Effect of Aurora Borealis


Mar 22, 2003
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The article is by Mila Zinkova who used to post here on ET (mostly in the Californian affair threads), and then returned in the form of her cousin Alex P when some of her theories (like Californian and Titanic being caught up in eddy currents) were not being taken seriously. She was very critical of Tim Maltin's mirage theory and downright hostile to people like myself who didn't share some of her views (or willing to share early drafts of selected materials from my Strangers on the Horizon book that was being published). If her aurora article would have been about the aurora, its causes and how radio communications could have been affected, it would have been fine. Her problem, like so many others, is taking the big leap into the abyss that is Titanic as described in the abstract she wrote for Weather magazine where her full article was published:

>>In this article, we will investigate how space weather may have affected the navigation and communication of the Titanic in the run up to the disaster, and the subsequent rescue operation. The significant space weather event was in the form of a moderate to strong geomagnetic storm that observational evidence suggests was in effect in the North Atlantic at the time of the tragedy. <<
 
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Mila

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The article is by Mila Zinkova who used to post here on ET (mostly in the Californian affair threads), and then returned in the form of her cousin Alex P when some of her theories (like Californian and Titanic being caught up in eddy currents) were not being taken seriously. She was very critical of Tim Maltin's mirage theory and downright hostile to people like myself who didn't share some of her views (or willing to share early drafts of selected materials from my Strangers on the Horizon book that was being published). If her aurora article would have been about the aurora, its causes and how radio communications could have been affected, it would have been fine. Her problem, like so many others, is taking the big leap into the abyss that is Titanic as described in the abstract she wrote for Weather magazine where her full article was published:

>>In this article, we will investigate how space weather may have affected the navigation and communication of the Titanic in the run up to the disaster, and the subsequent rescue operation. The significant space weather event was in the form of a moderate to strong geomagnetic storm that observational evidence suggests was in effect in the North Atlantic at the time of the tragedy. <<

oh, hi, Sam,

you were very protective of your book, when after reading a few paragraphs people tried to discuss it, but you and others are feeling absolutely fine discussing an article that you have not read. As you probably realize my article was pear-reviewed by a few specialists and by the Editor. In any case I am not going to rely on the help of neighborhood bullies, hypocrites and sexists of this forum as you did to prove that my article had a point.

The article I published in ”Weather” is not a new theory. It is just a suggestion.
But of course if one reads the news about it, one would think that I said that the Aurora sank the Titanic and that I think that a mirage sank the Titanic.

mila zinkova titanic - Google Search

these news are only in English, but the news about my article are mostly fake news, just as the thread on this site is.
 
Nov 14, 2005
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Well the reason I didn't buy into it is because the article was implying that it affected Titanic's Marconi set. Titanic was sending out and receiving messages up until almost the last minutes. So if it did have any effect it was minimal to the point that it didn't stop Titanic from communicating. As for Mila I did like some of her posts on atmospheric stuff and other topics but didn't know about the other stuff. Sometimes its hard to keep up with who's who. But that's not specific to just this site. That happens on a lot of sites.
 
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Mila

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As for Mila I did like some of her posts on atmospheric stuff and other topics but didn't know about the other stuff.
You mean you did not know that I was the first one to prove that the Titanic did not sink in the middle of high pressure cell, that I was the first one to suggest that the haze lookouts reported could have been a real thing, and that I was the first who seriously researched a possibility that the Titanic and the Californian could have drifted in different currents.
 
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Mila

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It is a weather system, an area of high pressure. The weather played a very big role in the disaster. For example, there was no wind, which means there were no waves that could have helped to notice the iceberg earlier. Maltin alleged that the Titanic sank in the middle of this high pressure system (Arctic high) because it helped him to allege that there was a temperature inversion. A temperature inversion is required for a mirage to occur.

BTW, when my Aurora articles was reviewed, one of the reviewer (a professional meteorologist) told me that by looking at weather maps he was surprised there was no wind there. He said it should have been. I have read a few articles that state that a geomagnetic storm could effect the ground weather Reaction of electric and meteorological states of the near-ground atmosphere during a geomagnetic storm on 5 April 2010. If this was the case, it means that this geomagnetic storm might have played a decisive role in the disaster.
 
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If they muffed up your stuff in the article I can't help that. I was commenting on the article in regards to communications. Titanic couldn't send and recieve messages any faster than they did. They were backlogged on messages. Operators were yelling at each other for jamming each other. The biggest problem that night with communications was a tired pissed off radio operator who turned off his set. As for the other stuff I didn't bring that up. You can take that stuff up with those who did.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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You should know me by now Cam, you will have to judge that for yourself. The article is not very long, a little over 4 pages, and actually had a lot of information dealing with magnetic storms and how that can affect radio communications and even magnetic compasses.

It's taking the big leap to suggest that one such event, evidenced by the sighting of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) on the night of April 14/15, 1912, may have played a role in Boxhall coming up with the wrong SOS position, or that a compass deflection may have caused Carpathia to accidentally reach the lifeboats, or have somehow caused a failure in communications with Californian no less. If large compass deflections had taken place, it would have affected the ability of many ships in the region to navigate that night, and in the case of Titanic, it would have been easily noticed before she even reached the danger zone. It is in the historical record that the precise course Titanic was on (266° true) was actually measured by stellar observations to check compass deviation error, which was done periodically on WSL vessels by the junior officers. (One of many WSL regulations dealing with navigation and compass checks.) That 266° true course was conveyed to Lightoller sometime before 10pm that night. In the article, Mila wrote: "If Titanic’s compass error were only 0.5°, she would have been off her course for around 9m over 1km of the run. This apparently insignificant error could have made the difference between colliding with the iceberg and avoiding it." Yet, the average helmsman couldn't be expected to keep the ship's head any better than plus or minus 1° even in a relatively calm sea. (I cite you Hichens on that, and can show you some typical course recorder data from other ships that proves that.) So maybe we should blame Hichens for not being able to hold the course tighter than he said he did?

To her credit, she put in a big caveat at the end: "There are many uncertainties on if and to what degree it [a moderate to strong geomagnetic storm] affected the meteorological components and the compasses." But then came the big leap: "However, if it did, it could have affected all aspects of the tragedy: including the collision with the iceberg, the navigation errors, the failed communications – for example, with the Californian, and the rescue operation."
 
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Mila

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In the article, Mila wrote: "If Titanic’s compass error were only 0.5°, she would have been off her course for around 9m over 1km of the run. This apparently insignificant error could have made the difference between colliding with the iceberg and avoiding it." Yet, the average helmsman couldn't be expected to keep the ship's head any better than plus or minus 1° even in a relatively calm sea. (I cite you Hichens on that, and can show you some typical course recorder data from other ships that proves that.) So maybe we should blame Hichens for not being able to hold the course tighter than he said he did?
Well, Sam, the insignificant error created by the geomagnetic storm could have added to the error created by a helmsman who could not be expected to keep the ship’s head straight.
It's taking the big leap to suggest that one such event, evidenced by the sighting of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) on the night of April 14/15, 1912, may have played a role in Boxhall coming up with the wrong SOS position, or that a compass deflection may have caused Carpathia to accidentally reach the lifeboats, or have somehow caused a failure in communications with Californian no less.
About SOS position, I said ”partly responsible” and provided two different reasons.
About Carpathia’s navigation, I think my suggestion is as good as anyone‘s else. somehow Carpathia steamed directly towards lifeboats. Was it a human mistake or was is a compass error? Rostron said they first saw the green flare at 2:40 am. Was it because he was mistaking, or was Carpathia close to the lifeboats to begin with?

About failed communication with the Californian... it was explained in details in the article. A geomagnetic storm could have effected the weather to cause rockets to look low-lying and to mask the Morse Lamp signals. This section did not make it through to the published version. One of the reviewer was all for it, but another was against it. I should not have mentioned this part in the conclusion, but I simply forgot to remove it after the sections in regards to the Californian were removed.
 
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Cam Houseman

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You should know me by now Cam, you will have to judge that for yourself. The article is not very long, a little over 4 pages, and actually had a lot of information dealing with magnetic storms and how that can affect radio communications and even magnetic compasses.

It's taking the big leap to suggest that one such event, evidenced by the sighting of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) on the night of April 14/15, 1912, may have played a role in Boxhall coming up with the wrong SOS position, or that a compass deflection may have caused Carpathia to accidentally reach the lifeboats, or have somehow caused a failure in communications with Californian no less. If large compass deflections had taken place, it would have affected the ability of many ships in the region to navigate that night, and in the case of Titanic, it would have been easily noticed before she even reached the danger zone. It is in the historical record that the precise course Titanic was on (266° true) was actually measured by stellar observations to check compass deviation error, which was done periodically on WSL vessels by the junior officers. (One of many WSL regulations dealing with navigation and compass checks.) That 266° true course was conveyed to Lightoller sometime before 10pm that night. In the article, Mila wrote: "If Titanic’s compass error were only 0.5°, she would have been off her course for around 9m over 1km of the run. This apparently insignificant error could have made the difference between colliding with the iceberg and avoiding it." Yet, the average helmsman couldn't be expected to keep the ship's head any better than plus or minus 1° even in a relatively calm sea. (I cite you Hichens on that, and can show you some typical course recorder data from other ships that proves that.) So maybe we should blame Hichens for not being able to hold the course tighter than he said he did?

To her credit, she put in a big caveat at the end: "There are many uncertainties on if and to what degree it [a moderate to strong geomagnetic storm] affected the meteorological components and the compasses." But then came the big leap: "However, if it did, it could have affected all aspects of the tragedy: including the collision with the iceberg, the navigation errors, the failed communications – for example, with the Californian, and the rescue operation."
yes yes, my apologies, Sam. :)

Miss Mila, where can I read your article?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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About SOS position, I said ”partly responsible” and provided two different reasons.
Yes, I know, you said by influencing the compass, and by adding to the stress level of the navigators. Yet you did not say how the SOS position could have been influenced by the compass, and merely cited a paper by J Close regarding stress levels being influenced by magnetic storms. The SOS position was a calculated position (a DR) that used a star fix starting point, the course the was on after Boxhall determined what that was from star bearings, and the time interval between fix and the event time that was used. Funny thing about that. If you remove the time factor errors, you can get real close to the wreck site. Nothing to do with compass errors. The same appears to be the case with the first distress position worked out by Smith. As far as Smith's and Boxhall's stress levels being influenced by a magnetic storm, I would somehow imagine that their stress levels were high enough knowing that the ship was going to sink when they worked those calculations out.

Enough said.
 

Mila

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yes yes, my apologies, Sam. :)

Miss Mila, where can I read your article?
The Journal regulations prohibit me from sharing it.
It is how they make money. An author gets absolutely nothing, but Journals sell the articles and make money to pay their editors.
I am not sure if you are aware about this, but most scientific Journals charge authors more than $1000 dollars to get published. That's why I publish my articles in Weather. At least they do not charge me for now, but if I to violate their policies I could be in trouble.
However, in a few months the article will be available in libraries, and then you could probably order it by email from your local library.
Sorry.
 
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Mila

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Yes, I know, you said by influencing the compass, and by adding to the stress level of the navigators. Yet you did not say how the SOS position could have been influenced by the compass, and merely cited a paper by J Close regarding stress levels being influenced by magnetic storms. The SOS position was a calculated position (a DR) that used a star fix starting point, the course the was on after Boxhall determined what that was from star bearings, and the time interval between fix and the event time that was used. Funny thing about that. If you remove the time factor errors, you can get real close to the wreck site. Nothing to do with compass errors. The same appears to be the case with the first distress position worked out by Smith. As far as Smith's and Boxhall's stress levels being influenced by a magnetic storm, I would somehow imagine that their stress levels were high enough knowing that the ship was going to sink when they worked those calculations out.

Enough said.
Yes, I know this, and I agree with you. That is why I said "partly" influenced and did not dwell on it. I also agree with you about the stress level, and I thought about it to myself in almost the same words you put it. However, the same as with the steering, a compass error could have added to a helmsman inability to steer straight, so the stress level from a geomagnetic storm could have added to the stress level that was due to the collision.

Let's get back to Carpathia's navigation. I assume you have read this article Did a Solar Ejection Hinder the Titanic? | Hakai Magazine If I knew the journalist was going to interview Maltin, I would have refused to cooperate with him, but I did not know.
So Maltin was interviewed and here is what he said

For one, while the Titanic did give an incorrect location in its distress call, the ship’s lifeboats happened to be at a position directly between the Carpathia and the sinking steamer, which could explain how the Carpathia found the survivors so easily. Plus, the Titanic’s wreck was located along the ship’s expected route, so it had not taken an unexpected course, Maltin says.

See, Sam, you and Dave, and others wrote quite a few pages discussing the navigation of Carpathia and the fact she steamed directly to the lifeboats.. Instead you should have asked Maltin and he would have explained to you that the ship’s lifeboats just happened to be at a position directly between the Carpathia and the sinking steamer. See how easy it is? BTW , what "sinking steamer" Maltin meant in mind? If he meant the Titanic, did not she sink before the Carpathia arrived.
 

Tim Gerard

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Wouldn't the aurora borealis have provided more light in the sky and made it easier for Fleet, Lee, and Murdoch to see the iceberg? I'm thinking how they say the extra dark night with no moon made it that much more difficult. If they saw it sooner, they might have avoided it, and the rest of this would all be moot (and I wouldn't know what I'd be doing with my life).
 
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Mila

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Well, the Aurora was at the North. Titanic was steaming kind of south. Later one of the survivors tried to use the Aurora to find the Californian.
He testified:

“The northern lights are just like a searchlight, but she disappeared”.
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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And there is one person who testified that he never saw the Aurora despite his boat (No. 8) rowing toward the the steamer's lights.
Senator FLETCHER. Did you see the Northern Lights?
Mr. CRAWFORD. I did not notice.
Senator FLETCHER. Do you know whether you were moving west?
Mr. CRAWFORD. I do not know the compass, and I could not say.
Senator FLETCHER. You do not remember observing the Northern Lights?
Mr. CRAWFORD. No, sir.
 
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