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By the way, I do expect Michael Standart to come along and say something on the order of, "Mark, that didn't actually happen; it's just another myth," but keep in mind that I am going on Bride's own testimony that it did happen. Again, if I am wrong on this, can someone please provide a source which discusses the issue of the life belt-stealing stoker/fireman? Thanks.

--Mark
 
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>>By the way, I do expect Michael Standart to come along and say something on the order of, "Mark, that didn't actually happen; it's just another myth," <<

Why? As you pointed out, it is a matter of official record entered into evidence under oath. If it's a myth, then it's one that Bride himself started.
 
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Mark,

I don't know how much the publisher will charge for the book, but that's the least of my worries. First, I have to meet my deadline and there are serious obstacles to that. I may soon be asking for a year's extension.

The Marconi Room was completely destroyed in the sinking. Equipment there was scattered to who-knows-where ( I suspect that some of the debris in Stateroom Z came from the Marconi Room). If there was a body there, I expect that it too was blown out of the room. Even if the body stayed put, it would most likely be buried today under the accumulation of silt that is pervasive throughout the interior of the wreck.

It occurred to me the other day that there might be circumstantial evidence that could somewhat corroborate Bride's story about the stoker. I'm still developing that theory, though.

Parks
 
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Michael, that wasn't an attack or judgement from me. At the time I posted the second message, a fleeting thought came to me of the possibility that I may have been misunderstood as implying that it actually happened and that I may have been wrong. I was merely preparing for that possibility.

Parks, I am eager to read up on your theory of the stoker. What evidence did you find thusfar? I'm curious now. Whether or not the theory is yet fully developed, would you be willing to share it with us?

--Mark
 
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>>Michael, that wasn't an attack or judgement from me.<<

And I didn't take it as such. Whether it's a myth or not would make for an interesting discussion. I don't know if Parks is in a position to publish his data here, but if he is, I'd love to hear it.
 
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I want to make it clear that I have not uncovered any new evidence about Bride's stoker story. Instead, I may have a different interpretation of existing and available evidence. I want to pursue the details of the event further to see if I'm missing anything obvious, but I have several things higher up on my priority list that need to be handled before I chase this other thought.

I've been burned too often in the past when I have presented half-developed theories as trial balloons, only to have them thrown back at me as proof of my own stupidity during later debates. No more. I may not have the correct answer for everything, but thanks to past experience I will bring to discussion a theory only when I'm ready to defend it. My theory concerning Bride's stoker story is not yet solid enough for me to defend. I realise that this is a frustrating answer, so I will say in the interim that I believe Bride's account.

Parks
 
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Okay. Just thought I'd ask. I understand not wanting to be torn to pieces. There are individuals on the Internet that sit and wait to specifically do that to people. You have to be careful...and responsible. I was just curious and look forward to reading it when you feel it's ready.

Take care
 

Inger Sheil

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You've got me intrigued again, Parks! I'm fascinated by the possibility of a new theory re the stoker incident.

The stoker story - like the amount of time Bride spent under Collapsible B - is a bit problematical because of the differing accounts (and lack of collaborative witnesses, an inevitable problem with many of the Titanic anecdotes. It is possible, however, that the NYT reporter altered some details that Bride gave in order to make him the more proactive figure, which would explain discrepencies between the earliest version and his later testimony.
 
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Of course, Inger. That goes without saying. The only evidence we have that it even supposedly happened is Bride's testimony because he's the only person involved who survived to tell about it (unless there had been someone else in the corridor or nearby who saw it happen, say, through the door to the Marconi Room, but we have no proof of this). At this point, we may not know exactly how it happened, just that it happened. In any case, we cannot deny it, even if there were inconsistencies between the media's account and Bride's. We can only presume that his official testimony describes the account most accurately, unless he was trying to make himself appear as the proactive figure (but then again, why would he do that?). This is one case in which eyewitness testimony is the ultimate authority, since no other evidence can be provided--not even logic or common sense (remember that it was a state of panic, even for these two, so their hasty reactions may not have been the most rational, especially if/when they unexpectedly come across a stoker who tries to take a life belt from them and they only have time to react).

Anyway, I look forward to reading Parks' theory when it's ready. I'm sure that it'll be most interesting.

Take care
 

Inger Sheil

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I'm afraid it doesn't really 'go without saying' that there is possible media misinterpretation/misrepresentation of Bride, or possibly a deliberate misrepresentation or genuine error by Bride himself regarding the different versions of this event, Mark - the discrepencies and possible scenarios they raise are obvious to me, to you and to many others, but unfortunately it's far from universally recognised - indeed, many are unaware of the problematical elements of Bride's accounts, and the possible implications of these difficulties. They assume the stoker incident took place as per at least one of the accounts, that Bride was trapped under B in an airpocket, that 'Autumn' was the band's last song, and that he is a source for the claim that Philips died on collapsible B.
quote:

At this point, we may not know exactly how it happened, just that it happened.
Well, not necessarily. As you point out yourself, Bride is the only known witness to the alleged incident so we are utterly dependant on his word as to whether it occured, and some have questioned whether anything happened involving a stoker at all, let alone as he described it (whichever version you go with that he is reported to have given). I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt as, if there's no corroborative, there's no contradictory evidence either, but I don't think we can say with absolute certainty that something happened involving a lifejacket and a third party.
quote:

In any case, we cannot deny it, even if there were inconsistencies between the media's account and Bride's. We can only presume that his official testimony describes the account most accurately, unless he was trying to make himself appear as the proactive figure (but then again, why would he do that?)
.
We do not know, however, whether the inconsistencies originated with Bride or with the media - the NYT story might have been reporting exactly what Bride told them in the interview. Given that the version provided at the American inquiry is modified so that it is Philips, rather than Bride, who does the striking (in the original version it was Bride himself), it is possible that Bride decided to modify the version of events that he related to the inquiry to avoid the suggestion that he had been the one to beat the man.

Playing devil's advocate, Bride had motivation to make his story interesting and dramatic - he was getting paid for it when he related it to the NYT. Once his sensational report had been published, he could not really back down at an inquiry and - if the incident was exagerated or invented - deny the information he had given in the interview...although possibly he might modify it (e.g., to make Philips the man to strike the blows). It wasn't the only colourful incident that poses difficulties for the modern researcher in his accounts either - witness the purported airpocket under B, which - in spite of the fact he downplayed it at the British inquiry - still features in many accounts of the disaster. The discrepencies in versions Bride gave of events did not escape some of those questioning him in 1912 - in one version he spent some time in an air pocket under collapsible B, in another there was no air pocket and he was there mere moments. He had no explanation for these different versions at the British Inquiry when he was asked about them by a clearly skeptical cross-examiner.​
 
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>>I'm afraid it doesn't really 'go without saying' that there is possible media misinterpretation/misrepresentation of Bride, or possibly a deliberate misrepresentation or genuine error by Bride himself regarding the different versions of this event, Mark<<

With all due respect, Inger, you've once again misunderstood me. The "goes without saying" refers to the fact that there isn't a lot of evidence or eyewitness testimony to support the story, and there isn't. I am aware that the discrepancies are not recognized by a lot of people because such inconsistencies have not really been publicized. It's a matter of doing research and studying the different documents to find the incongruities between the testimonies relating to a particular event. Like many people here, I've been doing research on the Titanic for a very long time.


>>I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt as, if there's no corroborative, there's no contradictory evidence either, but I don't think we can say with absolute certainty that something happened involving a lifejacket and a third party.<<

I apologize for short-changing myself here, because I forgot to relate my entire perspective on this, which I have, though, related to Parks through email. I do agree that since Bride was the only survivor who was involved in that incident, he would know better than anyone. Yet, all we know thus far is what he has said. Considering the media's play on the story, there is the mere possibility that he could have been paid to create the story for sensationalism or as a form of cover-up. At this point, we have no proof; all we have is his testimony and the media's somewhat conflicting account. Therefore, any other theories presented (such as the "pay-off" possibility that I postulated as an example), are only assumptions. Never jump to conclusions, although it is acceptable, in my opinion, to postulate ideas, which is not the same as asserting information as fact. In order to ascertain whether or not Bride was telling the truth or creating fancy, we would have to delve into his background and character. Did he have a history of lying or making up stories? Did or didn't he have a good, solid character when it came to relating his observations?. . . until we know, we can't say for sure that it happened, only that he claimed it had happened.


>>Playing devil's advocate, Bride had motivation to make his story interesting and dramatic - he was getting paid for it when he related it to the NYT. Once his sensational report had been published, he could not really back down at an inquiry and - if the incident was exagerated or invented - deny the information he had given in the interview...although possibly he might modify it (e.g., to make Philips the man to strike the blows).<<

Agreed, but at this point, unless we have evidence of this, it's still speculation--one of those theories that serves as an assumption. As a matter of fact, this was one of the ideas that I thought about regarding the story. That's where doing research into Bride's background and character would bring forth some clarification.

>>He had no explanation for these different versions at the British Inquiry when he was asked about them by a clearly skeptical cross-examiner.<<

That wouldn't necessarily mean that he had any ulterior motives, just, perhaps, poor memory. Of course, what I've read about Bride, he seemed to have a keen sense of observation, though that's just what I've read. Remember, too, that he was most likely under some anxiety at the time (who wouldn't be?), so that's liable to affect his memory later on (I don't have a background in psychology, so please don't hold me to this). Still, that's yet another speculation . . . ;)

Anyway, it was nice talking with you, Inger. I appreciated hearing your thoughts on the matter. I look forward to chatting with you again on another Titanic subject.

Take care

--Mark
 

Inger Sheil

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Apologies for misreading what your 'goes without saying' comment, was directed at, Mark - you didn't indicate what you were responding to in my post (it didn't 'go without saying', you could say
happy.gif
). As my reference to lack of collaborative witnesses was simply an aside (and it should have been a parenthentical aside - I lost the closing bracket), I assumed you were addressing the main point of my post with your opening line, which was the problematical nature of Bride's differing accounts.

I'd say that we're pretty much on the same page regarding possibilities with Bride's accounts and the incident in question, the need for more data and the inherant problems we face in reading and evaluating his accounts.

Re-reading the NYT story of Bride heroically tacking the stoker reads quite differently from his inquiry evidence, as with the 'airpocket' incident...you can almost see the eyebrows quirked at the British Inquiry over some of his evidence ('...one likes to be satisfied we have got hold of the same gentleman who gave evidence in America...'). I'm hoping that the upcoming work on Bride by his family, as well as Parks' research, sheds more light on the operators evidence and character. Parks has done some great work on the physical evidence left in the Marconi rooms - his reading of the material left in the silent room was one of the most fascinating things to come out of the last Cameron expedition, and I was intrigued by his email explaining how his research possibly has a bearing on this discussion.

I'm sure we'll have plenty of other Titanic subjects to discuss, Mark!
 
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