In the next few months, I thought, various essays would begin to appear about the Titanic.
Therefore, it was a surprise to receive a "breaking news" email from a friend about the events of last Friday the 13th, hinting at a new Titanic mess.
Brad Steiger is a well-known author of Fortean and related books. I wrote a "Foreword" to his reprinted edition of Strange Guests (NY: Anomalist Books, 2006), and recently have assisted with a bit of data in his and his wife Sherry's forthcoming updated edition of Conspiracies and Secret Societies.
I had been too busy to watch most of the news last week. But then something in the background was alerting me to be aware. News was beginning to tell of a cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, having hit rocks Friday night just off Italy's western coast. As I was just beginning to hear about the wreck, my buddy Brad sent this along: "Our daughter Kari's husband, Daniele, is a ranking officer in the carabineri, the Italian military police. For the last several years he has commanded a patrol boat. In the note [below] from Kari, who teaches English in Italy, she points out that the patrol boat in this news photo of the capsized cruise happens to be Daniele's."
6:50pm Jan 14
Last night at about 11:15, Daniele was awakened for an emergency. A cruise ship was in distress near the the Island of Giglio, about 2 hours from here. He was sleeping as they were scheduled for a normal night shift starting at 3am. They had no information, so I was was online and getting info off news reports before they arrived on scene. As you can see, the ship is totally on its side. The little boat happens to be Daniele's. They were finally relieved late this afternoon, so they could eat and sleep. Almost everyone is accounted for, but a couple hours ago, two more people were found on board the ship, still alive.
Irony? Coincidence? Fortean? "A passenger has revealed that the Celine Dion song 'My Heart Will Go On,' made famous by the 1997 film Titanic, was playing in one of the ill-fated cruise ship's restaurants at the very moment the [Costa Concordia's] hull was ripped open," wrote the Huffington Post. (The ear witnesses were said to be two Swiss brothers, Yannic and Keven Sgaga.)
Captain Francesco Schettino is under arrest and may face charges that include manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning a ship when passengers were still on board, chief prosecutor Francesco Verusio said. Abandoning ship has a sentence of 12 years in prison for a full conviction in Italy.
Costa is a subsidiary of the American-Israeli company, Carnival Corporation & plc. Its Israeli-born chief executive, Micky Arison, said on Twitter that his thoughts and prayers were with the passengers and crew.
Another Titanic "coincidence" was mentioned in the London Telegraph's article on January 18, 2012:
News about the Titanic theme tune followed the revelation on Tuesday that an Italian grand daughter of a Titanic survivor was on board the Costa Concordia when it capsized.
"It was like reliving history, it was horrible, I was really shocked," said Valentina Capuano, 30, who managed to escape when the giant vessel foundered.
"I am still shaken up and get very upset when I think about what I've been through, I have heart palpitations," said Miss Capuana, who escaped the sinking vessel along with her fiancé, her brother and his girlfriend.
Her grandmother also survived the Titanic disaster but lost her brother....
The Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in 1912.
The first victim of the wreck of the Costa Concordia has been identified as violinist Sándor Fehér, 38, who was among 11 people confirmed dead from the ship that carried 4,200 passengers.
In reality in 1912 and as shown in the James Cameron film Titanic, as the great ship sank 100 years ago, the musicians played "Autumn" and died. They were honored for their courage with large funerals (some numbering 40,000 attendees) and memorials.
The difference in death tolls between the two ships is great and this need not be overlooked. The Titanic’s death toll was 1,517. The Costa Concordia’s death toll, at the time of this writing, is eleven. Relative percentage of Deaths: Titanic 68 percent vs. Costa Concordia .25%, one-quarter of 1 percent.
The Costa Concordia was actually bigger than the Titanic. The Titanic was 882 feet and 8 inches long (268 meters) and had a tonnage of 46,000. The Costa Concordia was larger, with a tonnage of 114,500 and a length of 951 feet and 5 inches (290 m). The width of the Titanic was 92.5 feet (28 m), compared with 118 feet (36 m) for the Costa Concordia.