Cracking all of these puzzles

Rob Lawes

Jun 13, 2012
It occurred to me reading through some of the recent threads on here that the direction most conversations take generally lead back into a similar number of mysteries. Clock set backs, the nature and extent of the damage, actions of specific crew members or groups of crew, the navigational handling of the ship before and after the collision and the response of other vessels.

Most of these discussions centre on 'line of best fit' or 'most probable' solutions. Almost all of them are conclusively resolved.

The biggest problem is lack of available evidence and the passing of time. There os only one witness left to the events of that night and she lies miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic and is rapidly rusting away to nothing.

So, the big question is, can we ever hope to resolve these mysteries? What information that could support all of this is there left to find out there? Is there a golden key waiting in a dusty basement yet to be discovered that could unlock any of our problems?

Also, what type of information do we need? Would for example, somehow discovering the Titanic's April 14th evening fix help understand her speed through the water or better understand how she was navigated?

I understand almost all of the survivors gave statements prior to the British inquiry and from this the witness list was drawn up. As I understand it, the these statements disappeared. Will they ever be found or have they long gone?

Or, is it all too late and we are just left with speculation, debate and ultimately disagreement?

Arun Vajpey

Jul 8, 1999
I think it is safe to say the it is highly unlikely that none of those 'puzzles' that you have mentioned would be solved with absolute certainty. For example, even if a specific memoir emerges to swear that Officer so-and-so did or did not shoot himself on that fateful night, we have no way of establishing the inherent truth of that "evidence". From that point of view, I think a lot of people over here are doing a pretty good job of getting the 'best fit' scenario.

While survivor statements are doubtless the best "evidence" we have, some of which will have to be accepted with a pinch of salt or more. Passenger survivors for the most past were too shell shocked to recall everything with crystal clarity, particularly times of events. Also, some of the male survivors might have been inclined to deliberately distort or exaggerate the circumstances of their survival because it might be considered "cowardly" for a man to have actively sought out a place in a lifeboat and succeeded. That would explain the few clearly impossible accounts of "swimming for more than an hour" in the freezing water before being picked up etc. Some of the crew survivors might have had reasons (with or without 'advice') to say certain things in certain ways. There have been a few instances mentioned by ET members here where crew survivors gave different accounts of various events in the American & British investigations. On same lines IMO, are surviving crew statements like "Mr Murdoch ordered me into Lifeboat #9" or similar that would leave little room for argument or further questioning.

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