Masthead Lights


Mar 18, 2008
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I like the logic behind it. Other ships notice the fraction and enter it into the log but on Titanic and Californian must have been complete fools to have no idea what was going on. :rolleyes:
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
As Pitman said - "We had something else to think of besides log books, sir." Or as Captain Lord said - "It was a very deceiving night."

The haze ahead of the Titanic was likely affected by the refraction which elevated and masked its true appearance, so that it appeared as a peculiar haze on the horizon. There was also a haze in the water around the ship which several survivors noticed. e.g. Jack Thayer - "It had become very much colder. It was a brilliant, starry night. There was no moon and I have never seen the stars shine brighter. They appeared to stand right out of the sky, sparkling like cut diamonds. A very light haze, hardly noticeable, hung low over the water." I believe the proximity of the ice around them and the difference in temperature underneath them (owing to the Labrador current) caused the icy horizon to become an elevated haze. The Titanic was much more south easterly than many people realized which made it difficult to find the wreck. The ice had melted and survivors said it was "soft ice" which scooped off the iceberg and dropped onto the deck and they observed the iceberg break into pieces as it passed behind the ship. The people in lifeboat 2 could hear the ice crunching as it continued to break apart, and there is speculation that the iceberg had melted so much that it had recently turned over. All of this points to the Titanic being in warmer water when she sank as she was well to the south east of the main ice field.



This summary video clip demonstrates the gist of it.




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Mar 18, 2008
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Germany
Ah the haze which Fleet did not mentioned at the American Senate Inquiry but jumped on it when Lee mentioned it at the British Inquiry.
Carpathia also nearly hit an iceberg which was not capsized nor any mention of fraction.

The people in No. 2 did mention water lapping against ice/iceberg but there is no mention of "crunching as it continued to break apart".
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Could have sworn there was a survivor who distinctly heard the ice crunching. Might have been at daybreak when the sun rose up and the ice continued to melt. If not, then I stand corrected. Edith Rosenbaum said it was soft enough to play snowballs. Major Peuchen said - "It looked like shell ice, soft ice.....I heard the men walking over it, and it would crunch under their feet." Ernest Gill looked over the side of the Californian - "It was now 12 o'clock and I went to my cabin. I woke my mate, William Thomas. He heard the ice crunching alongside the ship and asked, "Are we in the ice?" I replied, "Yes but it must be clear off to the starboard, for I saw a big vessel going along full speed. She looked as if she might be a big German."

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M

Mila

Guest
There had to be because the SS Marengo recorded great fraction on the horizon on the night of April 14th - 15th and they were south west of the icefield. It was seen by them at 8pm and 12 midnight and they also noted in their log how unusually clear and bright the stars were. The survivors and the crew of the Californian saw the brightness of the stars and how they never saw a night like that before. Another ship passed over the area and saw "sea mirrors" on the horizon. They recorded a sudden temperature drop and rise as they passed over the region of the ice, and the brightness of the stars would have illuminated the area bright enough to cast the refraction. Although the lights of the Titanic is all the illumination the Californian needed to see the affects of the refraction because the vessel I saw was surrounded in total darkness and the refraction had reflected her lights onto a false horizon below which created the illusion the ship was much closer and masked her true appearance.


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Hi Aaron, "much refraction" at nighttime proves nothing. There is no single record of anybody observing refracted stars. Many polar explorers spent months of polar night in Arctic and Antarctic, but nobody reported seeing mirage of stars. The ship might have observed star pillars (there were ice crystals in the air). Could you please give me the link to that "sea mirror" thing? Neither the Californian nor the Titanic recorded temperature rise, they only recorded it drop. The temperatures of the air and the water were the same. No refraction could happene under such conditions.
 
M

Mila

Guest
Btw your image is probably of an inferior mirage. There is no false horizon in inferior mirages.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Hi Aaron, "much refraction" at nighttime proves nothing. There is no single record of anybody observing refracted stars. Many polar explorers spent months of polar night in Arctic and Antarctic, but nobody reported seeing mirage of stars. The ship might have observed star pillars (there were ice crystals in the air). Could you please give me the link to that "sea mirror" thing? Neither the Californian nor the Titanic recorded temperature rise, they only recorded it drop. The temperatures of the air and the water were the same. No refraction could happene under such conditions.
The Marengo saw great refraction at midnight and noted how strong the stars were. If there were no other ships about then the only indicator would have been the refraction of the stars on the horizon. The giant ice field was probably over 20 miles long and drifting down into warmer waters. I don't know if such a thing has ever happened on such a scale before or since. This would make all atmospheric events unique to that one area.

The analysis for the refraction comes from this documentary.


Skip to 52:30 - Logs showing radical changes in temperatures
Skip to 56:50 - Logs showing Great refraction at Midnight
Skip to 58:40 - Logs showing Air mirrors / mirages





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M

Mila

Guest
As Pitman said - "We had something else to think of besides log books, sir." Or as Captain Lord said - "It was a very deceiving night."

The haze ahead of the Titanic was likely affected by the refraction which elevated and masked its true appearance, so that it appeared as a peculiar haze on the horizon. There was also a haze in the water around the ship which several survivors noticed. e.g. Jack Thayer - "It had become very much colder. It was a brilliant, starry night. There was no moon and I have never seen the stars shine brighter. They appeared to stand right out of the sky, sparkling like cut diamonds. A very light haze, hardly noticeable, hung low over the water." I believe the proximity of the ice around them and the difference in temperature underneath them (owing to the Labrador current) caused the icy horizon to become an elevated haze. The Titanic was much more south easterly than many people realized which made it difficult to find the wreck. The ice had melted and survivors said it was "soft ice" which scooped off the iceberg and dropped onto the deck and they observed the iceberg break into pieces as it passed behind the ship. The people in lifeboat 2 could hear the ice crunching as it continued to break apart, and there is speculation that the iceberg had melted so much that it had recently turned over. All of this points to the Titanic being in warmer water when she sank as she was well to the south east of the main ice field.



This summary video clip demonstrates the gist of it.




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Aaron superior mirage is called sometimes cold water mirage.
 
M

Mila

Guest
Aaron, think for yourself: no officer from Titanic, Californian, Mount Temple, Carpathia reported seeing "much refraction". Were they all so unprofessional not to know there was refraction and a false horizon? No, they all were professionals. They did not report seeing the refraction because there was none. I do not know what The Marengo meant under "much refraction". Maybe they also saw brightening on the horizon as Lord did? Maybe they meant light pillars Light Pillars (but I doubt this either) and besides I believe The Marengo was not even close to the ice. BTW back then most sailor called mirages reflection, not refraction
All mirages in your pictures and videos are of inferior mirage. The atmosphere is much clearer during inferior mirages. I bet you have never seen any "haze" with your inferior mirages. If there was a superior mirage I doubt stars would have been seen setting in the ocean. I do not recall seeing a very clear horizon with superior mirages display.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
The officers on all surrounding ships made no mention of the Northern Lights which illuminated the night sky and were described by one survivor as a "search light" owing to their intensity, yet none of the officers on either ship mentioned it. That of course, does not mean it wasn't present. When the Titanic sank the survivors in the boats saw a huge plume of smoke rise up and flatten at the top like a mushroom, as if it had reached an invisible barrier. This was a layer of cold and warm air meeting. Survivors close to the wreckage saw a haze hovering just above the sea. This was another indication of the temperature difference. Survivors such as Charles Joughin said he felt much colder out of the sea than he did when he was in the water. The ice was melting all around them as they were in the warmer Labrador current and the ice was scattering all around them as it melted free from the icefield which was I understand the size of Manhattan. The wreck was found far to the south east of her position and the expeditions to find the wreck were surprised to find out she had drifted so far east owing to the warmer Labrador current.

When I saw the refraction it was a dark overcast night. There were no stars, and the vessel which was affected was surrounded in a dazzling glare, like a cloud or haze. According to my local weather reports the temperature of the air and sea was only 1 or 2 degrees different that night. When I zoomed in with the camera I could see the real lights were clear and easy to focus on, but the affected lights that were reflected were in a glare and impossible to focus on. I believe that is what the crew on the Californian had witnessed and why the glare of her reflected masthead light was possibly mistaken for a second masthead light. It also explains why the ship appeared 4-5 miles away when she was perhaps 20 or more miles away and why they could not hear the rockets, and why they could not see Boxhall's green light as his boat was closer to the water and further south and just out of reach to be raised up by the refaction onto the elevated horizon. When the survivors saw the lights of a ship to the north (Californian) the lights were described as being in a haze and a glare. They could not see it distinctly owing to the refraction. The atmospheric effects of the massive ice field would have played tricks on anyone in the vicinity of it.


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A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Correction: Meant to say the Titanic was pushed south by the cold Labrador current and pushed east by the warmer Gulf Stream.


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M

Mila

Guest
Survivors such as Charles Joughin said he felt much colder out of the sea than he did when he was in the water.
Aurora does not change a visibility of distant objects. There was nothing to report. Super refraction does. There were questions about refraction during the inquiries. Nobody reported seeing it.

It appears you do not understand what temperature inversion is. In order for a superior mirage to appear at the surface level, sea should be colder than the air above it.
Most temperature inversions have nothing to do with mirages
National Weather Service - NWS Salt Lake City

At that point I think we should agree to disagree.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
I know only what other ships had reported in their logbooks and also what I have seen myself, and the analysis that was put together in the documentary - Titanic: Case Closed. I believe the elements that came together that night were quite unique. Include also a massive floating island of ice that was around 20 miles long which drifted down into the warmer Gulf stream towards the shipping lanes and you have a cocktail for all kinds of phenomena and tricks on the eye.


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Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
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Funchal. Madeira
The officers on all surrounding ships made no mention of the Northern Lights which illuminated the night sky and were described by one survivor as a "search light" owing to their intensity, yet none of the officers on either ship mentioned it. That of course, does not mean it wasn't present. When the Titanic sank the survivors in the boats saw a huge plume of smoke rise up and flatten at the top like a mushroom, as if it had reached an invisible barrier. This was a layer of cold and warm air meeting. Survivors close to the wreckage saw a haze hovering just above the sea. This was another indication of the temperature difference. Survivors such as Charles Joughin said he felt much colder out of the sea than he did when he was in the water. The ice was melting all around them as they were in the warmer Labrador current and the ice was scattering all around them as it melted free from the icefield which was I understand the size of Manhattan. The wreck was found far to the south east of her position and the expeditions to find the wreck were surprised to find out she had drifted so far east owing to the warmer Labrador current.

When I saw the refraction it was a dark overcast night. There were no stars, and the vessel which was affected was surrounded in a dazzling glare, like a cloud or haze. According to my local weather reports the temperature of the air and sea was only 1 or 2 degrees different that night. When I zoomed in with the camera I could see the real lights were clear and easy to focus on, but the affected lights that were reflected were in a glare and impossible to focus on. I believe that is what the crew on the Californian had witnessed and why the glare of her reflected masthead light was possibly mistaken for a second masthead light. It also explains why the ship appeared 4-5 miles away when she was perhaps 20 or more miles away and why they could not hear the rockets, and why they could not see Boxhall's green light as his boat was closer to the water and further south and just out of reach to be raised up by the refaction onto the elevated horizon. When the survivors saw the lights of a ship to the north (Californian) the lights were described as being in a haze and a glare. They could not see it distinctly owing to the refraction. The atmospheric effects of the massive ice field would have played tricks on anyone in the vicinity of it.


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Hello, Aaron.

You can't see coal smoke at night. Besides which, if there had been smoke, it would have been relatively warm and continued to rise and would not flatten out. However, hot air holds more moisture than cold air. Hot air rises. As it rises, it is cooled and can no longer hold as much moisture. It therefore deposits excess moisture in the form of water vapour.
When Titanic was venting her boilers, the hot steam would rise rapidly and be cooled, as it did, it would reach a level where it had to get rid of its extra moisture. Since there was no wind, this would form "tablecloth" above the ship. Her lights would reflect from the underside and the distress rockets would be seen through it from below. This would make them look icy blue.
If there had been a temperature inversion, the air would get warmer with height, not colder and the steam vapor would have surrounded the funnels and superstructure.

For your information, the sea temperature at night seldom differs more than 2 degrees from the daytime sea temperature.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
The SS Paula steamed through the area on April 29th and reported heavy pack ice and many icebergs and they had to change course and steam south and around the ice field to avoid it. Their logs show a radical change in the water temperature as they steamed through the icy region. According to the narrator of the above documentary. The temperature dropped sharply and rose sharply as it passed the region during that day / night / day, as it went from:

12.8
2.2
1.1
-1.4
12.5

A screenshot from the documentary shows the moment of the radical drop and rise as they passed the ice field and saw the icebergs.


temp1.jpg



Regarding the observance of smoke. I believe the brightness of the stars and the continued electric lights in the stern after the break allowed the survivors to see the smoke and confirm its presence after she broke in two.


Philip Mock
"I last saw the ship with her stern high in the air going down. After the noise I saw a huge column of black smoke slightly lighter than the sky rising high into the sky and then flattening out at the top like a mushroom."

Fred Barrett
"When the ship was sinking a volume of smoke came up."

Frank Osman
"You could see the explosions by the smoke coming right up the funnels......It was all black. Looked like as if it was lumps of coal, and all that."

Q - There was a great amount of black smoke coming up through the funnels just after this explosion?
A - Just after the explosion.
Q - And there were lumps of coat, etc, coming up?
A - Yes; pretty big lumps. I do not know what it was.
Q - Did any water come up?
A - I never seen no water; only the steam and very black smoke.



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Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
5,365
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323
Funchal. Madeira
The SS Paula steamed through the area on April 29th and reported heavy pack ice and many icebergs and they had to change course and steam south and around the ice field to avoid it. Their logs show a radical change in the water temperature as they steamed through the icy region. According to the narrator of the above documentary. The temperature dropped sharply and rose sharply as it passed the region during that day / night / day, as it went from:

12.8
2.2
1.1
-1.4
12.5

A screenshot from the documentary shows the moment of the radical drop and rise as they passed the ice field and saw the icebergs.


View attachment 39490


Regarding the observance of smoke. I believe the brightness of the stars and the continued electric lights in the stern after the break allowed the survivors to see the smoke and confirm its presence after she broke in two.


Philip Mock
"I last saw the ship with her stern high in the air going down. After the noise I saw a huge column of black smoke slightly lighter than the sky rising high into the sky and then flattening out at the top like a mushroom."

Fred Barrett
"When the ship was sinking a volume of smoke came up."

Frank Osman
"You could see the explosions by the smoke coming right up the funnels......It was all black. Looked like as if it was lumps of coal, and all that."

Q - There was a great amount of black smoke coming up through the funnels just after this explosion?
A - Just after the explosion.
Q - And there were lumps of coat, etc, coming up?
A - Yes; pretty big lumps. I do not know what it was.
Q - Did any water come up?
A - I never seen no water; only the steam and very black smoke.



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I have to say, Aaron. that documentary is an extremely well-written bit of codswallop. There is so much wrong with it...where to start?

Fist the Log Book of ? Where Malton has a Eureka! moment about icebergs and the Noon position. If you look closely, the Noon position of the part of the reference page they pointed to was nowhere near the position of Titanic. It was written as 41-46 N 51-18 W...almost 60 miles to the west of the wreck site and what looks to me like April 18. Correct me if I'm wrong.
The Logbook of the Paula gives temperature range of sea water...12.8
2.2..1.1..-1.4..12.5 C and the author and everyone else yells "Labrador Current". Compare that to the following facts extracted from a publication of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society:
"THE LABRADOR CURRENT.
The Labrador Current typically moves at 0.4 km/h at Nain, 1 km/h at the Strait of Belle Isle, and 2-3 km/h at Cape Race. It is among the slowest currents in the ocean. (Lobsters can swim faster than the Labrador Current.
Surface temperatures increase from north to south along the current. In August, the surface temperatures off Nain are typically 5-6ºC, increasing to 12-13°C off Cape Race.
[In April, the pilot chart shows 6 C at 42N, 50W,]
An iceberg 40 m high above the water line and 100 m long (volume 2 million m3 , mass 10 million tonnes, equal to approx. 9 million automobiles) will melt completely in 15 days in 4°C water."
In fact what Tim Malton was seeing was the Paula passing through an area of melt-water.

Ask yourself this, Aaron...where did all this smoke come from? All the boilers, except for perhaps one that was kept to maintain steam pressure in the emergency generator had been shut down vented and the fires raked out. The boiler left would be on minimum firing as there was no call for propulsion pressure. Additionally, what funnel did these folks see the smoke coming from?

As for the Lusitania? I'm not the least bit surprised since she sank in broad daylight with all fires burning and in a matter of 18 minutes.
 

Julian Atkins

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Sep 23, 2017
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As a slight aside, I used to regularly go into Bekens at Cowes when I lived on the IOW. I used to go in there for ferric chloride solution, and being a very old fashioned chemists they still had this in stock! The chemists shop in High Street Cowes was adorned with sailing photographs on the walls. I paid no attention to them at the time. Fascinating to think what old Mr Bekens Jnr had in his inherited archive of glass plate negatives upstairs!

Cheers,
Julian
 
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