Wednesday, 31 May 2017


The Coburg Leader, Friday 11 March, 1910. 
When news came of a vessel being seen on fire which subsequently blew up and foundered there was a wild outburst of incredulity in Melbourne and experts proceeded to point out the impossibilities of the case. Then floating bodies were seen, but the maritime experts would have none of that and put them down as "skates."
This extract gives us important clues. The public response to the Harlow account was one of horror and 'incredulity'. Searches were still actively underway and no one, but no one, wanted to accept the possibility that 211 souls had been blown up on the Waratah. The so-called experts veered sharply away from the possibility of such a catastrophe and vehemently denied that bodies were discovered. It appears from this extract that 'skates' were proposed, not proven, an ideal scapegoat to avoid the collapse of hope. Everything was pinned on finding the disabled Waratah drifting with all souls alive and well. 
The general public, relatives of those on board and the Lunds did not want to accept the possibility the Waratah and her compliment were lost in such a gruesome manner - and so the mystery was born.....

does this look remotely like a human body??

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