Did J.P. Morgan Or The Federal Reserve Have Something To Do With The Titanic?

The tragedy of the Titan submarine and its five passengers has sparked an interest in the theories surrounding the Titanic – but are any of them actually true?

By Nicole Dominique3 min read
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On Sunday, a submarine set out to explore the remains of the Titanic, carrying five individuals. An unexpected turn of events occurred when the sub lost contact with the outside world, sending the internet into a frenzy. Days after searching, the U.S. Coast Guard found debris near the wreckage, leading them to believe that everyone who was on board died due to an implosion. This widely-covered story sparked a renewed interest in the Titanic’s historical significance and its possible ties to the Federal Reserve.

By now, everyone is aware of what happened in the spring of 1912. The Titanic was en route to New York from Southampton, England, carrying 2,200 passengers and crew members. On April 14, 1912, the luxury ship collided with an iceberg, causing the ship to sink hours later. The Titanic only had 20 lifeboats on board – which held a capacity of 1,178 people – and a total of 1,500 people managed to survive. This event marked one of the deadliest maritime disasters in history and became a catalyst for reformation, with the U.S. Congress conducting hearings on the catastrophe, resulting in reports and measures to improve the safety of navigation. 

Still, people are suspicious of the Titanic’s sinking – is it possible that the ship was sunk deliberately? If so, by who? 

J.P. Morgan and the Federal Reserve

Social media personalities have speculated for years that John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan, a dominant financier and banker, was behind the tragedy. For one, Morgan did own the Titanic, and he was supposed to go on her maiden voyage but suddenly fell ill. Suspicious? Morgan's friend, Milton Hershey, was also supposed to join the expedition but made other plans.

After the Panic of 1907, bankers (including Morgan) and other prominent figures proposed that a central bank was necessary to manage the money supply. There were, of course, people who were opposed to this – and four of them supposedly rode the Titanic: John Jacob Astor IV (Nikola Tesla’s top investor), Benjamin Guggenheim, Isidor Straus, and George Dunton Widener. The movie Titanic even featured a deleted scene with Guggenheim and Astor IV, as seen below.

However, it’s not really on record that these four figures opposed the Federal Reserve or Morgan. George Behe, the founder of the Titanic book club, says that he's never found conclusive evidence of this theory in his 45 years of research. Yet, we all know that society is cruel and that certain lives are deemed more valuable than others. A boat carrying up to 750 people sank this past week, yet it didn’t make as much noise as the submarine Titan carrying two billionaires. So it's a little hard to believe that the millionaires on the ship would get no spot on a lifeboat. 

The Federal Reserve System was established as America's central bank one year after the wreck in 1913.

Author Seemingly Predicts Titanic Sinking 14 Years Before It Happened

In 1898, an author named Morgan Robertson wrote a book titled The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility, which chronicles an “unsinkable” British ocean liner that submerges in the North Atlantic Ocean after it struck an iceberg – and the vessel's name was Titan. Maybe the author was psychic. Or maybe, the whole Titanic thing was planned, and he knew what would happen. Or perhaps it was neither of these things, and Robertson had experience with navigating the seas and was concerned about the safety of large ships. Titanic scholar and professor, Paul Heyer, offers a more "real" explanation for Robertson's eerie book. “He was someone who wrote about maritime affairs,” said Heyer. “He was an experienced seaman, and he saw ships as getting very large and the possible danger that one of these behemoths would hit an iceberg.”

Robertson later gained recognition after the actual Titanic sunk for being a "visionary," but he denied ever being one. He'd say, "No, I know what I’m writing about, that’s all."

What Really Sank the Titanic?

One of the circulating theories on this topic is that the passengers heard an "explosion," instead of mentioning an iceberg. Vaghinak Byurat was one of the many people who rode the Titanic. Several sources claim that he discussed his experience on the ship and that he never mentioned an iceberg. Instead, he heard a big explosion that woke everyone up in the middle of the night. While it's true that Byurat was a passenger on the Titanic, the details of his explosion story are hard to find on the internet, so let’s take it with a grain of salt.

However, one thing that is true is that a fire occurred on the ship before its sinking. Several experts even believe that this enormous fire may have been the cause of the Titanic's sad end. Journalist Senan Molony spent more than 30 years researching the sinking and looked at photos taken by the Titanic's chief electrical engineers before it sailed. Molony identified 30-foot-long marks along the hull's right side, right behind the ship's lining, which was pierced by the iceberg. He believes that there was damage to the hull before the ship even left Belfast. "We are looking at the exact area where the iceberg stuck, and we appear to have a weakness or damage to the hull in that specific place, before she even left Belfast," he said.

At the end of the day, the iceberg catastrophe still sounds the most plausible. According to Britannica, several warnings were received on the ship throughout the day before disaster struck. The wireless operators on the Titanic – Jack Phillips and Harold Bride – got multiple iceberg warnings, most of which were passed along. On the evening of April 14, the Titanic approached an area full of icebergs, and Captain Edward J. Smith changed the ship's course and headed south. At 9:40 pm, the Mesaba vessel alerted the Titanic of an ice field, but the message was never relayed. Hours later, the Titanic's starboard scraped along the giant iceberg, and five of its "watertight" compartments near the bow got ruptured. The ship began to fill with water, and the rest is history.

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