Any recommendation apart from these books already read?

Mar 22, 2003
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I believe that Mr. Boxhall was looking at the Californian because he was looking at a steamer, not at a star, because the sequence of the navigational lights he observed is consistent with the swinging of the Californian, because his testimony is consistent with the testimonies of some other eyewitnesses, because he was located at the Titanic’s port bow and because I see no evidence there was any mystery ship between the Titanic and the Californian. Therefore Mr. Boxhall was probably looking at the Californian.
No, I don't believe there was a mystery ship, but your so called reasons why Boxhall was seeing Californian by themselves are not enough.
-According to Boxhall the ship he saw appeared to be moving, first approached and then receded. Californian was stopped.
-According to Boxhall the ship he was looking at turned and showed what he took to be a stern light after he lost sight of the red before taking to the boat. According to Stone and Gibson, the steamer that was firing these rockets was on their port bow when the last rocket was seen and when it disappeared, which means Californian was showing a red light not a stern light to Titanic before Titanic sank.
-According to what 5/O Lowe wrote in his deposition, after he got all those other boats tied together:
"When I had got these boats tied together I still saw these [lights] in the same position, and shortly afterwards she seemed to alter her position and open her green. I knew a few minutes afterwards all the lights went out, and I did not see any more lights until I saw the lights of the Carpathia."
Good luck explaining that one.

And just so you know, you didn't have to be over on the port side of Titanic's bridge to see a ship off Titanic's port bow. And according to Rowe, the Morse lamp that was using was the one over on the port side of the bridge, not the starboard side. It was the socket used for firing distress signals that was over on the starboard side. As far as Boxhall's location, he too was all over the bridge that night, not just on the port side as you assume.
 

AlexP

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According to what 5/O Lowe wrote in his deposition, after he got all those other boats tied together:
"When I had got these boats tied together I still saw these [lights] in the same position, and shortly afterwards she seemed to alter her position and open her green. I knew a few minutes afterwards all the lights went out, and I did not see any more lights until I saw the lights of the Carpathia."
It is unclear what lights Mr. Lowe saw to begin with.
He testified
15825. Did you look for any lights at this time at all?
- As I was getting the emergency boat ready, No. 1, Mr. Boxhall was firing the detonators, the distress signals, and somebody mentioned something about a ship on the port bow, and I glanced over in that direction casually and I saw a steamer there.

15826. What did you see of her?
- I saw her two masthead and her red sidelights.

The lifeboat #1 was launched at around 1:05. At that time the Californian was showing her green to the Titanic.
Now about the lights he saw from the lifeboat. He wrote "she seemed to alter her position and open her green". As you probably know she whatever she was could not have opened her green without either showing both sidelights together or her stern light. The fact that Mr. Lowe did not mention any of the above indicates that he was not paying much attention to the lights. So who knows what "green" he saw. He was very busy with the boats and the passengers.
-According to Boxhall the ship he was looking at turned and showed what he took to be a stern light after he lost sight of the red before taking to the boat. According to Stone and Gibson, the steamer that was firing these rockets was on their port bow when the last rocket was seen and when it disappeared, which means Californian was showing a red light not a stern light to Titanic before Titanic sank.
Mr. Boxhall did not observe the turn:

Senator BURTON.
Did she pull away from you?

Mr. BOXHALL.
I do not know when she turned; I can not say when I missed the lights, because I was leaving the bridge to go and fire off some more of those distress rockets and attend to other duties.

He assumed the Californian turned because the sidelight and the second masthead light were no longer visible. In his mind it could have only meant the steamer turned.

While we are talking about this, could you please explain to me why Boxhall lost the second masthead light? How your "13 miles apart" speculation accounts for this?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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So who knows what "green" he saw. He was very busy with the boats and the passengers.
Yes he was, but the vessel he was talking apparently was the same vessel others referred to off T's port bow, the one that they were trying to signal to with Morse lamps and gain the attention by firing distress signals. His reference to opening her green does not mean he actually saw the green sidelight. You can easily tell which way a vessel with two masthead lights is pointing by the relative positions of the two lights. Opening the green would mean that the lower light was to the right of the higher light.
While we are talking about this, could you please explain to me why Boxhall lost the second masthead light? How your "13 miles apart" speculation accounts for this?
Actually, I'd like to hear what you have to say about that Alex.
 
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AlexP

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Yes he was, but the vessel he was talking apparently was the same vessel others referred to off T's port bow, the one that they were trying to signal to with Morse lamps and gain the attention by firing distress signals. His reference to opening her green does not mean he actually saw the green sidelight. You can easily tell which way a vessel with two masthead lights is pointing by the relative positions of the two lights. Opening the green would mean that the lower light was to the right of the higher light.

Actually, I'd like to hear what you have to say about that Alex.
I believe both Mr. Lowe (with his "green" and Mr. Bohall with his "stern" were not looking at the navigational lights at all at the time of the sightings. They both were looking at the stars, mistaking them for the lights. The sky was starry. It probably was easy to loose the lights and hard to find them again. I , however, believe that Mr. Lowe saw the red from his lifeboat, and so did Mr. Lucas, which means once again that your "13 miles apart" speculation fells apart.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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It seems Alex that you are simply trying to trash the 12-13 mile separation that my work pointed to. OK, but your not being very helpful in offering an alternative. So are you now trying to claim that the lights people saw were various stars of different colors? All the stars and planets that were out that night could easily be identified. There are several planetarium software packages that will allow you to reproduce the night sky for the wreck site location on that date.
 

AlexP

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It seems Alex that you are simply trying to trash the 12-13 mile separation that my work pointed to. OK, but your not being very helpful in offering an alternative. So are you now trying to claim that the lights people saw were various stars of different colors? All the stars and planets that were out that night could easily be identified. There are several planetarium software packages that will allow you to reproduce the night sky for the wreck site location on that date.
I believe that most people who testified they saw a single masthead light or a stern light were actually looking at Capella or another star. I believe Capella was the brightest object at that time, brighter than the masthead lights. I believe that the ones who testified they saw two masthead lights and the red sidelight were looking at the Californian. As you yourself said in one of the posts Mr. Lowe could have assumed what was the heading of the Californian by the position of her masthead lights. So let us say there were two stars that were positioned in a similar way. He did not actually see the green.
 
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AlexP

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I'll keep these short. Rowe was using partially adjusted time on his watch which has been shown elsewhere. In terms of unadjusted Titanic time it would be close to 1:50 when he fired the last socket signal and went to the boat. Rowe even said that the vessel sank about 20 minutes after his boat was launched, and it was he who fired the last distress signal. I'll refer you to: Lifeboat Launching Sequence Re-Examined.
If Mr. Rowe was using partially adjusted time on his watch how you could explain this

17684. How long do you think it was from the time you commenced firing the rockets till you finished firing the rockets?
- From about a quarter to one to about 1.25.

According to your own book, the first rocket was fired at 12:47 a.m.
According to Mr. Rowe he was firing the rockets starting at 12:45 a.m.

In your book, you allege that the Titanic was swinging 10 degrees per hour. You base your speculation on Mr Rowe’s testimony.
However, Mr. Rowe testified he was at the bridge from 12:45 to 1:25, 40 minutes.
He also testified that the light he was watching changed its bearing from 1/2 points to 2 points off the
Port bow. In other words the light Mr. Rowe was watching moved for 1.5 points ( almost 17 degrees) in 40 minutes.
How then you calculated it moved 10 degrees in 60 minutes?
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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According to your own book, the first rocket was fired at 12:47 a.m.
According to Mr. Rowe he was firing the rockets starting at 12:45 a.m.
Rowe did not fire the first rocket. According to 4/O Boxhall, he was putting the firing lanyard back into the wheelhouse after firing off a signal when the phone call came from the poop with a report that a boat was seen in the water off the starboard side. That call came from Rowe.
As far as the average swinging rate is concerned, Boxhall stated that the steamer was 1/2 point off the port bow when he first saw it, which was before he went to work up the distress position. That time was about 12:20 on Titanic. According to Californian's 3/O Groves, about 11:40 Cal time, (11:52 Titanic) the steamer seen several points abaft his starboard beam seemed to shut out her deck lights which I took as pointing end on. By 1:50, around the time of the last signal fired, the steamer was 2 points off T's port bow. 11:50 to 1:50 is 2 hours, and 2 points in 2 hours is 1 pt/hr AVERAGE. And average rate does not mean a constant rate.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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most people who testified they saw a single masthead light or a stern light were actually looking at Capella or another star.
Interesting theory. About midnight on Titanic, Capella was about 12° above the horizon in the NW skies. By 2am, Capella was only about 1° above the horizon bearing NNW true. Capella was setting at the time Titanic sank. It was gone after soon after Titanic was gone. It certainly was not a stationary light on the horizon for very long.
 

AlexP

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As far as the average swinging rate is concerned, Boxhall stated that the steamer was 1/2 point off the port bow when he first saw it, which was before he went to work up the distress position.
Here is this part of Mr. Boxhall’s testimony

15393. Could you see it distinctly with the naked eye?
- No, I could see the light with the naked eye, but I could not define what it was, but by the aid of a pair of glasses I found it was the two masthead lights of a vessel, probably about half a point on the port bow, and in the position she would be showing her red if it were visible, but she was too far off then.

Do you see any problems with it?
I doubt that at that time the Californian would have been showing her red to the Titanic.

Mr. Fleet testified that the light he saw was 4 points off the port bow

Senator SMITH.
Where did you see it?

Mr. FLEET.
On the port bow. The other lookout reported it.

Senator SMITH.
How far ahead?

Mr. FLEET.
It was not ahead; it was on the bow, about four points.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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That is exactly the problem that we all face Alex. Eyewitness accounts are all over the place. Even a given witness was not always consistent. Boxhall said what you quoted above, but he also said that the vessel was showing her green before he saw the red, and that was when he looked through glasses. It's a difficult problem to sort through. As Dave Gittins wrote in his ebook, Titanic – Monument and Warning:
>>>
It is thus not surprising that when we examine the nocturnal observations of the witnesses from Titanic and Californian, we find that it is possible to prove almost anything. Lights seen from Titanic were white. There were coloured sidelights as well as white lights. There was only one light. There were two. They were lights on a steamer. There was only the single stern light of a sailing ship. They moved. They did not move. They advanced. They retreated. The light may have been a star. The other ship was two miles off. It was ten miles off. It was every distance between.

The witnesses on Californian are just as unhelpful. They saw a big liner. They saw a small ship like their own. It showed two masthead lights. It showed one. The ship moved off. It simply disappeared. It sent up rockets. The rockets came from beyond the ship.
<<<
 

AlexP

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That is exactly the problem that we all face Alex. Eyewitness accounts are all over the place. Even a given witness was not always consistent. Boxhall said what you quoted above, but he also said that the vessel was showing her green before he saw the red, and that was when he looked through glasses. It's a difficult problem to sort through. As Dave Gittins wrote in his ebook, Titanic – Monument and Warning:
>>>
It is thus not surprising that when we examine the nocturnal observations of the witnesses from Titanic and Californian, we find that it is possible to prove almost anything. Lights seen from Titanic were white. There were coloured sidelights as well as white lights. There was only one light. There were two. They were lights on a steamer. There was only the single stern light of a sailing ship. They moved. They did not move. They advanced. They retreated. The light may have been a star. The other ship was two miles off. It was ten miles off. It was every distance between.

The witnesses on Californian are just as unhelpful. They saw a big liner. They saw a small ship like their own. It showed two masthead lights. It showed one. The ship moved off. It simply disappeared. It sent up rockets. The rockets came from beyond the ship.
<<<
I agree.
I think if we are to find some plausible explanation on what happened between the last two rockets our understanding will improve greatly.
In your book, you write that it was not a coincidence that Mr. Stone and Mr. Gibson lost the sight of the
Titanic’s sidelight at the same time Mr. Boxhall lost the sight of the Californian’s sidelight and it was due to
the Titanic’s list. However, as you know at the very same time the appearance of the Titanic’s masthead light
changed, and Mr. Boxhall lost the sight of Californian’s second masthead light. The list could not have done it.
Could you think about any other cause?
 

AlexP

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If the Californian was only 1/2 point off the Titanic’s port bow , the Titanic starboard sidelight should have been seen from the Californian.
Am I right?
If the Titanic was swinging the way you allege she was and around 12:20 a.m. the Californian was half a point off her port bow, starting at 11:40 p.m. Captain Lord, Mr. Groves and Mr. Stone should have been able to see both Titanic’s sidelights together and maybe even her green by itself before they saw her red.
 

AlexP

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One more question for you, Samuel. Mr. Gibson and Mr. Stone lost the sight of the Titanic at 2:05 a.m. (2:17 a,m. Titanic's time). It means that they were able to see the Titanic's lights to the very end. How your "13 miles apart" speculation accounts for this?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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If your question Alex is why would the lights go out at 2:17, it is because the hull split several minutes before the stern section actually sank below the surface and the lights went out at that time. That has nothing to do with distance.
 

AlexP

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In you book, you write:

"We said the port sidelight, at the level of Titanic's boat deck, was then about 20 ft above the water. And to someone standing with a height of eye on Californian's upper bridge at 45 ft above the water, they would see that light disappear if the two ships were about 13 miles apart.."

So the question is what was the altitude of the lights when they went out. Was the masthead light at about 20 feet or higher? Were the deck lights at about 20 feet or higher?
 
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AlexP

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Nice picture! Could you produce a similar one for the time the Titanic’s sidelight disappeared from the Californian’s view?

Could you please also tell me what way the Californian was heading when Mr. Gibson observed the Carpathia's rockets.
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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Could you produce a similar one for the time the Titanic’s sidelight disappeared from the Californian’s view?
I could like the one above but it only shows the degree of trim. There was also a 10° list to port which affected the height of the red sidelight.
Could you please also tell me what way the Californian was heading when Mr. Gibson observed the Carpathia's rockets.
Gibson described the rockets as 2 points before the port beam (1st and 3rd). If they were SSE by compass, the direction described for the vessel firing the 8 rockets, then Californian was pointing SW by compass at the time Carpathia was firing rockets. (Stone said those rockets at 3:20am were in the SSW which cannot be correct because carpathia came up from the SE.)