2nd Officer Stone's Interrogation.

Jim Currie

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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.
Having seen these things fired, I have shown you what they looked like and what they should look like. If you cannot understand then you do not want to understand. Here's one for you... have you ever heard of an illumination flare? Do you know who uses them? Can you think of a reason why one might be used.? They were not used that night.
 

Jim Currie

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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.


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.
You miss the point. There was a ship nearby but it was not in distress.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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In other words, Stone put 2 and 2 together after he heard about Titanic.
Do you really think Stone was that stupid? If you believe that, then you believe in fairy tales.

7901. (The Commissioner.) You did not believe they were company’s signals? - I had never seen company’s signals like them before.
7902. Then what did you think they were? - I did not think what they were intended for; white rockets is what I saw them as.
7903. Wait. You did not think they were company’s signals? - No.
7904. You did not think they were being sent up for fun? - No.
7905. What did you think? - I just thought they were white rockets, that is all.
7906. That you know because your eyes told you of it, but what did you think they were being sent up for? - Naturally, the first thought that crossed my mind was that the ship might be in trouble, but subsequent events showed that the ship steamed away from us; there was nothing to confirm that; there was nothing to confirm that the rockets came from that ship, in the direction of that ship. That is all I observed.
7907. You did not think they sprang out of the sea? - No.
7908. Where did you think they came from, if they did not come from that ship? - Possibly from a greater distance past the ship.
7909. You thought they came from some other ship? - Possibly.

Well if they came from some other ship beyond this near by one then it was some other vessel that was in trouble, and Californian still stood still all night. Stone's so called "subsequent events" took place after the last of those rockets were seen, unless you care to believe that the bearing to the rockets followed the seemingly changing bearing to this mystery steamer as it steamed away to the SW following the 1st rocket that he saw? You know that is what he claimed, and it was backed up by Lord's testimony.

Here's what Gibson had to say about Stone's thinking that night:
7529. I should like you to tell me what were you saying to each other? - He remarked to me that a ship was not going to fire rockets at sea for nothing.
7530. Who said that? - The Second Officer.
7531. A ship is not going to fire rockets at sea for nothing? - Yes.
7532. I daresay you agreed with him? - Yes.
7533. What took place after that between you and him? - We were talking about it all the time, Sir, till five minutes past two, when she disappeared.

By the way, 2:05 Californian time was 2:17 Titanic time, about the time that Titanic's hull split in two and her lights went out.

have you ever heard of an illumination flare?
Totally irrelevant to the discussion, and you know it.
 
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Jim Currie

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Do you really think Stone was that stupid? If you believe that, then you believe in fairy tales.

7901. (The Commissioner.) You did not believe they were company’s signals? - I had never seen company’s signals like them before.
7902. Then what did you think they were? - I did not think what they were intended for; white rockets is what I saw them as.
7903. Wait. You did not think they were company’s signals? - No.
7904. You did not think they were being sent up for fun? - No.
7905. What did you think? - I just thought they were white rockets, that is all.
7906. That you know because your eyes told you of it, but what did you think they were being sent up for? - Naturally, the first thought that crossed my mind was that the ship might be in trouble, but subsequent events showed that the ship steamed away from us; there was nothing to confirm that; there was nothing to confirm that the rockets came from that ship, in the direction of that ship. That is all I observed.
7907. You did not think they sprang out of the sea? - No.
7908. Where did you think they came from, if they did not come from that ship? - Possibly from a greater distance past the ship.
7909. You thought they came from some other ship? - Possibly.

Well if they came from some other ship beyond this near by one then it was some other vessel that was in trouble, and Californian still stood still all night. Stone's so called "subsequent events" took place after the last of those rockets were seen, unless you care to believe that the bearing to the rockets followed the seemingly changing bearing to this mystery steamer as it steamed away to the SW following the 1st rocket that he saw? You know that is what he claimed, and it was backed up by Lord's testimony.

Here's what Gibson had to say about Stone's thinking that night:
7529. I should like you to tell me what were you saying to each other? - He remarked to me that a ship was not going to fire rockets at sea for nothing.
7530. Who said that? - The Second Officer.
7531. A ship is not going to fire rockets at sea for nothing? - Yes.
7532. I daresay you agreed with him? - Yes.
7533. What took place after that between you and him? - We were talking about it all the time, Sir, till five minutes past two, when she disappeared.

By the way, 2:05 Californian time was 2:17 Titanic time, about the time that Titanic's hull split in two and her lights went out.


Totally irrelevant to the discussion, and you know it.
No I don't think Stone was in the least bit stupid. Responds to your quoted transcript are as follows:

1. Stone had never seen Company Signals like the signals he was seeing. Are you suggesting that he had seen every Company Signal in the world and could recognise them like an aeroplane spotter?
2. He did not recognise that what he was seeing were signals of distress being fired from the vessel he could see.
3. Because he did not recognise them for what they were, how on earth could he have known what they were being sent up for?
4. Even if they had been "sent up for fun". that in itself is a reason.
5. If he could see the vessel to the southeast, then those on that vessel could see his vessel. So if the vessel to the southeast was in distress and had been so for over 2 hours and was in plain sight, why did it ignore the repeated signals of no less than three different signallers over a period of 2 hours - Stone himself being one of the signallers?

Only a fool would move a ship which was stopped in total darkness surrounded by ice of indeterminate area or thickness on the basis of the evidence presented.

Stone's subsequent events began after he informed Lord of the first positive signals because he was there and you were not. They did not, as you proclaim, take place after the last rocket was seen...and Apprentice Gibson told you so. They began before Gibson arrived on the bridge and before he saw the last three rockets. Gibson saw the red light being shut out just after he saw rocket 5 but continued to see the glow around the white masthead light. You have dismissed this with the answer that the red light dipped due to Titanic sinking. However, you forgot or ignored the fact that the red light was designed to be seen brightly at 2 miles while the white one was designed to be seen brightly at 5 miles. It follows that unless the white light was eclipsed, it would remain to be seen shining bright after the red one had disappeared.

You quote Gibson. What about his starboard list?...His red light higher than it was previously? If Gibson saw that phenomenon, then he saw it after the last rocket was fired because he did not have time to see it between arrival on the bridge and the sighting his first rocket and the red light being shut out for the first time. So, did the red light reappear after the last rocket was fired? Let's look at the evidence.

Stone:
7943. What did you notice? A:- On one occasion I noticed the lights looked rather unnatural, as if some were being shut in and others being opened out; the lights appeared to be changing their position - the deck lights.
7944. Her deck lights? A: - Yes, and I lost sight of her red sidelight.
7944a. That would be consistent with her altering her heading? A:- Yes.
7945. What was there funny about it? A: - Merely that some lights were being shut in and others exposed and I remarked to Gibson that the lights looked peculiar, unnatural, but when I took the glasses and brought her under close observation I took it to be due to the fact that very likely she was porting for some iceberg close at hand and was coming back on her course again, showing her other lights, the original lights.
Gibson:
7511. What happened after that? A: - About twenty minutes past one the Second Officer remarked to me that she was slowly steaming away towards the south-west.
7512. Had you remained on the bridge from the time that you saw these three rockets until then? A: - Yes.
7515. What had you noticed between one o'clock and twenty minutes past one, looking at her through your glasses? A: - The Second Officer remarked to me, "Look at her now; she looks very queer out of the water; her lights look queer."
7522. What did you see? A: - She seemed as if she had a heavy list to starboard.
7636. Now I wish you would just try and tell us what you mean when you say that later on, when you looked at her through the glasses, you thought she had a list, or you thought her lights looked queer; what was there about her lights to make you think that? A: - Her sidelights seemed to be higher out of the water.
7637. The sidelights seemed to be higher out of the water? A: - Yes.
7638. Do you mean that there was any time when you saw both sidelights? A: - Her red sidelight.
7639. And you say that watching her, you thought that her red sidelight did not stay at the same level, but got higher? A; - Yes.

I don't understand why you cannot see the picture that is very clearly being painted for you by the foregoing evidence. After all, you have previously gone into print in great detail to show the time and extent of Titanic's heavy port...not starboard list... a list which you have used to explain the dipping of Titanic's red light. Gibson's evidence very clearly is the opposite of that which might have been expected had the vessel he and Stone were watching been Titanic.
Stone and Gibson paint a very clear picture of a vessel which started off heading north of eastward. Then she moves ahead and turns slowly to starboard. At that moment there will be a change in her bearing. As she turns, her red light is shut out and then she is heading East. Shortly after that, as she turns more to the right, she encounters heavy ice and then she follows various courses left and right through the barrier. For a short period, until she encounters looser ice, she moves on various courses. During this time, her bearing will change very slowly to the right. Once she clears the ice, she picks up speed and her bearing changes rapidly to the right.

Now for your timing. I will use GMT. and unaltered ship time throughout.

When Lord saw his vessel stop, it was 2-40 GMT and when Groves saw his vessel stop it was 2-50 GMT. If Titanic hit the iceberg at 2-38 GMT and stopped 6 minutes later she did so at 2-42 GMT. So what vessels did Lord and Groves see?
Stone saw his first Flash at 3-55 GMT and his first positive sighting 4 minutes after that? at 3-59 GMT. QM Rowe on Titanic fired his first signal at 4-07 GMT.
Stone saw his last rocket at 4-50 GMT. QM Rowe fired his last signal at 4-47 GMT. Titanic sank at 5-18 GMT...31 minutes after the last signal was fired. Stone last saw the vessel through binoculars and over the compass at 5-30 GMT.

"7972. (The Commissioner.) Did you say to Gibson "Tell the Captain she is disappearing," or did you say "Tell the Captain she has disappeared," which did you say? a: - I could not have said that she had disappeared, because I could still see her stern light. I saw this light for 20 minutes after that.

Now compare the foregoing with what you believe:

2-38 GMT ... Titanic hits iceberg.
2-44 GMT ... Titanic stops.
3-45 GMT ... First signal fired...( QM Rowe 4-07 GMT)
4-48 GMT ... Last signal fired...(QM Rowe 4-47 GMT)
5-18 GMT ... Titanic sinks...(QM Rowe 5-17 GMT.)
5-30 GMT ... Stone's vessel disappears from sight.

Why do you ignore the following evidence from AB Buley?

" Yes, sir; they could all have been saved. There was a ship of some description there when she struck, and she passed right by us. We thought she was coming to us; and if she had come to us, everyone could have boarded her. You could see she was a steamer. She had her steamer lights burning.
She was off our port bow when we struck, and we all started for the same light, and that is what kept the boats together."


I suppose Buley, Like Boxhall, was too stupid to distinguish between a moving vessel and one that had been stopped in plain sights since before Titanic hit the iceberg?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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I suppose Buley, Like Boxhall, was too stupid to distinguish between a moving vessel and one that had been stopped in plain sights since before Titanic hit the iceberg?
Boxhall sees a ship turn around and go away more or less from where she came. Buley sees a ship stopped for 3 hours and then goes right by them. Not exactly matching stories.

Mr. BULEY. Yes, sir; bow on toward us; and then she stopped, and the lights seemed to go right by us.
Senator FLETCHER. If she had gone by you, she would have been to your stern?
Mr. BULEY. She was stationary there for about three hours, I think, off our port, there, and when we were in the boat we all made for her, and she went by us. The northern lights are just like a searchlight, but she disappeared. That was astern of where the ship went down.
 

Jim Currie

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No, they are not "exactly matching stories" but they match in one essential way which chucks-out the idea that they were both seeing the Californian..... they both described a moving ship.

Additionally; both stated that they saw a red light with the naked eye.

To support the opposite to that, you have previously, on several occasions, selectively quoted the evidence of QM Rowe and 5th Officer Lowe relative to the lights seen by them on Titanic's port bow.
However, you and they, completely forgot that if Titanic was stopped and not swinging, a moving vessel seen ahead and approaching the port side at a narrow-angle, would give the impression that Titanic's bow was swinging to the right.

I emphasised the word selectively because although you have repeatedly ignored or tried to fob-off 5th Officer Lowe's evidence relative to ship speed up to 6 pm that afternoon, you jump on his evidence which contradicts a moving vessel.

However, here is more evidence which knocks the "Californian near Titanic" nonsense on the head. It comes from Walter Wynne, Quartermaster on Titanic.
" 13336. Before I get you on to the "Carpathia" I just want to ask you this one matter: While you were in the boat did you see any light or lights? A: - I did.
13337. What light or lights did you see? A: - I saw a red light first, and then the red light disappeared, and I saw a white one.
13338. What did you think the red light was? A: - I could not say; I put it down to a steamer.
13341. When you saw the white light did you ever see the white light at the same time as you were seeing the red light? Did you see them at the same time? A: - Yes, at first I did."


If the red light seen by Wynne was 40 feet above the sea, then he could not have seen it more than 8 miles away when in a lifeboat.
If that red light was seen in conjunction with a single white masthead light, then it could not have been on the Californian because the Californian had two white masthead lights. Was this where Lord Mersey got the idea for writing the following bit of nonsense:
"These circumstances convince me that the ship seen by the "Californian" was the "Titanic," and if so, according to Captain Lord, the two vessels were about five miles apart at the time of the disaster. The evidence from the "Titanic" corroborates this estimate, but I am advised that the distance was probably greater, though not more than eight to ten miles."

Perhaps all the witnesses who saw a moving ship that night were stupid?
 

Andrew

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So there were two moving mystery ships between the Titanic and Californian?
Which vessels would be the likely candidates here?
 

Jim Currie

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I believe there most certainly was..one ahead of Titanic and the other in line between Californian and Titanic. There may even have been a third one, if Captain Rostron was correct and he saw a ship's lights between Carpathia and Boxhall in boat 2.
 

george harris

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"If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you
have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?" (lyrics from "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd)

"2. He did not recognise that what he was seeing were signals of distress being fired from the vessel he could see.
3. Because he did not recognise them for what they were, how on earth could he have known what they were being sent up for?"

(post #305, Jim Currie)
 
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Jim Currie

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Now that is an amazing bit of deduction. You and Pink would have been great buddies. Goes to the crux of the matter... "we don't need no education." Or perhaps even "We can't understand no education"?
 
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Jim Currie

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Do you really think Stone was that stupid? If you believe that, then you believe in fairy tales.

7901. (The Commissioner.) You did not believe they were company’s signals? - I had never seen company’s signals like them before.
7902. Then what did you think they were? - I did not think what they were intended for; white rockets is what I saw them as.
7903. Wait. You did not think they were company’s signals? - No.
7904. You did not think they were being sent up for fun? - No.
7905. What did you think? - I just thought they were white rockets, that is all.
7906. That you know because your eyes told you of it, but what did you think they were being sent up for? - Naturally, the first thought that crossed my mind was that the ship might be in trouble, but subsequent events showed that the ship steamed away from us; there was nothing to confirm that; there was nothing to confirm that the rockets came from that ship, in the direction of that ship. That is all I observed.
7907. You did not think they sprang out of the sea? - No.
7908. Where did you think they came from, if they did not come from that ship? - Possibly from a greater distance past the ship.
7909. You thought they came from some other ship? - Possibly.

Well if they came from some other ship beyond this near by one then it was some other vessel that was in trouble, and Californian still stood still all night. Stone's so called "subsequent events" took place after the last of those rockets were seen, unless you care to believe that the bearing to the rockets followed the seemingly changing bearing to this mystery steamer as it steamed away to the SW following the 1st rocket that he saw? You know that is what he claimed, and it was backed up by Lord's testimony.

Here's what Gibson had to say about Stone's thinking that night:
7529. I should like you to tell me what were you saying to each other? - He remarked to me that a ship was not going to fire rockets at sea for nothing.
7530. Who said that? - The Second Officer.
7531. A ship is not going to fire rockets at sea for nothing? - Yes.
7532. I daresay you agreed with him? - Yes.
7533. What took place after that between you and him? - We were talking about it all the time, Sir, till five minutes past two, when she disappeared.

By the way, 2:05 Californian time was 2:17 Titanic time, about the time that Titanic's hull split in two and her lights went out.


Totally irrelevant to the discussion, and you know it.
PS: Forget to answer your curt "totally irrelevant to the discussion, and you know it"

Not in the least bit.
If you care to check history, you will discover that pyrotechnics were often used as a means to illuminate an area.
Stone was asked: 7845. Possibly, what else? Stone just didn't think of the use of a rocket as a means of illumination. I did.
As a matter of fact, Roman Candles would have been a first-class method of illuminating the pack ice.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Only a fool would move a ship which was stopped in total darkness surrounded by ice of indeterminate area or thickness on the basis of the evidence presented.
I quite agree.

So why would:
1. This steamer come to a stop about SSE of Californian because she encountered the same ice barrier Californian encountered a little over an hour previous, then
2. completely ignore the Morsing attempts of Californian from the time she stopped,
3. be in obviously sight of this display of distress signals from Titanic that took place over a period of about an hour, which if this steamer was only about 5 miles SSE from Californian, would put her only about 15 miles NNW from Titanic, and
4. then decide to move in total darkness surrounded by ice of indeterminate area or thickness knowing that at least one vessel to her south got in trouble and another vessel to her north prudently decided to stop for the night?

I guess this was a ship of fools.
 
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Jim Currie

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How about a ship full of Japanese, Chinese, Italians, Russians or any amount of other nationals who could not speak or transmit in English? For your information (and that of Bob,) the same thing was happening well into the 60s when my Apprentices and myself tried to contact a ship in the middle of the night using the Aldis.
How about a ship manned by foreigners who did not hold the high standards expected by Western European and N American seafarers?
How about a ship full of "I'm all right jacks" who decided to have a go.?
Or perhaps, a ship whose captain had no idea what the conditions were way over the horizon or what they were like 5 miles to the north and didn't give a damn anyway?
 

Jim Currie

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What you forget is that only one captain was presented by the evidence under discussion. We have no idea on what basis, the nearby vessel's captain decided to move. In any case, he did move and did so with great caution for the first half hour or so.
Unlike the captain of another vessel in the area who, despite having 1043 souls in his charge and despite having to swerve to avoid icebergs, charged on relentlessly at full speed through barely visible ice field in the wrong direction while letting off distress signals. What was you were saying about fools?
 

Rob Lawes

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I guess your perspective on that last point Jim depends on whether or not you're freezing to death in an open boat in the middle of the Ocean.
 
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Jim, it was you who said: "Only a fool would move a ship which was stopped in total darkness surrounded by ice of indeterminate area or thickness on the basis of the evidence presented." Now you say, "We have no idea on what basis, the nearby vessel's captain decided to move. In any case, he did move and did so with great caution for the first half hour or so." So does your second statement negate your first one?
 

Julian Atkins

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I borrowed Eric Clements' book "Captain of the Carpathia" out of the Newport Library again last week, but have been a bit busy the last few days.

I've done quite a few pages of detailed notes, with quite a few queries, and questions to ask and discuss.

I don't want to be accused of thread drift, so will first ask of Jim if he is happy for me to post about this on his thread as it is currently the most active Californian thread; others may consider resurrecting an old thread to be more appropriate?

Cheers,

Julian
 

Jim Currie

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Jim, it was you who said: "Only a fool would move a ship which was stopped in total darkness surrounded by ice of indeterminate area or thickness on the basis of the evidence presented." Now you say, "We have no idea on what basis, the nearby vessel's captain decided to move. In any case, he did move and did so with great caution for the first half hour or so." So does your second statement negate your first one?
It was on the basis of the evidence presented to him that Captain Lord did not move his ship.
The captain of the nearby ship obviously based his actions on the information he had which obviously did not include a sighting of the rockets or if it did, he chose to ignore them.
The great caution I refer to is the fact that the captain of the nearby ship did not simply put the handles down and do a handbrake turn before charging through the loose pack ice. The initial slow change of bearing to the right tells you that he got through it, all be it at slow speed. had it been solid, he would have headed off to the SSE.