naval architectural wonders and technological supremacy, set sail under the command of Capt. Edward John Smith, from the English port Southampton, on April 10. The first call was at France and the voyage re-commenced at Queenstown, Ireland on April 11, the final destination being New York, America. Grimes based her findings on position of zodiacal constellations at the time of launch, she meticulously notes, how the ‘Aries North Node’ made Titanic to sail ignoring warnings about icebergs.

Eileen Grimes’ expertly laid out theory that ‘God of the sea’, Neptune, abruptly ended the dream ‘Unsinkable’, along with a notoriously annoying phenomenon of Mercury, created the fatal combination for the ship. Speculation rife why Smith failed to heed ice warnings, did not slow his ship when ice was reported directly in his path and allowed life boats to leave the sinking ship partially filled, unnecessarily adding at least 500 names to the list of the dead.

Malefic time
Both readings, the time of impact, 11.40 pm on April 14, and sinking 2.20 am on 15 and the coordinates, 41° 43′ 55″ N, - 49° 56′ 45″ W, were taken from the ship owners account. Prior to the introduction of ‘Nautical Standard Time’ in 1920, the time as used by a sailing ship was subject to change. Adjustments or manipulations are made to suite its requirements, therefore, it is not possible to arrive at an accuracy of hundred percent. However, calculating the local time of the disaster, we arrive at a time lag of 8 hrs 49 minutes; meaning it was 8.29 am April 15, when it struck the iceberg and it sank at 11.09 am, after two hours and forty minutes, the same day, exactly 101 years ago.

The almanac in The Dinamina newspaper of April 3, 1912, says the malefic or bad time will commence at 2.53 pm on 12 and last till 3.41 am, on  April 13; local times. (Source: National Archives). This clears the first hurdle, the disaster did not occur during the ‘malefic’. Now the next hurdle; did the ship sail during the said period from Southampton, or the last port of call Queenstown, heading for its final destination New York? The timeline of the ship submitted to committee of inquiry by its owners states as follows: Titanic left Southamptan harbor, England at noon on 10 April (5.30 pm on 10th local time, long before the bad time began) for France and left Cherbourg port, France at 8.10 pm, (1.40 am on 11th local time) and reached Queenstown, present (Cobh) in Ireland at 11.30 am.

Titanic departed on her first Trans-Atlantic voyage, the Starboard anchor was raised for the last time and it was heading for New York, the vessel slipped away from the birth carrying 2,227 (no confirmed reports on the exact number, some claiming 2,231) passengers at 1.30 pm on April 11, 1912, it was 7.00 pm on April 11, local time, meaning it was long before the malefic period; thus clearing the last hurdle as well.


The ‘dyed-in-the-wool’ types or the staunch believers of bad and good times will say the ship was sailing across Atlantic during Nonagathe, while others can claim, it set sail long before, and hit the ice-burg well passed the malefic period of 12 hours and 48 minutes. However, it is obvious that the ship approached the danger zone, ignoring several warnings by the captains of ships that passed by crossing the Atlantic, was during the Nonagathe.

Futility – Coincidental fiction or astrological prediction?
Author, Morgan Robertson, in his short fictional novel named Futility 1898, (14 years before Titanic), features a misadventure of a British ship named ‘Titan’. This fictional ship in a remarkable co-incidence was very similar to Titanic. Both manufactured in England, first sailed in April with a top speed of 24 knots and had a capacity to accommodate 3,000 passengers, powered with three propellers and 800-900 feet in length. Among many other similarities, both struck icebergs in North Atlantic waters close to midnight, strangely lacked enough life boats to save all aboard, causing great loss of life.

Ida Straus, unlike Rose, in Cameron’s (fictional) ‘Titanic’ refused to leave her husband stating that she would go where her husband would go, when the Captain ordered all women and children to leave the sinking ship. As time passed, the band on the Titanic, led by Wallace Hartley, played to try to keep the passengers calm. No one really thought that the ‘unsinkable’ ship was in any real trouble.JC Middleton, a businessmen and his wife booked passage on March 23, to sail in Titanic; a week later he experienced a terrible dream in two consecutive days - he saw the Titanic go down in mid-ocean and hundreds of people struggling frantically in water. They cancelled the booking.

Cursed ‘Hope Diamond’
It was rumored that the cursed ‘Hope Diamond’ was on Titanic; but later found, it was in the possession of a citizen in Washington. Then there was the rumor that a cursed Egyptian mummy, ‘Amen-Ra’ (Ship-wrecker) on board was the reason the ship sank which also proved false. The bottle of Champaign used to Christening the ship did not break at first swing was another big lie, as it was established that the owners did not believe in the custom.

Surprisingly, little is known about Captain John Smith’s actions in the last two hours of the ship’s life. His legendary skills of leadership seem to have left him. He was curiously indecisive and unusually cautious. He was last seen in the bridge having given the final order to abandon the ship. Captain Smith’s wife, Sarah died in a road accident in 1931, his daughter Helen’s husband, Gilbertson died of black water fever. Helen married a second time in 1922, their twin children Simon died in World War ll in 1944, Pricilla, the other died of polio in 1947. Helen’s second husband died in a hunting accident in 1930.

Around 2.18 am on April 15, (local time 11.07 am) with over 1,500 humans aboard, the ship had risen vertically and began to split between the third and fourth funnels. The first half began its long journey to the bottom two miles below. The other section was filled with hundreds of passengers clutching to what ever they could get their hands on, hoping for a miracle, but that never came.
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