Loading the rear boats


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George Jacub

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Hi Tad, Inger, Bill, and the rest

One of the very reasons I entered this debate is to insist on greater rigour to the research. Speculation is fine if it leads to a productive line of research, but it cannot be used in lieu of evidence.

Tad,I’m not sure why you take exception to my reply to your post. I stated that the hard evidence that Crowe said he saw Murdoch at Boat #14 cannot be refuted by the pure speculation that Crowe didn’t know who he was talking about. You wrote: “Except that none of the other crewmembers reported seeing Murdoch at # 14, and that Crowe was confused as to whether it was the chief officer or first officer.”

If you argue numbers, you should have the numbers on your side. I pointed out McGough was seen by a single witness on each side of the ship, just as Murdoch was seen by a single witness. You now say you were actually arguing about the credibility of Crowe. Those arguments are not interchangeable. (And you accept without question the credibility of Rule whose story flip-flopped depending on which day he told it, but that’s for another day.)

Let me call your bluff. You repeat several times that the sailors who saw McGough knew him extremely well? What's your proof they knew him "extremely well." Do you have photos of them all quaffing a beer at a Belfast pub? Were they brothers-in-law? Or did they simply work together on a ship? How do you know they weren't just nodding acquaintances? What's your proof that he was known "extremely well"?

Words have meaning. An argument is a double-edged sword. It can be used against you if you're not careful. Inger spins an elaborate psychological explanation as to why Lee failed to identify a man he cited by name moments earlier. That may be proof of her imagination, but its proof of nothing about Lee’s memory.

You discount the evidence of Crowe because he names a man who, you say, he didn't know. Yet when Lee fails to name a man he definitely knew, you make excuses for him and say you know exactly who he was talking about. (And may I point out the obvious. It’s not a question of how tall Murdoch and Lowe were, it’s a question of how tall Lee was.)

You misunderstood my reference to Lee and Murdoch. I'm not saying he saw Murdoch. I'm using your own argument against you. You say Crowe only named Murdoch because Murdoch was in the news a lot. I say it's then equally possible that Lee's mention of a man who drowned was influenced by newspaper stories. Murdoch was in the news a lot, he worked at the starboard boats, he was presumed drowned, and, using your argument, it's just as plausible that Lee assumed the officer he saw working on the staboard boats drowned. Both propositions are based on the imaginary supposition that the witness was influenced by the news. If you can use it, so can I.

You discount the direct quotes from McGough. You say you have other "questionable sources" that quote McGough. Please send them along to me. I would love to see them. (That’s not a rhetorical statement. I would.)

"The crux of our argument is McGough," says Bill. Well, you appear to have a plethora of evidence that contradicts that argument. You've chosen to discount it. I say you should present it to the research community and let us examine the evidence for ourselves.

I'm surprised you wrote that my reconstruction of what happened around Boat No. 13 is "simply incompatible with the evidence." Yet you said not a word about Steward Hart who directly contradicts your version of how soon No. 15 followed No. 13. Barrett was loading on A deck and would have no knowledge of what was happening on the boat deck. Are you arguing both rear starboard boats were on A deck at the same time? I addressed that in my last post. Both boats searched–on A deck--- for more women. No. 15 apparently found as many as 50 ( if you discount Hart's story). No. 13 loaded up with men. Why would one boat take all the women and the other none? Or were they found and loaded in the 30 seconds separating No. 13 from No. 15?

Bill...

You wrote:
I see no reason to repeat things I've (and George Behe, and Tad) have already explained.

Okay, but there's lots more for you or others to challenge. So far none of you except Samuel has challenged the time evidence which indicates Wilde and Lightoller would have had to load three boats and lower two before Murdoch lowered No. 9.

Even your revised (2006) version of launch times contains this claim: “Since it appears that #6 was lowered away after #8 and at around the same time as #16, a launch time of 1:10 a.m. for #6 seems likely.”

And “…a launch time of 1:15 a.m. for both #16 and #14 seems about right.”

Given that Lightoller and Wilde loaded all the boats in question, it’s hard to see how they managed to load them fore and aft simultaneously. An image springs to mind of the two officers racing pell mell along the deck, then back again, then aft again like a Monty Python sketch.

Then there’s the lighter test of whether No. 9 left before or after No. 14---the passenger evidence. I asked why No. 9 had no Irish women in it when all the boats, except one, that supposedly left before and after it, did. Nobody yet has. Don’t be shy.

I claim no monopoly on the truth. It's rigourous testing of an argument that winnows out the weak and indefensible elements from the strong.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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George, if you are going to start directing snide comments at us for disagreeing with you when we've been completely civil and have stuck to a discussion of the evidence, then why bother continuing this discussion?

If you choose not to address the new information we discussed, refuse to discuss specific launch times, and will not elaborate on your claim that Lowe had a really good reason to lie or cover things up, then why bring up this topic in the first place?

Kind regards,
Tad
 

Inger Sheil

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Inger spins an elaborate psychological explanation as to why Lee failed to identify a man he cited by name moments earlier. That may be proof of her imagination, but its proof of nothing about Lee’s memory.
There is nothing either "elaborate" or "psychological" whatsoever about my explanation. I am drawing on my direct experience as a witness in a highly publicised court case, in which I experienced a memory lapse similar to Lee's. May I ask if you have similar personal experience, and on what specific evidence to you reject the parallel I draw?
You discount the evidence of Crowe because he names a man who, you say, he didn't know. Yet when Lee fails to name a man he definitely knew, you make excuses for him and say you know exactly who he was talking about. (And may I point out the obvious. It’s not a question of how tall Murdoch and Lowe were, it’s a question of how tall Lee was.)
No, that is neither obvious nor as relevant as how tall the officers actually were. A range of individuals other than Lee used the same terms he did to describe James Moody. Are you suggesting that if Lee was a short man that all others would appear tall to him? I can't fathom this line of reasoning. Our own height does not mean that we filter our perceptions of the height of others. I'm a tall girl - that does not mean that I regard all those shorter than me as below average height. What is more, Lee did not use the potentially subjective term "tall" in isolation - he specifically states that the man was about 6 ft tall - precisely Moody's height. I have pointed out specifically how the adjectives Lee used apply to Moody and not to either Lowe or Murdoch. Indeed, so strong was the impression Moody's physiology left upon others that it would crop up in descriptions of him over 50 years later (as well as frequently in 1912).
You misunderstood my reference to Lee and Murdoch. I'm not saying he saw Murdoch. I'm using your own argument against you. You say Crowe only named Murdoch because Murdoch was in the news a lot. I say it's then equally possible that Lee's mention of a man who drowned was influenced by newspaper stories.
Did these newspaper stories also specifically suggest to him, in addition to the man's rank and fate, his physical appearance?

The Lee and Crowe idenifications are in no way analogous. Crowe provides no corroborating description of the officer he saw - merely a name. Moody had nowhere near the profile that Murdoch did in the aftermath of the sinking (and I repeat: Murdoch's name was pre-eminant in shipboard stories in the wake of the disaster long before the Carpathia docked, and not merely in media stories). Lee was from the deck crew, which puts him in a better position to be familiar with the deck officers than Crowe was as a member of the victualling crew who had never served with the senior officers before joining the Titanic.

If you can point me to another deck officer who:

1.) Held the rank of Fifth or Sixth officer
2.) Was drowned
3.) Was distinguished by height at around six foot tall
4.) Was distinguished by his spare appearance
5.) Had what could be described as a "fresh complexion"
6.) Was sighted at the starboard quarter boats

Then I will entertain your objections. Until you do so, then I will adhere to the clarity of this as a description of James Moody. If it was not James Moody, then which deck officer was it, and upon what do you base this identification?

Given that Lightoller and Wilde loaded all the boats in question, it’s hard to see how they managed to load them fore and aft simultaneously. An image springs to mind of the two officers racing pell mell along the deck, then back again, then aft again like a Monty Python sketch.
The simple explanation for this is that, as per Lucas's evidence, Moody went aft to prepare the aft port boats while the forward port boats were still being ready for launch, and (again, as per Lucas' evidence) it was Moody that gave the initial evidence to load these aftmost boats. Lightoller and Wilde certainly arrived on the scene, but Moody had gone in advance of them.

Can you also please provide any evidence you have for your assertion that Lowe was lying regarding his movements in going from Boat 1 to the aft port boats in his both his inquiry testimony and in two sworn affidavits he gave?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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What's your proof they knew him "extremely well." Do you have photos of them all quaffing a beer at a Belfast pub? Were they brothers-in-law? Or did they simply work together on a ship? How do you know they weren't just nodding acquaintances? What's your proof that he was known "extremely well"?
Knowing someone extremely well or otherwise is a relative term. What is clear is that Scarrott knew McGough well enough to identify him by name. It doesn't appear that he was guessing when he said, "I know the man that was lowering the after-fall, it was McGough." He said he knew the man. That is a far cry from someone in the victualling staff who, making his first trip on a WSL vessel, and who would have little contact with any of the ship's officers, saying, "I am not sure whether it was the first officer or the chief officer, sir, but I believe the man's name was Murdoch." Somehow that doesn't quite instill a high degree of confidence in positively identifying who that officer was. As far as Haines is concerned, as the Boatswaine's mate in charge of giving assignments to the men in the starboard watch he would have got to know most if not all the men in his watch by name. It was not a case him saying "I believe" one was named McGough. He said, "One was named McGough, and there was one by the name of Peters" when he was asked for the names of the sailors in his boat.

From Clench we know that Lightoller and Wilde were both involved in loading boats 12, 14, and 16, "Me and Mr. Lightoller and the chief officer passed them in as we stood on the gunwale; in all three of the boats, that was." So who was that senior officer who told Crowe to get into 14?
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Inger and Sam,
You both raised some very good points.

Inger wrote:
"Then I will entertain your objections. Until you do so, then I will adhere to the clarity of this as a description of James Moody. If it was not James Moody, then which deck officer was it, and upon what do you base this identification?"

You've hit the nail right on the head. Not only is Lee's description only compatible with that of Moody, but it doesn't fit any of the other possibilities.

It obviously wasn't Captain Smith. It couldn't have been Chief Officer Wilde, since Littlejohn knew Wilde by sight from having served on the Olympic, and in any event describes him by name several times in his account, while he did not appear to know the name of the officer he saw on A-Deck during the loading of # 13. Murdoch was on the boat deck at this time, Lowe was occupied on the port side and doesn't fit the description.

That leaves Lightoller and Boxhall as the only other possibilities, ones that can be easily disproven, unless one chooses to believe it was McElroy, and that a member of the deck department and a lookout no less, couldn't tell the difference between an officer and a purser.

As Inger and I both have pointed out, McElroy was a thick man, not a skinny one, and was in fact mistaken for Murdoch at least once, and possibly twice that night. So, given the above, who do you forward as a candidate for the officer in question, if it was not Moody? Lee's description is very specific, and other accounts including Littlejohn's also mention an officer being on A-Deck just as Lee says.

George wrote:
"Do you have photos of them all quaffing a beer at a Belfast pub? Were they brothers-in-law? Or did they simply work together on a ship? How do you know they weren't just nodding acquaintances? What's your proof that he was known "extremely well"?"

As Sam said, knowing someone extremely well is a relative term. In this case, the two men were in the same watch under Boxhall. Whether the men were chums or not is irrelevant, we know that they worked together on the same watch and knew each other that way. Wouldn't you readily be able to recognize and name a coworker you work closely with on a daily basis?

George wrote:
"Barrett was loading on A deck and would have no knowledge of what was happening on the boat deck. Are you arguing both rear starboard boats were on A deck at the same time?"

Yet again you say I am arguing something when in fact, it is the witness who said this, not me. Barrett testified that he climbed up the escape ladder and walked aft on A-Deck where only # 13 and # 15 were left. He states that "I call the saloon deck the one under the boat deck," aka A-Deck. He specifically states that # 13 was not lowered until all the women were taken off the deck, and that at this time, # 15 was already lowered to the "saloon deck." So yes, Barrett does say both boats were on A-Deck at the same time. He also specifically mentions # 15 lowering 30 seconds after # 13.
 

George Jacub

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Dear Tad

I'm sorry if you feel insulted. I meant no disrespect. But I don't withdraw my question regarding the McGough witnesses. Your entire challenge to Crowe's evidence of Murdoch at No. 14 turns on whether he knew who Murdoch was, compared to the McGough witnesses who knew their fellow crewmember. Fine and good, but when you go further to say they knew him "extremely well" I have to ask how do you know? Are you speculating or do you have a reason to use this term. As I wrote, words have meaning.

As Sam stated: "Knowing someone extremely well or otherwise is a relative term." I agree wholeheartedly. And if your use of the term was hyperbole, so be it. It's one thing to present the facts (two men knew McGough and said they saw him) and another to claim the intensity of the relationship as proof. If the latter was your intention, then my question was valid.

Dear Inger…

I draw your attention to the second paragraph of your post.

"It is clear that the name of the man he is talking about is on the tip of his tongue and he has had a momentary lapse of memory - he even starts to answer with "Mr...", then gropes for the name that he had earlier recalled. Lowe, as one of the surviving officers, would have been very familiar to him by then, and he could hardly have thought he drowned."

In every sentence you put yourself in Lee's head and describe his thoughts, his intentions, what he knew and why he answered as he did. He could just as easily have meant to say "Mr. Lowe" and been interrupted by someone coming into the room, or leaving the room, or dropping a book, or a thousand other possibilities. We'll never know.

Tall is a comparative term. You’re tall to someone shorter than you. Suits of armour demonstrate that a man standing 5-9 would have been tall in the Middle Ages. Not so much, anymore. Not being tall I don’t know what tall people consider tall. A six foot man will say someone six-six is tall. Does a seven-foot basketball player say a six-foot basketball player is tall? Does someone six foot say a six footer is tall in the absence of anyone shorter?

You offer an explanation for how Lightoller and Wilde could apparently be in two places at once. I base my skepticism on the evidence of Mr. Clench who said he worked with both men at the three aft port boats No. 12 first, then No. 14 and No. 16. Do I understand that you discount all of what Clench said? Otherwise the only window for Lightoller and Wilde to help passengers into those three boats would be the five minutes between the launching of No. 8 and the launching of No. 16.

Dear Sam...

You asked: “So who was that senior officer who told Crowe to get into 14?”

The most senior office at No. 14 at the time. He identified him. Mr. Murdoch. Of course I'm in the middle of a fight to prove it.


Dear Tad...
I'm puzzled when you say I've chosen "not to address the new information we discussed." I thought I had. Did something slip by? I'm trying to address the comments of four or five people in a limited space, so it's possible. Anything particular?

But note also that I'm still anticipating responses to the half dozen or so questions I have asked. The time question. The Irish women. Where the women in No. 13 came from?

Actually, I think I’ve answered the last question, in part thanks to your mention of Dr. Dodge.

The good doctor would actually have made a good witness for my side. In an address to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco just about a month after the Titanic sank, Dodge made these comments:

“I watched all boats on the starboard side, comprising the odd numbers from one to thirteen, as they were launched.”
“At no time were there many people on the starboard side that night.”
“Now this condition may explain many things. It may explain why the boats were launched from the starboard side so much more quickly and successfully, and why when the last boats on this side were reached, Nos. 13 and 15, there were practically no women around, and not many men.”

He even said “Chief Officer Murdoch” took command on the starboard side.

And in a letter written aboard the Carpathia, and cited in Dr. Frank Blackmarr’s Scrapbook, Dodge wrote about the moment No. 13 left A deck:”As we were lowered, boat 15, which had been lowered from the boat deck was also being lowered.”

But the only consensus among the crewmen in No. 15 it’s that they stopped at A deck, and even Dodge said so in another interview. So if both boats were at A deck together, its clear that Rule’s account of the loading of No. 15 is wrong. Crewmen of both boats searched for more women and failed to find any. That meant that Steward Hart’s account was the more accurate one and the lifeboat was loaded on the boat deck.

While reviewing all of the previous posts on this thread, I realized I had made part of my argument on a false assumption.

Dodge said there were “practically no women around” No. 15. Beesley said there were none just before he jumped. So I had assumed that the loading of No. 15 with women had to have taken place after both men were off the boat deck when neither saw it. That’s why I argued that No. 15 stayed on the boat deck after No. 13 went down.

There were two scenarios in play. A) said No. 15 was loaded after Dodge and before Beesley, and Beesley failed to mention it in his book. B) said the loading took place after Beesley, which seemed the more likely of the two. But there is a third scenario. C) says No. 15 was loaded before either man left the boat deck, concurrently with No. 13, regardless of what Dodge said about “practically no women.”

I had never considered that before. There’s no evidence for it, but I can’t discount it.

But I went further. If No. 15 and No. 13 were loaded concurrently, not consecutively, then maybe No. 13 and No. 11 were, too. No. 11 could be loaded off A deck by an officer below while No. 13 was loaded by Murdoch off the boat deck. Again, there’s no proof of that, but its logical and not inconsistent with any evidence.

Scenario C also shortens the time for the launching of the aft starboard boats and brings it more in line with the rear port boats which were also loaded concurrently.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Hi George.

You wrote:
I base my skepticism on the evidence of Mr. Clench who said he worked with both men at the three aft port boats No. 12 first, then No. 14 and No. 16. Do I understand that you discount all of what Clench said? Otherwise the only window for Lightoller and Wilde to help passengers into those three boats would be the five minutes between the launching of No. 8 and the launching of No. 16.
There seems to be an assumption here of only a 5 minute interval between 8 and 16 being launched. Where does that come from?

As you pointed out in your statement above, Clench said he worked with Wilde and Lightoller in loading all three aft port boats. Crowe was ordered into No. 14 by a senior officer who he believe was a chief or 1st officer. Yet you also wrote that Crowe was ordered into the boat by "The most senior office at No. 14 at the time. He identified him. Mr. Murdoch. Of course I'm in the middle of a fight to prove it."

Part of the confusion in the identification of the senior officers was in the uniforms. Both 1/O Murdoch's and 2/O Lightoller's would have showed a rank higher than they actually were. There is a photo taken of the two at Queenstown where the stripes on Lightoller's undress uniform jacket, the one that he wore while at sea, clearly showed the 2 stripes of a 1st officer's uniform. As you know, that was his rank he had just before Wilde was appointed to Chief during the last minute reshuffling, and both Lightoller and Murdoch had to step back. A Chief officer's uniform had 3 stripes and would have been on the jackets of Wilde and Murdoch. The officer that ordered Crowe into the boat easily could have been Wilde or Lightoller, one showing Chief the other showing First. And both, as you pointed out, were in the vicinity while these three aft port boats were being loaded. From Crowe's response, it is quite clear that he was not familiar with the senior deck officers. He "believed" it was Murdoch which is very different from being a positive identification.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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George, don't worry, I take you at your word and no insult is taken. As I said previously, this is a good discussion and worth continuing.

George wrote:
"It's one thing to present the facts (two men knew McGough and said they saw him) and another to claim the intensity of the relationship as proof. If the latter was your intention, then my question was valid."

I understand what you are saying, but the point about the mens' relationship is that they served together in the same starboard-watch deck crew under Boxhall, and therefore worked together and saw each other on a regular basis. The point was not the intensity of their relationship, as I said in my previous post, whether they were chums is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether they knew each other well by appearance and name, which was the case given their assignment to the same watch. Their testimony itself indicates this as do the realities of their duty on the ship.

George wrote:
"Your entire challenge to Crowe's evidence of Murdoch at No. 14 turns on whether he knew who Murdoch was, compared to the McGough witnesses who knew their fellow crewmember."

Again, I understand your point of view on this, but disagree strongly with it. We know that Crowe is the only crewmember to claim that Murdoch assisted at # 14. This identification is far from positive in that he says he knew it was a senior officer, either the chief officer or first officer, and that he believed his name was Murdoch.

As Sam pointed out, Crowe was not a member of the deck department, but of the victualling department, which would typically have little contact with any of the ship's officers. There are exceptions, but typically only amongst those who made repeat voyages where a particular officer served on the same ship as them for some time.

Officers were not supposed to fraternize, and in any event, their duties and short off-duty periods for sleep didn't allow them time to do so even if they wanted. Crowe was also making his first voyage with the White Star Line, having served with IMM previously.

All of the above are reasons enough to give pause, but when we can establish that Chief Officer Wilde and Second Officer Lightoller, Fifth Officer Lowe (and Moody nearby at # 16) were all on hand at one point or another during the loading and lowering of # 14, why would Murdoch have been needed there in the first place, and why did none of the deck crew members, including officers, remember seeing him there? If he had been at # 14 at this time, he would have been leaving no officer to oversee things on the starboard side.

George wrote:
"Not the passenger test. I asked why some aft boats (Nos. 13, 14, 15 and 10) had Irish women, but No. 9 had none. It seems some, at least, would have got into the No. 9 before No. 13."

To answer your question, Littlejohn mentioned in one account and Barrett testified that when he arrived on A-Deck, # 13 was pretty much full. Both men and women third class passengers were coming up to the boats from aft to forward, presumably after having come up from the aft well deck.

Dr. Dodge, in his first-hand account written by himself and not a second-hand source, specifies that the reason he went to A-Deck in the first place was because there was a crowd of about 60 people around # 15 before it lowered to A-Deck, a small number of which were women.

# 15 had a large capacity of passengers and was one of the more overloaded boats, and contained many women. Bertha Mulvihill and Maggie Daly are two of the women who had to jump down into # 15 as it was about to lower away, and according to letters she wrote to her family, there were at least a couple women still on deck at the time.

Bear in mind that there is no definitive list of who was in what boat, but what we see on the starboard side is that # 9, which left the earliest, was filled mostly with first and second class passengers and a very small number of third class passengers.

The next boat to leave, boat # 11, also had a mix of first, second, and a few third class passengers. The majority of passengers in # 13 and # 15, the last two to leave the aft starboard side, appear to have been third class.

So, to answer your question, I would say that the reason # 9 did not have a large number of Irish passengers like the other aft boats is because the passenger composition itself and eyewitness accounts suggest that the third class passengers started trickling up to the starboard side during the loading of the aft boats, with a large group coming up in time to get into # 13 and # 15.

That there was few if any Irish passengers in # 9 or # 11 makes perfect sense when one considers how few third class passengers in general, much less Irish ones, were in those two boats.

Kind regards,
Tad
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Correction to my last post, I should have said that there was a large number more third class passengers in #11 than #9, but not more than #13 or #15, where almost the entire composition of passengers were third class. There were a number of first and second class passengers in #11. Sorry for the confusion.
 

Inger Sheil

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Hallo George —

I draw your attention to the second paragraph of your post.

"It is clear that the name of the man he is talking about is on the tip of his tongue and he has had a momentary lapse of memory - he even starts to answer with "Mr...", then gropes for the name that he had earlier recalled. Lowe, as one of the surviving officers, would have been very familiar to him by then, and he could hardly have thought he drowned."

In every sentence you put yourself in Lee's head and describe his thoughts, his intentions, what he knew and why he answered as he did. He could just as easily have meant to say "Mr. Lowe" and been interrupted by someone coming into the room, or leaving the room, or dropping a book, or a thousand other possibilities. We'll never know.
What I am actually doing is setting out how I read Lee’s evidence. I am not reading his thoughts at all — I am point out that it is evident from his wording that he knows who the man is, expects to be able to produce it, and has had a memory block. Do you disagree that the name was on the tip of his tongue, and that he had a specific individual in mind when he commenced with “Mr…”? Do you dispute the fact that Lowe would have been visible to him in the wake of the disaster? Even aside from the profile that Lowe had at the inquiries and in the newspapers, the senior officers did not spend their time sequestered in their cabins on the Carpathia, Lowe perhaps least of all aside from Lightoller. They worked, then and after, to manage the crew and assist with passengers. On arrival in New York, they both officers and surviving crew were transferred to the Lapland, where they were fed and debriefed by WSL officers. For Lee to somehow not have seen this specific officer among the four surviving deck officers, of whom he has a clear mental picture, would be extraordinary.

I agree that we don’t know what caused the memory block Lee experienced. Those who have studied the function of memory in traumatic or high profile events stress that extreme arousal at any time - whether during encoding, storage or retrieval — has a negative effect on information processing. Blocks can be caused by something as simple as the introduction of a name similar to the one you are trying to recall. Even under non-stressful situations, I have a curious tendency to blank on the name of a colleague. I can greet him by name, chat to him, then when I go to announce his arrival or address him across the table at a meeting, I experience a recall failure. In Lee’s case, for example, the block could have been introduced when he was asked if the officer he saw was Wilde. I can appreciate his frustration — I know how I felt on “losing” names, dates and specific events that I knew when I walked into the room and could recall perfectly as soon as I was out of the witness stand.

Tall is a comparative term. You’re tall to someone shorter than you. Suits of armour demonstrate that a man standing 5-9 would have been tall in the Middle Ages. Not so much, anymore. Not being tall I don’t know what tall people consider tall.
I am a height that would be considered tall for a woman, average for a man. I use my own height to gage that of others. Knowing my own height, I can look at a man who is about two inches taller and know he is approximately 6’, or a man who is four inches taller and know he is 6’2”. What is more, Lee does not use the term “tall” in isolation: he gives us a specific measurement of about 6’, which fits Moody perfectly. It does not fit either Lowe or Murdoch.

You suggest that it “He could just as easily have meant to say "Mr. Lowe"”. I dispute this strongly on the grounds that Lowe fits one of the criteria, perhaps two if we stretch it. Moody fits every single one exactly. Let us examine the probability of this by the criteria of Lee’s description:

1.) Held the rank of Fifth or Sixth officer
- Lowe: Held the rank of Fifth Officer
- Moody: Held the rank of Sixth Officer

2.) Was drowned
- Lowe: Was not drowned. In addition, I think it highly improbably that Lee did not encounter him after the sinking.
- Moody: Was drowned

3.) Was distinguished by height at around six foot tall
- Lowe: Was several inches shorter than Moody, and his height was not a distinguishing characteristic — it does not feature in prominently in physical descriptions.
- Moody: Noticeably tall from his early years, when he stood out in group photographs because of his height. Several descriptions of him in 1912 specifically note he was tall. It even cropped up in recollections of him fifty years later.

4.) Was distinguished by his spare appearance
- Lowe: While not heavy at this time (although he had quite a solid chin), he was not thin by any means. “Average”, or “Slim” is the furthest you could stretch it — “spare” is not the right word.
- Moody: “Spare” is a spot on description. Not only was he thin (full length portraits of him in his close fitting WSL uniform reveal a very lean figure), he also had a thinner face, showing more definition in his bone structure than his colleagues.

5.) Had what could be described as a "fresh complexion"
- Lowe: Had a complexion that was officially described as “dark”, along with his generally more swarthy colouring.
- Moody: Notable for his fair complexion (it crops up in his correspondence, when he describes the effects of sunburn on it when he was working in South America). He was officially described as “fair”. I’ve seen good quality photographs of Moody and, while not in colour, they show a clear, light skin tone. This is in keeping with a small colour painting of him that exists within the family. He was blue eyed with light brown hair, with the “fair” or “fresh” complexion that goes with this colouring.

6.) Was sighted at the starboard quarter boats
- Lowe: No reports of him at the starboard quarter boats. Furthermore, he himself in all the evidence he gave never gave the slightest indication he was at the aft starboard quarter boats. Nor did anyone sight him there. In contradiction to this, you have stated you believed he was lying, but have yet to offer any evidence or even conjecture to support why you think he lied to his own disadvantage.
- Moody: Is reported by Wynn to have ordered the QM into Boat 9

I’d be happy to do a similar comparison for you with any other deck officer on board. Moody is the only officer who hits every single criteria. What’s more, Lee is spot on with the very characteristics that crop up in every description I’ve found of Moody, reflecting the strong impression they evidently left on others: height and thin build. There is also the additional touch of his fair English complexion.
One thing I’m getting from this discussion is that a useful purpose could be served by writing more specific material on junior officers like Lowe and Moody, both to focus attention on their movements and also to introduce more evidence on both their physical build and characters. Photographs and descriptions, for example, would more clearly illustrate the points I’ve made above. I’m working on Lowe of course (and just recently included some photos of Lowe that have never before been published, both singly and in groups, that illustrate some of my comments above), and have a partly finished article on James Moody’s Conway training and experience. I’ve thought in the past this was important for researchers — to rebut suggestions that have been raised in some quarters that Moody might have been likely to carry a gun, or that he would be the officer most likely to salute, etc. One photo I’d include in this would be a group shot showing Moody’s height in relation to his colleagues, and another illustrating the English complexion (one of the extant shots of Moody, reproduced widely, is of such poor quality it makes his colouring appear dark). I can understand why readers, not having been exposed to all these sources and without the context they provide, would not understand how absolutely right Lee’s description is as applied to Moody, and how wrong when applied to Lowe. The Lowe project is my priority at the moment, but I am thinking of writing a couple of further pieces on Moody to complement the one I’ve already written for ET — not only on the Conway, but also one specifically dealing with his career with the WSL, focusing particularly on his assignment to the Titanic, his Belfast experiences, his experiences on board, and the aftermath of the sinking (partly incorporating material I used for the WSJ article on the same subject).

I hope I'm not belabouring the point when I say again that I appreciate all the contributions to this discussion, even when I don't agree. Sam and Tad, you've made many points that I agree with (and if I largely refrain from repeating them, it's because you've covered them well, although I may return to some as time permits). George, I know we're not seeing eye-to-eye at all on many of these issues, but I hope my tone adequately conveys that I respect your views even when I emphatically disagree with them.
 

George Jacub

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Hi all....

It's amazing what a good's night sleep can bring. I've carefully parsed the testimony regarding the rear starboard boats Nos. 13 and 15. Then I did what I should have done from the beginning---I 'listened' to the witnesses. And they told me a cohesive narrative of what happened to the two boats.

The story can be told in 12 easy steps.

1. Starting with the observation that No. 15 was lowered 30 seconds after No. 13, you can conclude that both boats had been on A deck at the same time.

2. That means that Rule was wrong when he said No. 15 left the boat deck empty and loaded entirely on A deck. If there were women to go into No. 15, some could have gone into No. 13 where the crew was desperately calling for women. And that means Steward Hart was right.

3. If Hart is right, that means that No. 15 was loaded, for the main, on the boat deck with the women and children he brought.

4.And Hart said he went to No. 15 because it was the only boat left on the starboard side. Therefore, the only conclusion is that No. 13 went off the boat deck before No. 15.

5. Hence, the boats were on different decks and we know from Hart and Dodge what was happening on each deck. On the boat deck women were being loaded into No. 15. On A deck No. 13 were taking in the eight women waiting there. Then the men around No. 13 searched for more women. When none was found, the remaining men on deck were allowed into No. 13.

6. At some point, No. 15 was lowered to A deck and we can believe it was after Dodge and the other men climbed into No. 13. We can infer this because there is no recorded interaction between the two crews and because of Step 7.

7. After reaching A deck, No. 15 found a group of women, one man and a child and took them on. If they had been there when No. 13 was looking for women, they would have been taken on No. 13. Therefore we can assume they showed up after No. 13's search for women ended.

8. We know the crew of No. 15, in their turn, began searching for more women. No. 13 hung in the ropes. Beesley tells us so.

9. When the search for women for No. 15 failed to turn up any, Murdoch, on the boat deck, told the crew to take whoever was there. Given the okay from Murdoch, No. 15 loaded up with whatever male passengers and crewmen were around. Rule's garbled account supports this.

Beesley heard Murdoch order the boats below to lower away. Murdoch passed Beesley and went to port. Beesley looked over the side and saw No. 13 "almost full and just about to be lowered." He specifically mentions seeing male crew, stokers and male passengers in the boat. As the boat sat there (see Step 8), he heard two separate calls for more women. It's possible this call was made by the crew of No. 15. It can't be proved one way or the other, and nothing turns on it.

A sailor in No. 13 called up to Beesley to ask if there were any women on the boat deck. Beesley was invited to jump down into No. 13.

11. Beesley jumped into No. 13 and the boat was about to launch when two more women were found. Then a family was discovered and rushed to the boat.

The answer to why they got into No. 13 and not No. 15 may lie in the accounts of these survivors which I haven't reviewed. But we can infer that the delay in launching No. 13 to take these final five people overlaps the time that men were getting into No. 15.

12. No. 13 started down, but ran into the danger of being swamped by a discharge from the side of the Titanic. No.15 almost came down on top of No. 13. Eventually both boats reached the ocean safely.

Does this make sense to you?
 

George Jacub

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The reference to 5 minutes comes from the ‘The Lifeboat Launching Sequence Re-Examined’ by Bill Wormstedt, Tad Fith and George Behe (revised version 2005 and compared to the revised 2006 version linked to in an earlier post).

The relevent paragraphs are found under the heading Combined Launch Sequence and Timings.

"Quartermaster Hichens claimed that boat #6 left the ship about the same time as the boat in which the Master-at-Arms was saved. Hichens mistakenly thought this other boat was #8, but Master-at-Arms Bailey was actually in #16. (Bailey was the only Master-at-Arms rescued.) Since in appears that #6 was lowered away after #8 and at around the same time as #16, a launch time of 1:10 a.m. for #6 seems likely."

"Since Lowe would have required enough time to move aft from boat #1 and across the ship to work on loading #14, a launch time of 1:15 a.m. for both #16 and #14 seems about right."

The difference in the article between 1:15 a.m. for #16 (aft) and 1:10 a.m. for #6 (forward) is five minutes. I assume, of course, that by #6 you meant the second boat launched from the forward port quadrant of the ship. I believe #8 was the second boat launched and #6 the first, as Lightoller testified.

The boat number doesn’t matter for purposes of this example, the principle is the same–the last boat forward compared to the first boat aft.

Clench described how he and Officers Wilde and Lightoller loaded No. 12, and said they then followed the same procedure at No. 14 and No. 16.

The five minute gap between the launchings of the last boat at the forward port quadrant and No. 16 means that Wilde and Lightoller would spend an average of 100 seconds at Boats No. 12, 14 and 16 before No.16 was launched, less the time it took to walk to the length of the ship to the rear. That seems an inordinately short amount of time at each boat.

I believe the evidence shows that the boat you identify as #6 was actually Boat #8.

To believe it was #6 you have to disbelieve the testimony of Charles Lightoller, the man who loaded both boats. His evidence is supported by the testimony of Steward Crawford who left lowered No. 5 then crossed to the ship to port to #8. We know from the testimony of several witnesses that No. 6 and No. 5 had just been launched when the first rocket went off. Lightoller said he then went to No. 8, and Crawford said he crossed the deck to port to No. 8 as well.
 
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George said:

"So far none of you except Samuel has challenged the time evidence which indicates Wilde and Lightoller would have had to load three boats and lower two before Murdoch lowered No. 9."

We believe that many boats were being worked on at the same time. With Wilde, Lightoller and Moody all working on the port boats, we would expect several to being going on concurrently.

"Even your revised (2006) version of launch times contains this claim: “Since it appears that #6 was lowered away after #8 and at around the same time as #16, a launch time of 1:10 a.m. for #6 seems likely.”￾

Our 'revised' times are exactly the same times as published in the Commutator in 2001. Other than a few details changed or added, there is little difference between one version and another.

"Given that Lightoller and Wilde loaded all the boats in question, it’s hard to see how they managed to load them fore and aft simultaneously."

Given the officers moving around, yes we do think the forward boats and aft boats (port side) were worked on concurrently. We really don't have a lot of information about Wilde - he was spotted at 2, 8, 14, and C. He was probably at some of the other port boats, but no one specifically mentioned him at them. And Lightoller wasn't very specific about where he was - he said 'the first boat', 'the second boat', 'the third boat' and so on. Without specific information to nail down which boat he was at, we had to accept that he was at many of the port boats, at least for a little while, but went with what others had to say for the details. Lightoller claimed he was at 'most' of the port boats - at least, in our opinion, for a short amount of time. He did *not* assist in the final lowering of many of them.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Lightoller's testimony between inquiries, and in his contemporary and later published accounts also differ significantly in detail about which boats he worked at and when. A far more consistent source regarding this is the crew and passengers who actually left in lifeboat #6 and #8, or were on hand for most if not all of the loading of those boats. One passenger was so specific that she describes looking over the side of the ship and seeing the empty seats in a lifeboat already in the water, prior to boarding and being lowered in #6. There is a good deal of evidence that this boat was not the first lowered. For what it's worth, Colonel Gracie, after talking with his fellow Titanic survivors, also believed that #8 was lowered before #6, and we reached the same conclusion completely independently of whatever reasoning he used to reach the same conclusion back in 1912.

It is important to understand that the officers did not go to each individual boat and stay there through the whole loading and lowering process each time. The senior officers played more of a supervisory role (Lightoller and Murdoch appear to have been the most active), and the junior officers and able bodied seaman, quartermasters, etc. all assisted. This dynamic is important and renders the argument about this officer couldn't have gotten x number of boats ready and lowered in x number of minutes moot.

That is one reason why Sam Halpern's point about when the boats were uncovered is important, it shows how the process was not the case of a simple "uncover the boats and get them loaded." In fact, the evidence shows that the process took place in several phases, and the order to beginning loading the boats wasn't given until around the time the first CQD was sent out. By then, at least some of the boats had already been uncovered, as per Boxhall and others. That is why establishing specific times and not simply discussing the sequence the boats were lowered is critical if one is to take the whole body of evidence and reach any conclusions that stand up to close scrutiny.

George, as I said previously, this is a very interesting conversation, but I am still waiting to hear your thoughts on the specifics of the launch times, as well as what the information you mentioned is about Lowe covering something up. We have been asking you to elaborate for some time, and you have not responded to our inquiries. I am not saying that to sound like a challenge, I am legitimately interested in hearing what you've turned up and how that impacts things.

All my best,
Tad
 

Inger Sheil

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"So far none of you except Samuel has challenged the time evidence which indicates Wilde and Lightoller would have had to load three boats and lower two before Murdoch lowered No. 9."

We believe that many boats were being worked on at the same time. With Wilde, Lightoller and Moody all working on the port boats, we would expect several to being going on concurrently.
Absolutely, Bill, and this staggering that you and Tad describe is a point that I've addressed several times.

I've referred to Lucas's specific evidence that after obeying Lightoller and Moody's order to "get out the boats", and his testimony that he worked at 2, 4 and 6, and then went "right aft" to No. 16, No. 14. He testified that it was here that he first saw people get into the boats - at "The afterpart of the ship where I first started lowering boats." So before the loading had even begun on loading the forward port boats, crew went aft to start the process at the aft port boats. He does not state explicitly who he went aft under the command of, but the officer he mentions in connection with the work here is Moody, who had been giving orders at the forward port quarter as well when he had started work. He responds to the question "Had you received the order that women were to be put in the boats?" in the affirmitive, stating that the order came from "Mr. Moody, the Sixth Officer." It makes sense, therefore, that Moody was overseeing the uncovering of the lifeboats while Murdoch and Wilde were working on the forward boats, and that by the time the two senior deck officers moved aft the work on the aftmost boats was well underway, so they could begin work there as well.
 

George Jacub

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Hi everyone.

It's taken me some time to review the evidence but I can now address the proposition that Boat No. 16 could be launched within five minutes of the second forward port boat to be lowered off the Titanic (you say #6, I say #8).

Your argument, as I see it thanks to Inger, rests in large part on seaman William Lucas, who was ordered to clear the aft boats and who watched the loading of #16, presumably in the company of Sixth Officer Moody.

Lucas is precisely the sort of frustrating witness I wrote about who drives researchers crazy with the imprecision of his evidence.

Q. What boats did you go to right aft?...Do you know what number?
A. Well, No. 16, No. 14

What does that mean? That he went to both No. 16 and No. 14? Or No. 16 only. Or that he meant to say No. 14 and inadvertently blurted out No. 16? I'll say he went to both, but who can say for sure?

Q. Where did you see the first people get into the boats?
A. That was No. 16, 12

Again, what does that mean? First means before any others. Were the first people getting into No. 16? Or were the first people getting into No. 12? Or were the first people getting into both boats at the same time? No. 12, I could agree with.

Q. Had you received the order that women were to be put in the boats?
A. Yes

Q. Whom did you receive that from?
A. Mr. Moody the sixth officer.

Q. Was he there or was he by the falls?
A. He was near me when I was lowering.

What does he mean? As I pointed out earlier, the word "lowering" has two meanings----off the boat deck and into the davits and off the ship into the ocean. Certainly Moody was there when he was lowering the lifeboat into the Atlantic Ocean. But is he saying Moody was there when he was lowering the boat even with the boat deck? I could agree Moody gave the order to load No.16, I just debate when.

I understand your argument that the loading of the boats was overlapping. No. 16 was being loaded as No. 14 was being loaded. No. 14 was being loaded as No. 12 was being loaded. And that process speeds up the overall time needed for the loading of the 3 boats.

But five minutes between the lowering of the second forward port boat off the ship and No. 16 is overly optimistic. Here's why.

We know when the loading of No. 16 began. Seaman Ernest Archer tells us. And he testified he was given the order to begin loading women and children into No. 16 'after' he had spent some time helping load No. 14.

No. 14 and No. 12 began loading at roughly the same time according to the evidence of Scarrott and Clench. Chief Officer Wilde ordered Scarrott to begin and he worked with Clench and Lightoller at No. 12.

Wilde, we know, didn't leave the forward port boats until after the launch of No. 6 (or No. 8, whichever you chose to call the second forward port boat off the ship.)

You see the improbability of the five-minutes. Wilde would have cross the lenght of the ship, order the loading of No. 14, Archer would help pass women and children into No. 14, then he would leave No. 14 to go to No. 16 where he would be given the order to start loading. Start is the operative word. I'm guessing five minutes would pass before he was even ordered to start loading No. 16.

Happy Canada Day.
 

Inger Sheil

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I think the key phrase here is the word "at roughly the same time" - I doubt even the witnesses themselves, had you asked them to be precise, could have said that, say, 16 began loading exactly two minutes after 14. And eyewitness accounts cannot all be reconciled or cannot easily be read in conjunction with other evidence - Clench, for example, states in describing how the boats were loaded that "we filled three boats [12, 14 and 16] like that", and describes filling 12, then going to 14 to lower, then to 16, then back to 12 to lower.

Lucas, however, is clear that it was Moody who gave the order on putting women in the aftmost boats. His follow on comment about Moody being beside him when he was lowering the boats may seem confusing, but it is in response to Rowlatt introducing the question was he "there" (beside Lucas as they were loading the boats?) or by the falls - rather an odd question. Lucas latches on to the "by the falls" to respond that Moody was near him when he was lowering - so he has both given the order to put women in the boats and is also by the falls when the boat is being lowered.

That Wilde and Lightoller worked loading these aft port boats is not disputed, but I'd argue the evidence suggests that Moody had gone aft ahead of them before they had even started loading women in the forward port boats (as per Lucas' evidence). By the time Wilde arrived aft, having finished with Boat 8, the boats were ready for loading.

The important thing about Lucas' evidence is that he places the work that began at the aft port boats in context with what was going on forward. He has men going aft to work on them even before the loading has begun forward.

We know from the evidence of crew sent from starboard to port aft that the aft port boats were indeed swung out and ready for loading before their starboard counterparts. We also know that 12, 14 and 16 were loaded close together.

Lowe's evidence, as he moved from forward starboard to aft port, provides a reference point in time for correlating of loading these two quarters. He gave four consistent statements, and in each one went from Boat 1 to the aft port boats, where he assisted in finishing up the loading. This reinforces the McGough evidence for the sequence, and also makes sense of the sightings of Moody.
 

George Jacub

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Hello everyone.

I've spent the last five days reviewing as much of the evidence as I could trying to break the logjam over which scenario comes closest to describing the events aboard the Titanic.

It's important to understand that this is not an exercise in oneupmanship. It's not a matter of proving one scenario is wrong and the other is right. It's an attempt to tap into the collective intelligence to discover a scenario that encompasses as much of the evidence as possible.

I was surprised to discover nobody had mentioned Third Officer Herbert Pitman who confirmed the early presence of Moody at Boat No. 16 as envisaged by the McGough scenario.

I was just as surprised that nobody had mentioned the account of Charlotte Collyer (reprinted in Titanic Voices) who confirmed the presence of First Officer William Murdoch at Boat No.14 just as I wrote about in my original article and which I have defended against fierce opposition ever since.

It's probably because neither witness conclusively tips the balance between the McGough and Murdoch scenarios.

Pitman saw Moody at No. 16 at 12:15 or so when the lifeboats were being cleared but the order to load the passengers had not been given yet. We know Moody left No. 16 and went to No. 4 by the time the order to load was given because Gracie delivered the women in his care to Moody at No. 4 on A deck.

But if we're connecting the dots, there is another dot with Moody's name on it. Steward Ray said that when he arrived at Boat No. 9 he found 16 men already there, one of whom was an officer who drowned. And since Murdoch was busy at the forward boats at the time, that could only be Moody. He was there as Ray saw No. 7 off the ship, but gone a short while later when Quartermaster Walter Wynn arrived to take charge of No. 9, telling the crewmen he had been ordered by Moody.

Wynn testified that just before meeting Moody he had been ordered by the Capt. to get the emergency boats ready, then had helped clear "various lifeboats." On one hand the reference to emergency boats suggests he was at the forward boats when Moody ordered him to No. 9. And that, in turn, suggests Moody proceeded from No. 16 to No. 9 and then to No. 4. But there's the equal possibility that Wynn was in vicinity of No. 9 as Moody left to go further aft. Unless someone can find an interview with Wynn that clarifies this, we'll never know.

As for Charlotte Collyer, I embrace her evidence to my bosom. She unequivocably states that Murdoch was at Boat No. 14. We now have a complete circle of evidence. Mr. Beesley sees Murdoch leave No. 13 and go to port. Mr. Crowe says Murdoch ordered him into Boat No. 14. And Charlotte Collyer sees Murdoch order guards by the gangways, then move "to the other end of the deck." I wrote that Murdoch went to port, was seen by Crowe, then likely returned to starboard to load and lower No. 15.

And that's where, I fear, the Collyer evidence flounders. While she confirms Murdoch's presence at No. 14, I cannot reconcile her timing of his appearance. It's too early for my comfort.

Therefore, it's back to the drawing board to try and further unravel these threads of evidence.

Before closing, though, I should raise two points with the McGough scenario. If I understand it correctly, you say McGough could leave No. 14 and reach No. 9 before it left the ship because the process of loading the rear port boats was accelerated by having Moody with Lucas loading passengers into No. 16 before Wilde and Lightoller left the forward port boats.

Then why did almost everyone at No. 16 say they had a problem finding women to go into the boat? Was it Poigndestre who said there were "hundreds" waiting to get into Boats No. 12, 14 and 16? If so, then No. 16, which allegedly started loading first, should have been filled, not left begging for women.

And, again if I understand the argument properly, it only works if we dismiss the evidence of Ernest Archer.
That's because Archer said he was there when the order was given to take women and children into No. 16.
Archer could only start loading No. 16 AFTER he had helped load No. 14, which could only happen AFTER Scarrott had been given the order by Wilde to start loading No. 14, which could only happend AFTER Wilde had come from the forward boats to No. 14. In other words, Moody could not have started loading No. 16 before Wilde and Lightoller were loading No. 12 and Scarrott was loading No. 14.

I hope to get caught up reading the most recent posts on this thread in the next day or so.
 

Inger Sheil

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Hallo George -

Thanks for going into that other evidence.

I would be concerned about the Collyer reference’s veracity (which did cross my mind) — I’ve written about it elsewhere in an article about Wilde that appeared in a White Star Journal article a few years ago. Collyer’s account is problematical in several regards, and her article seems to have suffered an editorial touch up. She claims — (or is reported to have claimed), for example, that she was in Boat 14 when it went back for survivors. This in contradiction to the accounts her own daughter gave. “Connective tissue”, as one famous Civil War general/historian referred to it disparagingly, was the bane of those eyewitnesses who wrote for popular magazines.

She describes the man she (or her editor/ghost writer) names as Murdoch as a big, powerful chap. This does not fit Murdoch’s physical description (the “agile terrier”)— it fits the six-foot-one, barrel chested Wilde, who we know was at Boat 14 early (I’ve also heard from researchers of the period that it would have been Wilde as Chief Officer, not Murdoch, who would have conducted the ship inspection during which she claims to have met him — but I can’t confirm this from a firsthand source). That she goes on to mention the shooting rumours indicates that she, too, has been exposed to the ubiquitousness of Murdoch stories in the wake of the disaster (or at least her editor has), and suggests that these may have coloured her identification. That she mentions Murdoch and not Wilde (stating that the only other officer on site was Lowe), whereas others saw Wilde but not Murdoch at this early stage, tends to reinforce the Wilde identification.

Reading the Wynn evidence in context, I find it hard to believe that he was anything other in the vicinity of Boat 9 when ordered into it. The Inquiry skimmed over his earlier work at the boats — he agrees that he worked at the two “accident” (emergency) boats and cleared away “various lifeboats” before encountering Moody, who told him to go to his own boat. When he didn’t know which one that was:
13326. Did you go to a boat?
- Mr. Moody told me to go to number nine boat and take charge of number nine.
13327. Whether that was your right boat or not, you do not know?
- It was all ready swinging out on the davits and he told me to take charge of No. 9, as I did not know my own boat.
Why would Moody order him specifically to Boat 9 if he was elsewhere on the ship? Moody was never reported at Boat 1 and only very early at Boat 2 and the other forward port boats - surely long before Wynn arrived at Boat 9 which was already swung out. Why would Wynn not mention moving to Boat 9 (i.e. “I then went aft” or “I then crossed to starboard”) if Moody had been elsewhere on board when he gave him the order? Indeed, where conceivably have Moody have been? The only other place beside the starboard quarter would be the aft port boats — why, if Moody was working there, would he order Wynn to starboard? Unless the work had been done at the aft port boats, and he sent him to starboard. Even the description implies they were there — he describes the boat being ready and “he [Moody] told me to take charge”. Read in the contex of the evidence of Lee at Boat 13, the evidence points to Moody being active in loading the starboard quarter boats.
You’re quite right on Pitman — I should have mentioned his evidence regarding the uncovering of the boats and seeing Moody working there aft. I’d originally thought that the sighting was too early to fit into the sequence and that Moody might have gone forward again to the forward port boats, but re-reading both Pitman's evidence on his subsequent movements and how he came to arrive at Boat 5 and Lucas's evidence, I’m inclined to think that they must have made their way there fairly smartly.
 
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G'day Inger.
Hi Jacub.

Beesley talks of an officer at boat 16 starting to unlacing the covers very early on as he was going back below to his cabin from the boat deck. It was just after seeing the ship moving ahead slowly by noticing the streaks of foam along the ship's sides. It was also the time he notice that the steps going down the 2nd class stairway from the boat deck felt somewhat strange. The officer he saw was probably Moody, and that would have been before Pitman came aft having first been called upon by Boxhall.

As far as it being Wilde on inspection of the ship, IMM rule 206 requires the Chief Officer to make an inspection of the ship at 8 p.m. daily and then report to the commander as soon as possible afterwards.

From rule 118, Commanders are required to make a thorough inspection of the ship at 10:30 a.m. daily, except Sunday, accompanied by the Chief Engineer, Purser and Assistant Purser, Surgeon and Chief Steward.
 
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