Mount Temple

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Hi Yuri: I don't feel like getting into a discussion about any mystery ship non-sense, but the answer to your question of why MT did not enter the ice field was asked during the British Inquiry. The answer from Moore is very simple:

9261. Have you instructions from your company as to what to do when you meet ice? - We are not to enter field ice under any conditions.
9262. Just tell us what your instructions are? - I have not got them here; they do not happen to be in these sailing orders although I have them. Those instructions we usually get that we are not to enter field ice, no matter how light it may appear.
9263. Not even in daylight? - At any time. We are not to enter field ice at any time, no matter how light it may appear.

As far as being able to see the icefield at night, remember Moore cut his engines at 3:25 and then proceeded to go on at a much slower speed pushing through loose ice all along, still looking for the Titanic. He thought he was about 14 miles from Boxhall's CQD position at that time. In fact he had to be much further east than he thought because at about 4:30 he was forced to stop because of the thick ice field ahead. It was in the morning at 6:52 AM ATS that he found his longitude line. Moore of course was coming from the southwest having turned his ship around when he received the CQD.

Capt. Lord almost ran into the same ice field coming from the east. He was going at 11 knots when he and Groves saw some white patches in the water ahead. Lord immediately rang down full astern. When the ship came to a stop he found himself among the loose ice about 1/4 mile from the edge of the heavy pack ice. If it weren't for them seeing that loose ice first there may have been a different kind of Californian incident to talk about.

Rostron on the Carpathia never saw the ice pack until the sun came up in morning. He was about 4-5 miles from it at the time.

No skipper in his right mind would try to cross an ice field at night.
Bill: I believe the Carpathia did cut across the icefield when then left the area in the morning. They went SE which was perpendicular to the edge of the field on the western side. They probably cut through the same path the Californian took when it arrived on the scene. Do you have any information that suggests differently?
Hello everyone,
Without starting a whole new debate regarding "mystery ships" (which, as we have seen in the past, quickly degrades into either personal attacks or people talking in circles, with neither side changing their opinion in the slightest), I do have a question for Yuri:

Could you name either of the two mystery ships that you believe were in the vicinity, or at least who you suspect them to be?

Senan, if you believe the Mount Temple to be one of these ships, you then have the Californian, the Mount Temple (if you believe her to be one of the two ships Yuri mentioned) and another as-yet unidentified steamer or schooner all either seeing the Titanic's distress signals, and/or the ship itself. That means that there had to have been three ships now instead of one that ignored the rockets and did not take further action. It seems to be stretching things quite a bit. Regardless of whether there was one ship, three ships or one-hundred ships, it doesn't change the perceived culpability of each individual ship, if they did not take action in response to the signals. Their own inaction would be independent of each other and doesn't change the reason for criticism (rightly or wrongly) against Captain Lord. Now, I do keep an open mind on this topic so if there is any evidence that proves the above to be true, I am sure we would all be interested to see it.

I would also like someone to explain how *both* of these mystery ships, if they existed, managed to wriggle through the ice-field when Captain Moore wouldn't do it in broad daylight, and even the Californian struggled with it at dawn. Of course, Captain Lord had wisely decided to stop during the previous night because of the ice. Kind regards,

I don't know whether you were attempting to be cynical with your post of the Mount Temple headlines, if you are again attempting to mislead the readers, or what.

For those interested, I direct your attention to the old posts at the beginning of this thread. They point out the uselessness of Dr. Quitzrau's affidavit which quashes the suggestion that the Mt. Temple saw the Titanic's distress rockets. The whole story is a red herring.

Besides Dr. Quitzrau's affidavit being proven to be nonsense, the supposedly offended officers of
the Mt. Temple refused to come forward to help Capt. Lord's case back in 1912, or later. Don't take my word for it though, I suggest that the readers review the old posts in this thread and reach their own conclusions based on the facts.
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It is interesting how many of the same people who become irate about the treatment and accusations that Captain Lord received after the disaster will try to pass the buck so to speak on to Captain Moore and the crew of the Mt. Temple, with far less evidence to do so, in essence doing the same thing to him that they accuse "Anti-Lordites" of doing to Captain Lord. In any case, as stated earlier, adding another ship to the equation does nothing to vindicate Captain Lord or the crew of the Californian of any perceived wrong-doing, whether that perception is right or not.

Another interesting fact regarding this whole issue. There were rumors on other ships that were similar to those going around on the Mt. Temple after they learned of the Titanic's fate. At least one passenger on the Carpathia later claimed to have snuck on deck during the night and to have seen the Titanic's distress rockets as she sank, and then we have then First Officer Henrik Naess's erroneous claim that his ship, the Samson, was within visual range of the Titanic and her rockets that night, only later to learn that the Samson was in port at Isafjorthur, Iceland on April 6, 1912 and again on April 20, 1912, making it impossible that his 6 knot (with engine alone) or 7 knot (with sails set in addition to engine) ship could have been in port on those days and made it anywhere near Titanic's position and back in that period of time.

Many people have tried to implicate Captain Moore and the crew of the Mt. Temple because of the hearsay of his crew and passengers, and yet when push came to shove, not a single one would officially come forward for the inquiries, not even the officers who the rumors said were "disgruntled" at Captain Moore's supposed inaction.

Quite a contrast with Captain Lord's crew, who couldn't shut up about it and left at least three private accounts - Groves, Stone and Gibson - in addition to sworn testimony about the role their ship played.

I find it interested how the ship seen from the Californian supposedly steamed away, yet never presented anything other than a red sidelight to the Californian. That means that if this "mystery ship(s)" did steam away, it was without turning away and presenting her green sidelight to either Gibson or Stone (Lord saw the green sidelight when the ship was approaching earlier in the evening), leaving the only logical way for this to have happened to be that she steamed away to the southwest going astern for miles, right towards the icefield.

Without someone bringing up additional evidence which proves their case, or at least reveals something new, I am not going to waste my time talking in circles about a topic that has been beaten to death like a dead horse. People take this topic and differences in opinion about it way too personally, and I have yet to see a conversation on it that has not degraded into insults or mudslinging.
Tag, I don't know you. And I believe in a public forum like this, everyone is entitled to their own opinion on any topic. But your three posts above come across to me as being aggressive and confrontational toward others.
You write in your initial post:

Without starting a whole new debate regarding "mystery ships" (which, as we have seen in the past, quickly degrades into either personal attacks or people talking in circles, with neither side changing their opinion in the slightest), I do have a question for Yuri:

Yet you seem to have become a one man show intent on starting that exact type of flaming argument here. You state you have an open mind about the discussion then contradict yourself by verbally insulting Senan's opinions. It seems you are in fact very close minded about the discussion. Your posts are inflamatory and not respectful in tone. I'd be surprised if anyone responded to you after a rant such as that. I will respond to you this once because I'm already writing to you.

The answer to the question you asked me is that I do not know the identity of either of the 'mystery' ships. But I am inclined to say that they were neither Mount Temple, nor Californian. But rather two entirely additional vessels whose identity remain unknown. Bringing the total number of vessels 'nearest' Titanic to three. A schooner, a tramp steamer, (both relatively west of Titanic) and the Californian to the northwest.

I encourage you to tone down your rhetoric if you want to be included in future discussions. And consider posting an apology to the board if you want to be included in conversations or activities that are held beyond the public forum.
I love those headlines from the NY Journal you posted Senan. "Watched Titanic's Signals for Hours?" I'm obviously sure you don't believe any of that. The proof of course lies in the movements of the MT on the 14th of April and the morning hours of the 15th of April. So what do know?

The MT left Antwerp on Apr. 3rd bound for St. John, New Brunswick. The normal route would have taken her to the corner at 42N, 47W, and then on a rhumb line to Cape Sable Island, and from there through the Bay of Fundy to St. John. However, because of ice reports received, Capt. Moore decided to continue southward from the corner to a point 41° 15' N, 50° W before heading for Cape Sable Island. When they received the CQD they were at 41° 25' N and 51° 14' W according to Moore. At 3:25 AM, Moore estimated he was 14 miles from Boxhall's position heading N 65° E true.

Was this DR estimate correct, or could he have been on the scene hours earlier? What we know from the MT's wireless operator John Durrant is that MT's clocks were 1:46 ahead of NY. This puts their noontime (Apr 14) longitude at 48° 30' W. The intersection of that with their course line from the corner to their new alter-course point for Cape Sable Island is at 41° 38' N. If you trace the path from that noontime position, to the alter-course point at 41° 15' N, 50° W, then to the point at 41° 25' N, 51° 14' W where they turned around to go to the CQD position, then head 065° to the CQD position, the MT would have had to travel 178 miles since noon. Even at a sustained all out speed of 11.5 knots, it would take them 15 hours and 29 minutes to cover that distance over ground from noon on the 14th. Therefore, the earliest it could have been up to the CQD position would have been at 3:30 AM, about an hour after the Titanic was gone.

What all this simply means is that it was extremely improbable for the MT to have been even close to the position where the Titanic foundered an hour earlier, a position 13 miles east of the CQD position. And certainly it could not have been close enough to see distress "signals for hours."

But hey, it does make a great headline even if it wasn't true.

Hello Yuri,
You're absolutely right, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am sorry that you feel that me stating my opinion and asking legitimate questions is insulting or inflammatory. I do find it strange that you have a problem with my questions when you do not seem to have a problem with Senan's poke at Sam for making a typo or for the tone that could be interpreted from his other post. Back to the subject and discussion.

Thank you for answering my question regarding your views about who the two other "mystery ships" were. Just to clarify, you do believe that there were a total of three ships (an unidentified schooner, an unidentified tramp steamer and the Californian) in the vicinity, and that the Mt. Temple was not one of these ships? Do you believe that these three ships all saw the Titanic's rockets and failed to take any action, or do you believe they were just in the vicinity in general, not necessarily in visual range of the distress rockets or ship itself?

The disagreement that I have with that theory is that if there were two other ships to the west of the Titanic, I don't think any competent captain, much less two, would cross a dense icefield such as that in the dark. As Sam pointed out, Captain Moore would not cross the icefield in broad daylight, and the Californian had trouble picking through it at dawn as well. Anything is possible, but it seems improbable to me.

The Titanic survivors never mention seeing two ships that night, either from the ship as it was sinking, or from the lifeboats (until ships responding to the distress call reached the scene in the morning), which one would expect if the "mystery ships" were in the vicinity, and close enough to warrant mention of having been on the scene. Just my honest opinion.

Paul Rogers

Let's all remember the 93:7 rule please: i.e. 93% of communication has nothing to do with the words used.

Without access to body language and tone of voice it is all too easy to read meanings into text that were not intended by the author. For example, I found neither Senan's post to Sam, nor Tad's post containing his question for Yuri, to be either insulting or confrontational. For others, their mileage may (and obviously does) vary, but I would urge everyone to give their fellow members the benefit of the doubt, especially when discussing emotive topics.

PS: Oh, and perhaps we should all consider how our words may be interpreted when posting (he says, having forgotten this postscript!).
>>I don't think any competent captain, much less two, would cross a dense icefield such as that in the dark.<<

Just as an aside, I would put it forward that few if any competant captains would willingly cross a dense icefield like that if they had full knowladge of just how dense that icefield really was. The problem is that we can't assume everyone puttering around that night had the extent of knowladge that we do or ran into the sort of roadblock that prompted Captain Lord to stop for the night. How this applies to the purported "mystery ships" I can't really say but it's not out of the realm of possibility that they found some gaps they thought they could safely transit. In the dark of the night how would they know what was out there waiting for them unless they actually saw it? Especially in a day and age where not everybody had wireless.

All some of these ships had was the same old Mark I Eyeball that sailors had been using for thousands of years.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled debate, already in progress.
Hi Michael: I understand what you are saying but cannot agree with your assumption here. When the Californian was coming up to the icefield at 11 knots they spotted the loose field ice at distance of around 1200 ft or less according to 2/O Groves. Because of the speed they were doing, Capt. Lord was forced to go full astern. According to Lord they came to a stop about 1500 ft from the thicker pack ice ahead. When Capt. Moore was forced to come to a complete stop about 4:30 AM his ship was prceeding slowly. How slowly he didn't say, but I would assume he was carrying 1/2 speed if not less at that time. He too was able to see the thick pack ice in time to stop.

As far as a easy path through the ice which could be navigated safely in the area of interest, there was non. When civil twilight began, Moore backed his ship from the western edge of the ice pack and headed SSE true looking for such an easy path through the field. Failing to find one, he came north again and stopped a little before 7 AM when they took that Prime Vertical sun sight to get their longitude. When the Californian started out at 6 AM, about a 1/2 hour after the sun came up, Lord had to cross 2 to 3 miles of pack ice which took him about 30 minutes. When he turned to cross back to the other side about 7:30 AM (after seeing the Carpathia picking up lifeboats) he went at full speed ahead crossing the 5 to 6 miles of pack ice down there in about 1/2 hour. No matter what people may want to think of Lord, he was willing to take risks once the extent of what happened became known. Somehow all of that is conveniently overlooked.

However, at night, even under the extremely clear conditions of the 14th of April, the prudent thing to do is what both Lord and Moore had done when they got close enough to see the ice. Stop and wait until daylight. Any other course of action would have been foolhardy, even with a dozen lookouts posts.
I agree with Sam 100% that Lord acted bravely and without hesitation once the sun came up and he became aware of what was happening. But would he have been able to cross the icepack at night? Even if he had known the desperation of Titanic's situation before midnight, would he have crossed the ice? Moore didn't and he knew exactly the situation. He cruised south, then back north for miles looking for a passage and finding none. That's why I'm puzzled that both Californian and Carpathia were able to cross the ice pack when Moore could not. Why didn't he simply follow Californian in the morning?? The tramp steamer ahead and south of Mount Temple was stopped by the ice as it headed east. Moore doesn't say how or if the tramp eventually made it across. But it was still on the western side of the ice until at least 9am, well after sunrise.

So no ship we know of crossed the ice pack that night. Not until dawn did anyone try to navigate the icepack.
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