DIALOGUE BETWEEN SCIENCE AND SPIRITISM Understanding Our Fascination with The Titanic > Michael Tymn O n April 27, 1865, a boiler explosion on the Santana, a Mississippi River s teamboat, resulted in the deaths of 1,547 people, most of them Union soldiers returning home at the end of the United<br/> States Civil War. <br/> Although the death toll of the Santana exceeds the 1,517 reported for the RMS Titanic, it seems safe to say that the Santana is all but forgotten, while the story of the Titanic continues to fascinate millions. <br/> 6 T he Spiritist MAGAZINE Might we attribute the<br/> difference to the fact that the Titanic disaster happened ?only? 100 years ago, while that of the Santana was 147 years ago? No, if we could go back 47 years in time to the year 1965, it is highly unlikely that many people then would have been able to identify the Santana. <br/> Moreover, the great <br/> San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, took place just six years before the Titanic sinking and involved an estimated 3,000 deaths, twice as many as the Titanic, and yet that terrible event does not stir up nearly as much emotion and interest as that of the Titanic. <br/> Much more recent than<br/> the Titanic, the ?Great Smog? of London, took an estimated 4,000 lives in 1952. <br/> But how many people remember it? Thus, it does not appear that time answers the question of why the Titanic is so remembered today. <br/> In terms of lives lost in maritime disasters, the Titanic falls far short of<br/> the estimated 4,000 killed when the Dona Paz, a passenger ferry, collided with an oil tanker off Mindoro Island, south of Manila, Philippines during 1987. <br/> The reason the Dona Paz is not as well remembered, at least in the Western world, is likely a result of its location and limited media<br/> attention in Western countries. <br/> No doubt the many movies made of the Titanic disaster, especially the 1997 epic film, play a big part in our continuing knowledge of and interest in the Titanic
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