David L. Eno was a child living in Andover when he first became interested in the disastrous 1912 wreck of the "unsinkable" Titanic, but by the time he was in the seventh grade he became intrigued with some of the lesser-known aspects of the story.
"The Titanic represented a Greek tragedy in our own times," said Eno Saturday in a rare public presentation of his research that became the basis of his unpublished book, "Titanic: Mystery Ship Solved!"
Eno brought some of the Titanic's artifacts and a multimedia presentation to Olean Saturday to encourage historic preservation and help kick off historic heritage programming by the Chamber of Commerce of Olean and Vicinity.
His work, combined with research by other police agencies and investigators from a number of other countries, led to the exoneration of the deceased British steamship captain Stanley Lord, who was long thought to be guilty of ignoring the sinking ocean liner.
It also brought to light a Norwegian ship, the "Samson", which was closer, but had no radio and was unaware of the trouble. When the Samson's crew saw the Titanic's emergency flares, it fled the area in the belief that the lights were signals to other ships to capture the sailors for illegal seal hunting on nearby icebergs.
Eno said for many years there were no major events that could compare with the drama of the sinking of the Titanic -- with the exception of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy -- and it served as fodder for sermons from church pulpits.
Even now, the wreck has not yielded all its secrets and will continue to be studied for many years.
Eno, who now earns his living as a federal investigator solving embezzlement crimes in cases involving more than $10 million, has presented his Titanic evidence in public only four times in the past five years.
During his talk, Eno focused often on the children in the audience of more than 150 people, attempting to bring the story alive for them. He told them, jokingly, that he receives many requests from young researchers who usually write a second time asking if he is acquainted with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in the film "Titanic."
He said interest in the story comes in waves of five to ten years and pointed out that the recent movie spawned a "whole new generation of Titanic scholars."
Perhaps for that reason Eno is not in a hurry to publish his book, which may be self-published if he doesn't find a suitable publishing house. He said he began his volunteer research efforts while working as a press secretary to former New York Lt. Gov. Mary Anne Krupsak.
The investigation was suggested to him by another press secretary who was an ocean liner history buff and had -- by accident during a trip to Ireland in the late 1950s -- unearthed a set of photographer's negatives taken of the Titanic's fateful departure from Queenstown.
"It was clear to me early on that things didn't add up," Eno said, adding it became apparent that the track of the Titanic, depicted in the hearing records from official government inquiries, was incorrect.
Eno has not traveled to the ocean floor to get an up close look at the Titanic. He said he shares the viewpoints of some of the shipwreck survivors and others, who would rather treat the artifacts as a protected historic grave site.