RMS Titanic – A Sink And Switch Insurance Fraud?

At 11:40pm, on April 14th 1912, the unsinkable liner RMS Titanic struck an iceberg.

Less than 3 hours later the ship sunk, leaving over 1,500 people dead.


But is that what really happened?

In the following 95 years there have been a few alternative theories put forward to explain why the Titanic sunk –


One of the more fanciful ones involves an Egyptian mummy which was said to have cursed the vessel after being smuggled on board.

Journalist William Thomas Stead claimed he had purchased it from the British Museum and revealed to other passengers that the body of the Princess of Amen-Ra was on-board shortly before disaster struck.

In reality, however, the mummy was never at the museum or on board the Titanic.


Lights seen by survivors under, on, or around the water at the time of the tragedy have been attributed to a German submarine.

Some have speculated that a German U-boat launched a torpedo attack on the Titanic, despite the fact that the First World War had yet to begin.

This possibility has since been dismissed as survivors described the collision with the iceberg as simply sending a mild shudder through the vessel which is in stark contrast to what a torpedo hit would feel like.

Another possibility, the one I am writing about today, is perhaps even more sinister –


Around the same time that the Titanic was constructed, White Star Line made a near identical ship, the RMS Olympic.

In essence, the two ships were totally identical, barring the styling of a few windows on the front half of the promenade deck.

The Olympic was actually launched before the Titanic, in October of 1910.

However, on the 20th of September 1911, she was involved in a collision with HMS Hawke, a Royal Navy cruiser.

An internal Royal Navy inquiry deduced that the incident near Southampton, which led to both ships receiving heavy damage, was not the fault of their cruiser.


Robin Gardiner, author of ‘Titanic : The Ship That Never Sank’, took the inquiry’s findings as the basis for his theory as to why the RMS Titanic never actually sunk at all.

Gardiner believes that, without any chance of making a successful insurance claim, White Star Line were forced into drastic action.

Repairing the Olympic, which had damage to her central turbine’s mountings as well as keel damage, would have cost millions in today’s money.

Additionally, such repairs would have created huge delays in Titanic’s launch, thereby losing revenue too.

Gardiner therefore alleges that White Star Line took the decision to turn the Olympic into the Titanic and vice versa.

With very few identifiers on board either ship the transformation took less than 2 months.

The Titanic subsequently took to the seas and served for 25 incident free years.

He then goes on to suggest that the Olympic was then repaired, not to a true seaworthy standard, but to a barely safe level, in order that she could be deliberately sunk in the Atlantic in order to facilitate an insurance claim.

Obvious name markings on the Olympic were altered or replaced in order that she would then appear to be the brand new and fully functional ‘Titanic’.

Just before launch the real Titanic, sailing as the Olympic, returned to dry dock to have her propeller blade replaced.

Gardiner believes this period allowed the final changes to be made to ensure that passengers and casual observers would believe that the damaged Olympic was now the flagship Titanic.


Robin Gardiner goes on to write about how a plan was concocted in order to collect insurance money on the heavily damaged Olympic.

Posing as the Titanic, she would slowly open her sea cocks whilst deep into the Atlantic.

This would cause the ship to sink, though it would be a slow process, allowing time for all crew and passengers to be lifted off to safety on other vessels that would be conveniently in the vicinity at the time.

With White Star Line being part of the J.P. Morgan owned International Mercantile Marine Co, who also owned another ship, the Californian, who history says was in the area but failed to respond to the Titanic, they had the opportunity to remove all on board safely.

However, Gardiner claims that Titanic actually hit another rescue ship rather than an iceberg.

When that ship sent up distress rockets the Californian failed to respond as they were waiting for the Titanic to sink in the area in which they were waiting instead.

This claim is given some credence by a survivor’s report in which they claimed seeing another ship’s lifeboat semi-submerged beneath the Titanic just after the supposed iceberg collision.

Finally, Gardiner then theorises that the Titanic, being in reality the damaged Olympic, was so weakened from her previous accident that she sank far quicker than anyone could have ever realised she would, thereby leading to the deaths of 1,503 passengers and crew.

These included Captain Smith and First Officer Murdoch, the only two members of crew who were likely to have known about the insurance scam if there was one.

Subsequently, International Mercantile Marine Co and White Star Line went quiet and Captain Lord of the Californian became the villain of the piece and a handy scapegoat for their insurance fraud.


What are your views on the sinking of the Titanic?

Was it just a terrible accident that befell a luxury liner, or was there something far more sinister about the whole affair?

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. One question – what about the thousands of dockyard workers who had to be in on it? It’s not the like the upper management could swap ships in the middle of the night like two cars in a parking lot.

    Was every single one of those who spent months doing the changeovers too stupid to notice, or completely coerce-able? You can’t blackmail thousands of men for their entire lives. No deathbed confessions?

    • Having worked aboard ships for many years and being a licensed USCG Chief Engineer, I feel qualified to express an opinion. Since the two vessels were virtually identical, all that would be required would be for painters to (under cover of some sort of shelter) re-paint the names on the bow and stern of each ship. This could have been done on a Sunday when the shipyard was nearly empty of personnel. The only other change would have been to gather all the documentation, usually stored on the bridge, and transferred it to the opposite vessel. Maybe the crew members would have noticed the difference. So, there would have been a minimal number of people with knowledge of the swap. Incidentally, I worked ion assignment in the Belfast shipyard for several months.

  2. B.Benhamid says:

    Why They Sunk The Titanic – full length 51:55 min. YouTube vIdeo results
    The deliberate sinking of the Titanic aka The Olympic Part 1 through 6

  3. It was titanic that sank. Olympic didn’t have an enclosed promenade deck. Titanic did. The switch would have been impossible.

  4. defo insurance job. the breakers on the tyne or at Inverkiething would know if the ship they broke up was the original titanic

  5. something doesnt add up somewere.lets have a bit of common sense about it all.and add a few things up.my theory is the titanic being so luxurious for all levels of society from 1st class to 3rd had so much money spent on her from building to fixtures and fittings that it could never repay itself basically a money pit.right youre in charge of a superfast liner brand new.and you get an iceberg warning do you a slow down “sensible option”or”come on lads crank the other boiler up we want more speed.now if i was in charge id have spotlight on the front like a care illuminating whats in front of me…..would you drive a car in the dark without any lights and with a pair of sunglases on.captain smith was a old sea dog cant tell me he never had the common sense to relize these things.he also had experience in its size to as being the captain of the olympic to were he had a few accidents too.plus it was his last voyage before retiring to…..me i would take it as easy as i possibly coud and get the job done.and lets face it less lifeboats means less of a payout to from a insurance companys point of view…..if it was a insurance job what a wicked thing,putting money before innocent peoples lifes.if this was the case……………i believe in judgement day these people might have got away with this in the land of the living,but in the afterlife they wont escape judgment day…!!!.god rest all those poor souls who lost there lives…….so upsetting..!!!

  6. I recently watched a documentary film about Titanic, narrated by Bernard Hill. The hypothesis of an insurance fraud by changing the names of teh two ships was referred. But when the research teams went down to the wreck they found a code carved on a propeller that according to White Star’s arcived belonged to Titanic, not Olympic. So that made me think that they wouldn’t be in so much trouble by changing the propellers. Plus I believe it would be less trouble to fix the damaged Olympic that change the whole propeller system. But that’s just what I see. Check also for another “myth” that Titanic’s sinking was a cover up for killing J.J. Astor, Guggenheim and Isidor Strauss. Whatever happened there’s ONE fact: more than 1500 souls were lost because of human arrogance of people like Ismey. 🙂

    • “Check also for another “myth” that Titanic’s sinking was a cover up for killing J.J. Astor, Guggenheim and Isidor Strauss”

      I’d not heard that one before but you’ve certainly piqued my curiosity….

      • GrinNBarrett says:

        The Astors were a setback to the formation of the Federal Reserve and had to go. That is what that is about whether it is true or not remains to be seen.

    • “They had to be destroyed because the Jesuits knew they would use their wealth and influence to oppose a Federal Reserve Bank as well as the various wars that were being planned.”


      I found that theory in a Greek website about Titanic’s “conspiracies”. I’m not saying it has to be right or the main reason for the accident, but let’s face it: one way or another everything happened for the money. At least that’s my opinion. Let’s not forget that Ismey (there he comes again!), after the collition ordered not to stop the engines but keep sailing, afraid of financial loss. Now, back to the assassination theory, I have to say I’m not calling myself as a religious person. Actually, I believe in God. It’s just his “fan group” that makes me sick. So I can’t put aside my suspicion that 1500 people died because of the everlasting “war” between religions. Furthermore if you concider that unfortunately money became a religion. 100 years after her sinking, it’s quite reasonable that Titanic will always be a temptation for researchers and more theories will come up.

      (Forgive any mispelling. 🙂 )

    • I don’t believe this at all. The white star line firstly wouldn’t have were not muderers. Furthermore they wouldn’t have risked the bad press about all those lives lost as they would have lost a lot of revenue because no one would want to sailon ships when at least 2 of them have been damaged in such a short time. Additionally if this was true and they had been found out it would have cost them a lot to get out of the trouble they’d be in, so in the end it would cost them more than what they would gain if they got away with it. Also if this was true, surely they would have thought abvout how many people were on the ship and would have put more lifeboats on to save them all.

      Finally ‘Antigone’ how can you bring Ismay into this you have no proof that he ordered the ship on and how would you know if he was arrogant?

      • Tom Fuller says:

        “The white star line firstly wouldn’t have were not muderers.” Have you ever heard the saying: Thus goes the best laid plans of mice and men” or “no (battle) plan survives contact with the enemy?” I will give them the benefit of the doubt that they had no “malice and forethought” in killing people but that’s what happened when they decided to commit Insurance fraud. It’s like Driving while drunk. Killing somebody during a criminal act automatically makes it murder.

  7. Rachael Donnelly says:

    I’ve always thought that something fishy was going on and I wouldn’t put it past them to do something as sinister as this. I do believe the ships were switched an I also believe that the captain, first officer and some other officers on the ship knew about the insurance and in fact that the ship was the olympic and not the titanic.
    If this is the case and the ships were switched and the olympic (switched to titanic) was sank deliberately then the white star liners should have been held responsible for each of those deaths.
    Whatever the truth may be, I hope that we can always remember the deaths of those who were not fortunate enough to be rescued.

  8. I believe that the undeniable piece of evidence is that the wreckage shows the hull bulkheads – there is no question about that. And the bulkheads were installed on the Olympic after the crash with HMS Hawke to reinforce the hull structure. Titanic, obviously, never had the bulkheads installed. That’s it right there.

  9. Tomtom9041 says:

    The book lays it all out, it is very plausible.

  10. For those who are interested, the last survivor from Titanic has just died : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/8070095.stm

  11. rutherfordbhave says:

    I agree. Information on this subject is very difficult to find too, despite the substantial evidence in support of the theory. Google is slowly hiding access to information about this and many other websites, making it very hard to find information in general on conspiracy-related subjects from the web in the United States. Read this article to learn more:
    check out the video if you can torrent.
    The video was supressed, pulled by a lawsuit filed by the author of the book “Titanic Conspiracy” by Robin Gardinier ( The Titanic Conspiracy: Cover-Ups and Mysteries of the World’s Most Famous Sea Disaster) – a guy who lives in Britain. The video was made in South Africa and is top notch if you can find it. Ask yourself tho, why would he try to get the video pulled? sure, they plaigerized his book, but why detroy a means for people to learn about the subject he feels so strongly about disseminating information about?!?
    Hope the link helps. Search for “The Titanic mystery” “did she really sink?” or “Did the Titanic Really Sink?” to find things.

    • I’ve read a lot of what Alex Jones has written but that particular article about Google not reporting all his links is plain wrong.

      If you search for incoming links on Yahoo and then do likewise on Google you will see a similar discrepancy for ANY site you choose to examine – it’s just the way that the search engine operates and is a well known discrepancy amongst search engine experts.

      As for why info about the Titanic may have been suppressed… that’s an altogether far more interesting question..

  12. That’s a very detailed analysis. What do you think is the true outcome of the titanic?

    • I believe that Titanic and the Olympic were switched as part of an insurance scam necessitated by the damage sustained by the latter.

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