Chronology - Sinking of the Titanic

Status
Not open for further replies.
Dec 6, 2000
1,384
1
166
David wrote:

"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."

Here we go again!

David, obviously we (Behe, Fitch, Halpern, Layton) feel that YOU mis-interpeted the testimony to prove your own points! You go on and on with a very convoluted explaination that Buley and Evans *actually* meant they lowered #10 to the *side* of the ship. However, as we've shown in our article at http://home.att.net/~wormstedt/titanic/crit/Gleicher.htm, it is you who have twisted what they actually said. And also mislead your readers as to what Poingdestre said too. Only Joughin said #10 was first.

In your evidence above, you conveniently skipped this (Amer. 605):
Senator SMITH. Was No. 12 filled with women and children?
Mr. EVANS. Yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. How many were put into it?
Mr. EVANS. I should say, on a rough average, there was about 50, sir. There was one seaman standing in the stern sheets of it.
Senator SMITH. Were there any other men in it?
Mr. EVANS. No, sir; I did not notice any other men in the boat. She was swung out on the davits.
Senator SMITH. And you did not notice any men?
Mr. EVANS. I could only see a seaman there.
Senator SMITH. One seaman, or more?
Mr. EVANS. One seaman; yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. That boat was lowered. Were there any male passengers in there; any members of the crew, males?
Mr. EVANS. I did not notice any. After we got them into that, I sung out to the seaman: "How many have you got in that boat?" I said: "Ginger, how many have you got?" He said: "There is only me here." I lowered that boat, sir, and she went away from the ship. I then went next to No. 10 ….."

Unless Evans put people in the boat *before* lowering it to the deck, a ridiculous notion, he definitely is saying #12 left before #10. He obviously means the boats were at the deck level, they put people in them, and then them lowered to the ocean.

There is really no point in going over this again and again. We direct interested readers into our full commentary on the Gleicher timeline at the address above.
 
Jan 10, 2006
95
0
76
Bill, before we sign off, let's just summarize:

You have no explanation for why Lifeboat 10 was treated in the exceptional way you claim, and indeed according to you apparently was simply left uncovered by Wilde and Lightoller after the three other boats had been launched.

You have no explanation for why there is not a scintilla of testimony by anyone that Lifeboat 10 was treated in such an exceptional way?

You can cite no testimony directly saying that that Lifeboat 10 was the last boat launched from the ship. The only witness you rely upon, whose testimony at best seems to imply Lifeboat 12 left before Lifeboat 10, is that of AB Evans, and even here the conclusion is highly debatable. You concede--how could you not, given what he actually said--that Buley did not testify that Lifeboat 10 left after the other three boats, merely that it was the last one prepared to be loaded and launched.

And let me emphasize to all those on this site who buy into this cockeyed theory, that's all you got! All other evidence--some of it direct testimony, some of it contextual, some of it just common sense--backs up the British inquiry conclusion that Lifeboat 10 was launched first and the other three some fifteen minutes or so later.

DG
 
Jan 10, 2006
95
0
76
Two corrections of the previous post of mine.

I meant to say "Lifeboat 10 was left, not even uncovered, by Wilde and Lightoller."

I didn't mean there to be a question mark at the end of: "You have no explanation for why there is not a scintilla of testimony by anyone that Lifeboat 10 was treated in such an exceptional way."

DG
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,347
729
273
Chicago, IL, USA
Tad wrote:

>>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. <<

Actually Tad, B deck was not enclosed where No. 15 was lowered from. Only the two aft most boats (15 and 16) could have taken some people on board from B deck which was opened at its aft end. I'm not saying that any did, of course; only that they could have.

George wrote:

>>It's a logical inference.<<

I believe it was Paul Lee who once wrote, "logic merely allows one to be wrong with authority." We can only be somewhat sure of something if we find some evidence to support it. Anything else is purely speculative. It very well may have been that Murdoch crossed over from one side of the ship to the others side several times that night. But nobody can honestly claim, with any degree of certainty, that he came back to see 13 and 15 reach the water, just like there is no evidence that he waited around to see No. 1 reach the water. To claim that he did so is pure speculation.

David wrote:

>>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.<<

It’s not quite that simple David. You need to look at the entire context of what is being said before you jump to conclusions such as those. The term 'lowered the boat' was used at times to mean lowered to the rail, and at other times it was used to mean lowered to the water. For example (and I apologize for having to repeat some of what Bill quoted above):

Mr. EVANS. We then lowered the starboard boats. After they had been lowered I went over to the port side and seen my own boat with the women and children being passed into it.
Senator SMITH. What was the number of your boat?
Mr. EVANS. No. 12 was my proper boat, on the port side.
Senator SMITH. Was No. 12 filled with women and children?
Mr. EVANS. Yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. How many were put into it?
Mr. EVANS. I should say, on a rough average, there was about 50, sir. There was one seaman standing in the stern sheets of it.
Senator SMITH. Were there any other men in it?
Mr. EVANS. No, sir; I did not notice any other men in the boat. She was swung out on the davits.

As Evans told Senator Smith, he saw No. 12 in the process of being filled with women and children when he first came over from the starboard side. He also said that No. 12 was already “swung out on the davits,” which makes sense if it was in the process of being loaded. Then Evans gets questioned about the number of men that were in No. 12.

Senator SMITH. And you did not notice any men?
Mr. EVANS. I could only see a seaman there.
Senator SMITH. One seaman, or more?
Mr. EVANS. One seaman; yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. That boat was lowered. Were there any male passengers in there; any members of the crew, males?
Mr. EVANS. I did not notice any. After we got them into that [still talking about No. 12], I sung out to the seaman: "How many have you got in that boat?" I said: "Ginger, how many have you got?" He said: "There is only me here." I lowered that boat, sir, and she went away from the ship.

Now here is a case where Evans specifically said No. 12 was being loaded when he first came over to the port side, it having already been swung out and lowered to rail for loading before he came over. When he said he then “lowered that boat, sir, and she went away from the ship,” it is perfectly clear that he was talking about lowering No. 12 into the water. And when he then said , “she went away from the ship,” he was clearly saying that wen the boat reached the water, they in the boat then pulled away from the sinking ship.

Evans then continued:

[Mr. EVANS.] I then went next to No. 10, sir, to that boat, and the chief officer, Mr. Murdoch, was standing there, and I lowered the boat with the assistance of a steward. The chief officer said, "What are you, Evans?" I said "A seaman, sir." He said "All right; get into that boat with the other seamen." He said, "Get into that boat," and I got into the bows of this boat, and a young ship's baker was getting the children and chucking them into the boat, and the women were jumping. Mr. Murdoch made them jump across into the boat.

Now Evans is talking about No. 10, and when he said “I lowered the boat with the assistance of a steward,” he was talking about lowering it to the rail to be loaded with passengers. This is made clear by what he described they were doing after he was ordered into the boat by Murdoch. And notice the reference to a gap that existed between the ship's rail and the side of the lifeboat by women having jump across and children being chucked in. Evans went on to estimate that the gap was about 2 ½ feet which tells us that the ship had started to list much further over to port when No. 10 was loaded compared to what others described during the launching of No.s 16, 14, or 12.

David, you also wrote:

>>You concede--how could you not, given what he actually said--that Buley did not testify that Lifeboat 10 left after the other three boats, merely that it was the last one prepared to be loaded and launched. <<

and you had concluded previously,

>>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. <<

Well let’s look at Buley’s actual words when he was talking about leaving in boat No. 10:

Senator FLETCHER. Were any ladies on the deck when you left?
Mr. BULEY. No, sir. Ours was the last boat up there, and they went around and called to see if there were any, and they threw them in the boat at the finish, because they didn't like the idea of coming in.

What is it David that you don’t understand when Buley said: "Ours was the last boat up there" when they were calling out for more ladies to fill it? It just doesn’t get any clearer than that.
 

Tad G. Fitch

Member
Dec 31, 2005
579
1
86
Sam,

You wrote:
"Actually Tad, B deck was not enclosed where No. 15 was lowered from."

Thanks for the correction Sam. I was clearly mistaken about B Deck being enclosed at that location. The main point though is that nobody else claims No. 15 loaded or took on the majority of its occupants from B Deck. The examiners in the British Inquiry were confused by Cavell's testimony on this point, particularly when Rule flatly contradicted what he said.

By the way, good posting regarding No. 10, Evans and Buley's testimony is perfectly clear no matter how one twists it. David also likes to pretend that there aren't a whole list of passengers who claim or indicate No. 10 went last, as mentioned several times in this thread.

All my best,
Tad
 
Dec 6, 2000
1,384
1
166
David:

If you've been following this thread carefully, you'll see that upstream, Sam had the explanation as to why #10 was left not swung out. They were running out of crew at that point of the loading.

And there is also the case of the increased listing of the Titanic over time, which fits in perfectly with a later lowering of #10. As far as I can recall you have not addressed this issue at all and tried to explain it away, in your book or your posts here at ET. Have you?

In fact, it is this increased listing of the Titanic that caused us to move #10 even later in the time sequence than we had it in our original version several years ago. We are perfectly willing to modify our lifeboat timeline based on reliable new evidence, but we can understand why your own views on the lifeboat timeline are petrified and unchangeable. If you were to admit that a key portion of your lifeboat timeline is in error, the credibility of that portion of your book would crumble and fall to pieces. Understandably, no author wants to see his pet project discredited in such a fashion, but nevertheless - and deny it though you will - that is precisely what has happened to your lifeboat launch schedule.

Thanks for the fuller explanation of Buley and Evans, Sam. I was pressed for time, on my original e-mail on this, and didn't get to the fuller testimony. When you look at ALL they said, it is very obvious - they are saying #10 was loaded and lowered *after* the other boats in that quadrant. And twisting the evidence to say otherwise just does not work.
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,347
729
273
Chicago, IL, USA
Speaking about the shifting list, has anyone ever considered why the aft starboard boats were lowered to A deck and passengers taken down there to be put in those boats while the aft port boats were all loaded from the boat deck? Loading passengers from A deck, which was open at the aft end of the ship on both sides, was a little easier than loading from the boat deck and much less dangerous. As Steward Fredrick Ray put it, "You could get off A deck straight into the boat, without any difficulty. I saw no difficulty whatever in loading the passengers into the boat" (AI 806).

I think the answer has to do with the direction the list on the ship had taken when they got around to loading the aft boats.

We know the ship started to list about 5 degrees to starboard immediately after the collision with the iceberg. There is plenty of documented and quantifiable evidence for that. When No. 6 was being lowered, we have evidence that the list was still over to starboard since they had to push the boat away from the ship's side as it was being lowered (BI 1375-1377). However when No. 16, 14, and 12 were being loaded, we find that the list had shifted to either no noticeable list or a slight list to port. With any developed list, the gap between the side of the ship and the boat would be greater at the A deck level than at the boat deck level. This tells us that when the aft boats were being loaded, the list of the ship had most likely shifted over from starboard to port since it was very practical to load the aft starboard side boats from A deck while the aft port side boats were all loaded from the boat deck. By time No. 10 was being loaded, the list had significantly shifted further to port. Based on the reported size of the gap (2.5 ft), and knowing the dimensions of the boats and the davits when swung out, the list can be estimated at that time to be about 10 degrees. That would make lowering a boat on the starboard side somewhat difficult as was reported in the launching of boat C (AI 523-524).

The developing list over to starboard cannot be ignored as some would like when considering the sequence of launching the aft boats.
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,347
729
273
Chicago, IL, USA
Now how did you know that Bill?
happy.gif

That happens to me more often than I care to admit. Other times, it might be the dropping of a keyword such as 'not' which completely changes the meaning of a sentence.
 

Tad G. Fitch

Member
Dec 31, 2005
579
1
86
Don't worry about the port-starboard typo. Like both of you, I do the same thing often. Case in point, my mistake about B Deck the other day.

Sam, your post about the port list raises a great point about why the aft starboard boats loaded from A Deck, but the aft port ones didn't. It also illustrates how the list is an important factor to consider when examining the eyewitness accounts and anchoring some of the launch sequence.

As is, by the time No. 10 went away, they were having trouble getting people into the boat safely from the Boat Deck, and had to toss people across, and the one lady fell in between. Imagine if they were trying to get passengers in one deck lower where the gap would have been even bigger. It would have been next to impossible to do it safely.

I think this is just another example of how the ship's officers did the best job they possibly could have done under the very difficult circumstances they were presented with that night.

All my best,
Tad
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,347
729
273
Chicago, IL, USA
>>I think this is just another example of how the ship's officers did the best job they possibly could have done under the very difficult circumstances they were presented with that night. <<

Yes indeed! It really could have been much worse. Gap or no gap, at least all the boats on deck were launched successfully without very many mishaps. In contrast, look what happened to the Andrea Doria just minutes after being struck by Stockholm. She took on a list to starboard of 25 degrees in the first 15 minutes. The port boats could not be swung out at all, and the starboard boats were loaded only after being lowered to the sea by having people climb down cargo nets and rope ladders.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
4,933
599
183
Funchal. Madeira
Hi gang!

Found this on another website. If it's true then here's a survivor from Boat 10 who did not think her boat was the last to leave.

"The West family from Truro, Cornwall, were emigrating to Florida and were second class passengers on Titanic.

After the liner struck the iceberg Mrs West and her two children were placed into lifeboat 10.

In her letters and account Mrs West said: 'My dear people, here's the end of my first awful week without my dear old boy.

'The experiences I have been through with all the other poor creatures have been enough for two life times.

'We were amongst the first to leave the ship. Arthur placed life belts upon the children then carried them onto the boat deck.

'After seeing us safely into the lifeboat Arthur returned to the cabin for a thermos of hot milk and finding the lifeboat let down he reached it by means of a rope, gave the flask to me, and, with a farewell returned to the deck of the ship.'

Unbeknown to the two crew members in charge of the lifeboat, Japanese passenger Masabumi Hosono, 41, and Turk Neshan Krekorian, 25, had crept on board Mrs West wrote: 'There were men in our boat who had concealed themselves under the ladies skirts and had to be asked to stop lighting cigarettes as there was a danger of the dresses becoming ignited.'

She added: 'It was only when I saw the ship sink and heard the awful cries and groans from the poor drowning creatures that I felt the least bit of fear as to his safety.

'There was no suggestion of going back to the ship when she sank and drowning people was heard.

'The steward who seemed to be in charge called out 'Pull up men - they're singing in the other boats. Give them a shout!'.

This was part of a Daily Mail Article in March 2009.

It would also seem that the boat was lowered or being lowered to the water when her husband delivered the flask but I can't find any record of this happening.

Cheers!

Jim.
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,347
729
273
Chicago, IL, USA
If you go though all the stories that were written you will find that many people said they were either among the first to leave the ship or the last to leave the ship. People under stress make unreliable eyewitnesses. Less reliable still are the story written about them.

Good to see you back with us Jim. Hope your holiday went well.
 

Tad G. Fitch

Member
Dec 31, 2005
579
1
86
Also, people who left in No. 10, no matter which place it held in the aft port lifeboat sequence, would not have been "amongst the first" people to leave the ship. Sam is correct thought, many people said first or last. Some even accused Ismay of leaving in the first boat, which is clearly false.

Welcome back as well Jim, hope all is well with you.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
4,933
599
183
Funchal. Madeira
Thanks lads,

Good to be back. Gave your regards to Rome and Athens!

I'm curious as to why there does not seem to be a record of a man climbing down the falls or a man-rope to deliver a flask. I would have thought the baker or some of the others involved with boat 10 would have remarked on it. It is most important. If No.10 was indeed the last big boat launched there would have not been time for the gentleman in question to go below to his cabin and fetch a flask. Even if the officer in charge of loading the boat would have allowed it given the urgency.

Notwithstanding the foregoing-

I have interviewed many individuals following marine accidents. The method of questioning depends on the motives of the questioner.
In this case, the end result would be to determine clearly the sequence of events directly leading to the loss of the vessel. Unfortunately it seems to me that in may cases, the emotional aspect of this loss took precedence over the technical reasons for it.
Given the amount of verbosity; it must have been a nightmare for the technical people to sift-out the 'wheat from the chaff' in order to come up with a sensible list of recommendations aimed at helping to reduce the risk of this happening again.

Questioning of crew members is not a problem since in most cases, they are able to describe a ship-board happening in terms that are clearly understood by a professional questioner.
Questioning a non-proffessional passenger is fraught with difficulty.

In the case of Titanic - too many politicians were involved on the US side. Too much national pride and too much wealth also had a huge part in fogging the picture. It should be noted that of the 20 or so passengers questioned in The States - 17 were 1st class and the remainder 'other ranks'. This despite the fact that the number of saved adult females in 1st Class was only slightly more than the same group in 2nd Class. Now why was there a preference for Ist Class passengers? Was the evidence of a first class ticket holder more reliable (if at all) than that of the holder of a 2nd Class ticket?
In the UK - only two related passengers were questioned. Their input had nothing to do with factors contributing to the loss of the ship.

I would suggest that evidence of a passenger is only valid in so much as it points to the conduct of individuals or of the crew as a whole.
The passengers on board Titanic had been on her for about 4 days - part of which time they were asleep. Unless they had previously been on Olympic, they had little or no time to familiarise themselves with their surroundings or with escape routes etc. Nor would they have known any of the deck officers by sight except from a previous ship.
Indeed, most of the crew would have had problems remembering who was who. We see this frequently when the 1st Officer is mistaken for the Chief officer. There is an added problem with this since many of the deck crew would have come from a ship which had a Chief Officer only so would use that as a generic term.
Titanic's lifeboats were located in 4 widely separated locations. The first and last boats in each section were some 130 feet apart.

I guess what I'm trying to say in my rambling way is that the evidence of passengers is extremely unreliable and should be quoted with caution. It should be borne in mind that all these people had a long time to listen to each other's account on Carpahia. It should also be remembered that as Sam says; they were under stress. However that stress was while they were at an extreme level of anxiety and afterward, while they were in a pitch black lifeboat closely confined with strangers who, in some cases did not even speak the same language
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,347
729
273
Chicago, IL, USA
A few observations:

>>Was the evidence of a first class ticket holder more reliable (if at all) than that of the holder of a 2nd Class ticket? <<

There is no reason to believe that class is anyway related to reliability. But the same can be said about rank in the crew. At the British inquiry, the testimony of the officers were clearly given more weight than the testimony of others from the deck crew. Prime example is the witnessing of the splitting of the ship in two.

>>There is an added problem with this since many of the deck crew would have come from a ship which had a Chief Officer only so would use that as a generic term.<<

That is a very good point Jim. On many small ships in particular there were only the Captain, the Chief officer, the 2nd officer, and the 3rd officer. To complicate matters on Titanic, Murdoch and Lightoller had uniforms with stripes showing a rank higher than they were.

>>the evidence of passengers is extremely unreliable and should be quoted with caution. It should be borne in mind that all these people had a long time to listen to each other's account on Carpahia.<<

I would say it depends more on what the nature of the evidence is coming from a passenger. The survivors of the crew also had a long time to compare accounts while on the Carpathia. Furthermore, there were weeks that had gone by between the event itself and when someone may have been called to provide testimony. Stories tend to change somewhat, especially in the details.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
4,933
599
183
Funchal. Madeira
Morning Sam,

As to the quality of evidence given by officers, other ranks, and passengers; I leave it to the words of Captain Rostron of Carpathia to illustrate the value placed at that time on these various sources of evidence.

Passengers:

"Senator SMITH.
Have you any kind of knowledge at all regarding the force of the impact which wrecked the Titanic?

Mr. ROSTRON.
I know nothing about it, sir. I have not asked any questions about this kind of business. I knew it was not my affair, and I had little desire to make any of the officers feel it any more than they did. Mind you sir, there is only this: I know nothing, but I have heard rumors of different passengers; some will say one thing and some another. I would, therefore, rather say nothing. I do not know anything. From the officers I know nothing. I could give you silly rumors of passengers, but I know they are not reliable, from my own experience; so, if you will excuse me, I would prefer to say nothing.

Officers and Crew:

"25444. Does it mean that on your bridge you and your Officers were quicker in detecting them than any of the men on the look-out?
- Well, about 75 percent, of the objects that are seen at sea every day or night are picked up from the bridge first. Naturally the Officer will take more interest in these things than a look-out man. I always trust to the bridge preferably to the men.

25445. (The Commissioner.) That is the point I had in my mind. I do not see any advantage in putting men in the eyes of the ship if you can pick up things from the bridge before them?
- It does not necessarily say we shall pick them up quicker from the bridge, but naturally an Officer is more on the qui vive; he is keener on his work than a man would be, and he knows what to look for. He is more intelligent than a sailor."

I have to say; from personal experience - and I'm sure 90% of professionals of my age group would concur- Rostron was not being a snob - he was merely stating the situation as it was then.

People at sea were (and still are to a lesser extent) a breed apart. Officers were in the main - career people who ate. slept and drank 'ship things'. More so in the time of Titanic when distractions such as communication with the outside world was just beginning to have effect on ship-board life. The education of 'other ranks', although adequate as far as the three 'Rs' was concerned; was very basic.
Most ABs would never achieve public notice - not even on a passenger ship.There was no need for them to increase their shipboard knowledge. Their lives were boring routine - cleaning,painting, repairing and renewing, with the odd excitement of arrival at a new port. The people on trans-atlantic liners didn't even have a change of port to look forward to. The job of quartermaster was greatly sought after since there was always the chance to 'skive' as they used to call it. That meant sneak-off and avoid any hard labour.

Having said that; there were always the odd crew member (ex sea-farers reading this will know the people I mean) who revelled in the once-in-a-lifetime limelight a public enquiry provided and milked it for all it was worth. These characters tended to have above average intelligence but also had an over-active imagination. The greaser on Californian fitted that bill!

I understand the frustration of some when the word experience keeps being chucked around.
I also understand the need for clear, unfettered, scientific examination of all the evidence available. This is fine but there comes a time when knowledge runs out - there is a break in the sequence of things and no logical reason for a particular happening can be found. It is at that time; the experienced investigator can close the eyes and cast the mind back to bring an image of what was going on at a specific that specific time.

'The song of a blackbird heard for the first time will never thereafter be mistaken for the song of a crow'

Sailorjim 2009.

Cheers!

Jim.
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,347
729
273
Chicago, IL, USA
>>Rostron was not being a snob - <<

Sorry Jim, but in my opinion he certainly was being a snob. That kind of attitude leads to a loss of objectivity. My example about eyewitness reports of the ship splitting two is a prime example how false conclusions can result from attitudes such as that.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
4,933
599
183
Funchal. Madeira
Hi Sam!

In our day he certainly would be judged as a snob but you have to try to think like a seaman and a Victorian man to understand what he was actually saying.
That's why I said 'the situation as it was then'.
Objectivity works fine in science but when you're dealing with human individuals, the edges become blurred since they think subjectively in most cases and are usually on the defensive when being questioned in a public place.

Jim.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.