For better or worse, there seems to be an insatiable appetite for reading about sensationalist conspiracy theories. The same is true for the Titanic conspiracy theory, which alleges that Olympic and Titanic were swapped and the former deliberately sunk as part of an insurance scam. There is little point in debating the absurd, particularly since the conspiracy theory it not grounded in historical reason, but given that there is interest in the subject then there is little-known information and material that may be of interest.

Below, and right: Bruce Beveridge and Steve Hall’s book, Olympic & Titanic: The Truth Behind The Conspiracy is widely acknowledged to be the most accurate and comprehensive analysis of the conspiracy theory. Including a mass of technical information and photographs – many of which are rare or previously unpublished – this book is vital reading for any ‘rivet counter’ or conspiracy theorist. It proves beyond doubt that the Titanic sank; not that the fact needed proving, or that many people had any doubts in the first place. (Courtesy Steve Hall.)

Beveridge and Hall Book Cover


Beveridge and Hall Conspiracy Illustration

Reviews of the book can be found at TitanicBookSite.com: Steve Hall by Michael Tennaro, and Switch Theory Founders in Sea of Evidence by Monica Hall; for a cutting review of Gardiner’s Titanic: The Ship That Never Sank?, see TitanicBookSite.com: Robin Gardiner, also by Michael Tennaro:

‘Rather than putting forth his evidence for a switch, Gardiner instead focuses on retelling the story of the disaster itself, but putting his own spin on the accepted version of events.

‘He does this by imbedding leading accusations, implying sinister motives, and asking open ended questions for which he usually supplies no answers. At the end of each chapter, there is a little box, which attempts to highlight where the accepted version of events is incorrect. The problem with this approach is that attempting to disprove accepted history is no substitute for an effort to prove new theories. It does not follow, as the author would have us think, that poking holes in what we believe to be true is the same as making a case that something entirely different happened.

‘…The inconsistencies go on and on, but the point has been made. This book focuses primarily on attacking the evidence instead of offering up alternate proofs. Many of the author’s criticisms are based on flimsy testimony from witnesses whose reliability is questionable. Contrary evidence, even if abundant, is ignored if it does not support the author’s agenda. These issues, taken together, damage the author’s credibility to the point that it is difficult to take his radical theories seriously.’

Some Q&A extracts from Mark’s unused interview, which was originally intended to be included in Sky Television’s September 2004 conspiracy documentary: Mark Chirnside Interview, June 22nd 2004.

Although Mark’s dissertation analysed key aspects of the Gardiner theory in detail, the main reason for producing it was that the work counted towards his final degree award. It would not be very productive to try and analyse the Gardiner theory using accepted historical practise and scholarly debate. The fundamental problem is that it is not a theory based on any sound reasoning or methodology whatsoever - for instance, some claims are based on sources which are not referenced or fully documented. As a result, they cannot be verified.

‘You are invited to read the most substantial, critical analysis of the Robin Gardiner conspiracy theory available online. In a paper prepared to academic standards, it was originally written by Mark Chirnside while he was studying for his degree in History & Politics. As such, it was accepted as historically accurate and balanced by a team of independent examiners – receiving a very good grade.’ Olympic & Titanic – An Analysis Of The Robin Gardiner Conspiracy Theory.


Home / Books Index / Interviews Index / Articles Index / News Index / Updates / Sitemap

Mark Chirnside's Reception Room ©2004-