THE ICEBERG - RESURFACED?
WHERE'D ALL THIS ICE AND SNOW COME FROM?
Abby here with more about ice than you'll ever want to know. One of the fascinating things about technology is how we can re-examine the Titanic disaster of 1912 with 2012 expertise. Of course that's a little bit like predicting Sunday afternoon's NFL score on Monday morning. Hindsight is 20/20.
Icebergs photographed after the sinking bear the hallmarks of a collision.
Nearly nine decades after the Titanic went down in the Atlantic, probably the first authentic photograph of the iceberg has come to light. It lay unpublished in private ownership until it was rediscovered in April 2000. The photograph shows scars of damage to the iceberg. Combining all indications as described in this report it can be claimed that this new iceberg photograph indeed shows the "real" iceberg. The original print now is kept in a bank safe in Munich.
1. The Rehorek Iceberg
A Bohemian named Stephan Rehorek was on board the German steamer Bremen
. This ship sailed past the scene of the accident on its way from Bremerhaven to New York. This event is described in detail in Logan Marshall’s book:
on 20th April the Bremen sailed into the area of the disaster, the people on board could see wreckage and the bodies of more than a hundred victims floating on the water. What is more, according to Marshall, an iceberg was sighted "in the vicinity" which fitted precisely the description of the Titanic iceberg
. A plan by the Bremen to pick up the dead bodies was finally not implemented when it was heard that the Mackay-Bennett, chartered for that purpose, was only two hours away.
Stephan Rehorek, too, was witness to the horrifying consequences of the tragedy and he took a photograph of the iceberg. After his arrival in New York he sent a first postcard home, postmarked 25th April. On the front of this card was a picture of the Titanic:
"Dear Mother and Father, Best wishes from New York. I am sending you a picture of a dutch
fast ocean liner which sank on its maiden voyage. It was the biggest in the world. Two days away from New York it collided with an iceberg and the ship was severely damaged on one side. Almost 1,600 people drowned and about 670 were rescued. I have a photograph of the iceberg and will send it to you (...) I also saw the bodies of the drowned and the wreckage from the ship. It was a dreadful sight."
Some weeks later
he had the photographs of the icebergs printed onto postcards and from Cherbourg sent one of it to his parents, and wrote:
"Dear Mother and Father, (...) This card is a view of the iceberg that collided with and sank the Titanic liner. I will send a card to Josef, too."
The postcard sent to his brother Josef has also survived, but it shows a souvenir picture of the "Titanic". From the message on the card it seems that Stephan Rehorek only had one single print made of the iceberg photograph, because he tells his brother:
"Dear Josef, I am sending you, too, a postcard of the ship that sank (...) We were following about a thousand miles behind it.(...) Next time you come home our brother will show you pictures of the icebergs which were photographed from our ship."
Stephan Rehorek kept two other existing photographs, which show another iceberg. One of the pictures shows part of the steamer from which Rehorek took the photographs. Obviously Rehorek did not sent the pictures with that iceberg floating in the background, nor the photograph showing the iceberg at closer quarters, as postcards because he did not think the iceberg depicted was the famous one that sank the Titanic.These postcards have until now been in private ownership, the photographs have never been published
. The iceberg card shows the place where the ice was chipped away: on the photograph a severed edge is discernible exactly on the side scraped along by the Titanic. It is clear that the damage to the iceberg was greatest below the water line but this is not visible on Rehorek’s photograph. Although we now have the shape of the fateful iceberg depicted in a photograph, we still cannot deduce with any certainty how large it was. We do not have any recognizable reference objects.