2nd Officer Stone's Interrogation.

Jim Currie

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I made no such claim. The 5 miles came from your champion, Capt. Lord in the report that he filed. In the diagram I drew I stated from whom the width of the ice field came from. Up where Californian was, the field was 2-3 miles wide, the distance that Lord said he had to cross at 6 in the morning. Down where Titanic was it was 5-6 miles wide based on what Capt.Moore and his officers estimated. But Jim Currie says it was only 1 to 2 miles wide because that is what Lord told Sen. Smith on April 26, 4 days after he filed his report in Boston where he said the heavy pack ice 5 miles wide.

Why would anyone in their right mind want to take the longest path when cutting across ice by going diagonally? It was easy to see clear water on the other side. Get to the other side in shortest path possible, and then head down on your intended course to your destination. But what do I know? I fly airplanes, not steamboats.
By the way, after Californian cleared the heavy stuff she turned southward to parallel the western side of the field. (Read Stewart.) Before then, while cutting across the ice, she was seen crossing the field going from east to west, not southward if she was really heading S16W. But that observation came from Capt. Moore, so why should it be trusted? Right?
Lord very clearly stated that the ice was 1 to 2 miles wide. He also said "From the position we stopped in to the position at which the Titanic is supposed to have hit the iceberg, 19 1/2 to 19 3/4 miles; south 16 west, sir, was the course."
When you set out for a target which is out of sight, the only way you can ensure that you are heading in the right direction and that you will not miss the target is to maintain your ship's head on the bearing of the target for as long as you can. It's called "the practice of good seamanship."

Jim Currie says the ice was 2 miles wide because Captain Rostron said his ship was about 3 or 4 miles east of the pack ice at 8 pm when he saw Californian bearing WSW from Carpathia on the far side of the ice and that Californian arrived alongside Carpathia at 8-30 pm.
Jim Currie says the pack ice was 2 miles wide because Californian passed Mount Temple at 7-30 pm and on a course of SSE making about 12.5 knots. before turning ENE at 8 am toward the stopped Carpathia, arriving beside her at 8-30am
To suggest that it was 5 miles wide down at the Carpathia completely goes against all the evidence and here is why.
Rostron of Carpathia: "The first time that I saw the 'Californian' was at about eight o'clock on the morning of 15th April. She was then about five to six miles distant, bearing W.S.W. true, and steaming towards the 'Carpathia..The 'Carpathia' was then in substantially the position of the 'Titanic' at the time of the disaster .' This is what that would look like.
C approches C.jpg


If as you say, the ice was 5 miles wide, Californian would have been steaming through it for about 48 minutes from the time she entered the pack ice until she arrived alongside Carpathia. Only if the latter was hard up against the eastern edge would your idea work. But then, we would have heard many stories of seeing the heavy pack ice from survivors and the Californian would have passed to the west, not east of the Mount Temple half an hour earlier at 7-30am. That didn't happen.

Last time I looked, there were no barriers of pack ice way up in the sky. If there had been, I'm sure I would have seen them or one of my colleagues in the Merchant Navy & Airline Officers PF would have told me about it.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Is not a "fact" a concept whose truth can be proved? People are entitled to their own set of opinions, but not to there own set of facts. There are very few facts when it comes to Californian. Prior to the discovery of the wreck, people were arguing whether or not Titanic's distress signals were actually seen from Californian. The Roman candles story became a popular explanation as to what Stone and Gibson described, afterall, Roman candles throw flaming balls, are used in Company signals, resemble rockets but don't explode or go up as high. It is a convenient explanation for why Stone would say that they only went as high as 1/2 the masthead light as well as explain why the bearing to those signals followed the steamer as it steamed away. But if you reject that explanation, and say that what they saw were the distress signals that came from Titanic, then you have a number of problems which have been stated many times already.
 

Jim Currie

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Jim: It was the Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry. It was not a trial so the criminal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt did not apply. There are many who don’t hold your opinion of the Assessors or of the Commissioner’s Report. As far as who lied or not, that judgment is not a legal one. There is another court which renders its judgments according to its own standards: The Court of Public Opinion. In that court Captain Stanley Lord was tried and found guilty. Is the Court of Public Opinion necessarily unjust? I would just point you to the case of O.J. Simpson. He was found not guilty in a court of law but in the Court of Public Opinion he was found guilty. You have and continue to make your case regarding the Californian incident. I would ask why if your arguments are so compelling, do we not see people being persuaded by your arguments? You can blame your audience all you want but at some point you have to consider the possibility that your arguments are just weak.
You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink, Bob. Other than to make n animation of the evidence given by the men on Californian, there is no other way to present my arguments. My arguments are only weak if they are not understood. I can not be blamed for the lack of understanding of others.
I'm sure you are in favour of fact. Here are a few for you, which, if accepted as such would blow 90% of the case against Californian off the map.

This is the evidence of Titanic's 4th Officer Boxhall...given at the US Inquiry and repeated at the UK Inquiry and many times in the years thereafter.
"At first I saw two masthead lights of a steamer, just slightly opened, and later she got closer to us, until, eventually, I could see her side lights with my naked eye.
Q: Was she approaching you? A: Evidently she was, because I was stopped.


In the UK, Boxhall said of the same incident:

I was paying most of my attention to this steamer then, and she was approaching us; and then I saw her sidelights. I saw her green light and the red. She was end-on to us. Later I saw her red light. This is all with the aid of a pair of glasses up to now. Afterwards I saw the ship's red light with my naked eye, and the two masthead lights. The only description of the ship that I could give is that she was, or I judged her to be, a four-masted steamer.

You like facts. Here are some very simple ones. Read them then tell me why these were completely ignored during the hearings.

Fact 1: Boxhall described an approaching vessel after Titanic had stopped...Californian had been stopped for a long time before Californian stopped.
Fact 2: The vessel seen from Titanic could never have been the Californian because the latter was stopped before and during the time the former was sinking.
Fact 3: If the vessel seen from the Titanic was not the Californian then logically, the vessel seen from Californian was not Titanic.
Fact 4: If the vessel seen from Californian was not the Titanic and had "disappeared" it either sunk or sailed away.
Fact 5: The rockets seen from Californian came from the sinking Titanic.
Fact 6: The rockets seen from Titanic came from the sinking Titanic and the nearby vessel had sailed away.
Fact 7: The captain of the Californian was told of a single, positive sighting of a rocket.
Fact 8: The sighting of a single rocket does not constitute a cry for help.
Fact 9: The captain of the Californian was told of additional rockets after the nearby vessel had sailed away.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Captain Rostron said his ship was about 3 or 4 miles east of the pack ice at 8 pm
Try 2 or 3 from the edge since he was up to the wreckage by 7:45. And when Rostron sighted Californian 5 to 6 miles off she was already cutting through the ice heading straight for Carpathia.

Lord said that Californian was coming out of the ice on the western side when Frankfurt was heading into the place where he was coming out of. This was 5 or 10 minutes past noon on the 15th according to Lord. At noon, while still crossing the ice, Californian was at 50° 09'W. Lord estimated he left the wreckage at 50° 01'W. This was down in Lat 41° 33'N. The distance between his noon position and the wreckage based on his own data comes out to 6 miles apart.
 

Bob_Read

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Jim: You forgot Fact 10: After Lord “was told of additional rockets” he took no steps to investigate whether there might be a vessel in distress.
That’s about as simple as it gets. Facts 1 through 9 do not mitigate Fact 10.
 

Julian Atkins

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Fact 7: The captain of the Californian was told of a single, positive sighting of a rocket.
Hi Jim,

I have been a bit busy of late the last few days.

I totally accept that Captain Lord always maintained that he was only told of one white rocket by Stone, though in the 1961 taped recorded interviews he sort of side stepped this, and the inference is he did not in 1961 attach much importance to this, neither in his 1959 affidavit. He certainly did not give it the same import he did at the USA and British Inquiry.

You started this thread, and Stone never ever said he told Captain Lord of only one white rocket seen - he used the plural in both his British Inquiry testimony and his 18th April statement, and the clear implication is that when he reported to Captain Lord by the speaking tube at 1.10 or 1.15 am he MUST have been reporting 5 white rockets then seen (or 1 flash then 4 white rockets seen). He also apparently used the plural if not a bit more in his wreck commissioners statement, as he was hotly cross examined on this, and at no time did Stone attempt to correct Counsels' cross examination of him that he was referring to 5 white rockets having been seen when he reported to Captain Lord at 1.10 or 1,15am via the speaking tube.

These are, I submit, 'points of evidence' that can be concluded from his testimony and 18th April statement. I think to regard everything Stone stated or claimed as 'facts' is a matter for hot debate. A fact is something that can be proved beyond doubt. There is very little Stone and Gibson stated in their 18th April statements or their testimony that can be considered as a fact proved beyond doubt.

In fact (!) there are very few 'facts'. Pre- 1985, Boxhall's Titanic CQD was not known for certain to be wrong.

I have spent some considerable time considering all the published PVs and Marconi Grams and cross referencing with both Inquiries.

All we can really say is that the very important message to The Antillian also of the Leyland Line to Captain Lord's old chum Captain Japha, who provided him with his first command, and who also was the first to command The Californian, gives a position that by dead reckoning, and before the event, and the original message in Captain Lord's own hand, has been published and is recorded. The Californian then had another 3 hours 51 minutes to steam 'westwards' before stopped on the edge of the ice field.

And that this dead reckoning position is 2 miles south of Stewart's claimed Polar Star sighting later. (And Sam has pointedly referred to message from The Californian to the Olympic giving the same 42 3 latitude instead of Stewart's 42 5 latitude as per the ships log read into the British Inquiry proceedings)

Jim, you ought to revisit Captain Lord's 1959 affidavit and Stone's stellar observations at 5.30pm on 14th April. Captain Quick in 1961 suggests Stone's 5.30pm stellar observations would have been most unreliable. If you don't have the documents to hand I can supply them to you, though they are all in Harrison and Paul Lee respectively.

There is a lot of evidence about when and whom took there breaks and their meal breaks and who provided 'cover' that is IMHO of considerable importance that is overlooked on The Californian on the 14th April.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Jim Currie

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Jim: You forgot Fact 10: After Lord “was told of additional rockets” he took no steps to investigate whether there might be a vessel in distress.
That’s about as simple as it gets. Facts 1 through 9 do not mitigate Fact 10.
We can complete your observation, Bob:

Fact10: Lord was told that the nearby vessel was heading toward the SW after firing several rockets. Since the vessel had departed the area, he took no further interest in it.

How's that for mitigation?
 

Bob_Read

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Jim: Your Fact #9 states: “Fact 9: The captain of the Californian was told of additional rockets after the nearby vessel had sailed away.” So why didn’t Lord respond to those signals? The signals Lord was receiving from the land of Nod were stronger than anything Titanic could send up that night.
 

Jim Currie

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Hi Jim,

I have been a bit busy of late the last few days.

I totally accept that Captain Lord always maintained that he was only told of one white rocket by Stone, though in the 1961 taped recorded interviews he sort of side stepped this, and the inference is he did not in 1961 attach much importance to this, neither in his 1959 affidavit. He certainly did not give it the same import he did at the USA and British Inquiry.

You started this thread, and Stone never ever said he told Captain Lord of only one white rocket seen - he used the plural in both his British Inquiry testimony and his 18th April statement, and the clear implication is that when he reported to Captain Lord by the speaking tube at 1.10 or 1.15 am he MUST have been reporting 5 white rockets then seen (or 1 flash then 4 white rockets seen). He also apparently used the plural if not a bit more in his wreck commissioners statement, as he was hotly cross examined on this, and at no time did Stone attempt to correct Counsels' cross examination of him that he was referring to 5 white rockets having been seen when he reported to Captain Lord at 1.10 or 1,15am via the speaking tube.

These are, I submit, 'points of evidence' that can be concluded from his testimony and 18th April statement. I think to regard everything Stone stated or claimed as 'facts' is a matter for hot debate. A fact is something that can be proved beyond doubt. There is very little Stone and Gibson stated in their 18th April statements or their testimony that can be considered as a fact proved beyond doubt.

In fact (!) there are very few 'facts'. Pre- 1985, Boxhall's Titanic CQD was not known for certain to be wrong.

I have spent some considerable time considering all the published PVs and Marconi Grams and cross referencing with both Inquiries.

All we can really say is that the very important message to The Antillian also of the Leyland Line to Captain Lord's old chum Captain Japha, who provided him with his first command, and who also was the first to command The Californian, gives a position that by dead reckoning, and before the event, and the original message in Captain Lord's own hand, has been published and is recorded. The Californian then had another 3 hours 51 minutes to steam 'westwards' before stopped on the edge of the ice field.

And that this dead reckoning position is 2 miles south of Stewart's claimed Polar Star sighting later. (And Sam has pointedly referred to message from The Californian to the Olympic giving the same 42 3 latitude instead of Stewart's 42 5 latitude as per the ships log read into the British Inquiry proceedings)

Jim, you ought to revisit Captain Lord's 1959 affidavit and Stone's stellar observations at 5.30pm on 14th April. Captain Quick in 1961 suggests Stone's 5.30pm stellar observations would have been most unreliable. If you don't have the documents to hand I can supply them to you, though they are all in Harrison and Paul Lee respectively.

There is a lot of evidence about when and whom took there breaks and their meal breaks and who provided 'cover' that is IMHO of considerable importance that is overlooked on The Californian on the 14th April.

Cheers,

Julian
Hello Julian. I quote from Stone's April 18th statement:
" I observed a flash of light in the sky just above that steamer. I thought nothing of it as there were several shooting stars about, the night being fine and clear with light airs and calms. Shortly after I observed another [Flash] distinctly over the steamer which I made out to be a white rocket."
I believe that this is where researchers make a fundamental error. they assume that the first flash was a rocket, therefore Stone saw rockets. Stone was ordered to keep a close eye on that vessel and that is exactly what he was doing. When he saw that first flash, he would, as any normal Deck Officer would have done... raise his glasses and take a closer look. He may even have taken a bearing of the vessel. When he did so, if that flash had been a rocket, then he would have been able to observe the stars falling gently to the sea. he could then have used the plural description. Additionally: in that statement, you will see that although Stone refers to communications directly and indirectly with Lord at 00-45am., 2 am and 2-45 am, he makes no mention of such for any other time. Although Gibson's times are different... he also maintained that he knew of only 3 communications between Stone and Lord during the period under discussion.

I agree with you that "A fact is something that can be proved beyond doubt." By the same token, so is a lie. I suggest to you that it is insufficient to assume a lie if the evidence does not fit a preconceived notion of guilt.
The classic argument concerning this is the evidence of Stone and Gibson concerning a moving vessel and the evidence of Boxhall concerning the vessel seen ahead of Titanic. Both bits of relative evidence must indicate 2 moving vessels to a trained observer. Yet Titanic and Californian were stationary at the time in question. If Captain Quick had been quick enough on the uptake, he would have spotted that immediately.


As for the latitude used in the ice report and the Official Log Book...you have to understand the procedure.

Any message sent prior to 10-30 am GMT (7-20 pm ship time) containing coordinates would contain DR information. Stewart took his Polaris sight at that time. After that time, messages would contain the updated latitude obtained by Stewart.
Before he left the bridge at 8 pm that night, Stewart would write-up the Scrap Log. In it, he would note the position for 10-30 pm GMT.
The following day, when filling-in an Ice Report to the US Hydrographic Office, he would put the corrected Latitude of 42-05'N. The reason being that any information used to plot ice movement would be more accurate using calculated information.

Captain Quick's observation concerning the 5-30 Longitude sight is a fair one since the sun would have been low on the horizon at that time. however, it is of interest only. There had been a very good Noon position 5 and a half hours earlier and, since Californian was heading west and unless there had been a huge difference between the expected and calculated longitude, it was no big deal, given the accuracy of navigation in those days.
 
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I believe that this is where researchers make a fundamental error. they assume that the first flash was a rocket, therefore Stone saw rockets.
Researchers don't assume that, Jim, Stone himself assumed that, and the proof is in his statements. So let's cut the crap about seeing only seven rockets. That first so called flash was counted by Stone as one of his 8 white rockets that he told Gibson to report to Lord about around 2am.
Proof: "I sent Gibson down to you and told him to wake you and tell you we had seen altogether eight white rockets and that the steamer had gone out of sight to the S.W. Also that we were heading W.S.W."
 

Jim Currie

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Jim: Your Fact #9 states: “Fact 9: The captain of the Californian was told of additional rockets after the nearby vessel had sailed away.” So why didn’t Lord respond to those signals? The signals Lord was receiving from the land of Nod were stronger than anything Titanic could send up that night.
Forgive me for asking; but what would be the point in going onto your bridge if you are told " Guess what? That vessel that was there and is no longer there, fired more rockets after the last one I told you about and has now sailed away." Just exactly what positive result could come from you doing so? After all, you know that a vessel which fired rockets then sailed away was not in any trouble but had done so for some unknown reason.
 

Bob_Read

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Jim: What if an interested captain said: “I know what you are telling me but it does’t make sense. Why would a ship fire distress rockets then sail away? We may not find anything but we can’t assume that there won’t be anything to find in a situation where multiple distress rockets were launched. Order the Marconi operator see what he can find out and we will be immediately heading in the direction of the rockets you reported.” There’s a time for prudence and a time for initiative. History has judged that Lord didn’t know the difference.
 
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This thread is supposed to be about 2nd Officer Stone's Interrogation and how this young officer was somehow brow beaten into admitting and saying things that he didn't really mean. So what do you think he was forced into saying that he didn't mean to say? Anyone?
 

Jim Currie

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Try 2 or 3 from the edge since he was up to the wreckage by 7:45. And when Rostron sighted Californian 5 to 6 miles off she was already cutting through the ice heading straight for Carpathia.

Lord said that Californian was coming out of the ice on the western side when Frankfurt was heading into the place where he was coming out of. This was 5 or 10 minutes past noon on the 15th according to Lord. At noon, while still crossing the ice, Californian was at 50° 09'W. Lord estimated he left the wreckage at 50° 01'W. This was down in Lat 41° 33'N. The distance between his noon position and the wreckage based on his own data comes out to 6 miles apart.
Now, where does it say that Californian was already cutting through the ice when spotted?

In fact, Frankfurt was about 10 mile NNW of the Californian at Noon April 15.

Here is a plot of the movements of both ships from 11-20 pm Californian time April 15.
Frankfurt plot..jpg

The evidence of the SS Mesaba shows that the eastern edge of the pack ice ran North-south at the 50th meridian.

The Californian's Official Logbook noted that they proceeded on course at 11-20 am on the morning of April 15. That entry would be made as soon as Lord rang Full Ahead after clearing the ice. It has absolutely nothing to do with the position of the wreckage. Various courses followed during the search would not be copied from the Scrap Log as they are not relevant to the voyage. It is plain to see that the ice barrier could not have been 5 miles wide at the 50th meridian. The 5-mile wide barrier is a myth.
 

Jim Currie

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Researchers don't assume that, Jim, Stone himself assumed that, and the proof is in his statements. So let's cut the crap about seeing only seven rockets. That first so called flash was counted by Stone as one of his 8 white rockets that he told Gibson to report to Lord about around 2am.
Proof: "I sent Gibson down to you and told him to wake you and tell you we had seen altogether eight white rockets and that the steamer had gone out of sight to the S.W. Also that we were heading W.S.W."
Nice line of conversation, Sam. Forgive me if I do not lower the tone to that level.

Stone most certainly did assume there were 8 rockets, but he did not say so in his first message to Lord, nor did he say so in the first part of his evidence. However, you and your compatriots jumped on the assumption bandwagon and have built theories around that first rocket... not the least of which, being the question of timing. Theories which do not work if you follow your own writings.

Get used to it! The evidence is of 7, not 8, projectiles being fired. I remind you of what you wrote:

"In the 1880s, the manufacturer of these socket distress signals, The Cotton Powder Company, Ltd., supplied them in boxes of 24, 12 and 6 for shipboard use. The box of 24 measured 9x15x8 inches. " Whether intentionally or by accident; as proof of the foregoing, you also included versions of this charming photograph.

Titanic projectiles..jpg


Titanic had 36 of these projectiles. The above is a projectile case for 24 projectiles but guess what - 7 are missing from the above box.

Oh, I suppose you'll come up with some amazing revelation about there being another box with 11 still in it or that there was a "thunder Flash" test piece included with every box and that's what Stone saw.
 

Jim Currie

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Jim: What if an interested captain said: “I know what you are telling me but it does’t make sense. Why would a ship fire distress rockets then sail away? We may not find anything but we can’t assume that there won’t be anything to find in a situation where multiple distress rockets were launched. Order the Marconi operator see what he can find out and we will be immediately heading in the direction of the rockets you reported.” There’s a time for prudence and a time for initiative. History has judged that Lord didn’t know the difference.
That's a daft idea Bob and here's why.

Let's say Lord did as you suggest. Keep in mind what Lord was told.

For a start off, Lord knew perfectly well that a vessel with something wrong with it does not normally fire rockets and sail away. However, he does as you suggest and his W/O is just in time to hear Titanic's last calls for help. The position of the sinking ship is relayed to Lord who plots it and discovers that indeed, the position given is in the general direction in which the rocket firing vessel disappeared. So what does he do? I'll tell you.
Lord assumes that his Officer got it a bit wrong...that the moving ship was in distress but had decided to try and make port and had headed westward. However, the damage causing the distress was too great and now the vessel was sinking...IN THE DIRECT IT WAS LAST SEEN...not in the direction of where the rockets were seen. D'ye get ma drift?
 

Bob_Read

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Jim: Let me get this straight. A vessel is in enough distress to fire rockets. Then the captain decides never mind we’ll try to make port 400 miles away??? Man, the things you’ll invent to try to make your theory hold together. We have now officially passed from the plausible into fantasy. This is where I stop indulging you and exit this thread. It’s been real. Good luck Sam!
 

Mike Spooner

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Nice line of conversation, Sam. Forgive me if I do not lower the tone to that level.

Stone most certainly did assume there were 8 rockets, but he did not say so in his first message to Lord, nor did he say so in the first part of his evidence. However, you and your compatriots jumped on the assumption bandwagon and have built theories around that first rocket... not the least of which, being the question of timing. Theories which do not work if you follow your own writings.

Get used to it! The evidence is of 7, not 8, projectiles being fired. I remind you of what you wrote:

"In the 1880s, the manufacturer of these socket distress signals, The Cotton Powder Company, Ltd., supplied them in boxes of 24, 12 and 6 for shipboard use. The box of 24 measured 9x15x8 inches. " Whether intentionally or by accident; as proof of the foregoing, you also included versions of this charming photograph.

View attachment 44747

Titanic had 36 of these projectiles. The above is a projectile case for 24 projectiles but guess what - 7 are missing from the above box.

Oh, I suppose you'll come up with some amazing revelation about there being another box with 11 still in it or that there was a "thunder Flash" test piece included with every box and that's what Stone saw.
Jim,
A good photo of the 24 pack. Where the other packs of 12 and 6 ever found?
 

Jim Currie

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Jim: Let me get this straight. A vessel is in enough distress to fire rockets. Then the captain decides never mind we’ll try to make port 400 miles away??? Man, the things you’ll invent to try to make your theory hold together. We have now officially passed from the plausible into fantasy. This is where I stop indulging you and exit this thread. It’s been real. Good luck Sam!
You are the one who comes up with the silly ideas, my friend, I simply indulged you. If you can not understand the simplicity of this situation then that its unfortunate. Now you are Officially pontificating. You are keen on pushing the limits but hang back when the going gets tough. Have a good day.
 

Jim Currie

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Jim,
A good photo of the 24 pack. Where the other packs of 12 and 6 ever found?
I don't know anything about the containers. Mike, just what Sam posted in his articles. I suspect there was another one containing a dozen..12 and that the detonators were stored in 2 boxes 1 of a dozen and the other 2 dozen. These were brass tubes so the boxes would have been small, but relatively heavy. Just a guess.