In order to establish if the haze the lookouts were describing on that crystal-clear night was indeed a superior mirage, we need to build a 3D model of the thermal geography of the Titanic crash site, to see if the temperature and therefore density profile of the air at Titanic’s crash site was sufficiently abnormal to cause superior miraging on the horizon.
On 1st September 1985 Dr Robert Ballard from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution near Boston, USA found Titanic’s wreck two miles beneath the surface of the ocean, and we now know that this located Titanic at 41.43N 49.56W, about 6 miles south of her track to New York:
April 1912 Pilot Chart of the North Atlantic, showing steamer tracks and Titanic’s wreck site.
Inset: Bob Ballard during the 1985 expedition when he found the Titanic
© Topfoto Picture Library
Even today, this is an area where the freezing waters of the Labrador Current meet the warm waters of the Gulf Stream:
Thermal satellite image of the North Atlantic from US Naval Research Laboratory, April 2003
Analysis of air and water temperature readings for Titanic’s wreck site in April 1912, from the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS), reveal that the same was the case in April 1912, and that Titanic sank in an area where the freezing waters of the Labrador Current ran into the warm waters of the Gulf Stream:
I hope by blogging chapters from my book, A Very Deceiving Night, it will contribute to the ongoing discussions regarding the atmospheric conditions on the night of the tragedy and the true causes of the disaster. At the moment, the book is only available as an e-book. If you wish to purchase it then you can do so in Amazon Kindle format here and other formats, including Apple, Kobo and Nook, here. Thank you.