In late August, as the waters of the Titanic were rising, an iconic image of a dead woman washed up on a beach in England captured the imagination of thousands of people around the world.
That photo, taken by a British sailor on a routine patrol in December 1912, was one of the first to be circulated on the internet, and quickly became a sensation.
But the story behind the photograph has been shrouded in mystery ever since.
What was the woman who died in the accident?
Why did her remains float up the English Channel?
And what happened to the ship that sank?
Now, thanks to the work of photographer Kevin J. Smith and his team at the Titanic Museum, we have some answers.
The story of the ‘Titanic’ Smith and his colleagues first noticed the image in a digital collection of photographs of the ship in a local archive of historic photographs.
In November 2016, the photo began circulating on social media, prompting a flood of questions.
Some of the questions were simple, like: Why is it that this woman is still floating up the sea?
How was she washed up by the sea, and what caused her to sink?
The Titanic Museum has a theory: the woman’s remains were actually brought to the shore by a ship that was on its way to the New York shipyard.
When Smith and others started investigating the mystery of the woman, they found a photograph that matched her description.
The photograph was taken by Captain Charles D. Hutton of the Royal Navy’s Royal Navy Signal Ship HMS Dreadnought, the only ship of her class that actually sank on April 20, 1912.
It was taken in the early morning hours of March 10, 1912, and shows Hutton and the ship’s crew in a rowboat with their faces hidden by their caps.
“I don’t know why she is here,” Smith told CNN.
“It’s very mysterious.
I think the story is one of survival.
It seems that when she was found, she was dead, but she was not killed by the water.”
Smith said he and his fellow team members were able to identify the woman based on the way her eyes, ears, nose, lips and hair looked.
Smith said he had previously been trying to find the photograph and the location of the photograph on social networks but that it had been difficult due to the fact that it was taken over two years ago.
Smith found the photograph after going to a nearby shop to buy an old photographic memory card from a friend.
He took the memory card out of the memory pack and took the photograph of the unconscious woman.
“I found a picture of a naked woman in the water.
I looked at the picture and said, ‘I’ll never believe it,'” Smith said.
A few weeks later, Smith was invited to the museum to take a closer look at the photograph.
He said that when he looked closely at the image, he saw something that he believed was the missing piece of the puzzle.
He told CNN he had been searching for the photograph ever since and thought the photo could be important.
“[I] was like, ‘This is what the Titanic looks like.
This is the only photo of the wreck.
This could be the key,’ ” Smith said, explaining that he has never looked at a photograph like this before.
After viewing the image and determining that the woman was not dead, Smith decided to share the photo on Facebook and Twitter, and even set up a Facebook page to share information about the shipwreck and search for the woman.
Within hours, the post was shared over 1,000 times and received more than 100,000 likes.
One of the earliest followers was a local photographer, Joe Kowalski.
His photograph of his daughter, a girl of 11 at the time, was shared by the woman and became an Internet sensation.
Over the course of the next two years, Smith and the team have been able to acquire additional photos that he used in their research.
Smith says he also received information about another woman who was washed up in the same location as the woman Smith photographed.
He said he is still trying to confirm the location where the photo was taken.
But Smith said that the information he has received is not conclusive, and that the photograph he took may have been taken by someone else.
As for what happened when the woman became washed up, Smith said it was unclear how the water came into contact with the body, but that the body had already been decomposing.
However, some people are skeptical that the image is the key to the mystery.
Kevin J. Shanks, the former chief curator of the American Institute of Architects, told CNN that he thought it was a “lucky break” for someone to find a photograph of a woman in distress that was “so iconic.”
“It’s just a piece