Ice field blocking Californian from Titanic?


A

Aaron_2016

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They saw the haze 10 minutes before the collision, not 2 hours.
But back to Marengo. You do not believe Dr. Lee that she was nowhere close to the wreck site?


The Marengo was not close to the wreck, but she did approach and pass underneath the huge ice field which I assume played some part in the optical illusion owing to the vast temperature difference inside and outside the field, and the proximity of the Marengo as she approached made the refraction grow greater and greater as they came closer and closer to the ice field.


The haze on the horizon was seen by lookout Symons who was on duty from 8pm - 10pm.

Letter from George Symons to the Wreck Commissionaire's office.

"I remember that although it was a star light night and clear overhead that there was a slight low lying haze on the horizon which some what obstructed the view of the skyline and this to the best of my recollection was so during the time I was on watch. At 10 o'clock Jewell and myself were relieved by Fleet and Lee."

Reginald Lee said the haze was visible at 10pm and it progressively got worse and worse as they approached the ice field and struck the iceberg.


Q - Did you notice this haze which you said extended on the horizon when you first came on the look-out, or did it come later?
A - It was not so distinct then, not to be noticed. You did not really notice it then, not on going on watch, but we had all our work cut out to pierce through it just after we started. My mate happened to pass the remark to me. He said, "Well; if we can see through that we will be lucky." That was when we began to notice there was a haze on the water. There was nothing in sight.


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Mila

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Fleet denied everything that Lee said. One cannot take a testimony that supports his narrative while ignoring another testimony that does not. Besides how one could notice something that from his own words "not to be noticed"? It is an absurd.

Symons might have seen the haze that was located on the crossing between warm and cold water. It had absolutely nothing to do with the ice field.
 
A

Aaron_2016

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Fleet denied everything that Lee said. One cannot take a testimony that supports his narrative while ignoring another testimony that does not. Besides how one could notice something that from his own words "not to be noticed"? It is an absurd.

Symons might have seen the haze that was located on the crossing between warm and cold water. It had absolutely nothing to do with the ice field.


Fleet saw the haze as well.

Q - After the first part of the watch what was the change if any?
A - A sort of slight haze.
Q - A slight haze?
A - Yes.
Q - Was the haze on the waterline?
A - Yes.
Q - It prevented you from seeing the horizon clearly?
A - It was nothing to talk about. (a clear attempt to downplay how bad it was)
A - It was nothing much, apparently?
A - No.
Q - Was this haze ahead of you?
A - Yes.
Q - Was it only ahead, did you notice?
A - Well, it was only about 2 points on each side. (same direction as the large ice field)
Q - When you saw this haze did it continue right up to the time of your striking the berg?
A - Yes.
Q - Can you give us any idea how long it was before you struck the berg that you noticed the haze?
A - No, I could not.


Surviving crew members were promised a job for life with the company but received nothing. Fleet however obtained a job on the Olympic and served with her for many years until she was scrapped and the company declined and merged with Cunard. It is speculated that a deal was made with Fleet to downplay the events that led up to the disaster and in exchange he was guaranteed a job for life on the Olympic. (re- Lightoller's claim that the Inquiry was a whitewash). It must have been a blessing and a curse for Fleet as he served on the Olympic for hundreds of voyages until she was scrapped, and no doubt he was glad of the work, but menaced by memories of the Titanic and the iceberg and his shipmates likely made his life hell for a time as many of the crew who lived in Southampton went down with the ship. He was the lookout on the Olympic in the early 1920's but his name was crossed out and he served as an able seaman aboard every voyage until the mid 1930's when the Olympic went out of service. All he had to do was deny how close the iceberg was, claim that he rang the telephone and got an immediate reply, and claim the horizon was not as hazy as his mates had stated. Similar to how Lightoller denied the ship broke and also claimed she could not break. As Lightoller would later state "a washing of dirty linen would help no one.....The Board of Trade were holding an Inquiry into the loss of the ship, hence the whitewash brush.....I know when it was all over I felt more like a legal doormat than a mail boat officer."



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Mila

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Hi Aaron,
I am not very much in conspiracy theories. Lord and his officers 10 miles away at the same ice field saw no haze.
In any case, if Lee was telling the truth about the haze, it could not have been associated with a mirage because mirage appears only at the horizon, and as we both agreed the iceberg, when spotted was outlined by the ocean, so it could not have appeared getting out of the haze that was at the horizon.
Besides could you imagine that Murdoch saw such haze as Lee described, and did not slow down?
Besides how a mirage of an ice-field could have created the haze all round the horizon?
Besides, where this haze went after the collision? I know somebody from the lifeboats saw the haze at the horizon, but where was Lee's haze, the one that prevented him from seeing anything?
Also IIP says that on a clear, calm night an iceberg cannot be spotted before it is 1/4 miles from an observer, and this is when the Titanic iceberg was spotted.
 
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A

Aaron_2016

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Alfred Shiers went on deck after the collision and saw the iceberg pass the stern. He said - "It was hazy......It was just a thick haze. I could only just discern the shape of the berg."

Q - Was the haze behind the ship?
A - Yes, it was astern of the ship when I saw it where the berg was.

Q - Just tell us about this mist or haze. Had you observed it before you went over to the starboard side from the fore well deck?
A - No. I never took any notice of it. (he could not confirm or deny it was there before the collision.)

Q - Was it then that you observed for the first time this mist or haze?
A - Yes.

Q - Did this mist or haze prevent you from seeing it?
A - I could not see it distinctly.

Q - Was the mist or haze which you observed extensive?
A - It seemed to be a haze and you could only just see the outline of the berg.

Q - How did the haze appear to you with reference to the water, to the sea.
A - In the distance where the berg was I could just see the outline of it. I did not look any farther around. The haze was both sides of it.


He said the haze was on both sides of the iceberg. Is it possible that the temperature of the iceberg in relation to the sea and air around it were causing a localized haze to emit around the iceberg?

Helen Candee was in a lifeboat and looked back at the ship. She said - "An effulgence glowed like a halo over the ship and around it."

Did the temperature of the ship and the hot steam escaping, mix with the water and air surrounding the ship and cause an "effulgence glow" around her? When she sank Jack Thayer said she appeared to glow and stand out like she was on fire.



Here are photographs of the huge ice field.

When the Niagra steamed close to the ice field she was surrounded by loose ice and the ice field was I understand many miles wide but only a few feet high, so it only appeared as a thin line on the horizon.


niagra1.png



Yet here is a photograph (below) taken aboard the Carpathia. She was about 5 miles or more away from the ice field, but the height of the ice field looks enormous. Was refraction causing the horizon to elevate the ice field?


icedistance.png




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Mila

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He said the haze was on both sides of the iceberg. Is it possible that the temperature of the iceberg in relation to the sea and air around it were causing a localized haze to emit around the iceberg?
This is possible, but you should understand that such haze could not have had anything to do with a mirage. A mirage cannot be reached.
Yet here is a photograph (below) taken aboard the Carpathia. She was about 5 miles or more away from the ice field, but the height of the ice field looks enormous. Was refraction causing the horizon to elevate the ice field?
Enormous? You have absolutely nothing to compare it to, except the icebergs and you do not know what their height was. No, this does not look as a mirage at all, not even remotely.
 
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Aaron_2016

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The Carpathia was about 5 miles away. Surely if the Niagra was close to the ice field and it appeared as a much smaller line on the horizon, and yet it appeared much taller on the Carpathia miles away, then something was up with the horizon?


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Mila

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The Carpathia was about 5 miles away. Surely if the Niagra was close to the ice field and it appeared as a much smaller line on the horizon, and yet it appeared much taller on the Carpathia miles away, then something was up with the horizon?


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Wrong. It depends not only from the distance (and nobody could be certain about this either), but it also depends from what height the images were taken. If the Carpathia's image was taken from a lower height, the ice field would appear higher.
 

Mila

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Mila,

Here's an accurate plot of the Marengo April 14/15.

View attachment 40030

Thank you Jim!

So, when Maltin says about Morengo:

"On the night of the collision and sinking of the Titanic on the 14/15th April 1912 she was in the same longitude as the Titanic and only one degree south, and her log records both the clear, starlit night and the great refraction on the horizon" it is as wrong as it could be?
 

Mila

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Cheers. The Marengo was 40 - 60 miles south west and saw great refraction on the horizon. The ice field was enormous with icebergs dotted both east and west of the ice field. The thing is, if the refraction I see makes a lighthouse 30 miles away appear on the horizon 10 miles away at night, then it would mean the Marengo was 30 - 40 miles away from the ice field and it would appear just slightly beyond the horizon 10 miles away owing to the refraction. They may not have seen the ice, but they would have seen the effects of it. The Titanic's lookouts saw the haze on the horizon 2 hours before they struck the iceberg. I believe the refraction caused the elevation of the ice field, and the Marengo may have seen something similar and described it as refraction. Would be interesting to know if the Marengo had seen any ships that day and if they were basing the 'great refraction' on how the other ships looked on the horizon, or if they were noticing the horizon change without the presence of other ships and ice etc.


View attachment 40026


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Aaron, Maltin claims Marengo reported refraction, when she was one deg. from the Titanic on the night of the sinking (in particular at midnight) , but your map shows Marengo's position at noon, not midnight. They saw no refraction on that time. So whatever refraction they saw at midnight was hundreds kilometers away from the Titanic, and we do not know what was they call "refraction". No single ship reported seeing a mirage or a refraction close to the wreck site either on the day of the sinking or before.
 

Jim Currie

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Thank you Jim!

So, when Maltin says about Morengo:

"On the night of the collision and sinking of the Titanic on the 14/15th April 1912 she was in the same longitude as the Titanic and only one degree south, and her log records both the clear, starlit night and the great refraction on the horizon" it is as wrong as it could be?

Titanic was at longitude 49-57'West. when she was sinking. If Marengo was at 56 03 West at Noon on the 14 then Maltin is, as you say,"as wrong as could be". Because at Midnight, April 14. the Marengo was 152.5 miles West South West of the sinking Titanic. She would have close to the northern edge of the extension to the Gulf Stream and the water would be warm...more chance of fog than a mirage. Total nonsense!
 
A

Aaron_2016

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I don't see how they could be 152.5 miles away. The position of the Marengo for noon April 15th shown on the map you presented above shows the Marengo was not far from the Carpathia judging by the distance between the other plots on the map and the position of the Marengo at noon on April 15th. She was south of the wreck, but would still be within a 50 mile radius of the ice field when she saw great refraction at midnight. I believe the reason the refraction grew greater and greater throughout the day and into the night was in correlation to their approach of the huge ice field, and as they came closer and closer, the refraction grew greater and greater. There were a number of icebergs which I understand were dotted to the west and east of the ice field, and a number of them could have skimmed on the northern edge of the gulf stream as they drifted west. The Marengo was too far to see the ice, but not too far to see the atmospheric effects of it.

e.g.


refraction1a.png



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Jim Currie

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I don't see how they could be 152.5 miles away. The position of the Marengo for noon April 15th shown on the map you presented above shows the Marengo was not far from the Carpathia judging by the distance between the other plots on the map and the position of the Marengo at noon on April 15th. She was south of the wreck, but would still be within a 50 mile radius of the ice field when she saw great refraction at midnight. I believe the reason the refraction grew greater and greater throughout the day and into the night was in correlation to their approach of the huge ice field, and as they came closer and closer, the refraction grew greater and greater. There were a number of icebergs which I understand were dotted to the west and east of the ice field, and a number of them could have skimmed on the northern edge of the gulf stream as they drifted west. The Marengo was too far to see the ice, but not too far to see the atmospheric effects of it.

e.g.


View attachment 40034


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Hello Aaron.
In fact, by calculation, the midnight position of the Marengo puts her 159 miles ESE of the sinking Titanic. At Noon on the 14th, she was about 280 miles to the WSW of it.
 
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Mila

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Hello Aaron and Jim,

I requested and got copies of the Marengo's logs.
She reported seeing refraction on both April 14 and April 15.
On April 14 she was rather far from the wreck site, but she reported seeing refraction on 8 a.m. April 15. At 8 a.m. she was around 80 miles ESE from the wreck site (Is this correct, Jim?). Then at noon she was the closest to the wreck site, but reported no refraction. The next time the refraction is mentioned is 4 p.m. April 15.
So this is clear that Maltin's claim about Marengo being only one deg. away from the wreck site on the night of April 14/15 is wrong.
Still it is very interesting that they saw that refraction for 2 days, (including one at midnight).
I disagree with Jim, about the temperature of the water. I believe she was in cold water too, but the air for most of her observations was much warmer. In any case Marengo's "much refraction" proves nothing about the situation with the Titanic. Marengo's observations are not for the same place and not for the same time.
 
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I've been thinking about the 'if the Californian had rec'd the first wireless transmission, every life would have been saved', pathos &c. What follows is my own theory that it wouldn't have made any difference. The first SOS went out around midnight. The Californian is stuck in pack ice. It's shut down for the night. So, maybe by 0030 15th April, maybe, Lord could have gotten the boilers lit and hopefully been on his way to the collision site. With luck arrives 0100. Gets as close as safely poss. to Titanic. Now, the lifeboats have to row to the Californian. They are populated by civilians and maybe a boat with 65 passengers can offload in possibly 10 minutes if a crewman is screaming bloody murder at them. Then the empty lifeboat rows back to Titanic. It's now 0145 or so. How are you gonna transship 1500 passengers before the Titanic founders?
Please correct any incorrect info. here. I'm not claiming anything other than recitation of what I already know. I mean, I've been passionate about the Titanic for 51 years. It's taken me this long to come up with this. I blame it all on The Rolling Stones, my slow learning curve. Cheers. P.S. I grandfathered this post here rather than start a new thread and send half this board into apoplexy. :eek:
 
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Ajmal Dar

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Hi Jonathan,

You are completely right. Anyone who thinks the Californian could have saved many or all of the 1500 people is insane and they shouldnt be commenting on this site.

Regards,

Ajmal
 

Harland Duzen

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One thing everyone seems to overlook is that the Carpathia struggled with just 700 people with many sleeping in the dinning or writing rooms and this was despite her being a passenger steamer.

The Californian was even smaller than the Carpathia and was a tramp steamer filled with an general cargo and only cabins for 54 passengers. That and the fact that unlike Carpathia she had no doctors onboard and only a crew of 54 would have led to the following:

Californian would of arrived and had between 700 people in boats AND / OR 1500 people in the water swarming around the ship trying to get on and all the crew (including Lord and the officers) would be struggling to lower the 6 lifeboats and man them to help pick them up without themselves being swamped (also, what effect would an extra 700 - 2000 people have on the weight of a fully ladened cargo ship?)

Following this or arriving to find just the lifeboats, they would pick up them up and have nowhere but the deck and the few cabins for the cold and wounded to rest. They have no doctors and barely any medicine to administer between 700 people.

Lord would without a doubt, been completely overwhelmed and would have been forced to transfer the survivors to other ships with more supplies like the Carpathia or Olympic, leading to more trauma for the survivors.

If anything, it was possibly a good thing that the Californian was the first ship to arrive given the lack of aid, helpers and space they had, unlike the Carpathia.

Back to Topic!
 
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