How Far South did the Titanic Reach?

B-rad

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Mr. HOGG: I should say that I never thought she was going to sink. I went to relieve the lookout 20 minutes after accident. I thought she was not going down.
 

Jim Currie

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The problem for me is that testimony contradicts the evidence in many details here.
Boxhall states he allowed 22 knots when he worked up his distress position. However, his distress position requires a speed of almost 25 knots from The Corner if my math is right (approx. 144.6 miles from The Corner / 5h50m run time) It also requires the ship to run much further over the ground than the patent log had registered through the water. Smith's is even more ridiculous. I hadn't investigated this topic very much previously, but I'm a little baffled that nobody caught this mistake back then. The data available in 1912 gets you pretty close to the actual wreck location if you don't screw up while doing the math.

It's the same with the slow down before turning the corner. Any speed or distance you lose before turning the corner has to be made up in order to get Titanic to the wreck site. Granted that it's a small fraction if the distance is only some 4-5 miles to be made up.

In any case, the testimony and the numbers don't add up to me, and I don't yet have a theory to explain the discrepancy.
Hello Michael.

I add to Sam's list the testimony that Titanic slowed down.

Boxhall's main mistake was to guess at a speed rather than consult the latest Patent Log reading. However, speed is only one argument in calculating a position, the element of time is equally important. We do not know the initial time he used. We know it was the time of 7-30 pm sights but these sights were actually taken between 7-35 and 7-40 pm, perhaps even later than that. Boxhall also stated that he used an end time f 11-46 pm. This, despite the overwhelming evidence that the impact time was 11-40 pm. Since he was calculating a spot to which rescue vessel should head, it is probable that he calculated where Titanic was when she finally stopped... not when she hit the iceberg.
So without considering a clock change we already have a minimum and maximum lapsed time of between 4 hours dead and 4 hours 11 minutes.
Now consider the lapsed time choice if the clocks had been set back 24 minutes before impact. For this we have to add 24 minutes to the original lapsed times. shown in the previous paragraph.
Now we now have a choice between 4 hours 24 minutes and 4 hours 35 minutes. But we're not finished yet.
Consider the possibility that Boxhall thought the recorded final time was uncorrected and added another 24 minutes. We must remember that when Boxhall went to make his calculation, it was a time of high anxiety, a time when everyone else was engaged in preparing boats. He therefore did not have anyone to consult with anyone, in particular, his assistant 6th Officer Moody If that did happen, then we now have a choice of lapsed times between 4 hours 48 minutes and 4 hours 59 minutes.

So to recap. In attempting to discover how Boxhall arrived at his erroneous distress position, we mus consider the following lapsed times in conjunction with a speed of 22 knots:

A. Between 4 hours dead and 4 hours 11 minutes.

B. Between 4 hours 24 minutes and 4 hours 35 minutes.

C Between 4 hours 48 minutes and 4 hours 59 minutes.

Rounding up or down as necessary, the distances commensurate with the foregoing are as follows:

A Between 88 miles and 92 miles.

B. Between 97 miles and 101 miles.

C. Between 105.5 miles and 110 miles.

For myself, I believe that Boxhall worked his run to 11-40 pm ship then added an extra 1 minute of longitude to the longitude of his calculated impact position to get 50-14'West This means that his impact longitude was 50-13 minutes west.
I also believe that Titanic averaged just over 21 knots from Noon that day and the patent log read near to 162 at the time of sights. If so, then taking situation C above and adding the run of 110 miles to the 162 Log reading we get a log reading of 272 miles. 272 miles would have been the Patent Log the reading, had Titanic actually reached Boxhall's impact position. However, that position was 12 miles west of where Titanic hit the iceberg and the Patent Log reading then was 260 miles.

No doubt Sam'll tear this to ribbons, Michael but it might help you to form an opinion of your own.
 
Nov 26, 2016
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As far as Rowe, he knew full well that the clock was to go back near midnight by about 23 minutes, ...

By the way, in a letter he wrote to Ed Kamuda of the THS in 1963, Rowe said: "At about 11:40 I was walking from starboard to port and on turning round on the port side she gave rather an odd motion which was similar to going alongside a quay a bit heavy. I looked forward and was amazed to see what I thought to be a sailing vessel it was the colour as wet canvas and I said to myself, my - we've struck a windjammer but as we passed it we were so close I saw it was an iceberg and the engines started in reverse and the vibration on the poop was something terrific, I went across to the port side and pulled in the log in case it fouled the propeller, and then all was still. My watch should have ended at 12:22 but time went by and no relief turned up."
Just to clarify the times given by Rowe. Even if he adjusted his watch back 23 minutes the 11.40 and the 12:22 are to be interpreted in unaltered time?

Here the statement of quartermaster Bright (US Inq):
"I went out to the after end of the ship to relieve the man I should have relieved at 12 o'clock, a man by the name of Rowe. We stood there for some moments and did not know exactly what to do, and rang the telephone up to the bridge and asked them what we should do. They told us to bring a box of detonators for them - signals. Each of us took a box to the bridge. When we got up there we were told to fire them - distress signals."

Reading this one has to conclude the relief turned up at 12 altered time or 12.23 unaltered time.
 

Jim Currie

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Ah well!
"Moses supposes his toeses are Roses,
But Moses supposes Erroneously,
Moses he knowses his toeses aren't roses,
As Moses supposes his toeses to be!
Moses supposes his toeses are Roses,
But Moses supposes Erroneously,":rolleyes:
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Marcus, as I said, the patent log measures distance travelled through the water, not distance made good. According to Jim, however, Lowe got a distance from noon to the corner of 126 miles by taking the log reading at 6pm. Nowhere did Lowe say that he got that distance by taking the log. He did say that they could use the log to check the speed of the ship. What he did say was: "I used the speed for the position at 8 o'clock, and got it by dividing the distance from noon to the corner by the time that had elapsed from noon until the time we were at the corner." The distance from noon to the corner came from knowing the ship's noontime position and the position of the corner point. Given that the ship had run a total of 1549 nautical miles to noon on April 14th, it can easily be shown that had about 126 miles to go to reach the corner that day. (Adding 126 miles to the 1549 already travelled gives a total travel distance from Queenstown to the corner of 1675 miles. From previous voyages of Olympic over the exact same route of travel in 1911, the travel distance from Queenstown to the corner point ranged from 1674 to 1677 miles. So we see that 1675 miles fits right in with that narrow range.) Also, Lowe used the wrong time when he did that little speed calculation for Sen. Smith. According to both Pitman and Boxhall, the ship turned the corner at 5:50pm, not 6pm. A run of 42 miles every two hours by patent log between noon and 6pm is totally inconsistent with making 45 miles by patent log every two hours that was observed between 8 and 10pm that night unless the revolutions had changed, which we were told did not happen.

The only mileages by log that we were told about is 45 miles by log from 8 to 10pm, and 260 miles by log from noon to the time of collision. Now let me ask, is a run of 45 miles in two hours consistent with a run of 260 miles in 11h 40m, or is it consistent with a run of 260 miles in 12h 04m? The first, 11h 40m, gives a 2-hour average of 44.6 miles; while the second, 12h 04m, gives a 2-hour average of 43.1 miles. For me, the answer is very simple.

As for the Gulf Stream, that I will save for another time.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Markus, I can only give you my opinion of what was said.

The 11:40 and 12:22 times that Rowe wrote about in 1963 were unaltered April 14th times. That fits well with what we read from Hichens who said the ship struck at 11:40 and he was relieved by QM Perkis at 12:23.
It was Hichens, by the way, who was the one that told us about the clock going back 23 and 24 minutes, respectively, thereby extending the time of the 8 to 12 and 12 to 4 watch periods by those times.
The evidence from QM Bright says that he admitted to showing up late in relieving Rowe out on the poop deck. His words were "to relieve the man I should have relieved at 12 o'clock", clearly implying he did not show up on time. Notice, that Bright was referring to altered time when he said 12 o'clock. That altered time would have corresponded to 12:23 on a clock or watch showing unaltered time. The same reference to 12 o'clock altered time was used by QM Perkis when he spoke about waiting to go on deck after he was told that the ship struck an iceberg by the joiner. Perkis said, "He told us, then, that we had struck something. I took no notice of it. I stayed there [in the QM's quarters down on E deck] until I though it was time to turn out to relieve the deck at 12 o'clock." As we know from Hichens, Perkis arrived to take over the wheel at 12:23 when they both were told to go and help clear the boats.

The other thing that people need to be careful about is when trying to correlate events such as when the firing of distress signals began and ended. What we know from Californian is that 2/O Stone saw what appeared to be a rocket appear over the stopped steamer off his starboard beam at about 12:45am, and that the last of a total of 8 rockets was seen at about 1:40am. Was the first one he noticed the first one fired? The exact number of distress signals that sent up from Titanic is not really known. Apparently, nobody really counted. Boxhall said that they went up at about 5 minute intervals, "Well, probably five minutes; I did not take any times."

Anyway, that's another story altogether.
 

Jim Currie

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Hello Jim, some questions,
about the bells
I am wondering whether the bells were struck on the bridge or in the crow's nest.
The was a bell on the bridge, one in the Crow's Nest and one right forward beside the anchor windlass. In the normal course of events, the stand by QM on the bridge would keep an eye on a clock in the wheel-house which was always set to actual Watch time. Remember, this was a signal to the crew, not the passengers therefore it reflected any planned alterations or parts thereof. At the appropriate moment he would go out side the covered part of the bridge and ring the bell hanging there using a fancy knotted rope specially made for that purpose. Often, these were elaborately fashioned by a respected old hand. Sometimes by a Cadet or Apprentice being trained buy such a hand.

How do we know that they did not strike the bell? If 8 bells were not struck, what did Symon hear then?
11418. Before you go on telling us what happened then, can you give us any idea what time it was when you noticed this water reaching nearly to the coamings of the hatch? - I should think, roughly estimating it,
it would be about five minutes to twelve, because, as I was on my way to the deck, so they struck eight bells in the crow's-nest.

If they did strike 8 bells in the Crow's Nest (which I seriously doubt) then they most certainly such them on the bridge first of all. Time was taken exclusively from the bridge. It was the only place where accurate time could be had. That's where the chronometers were.

May be he could not tell whether the bells sounded from the crow's nest or from the bridge, but he heared 8 bells. If the clock was not set back we must not imperatively follow that 8 bells were not struck.

Yes we must, Markus. As I pointed out, the only source of accurate time was the bridge. The 8 bells heard was an accurate signal that told everyone that those on duty on the 8 to Midnight Watch had been on duty for 4 hours and 24 minutes. It was a highly significant time signal. It told everyone that the 8 to Midnight Watch had ended and the Midnight to 4 am had started; that the day of April 14 had come to an end and that a new day, April 15 had started. They were not struck until that moment. The time on anyone watch or clock was secondary. After the end of April 14, the bell system of time notification would start all over again.

Hichens was relieved at 12.23, Rowe was waiting until 12.25. Why should'nt the standby quartermaster be able to strike 8 bells at 12.23?

There was nothing to stop him doing so providing he was indicating the precise end of April 14, the end of the Watch and the start of a new one. If,as I firmly believe, Hichens was relieved on time, then he or more than like likely his relief, QM Perkis, rang the 8 bells heard by others.

QM Rowe had 12-25 am on a partly adjusted clock when he saw the first lifeboat. Like Hichens, he should have been relieved at 12-23 am on an unaltered clock. In fact. he was relieved 25 minutes late. That being so, then when his watch showed 12-25 am. the unaltered time was 12- 48 am.


For my understanding he explains very well that Boxhall had detonators at hand before he got the phone call from Rowe. I quote from the article:
Now we shall see that Boxhall was already busy with rockets on his own when he unexpectedly got the opportunity to call up assistance.

The above quotation is the result of the analysis if the evidence of Boxhall given at the UK Inquiry. Then, Boxhall stated:

"I knew one of the boats had gone away, because I happened to be putting the firing lanyard inside the well-house after sending off a rocket, and the telephone bell rang. Somebody telephoned to say that one of the starboard boats had left the ship, and I was rather surprised."


That quotation suggests that rocket(s) had been fired before the launching of lifeboat No. 7. It does not fit with any of the available evidence which overwhelmingly indicated that the first rocket was fired about 7 minutes after the first boat was launched... 12-32 am.

I'm afraid that you make exactly the same mistake as did Seanan and others who have written on this subject... not reading the evidence carefully. Your quote comes from a combination or abstract of the US Inquiry evidence given by Boxhall in the UK 5 weeks after the event. Consider the following evidence given by Boxhall on Day 3 of the US Inquiry, barely a week after the event.


3784. How are the rockets exploded? A: - The rockets are exploded by a firing lanyard.
3785. They shower? A: - They go right up into the air and they throw stars.
3786. How strong rockets do they have on these boats - what is the charge; do you know? A: - I do not know, sir; the Board of Trade regulations govern that.
3787. Did they work satisfactorily? A: - Oh, yes.

3788. So that, so far as your manipulation of these signals and rockets was concerned - They were quite satisfactory.
3789. The failure to arouse the attention of this ship was not due to any impaired or partial success of these signals? A: - Not at all, sir.
3790. You say you continued to fire the rockets and give the signals? A:- Yes, sir.
3791. And then returned to the side of the ship? A: - Yes, sir.
3792. And assisted in the work of the lifeboats? A: - Yes, sir.
3793. All about the same time? A: - Yes, sir.


3794. Now, Mr. Boxhall, how many people were on the boat deck, the upper deck, where these lifeboats were located?
- At what time, sir?
3795. At the time you were clearing them; at the time they were lowered - the first ones were lowered? A: I do not know what time the first boat was lowered.
3796. Were you there when it was lowered? A: - I was around the bridge, but the first boat that was lowered was lowered away from aft.
3797. Lowered from aft? A: - On the starboard side. I received the communication though the telephone in the wheelhouse that the first boat had been lowered. I did not notice the time.
3798. Who lowered it? A: - I do not know who was aft.
3799. The communication did not tell you? A: - No; I do not know who it was that told me through the telephone.

Note the two different colours. These are to emphasise the fact that questions 3784 to 3793 inclusive are concerned with the nature of the rockets, how they were fired and their relationship to the mystery vessel approaching from the west. No mention of a detonator.
At question 3794. Senator Smith is finished with the rocket questions and moves on to a completely different subject...the people on the boat deck and the time when the first lifeboat was launched. At no time during this second exchange are detonators mentioned.

About Rowe, you wrote:

"Sorry, but I do not feel well about this. Rowe's watch ended at 12.00 adjusted time.
Do you think he was waiting another 25 minutes beyond the end of his watch? After 4 h 23 beeing on watch?"

Under normal circumstances, Rowe would have waited until 12-10 am by his watch. Then he would have called the bridge and reported that his relief was late. This would have initiated a search for QM Bright. However things were not normal. He knew that there was a possibility that due ti there being something wrong, QM Bright might have been employed elsewhere. I suspect his call to the bridge was less to do with telling them they had last a lifeboat and all to do with initiating an explanation as to why e had not been relieved.

Incidentally: Bright told his questioners that when he and Rowe arrived on the bridge with the detonators, he, Rowe, and Boxhall were employed sending up distress signals... about 7 minutes after the phone call?

 

Jim Currie

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[QUOTE="Samuel Halpern, post: 382771, member: 137378"]As Markus pointed out, the reason Boxhall was in the wheel house when the call from Rowe came in was that he just fired off a distress rocket. Rowe was also asked about the location of these devices:

I take it then that you now wish to disassociate yourself from that part of "The Lifeboat Launching Sequence Re-Examined. By Bill Wormstedt, Tad Fitch and George Behe, with contributions by Sam Halpern and J. Kent Layton" which clearly indicates that the first rocket was not fired before QM Rowe saw that first boat in the water but until after the third lifeboat, No. 9, was launched?

You quoted:

"Senator BURTON. Were there any detonators or other signals kept aft?
Mr. ROWE. The detonators, such as the distress signal rockets, green lights, and blue lights..
Senator BURTON. Were there any kept forward?
Mr. ROWE. Yes; on the fore bridge.
Senator BURTON. On the after bridge, too?
Mr. ROWE. Not on the after bridge. There was a private locker aft."

Read the evidence properly, Sam. The Senator asked a question about 2 different things...detonators or 'other signals'.

A full description of these signals can be found here: http://www.titanicology.com/Californian/WhatColorWereThey.pdf.

Much as I enjoy your publications, I don't need to re-read your version, Sam. I am very familiar with all kinds of distress signals, including the one under discussion. However, if you insist:

On Page 9, you show an illustration of the inside of one of these things. It shows a single integral detonator. This is the secondary detonator.
On Page 11, you reproduce a page from the Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine which gives verbal instruction for firing. It includes a sketch of the bits and pieces needed for doing so, One of these is the Friction Tube which is supplied separately... one for each projectile. These are the fulminate of Mercury Detonators... highly unstable little bits of explosive.

You also quote Lightollers on page who confirmed:

"You insert the cartridge in this socket; a brass detonator [friction tube], which reaches from the top of the signal into the charge at the base, is then inserted in this hole.."

In your article, you go into great detail about the photograph of the box on the sea bed containing projectiles which was found at the wreck site.
To me that box could not have been a 'part box', it must have been full at one time and by measurement, might originally have contained 32 projectiles and the firing lanyard. Of that box you wrote:

"It is not absolutely certain that the box containing the signals seen on the ocean floor was a box that was actually supplied by the manufacturer of these signals. What was discovered on the seabed at the wreck site was an opened decaying box containing 17 unfired socket signals. Of the 36 socket signals carried on Titanic, we know that some were kept on the forebridge and some in a quartermaster’s locker under the poop. We also know that Quartermasters George Rowe and Arthur Bright each brought a box of these signals from under the poop to the forebridge at the request of Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall"

Unless that was a magazine box, in which case, it would have contained all the projectiles, it was delivered from the BoT approved suppliers. This suggests that Titanic was supplied with 32 of these in one box and 4 in another. So Rowe and Bright could not have brought 2 boxes.
If all the signals fired came from the box in the photograph (Why should they not have done so?) then the box originally contained 17 + 8 = 25 projectiles. However you guess it contained 28 projectiles. So what the heck was in the boxes brought to the bridge by Rowe and Bright? Detonators?

"The distress signal were referred to as detonators because they detonated with a laud report and threw out stars ..."


And you know this because....?

As far as lookouts and bells, the IMM Company rules (No. 254) required that ship's bells be struck every 1/2 hour [there were no exceptions to this listed] and answer by the lookouts, and at night to report that the lights are burning brightly when doing so. It was also a requirement that lookout men report to the OOW on the bridge when relieved, and the name(s) of the relief given and entered into the log book.

It may well have been Sam. However these rules were to be followed under normal circumstances but at the time, circumstances were anything but normal. Additionally, you may or may not know it but Company Rules were enforced at the master's discretion. We have proof of that from the evidence of Lookout Fleet:

"5833. You said you did not believe that they struck seven bells, and then you said it was just after.
- It may have been just after. We never, generally, ring bells up in the crow's nest every half hour; we generally miss it."


"By the way, in a letter he wrote to Ed Kamuda of the THS in 1963, Rowe said: . My watch should have ended at 12:22 but time went by and no relief turned up."

In a another letter he wrote in 1968, Rowe said: "By the time I arrived on the bridge, there was seven rockets fired but I did not determine how many was left as you can guess it was a bit dark at the time but you can take it for granted that 7 was fired."

Do I really need to dissect the foregoing or simply rip it up for toilet paper?
 
Nov 26, 2016
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Hello Sam,

Nowhere did Lowe say that he got that distance by taking the log. He did say that they could use the log to check the speed of the ship.
What he did say was: "I used the speed for the position at 8 o'clock, and got it by dividing the distance from noon to the corner by the time that had elapsed from noon until the time we were at the corner."


Indeed Lowe's testimony looks some how contradictionary. But after long consideration I found a way to make it fit.
The statement "I used the speed for the position at 8 o'clock, and got it by dividing the distance from noon to the corner by the time that had elapsed from noon until the time we were at the corner." puzzeled me for a many years. Where did he know from that they were at the corner at 6 pm?
He cannot simply assume a time and then calculate the speed from it and claim this is accurate.
The statement "we had the log" appears just offhand in the discussion with senator Smith, therefore I never took notice of that before Jim put my nose upon.
Lowe came on watch a 6 pm. He had to work out the DR position. The log was read at 6 pm and indicated 126 miles. This happened to be the distance from noon position to the corner.

Now Lowe had two possibilities to work out the DR position:

a) the clumsy one:
Position at 6 pm: corner 42N 47W
distance to be travelled from 6 to 8: 42 miles, right on the track, as there was no way to find where the turn exactly was made.
Result: 4 arc minutes to south, and 42 miles accordingly 57 arc minutes to west, thus the DR position would make 41-56 N and 47-57 W.

b) the accurate one (*)
The log indicated 126 miles at 6 pm, but the turn was made 10 minutes early, 3,5 miles before the corner.
Thus the position for the turn would have been 42-02 N and 46-56 W.
From there we have to proceed now 45.5 miles (42+3.5) on the 265-course, again 4 arc minutes to south and 45.5 miles accordingly 1°01 to west
and we find ourselfs located on 41-58 N and 47-57 W.

Now lets compare these two:
the clumsy version: 41-56 N and 47-57 W
the elaborated one: 41-58 N and 47-57 W

I should say, for DR position both are satisfactory.
Just the way as Lowe explained to Senator Smith is somewhat skin-deep or uncouth.
I have the impression he was not keen on detailed explanations as Senator Smith would not have understood anyway.

I have much more to say, but will continue in another mail.

Kind regards
Markus

(*) this remembers me somehow on Captain Queek in "The Caine's Mutiny" speeking to his officers:
You have four ways to do your work, the right way, the wrong way, the naval way and my way.
Do it my way and you will get along!
 
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If the distance made good and the distance registered by the log are nearly identical, the conclusion must be there was no considerable current at any time, neither before nor after 6 pm. To come back to my original point, the insinuated conclusion of Captain Smith below is not possible: By 4 pm, Captain Smith would see from the Log Book that instead of covering a distance of 86.4 miles as he estimated she would have done by that time, the ship had only covered a distance of 84 miles. In fact, he found that the current was 0.6 knots stronger than he anticipated. i.e. 1.1 knots instead of 0.5 knots.
 

Jim Currie

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Hello Sam.

You wrote:

What he did say was: "I used the speed for the position at 8 o'clock, and got it by dividing the distance from noon to the corner by the time that had elapsed from noon until the time we were at the corner." The distance from noon to the corner came from knowing the ship's noontime position and the position of the corner point.
Also, Lowe used the wrong time when he did that little speed calculation for Sen. Smith. According to both Pitman and Boxhall, the ship turned the corner at 5:50pm, not 6pm. A run of 42 miles every two hours by patent log between noon and 6pm is totally inconsistent with making 45 miles by patent log every two hours that was observed between 8 and 10pm that night unless the revolutions had changed, which we were told did not happen.

Yes he did.. and yes he did..., Sam. However, even a First Year Apprentice knows that a ship does not follow a pre-planned course., only a railway locomotive or Tram does that. Lowe was no different. Although he never served as an Apprentice, he was certainly a wee bit advanced from the days when he started to work his way up in the world. Just think carefully about what he was trying to get over the the good Senator.
For a start-off, although he would most certainly have known how far the ship was from The Corner at Noon that day, he could not possibly have known how far Titanic travelled between Noon at 5-50 pm., because he was off watch between 4 pm and 6 pm. Not only that., but neither could his betters have known the answer to that question.
If, however, like his betters, Boxhall, Pitman and Lightoller; 5th Officer Lowe had thought of speed in terms of rpm; then, when he was questioned as to what speed he used to arrive at his 8 pm DR, he would have instantly replied 21-5 knots, sir", not "as a matter of fact it was 20.95 knots."
I'm sure that you are perfectly well aware of the foregoing. Consequently, I can only assume that you have an ulterior motive for avoiding the truth; much in the same way that you are deflecting the question as to why Boxahall made the following statement regarding ship speed...

" I thought the ship was doing 22 knots....Q 15646. Was it an estimate you formed on any materials as to revolutions or as to the patent log?
A: - No, I never depend on the patent log at all. It was an estimate that I had arrived at from the revolutions, although I had had no revolutions that watch; but, taking into consideration that it was smooth water and that there ought to have been a minimum of slip, I allowed 22 knots.


The foregoing evidence begs the question: if the water had not been smooth and there had not been a minimum of slip, what speed would Boxhall have used.? Would it have been 21.5 knots? What do you think his reply should have been?

The only mileages by log that we were told about is 45 miles by log from 8 to 10pm, and 260 miles by log from noon to the time of collision. Now let me ask, is a run of 45 miles in two hours consistent with a run of 260 miles in 11h 40m, or is it consistent with a run of 260 miles in 12h 04m? The first, 11h 40m, gives a 2-hour average of 44.6 miles; while the second, 12h 04m, gives a 2-hour average of 43.1 miles. For me, the answer is very simple."

Forgive me for saying so, Sam but that is a strange question. Very seldom, if ever is the speed of a ship or any other mechanical means of transport consistent over any appreciable length of time.

Marcus quoted the words of Captain Queeg in the excellent story of "The Caine Mutiny". I am reminded of a story I was told as a young lad back in Scotland. It went something like this:

A mother had a son who she adored and in whom she could see no wrong. When her young Adonis reached the age of 18 years old, he joined the famous Scottish Army Regiment of The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.
Eventually, after basic training, her son, Callum and his mates took part in a march past in front of the General and their admiring relatives.
First there was a roll on the drums, then the pipes struck-up a blood-stirring Highland marching tune. The Regimental Sergeant Major sucked-in a great breath then yelled..."Byeeee the right, quick march". Young Callum led with his left foot!
Callum's mum was no slouch, she spotted the error right away. Her immediate response was:
"Would ye look at that now, the whole bliddy lot of them are out of step except our Callum".

I rest my case.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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See the attached note from J. Powel, district manager of the MMSA, to Leslie Harrison regarding his interview with George Rowe in June 1963.
Rowe letter June 12 1963.jpg

Also, in Rowe's 1963 letter to Kamuda he wrote:

"They asked me if I knew where the distress rockets were stowed I replied yes and he said bring as many as you can to the fore bridge. I went down under the poop to the locker and got a metal case I don't know how now if there were 9 or 12 rockets in it."

What's interesting about Rowe, in his letters and at the two inquiries in 1912, he never acknowledged that Bright eventually showed up. Bright talked about him and Rowe each carrying a box of signals to bridge.

As far as the use of the term detonator, this what Lowe described:

Mr. LOWE. He [Mr.Ismay] was there, and I distinctly remember seeing him alongside of me - that is, by my side - when the first detonator went off. I will tell you how I happen to remember it so distinctly. It was because the flash of the detonator lit up the whole deck, I did not know who Mr. Ismay was then, but I learned afterwards who he was, and he was standing alongside of me.

What would have lit up the whole deck is when the signal burst into stars at height.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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The wireless operator on the Californian - was confident that Phillips had received his last message. I wonder if Phillips sent it to the bridge and as a direct result they immediately changed course and moved further south just before the collision.
You'd make a great fiction writer Aaron. There are enough of those on this site to begin with. There was no course change since the last which took place at 5:50pm to put the ship on a course toward a point south of the Nantuckett lightship. There is zero evidence to show otherwise.
 
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Hello Jim,
your post #87
As for how I know Titanic was to the southward of her course at Noon? I calculated the Great Circle final course for The Corner.
If she had been right on the prescribed line she would have been on a course of 236.5 True. In fact, she was on 241.5->240.5 True.
Therefore, when they found the solar Noon position for April 14, they had to alter course 4 degrees to the right and aim directly at The Corner.


I calculated the Great Circle as well many years ago.
I divided it into three rhomb lines, 540 miles each, thus they add up to 1620 miles.
The courses of the three rhomb lines are: 259.1; 249; 240.5;
The course of the third line happens to be exactly the same as given by Lowe.
(Lowe gave 33 seconds of arc more. I am wondering how he was able to get that?)
This gave me good confidence that i really got the Great Circle approximation by rhomb lines right.

The positions in my model are:
Fastnet: 51-22 N 9-36 W
1st intermediate point: 49-40 N 23-30 W
2nd intermediate point: 46-26 N 36-4 W
Corner: 42 N 47 W

Now my question: How did you achieve 236.5 for the last line?
Even if I split it into four segments I get 239.7 for the last one. The length overall decreases from 1620.3 to 1619.3 miles.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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>>However these rules were to be followed under normal circumstances but at the time, circumstances were anything but normal. Additionally, you may or may not know it but Company Rules were enforced at the master's discretion. We have proof of that from the evidence of Lookout Fleet:<<

Then you quote what Fleet told Sen. Burton who reminded Fleet: "You said you did not believe that they struck seven bells, and then you said it was just after." to which Fleet responded, "It may have been just after. We never, generally, ring bells up in the crow's nest every half hour; we generally miss it."

And you believe him? Let me point out that all of this had to do with the real question that Sen. Smith was asking, which was:

Senator SMITH. When did you report that [a black mass]?
Mr. FLEET. I could not tell you the time.
Senator SMITH. About what time?
Mr. FLEET. Just after seven bells
.

and then when Smith wanted him to be more specific,

Senator SMITH. How long before the collision or accident did you report ice ahead?
Mr. FLEET. I have no idea.


which was followed by this exchange:

Senator SMITH. Would you be willing to say that you reported the presence of this iceberg an hour before the collision?
Mr. FLEET. No, sir.
Senator SMITH. Forty-five minutes?
Mr. FLEET. No. sir.
Senator SMITH. A half hour before?
Mr. FLEET. No, sir.
Senator SMITH. Fifteen minutes before?
Mr. FLEET. No, sir.
Senator SMITH. Ten minutes before?
Mr. FLEET. No, sir.
Senator SMITH. How far away was this black mass when you first saw it?
Mr. FLEET. I have no idea, sir.

That is what later prompted Sen. Burton to say:

Senator BURTON. You saw this, then, before or just after seven bells?
Mr. FLEET. Yes, sir.
Senator BURTON. Was it just before or just after?
Mr. FLEET. I do not think we struck seven bells. I believe it was just after seven bells.
Senator BURTON. You said you did not believe that they struck seven bells, and then you said it was just after.
Mr. FLEET. It may have been just after. We never, generally, ring bells up in the crow's nest every half hour; we generally miss it.


They struck bells every 1/2 hour in response to the bells struck by the standby QM and as required by the IMM rule book,

Senator PERKINS. And you struck the bell every half hour?
Mr. HOGG. Yes. And for reporting ships you struck one, port; two, starboard; and three, right ahead.


 

George Jacub

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Sep 28, 2005
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To Sam:

That means the order for "All hands on the boat deck" came about 20 minutes after the collision, about the same time that Boxhall called on the off duty officers.
1.. No, it doesn't. I've cited the evidence showing the boatswain piped "all hands on deck" at 10 minutes to midnight, and that five minutes later the assembled crew were getting the order to clear the boats.
Symons' testimony only reinforces the narrative that I posted. He told the British Inquiry that the boatswain warned him about "quarter to twelve" to standby as he might be needed. That corresponds with the time that the bosun would have been headed to the boat deck after learning the ship had hit an iceberg and the captain was anxiously waiting a report from the carpenter. Symons said he was on his way to the boat deck when eight bells was struck in the crows nest. This was either still in response to the boatswain's call or after getting the order to clear the boats---both coming before midnight (your 20 minutes after the collision.)

2. "What I am convinced about is that the first CQD was transmitted about 25 minutes after the deck crew were seen first going to the boat deck to uncover the boats. All hands were called just a few minutes prior to that."

Marconi operator Harold Bride said (New York Times) that the first time the Captain popped into the wireless room he told the operators to be ready to send a distress call, but to wait for further instructions as he was having an inspection done of the damage to the ship and would get back to them. That obviously referred to the inspection being done by the carpenter. Bride said that 10 minutes later the Captain returned and told the operators to make the CQD call. By 10 minutes to midnight, based on the boatswain's call-up of the deck crew, the Captain had his answers and had ordered emergency measures (boats to be cleared, distress messages sent, gangway doors to be opened, ladders to be fetched, etc.) The first CQD was heard at 11:58 p.m. Sunday night, Titanic time, when, to quote Bride, "We could hear a terrible confusion outside…"

To Jim:

3. "Pitman said that when Boxhall called him it was within a few minutes of him (Pitman) being due on Watch, Pitman was due on Watch at 12-24 am April 14 time. If nothing had happened, then when Pitman went onto the bridge to start work, the time on the bridge clock would have been Midnight, not 12-24 am"

Sorry, JIm, but I'm not sure of what point you're trying to make?

4."If you are going to use the reference of 8 bells then there had to have been a time change. They would most certainly not sound 8 bells until the end of April 14th which was to be 24 hours and 46 minutes long."

Why not? Sunday midnight was still Sunday midnight regardless of when the clock was supposed to be moved back later in the night.
 
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It is wrong to say there is "zero evidence" of a course alteration after turning "The Corner" that night.

There is plenty of evidence in Boxhall's testimony, Hichens testimony, the ordinary conduct of White Star ships, and the iron on the bottom to show that Titanic did, in fact, alter course at least once after turning the corner. And, of course, from accepting the clock setback. I've demonstrated all of these here on other threads and elsewhere in my "Titanic Myths" book.. Everyone is free to believe anything they choose. They are not, however, free to decide what is fact and what is not based on their preconceived beliefs.

Without going into details here, the wreck of Titanic is south of the ships original track line from "The Corner." The two sets of distress coordinates are both south of that that intended track. A line between the two distress coordinates does cross the intended track at 11 hours 30 minutes after noon, Sunday, April 14th for Titanic using Boxhall's 22 knot speed. These are facts, not suppositions or beliefs. More sophisticated analysis of current/windage triangles produces an impossible eastward current if it is assumed ship made no course alteration. With the course alteration, however, the current triangle shows a westerly component as has been observed in the area for as long as men have been sailing the North Atlantic.

Wind-powered sailors know that the vessel's course is not likely to be directly for its destination. Tacking is often necessary to go upwind and may even speed a downwind slog. The key to a fast passage is VMG ("velocity made good") toward the destination. If you cannot steer straight to the destination (100% VMG), then you steer left or right at the shallowest possible angle to preserve as much VMG as possible. Titanic's apparent course alterations were small, a point or two, which preserved much of its VMG while creating what Captain Smith presumably though would be safe sea room around the ice.

Aaron's questions still begs an answer. There is a big difference between a course change and an evasive maneuver. One message from one ship probably would not have caused Captain Smith to immediately alter course. He would have wanted a fuller picture of what he was facing before making any decision. Without that full picture, there would have been no reason to suppose that turning right would have been better than turning left, or going straight ahead. Murdoch as officer of the deck, however, would have been free to take any evasive action necessary for the safety of the ship before returning to the course ordered by the captain.

-- David G. Brown
 
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To answer Rob's post above, it's obvious that the bridge team all knew more than what they included in their testimonies. This is not surprising. Official inquiries are designed to pin blame and not to improve public safety. You learn quickly not to volunteer information because what you say will often come back to "bite" you. (Personal experience in a U.S. Coast Guard inquiry.)

Motives are more critical in understanding history than the usual facts -- dates, times, places, etc. Yet, we never really know motives because they exist only inside a single person's head. Even if someone admits a motive there is always uncertainty that the admission was fully accurate. One thing we all know is the desire to cover our mistakes. Was that the motive? Sunken ship and more than 1,500 victims is hardly something that can be swept under the rug. So, it's unlikely anyone was trying to hide the outcome of the night. But self-preservation is something altogether different. Jobs and careers were at stake. One slip of the tongue could cost a man his career that he had spent most of a working lifetime acquiring. Motive enough? We can only speculate.

But, our speculation should not be limited to the bridge team. There are so many oddities and obfuscations surrounding the Titanic sinking. Why did stories of the ship steaming for Halifax surface on both sides of the Atlantic before the truth of the sinking was known? What about that message allegedly from Phillips to his family? Why was Bride offered so much money to keep his mouth shut? How could Boxhall have heard Murdoch's report to Captain Smith when his duties forced him to be off the bridge? Why did Boxhall say he didn't see the accident, then describe it in vivid detail? Why was Olliver overlooked when he testified to the "hard a-port" helm order? Why was crew time used for the famous 11:40 o'clock time of the accident when the voyage was still being conducted on unaltered April 14th time? Why didn't somebody investigate why Barrett claimed to be forced out of a boiler room by catastrophic flooding when another survivor of that same compartment never saw any such thing and remained at his station for 20 minutes after impact? Why did the ship send two sets of distress coordinates? Why was the second (allegedly corrected) set of coordinates so far off? Why did Captain Smith begin evacuating his ship so early when it was designed to float long enough for help to arrive? Why did Titanic's compartmentalization and bilge pump system fail so miserably? Why did the official inquiries dismiss the breakup when about half the people interviewed describe what we know actually took place? Why did Lightoller and Ismay work so hard aboard Carpathia to get the surviving crew members out of the United States as quickly as possible? Why did the British inquiry libel Captain Lord? What happened to Moody after he was interviewed by a reporter in New York? And so it goes.

Please, I'm not a "Titanic Truther." I don't believe there was any dark conspiracy, switched ships, or anything of the sort. But I do think there were some deliberate efforts to confuse what actually took place that night in order to hide some unpleasant truths. Why else would so many mysteries surround what is allegedly just a simple case of run-down-an-iceberg-and-sink?. Why so many mysteries?

-- David G. Brown
Could you tell about that message allegedly from Phillips to his family please? Ive never heard
 

George Jacub

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Sep 28, 2005
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I'm confused. I used a 17 minute difference in time between the Titanic and the Californian based on the evidence, to wit:

British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry
Day 8
Testimony of Cyril F. Evans
Examined by the SOLICITOR-GENERAL.
8924. Are you the Marconi operator on the steamship "Californian"?
- Yes.
8925. Do you remember Sunday, 14th April?
- Yes.
8935. ... What is the difference between New York time and ship's time at the place where you stopped?
- One hour and fifty-five minutes.
8936. That means one would have to add 1 hour 55 minutes to New York time to get at your ship's time at the place where you stopped?


As it turns out, 2:05 a.m. on the Californian was 2:17 a.m. unadjusted time on Titanic,

United States Senate Inquiry
Day 8
Testimony of Stanley Lord
Senator SMITH.
Will you please give the Greenwich time of your wireless message as to ice, sent to the Titanic?
Mr. LORD.
Not the Greenwich time; I can give you the New York time. The New York time is what the wireless messages are all dated. Will that do?
Senator SMITH.
Yes.
snip
Mr. LORD.
I only sent one straight to the Titanic.
Senator SMITH.
I understand; the message you sent to the Titanic at 11 o'clock on Sunday night.
Mr. LORD.
That would be 9.05 or 9.10. There is an hour and fifty minutes time between New York and my noon position on the 14th.

In either case, to translate time on the Titanic into time on the Californian, you ADD the 17 minute difference (Capt. Lord)---or 22 minute difference (Cyril Evans)-- not subtract it. To illustrate, take the accepted time that the first CQD was heard, 10:25 p.m. New York Time April 14, 1912. That translates to 11:58 p.m. Titanic time (using the accurate 1:33 time differential) April 14, and 12:15 a.m. April 15 on the Californian.

Oh, and to prove that the time difference between New York and the Titanic was two hours plus, you cite the evidence of Officers Pitman and Boxhall, both of whom testified it was 1:33. Okay...
 
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