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Person responsible for 1996 drugging of 'Titanic' crew likely not a local: Halifax police

Director James Cameron attends a press conference to promote his 3-D version of "Titanic" in Tokyo Friday, March 30, 2012. (Source: AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi) Director James Cameron attends a press conference to promote his 3-D version of "Titanic" in Tokyo Friday, March 30, 2012. (Source: AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Halifax Regional Police believe a non-resident could be responsible for the infamous drugging of numerous crew members of the “Titanic” movie with a hallucinogenic in 1996.

According to a police report obtained by a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy request, a lobster chowder consumed by roughly 80 crew members of the “Titanic” – including director James Cameron – contained PCP and sent many of them to hospital in August 1996.

"Some people were laughing, some people were crying, some people were throwing up," actor Bill Paxton told Entertainment Weekly at the time.

The police report says there is a “good probability” the culprit behind the drugging is no longer in the country.

“One must also consider the fact that PCP is not common in our area but is very common in the Hollywood area,” the report reads. “One must also consider that despite a wonderful movie, there is plenty of information on record that things were anything but smooth on set.

“The offence is such that unless the responsible party admits the act, then there is no evidence to this date that would independently convict them.”

The report notes police were initially dispatched to the Dartmouth General Hospital after receiving word a large number of the crew was making complaints of food poisoning. Police learned the crew had a lunch break that afternoon involving mostly catered seafood and many of them soon complained of “light headness, upset stomach, and so on.”

“One rumor is that the movie was over budget (a well known fact) and that the incident may have provided a reason to continue shooting for an additional week with the funding coming from an insurance claim,” the report reads. “At this time none of this can be substantiated as face (sic) and certainly nothing is suggested by the writer that the incident was staged as a method to increase funding for the film.”

This report comes after the Nova Scotia information and privacy commissioner told police to disclose more information about the 1996 incident.

"The only information that I could provide is that we investigated an incident in 1996 and the file was closed without charges," said Cst. John MacLeod with Halifax police when asked about the report.

-With files from CTV News' Daniel Otis Top Stories

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