Was author prophetic 14 years before Titanic?


    By Robert McQuillan —

    Clive Palmer (Wikipedia)

    Last month’s news about Australian billionaire Clive Palmer refloating his dream to build a replica of the Titanic caught my attention.

    His company, the Blue Star Line, intends the replica – Titanic II– to set sail in June 2027, the billionaire claiming that this ship would be ‘far, far superior to the original.’

    Although the replica will have four funnels as had the original, this 21st century ship will be powered by a diesel engine. Modernizations will include upgrades to navigation technology and modern safety procedures – including sufficient lifeboats!


    My mind immediately recalled a romantic 19th century novella. It’s by Morgan Robertson and I found myself digging it out to reread. Originally called Futility, it was renamed The Wreck of the Titan.

    Published in 1898, it centers on ‘the largest craft afloat… unsinkable, indestructible she carried as few lifeboats as would satisfy the laws, speeding along at 25knots. Chapter six tells of an unexpected shout from the crow’s nest lookout splitting the air – ‘Ice. Ice ahead. Iceberg. Right under the bows’ – and has the captain springing to the engine room telegraph to change direction.

    But in five seconds there is the deafening sound of starboard side steel scraping and crashing over ice. The music in the theatre stops amid screaming and shouting. It is the beginning of the death of the Titan… and the loss of more than half of the 2500 passengers…

    That April night the ‘invincible’ Titan is sunk by an iceberg in the north Atlantic – 14 years before the greatest civil maritime disaster of all time – its fictional doom eerily prefiguring the actual calamity of the 20th century’s  ‘unsinkable’ White Star Line luxury liner, RMS Titanic, also encountering an iceberg on its starboard side while hurrying at 22½knots. There are also similarities in size, 800 ft long for the Titan versus 882 ft long for the Titanic.

    Author Robertson repeatedly refused to be called prophetic or clairvoyant!


    April 14 is a day that is well remembered, indeed one that has gone down in history! It has been 112 years since the Titanic smashed into an iceberg just before midnight, sinking a few hours later on April 15!

    White Star’s catastrophe is generally reported as the massive liner striking the iceberg at 11:39 pm…  and three hours, one minute later at 2:40 am Monday morning the so-called unsinkable, luxury liner was gone – in what had been the calmest but coldest seas (near freezing temperatures). Only about 700 individuals were rescued from the frigid sea. Sadly, some 1500 perished.

    Some said that even God couldn’t sink Titanic… White Star chairman Bruce Ismay, Captain John Smith, chief designer Thomas Andrews, a crewman, a shipyard worker, quayside observers. One survivor, in his memoirs, noted that while passengers didn’t mention God, they said they believed the liner to be unsinkable.


    Such nights are dark nights! Have you had a troublesome night that has you recoiling? Maybe you suffered a catastrophe that makes you feel you’re sunk!

    Unfortunately disasters happen – as recent news reports about earthquakes in the US and Taiwan! The reality is that unexpected ‘things’ happen or go wrong in life, even effecting Christians!

    But the good news is that we have a caring friend in our heavenly Father God who can bring us through every disaster, every dark night or day – and move us onward into a bright tomorrow!


    Scripture holds many promises telling about the Lord our God who cares us for those who trust Him, for example –

    • Nehemiah 8:10b
      ‘Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’
    • Joshua 1:9
      ‘… Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’
    • Psalm 32:7-8
      ‘You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble…’
    • Psalm 46:1-2
      ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.’
    • Psalm 91:2
      ‘I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”’’
    • Isaiah 43:2
      ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
    • Nahum 1:7
      ‘The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.’
    • John 16:33
      ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’
    • 2Corinthians 4:8-9
      ‘We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.’
    • 2 Thessalonians 3:16
      ‘Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.’

    I particularly love Jesus’ John 14:15-17 promise,  ‘If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and He’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth.’

    I can attest that this blessed friend is to Christians today as Jesus was to His disciples – He will always be there to guide and direct no matter what sinking situation you may be in! He is the paraklētos – the one called alongside, intercessor, comforter, advocate, consoler.

    What a comfort in this time of dark nights, dark days, dark problems! We can hand every ‘iceberg’ situation over to Him and He will bring us through!

    Dr Robert McQuillan’s links are [email protected] and Facebook