Man frozen with fear


Dec 12, 1999
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I recall reading about a man on the Titanic's deck who stood absolutely still, locked in his fear. Anyone recall who was the survivor who noted this? Any ideas on who was the person that was frozen in fear?
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Jan are you referring to the Carraus? I remember reading something to that effect. I believe Elmer Z. Taylor related this about the Carraus (in his 1940's account), seeing them on the C deck (I *think*) landing paralized with fear ...

Daniel.

PS. If you really need this, I can try and confirm it and dig up the account, unless someone else wants to beat me to it.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Jan,

I can't remember when it was that Taylor wrote his memoir. It could be 1946, I think. Anyway, here's the quote from him about the Carraus:

quote:

"We passed up through the forward companionway, without meeting anyone until we approached the stair on "A" Deck. About half way up the flight, there were two gentlemen, one on either side, leaning against the balustrade and, from outward appearance, more dead than alive. We had been introduced to these two fine looking men by a mutual friend on the platform in Waterloo Station.

They were from Buenos Aires, Argentina. They could not speak English, and we could not speak Spanish. As we casually met day by day, we would all speak our native language, smile and pass along, none of us understanding what the other one said. At this meeting we repeated the usual salutations, shook hands and assured them there was no danger, smiled and proceeded on our way, to carry the fear they exhibited on their faces for the remainder of my life. How terrifying it must have been to those who did not have faith in the wonderful engineering skill displayed in building this massive unsinkable steamer."

I had always suspected that the Carraus had their cabin on E deck. If this were the case, perhaps the reason they were up on A deck, looking more dead than alive by the time they met the Taylors, was because the first class section on E deck had already began to flood ....

Daniel.​
 

Jason D. Tiller

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This account also appears in Ramon Artagaveytia's account, along with Padro Y Manent's version in it. Both Manent and Taylor give different accounts of the Carrau's brothers.

Manent states that Artagaveytia and the Carrau brothers laughed at him for being worried about the situation. As soon as Manent said he was leaving the ship, they told him that it was silly to get into a lifeboat, since he might get a cold from being on the sea in the lifeboat.

Taylor points out that the brothers were very serious about what was happening, and were very alarmed. It's certainly different from what Manent said.

Manent's version must be taken with a grain of salt, compared with Taylor's.

Best regards,

Jason
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Dec 7, 2000
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Jason,

... either that, or Taylor's must be taken with a grain of salt compared to Manent's. However Taylor's account is detailed and it does not seem that he would make anything up. Typo's such as his cabins being "C.125" can be excused as we know he was in C126.

Perhaps both descriptions can be trusted. Maybe Manent saw the men before they became worried and when they still believed the situation was not serious, and Taylor saw them later on? Or maybe they cheered up after Taylor saw them ... ?

Daniel.
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Dan, Jason:

The account which I recall is on ET, somewhere. It was told by a man, I think, in third class. He indicated that he was lucky to have survived, and that he recalled seeing on the Titanic's deck, prior to the sinking, another man who stood absolutely still, in a certain position -- literally frozen or paralyzed with fear. I can't seem to find the account. I think the survivor was one of the Swedish passengers.
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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All,

I have come across at least one account which would seem to reinforce Manent's observations of the Carraus' attitude towards to the danger. Although Helen Churchill Candee's account as seen on Charles Pellegrino's site is to be taken with a grain of salt (the large amount of recounted dialogue being an obvious point of contention), I remain only mildly sceptical regarding its authenticity.

Throughout the lenghty account she makes passing references to the Carraus and Ramon Artagaveytia, and at one point even commented on the apparent closeness of the trio, and making the incorrect assumption that Artagaveytia was father to Francisco and Jose Pedro. Following the collision, Mrs. Candee recalled an rather telling encounter with one of the younger men in the lounge, seemingly indicative of their attitude at that time;

Into the luxurious elegance of the lounge as we crossed it came the familiar figure of the young South American. His look was gay, tinged with mischief. Instead of his usual greeting of distant salute, he dashed up to me with an inappropriate lightness as he trust before me a pair of hands cupped over a quantity of cracked ice.

I shrank back in surprise. Eating ice was a repellent thought in such cold.

“Take some, take some. It is what we struck!” he laughed with the impulsiveness of a boy, dancing. “I picked it up from the lower deck.”

I took a piece.

“As a souvenir,” he laughed, and sped on to give his elegant and ancient father the same evanescent treat.


Perhaps, as Daniel points out, they were simply late in appreciating the seriousness of the situation, this account provides a direct contrast with Elmer Taylor's observations. Although, as mentioned above, many of her alleged experiences and conversation are to be treated with caution, I have a hard time believing that Mrs. Candee's recollections of the South American men was pure inventation on her part.

Regards,
Ben
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Hi Daniel,

Good points made. It's possible that Taylor wasn't telling the truth and that Manet's account shouldn't be doubted, but on the other hand I also don't see why Taylor would make a false statement.

As you said, maybe both accounts are correct.

Best regards,

Jason
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Dec 7, 2000
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If Candee's account on Pellegrino's site can be trusted, we then must doubt Taylor, according to whom the Carraus could not speak English. The letters they wrote from Titanic were also in Spanish, I know however that they were writing to family and would obviously be writing in Spanish, and that this does not mean that they did not speak English.

However I don't see why Taylor would make stuff up. So, if he's correct that they could not speak English, how could they communicate to Candee ... unless she spoke Spanish? Did she?

Daniel.
 

Ben Holme

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Hi Daniel,

I'm not sure that Taylor's account should be doubted chiefly on the strength of Candee's evidence. As mentioned previously, it is entirely possible that the Carraus may have revised their opinion of the situation after speaking to a crewmember etc as the Taylor encounter clearly came later. Although many aspects of the Candee account are, at best, suspicious, I see no reason to doubt that the encounter in the lounge took place, and as Candee was clearly not averse to some heavy elaboration when in came to recalling conversations, it's likely that Carrau used only very simple English, if not mere gestures to draw her attention to the "evanescent treat".

Regards,
Ben
 
A

Anne M. Cannon

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In April,2000, I accompanied the great-niece of Juliet Cummins Taylor(wife of E.Z. Taylor to England for the THS convention. She (Roxanne) had appeared @ many local events, in 1912 period dress, telling the story of her aunt/uncles version of what happened that night. Fascinating stuff. She (Roxanne) has since passed on. Her memory has not.
 

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