VS Note: I published the first portion of this post on my blog in 2012 originally.
Did the Titanic sink because of an Ancient Egyptian curse? Was the mummy of Princess “Amen-Ra” from 900BC to blame for the disaster?
Of the many legends swirling around Titanic, this one appeals to me not only because of my fascination with the ship, but also because I write paranormal romances set in Ancient Egypt. Sad to relate, this exciting tale is untrue. Per the myth-debunking website Snopes, not only was there no mummy – cursed or otherwise – on board Titanic when she sailed, said mummy does not exist.
But there is a twist here – the man who created the legend did perish on Titanic! William T. Stead was a journalist who also believed in the paranormal, consulting mediums and psychics. He and a friend came up with this elaborate story of an evil mummy to boost newspaper circulation. Supposedly the Princess had been a tortured, unhappy soul and consequently her mummy created death and destruction wherever she was taken. Mr. Stead claimed to have hidden her under his car to sneak her aboard the Titanic. He spoke to some fellow passengers about his alleged “traveling companion”, the beautiful 2000 year old Egyptian princess in her sarcophagus. Supposedly Stead broke a superstition of the sea by starting his recital of the tale of the mummy before midnight on April 12th and finishing it in the wee hours of April 13th.
After the ship struck the iceberg on the 14th , Stead helped several women and children into the lifeboats. After all the boats had gone, he went into the 1st Class Smoking Room, where he was last seen sitting in a leather chair and reading a book. He must have been an interesting character as he was rumored to be in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize that year due to some of his crusading journalistic work.
Stead had often claimed that he would die from either lynching or drowning and had published two pieces that gained eerie significance in light of his fate on the Titanic. In 1886, he wrote the fictional article “How the Mail Steamer Went Down in Mid-Atlantic, by a Survivor” where a steamer collides with another ship, with high loss of life due to lack of lifeboats. Stead had added “This is exactly what might take place and will take place if liners are sent to sea short of boats”. In 1892, Stead published a story called From the Old World to the New, in which a fictional ship Majestic rescues survivors of another ship that collided with an iceberg.
I’ve also read several accounts that, prior to embarking on Titanic, he told friends he’d been dreaming about cats being thrown out of a tall building into icy water and feared this was an omen of impending doom.
Mr. Stead had a small kernel of truth at the heart of his hoax, in that there is a wooden, painted sarcophagus lid in the British Museum for a high born woman, whose name is unknown. She may or may not have been a priestess or a princess but it has been verified this coffin cover never left the Museum in 1912 and is there still. Wooden hands were affixed to the coffin lid as if she’s reaching out, which is spooky! And at least one person who studied her and wrote about her died at a very young age so she is known as the “Unlucky Mummy.”
The Titanic was an unlucky ship but apparently not subject to an Egyptian curse.
And don’t miss award-winning Wreck of the Nebula Dream, my science fiction take on the Titanic, set in the far future on an interstellar cruise liner!The Story:
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.
All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.
But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?
Dear Author Review (2/22/15):
Jayne at DA says, in part:
“…I was 4 chapters into this story when it dawned on me that I was lost in it and totally concentrating on this created world….The details of the doomed Titanic’s fate are cleverly re imagined in a space voyage…the tension builds, then recedes just a little, then increases, then is countered just a bit, then smacks the reader around some more before smacking the characters even worse. And then when I think this must be it, they’re safe, right? they aren’t. Safe that is….”
To read the rest of the review go to http://ift.tt/1CZbNio