Jim Currie

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This so-called “smudge” was identified in a couple of photos on the Kempster album but in this photo from the same album, where did it go? Do tugs cause photo artifacts?View attachment 44977
I suspect she is arriving back at Belfast after her sea trials. Note the deployed safety boat No.1. Here are coloured versions of the same pic. Note the so called "smudge"?

The smudge.png

The only way there would have been a "smudge in that area would have been as I have suggested: due to contact with a tug's bow fender or by contact with some other type of immoveable object. In that area, most certainly would not have been caused by fire of any kind.
Now look at the same picture with the WT bulkhead "F" between BRs 5 & 6 added:
The smudge 2.jpg
 
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Bob_Read

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Jim: So where did the “smudge” go in the photo I previously posted from the same series of photos. A. It was a reflection.
 
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Bob_Read

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Before he formulated his novel theory, Senan Molony himself wrote in his book “Titanic Unseen”: “....expert opinion suggests the mark is a causeway reflection".
 

Scott Mills

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Yes, I tend to agree with the 'official' opinion in this case. Certainly, at its very best the photograph is inconclusive and even assuming the 'smudge' is indeed an actual artifact, as Jim so clearly points out:
  1. The 'smudge' is not actually located near where the fire should be; and
  2. There are more likely explanations in any case;
This is why, for me, the far more interesting questions related to the fire are metallurgical and have to do with any internal warping that may have been done to the watertight bulkhead. Physical evidence is actually impossible though until, or unless, someone finally makes it into the boiler rooms with an ROV.
 
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Bob_Read

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Let’s say you make it to the boiler room. How do you assign a cause or causes to the damage you see?
 

Scott Mills

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Titanic's boiler rooms should be some of the most preserved sections on the ship, therefore catastrophic damage to the watertight bulkhead due to bulkhead failure should be fairly obvious. For anything less than this, I would leave it to the engineers to calculate scenarios, and the likelihood of those scenarios occurring, that could explain any observed damage.

Obviously, in the latter case we are returning to assessing probabilities with an absence of certainty; however, this is true for most of what we know about Titanic's foundering already.
 
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Oliver K

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This is a commonly explored theory but one i do not have much knowledge on, simply because i do not believe in it, the theory states that a fire in one of the ships coal bunkers (ignited by self-combustion) caused damage to the ships outer hull-plates meaning that the iceberg easily damaged and cut through the hull upon collision, one piece of evidence is claimed to support the theory, a photograph taken of the ship in lower water shows a faint mark on the hull-plating just outside the coal bunker that is said to have self-combusted some 10 days prior to the maiden voyage, wether this mark is something that occured to the film emulsion that the photograph was taken on, or was an actual damage mark to the hull, is unknown to me.

gallery-1483569021-titanic.jpg

Image Courtesy of Popular Mechanics Magazine, the "burn mark" can be seen just beneath the super structure


So why/can coal ignite itself?

The ship need some 6,611 tons of coal to feed the 29 boilers needed to power the ships main and aux engines, pumps, etc, pretty much anything that ran on steam, and that includes a lot in 1912 terms, this coal is fed in these bunkers via ports that were on one side of the ship, coaling was a messy process and as such many higher up officers (Captain, etc) never really got involved in the process, this coal is also stored loose in the bunkers and due to this, self-combustion can occur as the coals are touching and vibrating on a microscopic level, it is very possible and has happened to many ocean going liners of that era.

What is the standard procedure in the event of a bunker fire?

In the event of a bunker fire, the standard procedure was not to fight it but rather use the coal up before itself spread, essentially feeding the boilers with already burning coal, this mean that, with enough work, the burning could be burnt in the nearest boiler, coal was expensive and needed, such that every ton of it must be put to use, if it was already burning, it was considered a waste, much like how a leaky pen wastes ink in a messy way.


Can fire damage steel?

These bunkers were seperated by bulkheads with doors in them (indeed these may be closed to lessen the risk of self-combustion) each wall on either side of these coal bunkers was the metal hull of the ship itself, painted with granulated cork to prevent mold and/or moisture from forming due to the conditions, if a coal fire was to occur, the cork would be damaged and indeed the steel would heat up, it is said that the type of steel used in titanics construction was easily damaged by fire but i cannot confirm this.


Conclusion:

Indeed it is possible that a coal fire broke out and the hull-plating, however, it is about as plausible as wether the claimed previous accident of Princess Dianas Car contributed to the final accident itself, your guess is as good as mine.


Coal fires were quite common on ocean going liners of this era, but wether this, or the iceberg is the killer may never be determined, in my opinion i doubt fire would mark steel such that it would be visible from the other side, but that is only my opinion.

A coal fire may have contributed to it, but we can go back to blaming our iceberg.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
 

Seumas

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This subject has been done to death. It's nothing new.


The coal bunker fire was not a cause of RMS Titanic sinking.

The photographic "evidence" was easily proven to be a lot of rubbish as well.

The whole issue has been blown hugely out of proportion in the name of sensationalism and the certain individual responsible should be ashamed of himself.
 
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Oliver K

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This subject has been done to death. It's nothing new.


The coal bunker fire was not a cause of RMS Titanic sinking.

The photographic "evidence" was easily proven to be a lot of rubbish as well.

The whole issue has been blown hugely out of proportion in the name of sensationalism and the certain individual responsible should be ashamed of himself.

I know, as i stated its one of them things i've never really researched as i'm just not interested in it nor do i believe in it, just like the "Insurance scam" theory i keep hearing about too, i wrote this to

1 - Share my opinion on the theory

2 - Because i haven't really posted anything here recently

3 - The Orignal post is actually from a typescript i wrote for practice on my typewriter

and last of all, i wanted to wish all of you a very merry christmas and a happy new year.


I've also heard about this theory on various TV programs before, one where they showed an enthusiast the supposed "photographic evidence" and he claimed he wasn't interested in it but now was, i guess that was for the camera.
 

Oliver K

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Not really, but you can still find the ribbons and some people do still like using them, they're quite fun to use, take some getting used to though
 

Mike Spooner

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Burn mark! More like a shadow or smudge marks. The position where shadow is, does not line up with the coal bunker fire was.
The bunker fire is direct under the first funnel. The smudge marks are at less 50 feet further forward! 3/4 of the bunkers are below the water line. Titanic leaving Belfast had less than half full coal bunkers to. The blue shade is the water line. Green marking is the shadow or smudge marks.
What coursed it? May of been a light reflection from the camera or tug rubbing where fresh touch up paint has be added.
Bunker fire position.JPG
 

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