|image of Titanic from www.bbc.co.uk|
A party of men including a physician went to investigate and spent almost an hour freeing her from the ice. However her outdated clothes showed she had perhaps been frozen for fifty years or more. In the pockets of the woman's coat were found a brooch, a purse with old english money, and a number of documents including one that said she was a passenger on the Titanic which had sunk off Newfoundland in 1912.
Upon being 'defrosted' the woman apparently opened her eyes, but attempts to resuscitate her failed.
Allegedly this event was hushed up and did not get the media attention it deserved because the Russian vessel should not have been in those waters and was acting illegally.
|Hearses lined up on Halifax wharf ready to take R.M.S. Titanic victims|
Most literature consists of unlikely events - too much plot for the average real life - yet good novels feel real. Some of this is to do with manipulating timing, so that unlikely events are spread well apart in the novel, some of it is because what could have been 'coincidences' are given good background reasons. For example it is a wild coincidence if the detective accidentally finds himself in the same hotel in a strange town as the killer, but not a coincidence if he has spent a whole book following him there.
More detail, such as that found in old photographs like the one above of hearses waiting to carry recovered bodies away, helps to anchor the story in reality. Photo credit Of course (unsurprisingly) there is no photo of the woman found on the iceberg in the 1980's, but as a novelist I could use detail from old photographs such as this to help the reader imagine the scene.
Unlikely events feel more real if the characters act like human beings and acknowledge the strangeness and try to find a more plausible explanation.
But I think urban myths are fascinating and would love to hear your historical urban myths. (Bones of Richard III found in a city car park does not count!)
My two books are out now, click on the covers to read more about them.