Evidence found in our newsroom suggests ‘Rose’ looked nothing like Kate Winslet

"Skippy" the rabid, blindfolded squirrel.
“Skippy” the rabid, blindfolded squirrel.

Wait! Before you start rifling through your official Winter Olympics program in search of an event that neither you nor the Olympic Committee knew existed because it’s on at 3 a.m., I should clarify that this battle cry has nothing to do with an Alabama-style Biathlon with live squirrels.

What it means is that it’s time once again for The Box, an exciting Tuesday feature that combines the drama of investigative journalism with the thrill of a wild, blindfolded squirrel. Think of Keith Morrison teaming up with John Quinones, except that Keith Morrison has rabies and might bite John Quinones.

Each week, I put my 15 years of journalistic experience to the test by identifying a randomly chosen photograph that has remained unclaimed in our newsroom since as far back as the 1980s. What makes this weekly feature unique is the photo selection process, which involves:

1) Me dumping The Box of photos directly onto the floor, and;

2) Yelling “RELEASE THE SQUIRREL!” before turning “Skippy” loose in our newsroom.

The photo nearest the first person who screams is selected!

Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense; it’s probably just the rabies! But you can trust me when I tell you that I utilize my years of investigative journalism experience to identify the individuals and circumstances within the photo. Past discoveries have included: the very first Jesus photo bomb, a senior citizen Viagra smuggling ring, and evidence that aliens not only exist but have a terrible fashion sense.

Before I reveal this week’s photo, I should explain that the biggest mystery still remains:

How did a photo from the S.S. Titanic end up in our archive of unclaimed photos?

A photo of "Rose" captures a happier moment aboard the S.S. Titanic
A photo of “Rose” captures a happier moment aboard the S.S. Titanic

Being a professional journalist, believe me when I say I didn’t just see her hat and those chandeliers, then jump to some half-baked assumption.

No way.

My assumption was, in fact, completely baked when I determined that this was unquestionably an authentic photo taken of “Rose” aboard the Titanic — probably by “Jack.” How do I know this? Sometimes you have to go with your gut. And my gut tells me those are the eyes of love…

Look at those eyes of love. You can almost hear her saying, "Sketch me, Jack."
Look at love in those eyes. You can almost hear her saying, “Sketch me, Jack.”

I have to admit, when I saw this woman holding what appears to be a digital camera, I momentarily questioned the validity of my conclusion…

What appears to be a woman with a digital camera gave me a moment of pause...
At first, what appears to be a woman with a digital camera, seemed to fly in the face of my assumption…

Like any good investigative journalist, I dug deeper and examined the photo more closely. That’s when I noticed something only a trained journalist’s eye would catch. If you didn’t notice it, don’t feel bad! When I showed this photo to Barbara Walters, not only did she overlook this subtle clue, she also called my conclusion “Cwap.”

What was the final clue proving the photo’s authenticity? Look closely…


No, closer.

Oops, sorry — not that close. We’ll put some ice on that in a minute. But first, see the woman in question? She’s wearing tiny white gloves. No one wears white gloves anymore! This confirmed that the photo was, indeed, completely authentic.

And as for that thing she was holding, which at first glance appeared to be a digital camera? It was probably a pepper grinder. Or make-up compact. Or the box containing the Heart of the Sea necklace.

Regardless, although we’ve been able to positively identify that this photo is of the real “Rose” from the S.S. Titanic, and that she looks nothing like Kate Winslet, solving the mystery of how the photo ended up in The Box continues.

But if I had to guess — which completely goes against my training as an investigative journalist — I’d say it came in with that big blue door that leads to our editor’s office.

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

49 thoughts on “Evidence found in our newsroom suggests ‘Rose’ looked nothing like Kate Winslet”

  1. “I have to admit, when I saw this woman holding what appears to be a digital camera, I momentarily questioned the validity of my conclusion…”—Hahaha. Maybe she’s Rose the time traveler. Surely that’s a spin to the Titanic saga someone will give a go of.

  2. I’m enjoying your book immensely. I have to remind myself when I am reading to leave the red wine on the table, but I have escaped major disaster to this point. My only regret is that I did not save the envelope with your address. Would you mind emailing it to me?? Pretty please….I promise you have nothing to fear. 😀

    1. I’m so glad to hear it, Susan! About the book and any averted wine catastrophes 😉

      And I’ve already survived an elicit syrup delivery from Canada, so I feel confident I can handle whatever you might send 😉

      I will my address along shortly!

      1. That made me think of when I was a kid and used to put playing cards in my bicycle spokes because it sounded like a motorcycle. I don’t know why Steven being naked and belching made me think of that…

  3. Ned, there is a faint possibility that you may have been scammed – although it is more likely that someone very devious has tried to hide the fact that the picture was actually taken on the Titanic for nefarious reasons. Although I must say, when the photo is blown up (or whatever the correct photo journalist term is), it becomes obvious that your manicure is excellent – even at 20 times magnification of original. Very nice – setting a high manicure bar for any other “jurnalists”. Unfortunately, that appears to be the only real item in the photo – your thumb. So, I’ll make the case that someone tampered with the original to try and hide the real Titanic connection. It took a keen eye, the bull-dog like tenacity of an award winning writer, and a towering intellect like you to see through all the “planted” evidence to the reality. Aside from the digital camera in the photo (after all there could have been a time traveler aboard who accidently left the camera lying around):

    1) Resolution does not fade until about 15 X – only in digital originals unless the original was rephotographed in digital to attempt to disguise it
    2) Pixels are apparent at 20 X – granted, there could have been another “time-traveler” dropped digital in the crowd
    3) There are at least 5 different designs of chairs in the photo – maybe it was in 3rd class and they had to use the chairs that were available
    4) The seated “passenger” in the lower right has a nylon wind breaker folded over the chair back (first produced 23 years after the Titanic sank) – that pesky time traveler again!
    5) The windows look out on a modern office building – someone in the future may have photo-shopped that in to disguise the fact that the picture was actually taken on the Titanic

    The only possible reason that this was so cleverly disguised is obviously that time-travel actually exists and the time-traveler was trying to obfuscate the scene – but you caught him/her in the act. Good work Ned!

    1. I should have known Dr. Nefarious and his Time Travelers were behind this! Actually, I may go pay them a visit; I’m pretty sure their band is playing this Friday at the Enfermo Taco restaurant. But not before a manicure…

  4. The box! I’ve been patiently waiting for you to dump that thing and let the squirrels loose again. Thanks for the hard hitting investigative journalism. However, I’m not so happy with the song repeating my head–something with Celine Dion? Send the squirrels back in. Maybe the squealing will drown out the falsetto!

  5. “How did a photo from the S.S. Titanic end up in our archive of unclaimed photos?”

    The same thing happened at the Minneapolis StarTribune. They later discovered it had been meant to accompany an editorial on their declining subscriptions….. (ouch)

  6. She must have been really pissed at that guy who went and looked for her necklace at the bottom of the ocean and then handed it to Britney Spears, whilst she was dancing around in a red body-suit on Mars without any oxygen feeding equipment whatsoever.

  7. Ned, don’t panic, but I’m afraid your newsroom has turned… black & white. Now, don’t worry, it’s not permanent. Just apply this ointment liberally to the infected area and infectedly to the conservative areas.

    1. HaHA! I knew you’d catch that. I didn’t have time to Photoshop just the photo into B&W, so I just did the whole thing, saying to myself: “With his keen eye for deduction and entirely too much time on his hands, that dang Ross is going to notice the discrepancy. And hopefully my well-manicured thumbnail…”

No one is watching, I swear...

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