Chronology - Sinking of the Titanic

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Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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Good point Monica, and I agree that it is a good idea to subject one's own findings to as critical an examination if possible.

All my best,
Tad
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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Hello again George,

Regarding the timing of Collapsible C, you wrote:
"I would need more information before leaning toward Collapsible C at 2 a.m."

You are right that our opinions on this are not too far off (in fact, we agree on some aspects relating to the last boats), but the 5 minute difference between Collapsible C and D, and your 15 minute opinion is a significant one when one looks at some of the details.

Besides the time estimates of those who had something to say regarding how long it was between Collapsible C leaving the ship and it sinking that suggest a time around 20 minutes beforehand, we also have the following statements:

-Woolner and Steffansson both independently gave accounts saying they went right from Collapsible C to A Deck, and caught Collapsible D as it lowered past. Woolner is not alone in suggesting this, although I agree they went down to A Deck because they thought it would be easier to board a boat unobstructed from there. There is no suggestion from either in any accounts that they delayed in going down to A Deck.

-Hemming says that after Collapsible D lowered he went to the starboard side, where Collapsible C had just been lowered.

-Brown says it took 10-12 minutes after Collapsible C left to get Collapsible A down. If C left around 2:00, this takes us to 2:10 or 2:12, which would barely leave time to hook Collapsible A up to the davits before the boat deck submerged, then they had to rush to cut them away, which is exactly what eyewitnesses described as having happened.

If Collapsible C left at 1:45 as you suggest, then according to Brown's estimate, Collapsible A would have been down on deck by 1:55 or 1:57, and there is no reason they shouldn't have been able to get it away, or at least further into the launching process before the boat deck submerged at 2:15.

-Quartermaster Rowe provides key evidence tying the launch of these two boats within five minutes at most of each other. He says when Collapsible C began lowering, the Well Deck was awash. By the time C reached the water, which he says took 5 minutes, he says the Well Deck was submerged. In order for the Well Deck to have been submerged, and not just awash, the forecastle head would have had to be underwater. This means that sometime between the start of Collapsible C lowering, and the 5 minutes it took to reach the water, the forecastle head went under.

According to Quartermaster Bright, the forecastle head was just going under as Collapsible D was lowered. This is another piece that ties the launching of Collapsible C and D together. Sam Halpern is the one who originally noticed this correlation between Rowe and Bright's accounts.

All my best,
Tad
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>You can slander my name all over the place.<<

Moderators Hat On: Nobody slandered anybody and the gloves go back on and stay on. Disagreement is fine, but keep it civil. The same applies to anybody else who cares to participate in this discussion.
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Morning Michael!

As has been said by One who knows:

"forgive them for they know not what they do"

Off for a Continental break lads so you'll be pleased to hear I won't be 'bugging' you for at least a month.

TTFN

Jim.
 

George Jacub

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Hi Tad. I had to wait until I stopped laughing before I could respond.

"So what?" Did you really say "So what?" Why, yes, you did say "So what?"

I couldn't ask for better evidence of the chasm that separates your research from mine.

Watching you be so cavalier about the truth is both shocking and completely expected.

"So what?" You triumphantly declared you were going to put me in my place by presenting what Mrs. Collyer "actually" said. You then proceeded to present a carefully edited and false "reproduction" of a segment of her article (which, once upon a time, you insisted was "highly ghostwritten").

There's a long-standing convention whereby you illustrate to the reader that something has been taken out of a quote by using three dots (...). You, in fact, demonstrated you were aware of that convention by using it elsewhere. Which means that you deliberately omitted a significant observation by Mrs. Collyer in an attempt to mislead readers into believing it was "actually" what she said.

And when you got exposed, your response is "So what?" Priceless.

Can't you see what lasting damage you've done to your own lifeboat launching article, and to your own colleagues whose names are attached? Nobody can ever again believe a single quote in that article, or in any future "research" you provide now that's it's been proven you don't care about accuracy or veracity. So what? indeed.

I've been biting my tongue for a long time, but now I must ask Do you have a problem with reading comprehension?

You wrote: "I must say I am puzzled. For over a year you have been insisting that Murdoch made an appearance at No. 14, and that Collyer somehow supports Crowe's comment to that effect. Now you are saying he wasn't there?"

This was, of course, in reference to Bill's pat on the back for posting the Collyer account---before I exposed how blatantly it was edited.

Bill wrote:
"Thanks for posting the Collyer account, Tad. It should be very clear from reading it that: 1) Murdoch was NOT anywhere around at the lowering of the 'second' or 'third' boat. He had left for somewhere else. 2) Collyer was lowered in the 'third' boat, not the 'second'. And since Lowe got into her boat, it must have been #14."

I responded:
"With (1), I agree. Murdoch had gone by the time the rear aft boats were lowered."

Again I ask, do you have a problem with reading comprehension? Compare two sentences. "Murdoch was NOT anywhere around at the lowering of the 'second' or 'third' boat." "Murdoch had gone by the time the rear aft boats were lowered." Do you understand what those two sentences are about? Here's a clue---both sentences discuss the LOWERING of the aft port boats.

I have never said Murdoch was there to lower the boats, to watch the lowering of the boats, to help with the lowering of the boats, to do anything at all with the physical lowering of the boats. Where in the world did you get the idea that I had?

I have always said that the evidence proves Murdoch left No. 13 and headed for port (Beesley), was seen on the port side by Crowe, whose evidence was corroborated by Mrs. Collyer who also saw Murdoch around No. 14; he then returned to starboard to lower No.15. Mrs. Collyer, who I've quoted extensively, says Murdoch was gone by the time Lowe arrived to take charge of No. 14. Gone, Tad, gone. If he was gone, he wasn't there for the lowering. I hope that cures your puzzlement.

You also appear to have no understanding of how inappropriate cherry-picking evidence is. When you discredit a witness, you discredit everything the witness says, not just the portion you disagree with. When I called you on it, you actually wrote:

"Unfortunately George, that's not how historical research works. You look for points where several eyewitnesses say the same thing and reinforce things."

I'll direct you to that wonderful modern research tool, Google where you will find many references to the use of cherry-picking, which you admit is a part of your research methods. Here's some excerpts from a variety of sites:

* Cherry picking is the act of pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position.
* (to) select only what you like: to sift through, e.g., evidence or options, selecting only what you like or what supports your strategy, plans, or preconceived notions

* (in law) the introduction 'cherry picked' evidence by the defence is regarded as entirely appropriate, because, while such data may not prove something in general, it may be successful in introducing the needed minimum level of doubt to successfully defend the case.
However, when a person with a supposedly neutral position cherry picks, for example journalists, scientists, and judges, that is generally regarded as inappropriate.
You will also be directed to relevant and related definitions in Psychology, such as:

* Selection bias is a distortion of evidence or data that arises from the way that the data are collected. It is sometimes referred to as the selection effect....
toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study or disconfirmation of an alternative hypothesis.

Hi Michael.
You obviously didn't recognize the lyrics to Elvis Presley's 1956 hit (Don't step on my) Blue Suede Shoes.
As a reporter for 30 years, I know all about libel and slander. Rest easy.

Hi Monica.
Welcome to the Thunderdome.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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George,

I again invite you to answer the challenges to your findings that I directed to you in my last two postings, and that others in this thread have directed at you.

Why did you say Collyer says she left in the "second boat" when she didn't? Why did you brush off and not discuss the evidence that some of the starboard aft boats went after the first port aft boats and the officer movements saying it doesn't need to be discussed? Why do you refuse to acknowledge the actual quote Scott gave regarding the two boats he saw? Why won't you answer the question of how Scott could have seen two aft port boats on deck as you say he meant, when if one of these was No. 14, then according to the aft port sequence you and I both think the evidence supports, No. 12 and No. 10 would still have been on deck? What about your argument in your last post that Collyer was referring to port aft boats when she said "first boat", "second boat", etc., when in a previous boat you asked me how I was even sure she was referring to aft port boats? How about the Collapsible C evidence? I could go on and on.

As far as historical research, you are clearly off-base if you think that cross-checking eyewitness statements to see whether an eyewitness' statements are supported or not is cherry picking.

In the case of Scott, as I posted above, his statement that they received the order to go up top at 1:20 is supported by both Dillon's testimony and Threlfall's statements. Hence, we have several eyewitnesses who support Scott here, and lend a fair degree of reliability. When it comes to his statement of the telegraph orders received around the collision, Sam provided conclusive evidence that he couldn't have seen these or the platform from where he was below deck. Therefore we can't rely on Scott's statement to that effect. Some of the things he says can be confirmed, some can't. That's how you conduct historical research.

As I said, eyewitness testimony, whether the witness was trying to be as truthful as possible or not, is never perfect. If there is evidence against one part of a person's testimony, it doesn't mean it is all flawed, or all correct. Nor if one part is accurate, does that mean it all is. To say you have to accept everything they say or nothing, or you are cherry picking is patently ludicrous, particularly when evidence supporting or refuting certain statements a witness made is provided. It isn't a black or white issue. There are all shades of gray in between.

If you really thought you had to accept everything that an eyewitness had to say as accurate, or nothing at all, you never would have included any of Collyer's statements that you think support you in your work, unless you accept that Lowe rescued the survivors of Collapsible B before he went to pick people out of the water, or if you accept her claim that she was in the boat when they went back ro rescue others, when her daughter and crewmembers in the boat say otherwise, etc. She claims both of these things and others in the article that are incorrect.

A better definition of cherry picking would be you forwarding certain statements Scott made as proof that the aft starboard boats left before the port ones, while simultaneously ignoring his statement when asked that the two boats he saw were "Round the ship", "lowered down the ship's side they were then", etc., and that if he did see two aft port boats and one was No. 14, No. 12 and No. 10 would have still be on the ship as well, not just two boats.

As for your above, I won't even respond to the personal insults. Maybe it's because I have a reading comprehension problem and can't understand what you wrote as you suggested, or maybe it's because I refuse to play that game. Your melodramatic feigning of outrage isn't fooling anyone, and only demonstrates that you are either unwilling or unable to take part in a civil discussion of the evidence even when directed to by the moderators on this board.

If all of this upsets you so much, and you don't want to take part in this conversation, nobody is forcing you to.

Kind regards,
Tad
 
Mar 22, 2003
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>>some people know how to listen to witnesses and some don't.<<

There is a difference between listening to what a witness said or wrote about later and sorting out what actually happened or what did not happen. A good example is the discussion concerning which was the last 'big boat' to leave the port side, No. 10 or No. 4, or whether No. 10 went before or after the three aftmost port boats left the ship.

With regard to that last issue of when did No. 10 leave and what baker Joughlin said about that, if No. 10 was the first of the aft port boats to be launched, and since Buley and Evans were sent away in No. 10, then what other boats did they lower before they left the ship in No. 10? There is much evidence that 16, 14 and 12 went away before 10, coupled with quite a bit of evidence that the list over to port had significantly increased by the time time No. 10 was loaded but was only slightly noticeable at best when 16, 14, and 12 were sent away.

Regarding Scott, as I said before, it appears to me that he only heard about the incident of Lowe firing his revolver but did not actually witness the event himself as claimed. If he did witness that event, then he could not have missed seeing No. 12 and No. 10 still on deck. His two boats round the ship on the port side, one of which he and Ranger got into, were not all from the aft port cluster of four boats. I don't think Scott adds anything to the question of which boats went when and in what sequence.

As far as the Collyer article is concerned, there are too many things in it which can be shown that she could not have witnessed. So what from it can be taken as reliable? That bit about Ismay and Lowe seems to me to have been taken from Lowe's confrontation with Ismay over by boat No. 3, after No. 7 and 5 were launched. She admitted reading about Ismay in the papers. As far as I am aware, Ismay was never seen on the boat deck aft that night.

George quoted and emphasized what Collyer wrote: "THERE WERE TWO MORE LIFEBOATS ON THAT PART OF THE DECK." Could she have been talking about No. 3 and No. 1? Hmmm. Eventually, she found (or was she one of the ones who followed?) Lowe to No. 14 and got into that boat with him?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>You obviously didn't recognize the lyrics to Elvis Presley's 1956 hit (Don't step on my) Blue Suede Shoes.
As a reporter for 30 years, I know all about libel and slander. Rest easy.<<

With all due respect, I'm not particularly interested in your career. I'm sure it's been illustrious and rewarding but it has nothing to do with anybody's conduct on this forum.

There are two choices here: Either keep the conversation civil...without accusations of cherry picking, threats of legal action or remarks on anybody's reading comprehension, or we won't be having it at all.

Those are the only two options on the table.

Period.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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George said:

"I have always said that the evidence proves Murdoch left No. 13 and headed for port (Beesley), was seen on the port side by Crowe, whose evidence was corroborated by Mrs. Collyer who also saw Murdoch around No. 14; he then returned to starboard to lower No.15."

Being that our timeline also has always said Murdoch left the aft starboard side (Beesley), I have no quibble with that. But where is your evidence that Murdoch RETURNED to the starboard to lower #15? We know #13 and #15 lowered almost simultaneously, since #15 almost came down on #13, and Barrett said #15 began being lowered 'thirty seconds' after #13.

If there was only 30 seconds between #13 and #15, how could Murdoch return there so quickly - and why?

You still have not convinced me. There is still too much evidence the majority of the aft port boats left before the aft starboard.
 
Jan 10, 2006
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Bill, Tad, Sam,

Perhaps you could explain why one boat on the after-end, Lifeboat 10, was left to sit-- apparently uncovered and otherwise not prepared to be lowered--for around a half hour to forty minutes, during which time all the other boats on the after-end, notably the three other boats on the port side, were prepared, loaded and launched.

Lifeboat 10, according to you, was not even uncovered until ten minutes or so after the three others on the port side were launched, and did not depart until ten minutes after that, at a time when the officers who had been overseeing the launching of boats on the port side had already returned to the forward end, having apparently, by your account, just left Lifeboat 10 to its own devices.

As part of your explanation, you might want to include, how it could be that with all the direct and relatively detailed testimony concerning the loading and launching of lifeboats 10, 12 and 14 (the last having been of course the site of the only documented shooting on the Titanic), that there is virtually no testimony from anyone that the loading and launching of Lifeboat 10 was at all exceptional.

There is no testimony that this boat was left for such a long period of time without being taken care of (including detailed testimony of those involved in the preparing, loading and launching of Lifeboat 10), let alone as to why it would been treated so differently from all the other boats.

There is no testimony as to what presumably would have been a crowd that congregated around this orphan boat, no testimony as to how and by whom that crowd was managed, or more generally as to who was responsible for Lifeboat 10. Neither Lightoller nor Lowe, who were involved in launching Lifeboats 12 and 14, respectively, make any mention of the presence of Lifeboat 10 while these other two boats were being loaded and launched. How could this be?

It seems to me these are major questions concerning your claims about Lifeboat 10 that you have not adequately addressed.

DG
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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Hi David, how are you? I hope that things are going well.

You wrote:
"There is no testimony that this boat was left for such a long period of time without being taken care of (including detailed testimony of those involved in the preparing, loading and launching of Lifeboat 10)."

Despite what you write in your book, Able Bodied Seaman Evans and Buley both say No. 10 was the last aft port boat. Evans not only says that he helped lower No. 12 before No. 10, but that after that boat was away, a steward and himself had to swing out No. 10, and lower it level with the deck, at which point Murdoch ordered him to load it with passengers. It wasn't even prepared for taking on passengers prior to No. 12 being away.

You wrote:
"or more generally as to who was responsible for Lifeboat 10. Neither Lightoller nor Lowe, who were involved in launching Lifeboats 12 and 14, respectively, make any mention of the presence of Lifeboat 10 while these other two boats were being loaded and launched. How could this be?"

Able Bodied Seaman Evans and Buley both state No. 10 went last, as do Rugg, O'Dwyer, Ball, Shelley, Hogeboom, Longley, and Andrews.

Fifth Officer Lowe left in No. 14, so he wasn't on the ship when No. 10 left, so it stands to reason he had nothing to say about it. Lightoller loaded No. 12, and Evans and Buley say Murdoch loaded No. 10. Lightoller gave testimony that there was still an aft port boat left when he came forward to No. 4, and Evans indicates this was No. 10.

Another factor is the list of the ship. As Sam already indicated in an earlier posting, there are no reports of a significant list during the loading of No. 16, 14, or No. 12. In fact, the comments are of only a slight port list, or none reported at all.

At No. 10, we find multiple descriptions of a significant list, that by the descriptions of the amount of space between this boat and the ship, was about 10 degrees. This list was reported at all the later boats such as the collapsibles, but not at the other aft port boats.

Additionally, as Sam pointed out, shortly after No. 10 left the ship, the port sidelight was described as being ten feet above the water. This is the same distance that Lightoller reported Collapsible D had to lower, which indicates a late launch time for No. 10.

As far as the lack of panic at No. 10, there was no panic reported at No. 16, 12, or 10, so no matter what sequence you believe, there was no such panic reported at the surrounding boats.

In your case, you believe that No. 14 went second amongst the aft port boats, followed No. 16 and No. 12. I could posit the same question to you. How was there panic at No. 14, but not the next two boats which you say went later? Either way you look at it, that is not proof of the sequence.

We cover most of this in detail in our lifeboat article, as well as your handling and interpretation of the evidence relating to these aft port boats, in our critique of your lifeboat sequence in your otherwise very interesting and worth-reading book: http://home.att.net/~wormstedt/titanic/crit/Gleicher.htm

Kind regards,
Tad
 

George Jacub

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Sep 28, 2005
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Hi Bill...

The fallacy of your observation is it conflates the time that Murdoch sent #13 down with the time #15 followed. There was an important interval in between.

The idea that Murdoch went to port originated with Mr. Beesley. Remember that Beesley was still on the boat deck. #13 had not yet stopped at A deck to take search for more passengers (or hadn't stopped for long), and he had not yet been invited to jump into the boat.

Murdoch was the officer with responsibility for the lifeboats on the starboard side of the ship. After giving the order for #13 to be lowered to A deck, he still had to get #15 off the ship. I can't imagine he would leave that job to the most junior member of the officer corps. So it's a given that wherever he went, he would return to finish the job on starboard.

I simply asked the obvious question---if he went to port, did anyone see him? And I found that, yes, crewman Crowe had seen him. Crowe was working at #14 boat. Then I discovered that Mrs. Collyer also saw him. And, completely independently, she was connected to #14 as well. Two witnesses seeing Murdoch at #14 cannot be dismissed so easily as coincidence. But she had more to say. She said Murdoch left "before" Lowe took charge of #14 to go to "the other side." As I've said before, if she's at #14 port, the "other side" must be starboard.

There you have it. Full circle A complete loop. He goes, he's seen, he returns. It's like that connect-the-dots game we played as children.

But the next obvious question was what's so special about #14? As I discovered in my research on the loading of the rear boats, just prior to the port boats being launched each boat was being supervised by an officer---Moody at #16, Wilde at #14 and Lightoller at #12. Again, independently, the answer to the question popped up.

Why did the First Officer cross the ship? To get to the other side and see the Chief Officer.
It's a logical inference. With one boat left to fill, Murdoch would go to find his superior officer and ask "What now? Do you need help here? Where do you want me to go next?"

Murdoch had been working the starboard side all night. He would have known that Collapsible C was still waiting to be cleared. It would be logical for him to finish up at the aft starboard boats and simply walk along the deck forward to C. Instead, he wound up at #10.

Which brings us back to the time. All Murdoch had to do was walk across the ship, speak with Wilde, and walk back to pick up where he left off. During that time period #13 was stopped on A deck as sailors went up and down shouting "Any more women." Beesley was invited to jump down. The boat started down and was stopped as more passengers were found and had to be loaded---now down to a boat that likely wasn't exactly level with any deck.

It's only when #13 is finally headed down to the ocean does the clock start and we can measure how soon afterwards #15 followed.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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Hello George,

George wrote:
"The idea that Murdoch went to port originated with Mr. Beesley. Remember that Beesley was still on the boat deck. #13 had not yet stopped at A deck to take search for more passengers (or hadn't stopped for long), and he had not yet been invited to jump into the boat."

Beesley says that Murdoch came "striding along the deck", looked over the side, and "shouted to the boats being lowered: 'Lower away...'"and he passed by and went over to the port side.

One of the boats that Murdoch said "lower away" to was No. 13, which Beesley says was then "swinging level with the rail of B deck", which is how he refers to A Deck in his account. This means his other boat that would be left would be No. 15. No. 13 was already lowered to A Deck when he boarded it, after there was a call for more ladies, and none were forthcoming.

After he jumped down into No. 13, two more ladies were found and boarded the boat, and "As they tumbled in" the "crew shouted" lower away, and as this order was given, a man with his wife and baby boarded, and the boat began lowering as they got in.

According to Beesley's account, No. 13 was already "swinging level" with A Deck when Murdoch gave his order to lower away, and was only on A Deck long enough after the First Officer gave the order to lower away for Beesley, two women (including an overweight woman), and a three-member family (including the infant) to board before it began heading down.

Ray also mentioned the overweight woman and infant boarding No. 13 in his testimony, and says that after the infant was in the boat, they lowered away, leaving three or four men on deck who went along to No. 15, which indicates it was already on A Deck at this time. He describes being pushed aft by the discharge, and saying that No. 15 was "being lowered immediately upon us."

Barrett testified that when he got to A Deck, only No. 13 and No. 15 were left there, and No. 13 was pretty full. After he arrived, No. 13 only took on a few more people before it began lowering away, so he must have arrived close to when Beesley boarded the boat.

Barrett testified that No. 15 began lowering within "thirty seconds" of No. 13. Given the small number of passengers (6, including himself) that Beesley says boarded No. 13 after Murdoch gave his order to the boats to lower away, and how quickly he indicates this happened, it seems extremely unlikely that Murdoch would have had time to cross over to the port side, consult with Wilde, and cross back before it lowered away, particularly given that nobody saw Murdoch do this.

George wrote:
"After giving the order for #13 to be lowered to A deck, he still had to get #15 off the ship."

The problem here is that Beesley says Murdoch gave the order to "Lower away" to "the boats being lowered", not just to one boat, i.e. No. 13, and that Beesley indicates No. 13 was on A Deck. Your interpretation is that he gave the order to No. 13 before crossing to port and would have had to return to order No. 15 away, but Beesley says he gave the order to the "boats" there, not "boat".

George wrote:
"I can't imagine he would leave that job to the most junior member of the officer corps."

You might not be able to imagine it, but the officers were all qualified to lower the boats by themselves. At boat No. 14, Wilde had done some of the initial loading before moving on elsewhere, and the evidence indicates Lowe finished up there on his own, as well as that he was the only officer on the scene when he gave the order to lower away.

At No. 13 and No. 15, we have evidence that Murdoch left the scene in the form of Beesley, but no evidence that he returned as you believe. Littlejohn, Lee and others describe the officer who was A Deck at the time as being the one in charge, and ordering crewmembers into the boat before lowering it away. Lee's description of this officer fits Moody exactly (fifth or sixth officer, drowned, tall/about 6 feet in height, thin, with a pale complexion).

George wrote:
"So it's a given that wherever he (Murdoch) went, he would return to finish the job on starboard."

That is an assumption on your part. We know that Wilde left the lowering of No. 14 to Lowe, so it is entirely possible Murdoch, after No. 13 and No. 15 were lowered to A Deck, where Moody was working, left to attend to matters elsewhere such as helping get No. 10 away. This is what Beesley suggests, and this is what the crewmembers on A Deck suggest. There is the precedent of the senior officers leaving junior officers to finish things off at other boats. It is not that unusual at all.

George wrote:
"I simply asked the obvious question---if he went to port, did anyone see him? And I found that, yes, crewman Crowe had seen him. Crowe was working at #14 boat. Then I discovered that Mrs. Collyer also saw him. And, completely independently, she was connected to #14 as well."

As has been demonstrated time and time again in this thread, Charlotte Collyer does not mention Murdoch in any way in connection with No. 14. Collyer was certainly "connected to #14" as you say, since she was rescued in that boat, but she doesn't mention Murdoch in any way with the boat she was rescued in, which she describes as her "third boat".

Collyer had previously mentioned Murdoch in her account when she described him allegedly preventing crewmembers from coming on deck. This was before she says the order to lower the boats was given.

George wrote:
"But she had more to say. She said Murdoch left "before" Lowe took charge of #14 to go to "the other side."

There is no "before" in the Collyer quote in question. The last time she mentions Murdoch was after saying that the "lowering of the second boat took more time". She describes women being reluctant to go, then says "The Officer in charge was Harold Lowe. First Officer Murdock had moved to the other end of the deck. I was never close to him again".

The key word here is that she says he "had moved", not that he moved at the time the "second boat" was lowering. In any event, this is the last time she mentions Murdoch, and it is before she describes leaving in her "third boat", which was No. 14. Murdoch is not mentioned in connection with No. 14 in any way by her, no matter how many times you say it.

George wrote:
"Two witnesses seeing Murdoch at #14 cannot be dismissed so easily as coincidence."

If two eyewitnesses said this, then I might agree. As has been demonstrated, Collyer says nothing about Murdoch in connection with No. 14, although Crowe does. However, his identification is far from certain, and he was ordered into No. 14 by the "senior officer" he believed was Murdoch. Wilde was witnessed as taking an active role in the early loading of No. 14.

Crowe says he was ordered to man No. 14 by "The senior officer. I am not whether it was the first officer or the chief officer...but I believe the man's name was Murdoch". Crowe was a member of the victualling department, so his uncertainty as to who the officer was is understandable, but the person he is describing was taking part in the loading process of No. 14, ordering him into the boat.

In a previous post you admit that you feel that Murdoch had nothing to do with the loading of No. 14, so Crowe's testimony, if he was correct in the identification, would undermine that.

However, two members of the deck department mention Wilde as being at No. 14, and mention nothing of Murdoch. Poingdestre testified that Wilde was "looking over" No. 14 while he was there loading the boat, which would have been before Lowe finished things off. Scarrott also indicates Wilde was in charge at No. 14 prior to Lowe arriving. All of this supports Wilde having had an active role in the loading of No. 14 before Lowe arrived, which is the role that Crowe's "senior officer" played when he ordered him into No. 14. It is highly likely that the "senior officer" Crowe saw was actually Wilde, given that members of the deck department say he was involved in the loading there, having ordered at least one crewmember into the boat. They mention nothing about Murdoch being on the scene.

Kind regards,
Tad
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Thanks for replying to George, Tad - you did a great job of it.

George wrote:
"So it's a given that wherever he (Murdoch) went, he would return to finish the job on starboard."

And Tad replied: "That is an assumption on your part."

Bingo. There is no direct evidence that Murdoch left 13 for port, and went back again. Only an assumption.

Nothing else for me to say about this, either - Tad took care of it.

David asked for an explanation as to why #10 was left on the deck while 12, 14, and 16 were lowered. Sorry, we don't know, we weren't there. We can *guess* there was not enough crew handy there, or too much other commotion? Or something else? Regardless, there is just to much evidence of #10 going last to ignore, and only Joughin's account that it went first.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Bill said:

>>We can *guess* there was not enough crew handy there, or too much other commotion? <<

I would agree with that:

CLENCH:
When I got back to No. 12 again, the chief officer happened to come along, and he said, "How many men have you in this boat?" There was one man in the boat, one sailor, and I said, "Only one, sir." He looked up, and me being the only sailor there, he said, "Jump into that boat," he said, "and make the complement" - that was two seamen.
Senator BOURNE. That was in No. 14?
Mr. CLENCH. That was in No. 12, sir. That was the boat I went away in.

BULEY:
Chief Officer Murdoch ordered me into the boat, finally, and he said, "Is there any more seamen?" I said, "No, sir."...No. 12 was the last boat before me to be lowered, and Evans was one of the men that lowered that boat [note: Lucas was identified as the other in lowering it], and after he lowered that away I called him and told him Chief Officer Murdoch gave me orders to find a seaman and tell him to come in the boat with me, and he jumped in my boat [No. 10].
Not counting officers, the Titanic carried 32 ABs, 6 lookouts, 6 QMs, 2 master-at-arms, a boatswain and boatswain's mate, all of whom were qualified in clearing and manning the boats. That totals up to 48. By 1:30 a.m., 22 had already left in various boats, and 7 were missing as the result of 2/O Lightoller's order to the boatswain to take a half dozen men and go down to open those gangway doors. They were never heard from again. Only 19 of these rates can still be accounted for on the ship past 1:30 a.m. Of those still on board at that time, 11 were to go away or be picked up by the 8 remaining boats that were launched from davits (No.s 2, 4, 10, 11, 13, 15, C and D). That is why we find so many boats launched late with so few qualified seamen in them. According to AB Lucas, there were (besides himself) only 8 sailors on deck when the very last boat, collapsible D, was being launched. And he was one of those 11 out of 19 sailors to successfully escape from the ship (in D) before it went down.
 

George Jacub

Member
Sep 28, 2005
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Summer arrived in Winnipeg in the last week of August and left today. That meant a hectic week of painting and pruning with little time to respond to any posts. Let me catch up.

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George wrote:
"So it's a given that wherever he (Murdoch) went, he would return to finish the job on starboard."

That is an assumption on your part. We know that Wilde left the lowering of No. 14 to Lowe, so it is entirely possible Murdoch, after No. 13 and No. 15 were lowered to A Deck, where Moody was working, left to attend to matters elsewhere such as helping get No. 10 away. This is what Beesley suggests, and this is what the crewmembers on A Deck suggest. There is the precedent of the senior officers leaving junior officers to finish things off at other boats. It is not that unusual at all.
*****
At No. 13 and No. 15, we have evidence that Murdoch left the scene in the form of Beesley, but no evidence that he returned as you believe. Littlejohn, Lee and others describe the officer who was A Deck at the time as being the one in charge, and ordering crewmembers into the boat before lowering it away. Lee's description of this officer fits Moody exactly (fifth or sixth officer, drowned, tall/about 6 feet in height, thin, with a pale complexion).

****
According to Beesley's account, No. 13 was already "swinging level" with A Deck when Murdoch gave his order to lower away, and was only on A Deck long enough after the First Officer gave the order to lower away for Beesley, two women (including an overweight woman), and a three-member family (including the infant) to board before it began heading down.

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Beesley saw Murdoch leave the starboard side of the ship after shouting at the boats (yes, plural) being lowered: "Lower away, and when afloat, row around to the gangway and wait for orders."

#13 was lowered to A deck, and though it may not have been there long, it was there long enough. Break it down:

A. Crewmen called for women. And kept calling. A crewman spotted Beesley and invited him to jump into the boat. How long would it take for a school teacher to climb up on the rail in a sitting position, throw down his dressing gown, steel himself, then jump down 10 feet or more into the lifeboat?

B. As he picked himself up, crewmen shouted they had found more women. Two women were taken to the boat. But one was moving slowly. (You say she was overweight. Can you direct me to the source of that information? Beesley doesn't describe her.) He said she "was not at all active."

C. Before the boat could be lowered, a man carrying a child and a woman ran up, I'm assuming, to the boat. Again a delay while they were loaded into the already crowded boat.

Individually, each incident didn't take much time. But cumulatively, the delay would stretch beyond seconds into minutes. Three? Four?

Enough time for Murdoch to leave and return.

You say there's no evidence he returned? Leading fireman Frederick Barrett told the British Inquiry that after he got into #13, followed by three more men, he heard an order "from the boat deck". "Let no more in that boat. The falls will break."

Who would be giving orders from the boat deck? Moody was on A deck.

And #15 was still not off the ship!

Oh, and you're assuming Wilde left Lowe alone at #14. Regardless of who was in charge of a lifeboat (i.e. Fourth Officer Boxhall in #2, Third Officer Pitman in #5), there was always another officer in charge of the lowering process. Why would #14 be an exception, especially since there were three officers (Wilde, Lightoller and Moody) clustered in that quadrant.

*********
George wrote:
"After giving the order for #13 to be lowered to A deck, he still had to get #15 off the ship."

The problem here is that Beesley says Murdoch gave the order to "Lower away" to "the boats being lowered", not just to one boat, i.e. No. 13, and that Beesley indicates No. 13 was on A Deck. Your interpretation is that he gave the order to No. 13 before crossing to port and would have had to return to order No. 15 away, but Beesley says he gave the order to the "boats" there, not "boat".
---------------------

I obviously should have been clearer. When giving his last order before leaving Beesley's view, Murdoch was seeing #13 almost at or stopped at A deck and #15 just leaving the boat deck.

Trimmer Cavell says when he arrived at the boat deck "there was (sic) only two boats left, and one they were lowering." He stopped by #15 boat, which means the one "they were lowering" was #13. Cavell said "the Officer" ordered him and four other crewmen into it, then sent it down. Even assuming steward Hart was wrong about loading more than 2 dozen women and children on the boat deck before #15 was lowered, there was a delay between the times the two boats were off the boat deck.

And obviously there had been orders for both to stop at A deck, since both did so. With #13 already there and #15 on its way, it's logical that Murdoch would make sure both boats had reached the ocean safely and were, as ordered, standing by the gangway. A logical assumption?

In fact, the sharp order heard by Barrett ("Let no more in that boat. The falls will break.") indicates the person giving the order, undoubtedly Murdoch, is frustrated at what he's seeing, anxious at what might happen, and thankful he got there when he did.

And David....

You ask the obvious question---why would #10 have been left so late before being cleared and loaded?

I think the answer is found in A.B. Clench's testimony. He cleared the aft port boats starting with #16 and moving forward. It looks as if he simply reached #12 when Lightoller arrived and they started loading passengers. As other officers and crew showed up, they would have gravitated to the already cleared lifeboats.
 
Jan 10, 2006
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George,

I'm sorry but your explanation to me is insufficient, and I think you should really re-think your position about Lifeboat 10, because it will make many of your other difficulties as to what happened disappear.

Clench was one of a dozen or so men who were preparing boats on the afterend from roughly 12:40 to 1:00AM, several of whom were then able to enter boats. While Clench did not go to prepare Lifeboat 10, Evans and Buley testified clearly that they were the ones who did go to Lifeboat 10 and were involved in preparing and eventually loading and launching it.

(By the way, there's no indication in any of the testimony of the men who were preparing the boats of a long gap in time between the preparing of Lifeboat 10 and the other three boats.)

And really, in any case, why on earth would an AB have such an influence on a decision about when to prepare, load and launch a boat?; those decisions were being made primarily by senior officers, and only in a few cases by junior officers, and never an authority less than that.

A larger point here is that Bill, Tad, and Sam have a habit, whether intentional on their part or not, of 'mis-reading' testimony in ways that suit their conclusions. A particularly egregious example of this is Sam's repeating several times, as if it were a fact, the canard that Buley testified that Lifeboat 10 was the last boat on the port side aft to be be lowered to the water and launched.

As I point out in my book, and is evident to many, both Buley and Evans used the term 'to lower' the boat, to mean getting it even with the deck, and by the term 'getting away from the ship' as meaning swinging the boat out from the deck. So that when Buley testified that Lifeboat 10 was the 'last one to be lowered' he was merely saying, most likely, that Lifeboat 10 was the last one to be fully prepared.

This is the testimony.

BULEY The next order from the chief officer, Murdoch (sic), was to tell the seamen to get together and uncover the boats and turn them out as quietly as though nothing had happened. They turned them out in about 20 minutes.
FLETCHER. How do you mean?
BULEY. Uncovered and turned them out. They are on deck, and the davits are turned inboard. You have to unscrew these davits and swing the boat out over the ship's side. The next order was to lower them down to a line with the gunwale of the boat deck, and then fill the boats with women and children. We turned them up and filled them with women and children.
FLETCHER. Where were you stationed?
BULEY. I was over on the starboard side at first, sir.
FLETCHER. Did you lower the boats?
BULEY. I helped lower all the starboard boats.
FLETCHER. That is, to lower them as far as the boat deck, to get the gunwales in line?
BULEY. Yes, sir.
FLETCHER. That is the deck on which the boats were?
BULEY. Yes, sir.
FLETCHER. Not to any lower deck?
BULEY. No, sir; not to the lower deck. We lowered all the starboard boats, and went over and done the same to the port boats. There was No. 10 boat, and there was no one there, and the chief officer asked what I was, and I told him, and he said, “Jump in and see if you can find another seaman to give you a hand.”￾ I found Evans, and we both got in the boat, and Chief Officer Murdoch and Baker also was there. I think we were the last lifeboat to be lowered. We got away from the ship (A, 1912: 603-4).

DG
 

Tad G. Fitch

Member
Dec 31, 2005
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Hi George,
I hope things are going well. The weather has been fairly nice here too, so I'm also trying to take advantage of that while I can to get yardwork done.

George wrote:
“You say she was overweight. Can you direct me to the source of that information? Beesley doesn't describe her…He said she "was not at all active."

Certainly. “Not at all active” was Beesley using the polite terminology of the day to say she was obese. Steward Ray describes the very same passenger boarding No. 13 from A Deck, and says that she was “a rather big woman”, and just like Beesley, right after this describes the baby being passed into the boat right before it lowered.

George wrote:
“Individually, each incident didn't take much time. But cumulatively, the delay would stretch beyond seconds into minutes. Three? Four? Enough time for Murdoch to leave and return.”

Complete speculation on your part. Beesley describes seeing Murdoch leave the starboard aft boats and head to port, but there is no evidence that the First Officer left the starboard side, crossed to port, came back to starboard, the re-crossed to port. Also, Beesley doesn’t indicate any great delay in between him climbing down into No. 13 and it beginning to lower.

Cavell’s testimony is difficult to rely upon, considering that he claims No. 15 took on passengers at A Deck after lowering there, and then was lowered again and took on more passengers at B Deck which was enclosed, but that is a topic for another discussion.

Even taking Cavell’s testimony at face value, it doesn’t support there being any significant gap in between the lowering of No. 13 to A Deck and No. 15 to A Deck.

As you’ve correctly pointed out, Cavell testified that when he arrived on the aft starboard side, No. 13 and No. 15 were still there, and No. 13 was lowering to A Deck.

However, after this Cavell describes stopping alongside No. 15, five of them being ordered into it by an officer, and then No. 15 being lowered to A Deck. (Br. 4294-4321) There is no indication of this taking any significant period of time, and in fact, sounds like No. 13 and No. 15 proceeded to A Deck around the same time, with No. 13 slightly ahead.

Steward Ray stated that once the last few passengers allowed into No. 13 were aboard, there were 3 or 4 men left on A Deck, and that they “went along to 15 boat”, which indicates these two boats were on that deck at the same time.

Barrett testified that when he came up from below to A Deck on the aft starboard side, No. 13 was already “pretty well filled”, and that No. 15 was also on A Deck. (Br. 2116-2135) Subsequently, he describes that No. 15 began lowering “about thirty seconds after us”. (Br. 2170) This indicates that No. 13 and No. 15 were both on A Deck at the same time and lowered very close together.

Littlejohn, while he didn’t give a specific time estimate as Barrett did, said No. 15 began lowering “right” after No. 13. Beesley’s description corroborates that No. 13 and No. 15 were on A Deck at the same time, and that this is when Murdoch crossed to port, i.e., he looked over the side, and "shouted to the boats being lowered: 'Lower away...'", not “boat lowering away”.

No. 15 was one of the most fully loaded boats, to the point of at least three occupants of the boat remarking that the gunwales were uncomfortably close to the water. It took some time to load the estimated 60-70 occupants into it (i.e. Cavell claimed over 60, Rule said 68, Bertha Mulvihill said it was completely full).

No. 15 took on the majority of its passengers from A Deck, Hart is the only one who claims otherwise and might have been mistaken or exaggerating, and he contradicts the crewmembers such as Rule, Nichols, etc., who said most were taken on at A Deck.

If No. 15 reached A Deck significantly or even several minutes after No. 13 did, it is highly unlikely it could have taken on that many people from A Deck and still have lowered within “thirty seconds” of No. 13, almost coming down on top of it in the process.

George wrote:
“You say there's no evidence he returned? Leading fireman Frederick Barrett told the British Inquiry that after he got into #13, followed by three more men, he heard an order "from the boat deck". "Let no more in that boat. The falls will break."

It is pure speculation on your part that an officer is the one who said that, much less Murdoch. If it was Murdoch, it certainly does not prove he crossed back over from the port side in order to say it, since he could have said it before he left for port. Barrett is describing this as happened right before No. 13 stopped taking on passengers, which is around the same time Beesley boarded that boat, which was right after he saw Murdoch cross to port.

When asked, Barrett remarked that he “could not exactly tell you” who gave that order. This could have been one of officers, but it is just as likely that it could have been one of the able bodied seamen who were standing by the falls, and concerned that the load was getting to be too much. They were qualified to operate the davits and lower the boats and had an idea about the capacity. Barrett never specifies who it was so we don’t know.

George wrote:
“Oh, and you're assuming Wilde left Lowe alone at #14.”

That’s not an assumption. Poingdestre and Scarrott both indicate Wilde did some of the preliminary work on loading No. 14, before Lowe arrived from No. 1, since they don't mention him being involved at that point. In the Senate Inquiry, Lowe, was asked who had charge of the loading of No. 14, and he said “I had”. He also says “when I lowered the passengers” indicating he gave the order to lower away.

Lowe stated in the British Inquiry that he didn’t know who was in charge at the aft port boats when he arrived there, and that he had seen 5 boats go away without an officer, and admitted he decided to go away in No. 14 without receiving an order to do so (Br. 15832, 15837).

If Wilde was on the scene when No. 14 lowered away, then it is unlikely Lowe would have left without receiving an order to do so, or that he wouldn’t have known who was in charge. He mentions nothing about Wilde supervising or playing any role at No. 14 when he left, although he does mention Moody at No. 16, and that he saw Lightoller during part of the loading, although he wasn’t there the whole time (we know from testimony that Lightoller loaded No. 12)

George wrote:
“With #13 already there and #15 on its way, it's logical that Murdoch would make sure both boats had reached the ocean safely and were, as ordered, standing by the gangway. A logical assumption?”

Perhaps, perhaps not. As stated previously in the discussion, there were other situations where the senior officers oversaw things, but didn’t stay through the entire loading and lowering, instead leaving that to the junior officers, who were fully qualified to oversee things. Moody was on A Deck after No. 13 and No. 15 were lowered, so it wasn’t as if Murdoch was leaving things unsupervised when he left for port.

As far as the gangways, I can see the logic in your assumption there, but orders had been given to other lifeboats that night to stand by the gangways or to stand by to come back and receive more passengers, and they didn’t do so. The officer on deck had little control over whether the order to stand by a gangway was followed, after the boat was in the ocean.

The ironic thing with this part of the conversation is that we are nitpicking the evidence relating to the officer movements due to our different interpretations of the evidence relating to whether the aft port or aft starboard boats started lowering prior to each other. Other than that timing of the aft and port side in relation to each other, our conclusions on the aft sequences are identical, at least as far as the actual order of the boats.

Kind regards,
Tad
 
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