Was the Titan Sub's Text Message 'Transcript' or 'Log' Released? –

About this rating
In early July 2023, TikTok and YouTube users published videos promoting what they referred to as a “transcript” or “log” of the final text message communications from OceanGate Expeditions’ Titan submersible.
On the morning of June 18, the Titan (which technically was a submersible and not a submarinelost communication with the Canadian research icebreaker Polar Prince shortly after beginning its descent to explore the wreckage of the Titanic. Five passengers, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, were on board when the sub apparently imploded on the same morning, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
As of this writing, due to a lack of evidence as well as no reporting from credible sources, the authenticity of this supposed transcript or log of the Titan sub’s final text messages was unconfirmed. This kind of a situation corresponded with our fact-check rating of “Unproven,” a determination that does not mean we have concluded it is real or fake. Rather, this rating indicates that our findings have thus far been inconclusive.
On July 6, we reached out to OceanGate Expeditions to ask questions about the transcript rumor. Earlier on the same day, the company had announced on its website that it had “suspended all exploration and commercial operations.”
We did not immediately receive a response from OceanGate, but will update this story in the future should that change.
In what follows, we’ll detail everything we know about this subject, including the supposed transcript itself. We’ll also lay out how thoughts from film director James Cameron aligned with what appeared in the messages that were being shared online.
First off, yes, the Titan sub had the ability to send and receive what OceanGate referred to as text messages, as CNN, Scientific American, and ABC News reported.
The following question and answer was pulled from the company’s website:
Can the submersible communicate with the crew on the surface?
Yes. Titan communicates with the topside comms and tracking team via text messages which are exchanged via a USBL (ultra-short baseline) acoustic system. The sub is required to communicate with topside every fifteen minutes or more frequently if needed.  Tracking of the sub’s position (lat/long and depth) is achieved through the same system but is controlled by the computer and updates the sub’s position every few seconds.
According to the reporting from Scientific American, the communications technology “allow[ed] for underwater acoustic positioning, as well as for short text messages to be sent back and forth to the surface vessel – but the amount of data that can be shared is limited and usually includes basic telemetry and status information.”
The TikTok and YouTube users who shared the supposed transcript appeared to do so with disclaimers that they weren’t sure of its authenticity.
On an unknown date in late June, a TikTok user posted a video of the messages and prefaced the clip by saying they were “unconfirmed.” The video has since been viewed more than 360,000 times.
On July 1, the creator or creators behind the GS Academy Pakistan YouTube channel published a video titled, “Messages between TITAN(SUB) & Crew on top | horrific Tale | what actually happened on that morning?” The video, which had received more than 125,000 views, included a description that named its “source” as being an article on However, that article was not available, which meant that it had either been removed or never existed in the first place.
On July 2, another TikTok user posted a video of the messages with no disclaimer that the transcript had not yet been authenticated. That video was viewed more than 3.6 million times.
On July 5, the verified YouTube channel jeffostroff also published the transcript, citing “several TikTok’ers and also an educational Pakistani YouTube channel,” a likely reference to GS Academy Pakistan. The video, which had been viewed 2.2 million times as of this writing, began with a disclaimer saying that they could not confirm the transcript’s authenticity.

These four videos were just a sampling of the clips that we found online that were sharing the transcript.
As for the purported transcript itself, the oldest posting that we could find was from June 29 on This posting may have predated all of the aforementioned TikTok and YouTube videos.
The series of messages in the transcript aligned with what OceanGate had indicated on its website about how communications were required every fifteen minutes. The messages also appeared to correspond with film director James Cameron’s own thoughts on what may have been happening in the sub’s final moments, a subject we’ll detail in the next section.
Before we get to Cameron, here’s the unconfirmed transcript that was being shared online:
Note: “RTM” apparently stands for Titan’s real-time monitoring system.
[07:52:34] [POLAR PRINCE] clear for descent. Enjoy the ride
[07:54:07] [TITAN] Descending now
[07:58:16] [TITAN] Launch sequence complete, rdy?
[0800:39] [POLAR PRINCE] all clear
[08:01:11] [TITAN] Proceeding.
[08:03:09] [POLAR PRINCE] Enjoy the dive gentlemen.
[08:19:53] [POLAR PRINCE] you’re 15 minutes into the dive, current depth. Systems check, please.
[08:21:28] [TITAN] Systems check complete, all in order. All lights are green. We are 756, proceeding.
[08:22:41] [POLAR PRINCE] Thank you. Proceed.
[08:34:02] [POLAR PRINCE] 30 minutes in, update please.
[08:34:57] [TITAN] All systems are functioning normally. We’re in good shape. Continuing our descent as planned.
[08:36:05] [POLAR PRINCE] Superb, proceed.
[08:49:10] [POLAR PRINCE] Over 45 minute mark. Current depth? Confirm status.
[08:51:30] [TITAN] Depth at 1934. All systems stable and descent continuing as planned. Happy crew.
[08:52:28] [POLAR PRINCE] Excellent!
[09:01:46] [POLAR PRINCE] You’re at the hour mark.
[09:02:13] [TITAN] All is smooth sailing here.
[09:15:21] [POLAR PRINCE] You are at 75 minutes, depth? Status? Do you need to adjust velocity?
[09:17:50] [TITAN] All under control. At 2960. No adjustments needed. We’re enjoying the ride.
[09:19:03] [POLAR PRINCE] Understood
[09:28:16] [TITAN] we’re noting an alarm from the rtm
[09:28:35] [TITAN] reducing velocity descent depth 3433
[09:28:47] [POLAR PRINCE] Understood. Do you need to ascend?
[09:30:55] [TITAN] no change with thrust the rate of descent is increasing. At 35. Going to release the ballast now. Standby.
[09:30:55] [POLAR PRINCE] Yes, agree. Release the ballast.
[09:32:12] [TITAN] No improvement. Preparing to jettison the frame.
[09:33:00] [POLAR PRINCE] Affirmative. Update when able. RTM indicator status?
[09:35:48] [TITAN] frame jettisoned multiple attempts needed. But starting the ascent now.
[09:36:33] [POLAR PRINCE] Multiple attempts? What is your status? RTM indicators? Depth?
[09:37:38] [POLAR PRINCE] Update please when able.
*[09:38:09] [TITAN] crackling sound at aft
[09:38:44] [POLAR PRINCE] Can you identify source? RTM indicators status?
[09:40:12] [TITAN] neg
[09:40:40] [POLAR PRINCE] RTM status?
[09:42:12] [TITAN] trying to run diagnostics. Ascending now. But very slow. Sounds have subsided. Global RTM alert active all red.
[09:42:57] [POLAR PRINCE] Understood. Any codes? Depth? Ascent rate?
[09:43:16] [POLAR PRINCE] Updates when able please.
[09:42:42] [TITAN] slow ascent in progress. quarter predicted. Unclear why rate is small. No indicator. At 3476. Aiming for the surface.
[09:44:03] [POLAR PRINCE] We are talking it over with the engineer, standby.
[09:45:11] [POLAR PRINCE Depth and status please. What’s the wattage on upwards thrust?
[09:46:37] [TITAN] reading red on the A power bus. I switched to B. at 3457m more sounds aft.
[09:47:19] [POLAR PRINCE] Understood, continue ascent. Talking to Carlos about power bus situation right now. Standby.
[09:48:49] [POLAR PRINCE] We are activating recovery procedures. Carlos is requesting wattage output from bus B. Status update please. Velocity of ascent?
[09:50:09] [POLAR PRINCE] We’re not receiving you. Update please.
[09:51:16] [POLAR PRINCE] Status and depth report.
[09:53:08] [POLAR PRINCE] We need you to respond with status and depth. Carlos is requesting wattage update on thrusters.
[09:55:01] [POLAR PRINCE] We are unable to read you. We are moving to recovery coordinates. Report if you read.
[09:57:22] [POLAR PRINCE] Please respond if you’re able.
In our research for this story, we found quite a bit of discussion amongst Reddit users who were unsure of the authenticity of the messages. One user posited, “The events described in the ‘transcript’ seem plausible. I’m wondering if the leaker/poster ‘translated’ the actual cryptic message record to a clear wording for the lay person.”
*Note: The line, “[09:38:09] [TITAN] crackling sound at aft,” did not appear in the text on, but was displayed in some of the TikTok and YouTube videos. Also, some versions of the transcript read as “SUB” and “TOP” instead of “TITAN” and “POLAR PRINCE.”
Speaking of Reddit, other users discussed a Facebook post from Parks Stephenson, a Titanic explorer who, according to, had worked in the past with James Cameron on Titanic-related projects.
In Stephenson’s post, he called the alleged transcript “unverified” and said it was “most likely nothing more than a cruel and cynical fantasy.”
“I admit that I was at first fooled by the scenario described in this ‘log’ because it seemed to fit what little we know and suspect,” Stephenson said. “After the initial emotion passed and I took time to study the text more carefully, however, I could start to see certain incongruities.”

Under one of the TikTok videos that promoted the unconfirmed transcript, a user commented, “So the passengers and Rush heard the hull failing with their own ears. James Cameron was correct. Chilling.”
This user, who appeared to take the transcript at face value, was referring to an interview given by Cameron to ABC News, in which he described some elements of a story that also later appeared in the supposed text messages. From what we could gather, Cameron has not since come out to give his thoughts on the transcript that’s being shared online.
“This OceanGate sub had sensors on the inside of the hull to give them a warning when it was starting to crack,” Cameron said to ABC News on June 22. “And I think if that’s your idea of safety, then you’re doing it wrong. You don’t… and they probably had warning that their hull was starting to delaminate and it was starting to crack. Because, as Bob [Ballard] pointed out, we understand from inside the community, that they had dropped their ascent weights and they were coming up, trying to manage an emergency.”
This part of the interview begins at the 7:52 mark below:

Cameron is the Oscar-winning film director of 1997’s “Titanic.” He also has quite the record of making deep-sea submersible dives, including to depths far deeper than Titanic.
In one of our previous stories, we wrote about how Cameron was exploring the Titanic on the day of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, getting a glimpse at one historical tragedy while another and perhaps much more significant event was occurring on the surface.
This story will be updated in the future should we receive any helpful information that might better inform the veracity of the transcript. Until then, in light of the scant available evidence, we rated the claim about the transcript being real as Unproven.
“[07:52:34] [POLAR PRINCE] Clear for Descent. Enjoy the Ride.”, 29 June 2023,
ABC News. “‘Titanic’ Filmmaker James Cameron Weighs in on the ‘Catastrophic’ Titan Sub Implosion.” YouTube, 22 June 2023,
Brewis, Harriet. “‘Transcript of Titan Sub’s Final Communication’ Leaked Online | Indy100.”, 6 July 2023,
Burke, Minyvonne, and Austin Mullen. “OceanGate Suspends All Exploration and Commercial Operations after Titan Implosion.” NBC News, 6 July 2023,
Charalambous, Peter. “PlayStation Controller and Acoustic Messaging: How the Missing Titanic Tourist Sub Works.” ABC News, 21 June 2023,
Cohen, Danielle. “‘Presumed Human Remains’ Have Been Recovered From the Titan Sub Wreck.” The Cut, 29 June 2023,
Liles, Jordan. “Was James Cameron Exploring the Titanic Wreckage on 9/11?” Snopes, 22 June 2023,
Loh, Matthew. “OceanGate Boasted on Instagram in 2020 That Its Titanic Submersible Would Detect Hull Defects with ‘Incredible Accuracy’ and ‘Well Before the Safety of the Crew Is Threatened.’” Insider, 3 July 2023,
Longjumping_Youth679. “Titan Log of Final Dive Probable Fake, Says Parks Stevenson.” Reddit, 6 July 2023,
OceanGate Expeditions.
Ramer, Holly, et al. “Did Initial Delays in Communication Hamper Tourist Sub Search?” The Associated Press, 22 June 2023,
Than, Ker. “James Cameron Now at Ocean’s Deepest Point.” National Geographic News, 27 Mar. 2012,
Torres, Libby. “A Titanic Expert Who Worked with James Cameron Weighed in on the Missing Submersible.” Insider, 20 June 2023,
Tucker, Emma. “What It Was like inside the Lost Titanic-Touring Submersible.” CNN, 22 June 2023,
Wanshel, Elyse. “James Cameron Says Titan Passengers Likely Knew Sub Was In Trouble Right Before Implosion.” HuffPost, 23 June 2023,
Whittle, Patrick, and Jennifer McDermott. “What Caused the Titan to Implode? Right Now, It’s Not Even Clear Who Will Lead the Investigation.” The Associated Press, 23 June 2023,
Williams, Stefan B. “Missing Titanic Sub: What Could Have Gone Wrong?” Scientific American via The Conversation, 20 June 2023,
July 7, 2023: This report was updated to include a line about a “crackling sound” that appeared in some, but not all, versions of the transcript.
Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.
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