The recent announcement of an expedition to find the ‘Titanic’ has caused much confusion in the maritime world, with experts pointing out that the famed passenger liner – which sank on its maiden voyage in 1912, after colliding with an iceberg – had already been found, when its wreck was located in 1985, twelve thousand feet beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. However, the expedition’s organiser is adamant not only that the ‘Titanic’ didn’t sink, but that the vessel is still afloat and sailing the world’s oceans. “The whole iceberg business was a hoax,” Hamilton Querrell told a hastily convened press conference earlier this week. “It was all part of a gigantic conspiracy – much like the September 11th business this century . There never really were any passengers on the ship – all the so-called ‘survivors’ and the ‘grieving relatives’ of the supposedly drowned victims were actually actors employed by the authorities in order to fol the press and public.” The ship itself, Querrell told the media, did exist, the point of the conspiracy being to spirit it away, out of public sight. “The shipping company got a big insurance pay out,” he claimed. “At the same time, the conspirators got what they wanted – an effectively ‘invisible’ luxury liner they could use for their own shady purposes.” Pressed as to the identity of these conspirators, Querrell admitted that he couldn’t be precise, but told media representatives at the conference: “The Illuminati, the Secret Rulers of the World, the Cabal of International Financiers, Bilderberg Group, call them what you like, but they were the ones behind it, just as they are behind every major event in history.”

According to the thirty nine year old Biggleswade shop assistant, the original purpose of the ship ‘abduction’ was to provide the secret ruling elite with a luxury floating pleasure palace, where its members could socialise, make deals and generally relax in a decadent fashion away from the prying eyes of the masses. “Believe me, the deals which resulted in both world wars were thrashed out by military industrialists and bankers on the promenade deck of the ‘Titanic’,” Querrell explained. “Of course, they realised that, eventually, somebody would try to find the ‘wreck’. So, when the only surviving sister of the ‘Titanic’, the ‘Olympic’, was withdrawn from service in the 1930s, instead of being scrapped – which was the story given to the press – she was secretly towed into the Atlantic and sunk at the spot where the ‘Titanic’ had allegedly foundered in 1912!”

Querrell’s claims aren’t mere speculation – he claims to have actually seen the ‘Titanic’ still afloat after more than a century. Indeed, not only has he seen the legendary liner, but he also claims to have been on board the vessel. “It happened a couple of years ago when I fell overboard from a cross channel ferry,” he explains. “The water was freezing and there was thick fog – nobody saw me fall, so the ferry sailed on. It felt like I was floating in the sea for hours, I really thought that I was a goner, then this shape suddenly loomed out of the fog – it was a huge ship.” Incredibly, not only did the mysterious vessel slow down, but it lowered a boat to pick Querrell up. “At first I just assumed that it was a normal cruise ship, but when the fog cleared, I was amazed to see that I was standing on the deck of the ‘Titanic’,” he says. “There was no mistaking it – the four funnels, that distinctive shape, it was definitely the ‘Titanic’!” Scarcely had Querrell’s incredulity over the identity of his rescuer subsided, than he found his sanity challenged by the identity of the ship’s passengers. “As we sailed into sunny weather, they started emerging from their staterooms – I could barely believe my eyes,” he claims. “They were all there: Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, John F Kennedy, Jimi Hendrix, even Princess Diana! Everyone you thought was dead was there, large as life!”

At first thinking that he had stumbled across a ‘ghost ship’, populated by the spirits of the dead, perhaps transporting them to the after life, Querrell quickly realised that the passengers were definitely flesh and blood. Just as the shadowy cabal secretly ruling the world had faked the sinking of the ‘Titanic’, so they had faked the deaths of every famous person who had allegedly died since 1960. “When you become fabulously rich and famous and have achieved your wildest ambitions, what is there left to tempt you?” asks Querrell, attempting to explain the conspiracy. “The chance to cheat death – it’s apparently the only thing that money can’t buy. No matter how wealthy or famous you are, you can’t cheat death. Or can you? It turns out that the Illuminati perfected a ‘cure or death’ in the late 1950s, which could offer potential immortality to those rich enough to afford it!” Seeking to keep their immortality treatment secret from the masses, the cabal demanded that those buying it had to fake their own deaths and vanish from the public eye. “Of course, they already had the perfect place for them to hide – the ‘Titanic’,” he says. “They spend their infinite lives endlessly sailing the oceans in luxury, their every whim catered for, but never going into port and staying out of sight of land!”

Querrell quickly learned that his rescue hadn’t been motivated by altruism. “It was how they crewed the ship, by rescuing castaways and working them until they dropped,” he reveals. “Obviously, once you’d seen the ship and its passenger roster of immortals, there was no way they could let you go!” Nevertheless, Querrell effected an escape, jumping overboard from the ‘Titanic’ as it entered a fog bank. Miraculously, he was picked up by a fishing trawler less than hour later. Sceptics have cast doubt on his story, pointing out that, according to the logs of the trawler and the ferry, Querrell couldn’t have been in the water for more than hour and have suggested that his experience was simply an hallucination induced by the trauma of falling overboard. In the face of such scepticism, the phantom liner has become his ‘white whale’, as his obsession with hunting it down in order to prove its existence has grown, culminating with this expedition, financed by his local kebab shop, whose owner is a ‘Titanic’ obsessive. “It’s out there, somewhere in the ocean, just sailing along hosting its permanent celebrity party,” he told the press conference. “When we find it, I’ll be able to bring back conclusive photographic evidence.” Querrell and his financial backer subsequently had to be rescued by the Cowes lifeboat after the boat they had hired started shipping water and sank off of the coast of the Isle of Wight.