Inger Sheil's research on 5th Officer Lowe

Mar 20, 2000
Dear Fellow ET Board "surfers,"

As some of you may already know, the hotly debated Lowe/Minahan thread has been closed for now but as I promised Inger Sheil that I would say something in her stead, I have started a new one.

Like some of you, I expect, I have not wanted to join in this debate as it's been so controversial lately and with tempers flaring and accusations flying, I've tried to stay put. But after recently corresponding privately with Ms. Sheil and finding her to be a very considerate and fair-minded individual, I really have felt so sorry for her that I must say in her defence that she is absolutely not attempting any revisionist or whitewashing effort in her study of Fifth Officer Harold Lowe.

Moreover she is not only very much aware of the importance of a balanced appraisal of Officer Lowe's life but she is more than capable of providing one. I believe Ms. Sheil has great integrity and her approach to documentation and sources we may be sure will be that of the scholar she genuinely is.

Like all of us here, Ms. Sheil loves and respects history and I am convinced she is dedicated to telling the authentic story of her subject. If she has concentrated on views not popularly held it is not because she is necessarily subscribing personally to them but rather because she is wanting lesser known interpretations to be considered evenly alongside those accounts more generally recognized.

Ms. Sheil fully understands that ultimate judgement lies with readers and I am satisfied she has no qualms letting people believe as they will. But she would be remiss if she did not present the record as a whole. And that is all she is trying to do.

Finally, I have every confidence that Ms. Sheil will succeed valiantly in her endeavor to illuminate the full and factual story of her subject and that we will all in the end be grateful to her for accomplishing the serious and valuable research she is now undertaking. I salute her and I know many of you do, too.

With Best Regards,

Randy Bryan Bigham


Just a thought. Since Celine Dion made big bucks singing MY HEART WILL GO ON maybe Inger should record a new Titanic song called MY POSTS SHALL GO ON AND ON AND ON. She might make millions.


Inger Sheil

Feb 9, 1999
Randy -

Many thanks for your comments. As you've contributed so much to the ET forum, they are doubly valued. Your opinion is an informed one, and thus something I take to heart (it's a little difficult to take terribly seriously a troll who has contributed nothing beyond personal attacks).

I might add that, while I switch with confusing frequency between references to 'my' and 'our' work, it is important to note the contribution of my collaborator Sundberg.

I'm looking forward to your own work, as you've provided some of the most intersting material on the board to date.




Thaw out Michael--the above was tongue-in-cheek. Try to have a bit of a sense of humor.
Dec 12, 1999
If it wasn't for Inger (and Kerri) doing research, no one would have anything to quibble about now would they? She deserves credit for taking an interest in Lowe and attempting to get behind the stereotype of the flaming Welshman to find a three-dimensional reality. She does not put all her efforts into the ship itself, but instead focuses on the most important element of the Titanic history, the people. If there is something wrong with that...then so be it.
Jul 9, 2000
Easley South Carolina
potis, with all due respect, your remark didn't look all that tounge in cheek. A lot of people come here because of a common interest in the RMS Titanic. Inger offers information and insights which add to that, as do people like George Behe, Dave Gittens and Mike Herbold just to name a few. That's certainly the reason I'm here; to learn and also to offer information and insights (Should I have any) to those who want it. Occassionally, that which is shared has a whiff of controversy, but working our way through that is part of the fun! The ad hominums I've seen contribute nothing to that.

By all means, if you have information and insights to offer, then do so. But if you have an axe to grind, well, this just isn't the place for it...and I suspect the rest won't long tolerate it. Nuff said. Let's go back to Titanic. ;-)

Michael H. Standart

Elaine Barnes

I heartily concur.One of the reasons I enjoy coming to this site, almost daily, is because I can read what the experts have to say on a subject without having to bear rancor from people who really don't know what they are talking about.
Ms. Shiel and Mr. Behe, I enjoyed your debate. Mr. Lowe obviously was "human" and the many facets he displayed in his personality could end up in debate for years. I thought Ms. Shiel showed remarkable poise in the face of so much critisism. I, for one, will enjoy reading whatever she publishes.
For those who had a problem with the length of the posts for the debate, no one said you had to read them!