Hello Julian. I enjoyed that approach. I suggest that the principals outlined in the following article be applied to the transcript of evidence:Can we perhaps call 'half time' and go back to the dressing room, and then re-emerge for the final half?
Mila seems to have some set agenda here, ignoring what has been accepted for very many years, and trying to suggest that Stone and Gibson saw Boxhall's green flares from his lifeboat, which is utter nonsense.
Mila also fails to accept the glaring faults in Captain Rostron's evidence as to his speed and distance and his navigation that night on the rescue and the simple common sense fact that lots of people that night got things very wrong in their recollection whether innocently or deliberately, through incompetence, inexperience, confusion, poor memory, not noting things that were important, PTSD/shock, illness, pressure from above, concocted defensive plans, and sheer unadulterated lying. Add to that lots of accounts that were never tested on oath in evidence such as Beesley's.
Then you have the selectivity of those in the 1950s and 1960s in their research. Harrison and Walter Lord decided not to interview certain key individuals. Harrison decided not to contact Herbert Stone before he died in 1959. Walter Lord interviewed and corresponded with Charles Groves, but made no attempt to contact Captain Lord, or Stone. Neither made any attempt to contact Gibson before he died in 1963.
Lets take this up a stage? Go to the British Inquiry and have a good look at Gibson's testimony of the rockets fired from the Carpathia. He is all over the place by this stage in giving evidence and his timings are seriously out and he is getting quite muddled, despite getting an easy time in the witness box like Groves. What I would term 'witness fatigue'. You would normally ask for an adjournment when this becomes apparent.
But very few comment on this, and Gibson's muddled testimony at the end of his time in the witness box. So we shift and quote instead from his very neat carefully written statement to Captain Lord on 18th April 1912.
It is abundantly clear that Captain Rostron ordered Cottam to send out a general Marconi message to all ships 'We are firing rockets', and both he and Bissett say these rockets - which would have been distress rockets as imported by the Marconi wireless message - were fired at 15 minute intervals. If Rostron ordered 'company signals' also to be seen, no one ever saw them. Rostron got his timing wrong in his evidence and affidavit, working backwards with a wrong speed and distance and a few other errors. He fired his first rocket around 3.15am on the 15th which tallies with the Marconi wireless message warning of rockets being fired.
Captain Rostron got quite a few things muddled in his recollection of that night.
So did quite a few others!
Having been in the same seat as the witnesses from the Californian, I can well imagine how the younger witnesses felt - particularly young Gibson since as a 19-year-old, I was the sole Apprentice on a ship similar to the Californian... the SS Wellpark.
When considering the evidence of Gibson, it should be borne in mind that at the age of 19, he would have been very unsophisticated and easily overawed by the occasion. The reason for this was that for his entire life, he would have been subordinate to everyone he knew.
Up to the age of 14 years- it would have been his parents. Thereafter, at pre-sea training and at sea everyone except a Junior Apprentice would treat him with at the very least, indifference. Back in the old days, there was a saying that a Deck Apprentice was "the lowest form of animal life on board."
As far as I am concerned, the whole matter of the distance separating the 2 vessels lies with the evidence concerning what was seen at 3-30 am that morning from the upper bridge of the SS Californian.
Gibson said he saw a light or lights which to him looked like pyrotechnics right on his horizon and drew Stone;'s attention to what he saw. it is not sufficient to say that Gibson lied about that. If he did, why would he do so? If he was mistaken, how was it possible to mistaken about an isolated incident?
Stone confirmed the sighting of a light or lights in the direction indicated by Gibson. He too saw them right on the horizon. Was he mistaken? Or did Gibson defer to him and agree like a dutiful subordinate?
At the time these pyrotechnics were sighted, there was no sign of the source, nor were frequent green flares seen.
Carpathia sent up a pyrotechnics signal at or near to the time Gibson and Stone saw their light or lights. If Gibson and Stone were not lying or mistaken, did they see Carpathia's signals or signals fired by another vessel?
I put it to you that in the absence of contrary evidence or conflicting evidence regarding this particular incident, then it must be accepted that the distance between Boxhall in Titanic's Boat 2 was greater than 12 miles and most certainly not less than that.
You mentioned the signed statements made on April 18 by Stone and Gibson. How do you think these would have been viewed by Lord Mersey et al?