Captain Lord and the Californian Please Read


Adam McGuirk

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May 19, 2002
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Hello, I have mentioned the Californian a few times but I would like to add a few new things to it.
First of all on this board there has been debate over the three facts which I and many find undebateable but for some strange reason that I can't figure out "Lordites" can't admit they happened because they think Lord was a good never do anything wrong perfect sailor man. Part of the problem is he didn't do anything. Now, I am not going to state facts such as closeness of teh vessels or lives that could of been saved because those can't be proven these can.
1)Officers Gibson and Stone saw another rockets.

Both Gibson and Stone said this happened and it has been documented. Unless someone presents knew information than I won't believe otherwise. Someone told me that maybe they told a few lies like Titanic's crew. Well that doesn't satisfy me because Titanic's crew told a few fibs to make themselves and the line look better. If these guys would have told fibs it would have been stuff like "rockets what rockets?, I didn't see any rockets". But these guys told stuff that made Lord look bad. They wouldn't have said anything to make him look worse so that much be true. Some people in other threads have brought up things such as Stone had a miserable childhood and his reason to go to sea was to get away from his father. Thats totally irrevelant. I think it's pretty bad when "lordites" have to go to a mans childhood to make thier hero look better. I need better evidence than that. I'm pretty sure(correct me if I am wrong) but I think 5th officer Lowe and his father argued to. He was a fine sailor.
2)Stone and Gibson notified Lord of the rockets atleast three times. This is pretty much the same thing. I don't think there is any other evidence that could prove this wrong.
3)Lord did not take the proper actions and wake his radio operator. Now people have said they don't believe this stuff about Lord on April 15th because they look at his carrer and say he was a good sailor all his life(this has been said on other threads). Have people not looked at Titanic's Commander, E.J. Smith? Have they not looked at how a man with an untarnished carreer can make a mistake that costs people thier lives? Some "Lordites" for some strange reason cannot admit this happened even when they have no information to present otherwise. They say its an "opinion" but when something is documented more than once the same way I think It's a fact. "Lordites" never can present any other information. On the thread "Another Night To Remember" when I would ask for them to present information for me to think other wise they would steer clear of it and talk of something else. My interpretation of this is that Lord is thier hero but they can't present info. to make him look better.(Apology to Bill Ajello for debating Californian on a page not for that). I guess you could call me a "Smithite". I admire Captain Smith but I don't have the facination to the point where I can't admit he did wrong that night.

I understand that many of you have done great research on the Californian and I think thats great, you are to the point where you could write a bio on him. I would also like to apologize to Tracy Smith if she thought I came up rude, which was not my intention at all when using capital letters. ANYTHING on Californian can be debateable like closeness to Titanic, but I'm afraid this isn't. If you are debating this you are just being pigheaded.

Thank you for those who read which could easily be my longest post to date,
Adam McGuirk
 

Don Tweed

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Mar 30, 2006
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Adam, good points.
But let's not use the term "undebateable".
Everything is open to debate.
Lord should have come.
Why he did not wake up "sparks" will be the age old question.
Could the Californian have come in time?
We will never know! Hindsight is 20/20 as they say!
If she had come, it might have been a double tragedy! Rescue ship strikes berg on way to Titanic! Who knows? It is all open to conjecture and the stance that one takes on either side will be debated long after were gone!
Let us revel in the fact we can agree to dis-agree and keep posting till the cows come home!!

Best Reguards, Don
 

Adam McGuirk

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May 19, 2002
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Oh good point Don, anythings debateable but what I should have used was "With the facts we have there is no reason why we should debate this. That better?
Adam
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Just a nuetral aside, if there was no reason to debate anything, the Californian or otherwise, there would be no reason for this forum to exist. The fact that discussions continue, and that disagreements happen between people looking at exactly the same evidence suggests to me that there is infinite room for debate.

As I parse this forum, I see any number of points being debated, and questions raised about whether or not the principles involved;

1)really understood the signifigence of the events they took part in, and even exactly what the events were,

2)the layout of the ship,

3)Discrepancies in time and navigation data,

4)Who was on the ship. (You'd think that this would be easy to establish, but anyone who's actually researched this will tell you otherwise.)

5)Where people were and what they were doing at crucial times, and of course,

6)Why did a small freighter stopped in the ice for the night fail to act as perhaps she should have? This is likely the most acrimonious debate of the lot and it's not about to go away.

Like it or not, the debate never ends. If it does, we can kiss any hope of understanding the night of April 14th to 15th 1912 good-bye!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Adam McGuirk

Member
May 19, 2002
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Michael, I know we must debate but my point was I don't see how we could debate the 3 facts that had been documented. You can debate anything else Californian. Titanic we agree that it hit the berg at 11:40 and sank at 2:20 but we debate everything in between. But I have never seen any evidence that would change my three facts.
Adam
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I've never seen any evidence that changes those facts either. What seems to be debated is that those three facts are the beginning and end of the story. In light of the vast amount of very heated discussion I've seen on the subject, I'd have to observe that the answer to that question is a resounding "no".

As these things tend to degenerate into flamewars, I'll leave the thread at this point. But if anybody else is brave enough to deal with it, all I can say is enjoy it!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Sep 20, 2000
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That must be me -- the "brave enough" guy, huh? ;^)

I think Adam once again has some pretty elegant points here. In my mind, what usually devolves these Californian "debates" -- discussions, actually, at best -- into "bloodthirsty rows" is the unwillingness on the part of the Lordite position to squarely address the facts.

If we could agree to some legitimate factual basis -- like the evidence, for instance -- we might be able to resolve any number of minute details involved in the Californian saga. (I'd certainly be interested; always have been.) That wouldn't alter by one iota those three critical factors that invariably lead to a conclusion of negligence, but it could be interesting in its own right.

But if we can't adhere to legitimate underpinnings for proper historical research and debate, why bother? The Lordites can spuriously label facts as "opinion" and propose the silly notion that "all books are equal" till the cows come home, and it won't make a dent. Facts are facts, and anyone who refuses to even acknowledge the evidence is living in a fantasy world. Even Harrison himself, in his Introduction to the 1962 MMSA publication, "The Californian Incident: An Echo of the Titanic Disaster" (Capt. Lord's affidavit and supporting exhibits), specifically cautioned that the merit of the arguments contained in articles reproduced there could only be properly evaluated by reference to the Inquiries themselves. (He was far more conservative in those days.)

A "Debate", as I recall it from High School forensics, involves a discussion of *evidence* -- properly cited, legitimate sources employed in support of factual contentions. It's intent is to resolve issues, not to keep them muddied. In formal debate, UNsupported assertions or mere injections of opinion can lose you points BIG TIME! So if you're smart, you don't even *think* of making a claim if you can't back it up with hard evidence. Should you happen to be called on it, that alone could lose you the whole debate. (Evasions or outright disappearances don't succeed, either.)

The fact that people are supposedly still "debating" the "Californian controversy" -- its overall meaning -- in my mind merely alludes to the fact that there are always some who simply *will* not be convinced, no matter what the evidence.

Some details may be up for grabs, but the basis for negligence was clear in 1912:

1) The Californian observed rockets (distress signals) and failed to respond;
2) The Captain was notified of those rockets three times, and failed to respond;
3) The Captain subsequently initiated a massive cover-up, lying to the Boston Press and beyond.

There's really no legitimate basis for refutation there. (M R Fax!) Might as well claim that water isn't wet.

So, right on, Adam! But I'm afraid if you're waiting for sensible answers to those sensible points, you may be in for a long wait. There are quite a few "closed minds" out there (No, I mean the Lordites) who'll likely be holding out till hell freezes over in anticipation of the day when they can somehow finally "prove" their heartfelt beliefs. Meanwhile, they'll keep busy running interference and baffling us with ...
 
Sep 20, 2000
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"As these things tend to degenerate into flamewars ..."

Mike: If I could make a suggestion -- and it's *only* a suggestion -- it might be helpful if you didn't automatically perceive an inevitable degeneration of these threads into a bloodbath. While it may not be causative, merely asserting that at frequent intervals is a lot like adding fuel to the fire before it's even lit.

We're all grown-ups here, more or less. So if we happen to disagree on a matter of historical record, I think we ought to be able to explain the basis for that disagreement without having to resort to "name calling" or "foot stomping".

(I could be wrong.)
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Offline the board I was recently accused of being a Lordite when merely trying to ask a simple question. I have no inner Love for anybody between Titanic or Californian. I am neither a Smithmite nor a Lordtite, I am a person who enjoys researching for the sake of researching.

But it is words like "pigheaded" when referring to those who would defend their ideas on this board that cause a thread to degenerate. So this is one that has started from the bottom of the dregs at the start, hence the Smithmite, growing up from the bottom and the Lordtite, coming from the top. (That was meant to be a funny. But I am sure even that will be debated.)

I have no love lost for Lord nor his crew. But I am not exactly blindly pro-Smith either. My problem with MY OPINION IS RIGHT and THEIRS IS WRONG sort of thought process based on a narrow selection of evidence (and assumptions), is that is very childish not grown up at all. So, Mike is right. These types of postings prove nothing and only end up going down in flames. Why? Because a debate is not asked for here. A rolling over and simply accepting all that the poster as laid out as truth is all that is requested. Humbly too I might add.

But the truth is that the details above ARE in fact debateable. From a purely scientific standpoint, THE EVIDENCE (like my use of capitals for emphasis too, wow) is used to place people and ships. But the problem that I have with that is that the Californian position as stated in marconi grams and in evidence. However THAT position is questioned and re-positioned to someone's fancy. Why? Not because a new position was reported and verified. No. It is only based on the "FACT" that Californian saw rockets and they must have been Titanic rockets. Where is the evidence that says absolutely without question that the rockets were Titanic's? All of the comments in or out of testimony is admittedly based on the fact that Californian's reported position must have been wrong. And it is wrong based only on the fact that it must be changed in order for it to see Titanic and her rockets. Hmmmm. Now that's objective and scientific. Wow.

And why only Californian? If Californian is to be charged for not attempting to charge to the ice, then Mount Temple should share part of the burden of that charge as well. Californian was sitting in the ice that Mount Temple rushed to arrive at and yet refused to cross. Mount Temple had a wireless operator who heard the distress call and yet stopped within a short distance of Titanic. Californian did not have the many miles to rush across and new about the ice already and was stopped. Same ice, but was it?

And oh third ships, this is even better. Lord lied about a third ship and this is known as the ship would have told. But what if they did not live to tell or if they did not see either Titanic or Californian? These are not my questions. These are questions that have bene raised here time and time again. Based on the evidence and the discoveryof the wreck, there is no absolute proof that the rockets seen were Titanic's rockets without those deciding interjecting a FACT of their own, THAT THE POSITION OF CALIFORNIAN was wrong and it is adjusted to meet the criteria of having been seen either through normal view or refraction. All of these arguments are based on the FACT of moving Californian's reported position which is not only reported but in a marconi gram!

And all the talk of what rockets were rockets and which were not rockets is a mess too. Californian actually testified to two different ships rockets without really knowing it. That is the truth! They saw Carpathia's rockets as she approached and another ship's rockets. It always amazes me that it was proper for Carpathia to come up firing rockets, but a ships signaling to another about the ice could not have been possible when anyone from californian brings it up. Carpathia was not in distress. They were signaling to others. There were a butt load of injured ships and uncontrollable tankers and whatever about in that sea that night. Those signals could have been anything.

Whether or not who told what to whom and what time on either ship IS debateable.

In terms of whether a crew member had paternal problems or not may or may not impact the discussion of the things that happened that night. Just as the officer who committed suicide (if there was one) was debated and one Titanic officer was found to have been in a situation with much family loss and that has been given as the reasons why it may have been him. Even Walter Lord surmised it may have been him if anyone did commit suicide that night. But the point is why is it relevant to titanic and not to californian?

But to say that in this debate that it is made as a statement to merely defend a misplaced admiration of a ship's Captain is mudslinging in my view on the part of those who wish only to defend their own misguided love of a Captain of a sunken ship. And Smith had a lot of mishaps! Lord did not! That my friend is a fact.

Why is there never any report of the Titanic lookouts seeing Californian if they were that close and stayed in the same positions all night?

In regards to my own observations on this thing. The Captain himself had requested that Titanic be notified of the ice and he was aware of other ice warnings sent out. The captain also knew that speedwise that Titanic would have been long gone from the area when crew who had supposedly seen Titanic earlier and he had told them it was a steamer not Titanic and according to the Marconi chart, there were no scheduled ships traveling in that area at that time. And Lord knew that there were several ships that had hit ice in the days surrounding the accident. The ship was in fact not reported as in distress to the captain. The Captain was in fact advised that the ship sailed away.

Why did no one run to aid Carpathia when she was firing rockets?

And John, "3) The Captain subsequently initiated a massive cover-up, lying to the Boston Press and beyond." Adam seems to want to present his facts, not debate. He does not want anyone to argue with him he just wants everyone to roll over and die for him cause he believes that he is right. And then you bring this up. I believe that what you present as fact is debateable and slanderous at best.

I think that Adam is the very thing he hates. He is so in love with Smith that he can not see anything else. And I am with Michael on this one. No purpose in presenting to a fixed mind. Hmmmm, wonder why they call them disucssion threads? Interesting.

And in regards to Tracy, I know and have met Tracy. Tracy and I do not agree on things at times, but one thing that I do know about her is that she is probably the most open-minded person that I have ever seen when it comes to defending the Lord side of things. She is openminded in that she is always willing to listen to a discussion of ideas. And to chnage her mind! But I do not feel that she or anyone else here should have to roll over and die after having someone's "known facts listing" shoved down their throat. That is not a thread discussion, that is a attempted mind control of sorts.

I do not care how old a person is, they still can be mature or immature. Calling anyone who does not agree with you as pigheaded to make a point is not mature, when there are countless numbers of books out there and even the British Report from 1992 had some differing opinions expressed. So what is Adam's great maritime epxerience he brings here or coean deiscovery he has happened on that changes anything?

People with sound ideas regarding anything to do with salvage or even reincarnation (no, not just one particualr individual)can not post here because they will be pounded into the dirt like they are nothing. And disrespected only based on what they think, not based on their research. That is very sad. They have a right to post here like anyone else.

But we have the ET Mafia here, those sworn to protect and to serve, themselves and their points that no one outside the realm of what they believe can post here. I am not pro Lord or against him, but because I have posted these comments, I will be "judged" as one. When all I want is the facts.

I did not ask for the distance on the other thread to defend anything. I wanted it for something I was working on mathematically. But people were so sure about what it was that I wanted it for that they refused to provide the information. That is not mature! Also I was ignored and on other threads jokes about being on topic were made. Fine. This used to be a place to learn and share but it is not like that anymore. Not one person can post anything here without a stun gun being put to their head.

This is a Titanic forum and Californian is a part of that. But Adam and John seem to be pretty satisfied with themselves. I hope that the two of you will be very happy together.

The truth! You both will die stagnant and old men with no new ideas. You will never discover anything because you will tromple it and not even see it. Why can't you simply lay aside the attitude and simply discuss. It is more fun to win and tromple.

Go for it guys. You will be alone in your victory. As an openminded always learning researcher, a middle of the road open discovering researching person who wishes that all thoughts could be posted here, I may be an endangered species, but I hope not.

You are on your own. I am off to work on new things.
 

Adam McGuirk

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May 19, 2002
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In love with Smith? Thats bs. I was simply stating the fact that smith is someone i do research on and compared smithite to Lordite. If i was in love as you stated then I wouldnt be able to admit he did wrong. The thing that got me about your post was you said my facts were debateable but you didn't really present any information to make be believe otherwise. Oh and my "coean" discovery are things that have been documented that I thought we all knew. And the so in love with smith thing had to be your funniest comment that I couldn't see any thing else. If you didnt notice Maureen I was blaming Smtih for a loss of life on Titanic. I just enjoy researching Smtih. The thing I don't like at all is when someone brings up something like just doing a research on Captain Smith and using him as an example they get acused with being in love with him and then some peoplee get so obsessed with Captain Lord and they throw everything around to make him look better and basically are obsessed and with love with him and everyone says that is ok. That makes me mad. And about me and John being the ET Mafia here that got me laughing. Im not trying to be the godfather or anything like that I displayed my post in a polite manner. If you say Im the ET mafia then I guess I can call you that back. You basically acused me of things I didn't do. Im not Al Capone. And were not trying to have anysort of "victory". And you said I displayed what I thought not researched, well I have researched this and read documetns. The thing I think that made me the angry though is when I mention Smith I get acused of being in love with him and Somepeople are in love with Lord to the point where they probally have Lord wallpaper in their house but everyone seems to think thats fine but as soon as I mention Smith someone has to jump on saying im in love with him. And Maureen isn't your obsession with something Titanic something that brought you here? I think we all must have some kind of obsession or big interest with something Titanic. Part of your speech is about being mature when you sound like the 4 year old saying Im in love with something. Im not in love with anything(Well maybe with Titanic, Kate Winslet but thats another matter). The reason I act like I am right is because no one presents new evidence. You presented things but nothing that would change my FACTS. People need to face that Lord was not the sea captain version of Ward Cleaver. But I can't believe you accuse me of being mafia like when you post insults to me.
Adam
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Well, that was an interesting spew. Maureen, I'm sorry to say it, but in most of what you've written there I couldn't agree with you less.

Lord's lies to the press and beyond are neither debateable nor slanderous. They're actually quite readily demonstrable, just like those other facts. All you need to do is look at the Boston newspapers! (Dave Billnitzer has the scans on his web site; see "Boston Press".)

For Pete's sake, Lord insisted they didn't see ANYTHING! He named *Stewart* as the man in charge of the middle watch! His log book was completely blank with regard to any unusual occurence on the night of April 14-15! Those falsehoods aren't obscure -- they're right out in plain view.

Opinions are just dandy, but they don't supersede evidence when it comes to historical research. And who the heck is telling *anyone* what they can or can't discuss here, other than perhaps you? Frankly, I could care less what people choose to discuss. But don't expect me to stand idly by and swallow obvious factual distortions, hook, line, and sinker. (Not my style; sorry.)

If I'm supposedly "jaded" -- if that's what you're insinuating -- I'd rather be jaded by the facts than inspired by any fiction. Adam's post didn't exactly arise in a vacuum, either. He met with a good deal of static, as did others on Bill Ajello's movie thread who "dared" suggest that the Californian should be realistically depicted in a remake of ANTR. On and on this went. At Bill's request, it was Adam who migrated the "discussion" over to *this* topic group, then suddenly no one had anything more to say.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander! If Lord's apologists want to merely run interference on unrelated threads, then suggest WE should be directing our attentions here, the same applies to them. And facts should be answered with facts.

The rest, if you want to go over it piecemeal, I'll be more than happy to discuss with you. But there's simply too much there, and a lot of it's mistaken. (Warning: Don't expect me to express any opinions without labelling them as such.)
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Adam: I'm sort of a a GILL-ite myself.

After all, if it weren't for good old Ernie, we might never have had the opportunity to engage in these ~lovely~ discussions. ;^)
 
May 12, 2005
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All,

Although I agree very much with the stance taken by John and Adam on the Californian's responsibilty/liabil ity, I must say a word in support of Tracy and Maureen, both of whom are fair-minded, thorough researchers. I'm also not entertained by the exploits and tediousness of some of the more vocal Lord defenders but I just don't see Tracy, who is so painstakingly researching Lord's public and private selves, as being among this idiotic camp.

Her motive, as she has explained it to me, is to get at the truth of Lord as a man (not only as a captain) and I also know from speaking with her that she has made great strides in putting together elemental pieces of a very remarkable puzzle. While we may disagree as to the extent of Lord's ultimate culpability, we do not disagree on the need to document unbiasedly the man's life and career as a whole, so that his actions/inactions on April 14-15 might be better understood. Moreover, I applaud her for pursuing so steadily her project in the teeth of criticism and taunting.

As for Maureen, there are few researchers more sensitive and genuine and willing to help others, than she. She has been grossly misunderstood in the past and deserves more respect than she has received. Like Tracy, she has been a kind friend to me and given of her time and expertise to assist me in my own work.

I just felt the need to lend my voice to supporting these two ladies who are not only longtime and faithful friends of this forum but are real assets to ET.

Randy
 

Eric Paddon

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Jun 4, 2002
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"Where is the evidence that says absolutely without question that the rockets were Titanic's?"

Uh, excuse me but that is turning the entire process of basic historical methodology upside down by my reckoning. The evidence is (a) the Californian saw rockets fired and (b) the Titanic at the same time fired distress rockets. That is what is known as evidence, and the *only* basis for which the conclusion that the Californian saw Titanic's rockets can be questioned is if you come up with the name of another ship in the North Atlantic that night that is known to have fired off distress rockets or rockets of any kind. The burden of proof is on your side to come up with concrete answers as your alternative and not to simply ask questions that avoid giving an ultimate answer.

"The Captain subsequently initiated a massive cover-up, lying to the Boston Press and beyond." Adam seems to want to present his facts, not debate"

No, that's what is known as quoting from the factual record. Lord *did* lie to reporters and the proof of those lies are to be found in the Boston newspapers which Leslie Reade cited.

I think what amuses me most about these Californian threads is that Captain Lord's defenders seem determined to do two things. First, they try to assume a relativistic posture with regard to evidence by suggesting that evidence is merely "opinion" and that there can be no certainties of the historical reality of what happened no matter how strong and solid the evidence is, especially with regard to Captain Lord's basic negligence. But it is not opinion to note that Captain Lord engaged in negligent conduct by refusing to wake up his wireless operator or to acknowledge the possibility of distress rockets being fired, nor is it "opinion" to note that Lord lied and covered up afterwards. These are not trivial points in the overall scheme of the Californian debate and I think what frustrates me most is how the Lordites in this forum think that the only way to address these points is to trivialize or ignore them. And in the end, they do their side of the argument no more credit than Leslie Harrison did with his yarns about the Samson etc.
 

Adam McGuirk

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May 19, 2002
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Randy I understand that. I know they are both great researchers but what you seem to missed was that my first post was polite but it was Maureen not me who was rude. I think calling me and John mafia Et is rude even though she sounded like the ET dictator, telling us what we can and can't post. I know that Tracy does great researchers but sometimes when the facts are documented more than once and for a reason you disagree you bring grief on your self. I know they are both respected and I respect them just like everyone else in the forum. I do know that hardly anyone respects me though. Neither of them have presented evidence that would change the facts I listed. They steer clear of that and start throwing all this fake stuff like Maureen did. I started the post hoping it would be a calm debate she was the one who started the rudeness. IF Tracy and Maureen have evidence than I would like to see it.
Adam
 

Adam McGuirk

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May 19, 2002
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. "He is so in love with Smith that he can not see anything else"..........Maurr en give one could example where you got idea. I said the word admire. another example of you turning what I said around."I think that Adam is the very thing he hates." This one made me laugh. Thats nonsense. You know what I hate? Its when I present my facts not wanting to debate and someone like you turns everyword I say upside down with the intention of starting a war.
Adam
 

Adam McGuirk

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May 19, 2002
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Oh one more thing Maureen about you saying the rockets weren't Titanics......Do you think ships were just sailing through lighting off rockets........"You know we could hit something, sink and need them but lets just shoot rockets off like its the 4th of July!"
 
May 12, 2005
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Adam,

We all respect you. You have made valid points. And yes I did miss the "Mafia ET" charge. But she could not have been serious. And if I know Maureen, she'll apologize.

But, please, there have been enough upsets on this board not to need another one. Imagine me, thought to be such a classless instigator, trying to call for peace! This should cause some cackles.

Anyway, let's try to muzzle this one. It's too bad that every thread on this subject deteriorates. Can we try to salvage the discussion this time?

Randy
 

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