One hundred years ago today, the R.M.S. Titanic sank. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen the headlines as well as the show marathons on the History and National Geographic channels. If you live in my house, you have a six-year-old boy named Heath who is absolutely fascinated with the ship and the wreck and follows me everywhere telling me whatever new factoid he has just learned.
Mama! Mama! Did you know the Titanic split in half? Between the four funnels? And the bow went straight down into the sand? And the stern went down and twisted and pieces flew off?
It’s constant. And awesome.
Paranormal Georgia Investigations had the honor of investigating the Titanic exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium two years ago. Volunteers and employees had reported having unexplained, paranormal experiences and wanted to know if they truly had a “borrowed” haunting from the Titanic artifacts or if they had over-active imaginations.
Bill Sauder, Historian and Director of RMS Titanic, Inc., had the following experience while cataloging one particular item from the Titanic wreckage:
Smell is a very powerful sense. The smell of cookies can take you back to a moment at your grandmother’s house while the smell of smoke may bring back fun memories of summer camp. I have a rather sensitive nose and smells that may be mild for others are particularly pungent for me.
In the back room of the aquarium’s Titanic exhibit were passenger personal effects and near the wall were the perfume vials Bill Sauder spoke of in the above clip. They were owned by a perfumer who was taking them to New York City to, I assume, further his business and find new buyers for his scents. As we five women (three investigators and two aquarium interns) sat against the wall, wearing our girly-scented shampoos, hair sprays, lotions, and perfumes, a man walked by.
Clairalience is the ability to smell someone or something that does not exist in our physical plane. We were in a room free of men with no air vents in our vicinity and I distinctly smelled a man, swathed in cologne, walk directly in front of our group. It was an amazing experience. As I sniffed my four companions (who were probably thinking I was out of my mind) to make sure none of them had a propensity for wearing men’s cologne, I realized that someone from the Titanic had just walked by.
Could it have been the perfumer? Or was it someone else? I’ll never know because he never revealed himself on our audio or video recordings. But, what I do know is that for a moment, like for Bill Sauder, “the ship was alive again.”
Rest well, Titanic. We’ll never forget you, your crew, or your passengers.
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