2nd Officer Stone's Interrogation.


Jim Currie

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It's rather odd that Stone talks of a vessel seen bang on the port beam (due south with Californian facing due west) at 0400 when at a similar time Carpathia sees a vessel bearing N30W true from Boxhall's boat.
Rostron said quite a few odd things. He said that the vessel showing the red light was between him and Titanic (Boxall). The point here is that if Californian was heading West at that time, then her red light would be shut-out to vessels in the direction of Carpathia. Additionally, it could never have been Californian if she was NW of Boxhall. Not only that, there is no way on God's green earth that her red side light would have been visible, with or without binoculars to anyone on Carpathia...even if she had only been 10 miles NW of Boxhall at that time.
Any vessel to the south of Californian at 4 am that morning, had to be on the west side of the ice barrier unless it was trending Noth-South (which it was not at that point). There is no way the vessel in question could have been Carpathia. If anything, it was more than likely to have been the Mount Temple. She was the only vessel around at that time with a yellow (buff)funnel. In fact, if Mount Temple stopped 10 miles South of the Californian at just before 4 am that morning, she would have been bearing N30 W from Carpathia at or near to the time the latter arrived near to Boxhall.
 

Julian Atkins

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I'm watching this rather pointless argument from the cheap seats, but as my name has been taken in vain, I'll put my oar in. Back in 1998, I proposed that Captain Rostron, trying to reconcile his supposed navigation with reality, made a little mistake. He didn't sight Boxhall's flare at 2-40am, but at 2 hr 40min into his mission, or at about 3-15am. At that time, he was about 10 miles from Boxhall, maybe a bit less. He covered that distance at around a realistic 15 knots, slowing toward the end, and arrived at about 4-00am. It all comes together quite neatly.
Thank you very much Dave for your very useful post 265.

Your name was certainly not intended to be taken in vain by me, but quite the contrary. It is a vital and most important piece of research on your part.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Jim Currie

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What you said was: "objects are visible for another 3.25 degrees below the normal horizon."

I said, "Your number is highly exaggerated. Crude is an understatement."

Yes, using your tables, not kitchen tables, how on earth do you get a temperature correction of 1.4' and barometric correct of 1.86' to add up to 3.25 degrees? The last I looked 1.4'+1.86'=3.26', that is in minutes-of-arc, not degrees. Your statement about objects being visible 3.25 degrees below the horizon is blatantly false by a factor 60 times.

So I'll repeat what I said, "Your number is highly exaggerated. Crude is an understatement."
The problem here is that there are people who tend to believe everything you happen to say.
God! you really are scraping the barrel now. I wondered when you would get around to noticing that. Of course, I mistakenly wrote degrees instead of minutes. But then, you seem to have only noticed that when I published a page of my tables.
Let's cut the pettiness and state fact. You are the one who suggested Rostron made a mistake with his timing and that he saw Boxhall's green light at 3-20 am and not 2-40 am as he claimed. You also suggest that at that time, Carpathia was about 10 miles from Boxhall.
Forget about scoring points, Sam and make a positive contribution. Start by either stating categorically that there was no abnormal refraction or admitting that the conditions dictated that there must have been and consequently, Rostron or one of his crew must have seen Boxhall's green flares much earlier than 3-20 am.
If Stone and Gibson did not see Carpathia's rockets right on their horizon then how high above their horizon would they have seen one if it had been fired it at the location of Boxhall? As high or higher than the steaming light of a ship 5 miles away?
By the way, to avoid personal embarrassment, I suggest that you never dictate to professionals as you did to me, that these two did not know where their horizon was on a morning such as it was on April 15.

Forgive me for my foolishness in not understanding. After all, as you so often point out to us... Rostron and his men, like Lord and his men, as well as Boxhall and all the other players had no idea what they were about. I am totally amazed that any of them ever managed to find the Continent they were sailing to let alone any ports thereon.

The problem here is that not everyone is a follower, Sam. Some of them have ideas of their own and are not afraid to express them and to defend them with counter-argument.
 

Julian Atkins

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I’m not sure about this

8706. (The Solicitor-General.) What I want to know is, how they arrived at the latitude which is put down, I presume, by dead reckoning at 10.20. I am right; it would be by dead reckoning you would get it?
- Not only that; I had the Pole Star at half-past ten.

And
8798. When did you get the observation of the pole star that enabled you to fix your position?
- About half-past 7.
Hi Alex,

I had just the same thought on reading Stewart's testimony. Converting NYT to ships time doesn't provide the answer. NYT plus 1 hour 50 minutes gives you The Californian ship's time for this period. It might be a transcription error at the British Inquiry.

Other evidence is that Stewart retired ie went to bed at 9.30pm ships time on the 14th April.

Sam holds the view Stewart's Pole Star observation at 7.30pm may be/is a fabrication. You ought to read Sam's research paper on all this concerning The Californian's navigation.

My own view is that Captain Lord only took/ordered to be took noon observations once they were heading due sort of West on the Boston track. There is no evidence on the 15th April he ordered anything other than a noon observation, though by lots of accounts he was in quite a 'tizzy' that day or at least that morning.

I don't understand Jim's post 270 as the "afternoon longitude" claimed as taken by Stone at 5pm on the 14th April, and another at 5.30pm (see Captain Lord's 1959 Affidavit) were clearly just that - longitude - and the nub of all this is his latitude, and in any event Captain Lord considered Stone's observations inaccurate, and Jim has agreed with me quoting Captain's Quick's comments in 1961 that they would be 'iffy', is correct. Captain Lord's latitude both for The Antillian message at 6.30pm on the 14th April, and his stopped position were based on dead reckoning from his noon 14th April observations.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Jim Currie

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Hi Alex,

I had just the same thought on reading Stewart's testimony. Converting NYT to ships time doesn't provide the answer. NYT plus 1 hour 50 minutes gives you The Californian ship's time for this period. It might be a transcription error at the British Inquiry.

Other evidence is that Stewart retired ie went to bed at 9.30pm ships time on the 14th April.

Sam holds the view Stewart's Pole Star observation at 7.30pm may be/is a fabrication. You ought to read Sam's research paper on all this concerning The Californian's navigation.

My own view is that Captain Lord only took/ordered to be took noon observations once they were heading due sort of West on the Boston track. There is no evidence on the 15th April he ordered anything other than a noon observation, though by lots of accounts he was in quite a 'tizzy' that day or at least that morning.

I don't understand Jim's post 270 as the "afternoon longitude" claimed as taken by Stone at 5pm on the 14th April, and another at 5.30pm (see Captain Lord's 1959 Affidavit) were clearly just that - longitude - and the nub of all this is his latitude, and in any event Captain Lord considered Stone's observations inaccurate, and Jim has agreed with me quoting Captain's Quick's comments in 1961 that they would be 'iffy', is correct. Captain Lord's latitude both for The Antillian message at 6.30pm on the 14th April, and his stopped position were based on dead reckoning from his noon 14th April observations.

Cheers,

Julian
Times of observations are always in GMT, Julian. Thus, Californian was 1-50 FAST of EST but 3-30 SLOW of GMT. Therefore 10-30 pm GMT was actually 7-40 pm ship time.

The standard practice on all British MN ships since the advent of the chronometer was early morning star sights at dawn, - Morning Longitude sights just after breakfast.- Noon sights at Noon - occasional end of 12 Noon to 4 pm longitude by the sun and finally evening twilight sights... always including the Pole Star if in the northern hemisphere. Keep in mind that the sky is not always clear all day nor is the horizon always visible so. If you don't believe me, ask your nearest Nav, school.
 

Rob Lawes

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I have giggled at young Naval officers taking these sights in more or less the same timing as listed above. As it was something they barely practised but required for their qualification, the term "like watching chimps play tiddlywinks" sprang to mind.
 

Julian Atkins

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Thank you for correcting me Jim re GMT; I think you or Sam must have pointed this out to me sometime previously. Yes, that makes sense re Stewart's GMT 10.30 observation being around or about 7.40pm ships time.

Oh dear! It is so easy to slip up here!

Whether Stewart actually did take a Polar Star reading that evening is hotly debated, that pushes The Californian another 2 miles north in latitude.

I don't myself consider it that significant, despite Sam's forensic analysis, because when Captain Lord got to Boston he first refused to give his stopped position to the Boston Press ("state secrets"), then said he was 30 miles away, then said he was 19 miles away, and also claimed nothing had been seen - no distress rockets or signals or anything, and that Stewart was the Officer at the relevant time on the bridge. He also claimed the wireless wouldn't work because the ship was stopped.

My view is that when they docked in Boston, Captain Lord was petrified. All he had worked for the last 20 years was about to be undermined and lost. His ship was not a happy ship (as Evans in his USA testimony suggests) and MacGregor, the ship's carpenter, is enraged enough to tell his cousin who then somewhat inaccurately reports this to 'The Clinton Daily Item' - with no suggestion of payment, and MacGregor then writes an enraged letter that gets to Gerard Jensen in the UK. Then Gill does the same for payment, that was apparently $250 less than Cottam got.

Cheers,
Julian
 
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Rob Lawes

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In fact, if Mount Temple stopped 10 miles South of the Californian at just before 4 am that morning, she would have been bearing N30 W from Carpathia at or near to the time the latter arrived near to Boxhall.
As a back of a fag packet calculation, if Californian was 10 miles north of Mt Temple and Mt Temple was 10 miles N30W of Carpathia, the distance between Carpathia and Californian would have been 17.32 miles at that time.

(workings out can be supplied on request)
 

Jim Currie

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Thank you for correcting me Jim re GMT; I think you or Sam must have pointed this out to me sometime previously. Yes, that makes sense re Stewart's GMT 10.30 observation being around or about 7.40pm ships time.

Oh dear! It is so easy to slip up here!

Whether Stewart actually did take a Polar Star reading that evening is hotly debated, that pushes The Californian another 2 miles north in latitude.

I don't myself consider it that significant, despite Sam's forensic analysis, because when Captain Lord got to Boston he first refused to give his stopped position to the Boston Press ("state secrets"), then said he was 30 miles away, then said he was 19 miles away, and also claimed nothing had been seen - no distress rockets or signals or anything, and that Stewart was the Officer at the relevant time on the bridge. He also claimed the wireless wouldn't work because the ship was stopped.

My view is that when they docked in Boston, Captain Lord was petrified. All he had worked for the last 20 years was about to be undermined and lost. His ship was not a happy ship (as Evans in his USA testimony suggests) and MacGregor, the ship's carpenter, is enraged enough to tell his cousin who then somewhat inaccurately reports this to 'The Clinton Daily Item' - with no suggestion of payment, and MacGregor then writes an enraged letter that gets to Gerard Jensen in the UK. Then Gill does the same for payment, that was apparently $250 less than Cottam got.

Cheers,
Julian
My pleasure, Julian.

I do not understand why there is any doubt that Stewart would have taken a Pole Star sight when he said he did. If we can accept that Lightoller took 6 sights around the same time then why would 1st Officer Stewart, the First Officer of the Carpathia the First Officer of Mount Temple or for that matter, the First Officer of any other ship in the vicinity, neglect to do so?

As for Lord's evidence regarding the distances of 19 miles and 30 miles? I think you will find that the first distance refers to the distance between his stopped position and the erroneous CQD position for Titanic given by Boxhall. The greater distance represents the distance he actually traveled from 6 am until 8-30 am when he arrived alongside Carpathia.

Lord was being truthful when he said he did not see any rockets...he didn't. Only Stone and Gibson did.

It seems to have escaped many that captain Moore of the Mount Temple shared a couple of Lord's beliefs.
Both believed the CQD position was wrong. For instance: concerning the ice barrier: Lord said it was about 26 miles long and Moore said it was at least 20 miles long. Both men and the Captain of the Mesaba in his own way, described it as running roughly north-south

When Lord arrived in Boston, he would not have known that Senator Smith was pushing for a formal Inquiry on the Us side. The Titanic ws a British ship in international waters. Lord could not have given a fig for what was happening in the US. However, he knew there would be a Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry in the UK and that he, at least would be required to give written and verbal evidence since his ship was directly involved.

Chippy Mcgregor, like friend Gill, was 2nd -hand outraged. Gill talked a load of bosh and MacGregor, who was a Day Worker, would have been counting sheep while all the fun was going on.

As for Clinton Daily Item newspaper report and the news reported by the Boston Press: Don't you find it ironic in this day of the Trump era, that even now, Captain Lord is condemned by an "imagination tree" grown from a seed of imperfection nurtured by false news and the perpetuation of inaccuracies?
 

Jim Currie

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As a back of a fag packet calculation, if Californian was 10 miles north of Mt Temple and Mt Temple was 10 miles N30W of Carpathia, the distance between Carpathia and Californian would have been 17.32 miles at that time.

(workings out can be supplied on request)
Smoking's bad for you, Rob.
Your calculation would be OK if Mount Temple was 10 miles from the Carpathia at that moment in time. However; according to her captain, Mount Temple was close to the CQD position at 3-30am (which incidentally does not work out,) If she was, then she was 12 miles west of Boxhall and 20 miles from Carpathia. Strangely enough, if Californian was where Lord said she was and MT was where her captain said she was then MT was equidistant at about 20 miles from the two "Cs".

I have modified my last sketch to include the track of the Californian as alleged by her captain. it shows her moving first a6 5-15 am and eventually clearing the hard stuff at 6-30 am. The track is plotted from the following evidence.
5-15 am start... Lord and Stewart.
6 am... second start toward CQD position trying to maintain S16W...Lord and Stewart.
6-30 am... Clear of hard stuff...15 miles to CQD position...SS Birma...Lord
7-00am.. MT sighted on port bow...Groves...(alter course for MT?).
7-30 am... pass MT... Lord and Moore.
8 am....turn toward carpathia... Lord , Rostron and Groves.
Total distance to CQD....19.5 miles... Lord and by measurement of the plot
Total distance steamed: 5-15am to 8-30 am = 30 miles. Lord and by measurement of the plot.
Carpathia at 10m..jpg

Needed a fag carton for that one.
 

Mark Baber

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Don't you find it ironic in this day of the Trump era, that even now, Captain Lord is condemned by an "imagination tree" grown from a seed of imperfection nurtured by false news and the perpetuation of inaccuracies?
Moderator's hat on:

This thread is contentious enough as it is. Leave political references like this out, please.

Moderator's hat off.
 

Mark Baber

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But President Trump had nothing to do with that. Leave him out of this discussion.
 
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Jim Currie

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But President Trump had nothing to do with that. Leave him out of this discussion.
If you read my post carefully, Mark you will note that the reference was to an Era, not a person. Additionally, it was pointing out the stark similarities between the behaviour of the American news media in 1912 and that of the same media from then up until the present day. This, in stark contrast to the US Era of Good Feeling...that was in the time of President Munroe. We'll leave it at that.
 

george harris

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Well, since this thread is supposed to be about Stone's testimony.....Stone's testimony is full of lies and evasions. Other than the first few questions concerning stuff like his name and if he was on board the Californian, his testimony is one evasive lie after another. He's a totally discredited witness. Nothing he said should be relied upon to either defend or condemn Captain Lord.
 

Jim Currie

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Well, since this thread is supposed to be about Stone's testimony.....Stone's testimony is full of lies and evasions. Other than the first few questions concerning stuff like his name and if he was on board the Californian, his testimony is one evasive lie after another. He's a totally discredited witness. Nothing he said should be relied upon to either defend or condemn Captain Lord.
List his lies one by one and prove that they were lies.
 

george harris

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List his lies one by one and prove that they were lies.
8033. (Mr. Scanlan.) You knew it meant distress?
- I knew that rockets shown at short intervals, one at a time, meant distress signals, yes.

8034. Do not speak generally. On that very night when you saw those rockets being sent up you knew, did you not, that those rockets were signals of distress?
- No.

So Jim, how do you like that? Yes, I knew that rockets fired at short intervals means distress, but no, I didn't know that rockets fired at short intervals means distress. There's more, but you're smart enough to know that.
 

Jim Currie

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8033. (Mr. Scanlan.) You knew it meant distress?
- I knew that rockets shown at short intervals, one at a time, meant distress signals, yes.

8034. Do not speak generally. On that very night when you saw those rockets being sent up you knew, did you not, that those rockets were signals of distress?
- No.

So Jim, how do you like that? Yes, I knew that rockets fired at short intervals means distress, but no, I didn't know that rockets fired at short intervals means distress. There's more, but you're smart enough to know that.
George, you are reporting a situation like a newspaper reporter...out of context.

Questions 8033 and 8034 are part of a sequence.
Stone was manipulated into admitting that he knew the textbook description of a distress signal which was a ploy by his interrogators.
Stone stated that he told the captain that he saw white lights in the sky which he took for white rockets.
Stone was asked first, if he knew what Distress Signals looked like... he answered honestly, that he did.
He was asked if he thought he was seeing distress signals, he answered no. He was again being honest and here is why.

7857. Did not that occur to, you? A:- It did not occur to me at the time. [that he was seeing distress rockets]
7858. When did it occur to you? Did it occur at some later time to you? A: - Yes.
7859. When? A: - After I had heard about the "Titanic" going down.


In other words, Stone put 2 and 2 together after he heard about Titanic.

The problem you and so many others have with this man's evidence is that you have already made your minds up before you hear the answers. This approach is compounded by the fact that you do not attempt to faithfully reconstruct what the witness is describing.
For instance, Stone said his first flash was "immediately above this other steamer."
For your information and that of others, a distress signal did not detonate immediately above the vessel firing it. In fact, the projectile was fired out from the side of the vessel at an angle and would have detonated 500 feet above her and about 180 feet out from the firing side. The following is an approximate reconstruction of what was being described by Stone along with what he should have seen had that nearby vessel been in distress. If you or others had seen the first 2 examples and had seen the vessel in sight moving away as described by the witness... what would have been going through your minds?
Stone's rockets 2.jpg
 

george harris

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So, Stone saw white rockets. Of course he did. He said so. White rockets, fired at short intervals, at night, in the middle of the north Atlantic, while surrounded by ice. And he claims to have no idea what they could have meant? It never occurred to him that there could be another ship nearby in trouble? He's either a liar or a moron, possibly both. Either way, his testimony is useless for either defending or condemning Captain Lord.
 

AlexP

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Stone was manipulated into admitting that he knew the textbook description of a distress signal which was a ploy by his interrogators.
Manipulated into admitting that he knew how distress rockets look? Really? You should try better in your defense of the Californian crew members if you want people to trust your book and you.

So, Stone saw white rockets. Of course he did. He said so. White rockets, fired at short intervals, at night, in the middle of the north Atlantic, while surrounded by ice. And he claims to have no idea what they could have meant? It never occurred to him that there could be another ship nearby in trouble? He's either a liar or a moron, possibly both. Either way, his testimony is useless for either defending or condemning Captain Lord.
Actually Mr. Stone said more on the inquiry than he probably ever indented to say. In his affidavit to Captain Lord Mr. Stone did not mention that the rockets changed their bearing. He said nothing about one rocket he was sure was fired from the steamer he was watching.