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August 16, 2015

The Titanic Disaster 1912: The Only Known Surviving Footage of the Titanic

The Titanic leaving Belfast lough for Southampton. There follows shots of the Titanic moored at Belfast - probably on April 2nd 1912. In several of the shots we see men walking beside the ship and smoke comes from the Titanic's third funnel. The ship is not actually departing, the ship is virtually stationary through all shots.

While still photographs of the Titanic are quite common, actual film footage of it is extraordinarily rare. For many decades, the only known surviving footage was of the ship being docked shortly after its construction. Then, in 1997, film director James Cameron sought out extra surviving footage, particularly that of the ship departing with its passengers waving to the distance. No footage was known to exist, with many historians thinking Cameron was crazy. Then, the following year, footage was uncovered of the exact clip Cameron was looking for, until historians confirmed the footage was of Titanic's older sister, the RMS Olympic departing.

It has been confirmed that many other clips were taken of the boat after its construction, though none of these have surfaced. One passenger was confirmed to have brought a film camera on board, which may have actually been saved from sinking with the ship. This has left many people longing to see possible film from the inside of the ship, but the footage has never been recovered. It has even been theorized that there may have been some footage taken of the ship's sinking from both inside and outside on a lifeboat (this claim has been heavily disputed as "incredibly unlikely", however).

(via AP Archive)


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