1245 A Time to Go by Senan Molony

Inger Sheil

Have just read this - am going to have to go back and give it a re-read to sort through all the arguments and evidence that Senan has assembled. Fascinating material. It might have some bearing on the statements in Lowe's affidavits regarding the timing of events - I'd always assumed that Lowe (having Greenwich time on him and self-admittedly vague on the precise chronology of events throughout) was completely off-base with the timing he put on his awakening and arrival on deck - now I'm revising that view. The material he brings to bear on the question of Rowe and his watch is vital new evidence on this much-contested question...as usual, great original research.
....except that, in another MMSA letter from Rowe via this intermediary, Rowe says he did not think of or look at his watch.

He also says that he timed the first lifeboat at 1 a.m., contradicting Mr.Molony's statement. Senan must have known about this; we have both perused the same file, and all you have to do is turn the page from the two pages presented in the article (but not the third - why?) to see this other information, ignored by the author.

This other page is at http://www.paullee.com/Rowe.jpg

I have been in touch with Charles Haas of TI, about some other matters and brought this subject up with him, and he said,
"Did Senan know of this letter
before he wrote the article? [almost certainly - its the next page in the file! - PL] Plenty of food for thought! ... You've surprised me!"
and then theres the dig at me in the statement "...and the claim that Bruce Ismay departed amid scenes of chaos and shooting — when none of the occupants of his boat (collapsible C) testified to any disorder," used as an example of myths in the sinking.

I've collated many examples of bedlam in the loading and lowering of Boat C, at
- but it seems to me that (and this is from a reading of other articles and posts on this site, on a variety of subject from Captain Lord to Hugh Woolner), Mr.Molony is rabidly opposed to any research obtained by George Behe, Bill Wormstedt, Tad Fitch et al. for reasons unknown, and these people are the ones who have helped the most in collating the accounts of people who witnessed the scrum during Ismay's escape.
Rowe responded in reply to a question about the time of the launch of the first lifeboat that he did not "think of or about a watch" - this is consistent with his statement that he did not adjust the time (contrary to those who have speculated - and even insisted - that he did, using it to bolster their arguments about the timeline).

Regarding your speculation about Senan's personal motives, I can only state that given the acrimony directed at Molony (up to and including efforts to stymie his work by baselessly accusing him of copyright violation in the use of images - some of which are from his own collection), I'd say he is far more sinned against in this regard than sinning.
Inger, Senan's animonsity towards other researchers is well known (witness the "notorious fake" statement about a picture in George Behe's book) ... and others have also levelled speculation about the source of the photos in the articles, some of which are baseless. Some of the pictures in the articles and books are interesting but are irrelevant to the issues at hand. I look forward to an article about the Californian which shows Captain Lord making love to his wife, carving the sunday joint, or sat on the lavatory.
Of course, as a long time prononent of Molony I would expect nothing less than a defence from you, but you would expect nothing less than a rebuttal from me.

What I was trying to say was that there is evidence that Rowe made statements, in addition to the ones Mr.Molony reproduced, that put the lifeboat lowering late rather than early. But rather than tell his readers, or attempt to explain the discrepancy, he simply ignores this. Why?
>Senan's animonsity towards other researchers is well known

And, vice versa. Did not one researcher, after being in a certain archive simultaneous to Mr. Molony later....uhhh....attempt to get him and a website with which he has a long term affiliation in trouble by reporting him/them to the archive and accusing him of illegally reproducing images, for which he had actually obtained formal permission to use? And did Mr.Molony not show remarkable restraint towards she or he who committed this spiteful (and rather embarrassing as it turned out) stunt?

Perhaps, in your case, if you simply presented your evidence without the aggrieved tone which suffuses the posts, it might foster an interesting discussion. As it now stands, you've introduced an element of the personal where none is needed and cheapened your point.
Actually, Paul, I know for a fact that Senan is remarkably free of personal rancour - unless responding to others. The day you encountered him at the archives, he had intended to ask you out for a beer after closing time to sit down for a friendly chat about the Californian and matters Titanic - regretably you made an early departure. Of course, given your subsequent actions, I would fully appreciate why he would not wish to extend the courtesy any more.

As for the "well known" remark, I see more rancour in your comments (and those of others) about him than I do in his articles. Witness this:
I look forward to an article about the Californian which shows Captain Lord making love to his wife, carving the sunday joint, or sat on the lavatory.
While Senan's research does go beyond the often glib and facile investigations of others, it never descends into the trival - let alone the prurient - interest that this comment suggests.

Jim, I absolutely concur with your comments. I hope that this discussion can get back on track, and address the body of evidence Senan has assembled to point to an earlier rather than later launch time for the first boats. I'll distill the relevant information from Lowe's affidavits, referred to above - I sent it to Senan in the first instance for his comment, seeing as it potentially ties into his article.
Senan mentioned that there was evidence from Boxhall, Lightoller and Pitman that their ship sank at 2.20am which was 12.47am in New York (5.47am GMT). He also mentioned that such a time was transmitted by the Carpathia to the Olympic - at 4pm on April 15 long before any inquiry ever convened [US p. 1128]. The understandable conclusion is that Titanic was 1 hour 33 minutes ahead of New York time.

The Californian was 1 hour 50 minutes ahead of New York time based on her noontime longitude of 47° 25' W provided by Capt. Lord.

If both these times were correct, it would mean that time on Californian was 17 minutes ahead of time on Titanic.

The Mersey's Wreck Commission, without explanation, equated Titanic time directly to Californian time, something that can easily be seen in the times of various wireless messages where they reported both NY time and Titanic time for each message listed. Thus they believed Titanic time was 1 hour 50 minutes ahead of New York time.

But the problem with all of this is that both values, 1 hour 33 minutes, and 1 hour 50 minutes, are wrong!

Senan brings up Harold Bride's American Inquiry evidence as "categorical that it was five minutes to twelve a moment before Captain Smith came into the wireless shack and demanded a call for assistance be sent at once." Looking over Bride's American testimony, Bride thought he he awoke at 5 minutes to 12, ship's time (AI p.144-146). Bride also said he came out of the sleeping cabin in his pajamas to speak to Phillips for several minutes, and they went back to to get dressed. After he dressed he came out and took over the watch from Phillips, and Phillips went to the other room to retire. At that point he said the Captain came in and told them they needed to get assistance, and Phillips took over from Bride and sent out the CQD.

Now at the British Inquiry we have this from Bride:
16510. After the Captain had come in, the first message was sent out, C.Q.D. was by Mr. Phillips; is that right? - Yes.
16511. I do not know whether you can help us at all with regard to the time a little more than you have. You have told us you came up at 12 o'clock, and that then you heard this conversation between the Captain and Mr. Phillips. Could you give us any idea of the time - how long had elapsed after your coming up at 12 o'clock, or coming into the room with Mr. Phillips? - Not with any accuracy.
16512. Give us the best estimate you can? - I do not think I could.

In his exclusive NY Times interview before any of these hearings, it was reported that he said:
I was standing by Phillips telling him to go to bed when the Captain put his head in the cabin.
"We've struck an ice berg," the Captain said, " and I'm having an inspection made to tell what it has done for us. You better get ready to send out a call for assistance. But don't send it until I tell you."
The Captain went away and in 10 minutes, I should estimate the time, he came back. We could hear a terrible confusion outside, but there was not the least thing to indicate that there was any trouble. The wireless was working perfectly.
"Send the call for assistance." ordered the Captain, barely putting his head in the door.
"What call should I send?" Phillips asked.
"The regulation international call for help. Just that."

It should be obvious that any elapsed time duration implied from Bride cannot be depended upon. A prime example is when he thought he spent 3/4 hours in the water before climbing on board overturned collapsible B. (see BI 16604-16608.) If he really spent that amount of time in the freezing water he would have easily fell victim to hypothermia. He was quite clear that he could not remember times very well, even when he had been looking at a clock to work up his PV (See BI 16766-16770.) He even got his days mixed up when he was asked about when the transmitter was out of service (BI 16791).

But there is one piece of evidence from Bride that is a bit more telling and didn't rely on any estimate of time durations.

Senator SMITH. Did you have a watch or clock in your room?
Mr. BRIDE. We had two clocks, sir.
Senator SMITH. Were they both running?
Mr. BRIDE. Yes, sir; one was keeping New York time and the other was keeping ship's time.
Senator FLETCHER. The difference was about 1 hour and 55 minutes?
Mr. BRIDE. There was about 2 hours difference between the two.

An interesting correction to Senator Fletcher's assertion. Bride could have said "about an hour and a half" if Titanic was 1 hour 33 minutes ahead of NY. Or, he could simply have answered "yes" to Fletcher's 1 hour 55 minutes, which is only 5 minutes different from the Wreck Commission's 1 hour 50 minutes. But Bride said it "was about 2 hours difference." Why? He might not have remembered or looked at the clock when certain events took place, or have been good at estimating time durations, however, he seemed to recall that the two clocks were showing a 2 hour difference, which could only mean the minute hands on the clocks were close to pointing the same way throughout while the hour hands differed by 2 hours.

If we go back to Lightoller's and Pitman's testimony about time on board ship, they are very clear that time was set about midnight so the clocks on board would read 12 when it was noon the following day. The same instruction was given to WSL passengers in Olympic brochures that we have. Clocks on Titanic read 12:00 on April 14 at local apparent noon. Titanic was close to longitude 44° 31.5'W at that time based on the distance she had traveled since leaving Queenstown. (See HERE.) For that date and longitude, local apparent noon came at 14:58:23 GMT, or 2 hour 58 minutes ahead of Titanic's 12:00. Since GMT is 5 hours ahead of NY, this makes Titanic time 2 hour 2 minutes ahead of time in NY, about 2 hours different just as Bride said. It also makes time on Californian 12 minutes behind time on Titanic that day.

So what about this 1 hour 33 minutes that came from Titanic's officers and transmitted by Rostron? It came about by a simple error that was almost alluded to when Senan wrote: "This would mean the Titanic was 1h33 ahead of New York (00.47 plus 1h33 = 2.20am)."

Captain Rostron on the Carpathia obtained the foundering time from the Titanic's officers when they were picked up. The foundering time was reported as twenty minutes past two. But that was for clocks still keeping April 14 time. As Senan pointed out, the clocks on Titanic were to go back by 47 minutes [Hichens, AI p. 451]. If Titanic's clocks had been set back by that expected 47 minutes near midnight, that would make the foundering time of 2:20 a.m. for a clock still set for April 14 the same as 1 hour and 33 minutes past 12 on a clock set for April 15, or 1:33 a.m.. Now all this was probably discussed between Captain Rostron and Titanic’s surviving officers. But confusion was waiting to happen. Someone must have somehow mistaken the 1 hour and 33 minutes past 12 as the difference between Titanic time and time in NY. By subtracting this 1 hour and 33 minutes from 5 hours, Rostron got a difference of 3 hours 27 minutes from GMT. Then to get the foundering time in GMT, he just added those 3 hours 27 minutes to the reported 2:20 a.m. The result is 5:47 a.m. GMT, the time that Rostron put in the message to the Olympic. Unfortunately, this transmitted time was accepted without question.

A simple check would easily show that a difference of 1 hour and 33 minutes could not be correct based on the longitude that the ship was at that noon. Nor does it make sense if they had put the clock back by 47 minutes or even half that time, which they didn't. It was a simple mistake that went unchecked.
A shame this good piece of detective work won't be mentioned on the front page as a rebuttal to Detective Molony's work. I've mentioned all this is my book, too!

As for my removed messages, shame they were removed, but when it comes to freedom or speech, or indeed, the ability to rebut libellous messages, or the right to reply, ET isn't the place.
What this isn't the place for, Paul, is the airing of personal grievances as opposed to addressing the content of Senan's article. That's why the first two messages referred to above were removed and why a third one of the same type was just now removed.

Limit any further discussion in this thread to the substance of the article.
But you removed, unilerally my right of reply. Since Molony and his chums had complained about me, the LEAST YOU COULD do is allow me the right of reply. This didn't happen.

What does Phil Hind say about this? Or is this a Molony only website?
>>"Did Senan know of this letter
before he wrote the article? [almost certainly - its the next page in the file! - PL] Plenty of food for thought! ... You've surprised me!"<<

Actually I did not know of this letter before I wrote the article.

I can't why I would have missed it, had it been the next page in the file. I would instead have photographed it.

I will certainly have to go and look for it next time I am in Liverpool and have the opportunity. (Not the forthcoming BTS convention, unfortunately.)

But I don't see that it contradicts Rowe's 1963 statement that he did not adjust his watch. In fact it does not do that.

And the questions, without being sidetracked, give Rowe the opportunity to make any contradiction or re-contradiction he wants.

Meanwhile there are about five or six arguments adduced in my article from the Inquiry evidence and a priori from common sense as to why Rowe would not have adjusted his watch.

Rowe's 1963 declaration that he did not is merely confirmatory of what would be an inherently unlikely thing to do. We see that Bright was alongside him "for some moments" before a lifeboat was reported in the water.

Separately, If I missed a letter in the file, the question equally redounds as to whether Rowe's reported stout denial of a theory advanced in modern times by George Behe was seen and ignored?
Or missed?

I can't answer that. But I can clarify what Jim said about a nasty and appally act by one ET member in "accusing him of illegally reproducing images, for which he had actually obtained formal permission to use..."

Actually I had full prior permission to photograph material, and then I obtained permission to reproduce documents in the Rowe file that are the actual copyright of the MMSA successor organisation, Nautilus.

I know the person who granted that permission, I have his documentary express grant, and I know that he has not subsequently made any other grant.

I mention that by the by, given the deep irony of the complaint made to MMM and Paul Lee's failure to respond to a private email I subsequently sent to him about that affair. I should say I have a long standing connection with person/s to whom the spiteful complaint was made.

There's a right of reply on that right here.

But you see, Jim, the photographs I used in a previous article were in my own copyright. The MMM checked theirs, and none of theirs were used, contrary to what was alleged, so it is not true to say that I had permission to reproduce theirs.

In fact none of theirs were reproduced by me.

BTW, a full article on the 1h33 time difference cited by Titanic officers in evidence in 1912 and transmitted by the Carpathia, is in the new issues of Voyage and the Atlantic Daily Bulletin.

Furthermore all images in my forthcoming book are copyright cleared, and no doubt those who are so hot on such issues will have seen fit to sort out their own affairs, even if the image reproduced on this thread is in the copyright ownership of Nautilus with no evidence of clearance. How does one spell hypocrisy?

Finally I say again that there is no good evidence to support a 12.45am first lifeboat departure time.

I will be lecturing in Liverpool on this point next month. [Deleted. MAB]