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A night to remember in a year we'll never forget
An image of the Costa Concordia starting to sink off the Italian island of Giglio.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – While there is much talk about what the new
year of 2012 will bring, it is important to remember that 100 years ago – 1912 –
was an amazing year as well.

I wrote that sentence three days ago but never got any farther. I got busy and distracted and planned to continue writing about 1912 and 2012.  I had planned to write
about – among other topics - this year being the 100th anniversary
of the sinking of the RMS Titanic in
the North Atlantic on April 14-15, 1912 after striking an iceberg.

And then … something shocking happens within hours of my
writing that … the 984-foot long cruise ship Costa Concordia hits some rocks near the Italian island of Giglio,
off the coast of scenic Tuscany, as many of the passengers are enjoying a
leisurely dinner on what was to be – for many – a pleasure cruise. It looks as
if 2012 is getting off to an interesting start, just as the Russian Phobos-Grunt probe plummets to Earth. And the photo of the Costa Concordia listing and sinking at night has a striking resemblance to images I've seen of the Titanic sinking at night. It's all a little eerie. Reminds me of the night of Nov. 10, 1985 as I sat in bed - 10 years to the day - thinking about those frightened men aboard the ill-fated Edmund Fitzgerald as it finally sank beneath the storm-whipped waves of Lake Superior. Gordon Lightfoot's haunting song,"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," released in 1976, moves me every time I hear it. 

And now we hear that the Costa Concordia disaster may be the costliest and deadliest in modern, cruise-ship history.

All the while, the synchronicity of this event and my recent study of the Titanic and the conspiracies and
mysteries surrounding the sinking of that majestic ocean liner 100 years ago
are absolutely mind blowing. In fact, three months to the day short of the 100th
anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking.

With this being the centennial year of the sinking of the Titanic, there have been increasing
numbers of stories and programs addressing that oceanic disaster.

Now, I should note that according to a fascinating Gizmodo article, there were 4, 229
registered passengers and crew members aboard the Costa Concordia, compared to 2,200 aboard the Titanic. But seeing it list to the port side and sink just off of
Giglio’s rocky shoreline – dozens still missing and at least three people dead –
is stunning. As are the reports of a cowardly captain fleeing the ship with
people still aboard and no semblance of order amidst the chaos of the doomed
ship. Video shows life rafts still clinging to the port side, unused.

The crew of the Costa
, like the crew of the Titanic,
“wasn’t completely prepared to take care of the situation,” noted one
passenger, also noting problems with getting life vests distributed and the
aforementioned lifeboats released. Several hundred are believed to have jumped
into the water and swam to shore in the frigid waters before rescue boats

This all happens within hours of me learning more about what
may have really taken place in late winter and early spring of 1912 in the
shipyard of Belfast where the Titanic
was built. A fascinating video, which I posted at Red Dirt Report just days ago, suggests that the Titanic was in fact switched out prior
to her maiden voyage with its sister – the Olympic.
Whether or not this is true remains unknown, but the video makes a compelling
case that it is actually the Olympic – already
damaged from a prior disaster – that lays on the cold ocean floor. Underwater video footage of the wreck even shows the "M" and "P" in OLYMPIC, from the bow of the ship as letters from the name "TITANIC" fall away. And yet know one is talking about this.

And then I learn of the Costa
on Saturday. I let the events taking place sink in – no pun
intended. For some reason, the ship did not know about some rocks under the water
and crashed right into them causing a tear in the hull and leading the ship to
fill and list to the starboard side.

And, to my shock, one of the better known quotes coming from
a passenger who escaped the Costa
said: “It was a nightmare, it felt like the Titanic. We thought we were going to die … people shouting and kids
crying in the middle of the most absolute darkness.”

As of this writing, 4,179 people have been accounted, 14 of
them injured.

So, what of the Titanic
and the Olympic? Was it switched in the
Belfast drydock so White Star Line owner and ruthless industrialist J.P. Morgan
could get rid of the damaged Olympic,
along with some ultra-wealthy competitors like John Jacob Astor IV, Isidor
Straus and Benjamin Guggenheim. Too hard to believe? Perhaps. If you want to learn more about the "Titanic Conspiracy" and a bizarre conspiracy alleged to involve Titanic film director James Cameron - go here - if you dare.

Oh, and when I saw that the name “Giglio” – the Italian
island where the Costa Concordia sank
– came up in this latest disaster, I knew there was a connection – at least in
name – to the Titanic. Sure enough –
Guggenheim’s valet was named Victor Giglio
and had been at Guggenheim’s side as the Titanic went down. Realizing the
seriousness of the situation, Guggenheim and Giglio dressed in their finest
evening wear and decided to greet their fate in style.

As noted on Wikipedia
… Said Guggenheim to a survivor: “We've dressed up in our best and are prepared
to go down like gentlemen.” He also gave a survivor a message saying, “Tell my
wife, if it should happen that my secretary and I both go down, tell her I
played the game out straight to the end. No woman shall be left aboard this
ship because Ben Guggenheim was a coward.” Guggenheim and Giglio were last seen
seated in deck chairs in the Grand Staircase sipping brandy and smoking cigars.
Both men went down with the ship. Some say J.P. Morgan, who owned the White Star Line, planned the Titanic/Olympic disaster and had planned to be on the ship but "got sick" at the last minute and stayed in France instead. To find out more about J.P. Morgan, the Titanic and the Federal Reserve, go here. Oh, and what's that phrase we keep hearing in this era of financial instability as a result of the Federal Reserve and banking cartel .. you know, when those in charge make pointless attempts to "fix" a bad situation that is clearly only worsening? - "Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic" as seen in this Hot Air column from two days ago, criticizing President Obama.

And what of American capitalist and inventor John Jacob
Astor IV? This was a fascinating man who wrote a science-fiction novel in 1894
titled A Journey In Other Worlds: A
Romance of the Future
about life in 2088 and about “a worldwide telephone
network, solar power, air travel, and anti-gravity space travel to the planets
of Saturn and Jupiter." Amazing stuff.

That book came out four years before the Morgan Robertson
novella Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan
was released. Shocked? Many still are. I know I am. It was a story about an
ocean liner named the Titan which
sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg. Yes, such "coincidental" foreknowledge reminds me of former
Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating’s brother, Martin Keating, writing that manuscript
for a book called The Final Jihad
about a terrorist named Tom McVey attacking a federal building in Oklahoma City four years before it actually happened.

So, what of Morgan Robertson’s novella, released 14 years
before the Titanic sank? Both the Titan and Titanic were advertised as “unsinkable.” They both had less than
enough lifeboats. They were nearly the same length (Titanic at 882 feet and the Titan at 800 feet). And, incredibly,
the Titanic struck an iceberg on her
starboard side, just as the Titan did
in Robertson’s novella. Both were traveling too fast and both sank 400 miles
off the coast of Newfoundland, or, as noted in Robertson’s story – Terra Nova,
which was the original, Latin name of Newfoundland.

Yes, it’s weird. Oh, and speaking of “Terra Nova,”  it was on this very date 100 years ago, on the
bottom of the world in Antarctica that the five-man Terra Nova Expedition (aka
the British Antarctic Expedition), led by heroic polar explorer Robert Falcon
Scott, was just two days away from arriving at the South Pole, only to discover
Roald Amundsen and his Norwegian team had arrived there 33 days earlier in late 1911. The doomed party of British explorers
would die before making it back home, succumbing to the brutal elements.

In fact, starting tomorrow morning, in observance of the “Scott
100 Events: Terra Nova Expedition Centenary
,” there will be events celebrating
the Terra Nova Expedition and Robert Falcon Scott’s attempt to be the first.
Before events kick off this week in British cities including London, Edinburgh,
Plymouth and Cardiff, there will be an exhibit at the Aquarium in Genoa, Italy
called “Race. Alla conquista del Polo Sud.” Oh, and why does Genoa matter? That
is the Italian city where Costa Cruises is based – the owner of the half-sunken ship
the Costa Concordia.

Copyright 2012 West
Marie Media

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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