Capt Moore of Mount Temple


Mark Baber

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The Washington Times, 27 April 1912
92179.jpg

CAPT. JAMES HENRY MOORE
Master of the steamer Mt. Temple, who explained iceberg tests in testimony before Senate today.
 

perezellen

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SS Mount Temple was a Canadian Pacific Lines cargo ship that was sunk during the First World War by the German commerce raider.In 1916, while crossing the Atlantic with horses for the war effort and carrying a large number of newly collected dinosaur fossils, she was captured and scuttled complete with her cargo.The SS Mount Temple set out on 3 April 1912 under the command of Captain James Henry Moore, setting sail from Antwerp bound for St John's, New Brunswick, transporting over 1400 immigrants to Canada. Moore was a highly experienced ship's master with over 30 years logged at sea.
 

Ajmal Dar

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i am fascinated about capt. henry moore of the mount temple. he claimed in the us enquiry that he saw a si gle funneled schooner coming from the direction of the titanic and he estimatec it to be13.5 kiles from the position of the titanic whichnis where he wax headed. he also stated that he heard its horn and took evasive manouvers to avoid a collision stating that the schooner was about 1.5 kils rom his ship.
do you have any additional information about this claim.
 

Scott Mills

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Ajmal, this claim is largely used as fodder for other theories for the 'mystery ship' like the Samson; however, Captain Moore is the only person who testifies to seeing a 'schooner' at any point on the night of the sinking. Indeed, no other ship in the immediate area--neither Carpathia or Californian--reported seeing that ship, and no other ship steaming towards the sight of the sinking during the early morning and during the day of the 15th reported seeing a schooner.

Captain Moore's testimony is very questionable, and leads one to believe he is hiding something. What that is, I am personally unsure. Again I recommend the book Trial of Mount Temple if you have not read it already. That is the only book on that covers in detail the actions of Mount Temple during the Titanic sinking and after, and is very well researched.
 

Jim Currie

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Ajmal, this claim is largely used as fodder for other theories for the 'mystery ship' like the Samson; however, Captain Moore is the only person who testifies to seeing a 'schooner' at any point on the night of the sinking. Indeed, no other ship in the immediate area--neither Carpathia or Californian--reported seeing that ship, and no other ship steaming towards the sight of the sinking during the early morning and during the day of the 15th reported seeing a schooner.

Captain Moore's testimony is very questionable, and leads one to believe he is hiding something. What that is, I am personally unsure. Again I recommend the book Trial of Mount Temple if you have not read it already. That is the only book on that covers in detail the actions of Mount Temple during the Titanic sinking and after, and is very well researched.
Captain Moore's testimony and his records are exceedingly "questionable", Scott (if you are still around).
Consider that .....
1. He said he received an unofficial distress message before he received the official one.
2. He said he turned his ship at 12-30 am but his wireless log says the official notification of distress was received at 10-25 pm EST which unaltered time was 12-11 am ship time...a full 19 minutes before it was delivered to him.
3. He said he turned his ship immediately and his wireless log recorded he had 50 miles to steam to the revised distress position.
4. He said his ship was a 11.5 knot vessel therefore his steaming time should have been 4 hours 20 minutes at Full speed.
5. He said he stopped his ship and went Full Astern at just after 3 am.
6. He said he stopped his ship again at 3-25 am when he was 14 miles away from the revised distress position and proceeded ahead very slowly thereafter.
7. He said he reached a position at or close to the distress position at 4 -30 am.
Now let's see if we can untangle the truth from that tortuous tale.

To begin with, I suspect that Captain Moore's bridge officers did not keep a running log of events and that the foregoing evidence was concocted long after the event...retrospectively. However, his engineers would have kept a movements book giving times and values of engine movements.
An 11-5 knots vessel underway at full speed for 4 hours will steam a distance of exactly 46 miles. More to the point: for 3 hours at Full Speed she would only have covered a distance of 34.5 miles. It follows that if she covered another -say-1.5 miles in the next 20 minutes, she would have 14 miles of a 50 miles total distance, still to run. So far, so good.
However, Moore said he was more or less at the revised distress position an hour and 5 minutes later at 4-30 am. This is where he could have been caught-out in his first big lie. How was it possible for an 11-5 knots ship to cover a distance of 14 miles in 1 hour 5 minutes while proceeding at Slow speed?

I am sure that others have spotted Moore's "deliberate" mistake and in doing so have woven Mount Temple into the mystery vessel puzzle. However, for any vessel to be included in the Mystery Vessel "pool", they must have been within 30 miles (Signal maximum range) of the sinking Titanic before she fired her last distress signal which was at 4-47 GMT, 11-47 EST and according to Captain Moore, 1-33 pm on the Mount Temple. So was she within that range?

If we peel aside Captain Moore's waffle, and we know Mount Temple was stopped at 4-30 am against the western side of the pack ice barrier at a point which was approximately 9 miles east of the distress position, then we can work backward toward in time to determine a DR position for her at 1-33 am Mount Temple time that morning when Titanic fired her last signal . For this, I will use an estimated latitude for her stopped position of 41-52'N.50-03'W, From that position, we will run on reverse course as follows:
4-30am to 3-25am = 4.0m
3-25am to 3-00am = 1.5 m
3-00am to 1-33am = 16.7 m
Total 22.2 m on a course of 243 True

This places the Mount Temple at 41-42'N, 50-29.5'W. which is 25.5 miles on a bearing of 265,4T from the sinking Titanic and well within the sighting range of her distress signals.
A plot of the foregoing shows that position relative to the position of the sinking Titanic. If it is anywhere accurate, then it proves beyond doubt that Captain Moore most certainly saw at least one of Titanic's distress signals and probably saw two or even three. Not only that, but as he reduce the separation distance between the vessels , he most certainly would have sighted Boxhall's green flares - probably around 3 am that morning when they would have been no more than 11 miles away on his starboard bow

Moore lies.jpg

By the way, unless she went around in a wide circle, she could never have been the mystery ship.
 
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Jim Currie

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Jim, Scott last visited us last June.
That's a pity, Brad, However, if I may, I will continue this analysis by sharing an extract from my notes for my book.

Having established a likely scenario for the final hours of the Mount Temple's rescue dash before the pack ice barrier intervened, we can now look at another bit of controversial Mount Temple evidence.
It concerns a sworn affidavit from one of her passengers, a Dr. F. C. Quitzrau. which was submitted in Washington on Day 10 of the US Inquiry. In it he claimed:

1. "about midnight Sunday, April 14, New York time, he was awakened by the sudden stopping of the engines;"
2. "stewards and passengers, who informed him that word had been received by wireless from the Titanic that the Titanic had struck an iceberg and was calling for help."
3. ""Orders were immediately given and the Mount Temple course changed, heading straight for the Titanic"
4. "
About 3 o'clock New York time, 2 o'clock ship's time, the Titanic was sighted by some of the officers and crew"
5. "that as soon as the Titanic was seen all lights on the Mount Temple were put out and the engines stopped and the boat lay dead for about two hours"
6. " that as soon as day broke the engines were started and the Mount Temple circled the Titanic's position."

Setting aside the obvious time difference errors; if we believe Captain Moore turned his ship at 12-30 pm and we believe the first part of Dr. Quitzrau's sworn affidavit that the ship stopped "about midnight", then this suggests that Captain Moore stopped his ship when he first received the unofficial distress position and that she was stopped for about 30 minutes to assess the situation. Not only that, but that the first distress call was received just around midnight. However, in his evidence, Captain Moore stated that he did not receive the amended distress position until after he had turned and was on his way to the first distress position and that was after 12-30 am. This suggests a minimum 30 minute gap between receipt of distress calls which we know is fantasy.

To help unravel this mystery, we must try and determine the New York -Eastern Standard Times - of these two signals. Fortunately, we have two witnesses to help us do this. These were Titanic's 4th Officer Boxhall, who delivered the amended distress signal to the wireless room and her surviving wireless operator, Bride who was present when the first one was sent out.

Bride should have relieved his boss, Philips at 2 am on the morning of April 15. If he had done so, Phillips would have had to serve part of the planned 47 minute clock change. Since it is inconceivable that Bride would have relieved Phillips at unaltered midnight,- 9-58 EST - thus not only giving-up 2 hours, but 2 hours and 47 minutes, of sleep time rest- It is therefore highly likely that he served the first half of the planned clock change (23 minutes) in bed and agreed to relieve Phillips no later than 10-21 pm EST.
From his evidence, we know that Bride was in the middle of change over when Captain Smith arrived in the wireless room with the first distress position for transmission. It follows that since that distress call was transmitted immediately, it was done so at or before 10-21 EST.
Fourth Officer Boxhall calculated the amended distress position shortly after he had called the Titanic's officers and at the beginning of the process to make-ready her lifeboats. That was just before 10-25 pm EST.
From the foregoing we have timings as follows:
First (Captain Smith's) distress signal transmitted at or before 10-21 pm EST.
Second Officer Boxhall's distress signal transmitted at or before 10-25 pm EST.

The difference between EST and ship time on an unaltered clock on the Mount Temple was 1 hour 46 minutes, Therefore, the unaltered ship time of receipt of the first distress message on Mount Temple would have been about 12-07am. Her wireless log recorded the second signal as being received at 10-25 pm EST which was 12-11 am. - 5 minutes later, so everything seems to dove-tale, with Dr. Qhitzrau's "about midnight" timing of the first event. However, Captain Moore swore that it was after 12-30 am when he received the first distress position and after that when he received the second, amended distress position. So what of the Captain's missing 23 minutes?
Now consider this:
If Mount Temple's voyage had not been interrupted, she would have been close to 50-15'W at Noon on April 15 and her clocks would have been retarded 23 minutes at midnight on April 14th so as to be correct at Noon the following day. However, if Captain Moore had forgotten to set his clock back before going to bed and it showed 12-30 am, then the correct ship time would have been 12-07 am. But as we have seen, the unaltered time would also have been 12-07 am. The plot thickens?

There has been a great deal of criticism of the good doctor's affidavit, and rightly so. However, setting aside for a moment, reference to other incidents described in his affidavit, we should ask why it was that such a learned man should make such specific time observations i.e. "about midnight" concerning something which was no longer part of his life?
His evidence is a mish-mash of snippets from other stories, but item No.4 in the list above creates a real problem. In it he states that the ship time was an hour behind New York time which we all know is completely wrong. I suspect that he got his times mixed up and that this part of his story relates to to 3 am that morning when Moore stopped his ship with an astern movement after sighting what he described as a "sailing ship".
 

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