No Excuse for Capt Lord's Inaction


Mar 22, 2003
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Let's cut out all the smartass talk Jim. I simply posted the report filed by Trautenfels and plotted the locations and times from that report. Your explanation is that Trautenfels cut thorough the barrier, yet her report was very specific that she was passing along a field heavily packed ice with NO openings in it. So who should we believe, you or Capt. Hupers? I for one believe that ice was not stationary but shifting with the local currents. By time Carpathia arrived near the wreck site location Tues morning, the scene was very different than it was a day before.

Oh,by the way, according to what Capt. Clarke told Parisien's Capt. Harris, even the Mesaba had to go southwestward: “Yes had to steer SW to clear end of ice which was in about Lat 41.35N Long 50.30W. Now 11.30pm GMT Long 51.28W Weather nice and clear No ice in sight ."

Mesaba's hydrographic office report said she was at Lat 41.35N Long 50.30W at 4pm. How was that possible?

And by the way, Clarke also told Harris earlier, “Noon Lat 42.02N Long 49.25W ... Now 5.40 pm G.M.T. Lat 41.59N Long 50.02W Passing many large icebergs & field ice Compliments Clarke.” LAN 14 April at 49.25W occurred at 3:18 GMT. So Mesaba was at at 41.59N Long 50.02W at 2:22pm ATS. How could she be at Lat 41.35N Long 50.30W by 4pm, per hydrographic report, that's a distance of 32 miles in 1h 38m, 19.5 knots??? And then she was at Lat 41.35N Long 51.28W at 11:30pm GMT, 8:12pm ATS. That's a distance from the alleged 4pm location of about 43 miles? At 13 knots, it would take 3h 20m. Working back from the 8:12pm position to the alleged 4pm position at 13 knots, the time at the alleged 4pm position should have been 4:52, and if she was only going at 12 knots, then she would have been at the alleged 4pm position at 4:35pm. Any way you look at it, something just doesn't add up.
 

Jim Currie

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Let's cut out all the smartass talk Jim. I simply posted the report filed by Trautenfels and plotted the locations and times from that report. Your explanation is that Trautenfels cut thorough the barrier, yet her report was very specific that she was passing along a field heavily packed ice with NO openings in it. So who should we believe, you or Capt. Hupers? I for one believe that ice was not stationary but shifting with the local currents. By time Carpathia arrived near the wreck site location Tues morning, the scene was very different than it was a day before.

Oh,by the way, according to what Capt. Clarke told Parisien's Capt. Harris, even the Mesaba had to go southwestward: “Yes had to steer SW to clear end of ice which was in about Lat 41.35N Long 50.30W. Now 11.30pm GMT Long 51.28W Weather nice and clear No ice in sight ."

Mesaba's hydrographic office report said she was at Lat 41.35N Long 50.30W at 4pm. How was that possible?

And by the way, Clarke also told Harris earlier, “Noon Lat 42.02N Long 49.25W ... Now 5.40 pm G.M.T. Lat 41.59N Long 50.02W Passing many large icebergs & field ice Compliments Clarke.” LAN 14 April at 49.25W occurred at 3:18 GMT. So Mesaba was at at 41.59N Long 50.02W at 2:22pm ATS. How could she be at Lat 41.35N Long 50.30W by 4pm, per hydrographic report, that's a distance of 32 miles in 1h 38m, 19.5 knots??? And then she was at Lat 41.35N Long 51.28W at 11:30pm GMT, 8:12pm ATS. That's a distance from the alleged 4pm location of about 43 miles? At 13 knots, it would take 3h 20m. Working back from the 8:12pm position to the alleged 4pm position at 13 knots, the time at the alleged 4pm position should have been 4:52, and if she was only going at 12 knots, then she would have been at the alleged 4pm position at 4:35pm. Any way you look at it, something just doesn't add up.

I don't know why I bother. Just answer a series of simple questions.

1. Do you believe Trautenfels found the ice barrier where her captain said it was at 5-40 am that morning?
2. Do you believe that Mesaba found the ice barrier where her captain said it was at 2-33 pm that afternoon?
3. Do you believe that the Mount Temple was stopped, 2 miles west of the western edge of the ice barrier at 7-30 am that morning?
4. Do you believe Californian passed Mount Temple at about 7-30 am that morning and was steering SSE making about 13 knots?
5. Do you believe that the Californian was at the western edge of the ice field at 8 pm that morning and the stopped Carpathia was on the far side of the ice barrier bearing about ENE?



As for all the nonsense about "Openings" in the ice barrier etc?

There were no openings in the ice barrier because no one reported seeing any. However, we have five witnesses to the passage of at least 4 vessels through the ice barrier in question... Captain Lord, Captain Moore, Captain Rostron, 2nd Officer Stone and Apprentice Gibson and the captain of the Almerian But then, you dismiss or ignore that evidence too.
For your information: the lack of an 'Opening' in an ice barrier does not mean there is no way through that barrier.

Captain Hupers reported: "42.01 N 50.06 W...5.40am heavy field ice was encountered which extended for a distance of 30m and made it necessary for the steamer to run in a southwesterly direction for 25m"

I fully accept that position. The man tells us very clearly that from the above position, he found it necessary to steam soutwesterly for 25 miles. The distance between his 5-40am position and his 8 am position is exactly 25 miles.
In your usual way, you blow smoke around the bit I show in bold which in reality, is the only bit relevant to the navigation evidence of Captain Lord. You either don't get it (which I do not believe) or studiously ignore it.

In the same way, you by-pass the initial part of the evidence from the Mesaba which is likewise, relevant to the navigation evidence of Captain Lord.
As for your 4 pm observation? It depends on what you read into the evidence :
" In latitude 41 35' north longitude 50 30 west, we came to the end of it,[THE ICE FIELD] and at 4 P.M. we were able to again steer to the westward. Saw no more ice after this. Weather clear and bright."
in fact

He was talking about 2 different things.

1. Coming to the end of the ice barrier
2. Coming to the westerly limit of the ice field.

Up until 4 pm, they were steering South. Then they came to the end of "it", the ice barrier, and were able to turn westward. In fact, from that point, they steered about WSW for 26 miles until 6- 25 pm when they once again turned west. Here's what Captain Lord wrote in his report about the same area which he traversed 18 hours later:

" At 10:20 P.M., latitude 42.05 N., longitude 50.07 W., encountered heavy packed field ice, extending north and south as far as the eye could see and about 5 miles wide; also numerous bergs could be seen. From above position until April 15, 2:30 P.M., latitude 41.33 N., longitude 50.42 W., almost continuously in field ice. At the last position sighted two bergs and cleared the field ice."


Talking about local currents: it seems that one set Mesaba to the north and east ( not southward as you believe ) of where she thought she was. Check her morning navigation.
by the way, the ice barrier was in the same place 2 days later., on April 17 The SS Baron Ardrossan was stopped by it at 41-56N. 50-04 West
 
Mar 22, 2003
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they steered about WSW for 26 miles until 6- 25 pm when they once again turned west.
At 41 35' north longitude 50 30 west, at 6:25pm? You can't be series. Then to be at long 51 28' west at 8:12pm (11:30pm GMT)? 43.4 miles in 1h47m? Over 24 knots. Impossible! You can't just ignore one piece of data in favour of another piece. Either some of the positions are wrong or some of the times are wrong.
According to Clarke, "Ice seemed to be one solid wall of ice, at least 16 feet high, as far as could be seen." This was the field that he said he had to go 20 miles south to clear. Yet, according to you, the Trautenfels went through it heading southwestward. Was Trautenfels an icebreaker?

I as said before, the ice was not stationary but was shifting; moving in a general southward direction. By Monday midday, the south point of the pack ice had reached 41° 15'N.That comes from Rostron, who had to go around it.
 

Jim Currie

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By ignoring my questions, Sam and trying to be as smart an ass as I am you are simply digging a deeper hole for yourself.

Of course, Harris or his W/O made a mistake with time. But he was set to the northward, not the southward before Noon April 14. How else could he have had a DR of "41.50 N 49.15 W" at 11.00am and find himself 1 hour later, at Noon, to be at Lat 42.02N Long 49.25W? He was 10 miles north and 4 miles east where he should have been.

Where do you think this came from...or is this yet another bit of evidence that does not meet your standards?
"Six o'clock, proceeded slow, pushing through the thick ice.
6.30, clear of thickest of ice; proceeded full speed, pushing the ice.
8.30, stopped close to steamship "Carpathia."

To my knowledge, Californian was not an icebreaker.:rolleyes:
Where does this come from:
"So I steamed down, I suppose about 10 miles to clear of ice to see if I could see any of the boats".
If Californian steamed down 10 miles to clear of ice and got back to where she started at 11-20 am, and was at 41-33' North at that time, then the end of the ice barrier was at or near to 41.25 N. north when Carpathia rounded it and headed westward. not 41. 15 N. How do you account for that?
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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"So I steamed down, I suppose about 10 miles to clear of ice to see if I could see any of the boats".
That's from an interview with Harrison in 1961. Let's quote exactly what he said from the transcript:

"I think [Capt. A.H.] Rostron said he had all the passengers aboard, and couldn’t be of any further assistance. And he asked me if I would look around. He said he was getting underway, and would I see if I could see any other survivors? So I said I would.
So I steamed down, I suppose about ten miles, to the southward. You know we weren’t taking any notice of courses then, you know, we had the position there. So I went down to the clear-of-ice to see if I could see any of the boats – never saw a thing. Came back again where she was, and she was getting underway and going. So I told wireless I hadn’t seen any sign of any survivors, and that I was thinking of going back on my course to Boston, which I did."

Just 10 miles south? Californian arrived about 8:30, but Carpathia departed about 9am. I believe it was Groves who said he heard her bell strike when she departed. It was Rostron who said the southern extent was 41° 15'N in a message to Haddock. This is what Rostron wrote in March 1913 about getting around the ice:
upload_2018-11-19_13-36-6.png

Wasn't it Clarke who described the ice that he had to go around as 16 ft in places.
 

Jim Currie

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I'll draw a picture for you, Sam.
Carpathia plot.jpg

Lord also talked about ice 6 feet or more, thick but only after he turned it over with his bow. Rolston very clearly stated that he saw the pack ice at dawn and it was about 3 or 4 miles to the westward.

You are quoting Hans Christian Rostron here.
How on earth could he "soon" have seen his passage blocked if he sailed down the eastern side? More to the point, how could that same man have publicly stated that Boxhall's distress position was a "splendid" one? if we can plot his noon position for that day, so could he have done and like Lord and Moore, he would have known long before he ever reached Washington that the Titanic distress signal was, like his own navigation, way out.

Cut to the chase Sam. Lord's 10-30 pm position was spot-on and there is loads of evidence to prove it was so. At the very beginning, long before he ever knew about any of the other evidence, Lord stated that the ice barrier was lying almost north-south. How many other masters reported much the same? in fact, how many said it was trending NW to the SE... the barrier that is, not the entire Ice Field.
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Jim,

I think the Lord/Foweraker map shows all this very clearly and in line with what Sam has described, and has no relation whatsoever to the illustration in your above post.

My apologies for not posting this map at the weekend - it is quite an important 'map' of what Captain Lord wrote out on the 19th April just before they docked at Boston, plus his notes, on the other side, that as you will know were handed into the British Inquiry as evidence. It is generally accepted that Captain Lord kept a copy of both or the drafts which he forwarded to Foweraker later in 1912.

If I cannot work out how to post it on here, can you PM me your email address when I can send you pics easily and directly?

Cheers,

Julian
 

Julian Atkins

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Thanks Sam!

That's the Captain Lord/Foweraker map!

Very kind of you to post. The "BERGS + Actual Titanic wreck" is obviously not on the original map as published in 1912 in the 'Nautical Magazine', plus a few other font type appended notes, but the map itself and the handwritten notes and marks are exactly as per Foweraker's map.

Foweraker was a Solicitor in Cornwall. He got a bit tied up in trying to make sense of what had happened, as some still do today.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Aaron_2016

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On a related note. Titanic's debris is scattered about half a mile in the same direction as the Gulf Stream. Does this mean the positions of all ships within the vicinity (including the position and density of the ice field) would change quite rapidly during the night? e.g. I recall several survivors who thought the Titanic had 'backed away' from the iceberg because they were drifting with the current and since the iceberg was heavier than the ship, the ship would drift with the current at a greater speed than the iceberg which was much heavier, so when it passed their stern and the ship stopped, the ship would gradually drift passed the iceberg along the Gulf stream which created the impression to some of the survivors that the Titanic had backed away from the iceberg as they drifted east? Assuming lighter objects travel faster with the current?



currents1aa.png


.
 
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Michael is absolutely right Donald. Too many people judge the Californian affair based on very limited knowledge and on what they would have done had they been there and in possession of exactly the same facts.

Today as it was then - it is not the possession of the facts that matter; rather it is an individuals's ability to assess the situation according to current practice and apply knowledge and skill to the facts to achieve the best possible outcome.
Lots of people today regard the white rockets as a sure-fire indication that a vessel was in distress - rubbish! The regulations stated 'rockets of any colour' - white is not a colour - its a neutral and was regarded as such in 1912. That's why captain Lord was so anxious to know if there were 'any colours in the signals?' In plain fact - the officers of Californian had no idea what they were seeing and virtually admitted it in their evidence.
Lord behaved perfectly normally - he was told about his officer's uncertainty - weighed the situation up according to what he was told - cautioned his men to continue trying to find out what was going on and ordered them to let him know if they found out any more. They did not increase their knowledge of the other vessel! Lord was only concerned when he learned later about Titanic.
Consider this: If you were an officer on the bridge of a ship and saw those signals going up but did not know what they were - what would you do? - Exactly what Stone did! However, if you had any nagging doubts - what would you do if the source of those signals suddenly started moving off before you had convinced yourself something serious was wrong?
This is the essence of what we are told. You either accept Stone's story or bight the bullet and say he lied and bullied the Apprentice into lying with him all to protect the captain. That sort of thing only happens in Hollywood!

Jim.
I look back over these discussions from time to time and as I post this now , I went back to the very start of this subject.

I think some of us , myself in particular , are guilty of looking at these things from our 2018 viewpoint.
To us, it seems perfectly inexcusable to us for Californian to have not called on Evans to wake up and least taken a listen or called a general CQ call to ask if anyone knows anything about those rockets. After all, to us , it would have seemed common sense ....." The Morse Lamp didn't work....Why not try the wireless ? ".

It would seem to me to be a case of "I don't know what's going on with those rockets, but let's try every known method to try to find out about them......Including the Morse Lamp, the Marconi Wireless or whatever it takes ! "

It seems that if so, Evans would have heard immediately and Californian would have got gotten underway and reached Titanic to even have even been of some assistance. But we weren't there in 1912 and there might have been many reasons why this wasn't done in 1912.

But then there were the questions of if Californian could have even got to Titanic on time, could have even been of any real help, or could have even caused more problems ?

Main reason for my popping in to interrupt this discussion is to thank all persons concerned for the detailed discussions between those whose greater knowledge and experience that make this website so fascinating.

There are lots of things that we , in "Our 2018 midset" hadn't even thought of.
 
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Rob Lawes

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Looking at that chart, two things stand out quite clearly (if it is an accurate depiction of the ice field). Firstly, Lord would have had the devil's own job sailing toward the Titanic's actual position at night and with speed. Looking at it, he would have had to head east and then in a wide arc around to the sinking position.

Secondly, it makes the movement of the so called mystery ship far more difficult and her captain either the bravest of most foolhardy afloat that night to have sailed through that lot.
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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Julian, the word BERGS did appear on that chart, more or less in the position shown. I had to put it back after adding in the position of the now know wreck site. The type written words are mine, since some the handwritten ones were difficult to read and were very small. The chart I posted above is the same as published in various books such as in Leslie Reade's, Senan Molony's, Paul Lee's. It is a later version of the one that Foweraker had published in his Nautical Magazine article "A Miscarriage of Justice,” in 1913. The one in “A Miscarriage of Justice,” is a little more crude, with a few other details marked on it such mystery ships X and Z and the position of the yellow funneled boat.
 
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Jim Currie

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Hi Jim,

I think the Lord/Foweraker map shows all this very clearly and in line with what Sam has described, and has no relation whatsoever to the illustration in your above post.

My apologies for not posting this map at the weekend - it is quite an important 'map' of what Captain Lord wrote out on the 19th April just before they docked at Boston, plus his notes, on the other side, that as you will know were handed into the British Inquiry as evidence. It is generally accepted that Captain Lord kept a copy of both or the drafts which he forwarded to Foweraker later in 1912.

If I cannot work out how to post it on here, can you PM me your email address when I can send you pics easily and directly?

Cheers,

Julian
On the contrary, Julian. The map contradicts what Sam has been pushing for a very long time. It shows the body of the ice orientated North-South, not NW to the SE. This completely rubbishes the idea that Californian was NW of the sinking Titanic. However, it tells us a great deal.

First, it is very inaccurate which is understandable given when it was created and that the author had only the maximum visibility afforded by his height of eye. This means he could only guess at the ice density and orientation within a horizon of say 9 miles from any position he was in.

According to the scale, Californian traveled a distance of 6 miles from 5-15 am until 6-30 am. That's acceptable since she stopped during that time and did not start-proper until 6 am.
Then, from 6-30 am until 7-30 am, she covered a distance of about 13.5 miles, which again is in keeping with the evidence regarding her speed. However, from 7-30 until 8 pm, when she turned toward the Carpathia, the map indicated that she steamed a distance of 10 miles in 30 minutes. Obviously, that is absurd, even with Sam's mythical 1.2 knots south setting current. Californian was most certainly not a 20-knot ship.

According to Groves, there was a small vessel on Californian's port bow, not her starboard bow as she headed for the Mount Temple.
Mount Temple was on Longitude of 50-09.5W at 6 am that morning. This means that the western edge of the ice barrier on Lord's map is displaced about 3 miles to the westward.
The map shows that the pack ice was narrowest at a point between 4 and 5 miles south of the stopped Californian. The vessel seen 4 to 5 miles south of the Californian steamed through that same area 3 hours before Californian did and 21 hours after the Trautenfels did the same thing.

I have superimposed the evidence given by Trautenfels, Mesaba and Baron Ardrossan. Carmania and Deutchland on the map. It shows that the ice field had barely moved between April 11 and April 17.
Fowrakers's map.jpg
 

Jim Currie

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A stopped ship is no different than a stopped iceberg under calm conditions. They are both stopped relative to the water they are floating on. If the water is moving, so too do the objects floating on it. It's elementary.
Depends on a number of factors including object draft, depth of current air profile.
In a deep current, all floating objects will move in the direction of flow, but they don't all move at the same speed because above-surface profile can cause drag. In flat calm conditions, a full-rigged ship of 400 feet length with all sails set will not move with the current as fast as a 400 feet long, deeply loaded tanker with all accommodation aft.
By the same token, a deep drafty iceberg will not move as fast as a shallow draft lifeboat in a surface current.
 
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Jim Currie

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Julian, the word BERGS did appear on that chart, more or less in the position shown. I had to put it back after adding in the position of the now know wreck site. The type written words are mine, since some the handwritten ones were difficult to read and were very small. The chart I posted above is the same as published in various books such as in Leslie Reade's, Senan Molony's, Paul Lee's. It is a later version of the one that Foweraker had published in his Nautical Magazine article "A Miscarriage of Justice,” in 1913. The one in “A Miscarriage of Justice,” is a little more crude, with a few other details marked on it such mystery ships X and Z and the position of the yellow funneled boat.
The words THICK ICE are in Times New Roman. lord most certainly did not print these.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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A little more information from Foweraker's article:

The caption for Foweraker’s chart read: "Chart A, showing the course of the Californian next day and the positions of the two unidentified steamers, “X” and “Z.” The range of port and starboard lights is indicated in the case of the Californian and “X.” The Californian was in loose ice to the north, and the Titanic amongst bergs about 26 miles to the south."

He also had two other charts printed in the article. He presented a “Chart B” in order to prove that Titanic could not have arrived at the location derived by Boxhall that was accepted by the Wreck Commission, Carpathia’s Captain Rostron, and many others. This chart showed how Titanic’s path to reach the SOS position would have been blocked by a large belt of pack ice, that extended from 50W back to about 49W, while Californian would have had to change course from her 6:30pm position that was reported to Antillian, and pass through miles of pack ice for her to have been the vessel Z seen from Titanic that night. The caption read:

"Chart B, illustrating the finding of the Court. The dotted line shows course from 6:30 p.m. necessary to have brought Californian to the position of “Z,” “8 to 10 miles” N.N.W. of the Titanic. This was the approximate bearing of the steamer seen from Titanic, one half to two points on the port bow, presuming the Titanic was heading about north soon after the collision as stated by quartermaster Rowe.
To have attained the longitude of “Z,” the Californian must have steamed at least 55 miles through the ice between 6:30 and 10:21,entailing a speed of over 14 knots. Her speed at the time was 10 knots on then-consumption, full speed 13 to 13.5 knots.
The position of the thick ice field, plotted from the reports of various steamers, plainly shows the Titanic’s position, as accepted by the Court, to have been impossible. The east and west “oblong” to which special attention was directed in dealing with the Titanic’s course, sufficiently separates her from the Californian."

In the last installment of “A Miscarriage of Justice,” Foweraker produced yet another chart showing an expanded area where he attempted to identify the various fields of ice that was reported in that area of the Atlantic by various vessels.

The caption for that chart read:
" “X” is the steamer seen by Californian bearing S. 44° E. (true) at 11:40 & S. 20° W. (true) at 2:40; “Z” is the steamer seen by Titanic. Position approximated from evidence of Quartermaster Rowe. “P” is Titanic’s position, long. 50.14 as given by wireless and accepted by the Court. “Q” is Californian’s noon position 50.09° showing that “P” was west of the ice and therefore unattainable. Shaded areas denote field and pack ice."

The ice reports Foweraker listed in his article were from the following steamers: Pisa, Paula, Trantenfels, Athinai, La Bretagne, Mesaba, Campanello and Louisianian. In his chart he shows fields of ice that he labeled from Paula, Athinai, Messaba and La Bretagne. One particular field he excluded from his chart was the report from the SS Pisa which said, “In latitude 42° 06’ north and longitude 49° 43’ west met with extensive field ice, and sighted seven bergs of considerable sizes on both sides of track.” This was directly in the path of Californian. His rational for excluding this extensive field from his chart was that “it seems probable that this must have been encountered early in the day and had drifted to the southward by the time Californian passed.” His justification for the long ice barrier running north to south was the location reported by Captain Lord as to where Californian had stopped at 10:21pm on April 14, and listed Mount Temple, Almerian, Birma and Frankfurt as other steamers that were either stopped by this ice barrier, or had observed it. He also mentioned how Californian had to skirt this barrier on her way down to the disaster site, and that Carpathia had to go 56 miles out her course to avoid it when returning to New York with Titanic’s survivors.

The original Foweraker article is a very good read. Clearly, a another historical artifact in the endless argument over Californian. The man did his best to create charts that would support his belief that Californian was too far away from Titanic for both vessels to have seen each other. He believed there were at least seven mystery ships that were never identified, and the eight white rockets seen from Californian came from one of them, the vessel that he labeled vessel “X,” a tramp steamer seen by Californian that fired 8 white low-lying rockets or Roman candles, and started to depart the area toward the southwest as soon as she started to send them aloft.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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The words THICK ICE are in Times New Roman. lord most certainly did not print these.
The words LOOSE ICE, THICK ICE, and BERGS all appeared on the original chart. The chart was developed by Foweraker with input from Capt. Lord.
In Foweraker's Chart A in his 'Miscarriage of Justice' article, the area where the word BERGS was, was actually marked LOOSE ICE & BERGS. it was just south of the THICK ICE area that extended well eastward, forming the bar of the T. The T shape that Lord referred to was a T on its side (rotated 90° to the left).
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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Another relevant report about the extent of the icefield on 14 Apr.

From PV Olympic,
10.35 a.m. [15 Apr NYT] Received following message from the Parisian:
CAPTAIN Olympic: Field ice extends to lat. 41.22; heavy to the northwest of that and bergs very numerous of all sizes; had fine clear weather.
 

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