Mystery ship candidates

Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
In fact, if anyone wants to believe in fairy tales about the Mount Temple, Sampson, Campanello, Kura, Almerian, etc then the very best of luck to them.
Agreed, but you forgot the most important "Mystery Ship" of them all - De Vliegende Hollander

With a bit of prompting, that can also be named as a possible candidate that night somewhere between the Titanic and the Californian ;).
 
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Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
At least the crew of the "Flying Dutchman" knew what they were talking about.

I suppose the analogy is appropriate, in that they too, were trying to send messages to 'closed minds and if an alternative to popular opinion was to be revealed, all will be 'doomed',.
 
Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
I seem to remember that a Norwegian member who carried out an enormous bit of research on the Samson which seemed to contradict entrenched thoughts, was completely ignored. So much for constructive thought.
 
Julian Atkins

Julian Atkins

Member
The Samson story was buried as soon as Leslie Reade's book was published.

We now know the Almerian was no where near at the right time thanks to Sam and Tim Maltin. In any event it was on the wrong side of the ice field, namely quite away on the western side.

What we ought to be able to plot, and I don't think this has been done, is when the Parisian passed the Carpathia and the Mount Temple. Add in the Mesaba to the above.

I should add that in respect of the above, it seems odd that these ships pass during the night - as they must have done - without any mention whatever at the time. Ok, it was night time. Not a whiff of company signals - which so apparently fixated Captain Lord on The Californian that night!

Also odd that later on Captain Lord implicated the Almerian, a ship of his own Line, which can now be proved beyond doubt to be a mistake on his part. He ought to have checked matters with Superintendent Fry in Liverpool first I would suggest.
 
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john barrass

john barrass

Member
Have to say I'm thoroughly enjoying this debate . Hopefully the following may positively contribute. As a Titanic "enthusiast" the enduring question of who saw what and where has fascinated me. I ask myself why the ongoing debate , why the conjecture .....why cant we intelligent people in the year 2022 figure it out?

I've come to the realisation the reason for this witches brew of conjecture begins with both enquiries which by today's standards of enquiries were a joke and the press of the day printing anything whether plausible or creditable by those interviewed. The following is how I saw the event.....

The Night .......yes i believe it was extraordinarily clear and perhaps the human eye could see things in the distance that perhaps the human eye normally wouldn't. Perhaps though what the eye was seeing when it got to be processed by the brain got scrambled? Alleged ships lights perhaps maywell have been just stars?........

The Californian ......did she see Titanic underway ?........I say yes .........Founder ?..........definitely . Was she close to Titanic .........NO.......could she have arrived in time to render assistance .....most definitely..........how much .......flip a coin!

The Titanic .....did she see the Californian .......perhaps prior to the collision .........but then again why would she be looking?

Capt Smith - his decision making on the night , i'm sorry but its pathetic. If what was reported is true then all the excuses of being over whelmed by the event doesn't wash with me. Lets mention the "light" off the bow . Ok I believe its extraordinary clear . I'm Capt Smith ( master mariner) . I've been informed my ship is badly damaged , could possibly sink , I can see a light I believe is a ship 5 to 10 miles away, she is not answering .......and I come up the idea of sending a lifeboat away with any seamen of dubious quality with as many passengers I could muster at that stage to row to the ship ......wake them up and then row back?

H'mmmm c'mon I know its 1912 but does that make any sense ....yet the courts accept that ? Call me stupid but I would think that lifeboat and its occupants night is done after alerting the "phantom' vessel to proceed to Titanic's foundering position . But was there ever a "phantom" vessel that they rowed for ..........I say no .....just another star..........

But lets say I believe the star is the 'phantom vessel"...Why in gods name would I send one of the larger lifeboats away instead of a lighter and smaller cutter .....why would I not round up 4 to six of my strongest rowers and tell them to get to that ship asap and with no passengers? Yes I know its a risky move sending a boat way basically empty but hey I'm EJ and that's definitely a "ship" in the distance.......

The mystery ship or ships? Lets face it because of the courts inability to adequately interrogate witnesses and the medias total lack of professionalism
so many tales have found my way into my Titanic book collection. Out of all the ships or whalers or Schooners or canoes that have been named in the vicinity only the Titanic - California - Carpathia in my eyes have credibility..........all were east of the ice field ......there is however 1 more.........

The good old Mount Temple .....just casually cruising around west of the ice field .....acknowledging Titanic's CQD and then starting and stopping and basically contributing buggerall to the rescue effort. The courts lack of due diligence interrogating Moore and his Officers I find scandalous. Just Moore and his sparks got asked a couple of friendly questions .....were given a hearty pat on the back .........what a joke !

I do not believe Moores evidence , I find the schooner story crossing his bow a load of ......

So that's my say on the matter folks. Lots of stars , four ships and rest is ......ill leave it up to you to continue.....
 
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Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
No one suggests that the Almerian was a 'mystery' vessel, Julian.

Captain Lord obviously saw a vessel with a pink funnel when he was heading southward on the west side of the ice barrier.
If you look at the Baltic's PV, you will note that at 11-40 am GMT, Californian was talking about a ship with pink funnel. Her Operator would only have talked about that if someone had seen such a vessel and wanted to identify her.
You will also note that according to Sam - the Almerian was about 10 miles west of the Californian at that time.
Ask yourself why Lord would be interested in a ship with a pink funnel?
It is obvious that when he returned to the office, he asked what other company ships were in the area at that time.

As for the movements of other ship? These were plotted by Captain Knapp.

1643371647901


Incidentally - note the times used by him.
 
Julian Atkins

Julian Atkins

Member
If you look at the Baltic's PV, you will note that at 11-40 am GMT, Californian was talking about a ship with pink funnel.

Hi Jim,

The general view of that - which was never explored in Evans' testimony (as it wasn't available when Evans gave his testimony to the British Inquiry) - is, as per Sam, a reference to Evans asking the Birma's wireless operator if a pink funnelled steamer could be seen. And that in effect this is Evans asking 'can you see us?'.

If we assume that the Almerian was your 10 miles away, (actually I think it can be reasonably argued to be much further away), I don't know how you can tell the colour of a ship's colour of it's funnel from that distance.

5-6 miles perhaps, and it is on record here on other threads that I am not wholeheartedly persuaded that Stewart's sighting of the Carpathia at or shortly after 4am then morphed into a yellow funnelled Mount Temple.
 
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Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
I've come to the realisation the reason for this witches brew of conjecture begins with both enquiries which by today's standards of enquiries were a joke and the press of the day printing anything whether plausible or creditable by those interviewed.

Hi, John! Nice to see you here.

I was actually shocked at just how slipshod the U.S. Senate Inquiry was. Had something like this happened during my service with my ship implicated, there would have been all kinds if legal eagles...like the Naval Criminal Investigative Service along with a number of different investigative boards going all over the ship, looking for witnesses and interrogating ANYBODY and EVERYBODY known or suspected to have been on watch. It would have had a striking resemblance to a witch hunt.

Who did Senator Smith Interview?

Captain Lord...The suspect, whom they didn't bother telling he was a suspect.
Ernest Gill...The paid snitch that even Captain Lord's harshest and most unforgiving critics dislike and mistrust, and finally,
Cyril "Polly The Parrot" Evans: You know, they guy who didn't see diddly squat! All he knew was what he was told.

That's it.

Not very impressive.

The Mersey Wreck Commission wasn't much better but at least they had the sense to interview the guys on watch and the other officers as well.
 
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Steven Christian

Steven Christian

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I agree with the members here who believe that the inquiries in 1912 were pretty poor. A lot of it was to cover for the industry. But even though I believe they would have come about regardless of them being conducted they did help to get the ball rolling to change some of the regulations. I give them credit for that. As for inquiries/hearings today I respectfully disagree. Still a lot of sham ones being conducted.
 
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Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
Hi Jim,

The general view of that - which was never explored in Evans' testimony (as it wasn't available when Evans gave his testimony to the British Inquiry) - is, as per Sam, a reference to Evans asking the Birma's wireless operator if a pink funnelled steamer could be seen. And that in effect this is Evans asking 'can you see us?'.

If we assume that the Almerian was your 10 miles away, (actually I think it can be reasonably argued to be much further away), I don't know how you can tell the colour of a ship's colour of it's funnel from that distance.

5-6 miles perhaps, and it is on record here on other threads that I am not wholeheartedly persuaded that Stewart's sighting of the Carpathia at or shortly after 4am then morphed into a yellow funnelled Mount Temple.
Hello Julian, I hope you are well.

It is assume that Californian was identifying herself to Mount Temple when the pink funnel remarks were made.

Have a look again at the PVs available. I will reduce everything to GMT.
According to the Mount Temple pv., and other evidence, Californian passed Mount Temple at 10-30 am. The remark about the 'pink funnel is against the time of 10-35 am - around the time Californian passed the Mount Temple. and read her name on the bow.
The pv of the Baltic seems to corroborate this ( although there is an 'artistic' blending between the 10-05am and 10-30am entries.)
However, according to Sam - the Almerian was about 9.5 miles west of Californian around that time.

As for seeing a funnel colour at that distance at that time on a bright, suy-lit morning? That would be very easy for someone with good eyesight and a telescope...much easier than seeing Titanic with the naked eye at 14 miles. ;)
One of the reasons for funnel colouring is so that a ship can be identified at a distance.
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
When Californian was asking Birma if they could see a 4-masted steamer with a pink funnel at 7:20am Californian time, Birma should have been only 7 miles from the CQD position based on an earlier report from Birma and knowing her speed, while Californian should have been a little over 3 miles from it if she had headed directly for the distress coordinates. Mount Temple and Californian were reported to be very close to each other only 10 minutes earlier according to Mount Temple’s John Durrant. The straight line distance between Birma and Californian at 7:20am Californian time would have been somewhere around 10 miles, within sighting distance of each other.
I believe Evans was describing how to recognize his own vessel to Birma. By the way, the only person to report seeing a small tramp steamer with a pink funnel was Lord. Groves reported seeing a small tramp steamer with a black funnel, and Moore spoke of small tramp steamer with a black funnel with some white insignia on it.
 
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Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
When Californian was asking Birma if they could see a 4-masted steamer with a pink funnel at 7:20am Californian time, Birma should have been only 7 miles from the CQD position based on an earlier report from Birma and knowing her speed, while Californian should have been a little over 3 miles from it if she had headed directly for the distress coordinates. Mount Temple and Californian were reported to be very close to each other only 10 minutes earlier according to Mount Temple’s John Durrant. The straight line distance between Birma and Californian at 7:20am Californian time would have been somewhere around 10 miles, within sighting distance of each other.
I believe Evans was describing how to recognize his own vessel to Birma. By the way, the only person to report seeing a small tramp steamer with a pink funnel was Lord. Groves reported seeing a small tramp steamer with a black funnel, and Moore spoke of small tramp steamer with a black funnel with some white insignia on it.
Hello Sam. hope you are well.

Birma did not arrive on the scene until Californian was on the east side of the ice barrier and beside the Carpathia - an hour after the latter had passed the stopped Mount Temple.

From Day 9 of the US Inquiry:
"Mr. MOORE.
About 8 o'clock we sighted the Birma.
Senator SMITH.
How far away?
Mr. MOORE.
We could just see smoke when we first sighted her. We just saw the smoke, and then we saw the yellow mast and yellow funnel. I thought it might possibly be the Olympic, and we steered toward her. Shortly after she was coming up very fast and we saw she had only one mast - that is, one funnel, rather."

That means that Birma was below the horizon at that time, possibly 10 miles or so southwest of the CQD position. Evans on Californian was most certainly not in contact with her at that time.
 
Julian Atkins

Julian Atkins

Member
Hi Michael,

I don't think your above post is quite fair or accurate.

Wyn Craig Wade in his book says

"The Boston American wired Gill's complete affidavit to Senator Smith the same night it was taken. By sheer coincidence, Smith had already planned to subpoena Captain Lord and his wireless operator for their evidence on the ice warning they had sent the Titanic and which Harold Bride had been rather vague about in New York. Smith very quickly added Ernest Gill's name to the list of
those he wanted sub-poenaed and wired the list to the U.S. marshal in Boston "

(Titanic end of a dream p. 249)

So, the original intention to require Evans to attend the USA Inquiry was wholly related to wireless messages he sent to Titanic of ice.

I myself am of the view that Evans sent the Antillian MSG of seeing bergs also to other ships directly including Titanic, and there is a lot more too this, as probably Senator Smith suspected, as I do, but that is for another thread.

Senator Smith was quite a canny lawyer with a particular approach.
 
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Julian Atkins

Julian Atkins

Member
Hello Sam. hope you are well.

Birma did not arrive on the scene until Californian was on the east side of the ice barrier and beside the Carpathia - an hour after the latter had passed the stopped Mount Temple.

From Day 9 of the US Inquiry:
"Mr. MOORE.
About 8 o'clock we sighted the Birma.
Senator SMITH.
How far away?
Mr. MOORE.
We could just see smoke when we first sighted her. We just saw the smoke, and then we saw the yellow mast and yellow funnel. I thought it might possibly be the Olympic, and we steered toward her. Shortly after she was coming up very fast and we saw she had only one mast - that is, one funnel, rather."

That means that Birma was below the horizon at that time, possibly 10 miles or so southwest of the CQD position. Evans on Californian was most certainly not in contact with her at that time.

Hi Jim,

We know for sure that Evans misjudged how close the Birma was, but Evans was in very regular contact with the Birma as evidenced by the Baltic PV.

Sam's conclusions are sound, and I would suggest unable to be criticised.

Evans cannot have been referring to the Almerian. It was too far way. As Evans was never asked about the exchange in the Baltic's PV, there is obviously a degree of supposition, but I agree with Sam on the matter of the Almerian.
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Senator Smith was quite a canny lawyer with a particular approach.

Yes he was, but I think you're missing the point. With the Californian, he should have left no stone unturned, but he left a number unturned. You don't hear from Stone or Gibson until Lord Mersey ropes them in, and as the guys on watch, they should have been called from the start.

They weren't.
 
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