Masthead Lights

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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I gathered that, Sam.

The inference has been that somehow the single white light seen from Titanic was the "fused" masthead lights of the Californian. However, Boxhall quite clearly explains how he first and latterly viewed the vessel approaching Titanic as she sank...first through glasses, then a telescope and eventually with the naked eye. There is no way that vessel could have been the Californian.
 
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Mila

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Survivors such as Charles Joughin said he felt much colder out of the sea than he did when he was in the water.
Hi Aaron,

I read that some bodies were found frosted, but what about people who were picked up from the water alive? Did they have frost in their hair or anywhere?
 

AlexP

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May 23, 2019
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The Titanic’s masthead light had two filaments. Were both of them sourced by the same electric line?
How many filaments the sidelights had?
 

Doug Criner

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The navigating lights, including masthead and sidelights, had lamps with two filaments. Each of the two filaments was connected in parallel from the same circuit - so if one filament burned out, the lamp would continue to operate at half power. There was a "navigating light indicator" which rang a bell if a lamp burned out or if the circuit was interrupted. It seems likely to me that, after dark, a watch-stander may have been required to check, on some regular basis, that all navigating lights were lighted and to report if one was at half power.

What prompts this question?
 
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AlexP

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Thank you, Doug!

At the same time Mr. Stone and Mr. Gibson lost the sight of the Titanic’s sidelight, the masthead light lost its brightness.
I am trying to figure out what could have been a cause for this.
 
May 3, 2005
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That is your opinion.
IMHO much of the discussion on these forums are just those of different opinions.
I am not familiar with the details of this subject, so I have no opinion.
I am just an interested observer !

Again , in the words of Ensign Willie Keith of the USS Caine, '' But you weren't there ! ''.

Thanks y'all !
Keep up the good work , y',all ! :)
 
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AlexP

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The navigating lights, including masthead and sidelights, had lamps with two filaments. Each of the two filaments was connected in parallel from the same circuit - so if one filament burned out, the lamp would continue to operate at half power. There was a "navigating light indicator" which rang a bell if a lamp burned out or if the circuit was interrupted. It seems likely to me that, after dark, a watch-stander may have been required to check, on some regular basis, that all navigating lights were lighted and to report if one was at half power.

What prompts this question?
Maybe you also could tell me this. The eyewitnesses testified that the Californian was seen 1/2 point off the Titanic’s Port bow. Does it mean that both Titanic’s sidelights should have been seen from the Californian?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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A 1/2 point is 5.6°. By 3° it was practically cut off. The rules that were then in effect stated:
"(d.) The said green and red side lights shall be fitted with inboard screens projecting at least 3 feet forward from the light, so as to prevent these lights from being seen across the bow."
This has carried over into modern day requirements which actually quantify the attenuation across the bow (0°) and beyond 2 points abaft the beam (112.5°) as shown below.

44816
 
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AlexP

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A 1/2 point is 5.6°. By 3° it was practically cut off. The rules that were then in effect stated:
"(d.) The said green and red side lights shall be fitted with inboard screens projecting at least 3 feet forward from the light, so as to prevent these lights from being seen across the bow."
This has carried over into modern day requirements which actually quantify the attenuation across the bow (0°) and beyond 2 points abaft the beam (112.5°) as shown below.

View attachment 44816
Thank you Samuel!
Now if we are to agree with Mr. Rowe and you in regards of the Titanic’s swinging at average 10 degrees per hour doesn’t this mean that from 11:40 p.m. April 14 to some 12:20 a.m. April 15 the Titanic’s green sidelight should have been visible from the Californian?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Now if we are to agree with Mr. Rowe and you in regards of the Titanic’s swinging at average 10 degrees per hour doesn’t this mean that from 11:40 p.m. April 14 to some 12:20 a.m. April 15 the Titanic’s green sidelight should have been visible from the Californian?
When Titanic came to a stop she was likely pointing end-on to Californian. That would have been about the time that 3/O Groves said he thought she turned out her deck lights. It was after that when he looked through glasses that he said he noticed a red sidelight. I think you are attaching too much to the calculated average swing rate because I see no mechanism for either ship to swing at a constant rate all night long. In retrospect, I probably should not have put those swing rate numbers down. It's like stating that the average flight time for a certain plane trip from NY to Chicago was 2 1/2 hours, when the plane actually spent a 1/2 hour in a holding pattern before landing.
 

AlexP

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I think you are attaching too much to the calculated average swing rate because I see no mechanism for either ship to swing at a constant rate all night long.
However, in your book you rely heavily on the swinging by alleging that at the beginning the Titanic did not see the Californian because she was showing her stern light to them and that the lifeboat lost the sight of the Californian because once again she was showing her stern to them.
All Californian's eyewitnesses testified the Californian was swinging round. The Titanic's eyewitnesses' accounts confirm the swinging. There is no single evidence to support an allegation that the Californian was swing erratically or in retrograde. So, when you allege she did, you are inventing the evidences versus interpreting it. In addition, you relied on a single testimony given by Mr. Rowe to conclude that the Titanic was swinging too. However, when I pointed out that in such case her green should have been visible from the Californian in the beginning, you've tried to explain it in different therms.
In addition, I believe that only Mr. Stone mentioned in his affidavit "airs and calms". Most eyewitnesses testified there was no wind at all. Maybe Mr. Stone had experienced airs and calms because the Californian was slowly drifting?
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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All Californian's eyewitnesses testified the Californian was swinging round.
That's right, they all did. That is not in question.
There is no single evidence to support an allegation that the Californian was swing erratically or in retrograde.
The change in relative bearings of the three rockets seen at 3:20 can only be explained by a retrograde swing. And the evidence that there was a difference in relative bearings between them is supported by Stone's account as well as Gibsons. If you have a better explanation, then let's hear it.

Oh, and speaking of swinging directions, this is kind of interesting:
7773. And your head was falling away; which way? - To northward.
7774. To northward and westward? - Northward and eastward.
7775. You were heading E. N. E.? - Yes - to northward and westward.
7776. To the northward it was at any rate, and if you pass to northward you would get to the northward and west? - Yes.

Maybe Mr. Stone had experienced airs and calms because the Californian was slowly drifting?
At 1 knot? Maybe it was because there were more noticeable variable airs and calms up where Californian was located.
 

AlexP

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The change in relative bearings of the three rockets seen at 3:20 can only be explained by a retrograde swing. And the evidence that there was a difference in relative bearings between them is supported by Stone's account as well as Gibsons. If you have a better explanation, then let's hear it.
Mila and me have discussed this situation and we both believe that the first and the third flash could have been Mr. Boxhall’s green flares.
You of course will ask me why nobody from the Californian noticed them before.
A number of reasons could have contributed to this.
Let’s say there was an iceberg or two between the Californian and the lifeboat #2, and ,yes, the icebergs might have drifted in their own set of currents.
Let’s say that Mr. Boxhall saw a Carpathia’s rocket, and decided to stand up to make his flares more visible
to the rescue ship.
Let’s say that Mr Stone and Mr. Gibson missed on seeing the flares before.
If I am not mistaking you said somewhere that it was possible that not every Titanic’s rocket was seen
from the Californian. If they missed on the rockets, if most survivors did not see the
carpathia’s rockets why is it so unbelievable that they could have missed on seeing some flares?
How about your own argument of the changing in the visibility, the one that you used to explain the visibility of the Californian’s Starboard light?
Your next argument is going to be that the flares were green. sure. However, how one
could say anything about the color, if the one only thing one sees is a distant flash just at the horizon?
Then you’d say that flares do not look as rockets. They do not.
However, the rays of the flares might look as rockets.

7597. What sort of a light was it? You called it a rocket? Was it a flash; did you see it go up into the sky?
- Yes.

Exploding rockets, do not go up, you know. They produce stars and these stars are falling down.
if both Mr. Stone and Mr. Gibson made sure to mention the difference in the bearing, it means
they did not believe the Californian was swinging back and forth.
So once again you invented evidence.
Oh, and speaking of swinging directions, this is kind of interesting:
7773. And your head was falling away; which way? - To northward.
7774. To northward and westward? - Northward and eastward.
7775. You were heading E. N. E.? - Yes - to northward and westward.
7776. To the northward it was at any rate, and if you pass to northward you would get to the northward and west? - Yes.
Come on, you wanted him to remember which way they were heading, remember such details a few weeks after the event?
Of course he was confused. He did not say they were swinging back and forth.
Could you please tell me what kind of airs and calms could have possibly made the Californian to swing round?
At 1 knot? Maybe it was because there were more noticeable variable airs and calms up where Californian was located.
Who said it was 1 knot? An underlying current could have been 1 knot, but if you are to add to this 2-3 knots of the eddy’s rotation speed...