Heritage auction house announced that will put on sale exceptional telegram – SOS message that is sent from Titanik to the White Star Line Steamship Company, just before its sank. “We have struck iceberg. Sinking fast. Come to our assistance. Position: Lat 41.46 N. Lon 50.14 W,” reads the message on the yellowed paper. “This is obviously proof, or evidence, that the Titanic did send a message to the White Star Line in New York,” says Don Ackerman, Consignment Director of the Historical Department at Heritage Auctions, adding that the starting price for this “historic” telegram will be $20,000.
The SOS message could might enable rescuers to arrive on time and to save the passengers and crew. Unfortunately, things are completed differently.
A few days after the tragedy, the owner of maritime companies Philip Franklin said he has not received any call for help from the ship. He will argue in front of the commission and the Senate who questioned him.
“Either he was lying to the congressional committee, or he never got to see the telegram,” said Ackerman. Or it is a “false” telegram. One hundred and three years later, still doubt its authenticity, although the analysis confirmed that dates back to the early twentieth century and that it is not a forgery.
Another problem is the way it is unveiled: found in 1988 in an envelope on which was written “this is 86 years old.”
Akerman, who is convinced of its authenticity, has a simple explanation: the telegram ended in a pile of unopened shipments, and was found a few years later.