Mystery Ship in the distance


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Matt Pereira

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As taken from Day 10 of the U.S. hearinings.


Senator Burton : you are very positive you saw that ship ahead on the port bow are you?

Mr. Boxhall : Yes, Sir quite positive.

Senator Burton : Did you see the Green or Red light?

Mr. Boxhall : Yes ; I saw the side lights with my naked eye.

Senator Burton : When did you see them?

Mr. Boxhall : From our ship, before I left the ship, I saw this steamer's stern light before I went into my boat, which indicated that the ship had turned around. i saw a white light, and I could not see any of the mast head lights that I had seen previously, and I took it for a stern light.

Senator Burton : Which light did you see first?

Mr. Boxhall : I saw the masthead lights first, the two steaming lights, and then as she drew closer, I saw her side lights through my glasses, and eventually I saw the red light. I had seen the green light but, I saw the red most of the time. I saw the red light with my naked eye.

Senator Burton : Did she pull away from you?

Mr. Boxhall : I do not know when she turned; I can not say when I missed the lights, because I was leaving the bridge to go and fire off some more of those distress rockets and attend to other duties.

Senator Burton : Then your idea is that she was coming toward you on the portside?

Mr. Boxhall : Yes.

Senator Burton : Because you saw the red light and the masthead lights?

Mr. Boxhall : Yes, Sir.

Senator Burton : Afterwards you saw the green light, which showed that she had turned?

Mr. Boxhall : I think I saw the Green light before I saw the Red light, as a matter of fact. But the ship was meeting us. I am covering the whole thing by saying the ship was meeting us.

Senator Burton : your impression is she turned away, or turned on a different course?

Mr. Boxhall : That is my impression.

Senator Burton : At a later time, when you were in the boat after it had been lowered, what light did you see?

Mr. Boxhall : I saw this single light, which I took to be her stern light, just before I went away in the boat, as near as I can say.

Senator Burton : How long did you see this stern light?

Mr. Boxhall : I saw it untill I pulled around the ship's stern. I had laid off a little while on the port side, on which side I was lowered, and then I Afterwards pulled around the ship's stern, and of course, then I lost the light and never saw it anymore.

Senator Burton : Her course, as she came on, would have been nearer to your course; that is, your course was ahead, there, and she was coming in toward your course?

Mr. Boxhall : Yes, Sir, she was slightly crossing it, evidently. I suppose she was turning around slowly.

Senator Burton : Is it your idea that she turned away?

Mr. Boxhall : That is my idea, Sir.

Senator Burton : She kept on a general course toward the east, and then bore away from you, or what?

Mr. Boxhall : I do not think she was doing much steaming. I do not think the ship was steaming very much, because after I saw the masthead lights she must have still been steaming, but by the time I saw her red light with my naked eye, she was not steaming very much. So she had probably gotten into the ice and turned around.

Senator Burton : What do you think happened after she turned around? Do you think she went away to avoid the ice?

Mr. Boxhall : I do not know whether she stayed there all night, or what she did. I losted the light. I did not see her after we pulled around to the starboard side of the Titanic.

Senator Burton : Then you lost track of her?

Mr. Boxhall : Yes.

Senator Burton : And you saw her no more after that?

Mr. Boxhall : No, Sir. As a matter of fact, Capt. Smith was standing by my side, and we both came to the conclusion that she was close enough to be signaled by the morse lamp. So I signaled to her. i called her up, and I got no answer. The captain said, " Tell him to come at once we are sinking." so I sent that signal out, " Come at once, we are sinking:

Senator Burton : And you kept firing up those rockets?

Mr. Boxhall : Then leaving off and firing rockets. There was alot of stewards and men standing around the bridge and around the boat deck. Of course, there were quite alot of them quite interested in this ship, looking from the bridge, and some said she had shown a light in reply, but I never saw it. I even got the quarter master who was working around with me # i do not know who he was # to fire off the distress signal, and I got him to also signal with the morse lamp # that is just a series of dots with short intervals of light whilst I watched with a pair of glasses to see whether this man did answer, as some people said he had replied.

Senator Burton : You saw nothing of the hull of the boat?

Mr. Boxhall : Oh, no; it was too dark. I have already stated, in answer to a question, how far this ship was away from us, that I thought she was about 5 miles, and I arrived at it this way. The masthead lights of a steamer are required by the board of trade regulations to show for 5 miles, and the signals are required to show for 2 miles.

Senator Burton : You could see that distance on such a night as this?

Mr. Boxhall : I could see quite clearly

Senator Burton : you are very sure you are not deceived about seeing these lights?

Mr. Boxhall : Not at all.

Senator Burton : you saw not only the mast light but the side lights?

Mr. Boxhall : I saw the side lights, whatever ship she was she had beautiful lights. I think we could see her light's more than the regulation distance, but I do not think we could see them 14 miles.

( Thereupon, at 7:10p.m., the subcommittee adjourned until tomorrow, Tuesday April 30, 1912 at 10 o'clock a.m. )


Ok the above transcript of the 10th day of the us hearings is basicly saying that Mr. Boxhall spotted a steamers lights half a point off the port bow. Ok well now considering the Californian was just about if not directly North of the Titanic, which would put her off titanics starboard side, not port. That there was a steamer off to the south west of the titanic within those 5 miles which Mr. Boxhall states that she could have been. Ok well going off a map i marked the points of all the ships that are accounted for. Carpathia was 58 miles to the South East of titanic so the Carpathia would be showing up off her port stern, cant be her. The frankfurt`s stated position would be way over 5 miles away but the Frankfurt would be at about the right angle to put her off Titanics port bow. Birma would be about the same but her position like frankfurts isnt close enough to be within viewing distance.

So the possible ships that could be the mystery ship spoted by Mr. Boxhall could be

1. Frankfurt
2. Birma
3. Paisian

The three possible choices that could be spoted off Titanics Port bow like Mr. Boxhall stated is only if they were acctually closer to the titanic than their reported position is, and even then that would narrow it down to just the Parisian and the Birma as being the only two likely ships to be spoted.

Now give the feedback that you have. Im going to go research and see what reported times the Mt. Temple, Parisian, Birma, Frankfurt arrived on the scene of the wreck. that is if they arrived at all.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Ok well now considering the Californian was just about if not directly North of the Titanic, which would put her off titanics starboard side, not port.<<

I'd have to differ with that if only because the wreck itself points to the Titanic being oriented towards the northeast. This would put the "Mystery Ship" off to port. Since the three ships you mentioned just weren't that close, I don't see how it could be any of them.

Mind you, I'm not hostile to the hypothosis that there may have been another vessel in between, it would explain some of the confusion that night, but I really consider that a seperate issue from the Californian herself. Regardless of who's "side" you're on, there's just no doubt that the Californian was the closest of all the identified ships in the area.

A couple of links you might want to check out;

Titanic And Californian

All at Sea with Dave Gittins

I wish I had links to websites which explain the veiws Captain Lord's supporters, but I'm not aware of any. I'm sure some are out there, but I'll leave it to somebody who knows where they are to post them.
 
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Matt Pereira

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Oh i know the californian was the closest. but i thought the wreck was facing north west which would put the californian off the very tip of her starboard bow. i know her stern the open end is facing the opposite direction. but then again im going off the diagram that was on cameron`s cd set i got awhile back which im using for the testomony

Guess ill just have to look into that. but now if titanic was facing West at the time of the sinking but since the stern rolled to port the bow basicly made almost a complete rotation and landed facing north, north east, then the so called grimm propeller site if that is a propeller that would explain the weird movements of the ship spotted off the Port bow, cause if the ship lost a prop they would have stopped first and gauge the amount of damage if any was recived from throwing the prop, Then after awhile as per boxhall`s testomony he saw the stern light as if she was sailing away if she came from newyork im going to check maybe she went back that way for repairs since she was closer.

Its kinda far fetched but i only recently started in the research of the ships in the area.
 
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Matt Pereira

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Also it is very possible that when she broke her back when the bow sunk and pulled the stern under a twisting motion was done to break the keel if it was still attached now if that twisting motion took place. that could acctually throw off what direction she was really facing when sunk, the stern rotated so thats not really going to be help for sure. but the bow could have been facing West or North west and when she broke the bow twisted the keel to starboard and when she severed that, the bow planed out facing North north east. it could have happened like that
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Matt, nobody has ever testified that the Titanic was ever facing west at any point. The end result of the port around manuever to try and avoid the iceberg mitigates against that, and observations from the Californian herself would tend to back that up. There is no evidence that the bow altered it's heading either as a direct result of the break up or as a consequence of it's fall through the water column and tanks tests with engineers models point very much against that.
 
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Matt Pereira

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Michael i know that im saying that it couldhave been possible if the wreck is facing North east that she was facing very close to north.

But i thought the wreck was facing North West. thats what cammron`s explorer third cd shows on the map. unless north isnt directly straight up.
 
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Matt Pereira

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But reading all the other points on those links. im sure that it was californian off the port bow. but what gets me is how would the white stern light be shown and the mast and navigational lights arent visable. like she was steaming away like boxhall mentioned. but considering im slowly reading the testomony day by day i got through J.B.Ismay today day one, and through Captian Rostron mostly.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Matt: If Boxhall really did see the just a stern light the mastlights and sidelights would not be visible. That is no mystery. As you read on you will find that the Californian was swinging generally around to starboard all night even though it was stopped. The other thing, the direction Titanic was pointing in, when you get a chance look at QM Rowe's testimony. You will see that the Titanic was facing north and swinging very slowly to starboard but no more than about 2 points (22 degrees).
 

Senan Molony

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>>You will see that the Titanic was facing north<<

Bullsh*t, Samuel, prove it...

PROVE your assertion that she was pointing north.

As she must be pointing north to satisfy the Californian being the mystery ship seen off the port bow.

ALL other Titanic headings mean that the Californian COULD NOT have been the mystery ship!!!

So, Samuel, stand up your claim!!

Where's your evidence??

Get it out here!

I love it when people assert things they cannot prove. It in fact proves that they are... well, empty vessels.

From the British Inquiry:

6851. The Attorney General:
“Of course…it is rather difficult to know, after she struck the iceberg, how she was heading. We have not any very definite or clear evidence how the Titanic was heading. We cannot tell.”

But Samuel Halpern can!! (I chuckle to myself)

Why on earth would the Titanic head north?

She went SOUTH of WEST (heading West initially) to avoid an iceberg.

It is natural for her to then come back onto her course, west.

We know, from the evidence, that Titanic did not end up "heading north" after impact, but actually made way again.

Sorry Samuel, but it is natural for her to RESUME HER COURSE.

Not to wander off a heavily trafficked sea lane, any more than you would swerve left to avoid a Moose, and then drive through a forest instead of returning to the road....

From the American Inquiry:

Senator Fletcher: Apparently that ship came within 4 or 5 miles of the Titanic, and then turned and went away; in what direction, westward or southward? Boxhall: I do not know whether it was southwestward. I should say it was westerly. [US p.914]

Evidence, Samuel, evidence.

So, Michael Standart, you are simply ignorant of the evidence when you assert:

"nobody has ever testified that the Titanic was ever facing west at any point."

Titanic steward Alfred Crawford agrees the mystery ship was seen to the southwest, and that therefore the Titanic was heading west, because the mystery ship was off the port bow:

Senator Fletcher: Did you move (in your lifeboat) in the direction in which the Titanic was moving when she went down? Crawford: No; we were the other way; that way [indicating].

If the Titanic was moving west you moved southwest? - Probably so.

From the US evidence of Pitman:

Pitman: I saw one white light.
Senator Smith: Where? – Away on the horizon. We could not make anything out of it.
At what time? – About half past one.
While you were lying on your oars in the lifeboat? – Yes.
In what position was it?
Pitman: It was to the westward. Right ahead -
Smith: Right on the course of the Titanic?
Pitman: Exactly.
Smith: Did you hear the testimony of Mr. Boxhall on that point?
Pitman: No, I did not. I have heard him speak about it.

Thus two surviving officers — Boxhall and Pitman –both say the RMS Titanic finished up facing to the west.

Not to the north!

This is leaving aside other witnesses.

So, Samuel Halpern and Michael Standart, you simply do not know what you are talking about.

You are both literally ignorant of the testimony.

Regards,

S
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Please Senan, why are so upset? You quote testimonies of two of Titanic's officers who assumed a direction. They were anything but certain of it. Look at what Rowe said:

17667. When you saw this light did you notice whether the head of the "Titanic" was altering either to port or starboard? - Yes.
17668. You did notice? - Yes.
17669. Was your vessel's head swinging at the time you saw this light of this other vessel? - I put it down that her stern was swinging.
17670. Which way was her stern swinging? - Practically dead south, I believe, then.
17671. Do you mean her head was facing south? - No, her head was facing north. She was coming round to starboard.
17672. The stern was swung to the south? - Yes.

17673. And at that time you saw this white light? - Yes.
17674. How was it bearing from you? - When I first saw it it was half a point on the port bow, and roughly about two points when I left the bridge.

At least he was observant. The Titanic was also seen swinging around to starboard following the collision. See Shiers, Scarrott, and Olliver. And Olliver heard the order hard-aport as the iceberg was passing aft of the bridge. At least Murdoch tried to minimize damage along the side of the ship otherwise we may be asking ourselves whatever happened to the Titanic. The Titanic moving again had nothing to do with resuming her course. Why resume your course after colliding with an iceberg? It was most likely moved just a short distance to get away from nearby ice so the boats could be lowered safely. Didn't last much longer than 2 minutes according to Dillon.

As far as Crawford is concerned, I'm glad you brought that up. Crawford only knew relative direction. He was led by Fletchers assumptions.

Senator FLETCHER. If the Titanic was moving west you moved southwest?
Mr. CRAWFORD. Probably so.

Senator FLETCHER. Toward the light?
Mr. CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.
Senator FLETCHER. And then the Carpathia appeared in what direction?
Mr. CRAWFORD. She came right up around and started to pick up the boats.
Senator FLETCHER. She came from the northeast from you, then?
Mr. CRAWFORD. Probably so.

Senator FLETCHER. Assuming you had been going southwest?
Mr. CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.


Fletcher assumed directions. But the proof you want Senan is right here my friend. The proof comes from the direction the Carpathia was heading as it approached. That we know for certain from Rostron and Bisset. Two pictures explain it all.


97629.gif


and

97630.gif


Enjoy the weekend all.
 

Senan Molony

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You are terribly mistaken, Samuel.

I think in poker terms, my two officers (pair of Kings) beat your one quartermaster (Knave) on the heading of the Titanic.

You cannot claim as FACT, as you did, what is a disputed contention.

You do this again in your article "A Captain Accused." I will deal with all the errors and mistaken assumptions therein in due course.

Your diagram is a joke, I am afraid, because you persist in your unfounded belief that Titanic was heading NORTH.

And you are betting on just one point of the compass out of 32 - any of the other 31 favours the Californian.

If the Titanic resumed her course and was heading west, then this is how your diagram looks:

97635.jpg


You then have the Carpathia coming down from the NE.

But she came from the southeast. So your diagram is meaningless.

This is the same version, according to Crawford who was in boat 8 and who corroborated a westerly heading PLUS a Carpathia arriving on the scene in the manner described:

97636.jpg
 

Senan Molony

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But you know what Samuel?

Your whole thinking, especially in your article, is wrong for one very simple reason.

A ship that is "hull down" and 10-12 miles away, CANNOT show her red sidelight to anyone.

You say yourself - Titanic is HULL DOWN.

Sidelights were meant to be visible at two miles.

Gibson and Stone saw the red light on their nearby tramp (which both considered her to be) for most of the night.

Lord had also seen that ship at 10.30pm by his account, and for another hour, until 11.30 when she stopped (11.40 says Groves).

A ship doing 22kts will be far over the horizon by then, not a few miles off, showing her sidelight.

And the bottom line is that if you say the separation is 10-12 miles (an argument I have already destroyed in the Horizons thread, qv) then you also have to explain how ships that were on separate tracks to Boston and New York closed to that distance.

This is the position:

97639.jpg


You have your work cut out for you. You will note that your ideas do not find favour with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch which reappraised comprehensively all the evidence in light of the finding of the Titanic wreck.

And the wreck is two miles SOUTH of the NY track.

So how do you get Californian off her Boston track, when her engineering logbooks corroborate Lord - and Groves, by the way?
 
Mar 18, 2000
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Geez, Molony, on that same old tack again?

Why don't you PROVE it wasn't pointed north? Sure you can come up with evidence of people that said she seemed to be pointed other directions - but that *proves* nothing, since there are many different directions.

But one, and only one, direction can be right. And everyone else was wrong.

You claim Sam and others of being ignorant of the testimony. Not in the least. If you have several accounts that disagree, you must discount at least some of them - they can't all be right!

Geez!
 
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Matt Pereira

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Now how do we know the Californian is REALLY where she said she was. she could have been south of the titanic but lied and said that he was north and that their was a ship to the south east. I mean who knows. but considering that an officer can be wrong. i dont think Two officers could be claimed to beat anything. you have to think were the two officers that said that were they ever on the bridge, or looked at the compass? Thats what you have to ask did they ever go to the bridge after the accident.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Now how do we know the Californian is REALLY where she said she was.<<

The Californain's navigation fix was based on sightings taken before the Titanic ever came to grief. The accuracy of same may be questionable, but if there's a mistake, it's an honest one, and it's also one that was recorded in the log.

In any event it's a matter of recorded fact that the Californian was seen to the north and coming down from that general direction by both the Carpathia and the Mount Temple. This singular point simply isn't in dispute, even if the distance of separation is. It's also a matter of recorded fact that that Californian's "Mystery Ship" was seen to the south.

That's how we know.
 

Senan Molony

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It is a FACT that Californian was NORTH of the 42nd parallel on her Boston track earlier that evening.

Her sightings of three icebergs previously seen by the Parisian confirms this. She also gave her position pre-impact of Titanic.

She has no reason to go south.

It is a FACT that the Titanic wreck is substantially south of the New York track, following drift from the point of sinking.

To get Titanic and Californian within visuals, you have to pull one or BOTH off course.

And the latitude gap between tracks is 19 nautical miles.

But we know instead that both were ON their respective courses.

That's why the Titanic's mystery ship is not the Californian, but some other vessel.

A vessel that moved, as repeatedly described by Titanic witnesses, when the Californian did not move.

.
 

Senan Molony

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DRIVING WITH SAM

97648.jpg


AH, here is a Moose in front of me! Right on the road! I must avoid the Moose!

97649.jpg


Instead of resuming his course to New York, Sam chooses to drive off-road, through the trees, out of sight of other traffic, to the North.

Eventually this will take him to the Boston road, but what on earth is he doing there?

But this is what Samuel Halpern says:

The Titanic moving again had nothing to do with resuming her course. Why resume your course after colliding with an iceberg?

Answer: Because it is the natural thing to do.

You are wrong, of course, by insisting the Titanic only moved again for only two minutes.

Greaser Frederick Scott (Q. 5609) said:

"For ten minutes she was going ahead."

Lawrence Beesley writes in his book: "The ship now resumed her course."

These people were there, and there are many others I could quote, but the point is at least established that -

The Titanic did not stop facing north as a result of a complicated manouevre to avoid the iceberg.

She resumed her course.

And just look at this map again, and the level of separation between the Boston and New York tracks:


97650.jpg


Can't be done, Sam.

Much as I admire your off-road wanderings in the woods.

.
 

Senan Molony

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Hey Bill!

Why don't you PROVE it wasn't pointed north? Sure you can come up with evidence of people that said she seemed to be pointed other directions - but that *proves* nothing, since there are many different directions.

There are indeed 32 points of the compass.

North is just one of them.

All other 31 favour the Californian.

Because the Titanic must be facing North to see the Californian off her port bow as the Mystery Ship.

The chance of this happening, and we know, as you say, that there was total disagreement as to how the Titanicwas heading, is therefore 32/1.

You thus have a roughly 3pc chance of being right.

Thanks for demonstrating this, Bill. You have a great weekend!

.
 
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Matt Pereira

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Well lets see the californian stopped what an hour and a half before the titanic struck the berg. well if the current is moving south south west then its very possible and probly did happen where the californian was very close. cause if she saw her mast lights those are visable for 5 miles and the morse lamps are visiable for 2 miles from my understanding that would put california out of range of the morselamps thus why they thought they got a response but said noa fterwards. per some survivors accounts of saying they responded.
 
Mar 18, 2000
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Amazing! I actually agree with most everything that you said! Yes, the Titanic must face north for the Californian to be the Mystery ship!

Until you start talking about chance. What does chance have to do with anything? And again, you've proven absolutely NOTHING!

And the fact (you do understand what a fact is, right?) that the Titanic points NNE on the ocean floor has nothing to do with it?

Yes, there was disagreement! But still, one of those 31 points HAD to be right. I choose to go with the one fact - and Rowe's statement.
 
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