"ExpatTaffy" - the YouTube conspiracy theorist
In the absense of any qualified, peer-researched author or scientist endorsing the 'switch' theory, it is interesting to see those who promote it and the nature of their misinformation. Take the case of YouTuber "ExpatTaffy"...
He calls himself the "brilliant ExpatTaffy" - William Swithin, a 79-year-old Welshman (as of 2022) who lives in "dirt cheap" Thailand. It is worth noting that the name "Taffy" is an English term for a Welsh person. He runs two not very popular YouTube channels under the name of "ExpatTaffy" and "ExpatTaffy1". He also operates under the name of @bassilbrush on Twitter.
According to an author profile on the XinXii self-publishing website (where incidentally it states "this author has no books") William Swithin was "born in the mining valleys of South Wales during the early 1940s during the Second World War when life was hard for everyone. I am prepared to admit that during my school days I was not too bright at most subjects but proud to admit that when it came to maths there was no other child that could match me.. Following a holiday trip to Thailand and Australia during the year 2004, I was amazed at what a beautiful relaxing country Thailand was, I was amazed at the respect everyone had for each other. After meeting a beautiful lady who I then married I decided that Thailand was the ideal place for my retirement."
Apparently he suffered a stroke in 2011 and in the same year self-published a book via "Booksmango" entitled "ALIEN Mysteries Solved" in which he claims "irrefutable evidence of messages received & alien activity on planet Earth! While writing this book, the author underwent an extraordinary experience. He received messages, from an unknown source, regarding the contents of the book... source must be ALIENS."
The one-star reviews of the book on Amazon are not kind in their response:
One-star - "Whilst this man appears to be convinced by his own theories, there isn't a shred of evidence to support them" (WarrenB1173)
One-star - "This man is a lunatic. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but that doesn't mean you're entitled to your own "facts". Steer well clear of this poorly-written collection of garbage." (DebunkSlamdunk)
One-star - "This man has to be insane. He tells a story he's very convinced of but gives only evidence made up in his own head and marks it as proof." (Pietro L. Cozzi Tinin)
However, his main interest on YouTube appears to be the Apollo moon landings, which he believes were faked and he has subsequently been engaged in video 'arguments' with various YouTubers over his widely debunked claims. Most recently his "number one piece of evidence" that he said proved that the landings were faked (a photograph he claims shows a one-legged astronaut - but does not) was debunked by a fellow Welsh-man "Creaky Blinder":
"The Great Titanic Deception"
More recently he has also started commenting on various Titanic videos about the 'switch' theory. As with the moon landings he also tries to point out alleged "anomalies" in photographs. Of course, in doing so he overlooks the overwhelming evidence that proves it was the Titanic that sank as shown here.
Essentially Swithin believes by counting the port holes he proves the 'switch' theory. It does not. What he ignores is that firstly Olympic class ships, while constructed from the same blueprints, the port hole numbers changed during the evolution of their construction. "At the time of the Titanic's launch there were 14 portholes in the port side plating between the fo´c’sle deck and the sheer line of the hull, but by December the same year, the ship was fitted with an additional 2 portholes giving her a total of 16." explains Titanic author and researcher Steve Hall. If you compare photographs this must be taken into account otherwise you are comparing images taken at different stages of her construction, so will result in an illogical comparison.
This is explained in some detail here: https://www.titanicswitch.com/claims.html#10
Most bizarrely, Swithin uses images from a fictional dramatisation of the 'switch' and also the Honor & Glory computer game recreation of the ship to prove his theory - it seems he does not realise it is a digital recreation, sadly revealing that he is rather easily fooled.
Note: Many thanks to Doveton Sturdee for the following analysis of Swithin's claims made in his 50-minute video "The Great Titanic Deception - Part 1"::
His first mistake is accepting a scene from a supposed 'documentary' as if were filmed as it actually happened. It wasn't. The people are actors, performing a script, written to justify the switch claim. In reality, Olympic's keel was not damaged, and her starboard propeller was not replaced by one from Titanic, although parts of the shaft were. The actual damage, summarised in an Admiralty report confirmed also by examiners from White Star & the Board of Trade, was :- “Two major watertight compartments were flooded, hull plating gashed from the Orlop deck to E deck, and the starboard propeller shafting damaged.” I appreciate that this won't please the switchers, but it is, nevertheless, what appears in the report published on 10 November, 1911. Hawke's bow had penetrated only six to eight feet into Olympic's hull. Olympic had a beam of 92 feet.
At 7.55 Mr. Swithin is correct. The photo is certainly of Olympic. However, from there on things deteriorate rapidly. The reference at 14.10 to the alleged removal of the names, for which he seeks an explanation, can easily be explained. The names were still there, but not caught on the camera because of the nature of the primitive cameras of the day. Simply look at photographs taken around the same period of the Cunarders, preferably Lusitania because, for obvious reasons, these cannot date after 1915, and on many of them the name is at best indistinct and often invisible. This was not simply a White Star phenomenon. Oh, and by the way, warships, German or otherwise, do not have names painted on their bows.
At 15.13 we degenerate into farce. The remarkable colour 'picture' which Mr. Swithin claims is of Titanic is actually taken from a video game made by 'Four Funnels Entertainment' in 2015. Look it up for yourself if you wish. One obvious clue which Mr. Swithin obviously missed was their copyright mark on the bottom left of the image. I trust Mr. Swithin obtained permission for the use! Actually, calling someone else a 'liar' when Mr. Swithin himself has indulged in obvious fabrication might be considered in poor taste.
From 20.00 onwards, we see more pictures from the Video Game. It is called 'Titanic – Honor and Glory,' by the way. After that an amusing interlude, 21.40 to 22.00. Mr. Swithin asks 'why no name' when, for once, the name is clearly visible.
Mr. Swithin next concerns himself with a number of photographs (actually, real ones!) of the port side of the two ships, seemingly under the mistaken belief that the porthole pattern on the port side was the same as that on the starboard one, which in fact it wasn't. All three ships in the class had 15 portholes forward on their starboard sides. From 27.54 to 30.00, he talks about the number of portholes on the port sides of the two ships, apparently totally unaware that, as a result of feedback arising from Olympic's first few voyages, Titanic underwent a number of small internal improvements, including, in December 1911, 2 portholes added on her port side forward to light the crews galley and wash room which resulted in a total of 16 as seen in the maiden voyage photographs. Interestingly, Olympic's 14 portholes were also changed to 16, probably during her major refit of October, 1912 to March, 1913, but possibly as early as March, 1912 for the same reason, so any attempt to compare the porthole patterns of the two ships fails abysmally at that point. I urge anyone with doubts to check this for themselves.
At 31.30, I actually agree with Mr. Swithin. The extra portholes are indeed portholes, and not fairleads. By 33.53, however, we diverge again. The porthole pattern on the port side is irrelevant to that on the starboard, and even less to the video game image. The idea that they were simply 'painted on' is, frankly, unworthy of comment, except to state the obvious, which is that later modifications to most things rarely match the original exactly. The porthole, by the way, is simply slightly open, unless viewed with the eye of faith! He still, by the way, states that Olympic never had the extra portholes added. See above for the reality.
Between 41.00 and 43.00 Mr. Swithin returns to the video game images, still claiming them to be genuine photographs. The reference to the lifeboats, by the way, is simply wrong. Both liners had sufficient boats to meet Board of Trade requirements in force at the time. Had they not, certification would have been refused.
Mr. Swithin identifies the photograph at 46.18 as Titanic. It is indeed Titanic. This photograph is available from many sources. Unfortunately for his claims, it is of Titanic in early 1912, in Belfast awaiting her final fitting out, before 'A' deck was partly enclosed forward, which happened by March, 1912. The photograph has simply been colourised, which appears to have confused Mr. Swithin. Check this out for yourself, by searching for 'Pinterest - RMS Titanic scrapping.' The photograph is labelled as 'colorized by Roman Potapov.' Simply enlarge it, and the name 'Titanic' is clearly visible on her bows. Whoever wrote the caption has made the same mistake as Mr. Swithin. Next, simply do a search for 'Black and White photographs of Titanic fitting out ' and you will come across the original of the colourised photograph, dated 01.01.1912.There are many photographs of Olympic arriving and being dismantled at Jarrow, none of which resemble this one. Mr. Swithin could have done these simple checks, but seemingly chose not to. Once again, his lack of proper knowledge of the history of these ships, and his fixation with porthole counting as a result, betrays him..
Finally, at 48.00, he claims a caption error on a pinterest.com picture as 'evidence?' Heaven help us all!