The terrifying log of Titan’s fatal diving dive has been declared to be a fake

A purported transcript from communications between Titan’s submersible, and its mothership was widely circulated on the Internet last year. The so-called log, which was viewed millions of times by the public, suggested that a number of alarms turned a dive towards the Titanic’s resting place into a crisis where the five passengers struggled to reach the surface.

The head of the US government team that is investigating the disaster has said that the entire transcript was a fabrication. His team has concluded that there is no evidence that the Titan’s five passengers were warned of the implosion which would take their lives. Implosions would have caused the vehicle’s hull to collapse instantly two miles below the surface of the sea, where the pressure from the water is immense.

“I am confident that it is a fake transcript,” said Capt. Jason D. Neubauer is a retired US Coast Guard officer who serves as the chair of the Marine Board of Investigation. This is the highest level of investigation for the agency. The author of the story is unknown.

The federal team was able to see through the log despite its authenticity for several reasons. Neubauer’s team was able to access the records of actual communications between submersibles and their mother ships, which are still a secret part of the federal probe.

He stated that his team had, with the help of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), “found no proof” that Titan’s passengers were aware of the impending implosion.

Neubauer said that he hopes that the truth will comfort relatives who are worried that the Titan’s five passengers may have suffered during their final moments.

The disclosures made by the investigator are the first from the comprehensive inquiry into the tragedy and its causes that began last summer. The investigation was expected to be completed before the Titan’s anniversary, but a combination of technical and legal complexities could mean that it takes years.

Five men were aboard the submersible: Shahzada Dawood (48), a British Pakistani entrepreneur; his son Suleman (19); Hamish Harding (58), a British airline executive, Paul-Henri Nargeolet (77), a French Titanic expert; and Stockton Rush (61) a US founder and CEO who founded OceanGate and managed the tourist dives. He was the Titan’s Pilot that day.

Rush ignored warnings about the maverick sub design for years. In 2018, Rush finally listened to them. A waiver posted by Business Insider for potential passengers stated that the “experimental craft” had dived 90 times under the sea and reached the Titanic’s depth on 13 dives.

Titan’s calamity started on June 18, 2023 when the ship was reported as missing in the North Atlantic. The Coast Guard announced on June 22 that, after discovering Titan debris near the Titanic, the submersible suffered a “catastrophic collapse”.

During those five days of tension, a fleet international ships searched for the lost vessel, raising hope that the Titan voyagers might still be alive, but in a grim situation two miles below.

Reporters asked about the remaining oxygen in the life-support system of a submersible. There were also underwater banging sounds. Analysts have suggested that the submersible’s survivors were trying desperately to signal their location, in hope of rescue.

The Coast Guard implosion announcement ended the story of survival. In the weeks that followed, public speculation focused on what could have gone wrong in Titan’s final minutes.

The transcript began to circulate on the Internet around late June, and provided a minute-byminute report that was rich in technical detail. The transcript included specialised Titan acronyms and the first name for a mothership expert. It also provided credible descriptions of the submersible’s descent. The detailed report was authentic.

Neubauer stated that “someone did it well enough for it to look plausible”. He added that the log made it look like the adventurers were in panic.

In his line-byline commentary, the creator of a YouTube clip that has received nearly seven million hits said: “It is just so frightening to know that these guys were in constant fear for their lives for 20 minutes.”

The fake crisis was centered around what the transcript called RTM, short for Real Time Health Monitoring system. OceanGate had described the proprietary system by OceanGate as “an unprecedented safety feature that evaluates the integrity and strength of the hull during every dive”. In theory, the network of sensors can warn the pilot if the hull is failing and allow them enough time to escape from the crushing pressures in the deep. The system was criticized by those who doubted it as a fake assurance.

The fake transcript claimed that Titan had informed its mothership of a series hull alarms and reports of crackling sounds. Titan’s purported last message regarding the hull sensors was: “RTM Alert active all red.”

The fake transcript ended with a disturbing silence. The mother ship had sent seven short messages asking about the fate of the submersible, but no reply was received. The purported final message said, “Please respond as soon as you are able.”

Alfred S. McLaren said in an interview that he found the transcript to be credible. He is a retired Navy submersible pilot, and president emeritus for the Explorers Club. He said, “It’s logical.” It seems to be right on the money in terms of Titan’s mother ship and how they would have communicated.

McLaren, when told in a subsequent interview about the Coast Guard’s refutation of the claim, speculated as to the fraud’s motivation. He said that the fraud may have been committed to embarrass OceanGate. It was certain to rile up relatives.

Neubauer said in the interview that his team had dismissed the authenticity of the transcript, but also how this investigation was the most complicated he’d ever seen. He said that complicating factors included the absence of witnesses, a variety of new vessel technologies, testing exotic materials, and extracting data from electronic devices. The disaster occurred in international waters off Canada, which created jurisdictional issues.

The dive illustrates the tangles. OceanGate is based in Everett Washington but the Polar Prince mother ship was Canadian. The five people on the submersible are from England, Pakistan France and United States.

The Coast Guard has a number of partners in its investigation, including the US National Transportation Safety Board, as well as similar organizations in Canada, France, and the United Kingdom. The Coast Guard relies on the US Navy for debris recovery from the accident scene.

Neubauer stated that the multitude of investigators and angles has made certain aspects of the investigation more difficult and delayed its completion.

The investigation officially began on June 23, one day after the announcement of the implosion. Its convening notice required a completed report within a year. Neubauer stated that a major report usually takes between two and three years to finish. He said that the Titan investigation would likely follow a similar pattern.

Neubauer said that despite the time and effort involved, he appreciated such investigations, because they regularly result in new laws, regulations and rules to improve vessel safety.

Neubauer said that Titan’s friends and family members might find comfort in the fact that there are silver linings to such tragedies.

He said that it didn’t make the pain any less. “But it can be helpful.” – The New York Times

Related Articles