Inaccuracies in Andrews' testimony


Nov 13, 2014
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Thomas Andrews never managed to make a testimony of what he saw on the Titanic, because he died in the sinking. But apparently, he reincarnated as William "Bill" Barnes. Bill has always been haunted by memories of a sinking four-funneled ship and heavily reacted on seeing the 1953 film Titanic or reading ANTR. Now, he wrote a book based on his transcripts from going into regression therapy, which is basically a form of hypnosis to allow a soul from a previous life to tell his / her story. Just by reading chapter 19 (about the iceberg collision and first moments after that), I found several inaccuracies, some even so obvious that the book seems to be based on bad research instead of a testimony of Thomas Andrews.

The first pages of chapter 19 can be found here: https://books.google.com/books?id=iPZbCAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&hl=nl&pg=PT134#v=onepage&q
They should be enough to come to the same conclusion.
 
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Had a look over the first 3 pages; Complete nonsense!

Funny, "Tommy" did build the ship as how Ismay wanted! :D It was build by the Board of Trade Rules/Specifications.
 

PITAI

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I can't get through it. It's a worse portrayal than any movie or book I've witnessed. It reads like a C-grade horror novel.
 

TimTurner

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It is a waste of time and badly researched. The Strauss had their cabin on C Deck, so how did "Tommy" happen to came across there?
Yes, I stopped reading when the man was cut in half by water. I know that steam can do it. I've never tried to cut a man in half with seawater, but I'd use more than 30 or 40 feet of water to do it. More in the neighborhood of 800.

How did Andrews get all the way from his quarters on the aft end of A deck, out of his bath, up a deck, and onto the bridge in the time it took Captain Smith to get out of bed and step onto the bridge in order to hear the initial report Murdoch gave to Smith? This "Andrews" has all the marks of a Mary Sue.

Also, why would one take the word of someone who claimed to be reincarnated at face value, even if one believes in reincarnation?
 
Nov 13, 2014
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I came to the conclusion that the link I gave led to a bunkum book. Luckily, this was not the original book based on the testimony. The actual testimony is here: I Built the Titanic : Past-Life Memories of a Master Shipbuilder. Based on the book written from it (the one in my previous post), I don't know if it's worth buying. But if I do, I will hear the actual recording of the regression therapy, which I can compare with what we know. Did anyone already listen to these recordings?
 

Bob Godfrey

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I've heard the recordings. Don't waste your time or your money on them, unless you want them merely as a curio. I was interested to hear if Barnes could provide Andrews with an authentic voice. Suffice it to say that the real Andrews would have have had a refined voice with the merest trace (if any) of an Ulster accent. But on the tapes Barnes when regressed to 'Tommy' adopts a broad Hollywood Scots accent, like an extra from Disney films like 'Greyfriars Bobby'. So the reborn Thomas Andrews appears to have not only dropped several points on the social scale but also to have crossed the Irish Sea!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Yes, to the extent of those elements which are undisputed and easily available from other sources like Shan Bullock's 1912 biography of Andrews. Where Barnes offers extra details presented as personal recollections some are clearly nonsense and the rest cannot be proven because no surviving witnesses can back them up.
 

Thomas Krom

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Dear readers,



I had the honour and privilege to talk to William Barnes (which is not his real name) more than a year ago with an Email and I can assure everyone that he was not Thomas Andrews Jr in his past life since there are many historical inaccuracies in his book. I will write a few notable mistakes down here below in no particular order.

Mistake number 1: Mr. Barnes states in his book that he ate with famous passengers as Colonel John Jacob Astor IV and his wife Madeline, Mrs. Margaret Brown (who he inaccurately calls “Molly”, since we all know that she was nicknamed Molly after her death in October 1932), Major Archibald Butt and Mr. Ismay. Outside Mr. Ismay (who only ate with Thomas Andrews once [1]) none of the people Mr. Barnes named in his book ate with Thomas Andrews. Thomas Andrews Jr ate at the doctors table in the dinning saloon (the large table located on the port side for 12 people) [2] every evening during the voyage. The passengers at the doctors table were Mr. Albert and Mrs. Vera Dick [3], Mr. Frederick and Jane Hoyt, Mr. Henry Anderson (absent on the 14th due the fact that he was at the party given by George Widener in honour of Captain Smith), Mrs. Eleanor Cassebeer [4], Purser Hugh McElroy, Dr. William O’Loughlin (absent on the 14th since he ate with Mr. Ismay in the á la carte restaurant on B-deck) and Dr. John Edward Simpson.



Mistake number 2: during the collision Mr. Barnes he claims he was in bath, he felt the collision, got out of bath, got dressed, made his way to the bridge and bumped Mrs. Straus (who Thomas Andrews Jr never met in real life and he misspelled as “Strauss” and who was most likely asleep in their special stateroom (C-57 in Empire) who tells him about the collision with the iceberg, makes his way to boat deck and walks into the bridge where first officer William McMaster Murdoch is asked by Captain Edward John Smith if the watertight doors are closed while saying (and I quote):

“Are you letting a baby run the ship?”

First of all, Thomas Andrews Jr did not fell the collision or the stopping of the ship, second, the conversation where he claims to have walked into happened around 15 to 30 an estimated seconds after the iceberg hit the ship on the starboard side, thirdly Thomas Andrews Jr respected first officer Murdoch and found him one of the best officers in service of the White Star Line, fourthly if he came to the bridge during this conversation why was he not recalled entering the bridge in the eyewitness reports of Fourth officer Joseph Boxhall and quartermaster Alfred Olliver who were on the bridge when the conversation happened(?), fifthly the quote “Are you letting a baby run the ship?” and the quote (this is another direct quote)“I don’t care how many years he’s got! I told you she’s slow to go! You should have hit it head-on! Now I’ve got to go down and see what’s happening!” does not sounds like something Thomas Andrews would say, it does not match his personality at all and lastly fourth officer Boxhall and Hutchinson suddenly enter the bridge while Boxhall only was given the order to get him after the conversation Barnes claimed that happened when he entered the bridge. It also would be impossible to get out of bath, dress yourself, make your way up to boat deck and walk into a conversation that happened around an estimated 15 to 30 seconds after the collison



Mistake number 3: Mr. Barnes claims Thomas Andrews occupied stateroom A-32. First of all we know A-32 was occupied Hugh Roscoe Rood (who sadly died during the sinking) [5] and second of all we know Thomas Andrews Jr occupied A-36 in Harland and Wolff bedroom B style due the eyewitness report of Thomas Andrews his bedroom steward Henry Samuel Etches. [6]



Mistake number 4: Barnes claimed when he entered “a damaged cargo area” that he saw “severed body parts of a crewmember” and that the “rushing water had also forced heavy crates against the Renault. Firstly the Renault of the Carter family was crated and possibly dismantled, secondly the Renault was stored in the cargo hold meant for cargo or motor cars in the third compartment, this cargo hold was completely inaccessible since there was stairwell leading to it and lastly (which also connects to the second point) how could it be possible that crewmembers were in the cargo hold in the second place if it was completely inaccessible plus the fact that incoming water would not cut a person into pieces as he claims in his book.

Mistake number 5: While stating that the ship has 2 hours to live in a meeting in the chart room he states that Mr. Ismay was presents and does every cheap trick to make him a villain where he states that Ismay only cared about first class passengers and Thomas Andrews slapped Mr. Ismay in the face. First of all, Mr. Ismay stated that he himself did not saw Thomas Andrews Jr during the sinking [7], second of all Mr. Ismay viewed Thomas Andrews as a personal friend (I personally believe that the feeling was mutual) [8], thirdly if Mr. Ismay was slapped in this face it would have been recalled in the inquiry like the incident with fifth officer Harold Lowe at lifeboat number 5.

Mistake number 6: There is nearly no mention of the Guarantee group in his book outside William Parr.



Mistake number 7: William Barnes stated the following on his website (William C. Barnes :: Death of a Titan) and I quote:

“Now I may be dead wrong about this, but the computer test provides a compelling take on what killed Titanic. The only truth is we shall never really know. Finally, Tommie may not have owned a computer, but he did understand vibration in a ship! For example: Cunard’s LUSITANIA had the problem of stern vibration at over twenty two knots, until the builders figured out where to reinforce that section. She took nearly six months to certify because of the problem. Tommie by the way was lent out by H&W as a paid consultant for John Brown Yards.

THE SINKING OF TITANIC

(memories from Tommie’s projection)



Before Titanic sank, she broke in on herself. This way was much more destructive in that it folded in on people. When experts use stress graphs to show the forces working on Titanic’s hull in triangular form, they forget that Titanic was a floating box. She was a box truss design and her plates (also known as strakes) would break along in concert with the box, rather than give way like a welded ship.”



For the short answer for what he claimed is: “My computer tests showcases that the Titanic broke behind the third funnel like in the 1997 James Cameron movie and that the forecastle came out of the water.”

We all know that the V-breakup theory would be impossible and among the fact that the ship broke in two right in front of the third funnel. Outside that, Thomas Andrews only worked for Harland and Wolff and not John Brown’s. I also cannot believe an Edwardian master-shipbuilder/naval architect would trust a computer.

Mistake number 8: Mr. Barnes also believes he had an accent like Victor Garber had in the 1997 movie. We know this is incorrect due the fact Thomas came from the current Northern-Ireland, in-fact we know that Thomas Andrews had an accent with a standard English with a hint of what sounds like a North Antrim or Kilkeel lilt [9]. Not only the accent he represents in his book is incorrect but also his personality does not match Thomas Andrews at all.





For the short, I am under the impression (among with a big part of the Titanic community) that William Barnes was not Thomas Andrews Jr in his past life. And the most interesting part of all, he blames his late editor for ALL the historical mistakes above. This is only the tip (no pun intended) of the iceberg. His book is just another example of anti-Mr. Ismay story (if William Randolph Hearst did not ruin his reputation enough.



Yours sincerely,



Thomas







Sources


[1] American Inquiry

Senator SMITH.

Did you yourself have opportunity to confer with Mr. Andrews during the voyage from Southampton to the place of this accident?

Mr. ISMAY.

No, sir; I did not. Mr. Andrews dined with me one night. We had no conversation, really, in regard to the ship. Indeed, the only plan which Mr. Andrews submitted to me was a plan where he said he thought the writing room and reading room was unnecessarily large, and he said he saw a way of putting a stateroom in the forward end of it. That was a matter which would have been taken up and thoroughly discussed after we got back to England.

[2] Thomas Andrews his personal letter to his wife Helen

From Cherbourg he wrote again to Mrs.[61] Andrews: “We reached here in nice time and took on board quite a number of passengers. The two little tenders looked well, you will remember we built them about a year ago. We expect to arrive at Queenstown about 10.30 a.m. to-morrow. The weather is fine and everything shaping for a good voyage. I have a seat at the Doctor’s table.”

[3] personal account

[4] letter from Mrs. Cassebeer to Walter Lord:

9th November 1955



Have read with great interest "A Night To Remember" April 14th 1912.

As I am a survivor of the S.S. Titanic, I was in officer Pitman's boat. My stateroom was next to Mr. and Mrs. Harper's end. I sat at the table at Dr. O'Laughlin's [sic] left side, with Mr.Thomas Andrews opposite me. Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt sat besides Mr.Andrews, and I think next came a Mr. and Mrs.Lord, and then a Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dick.

My dinner companion was Mr.Anderson who sat right next to me.

When the boat struck the ice berg I was lying in my bed playing with a ball bearing electric candle, I immediately opened my door and ran into the corridor, and going up the stairs to A deck, I met Mr.Anderson my dinner companion. He said to me I have been looking for you. We went up on deck, and there was a tremendous crowd milling around. We could not hear each other speak because they were exhausting steam and playing a siren, so Mr.A. said to me, we better go back to the drawing room. As we walked into the drawing room Purser Mc.Elroy came towards us and told us what to do. Mr.A. asked me if I was frightened, I said "No" not at all.

Mr.A. said to me go down to your cabin and do as Mr.McElroy told us, and come back on deck and remain here where we are standing.

I owe my life to discipline and a pretty dress. If you would like to know about the pretty dress, I would like the opportunity of telling it to you some day soon.

Col.Gracie was an old time friend of mine and my family and he did not tell me the same story of his survival as you have written. Officer Pitman did not order the boat returned to scene of the disaster, he ordered the men to row away as fast as possible to avoid the suction which might have carried us down with the boat sinking.

Mrs.Warren sat right next to Officer Pitman and I sat next to Mrs.Warren.

If it had to be I would not have missed it for anything, and my friends tell me have the heart of Nero. I hope you will be interested in my story and grant me an interview. I am the only survivor that I know of who has the photographs that were taken as we approached the Carpathia. They were given to me by the gentlemen who took them.

[5] The list recovered from Herbert Cave his body (https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/cave-list.html)

[6] Bedroom Steward Henry Samuel Etches his eyewitness reports at the American Inquiry:

Senator SMITH.

What apartment did he have?

Mr. ETCHES.

He had a separate cabin, with bathroom attached - the only cabin. There was only one on each part of the after-end of A deck.

Senator SMITH.

What was the number?

Mr. ETCHES.

Thirty-six, sir.

[7] Mr. Ismay his testimony at the British inquiry.

18565. That, your Lordship will remember, is Rowe's evidence. Did you see Mr. Andrews at all between the time of the impact and your leaving the vessel?

- I did not.

[8] A letter of Mr. Ismay written to Helen “Nellie” Reilly Andrews, Thomas his widow.

Dear Mrs. Andrews,



Forgive me for intruding upon your grief, but I feel I must send you a line to convey my most deep and sincere sympathy with you in the terrible loss you have suffered. It is impossible for me to express in words all I feel, or make you realise how truly sorry I am for you, or how my heart goes out to you. I knew your husband for many years, and had the highest regard for him, and looked upon him as a true friend. No one who had the pleasure of knowing him could fail to realise and appreciate his numerous good qualities and he will be sadly missed in his profession. Nobody did more for the White Star Line, or was more loyal to its interests than your good husband, and I always placed the utmost reliance on his judgment.



If we miss him and feel his loss so keenly, what your feelings must be I cannot think. Words at such a time are useless, but I could not help writing to you to tell you how truly deeply I feel for you in your grief and sorrow.



Yours sincerely,

BRUCE ISMAY.
 
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Mike Spooner

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An interesting article indeed. It would appear you have look into Thomas Andrews life. I have a question. Why didn't he make of a serious attempt to save his own life? After all he wasn't the quilty party!
 
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Thomas Krom

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With all fellow respect but that is not correct I am afraid, we have quite an idea about his final movements during the sinking. We know his movements from eyewitness reports at the inquiry and private accounts. From what I read in his book nearly none are represented and do not match the eyewitness reports from survivors. There are also a few other notable mistakes I like to recall if you do not mind:

Mistake number 1: He incorrectly calls Violet Jessop a nurse, while it is true she was a nurse on-board the His Majesty Hospital Ship Britannic she was in-fact a stewardess on-board the Titanic.

Mistake number 2: As I pointed out before, nearly none of the eyewitness reports given by survivors are not represented in his book. For example, Thomas Andrews Jr was on the first class part of the boat deck when the lifeboats 5 and 3 were lowered. We know he helped Mrs. Cassebeer into boat 5 (with Mr. Anderson) and Mr. and Mrs. Dick into boat 3, William Barnes makes no single mention of any of them in his whole book, we also know that Albert and Vera Dick befriended Thomas Andrews during the voyage. Again, William Barnes makes no mention of it at all.

Mistake number 3: In the book Mr. Barnes claims that he bribed Captain Smith to not go faster but “Mr. Ismay orders for more speed” (I am under the impression that Mr. Ismay expected to arrive on Tuesday evening instead of Wednesday morning with Titanic her current speed myself) and captain Smith is forced to “speed up the ship”. I can assure you Thomas Andrews would never bribed a captain he respected and a captain who had experience with the Olympic-class don’t you think?

As I stated before, I am under the impression that William Barnes never could be Thomas Andrews Jr in his past-life since, well there is too much historical proof against him among with the fact that his personality does not match Thomas Andrews Jr at all.

An interesting article indeed. It would appear you have look into Thomas Andrews life. I have a question. Why didn't he make of a serious attempt to save his own life? After all he wasn't the quilty party!
I have quite an idea why the real Thomas Andrews did not save his own life. He knew that the lifeboats (when fully occupied) could only save 1178 people, if he got into a boat another son or daughter or father or mother would not return home safely. Around 1:30 AM when he was spotted in the first class smoking room on A-deck I believe he came to the realization he would die during the sinking, unable to return home to Belfast, unable to see his family again and unable to raise his daughter into adulthood. I believe the real Thomas Andrews first believed that help may would arrive in time like with the Republic almost 3 years ago, but when he heard from captain Smith that the nearest help would be 4 hours away while he had given the ship “a hour, a hour and a half at her best” just an estimated 40 minutes earlier he knew that there was no hope and no time to waste.
 
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Milos Grkovic

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I don't see the problem in a research of the real Thomas Andrews' life. It indeed tells the story in a way it should not in a way like making a potrayal of Andrews in the movies.
 
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Mike Spooner

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I am glad to see some members have greatest respect for that very talented man Thomas Andrews who would appear has sacrificed his own life at the age of 39 for others in a lifeboat. Certainty was not part of the guilty party. Deserves a medal indeed.
 
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Julian Atkins

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Deserves a medal indeed.

Hi Mike,

I don't know why you think this. Andrews came from the same sort of privileged background that you complain with the British Inquiry. Pirrie was his Uncle and he married into a titled family, and was a staunch Ulster Unionist.

His role in Titanic's sinking was later on entirely passive so far as I am aware. All he seems to have done is to get first class passengers to put on lifebelts... which stewards were doing anyway.

Did he help with manning the lifeboats or their lowering?

Did he do anything proactively to help?

I think all you can reasonably take from the evidence is that he did very little to help proactively.

He was responsible for the signing off of a ship with only 20 lifeboats, and took no part in ensuring they were fully loaded as Titanic was sinking - he ought to have known the lifeboats could take far more than were loaded in most, but there is no evidence that he said anything about that at the time that night.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Thomas Krom

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Hello Jullian,
I have to disagree with the statement of you that states that he behaved passive after he estimated that the ship only had "a hour to a hour and a half" to live. The reasons why you can read below with each of your statement analized. I mean this in a friendy way
"l he seems to have done is to get first class passengers to put on lifebelts... which stewards were doing anyway."

That is not fully correct. We got eyewitness reports from first class saloon steward Edenser Edward Wheelton who saw him entering staterooms on B-deck to make sure they were empty among with fireman Alfred White who not only saw Thomas Andrews at the switchboard room above the electric engines advicing 2 men who were on-board because of him (Assistant Manager Electrical Department William Henry Marsh Parr and Outside Foreman Engineer Anthony Wood Frost of the Harland and Wolff guarantee group) "if they stayed too long, there would be no chance for any of them to reach the lifeboats or even to reach the top decks and have some small possibility of swimming away to floating debris" (with Archie Frost responding with "We’ll stay as long as we can.") but also that he made sure the alternate firs/second class staterooms near the recipocting engine room were empty and had closed portholes. We also got eyewitness reports of first class passengers Mrs. Eleanor Cassebeer, Mr. Albert and Mrs. Vera Dick and stewardess Mary Sloan who stated that they were helped into the lifeboats 5, 3 and 16 by Andrews himself. In my personal opinon he helped proactively with the evacuation.

"He was responsible for the signing off of a ship with only 20 lifeboats, and took no part in ensuring they were fully loaded as Titanic was sinking - he ought to have known the lifeboats could take far more than were loaded in most, but there is no evidence that he said anything about that at the time that night."

The signing was not done by Thomas Andrews but Titanic her chief designer the right honorable Alexander Montgomery Carlisle who retired in retired on the 30th of June 1910 due his health (not a beef with his brother-in-law Lord Pirrie as often said in documentaries) and both Mr. Carlisle and Thomas Andrews wanted more lifeboats. The reason why I believe he allowed the boats 5 and 3 to be lowered without their full capacity is due the fact that he still had hope help would arrive in time, like the sinking of the Republic almost 3 years ago. It is indeed true however that he did not said anything about the half-full lifeboats. He however near the final plunge assisted captain Smith and chief officer Wilde with the unsucessful attempt to call them back.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hello Thomas,

My reply was in respect of Mike Spooner's comment that Andrews deserved a medal.

I am guilty of a degree of flippancy sometimes in making my point... it probably stems from my having to address Magistrates in the Magistrates Courts in England and Wales... keep it simple, keep it quick.

I neither like nor dislike Andrews.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Bob_Read

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Thomas: Andrews did not have authority over the loading of the lifeboats. That was the responsibility of the officers. So he never “allowed” any lifeboats to do anything.
 

Thomas Krom

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That is indeed correct Mr. Read, he only helped people in the lifeboats (mostly his table companions). And by the way, I am a huge fan of the Titanic CAD plans you made.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas
 
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