2nd Officer Stone's Interrogation.

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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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
I have no problem with that, Julian. However I suggest you watch "Schooner Seen by Captain Moore " which i am working on at the moment and post MT observations there. A very interesting subject.
 

Julian Atkins

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Sep 23, 2017
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Hi Jim,

Thanks for that. I will avoid the "schooner seen by Captain Moore" thread regarding Carpathia... 4 ships who did not know where they were for certain (one of which struck an ice berg) is quite enough for me without considering Captain Moore's green light seen of this 'schooner' was one of Boxhall's flares!

All I will add tonight is that clearly, with hindsight, Rostron did not know where he was, or exactly where he was going, and what speed he was doing and over what distance, and where he thought he ended up. All of this actually has quite a bearing on 'The Californian Incident'.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Julian Atkins

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Sep 23, 2017
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Thanks to a lot of help with extra documentation provided to me today, it does seem to me that so far as the issues raised by Stone's testimony are concerned, or for that matter Captain Lord as well, all the principal key players deliberately or inadvertently 'muddied the waters', almost as if to be complicit in ensuring that no complete picture could be pieced together of the events of 15th April.

Untangling this web of deceit - and I do put it this highly - is not at all easy. Ok, some of this is errors in memory too. But it is quite remarkable that no one that night or the following morning got their story straight, with very few exceptions.

I am referring to all the Captains; Lord, Moore, and Rostron, and also Gambell. Also Groves, Stone, Gibson, and Bissett. And Boxhall.

Not one of them gave a coherent account that is not without criticism. Given the gravity of the event, I find this quite remarkable.

It is almost as if the British Mercantile Marine Service deliberately sought to confuse both Inquiries.

Cheers,

Julian
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Not one of them gave a coherent account that is not without criticism. Given the gravity of the event, I find this quite remarkable.
It is very rare I would imagine to get a completely coherent story from anyone. The inquiries took place well after the events took place. I would imagine that what people retained was greatly affected by the level of stress they found themselves under at the time, as well as what they heard from others afterward. It is well known that the mind does not work like a recording device, and is easily influenced by outside factors. That is what makes all of this so interesting. Trying to create a coherent account from so much incoherent evidence.
I found the same problem working other historical events such as the Olympic/Hawke collision and the Andrea Doria/Stockholm collision.
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hi Sam,

I am not so sure.

I've spent years being especially interested in UK Railway disasters; all investigated by the same Board of Trade (though a different section) of the same era, and UK Railway disasters were meticulously investigated, and far better evidence obtained from witnesses. The railways also kept meticulous records, especially signalling records. A humble low paid signalman working very long hours would be subject to the most detailed examination, of everything he did, minute by minute, if not less than a minute.

What on earth was going on in the British Mercantile Marine Service in 1912? Perhaps simply 'laissez faire'? Or lots of Captains having a rather poor habit of record keeping, or attitude to same? Or having a sort of aversion to any Inquiry? Captain Lord is scolded for not providing his compass deviation book, and very soon after the British Inquiry bemoans the Chief Engineer's Log wasn't to hand. Captain Rostron turns up at the USA Inquiry without his Log Book! Cottam says the Titanic CQD message is still on his desk (hadn't brought it with him)! No Captain seems to have realised that every single message sent or received must be impressed on the operator to be recorded in the PV, just like you would expect a UK railway signalman to do in his Register.

Cottam gives up on his PV just before midnight on the 14th, yet on the reconstructed PV he had little to record of messages he sent after this time, so was arguably hardly taxed. Then The Virginian's PV later has nearly a 6 hour gap despite having 2 Marconi operators.

When a tragedy was unfolding hardly anyone was keeping proper records, whether retaining scrap logs, keeping their PVs accurate, or turning up at Inquiries with all the relevant Logs and books.

In most cases in UK Railway accidents of the period in the UK, the witness statements are read into the Report, and the actual testimony/examination of these witnesses also recorded and compared, in each case as against all the other records and witness evidence as well.

What on earth was going on in 1912 in the Merchant Navy? Why did Stone and Gibson never say or hint to the British Inquiry they had previously made written statements to their Captain on 18th April? Why was Captain Lord so sure he would not be found out that he had these statements which he deliberately failed to disclose?

(When Dunlop let slip he had Leyland Line Solicitors' statements from The Californian witnesses he was asked/ordered to hand them in!)

Cheers,

Julian
 
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