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Fleet's 'Haze'

Discussion in 'Collision / Sinking Theories' started by Arun Vajpey, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Did you read what you wrote?

    So where did Hichens originally said that no helm orders were given?
  2. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    I read perfectly well thank you. When I posted the newspaper clipping I was aware that Hichens testified at the official inquiry and that this newspaper account was published before he testified which makes it his original account i.e. The account that preceeded his official testimony. I was not aware that he spoke to a passenger on the Carpathia, but if that is true then that Carpathia account would still be suspect because that passenger could have been influenced to change whatever he wrote down after speaking to the surviving officers who would undoubtedly influence what he would write down e.g. If he spoke to Olliver and discovered that the ship had broke in two and wrote it down, but then he spoke to Lightoller and was heavily influenced that the ship did not break in two, and would score out what Olliver had said. If his account was legit then he should have volunteered to testify so that Hichens could vouch to their meeting on the Carpathia, otherwise it is just as fallible as Ernest Gill's account.

  3. Right, so you DON'T have any source in which Hichens originally said that he got no helm order!
    So the part where Howard Chapin wrote the story of Gracie, Duff-Gordon and Williams is also influenced by others, right?
    In the end everything what you write is pure speculation and pure interpretation on your part.
  4. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    That's your opinion. I showed you the newspaper clipping which can be found in numerous newspapers online from April 20th 1912. This was before Hichens testified ergo it was my belief that this was his original account. Sorry that you have trouble understanding.

  5. You stated Hichens originally said that he got no helm order. No, that is not true and you are dishonest! He simply does not mention any helm order in the newspaper account of which you made it up that he said so! And you are simply continuing that dishonest claim you made by try to explain what you believe.
  6. B-rad

    B-rad Member

    You should write a book on this. You're pretty good with the documentary film making!
  7. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    Thank you. Much appreciated. When it comes to Titanic I've done my homework.

  8. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    I am not dishonest. Stop attacking members for their beliefs. I said Hichens did not mention any helm orders before the collision in that newspaper report and I displayed the report as proof. By reading the newspaper report you will see he did not mention any helm orders. Why would he submit so much detail regarding his actions to that reporter and fail to mention the most important one. He failed to mention it because it was not given and had no reason to mention it, ergo he did not receive any helm orders before the collision in his newspaper account.

  9. I would urge extreme caution in looking to secondary sources such as newspaper reports when we have the primary source evidence available by means of the investigation transcripts.

    Best wishes

    Tim Aldrich and Ioannis Georgiou like this.
  10. You are simply not getting the point. It was you who wrote:

    So where did he said that????
    The newspaper account you show simply does not have any orders mentioned at all. Instead you came up with your interpretation and that is NOT what Hichens said.
    No mention of helm orders in not the same as that no orders were given. So why did you write that "Hichen's originally said that no helm orders were given" when it is not true?!
  11. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Here are some facts.

    You do not get "haze" in mid-ocean, you get mist or fog.

    Mist or fog in mid-ocean is caused when relatively warm, moisture-laden air is cooled rapidly. I.e. as it flows over very cold water. That is why you get the fog near the US northeast coast and over the Canadian Grand Banks in Spring and when the warm, prevailing SW wind carries warm moisture-laden air northward.
    There was no wind that night. The air temperature was getting near to or below freezing. The air was "heavy", cold, dry and still. The conditions for a mist or "sea smoke" were absent.
    In fact, the conditions were perfect for a crisp, cold crystal-clear night with stars seen right down to the horizon. That is exactly as described by the men on the bridges of the ships in the area.
    As for Lookout evidence:

    "Senator PERKINS...It was a perfectly starlight night, and clear?
    Mr. SYMONS...Yes; it was a very clear night."

    How close was the berg before it was seen? Very close.
    How do we know that? Because the forepeak tank was breached.

    The forepeak was forward of the collision bulkhead "A" which was the highest reaching WT bulkhead so only water from outside could have got into the FP tank.
    Even if the FP tank was holed just forward of the WT bulkhead, Titanic was holed less than 40 feet from her forefoot. Because of this, and because
    A: We know when the helm was applied.
    B: We know approximately how long it took for it to be applied and start influencing the course...we can make a very accurate estimate of just how far off her original course Titanic was when the first contact with ice was made. Consider the following:
    Hard a starboard..jpg
    If the sequence of events was:
    Ding, ding,ding...3 seconds.
    Hard a starboard....5 seconds.
    Start turn..........1 second.
    Impact........2 seconds.
    Then Titanic was traveling on her original course for little more than 9 seconds before the helm order was applied.
    She was advancing at 38 feet per second when the iceberg was first sighted. This means that when Fleet spotted it, it was about 342 feet in front of Titanic's bow...less than half a ship length away. Now that's close! There would have needed to have been dense fog, not mist to have allowed that situation to occur.
  12. A better question is to ask what did Hichens tell Ismay about helm orders. Look at this exchange (pp. AI 949-950):

    Senator SMITH. You remember, I think, the statement of the wheelman, Hichens, that the last thing he did before striking the iceberg was to so turn his wheel as to avoid contact directly with the bow, the extreme bow?
    Mr. ISMAY. Yes, sir.
    Senator SMITH. Do you recall that?
    Mr. ISMAY. I think he said he was told "Hard aport," and then "Hard astarboard," if I remember rightly.
    Senator SMITH. And then that threw the vessel -
    Mr. Ismay (interposing). He wanted to throw his quarter up.

    I think Ismay's recollection simply got it reversed. The testimony transcription did not record any second helm order being given. But then not everything said was transcribed.
  13. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    Hi Loannis,
    Yes Robert Hitchens did say quite a bit at the inquiry, but was very careful not to criticise White Star. If I look at his back ground I can see why. Hitchens come from a working class as a fish men from Cornwall sail up down the east coat of England. Which was a very turf job.
    He would sail on other pretty old ropey rough ships to. But nerveless gain his Master Marine Certificate for 12 years. The White Star Line Titanic was the golden opportunity to better his career. He would face stiff competition to become a quartermaster on Titanic in Southampton. Being only 5ft 6 inch did not stand out the in crowd and with the national coal strike in progress many ships laid up. But never less he got the job and was the only quartermaster not have worked for White Star. He was not going to throw this opportunity away and was only too willing to any thing to please the officers. The water temperature taken with bucket and rope over the side. The rope was on the short side making it difficult to take sample. But he never complain about it. At 10pm he would take his turn on the wheel for the two hour shift. Now this were it becomes controversial. At the time 11.40pm iceberg contact it would appear he is the only person to survive and be on the bridge to tell the story. As other officers or crew members will only from hear say what was said on the bridge.
    As his story is what different? He claims at 11.15pm Fred Fleet rang the bell for ice warning ahead but nobody on the bridge took any notice. He claim it would happen three times. At one time there was nobody on the bridge! As in calm water he even took hand off the wheel (which is a sacking fence) to look for an officers! Final at 11.40pm Fleet gave the bell the hardest hit he could to draw attention to an officer. Officer Moody received the phone call and thank him for the message. Can you imagine for one moment If he was tell this story in the inquiry? His prize job with White Star would be gone forever. Fairy story not quite? I have been following the case for some time of Stanly Lord Guilty as Charge. The more I look into the two inquires I find what utter shamble they are for the real truth. I am putting together an article to expose what may be expectable years ago as an enquiry as to day standard would be total unexpectable!
    The way the en or inquiry's was conducted and run by the two Countries was a shame and cover ups.
    We as members through our discussions are doing far better job for the real truth than those two WHITEWASH INQUIRES?
    Steven Christian likes this.
  14. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Be careful with that quote. Ioannis.

    First of all, 3 bells does not mean "danger right ahead". It simply means that something is ahead.
    Murdoch would not "turn" to the QM...the latter was about 40 feet away and outside the enclosed wheelhouse.

    The quote talks about two impacts, a light one then "a terrible crash". There was no report of a "terrible crash".

    Murdoch did not immediately order hard-a-port after the impact. That order was not given until the helm was "way down stern" (QM Olliver). That being the case, the reverse order could never have been part of the berg avoidance manoeuver. No officer of the experience of Murdoch would ever have considered such an order to be useful. This is borne out by the evidence of QM Rowe who was at the stern. The berg passed so close that he thought it would touch the docking bridge. His mate, Olliver said that the berg broke contact before he saw the tip of it. This suggests that the ship's side recoiled from contact with the berg then began to close with it again st the berg fell toward the stern.
  15. It is an "I" not a "L".

    The sea temperature was taken every 2 hours (the bucket did not go under water it only collect surface water). The high was not the problem, the time Mrs. Douglas watched it done there was a breeze and that was the reason it was not taken from the sea.

    Affidavit of Mahala Douglas:

    On Saturday, as Mr. Douglas and I were walking forward, we saw a seaman taking the temperature of the water. The deck seemed so high above the sea I was interested to know if the tiny pail could reach it. There was quite a breeze, and although the pail was weighted, it did not. This I watched from the open window of the covered deck. Drawing up the pail the seaman filled it with water from the stand pipe, placed the thermometer in it, and went with it to the officer in charge.

    Others did not had a problem and Mrs. Crosby who saw that on Sunday done did not mention any problems.

    Quartermaster Olliver was also there, he saw the top of the iceberg, hear the hard a port order and that the Officer (Moody) looked that it was carried out.

    There was the stand by QM Olliver, 6th Officer Moody, 4th Officer Boxhall (working in the chart room) and 1st Officer Murdoch. Now did they vanish all from the bridge at 11:15? Letting the wheel off the hand to have a look around, really? Where did he claim that by the way?
    I know there is some theory in the book by his grand daughter (?) I think who used the swindler Louis Klein as a source....
  16. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Hello, Sam,

    Ismay never spoke to Hichens before the latter took the stand on Day 1 of the US Inquiry. Iif he did, then he committed perjury.
    "Mr. ISMAY.: I have had no consultation with anybody since the accident with the exception of one officer.
    Senator SMITH: Who was that?
    Mr. ISMAY: Mr. Lightoller. I have spoken to no member of the crew or anybody since in regard to the accident."

    As you know, your quote came from Ismay's evidence given on Day 11 of the US Inquiry. QM Hichens had been questioned earlier, on Day 5 of the US Inquiry. However, his mate QM Oliver was questioned on Day 7. He was the one who mentioned the hard-a-port, second helm order and having heard it given when the iceberg was "way down stern".
    As you also know, Hichens was specifically asked if he received but one helm order. I remind you of his answer:
    "1314. You were given the order to hard-a-starboard? A: - Yes.
    1315. Was that the only order you had as to the helm? A: - Yes.
    1316. (Mr. Holmes.) It is Question 354. (To the Witness.) She never was under a port helm? A: - She did not come on the port helm, Sir - on the
    starboard helm."

    The foregoing evidence was given in the UK, long after Ismay's evidence was given. Surely if there had been controversy or Hichens had been "primed" they would have got their stories to match? If not, then they would have pilloried one or both of these witnesses.

    As for the hard-a-port evidence of QM Oliver?

    Oliver said he heard it when he was on the bridge. He was not on the bridge when the first order was given. He arrived on the bridge in time to see Murdoch at the WT door handle and hear him telling the captain the WT doors were closed. So no helm order at that time. He saw the Captain give an ahead order on the engines. That would only be given to either stop the ship or to activate the rudder. He was then sent below to find the ship's carpenter. I suggest to you that Olliver heard that second helm order in conjunction with an engine movement.
  17. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    The problem with the official testimony is that the final transcripts do not match the answers that were recorded by press reporters at the time. e.g.

    Lightoller was asked if a number of specific men had survived. The Inquiry transcript says:

    Q - Did any of them survive?
    A - No, not one.

    Yet the newspapers gave his answer as:

    Q - Did any of them survive?
    A - No, all were lost.

    Who do we believe? The transcripts from a dodgy self-serving Inquiry, or the reports made by the reporters who were present?


    Another example. According to the transcripts Lightoller told the US Inquiry that he saw the lights of another ship "when we were getting the boats out." and he said it was off the port bow.

    Q - Did you see the lights on the boat?
    A - Yes, sir.
    Q - Ahead of the Titanic?
    A - Two points on the port bow.
    Q - Do you know what it was?
    A - I do not.

    Yet the news reporters who were present recorded and published this:


    How could the reporters mistake the word port for starboard? What if the Inquiry transcripts are the real problem? Especially if they were recorded in shorthand and later converted to longhand text.

    Note that the word for port and starboard in shorthand look very similar. What if the news reporters present got it right and the official transcripts are wrong?


    When Hichens was questioned his answers appeared in the transcripts as 'starboard' but in the newspapers it was recorded as 'port'.


    I recall another newspaper report which stated that several members of the crew had testified that the watertight doors had jammed, but their accounts do not appear in the official transcripts. It feels like two versions of the Inquiry were made. One true, the other false. Or possibly one was handled in a professional manner and the other was riddled with clerical and judicial blunders. As Lightoller said the Inquiry was "a complete farse".

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  18. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber Moderator Member

    Moderator's hat on:

    Keep it civil, folks. Accusations of dishonesty have no proper place here.

    Moderator's hat off.
    Quite so.
  19. Agree. With all the research that's been done I am often confused why some treat the Inquiries like their gospel. But I respectfully disagree about today's standards...in some ways its even worse today.
  20. There are errors and omissions in both the US and British transcripts. Undoubtedly, there are also a few whopping lies that were never questioned and a lot of important areas overlooked. Even so, a transcript by a court stenographer is probably as close to what was said during the hearings as possible.

    Newspapers on the other hand have credibility marks in the negative range. Reporters in 1913 did not usually write their own stories. They simply collected information and eyewitness quotes which were phoned or telegraphed them to the rewrite deparment. There, someone who knew little or nothing about the story would write it down, "punching" it up if necessary to make the story attractive to readers (meaning newspaper buyers). Then it would go to "the slot" where an editor would assign it a position in the newspaper. If going to the front page it might get another round of "punching up" to really sparkle. Anyway, what came out was often only vaguely related to the events on which it was based, a sort of "faction" if you will. Reporters were paid by the "column inch," so they had an incentive for coming up with lurid details or even making things up out of whole cloth just to get a few more bucks for a longer story.

    Bottom line, the official transcripts are a quantum leap better than newspapers when it comes to the accuracy of the reporting. Still, there are those times when a reporter's "nose for news" helped bring out details not in the public record. The problem has always been sorting out the bombast from the facts.

    And...oh...think political bias in the news biz was just invented? In the not so far distant past you declared your political affiliation by which newspaper you supported. In the US, the Republican and Democrat papers might have been printed by the same company on the same press, but the nameplate was decidedly different as were the editorials about just which scoundrels should get the bum's rush at the next election. Otherwise, the contents were the same.

    -- David G. Brown
    Rob Lawes likes this.