Mirage, or just hot air?


Karim

Member
May 22, 2016
17
0
11
Lebanon
Good day to all,

Before I begin, I want to clearly state that I highly respect Tim Maltin's work.

However, after watching his documentary, reading his book, and even following his ET comments; I can't help but feel that he's using selection bias in his theory.

Therfore, I would like to ask the ET community for your opinion on the matter, is a mirage necessary to justify the collision with the iceberg?

The idea of the mirage seems to be acceptable if you want to assume that Titanic and Californian could and couldn't see each other at the same time; but it is to my understanding that mirages don't act on shorter distances. Therefore, I believe the iceberg would be easier to sight against a mirage-elevated horizon than a regular starlit night.

Feel free to correct my logic if necessary.
 

Karim

Member
May 22, 2016
17
0
11
Lebanon
If not make the berg easier to see, then the mirage's effect would surely have perished long before the mile to half a mile estimate of when the berg was first sighted.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
6,343
1,191
323
NewtonMearns, Glasgow, Scotland.
Tim and I have crossed swords on this before. It's a lot of well constructed nonsense, but nonsense never the less.

The conditions did not exist for such a mirage at that time. In the remote possibility that they did, why didn't they exist before or after the disaster? In fact, given the ice and sea situation - the conditions if any existed, would have produced an inverted image... ships would have been seen standing on their funnels.
Why was mirage effect resurrected? Only to explain the Californian question? Why was it that not one captain of any vessel which was in he vicinity at that time, did not remark or allude to unusual visual effects? Remember, these guys had seen it all before...mirages and weird sightings at sea.

Jim C.
 

Karim

Member
May 22, 2016
17
0
11
Lebanon
Jim, thank you for your reply.

It is of my understanding that such mirages are much more common in daylight, rare on moonlit nights, and next to impossible on starlit nights; after all, you do need light to refract don't you?

Well, to be fair, captain Lord did indicate that it was difficult to separate where the water ended and the sky began; but my research has led me to believe that he was talking about something else altogether.

Supposing a mirage did exist, it shouldn't cover a berg till it's a mile away. What's your take on that?
 
May 20, 2002
18
1
133
Supposing a mirage did exist, it shouldn't cover a berg till it's a mile away. What's your take on that?

It very well could have. Remember cold water mirages invert differently that warm mirages, as the hot and cold are reversed.

Next, knowing other properties of light are true. I have seen from my previous work in stage lighting, that depending how and WHERE the light hits something (front, back, or top) and how bright it is, impacts its visability. Additionally, the color matters as well.

Remember, from Tim Maltin's work, the reports show it was a stary, moonless night in open ocean (except there were icebergs). This would have meant that the only light was a few stars from above (not directly lighting the berg), and the ships lights. In 1912, electric (and possibly oil) lamps did not have the brightness they had today. If the iceberg was large, likely it was opaque, meaning light would have gone through it, this would have meant little reflection. Plus, if the Mirage have bent the light rays, it might have turned it totally black from a distance. The human eye needs light to see things, as in darkness everything non-illuminated is in greyscale. Depending the on the effects and the little light, could have caused something that large to appear dark or black, or matched the background.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
6,343
1,191
323
NewtonMearns, Glasgow, Scotland.
The following is an extract from Meteorology for Seamen:

"An unusual lapse rate of temperature (and therefore density as well) with height immediately above the sea (or land) surface produces a distortion i the appearance of objects near the horizon; such a phenomenon is known as mirage."
When the surface is relatively cold (and the wind very light)so that the density of the air decreases rapidly for a short distance above the surface, light rays from objects low down near the horizon are bent down, the same way in fact as are usually the rays of the Sun when entering the Earth's atmosphere at a low altitude."


And.....

"A further occasional effect produced when the air is appreciably warmer than the sea, is superior mirage in which an inverted image is seen over the real object."


Note that reflected light is needed to create mirage effect of any kind....that mirage does not happen with objects which are near to the observer....that mirage requires a very rapid change of air temp above the water. None of these conditions existed that night. Capt Rostron saw a berg close to, by the light of a shooting star.

Further reading.....

TIP | Limitation of Liability Hearings | Deposition of Captain Charles Johnston, Continued.

Jim C.
 

Karim

Member
May 22, 2016
17
0
11
Lebanon
Thank you for both of your replies.

In my opinion Jim is right though. The conditions just weren't there for such a mirage (or any mirage).
 
Oct 28, 2000
3,242
544
388
The idea of a mirage has been kicking around since at least 1990 and I've done a good deal of the early footwork. However, as Jim has stated, that hypothesis has been proven false. No mirage.

-- David G. Brown
 

Similar threads

Similar threads