Mystery ship article

Jan 21, 2001
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Sam and Dave and Paul:

Doesn't it strike you that 1) Rowe didn't mention this starboard quarter light during either of the testimonies, and 2) nobody else seemed to see it (Boxhall, Pitman, Lowe among others who were working on the starboard side) and yet 3) numerous people - passengers and crew alike - saw the light off the port bow? You'd think at the least if he thought he saw another ship, and was helping Boxhall fire rockets, he might have said something to the 4th officer too.

I am where Dave G left off; it's a mystery at best, and it leaves me wondering if it's possibly an embellishment of his memories after so many years.

Dave Billnitzer
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Dave B

Hello. I Must agree w/ you it's a Mystery and one which might never be solved. Also I have found your website to be very useful, although I must admit tha I don't Agree w/ all your opinions and I myself have always leaned toward the Pro Californian Side (Some People Might also Refer to this Pro Lord or Lordite, I however Prefer Pro Californian)
 
Jan 21, 2001
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Hi Bill:

Thanks, that's where my head was at, too.

Hi Jesse:

Glad to hear you are finding my site useful. And I am glad to hear that you're drawing your own conclusions; that is what it's there for.

I will admit, my site is probably out of date, if not redundant, after the The Titanic Inquiry Project went online. My original intent was to *open up* the testimony from the Californian witnesses, so that students of the case *could* draw their own conclusions, and not be forced to rely only on the paraphrasings of Harrison and Padfield, and to a lesser extent, Haas and Eaton, who were the big proponents of Lord's innocence back then. It grew into much more than that original intent over time, particularly after Cameron's movie came out. My main intent was to put as much of the raw, unedited historical material as possible in one place.

As for myself, I don't quite like the moniker of "anti-Lordite;" I much prefer "Pro-Inquiry." ;-)

Dave Billnitzer
 
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Matt Pereira

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well in my opinion im not for or against lord, im going off the facts and the facts are pointing to a myster ship off the port bow which was losted and belived to have steamed away, Mount temple spoted a schooner that was leaving the area and when he got close the lights went out but the navagational lights were still on if i remember correctly, and then he spoted a mystery steamer which i have 4 ships that fit that discription which im going into detail to find out more about the description. but so far my theory is considering titanic was so much larger than californian it could be quite possible that californian could have spotted titanic but californian was so small that titanic didnt spot her but spoted another ship off her port bow. I remember reading in one of the testomonys that the califorian spotted the starboard navagational light and mast light. I might be mistaken about the navagational side light but if he saw the mast light most likely she would have to be positioned to have it spotted. Not only that but if titanic spotted a stern light on the mystery ship that means the ships stern would have to be seen in a atleast 160 Deg arc which would mean if it was californian she would have to be facing North East to North West. I do have more theorys but im not going to disclose anymore cause im tring to write a book about the near by ships and the sinking basicly and i wouldnt want to give away everything to the book i rather have the book sell to get the answers
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Matt, you may want to review the information on Dave Gittins Website then go to Dave Billnitzer's Website and after you're done with that, compare what you read there with the information and testimony in the Inquiry Transcripts themselves. A lot of the ground you've mentioned has been covered.

That's not to say that any of this will change your opinions one way or another, but they'll have the benefit of being based on the arguements presented as well as the primary sources.
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Matt Pereira

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Yes i know that ive been to those sites except the first one. In the first one it even says that californian was off to the North West of titanic. if titanic was facing north west that would put both navagational lights visable. so im thinking californian was more north than north west. Alsoi know its ground that has been covered but it hasnt been covered fully, if it has we would know the mystery black funneled ship that was following the same track as Mount temple. and as i have stated i have 3 or 4 ships that match the black funnel with white stripe. and i narrowed it down even more to about 3 cause it was a single funneled ship, only thing is they didnt mention the number of mast or mast lights
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Dave:

Your site redundant, because of the Inquiry site? Not at all!

First, you have extra material (such as letters, other testimonies) from beyond the Inquiries. Also, you have stripped away and reshuffled the non-related material (non-related to the Califorian, anyway) to allow the reader to easier see what the witnesses said. And easier allow them to see the contradictions right next to each other.

I sure wouldn't want it to disappear, it is a valuable resource.
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Dave B

I Have Read the 3 Pro Californian Books You Mentioned, and other various books on the subject, The MAIB Report, Numerous Articles, and Printed versions of Both Inquiries. Senate Investigation (Congressional Information Service) and British Inquiry (PRO). I Do However have to go to the Inquiry Project sometimes as some the words might be blurry or missing some letters.

Padfield's and Harrison's Books I mainly found useful as Views on the Incident from two Seamans Views, they are however Selective in there Presentation of Events.

Eaton and Haas Were I also thought were selective on the issue, but I found their book to be a nice General Titanic History and liked the Illustrations.

and I also fully agree w/ Bill and Sam on the Issue of your Website.
 

Dave Gittins

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Matt, you are going over old ground. In 1912, the Board of Trade searched for the ship with the black funnel. The files are full of letters from sources like the US Customs and port authorities on both sides of the Atlantic. Nobody was able to find a ship that had been in the area at the relevant time.

There's a small chance that the ship may have been Asian or perhaps from South America, as inquiries were limited to northern Europe, Canada and the USA.

When it's all boiled down, the ships seen from Mount Temple are not relevant to anything much anyway. Mount Temple started her attempted rescue mission about 60 miles from the wreck, not the 49 miles estimated by Captain Moore. The schooner was seen a good 20 miles from the wreck. The steamer was met soon after Mount Temple started her passage. She tagged along with Mount Temple towards the CQD position and obviously wasn't near Titanic at any stage.
 
Jan 21, 2001
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Hi all-

Bill, Sam, Jesse -

No worries, I wasn't planning to shut down my website or anything like that. Just been mulling over lately what updates and cleaning up it needs. If I do any overhauling, it will more likely be cosmetic than anything else. Enough of that topic.

I have been going through the various testimonies lately, and comparing them to Stone's and Gibson's written (and hidden from the inquiries) accounts, since those are the closest in time to the actual events. It becomes fairly clear when doing so, that there was a concerted effort to push back the time for when Stone's mystery ship began steaming away, and it was already under way by the time the Californian arrived in Boston. Consider that the night before going down to Wash DC, Lord admitted that he prepared his own set of charts and maps, and at the BR Inq explained he had done so because he "knew at once there would be an enquiry over this." Anyway, at the US Inq, according to Lord, Stone's mystery ship began moving again around 1 am -

Senator FLETCHER. And he passed southwest?
Mr. LORD. He was stopped until 1 o'clock, and then he started going ahead again; and the second officer reported he changed from south-southeast to west-southwest, 6 points; and if he was 4 miles off the distance he traveled I estimated to be 7 or 7 1/2 miles in that hour.

"In that hour" ? That's not how Stone's and Gibson's written accounts describe it:

Gibson:
Shortly after that, I observed that her sidelight had disappeared, but her masthead light was just visible, and the Second Officer remarked after taking another bearing of her, that she was slowly steering away towards the S.W.

Stone:
The other steamer meanwhile had shut in her red side light and showed us her stern light and her masthead's glow was just visible. I observed the steamer to be steaming away to the S.W. and altering her bearing fast. We were also swinging slowly all the time through S. and at 1:50 were heading about W.S.W. and the other steamer bearing S. W. x W.

Gibson and Stone make it sound as if the steaming away appearance only started not too long before the other ship disappeared, not an hour beforehand.

But by the time of the BR Inq, Stone says:

7937. During that time were you talking this matter over with Gibson ?- No. I was watching the steamer by the compass with my binoculars.
7938. Was the steamer altering her hearing to your vessel during that period of time ?-Yes, from the time I saw the first rocket.
7939. The first of the eight that you have told us of? -The second-excepting the first flash, which I was not sure about.

So somehow between the 18th, when the affidavits were written, and Lord's US testimony, that other ship began moving away, not around 1:30 or a little later, but as early as 12:45. One has to wonder about any intervening conversations between Lord and Stone... and then imagine Lord pulling an all-nighter to prepare his charts and maps before heading down to Wash DC to give his first testimony...

Let the cover-up begin! ;-)

Dave Billnitzer
 
Jan 21, 2001
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Oops!

When I wrote:

"So somehow between the 18th, when the affidavits were written, and Lord's US testimony,..."

I meant:

"So somehow between the 18th, when the affidavits were written, and Stone's BR testimony,..."

Lord's US testimony being in the middle, and putting the timing of that other ship steaming away, sometime around 1:00 am.

Dave Billnitzer
 
Mar 22, 2003
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A cover-up did indeed begin. That was the big mistake that Lord made in my opinion. And Stewart became part of it too. It was his responsibility to keep the official ship's log book. The fact the the events of the middle watch were never included in it tells a lot.
 
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Mila

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The only other candidate star would have been Altair, a magnitude 1 star that was about 7 degrees above the horizon in the east at 03:40 GMT. I took that time since the CQD received by the Carpathia was at 03:35 GMT and Capt. Smith told Rowe that she was heading their way. But 7 degrees is about 14 diameters of the full moon. That seems to be relatively too high up for Rowe to have taken for a mast light. Maybe it was a ship's light that Rowe had seen, and that it was Smith who got it all wrong?
What about Shaula? This is a double star (maybe to the naked eye seen as a single star). It is magnitude 1.6. Should be visible good for the night like that one was. This image is 4:28 UTC, if I got my calculations correctly.
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