An article that has been going around in the Titanic circles has caused some controversy. If you wish to read it, here's the link:
According to the article, Frederick Barrett opened up a valve which caused water to gush in, allowing that bulkhead to flood and allowed that one extra compartment to flood that doomed the Titanic. According to Brown, he opened it and when he saw the water flooding the room, Barrett ran out of the door. Brown also said that Barrett was afraid of the stigma from being known as the man that sank the Titanic.
My response is that this is a completely unproven theory. It shouldn't even be given the label theory. Hypothesis is a better word.
Barrett said at the United States Inquiry when Senator Smith interviewed him in a boiler room of the R.M.S. Olympic (Titanic's twin sister) that, "I was standing talking to the second engineer. The bell rang, the red light showed. We sang out shut the doors (indicating the ash doors to the furnaces) and there was a crash just as we sung out. The water came through the ship's side. The engineer and I jumped to the next section. The next section to the forward section is No. 5."
Barrett later included the exact location as 2 feet above the floor plates. Barrett has not given contradictory evidence in his descriptions of the disaster and I see no reason to disbelieve him. Therefore, I must encourage my readers to disbelieve this hypothesis as something without . Fred Barrett did his duty and was a big help in the early sinking.
Mr. Brown said, "The myth is infinitely easier on the brain. People like to take the path of least resistance." I personally feel that Brown tried a little too hard on this one.