How Did Officer Moody Die

J

Jay Lancey

Guest
Hello everybody

I have read in a couple of places on the internet that Officer Moody was seen in the water with head injuries. This is not in his biography on this site. Does anyone have the source for this?
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
Hallo, Jay —

Oddly, I’ve had a couple of communications from people in recent weeks regarding this particular rumour — for some reason, after lying dead for well over a year, it seems to have taken on a new lease of life.

The story initiated with a young woman who claimed it had the authority of Lucy Bride (she claimed an oral source, but I now believe it more likely it is derived from one of her ‘past life’ memories).

According to the story as it was related to me some time ago, Bride passed Moody in the water, noting he had a head injury. It was claimed that after Bride made it to ‘B’, he turned around and saw Moody crawl in — unassisted- into #4. Bride had assumed Moody survived until he later transmitted the list of survivors from the Carpathia, and the Sixth Officer’s name was missing. In a further dramatic touch, it was claimed that Moody was given a sea burial from the decks of the Carpathia alongside Jack Phillips.

The problems this presented (and there were more —this is the succinct version) are immediately obvious. Bride could not have seen Moody get into #4 from his position aboard ‘B’. Lightoller and the Carpathia’s officers identified those bodies buried from the Carpathia, and it is unlikely in the extreme that Lightoller would fail to recognise Moody.

I was surprised, then , sometime later to learn that claims had been made that a Scottish researcher’s interviews with Bride and Boxhall indicated that both corroborated the tale. It took the better part of a year to get to the bottom of all this, and it is largely thanks to the efforts of another researcher who frequents ET that the matter was cleared up. Unfortunately, another researcher had conflated the American woman’s sources with the material from the Bride and Boxhall interviews, and the sources had become confused.

We have seen the notes of the man who interviewed the researcher with the Bride and Boxhall material, and there is no mention of James Moody in them. The whole episode forms a valuable lesson in how sources, particularly relayed either orally or in the swift and often informal communications of the internet, can become confused — and once confused, how difficult it can be to untangle them.

The Moody family went to some effort at the time of the disaster to track down information on what exactly happened to James at the very end. They never found out.

Regards,

Inger
 

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
1,265
0
0
Hi, Inger!

>I was surprised, then , sometime later to learn >that claims had been
>made that a Scottish researcher’s interviews with >Bride and Boxhall
>indicated that both corroborated the tale. .... >Unfortunately, another researcher had conflated the American
>woman’s sources with the material from the Bride >and Boxhall interviews,
>and the sources had become confused.

The Dalbeattie website strikes again. :)

Has that guy attempted to correct any of his website's misinformation yet?

All my best,

George
 

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
1,265
0
0
Hi, Michael!

The Dalbeattie website is devoted to presenting biographical information about Murdoch as well as 'proving' that Murdoch did not commit suicide. The biographical information is worthwhile, but the 'proof' that Murdoch did not commit suicide is 'documented' by so-called 'evidence' that is mostly untrue.

The URL of the Dalbeattie website is:

http://www.dalbeattie.com/titanic/

After you've perused the site, you might like to visit my own site to see an itemized list of the 'mistaken' evidence that the Dalbeattie site uses to 'prove' that Murdoch did not commit suicide.

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Carpathia/

All my best,

George
 
W

William Conrad

Guest
George,

Do you believe that Murdoch killed himself? I guess, if it did happen at all, it was most probably Murdoch, Wide or maybe a purser? After all, Smith was seen jumping into the water by Bride, Moody wasn't issued a pistol and the Chief Purser's body was recovered without any gunshot wounds...
 
J

Jay Lancey

Guest
Thank you Inger for the information about Moody. So it was all just a rumor?
 

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
1,265
0
0
William Conrad wrote:

>George,
>Do you believe that Murdoch killed himself?

Hi, William!

There's not enough evidence to know for sure; all we can say is that the number of published reports (of varying reliability) from 1912 which implicate Murdoch far outnumber those implicating any other Titanic personage.

Michael Standart wrote:

>Thanks George. I'll check them out and stay >nuetral on this one. After
>88 years, it's probably impossible to prove one >way or another anyway.

Hi, Michael!

The real issue isn't whether or not Murdoch took his own life, though -- it's why the Dalbeattie website resorts to presenting misinformation in order to convince the *public* that he didn't do so. There's no excuse for such tactics being used no matter *what* a website is trying to prove.

All my best,

George
 

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
1,265
0
0
By the way, anyone who would like to examine the 1912 accounts pertaining to an officer suicide would do well to visit Bill Wormstedt's outstanding website. Bill has gathered together as many such accounts as possible, presents each account verbatim and then examines its reliability (or lack thereof.)

The URL of Bill's website is:

http://home.att.net/~wormstedt/

All my best,

George
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
G'day, George!

Blame where it's due - and in this instance, the blame belongs with a woman who fabricated the entire incident. The Dalbeattie webmaster was very helpful in clearing the matter up when he was contacted. He wasn't the only one bitten by the misinformation spread by this young woman, and I understand that the references to Moody on the site will be corrected. He made a mistake that several of us did at the time - we didn't believe a person would simply invent an entire account.

Regards,

Inger
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toma

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
Michael

Thanks George. I'll check them out and stay nuetral on this one. After 88 years, it's probably impossible to prove one way or another anyway

Wise decision - the waters have become hopelessly muddied on this issue. I just take the position of resisting aggressive advocacy of any one candidate, because - as a perusal of Bill's site demonstrates, recommended above by George - the material relating to a suicide allows for speculation and nothing more.

Regards,

Inger
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toma

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
1,265
0
0
Hi, Inger!

>Blame where it's due - and in this instance, the >blame belongs with a
>woman who fabricated the entire incident. The >Dalbeattie webmaster was
>very helpful in clearing the matter up when he >was contacted.

Thanks very much -- that accounts for *one* of the misstatements of fact on the Dalbeattie website.... :)

All my best,

George
 
C

Captain Erik D Wood

Guest
Good Morning,

From the reading and offical tesitominy I think is commonly thought the Moody, Wilde, and Murdoch (who in my opinion did not commit suicide) where drowned while trying to lower the last collapsable. Lightoller and Hemmings say they saw the three of them on the boat deck Starboard side trying to lower the boat when she took her plunge. Wilde and Murdoch's body was never found and the story above is the first I have heard of Moody's body being found. I am ship Captain for a passenger company so I have a few more resources then some and I do believe that Moody may have escaped the vents above the Officer Quarters much like Lightoller but when the stack came down it nicked him in the head and that is where the head injury comes from.
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
Hallo, Erik!

Many thanks for your comments, and for your perspective as a mariner. I think that the odds are pretty much evenly spread between Moody dying from debris injuries (e.g. the forward funnel), hypothermia, or drowning (we do not know if he was wearing a lifejacket). He was a strong swimmer, but possibly even that wasn't enough to pull him free of the suction and debris around the forward part of the boat deck when it went under.

There is absolutely no evidence that he had a head injury. The account saying that he did stems entirely from a source that has been disproven. It was claimed that interviews with Boxhall and Bride supported this allegation - I've seen the material in question from this source and spoken to the man who liaised with the interviewer, and can state categorically that there is *no* mention of Moody at all, let alone that he had a head injury.

Hemming is still our last source for Moody's whereabouts, unless someone can come up with further evidence.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toma

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
3,519
4
168
Hey Inger,

I read, I believe in Lightoller's book that he and Hemmings both saw the three of them. But after Lightoller jumped who knows. I don't think that I would rule out seeing a head injury. If he was in the water and survived the ships plunge then that would put him in the general area of the forward funnel. If he wasn't killed by it then I would assume that he was at least wounded by it. If he was killed then he could have been floating with a head injury. In another book by Eaton it is said the Moody was last seen with Smith around the starboard side of the bridge. Which would have been right around the time of the foward plunge as well as the general area of Murdoch and Wilde trying to get the other collapsible over the side. I will keep looking through some books to see what I can find. Thanks for the response.
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
Sorry to disagree, Erik, but I've also read Lightoller's memoirs, and there is no mention of Moody at all by name, and no officer mentioned at 'A' who could be identified as Moody. His memoirs are consistent with his British Inquiry testimony - the only officer he saw working at 'A' was Murdoch. He did, however, hear from a source which he did not identify in his evidence (but was possibly Hemming) that he heard later that Moody had been there as well. I've spent a couple of years now on tracking down what info is extant on Moody, and unless someone can cite a specific source suggesting otherwise, I'll stick to Hemming as the last man to sight him. The only source that reports him having a head injury has been debunked.

Regards,

Inger
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toma

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
3,519
4
168
I do agree that the head source is debunked but I would not rule it out. You are right upon further investigation of the britsh inquiry that Moody is not mentioned by name. However it is said the Murdoch and Wilde were seen together. This was especially written in Charles Eatons' book. It has been suggested that instead of Murdoch shooting himself it was the Chief Purser. Further if you refer to the formal investigation into Murdoch by the British inquiry ( that and the one about Titanic are one and the same )It was said that " Murdoch and Wilde where last seen trying to cut free the last collapsible". Now,I have a friend at the English Board of Trade the BOT had lead in the investiagtion and I am attemping to get all of it. Which not all is available at this time. Or at least I can't find it all. I shall see but you are right on 95% of it. My failing memory is forgetting things.
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
Hallo, Erik -

I'm not sure what source Eaton was referring to as you mention above. I now follow a rule with all Titanic books...if it can't be traced back to a primary source, view it with extreme caution. I've got the full transcripts of evidence given at the British Inquiry (they're also available online) and I don't believe there's any reference by a witness to Wilde being seen trying to cut free the last collapsible (Wilde's whereabouts at the end have been a matter of considerable discussion and speculation in Titanic circles for some time). I know what you mean about failing memory - I'm often left sitting here at the computer wondering where on earth I saw a specific source, then diving through piles of books and documents to try and find it.

Regards,

Inger
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toma