A transcript that purportedly detailed the communications between those onboard the doomed Titan submersible and its mother ship as it descended towards the wreck of the Titanic last June has been revealed to be completely fake. 

The communications log had already drawn suspicion when it was released last summer as it documented a series of alarming events that turned a dive to the bottom of the Atlantic into a desperate struggle for survival. 

This log served to document the five voyagers’ futile efforts to get back to the surface. 

But the head of the U.S. federal investigation team has now declared the transcript to be entirely fictitious. 

After almost a year of thorough investigation, the team found no evidence indicating that the Titan’s occupants had any warning of the catastrophic implosion that was about to take place and ultimately claimed their lives. 

A widely circulated transcript allegedly detailing communications between the Titan submersible and its mother ship has been debunked by U.S. federal investigators

A widely circulated transcript allegedly detailing communications between the Titan submersible and its mother ship has been debunked by U.S. federal investigators

At the immense depths of two miles beneath the surface where the incident occurred, the pressures would have caused the submersible’s hull to collapse instantaneously.

‘I’m confident it’s a false transcript. It was made up,’ Captain Jason D. Neubauer, a retired U.S. Coast Guard officer and chairman of the Marine Board of Investigation, stated. It’s not clear who the original source of the false document was.

The false transcript, emerging in late June, detailed supposed minute-by-minute communications filled with technical jargon and realistic descriptions, including acronyms unique to the Titan giving it an air of authenticity.

It suggested the Titan’s crew was in a state of panic, dealing with hull alarms and cracking noises before communications abruptly ceased.

The transcript focused on the R.T.M. or Real Time Hull Health Monitoring system.

'I'm confident it's a false transcript. It was made up,' Captain Jason D. Neubauer, a retired U.S. Coast Guard officer and chairman of the Marine Board of Investigation, stated. It's not clear who the original source of the false document was

‘I’m confident it’s a false transcript. It was made up,’ Captain Jason D. Neubauer, a retired U.S. Coast Guard officer and chairman of the Marine Board of Investigation, stated. It’s not clear who the original source of the false document was

The OceanGate firm described the system as proprietary with ‘an unparalleled safety feature that assesses the integrity of the hull throughout every dive’, which would warn of any issues.  

One portion of the Titan transcript saw it telling the mother ship of various hull alarms together with crackling noises. 

A message nearing the end of the fake communications was regarding the sensor and read: ‘RTM alert active all red.’ 

But the fake transcript ended with silence as the mothership sent seven messages asking about its fate.

The purported last message said: ‘Please respond if you’re able.’ 

‘Somebody did it well enough to make it look plausible,’ Neubauer said, with the log making the adventurers ‘look like they were panicking.’ 

Dr. Alfred S. McLaren, a retired Navy submariner and submersible pilot, initially found the transcript plausible but later speculated that it might have been fabricated to discredit OceanGate or distress the victims’ relatives.

‘It may have been done to embarrass OceanGate,’ he told the NYTimes. ‘It certainly was guaranteed to stir up the relatives.’ 

The transcript, viewed millions of times online, falsely suggested the crew was aware of their impending doom before the submersible's catastrophic implosion. Pictured, debris from the Titan submersible is recovered from the ocean last June

The transcript, viewed millions of times online, falsely suggested the crew was aware of their impending doom before the submersible’s catastrophic implosion. Pictured, debris from the Titan submersible is recovered from the ocean last June

Despite its convincing appearance detailing the back and forth communications between the sub and the mother ship, the federal team identified several discrepancies. 

Crucially, they had access to actual communications records between the Titan and its mother ship, which remain confidential. 

The official records as seen by the National Transportation Safety Board, revealed no evidence that the crew was aware of their impending fate.

Neubauer hopes that the truth might offer some solace to the victims’ families, and alleviating concerns that their loved ones suffered in their final moments.

‘It doesn’t make it any less painful, but it can help’, he told the New York Times.

A view of the Horizon Arctic ship, as salvaged pieces of the Titan submersible from OceanGate Expeditions are returned

A view of the Horizon Arctic ship, as salvaged pieces of the Titan submersible from OceanGate Expeditions are returned

The revelations over the fakes transcript are the first to emerge from an extensive investigation that began last summer.

While there were hopes of concluding the investigation by the one-year anniversary of the Titan’s loss, a final report could take years.

Neubauer highlighted the complexities of the investigation, including the lack of witnesses, new vessel technologies, and jurisdictional challenges due to the disaster occurring in international waters. 

The investigation involves multiple international partners and the U.S. Navy’s assistance in debris recovery.

Although the initial goal was to complete the report within a year, Neubauer indicated it would likely take between two and three years – a typical timeframe for such comprehensive inquiries. 

He emphasized that despite the long process, the findings may lead to new safety regulations, which could provide some comfort to the victims’ families, knowing that their tragedy might help prevent future disasters.

The five men aboard the submersible were top left, Hamish Harding, 58, a British airline executive; top right Stockton Rush, 61, the founder and CEO of OceanGate; bottom left Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, a French Titanic expert and bottom right Shahzada Dawood, 48, a British Pakistani businessman; his son, Suleman, 19

The five men aboard the submersible were top left, Hamish Harding, 58, a British airline executive; top right Stockton Rush, 61, the founder and CEO of OceanGate; bottom left Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, a French Titanic expert and bottom right Shahzada Dawood, 48, a British Pakistani businessman; his son, Suleman, 19

The five men aboard the submersible were Shahzada Dawood, 48, a British Pakistani businessman; his son, Suleman, 19; Hamish Harding, 58, a British airline executive; Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, a French Titanic expert and Stockton Rush, 61, the founder and CEO of OceanGate, the American firm that built the submersible and ran the dives for tourists. He was also piloting the Titan on the day of the tragedy. 

Rush, who piloted the Titan, had previously dismissed concerns about the sub’s experimental design and that it was destined to fail. 

Despite being termed an ‘experimental’ craft, it had submersed beneath the waves a total of 90 times and had reached the depths of the Titanic on 13 occasions. 

The Titan went missing on June 18, 2023, with the debris was found near the Titanic’s wreck in the North Atlantic five days later, tragically confirming that a catastrophic implosion had occurred. 

During the search, hopes were briefly that those on board might still be alive, raised by reports of underwater noises and discussions about the sub’s remaining oxygen.

It led to a fleet of international vessels coming to searched for the lost sub.

On June 22, five days later, the Coast Guard confirmed their worst fears after debris from the Titan was discovered and and the sub had imploded.

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