Former “Jeopardy!” champ Sam Buttrey has gone viral after a clip resurfaced of the trivia wiz claiming he once declined a seat on a submersible that would have taken him down to the wreckage of the Titanic.
“I have a friend who operates a company that will take you out to the wreck of the Titanic,” Buttrey, 62, told host Ken Jennings in the TikTok clip which has been viewed nearly 1.6 million times.
“So you go out in a boat and then you go down in a submersible craft and tour the wreckage.”
According to the associate professor and Steve Martin lookalike, going down in the submersible was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” However, he was unable to undertake the journey as the trip fell on the weekend of his son’s wedding.
“I was very happy to go there,” continued Buttrey. “It was a beautiful wedding, and not a shred of regret in my life.”
Now, countless TikTok users are creeped out by the chilling video from Buttrey’s May appearance on the legendary game show.
“The darkest ‘Father Of The Bride’ sequel,” commented one viewer in reference to Buttrey’s resemblance to Martin. “Literally the first thing I thought of when I heard about the sub was this episode,” added another social media watchdog.
“That didn’t age well,” a third commenter chimed in.
Despite not winning the “Jeopardy! Masters,” tournament last month, the educator won the hearts of several viewers including Jennings, 49.
“‘That’s father’ — me, any time Sam Buttrey is onscreen,” writer Louis Peitzman tweeted.
The host seemed to agree that Buttrey is indeed “father,” — a Gen Z slang term that signifies god-like icon status — by liking the tweet.
Meanwhile, the eerie resurfaced clip of Buttrey comes days after officials determined that the OceanGate submersible carrying 5 billionaires imploded while trying to reach the ruins of the 1912 wreckage.
Tourist submersible exploring Titanic wreckage disappears in Atlantic Ocean
What we know
A submersible on a pricey tourist expedition to the Titanic shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean has vanished with likely only four days’ worth of oxygen. The US Coast Guard said the small submarine began its journey underwater with five passengers Sunday morning, and the Canadian research vessel that it was working with lost contact with the crew about an hour and 45 minutes into the dive.
It was later found that a top-secret team with the US Navy detected the implosion of the Titan submersible on Sunday, but did not stop search efforts due because the evidence was “not definitive” and a decision was made to “make every effort to save the lives on board.”
Who was on board?
The family of world explorer Hamish Harding confirmed on Facebook that he was among the five traveling in the missing submarine. Harding, a British businessman who previously paid for a space ride aboard the Blue Origin rocket last year, shared a photo of himself on Sunday signing a banner for OceanGate’s latest voyage to the shipwreck.
Also onboard were Pakistani energy and tech mogul Shanzada Dawood and his son Sulaiman, 19; famed French diver and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and OceanGate founder and CEO Stockton Rush.
“We’re doing everything we can do to locate the submersible and rescue those on board,” Rear Adm. John Mauger told reporters. “In terms of the hours, we understood that was 96 hours of emergency capability from the operator.
Coast Guard officials said they are currently focusing all their efforts on locating the sub first before deploying any vessel capable of reaching as far below as 12,500 feet where the Titanic wreck is located.
Mauger, first district commander and leader of the search-and-rescue mission, said the US was coordinating with Canada on the operation.
The debris recovered from the US Coast Guard’s Titan submersible search site early Thursday included “a landing frame and a rear cover from the submersible.”
After search efforts to recover the stranded passengers proved futile, and bits of debris from the submersible were found, it was decided that the sub imploded, which correlated with an anomaly picked up by the US Navy in the same area.
The Coast Guard later reported that all 5 passengers were confirmed dead, and rescue efforts were halted.
According to officials, the submersible suffered a “catastrophic implosion” an hour and 45 minutes into its journey earlier this month.
US Coast Guard officials said five major pieces of debris from the OceanGate vessel were found 1,600 feet from the shipwreck.
“We offer our most heartfelt condolences for the loved ones of the crew,” Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick said Thursday during a press conference.
Since the news of the implosion, several people have come forward claiming OceanGate’s CEO Stockton Rush, who died alongside the other explorers, valued a “quick fix” rather than spending the time on safety.
Rob McCallum, a consultant for OceanGate, allegedly slammed Rush for not having the submersible tested by outside parties prior to the doomed journey to the ocean floor.
“I think you are potentially placing yourself and your clients in a dangerous dynamic,” McCallum wrote to Rush in March 2018. “In your race to Titanic you are mirroring that famous catch cry: ‘She is unsinkable.’”
“I implore you to take every care in your testing and sea trials and to be very, very conservative,” he said in another missive. “As much as I appreciate entrepreneurship and innovation, you are potentially putting an entire industry at risk.”