On A Sea Of Glass Real Time Sinking Animation


As far as collision and sinking times: for the collision, we have a number of eyewitnesses who took their time from personal timepieces. What is VERY interesting to me is that someone in the First Class Smoking Room at the time of the collision, where there was a Magneta clock (and thus as accurate as you can get) recalled that the collision took place at precisely 11:43pm. There were quite a few other variances from 11:40, as well -- enough that made us raise our eyebrows, but we were not ready to completely revise history on this point yet.

For the sinking time, there were a lot of reports of 2:20 on the nose; interestingly, even Boxhall said: "I can not say that I saw her sink. I saw the lights go out, and I looked two or three minutes afterward and it was 25 minutes past 2. So I took it that when she sank would be about 20 minutes after 2."

Gracie and Jack Thayers watches both stopped at 2:22. Hugh Woolner, Margaretta Spedden, Daniel Buckley, and John P. Snyder, also specifically referenced 2:22, as well. The stopped watches is interesting, since Gracie and Thayer both went into the water at very similar times. (We also recorded just about every other time recorded on a stopped watch that we could find in Titanic: Solving the Mysteries.)

Again, we weren't ready to revise history on this, against all the evidence of 11:40 and 2:20 -- but it is worth noting, and again gets to my main point: splitting hairs down to a single minute on the timing of specific events in those last few minutes is absurd; it is beyond what we have available to us in the historical record, supported by solid and reliable evidence. We can say with relative confidence that the lights went out at 2:17am, because that is the time (translated into Californian ATS) that Gibson reported they went out by that ship's Wheelhouse clock. Beyond that -- we simply don't know.
 
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As far as collision and sinking times: for the collision, we have a number of eyewitnesses who took their time from personal timepieces. What is VERY interesting to me is that someone in the First Class Smoking Room at the time of the collision, where there was a Magneta clock (and thus as accurate as you can get) recalled that the collision took place at precisely 11:43pm. There were quite a few other variances from 11:40, as well -- enough that made us raise our eyebrows, but we were not ready to completely revise history on this point yet.

Gracie and Jack Thayers watches both stopped at 2:22. Hugh Woolner, Margaretta Spedden, Daniel Buckley, and John P. Snyder, also specifically referenced 2:22, as well. The stopped watches is interesting, since Gracie and Thayer both went into the water at very similar times. (We also recorded just about every other time recorded on a stopped watch that we could find in Titanic: Solving the Mysteries.)
Very interesting post, Mr. Layton!

However, Hichens, at the collision, noted the time, and the clock in the wheelhouse when he looked said 11:40pm.

I also think Gracie and Thayer's watches were an example of some watches were more resilient than others.

I see your point about splitting hairs ;)
 
Micheal Brady shared a few nice daytime clips of the model used in this animation since he did the hull textures.

As J.Kent mentioned earlier in this forum there are corrections and additions that'll go into the model for next year.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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There were quite a few other variances from 11:40, as well -- enough that made us raise our eyebrows, but we were not ready to completely revise history on this point yet.

Again, we weren't ready to revise history on this, against all the evidence of 11:40 and 2:20 -- but it is worth noting, and again gets to my main point: splitting hairs down to a single minute on the timing of specific events in those last few minutes is absurd; it is beyond what we have available to us in the historical record, supported by solid and reliable evidence.
Fair enough but as you have said yourself, there are quite a few variances with times. Therefore, while the 'solid and reliable evidence' can be applied to actual sequence of events, it is much more difficult to do that with the timelines of those events. All that can be done is to get as close as possible.

As I have said before, the one thing that I don't want to do is to truncate times for events between the 'lurch' and the break-up simply to allow more time for the maneuvers of the stern section afterwards.
 

Kyle Naber

Member
Fair enough but as you have said yourself, there are quite a few variances with times. Therefore, while the 'solid and reliable evidence' can be applied to actual sequence of events, it is much more difficult to do that with the timelines of those events. All that can be done is to get as close as possible.

As I have said before, the one thing that I don't want to do is to truncate times for events between the 'lurch' and the break-up simply to allow more time for the maneuvers of the stern section afterwards.

I think a lot of it comes down to making sure that the post-break movements happen slowly enough to look natural. It’s easy for an intact ship to drop down quickly; a mangled stern that needs to still go vertical and spin around? That might take a bit more time. Just my take on things.
 
I think a lot of it comes down to making sure that the post-break movements happen slowly enough to look natural. It’s easy for an intact ship to drop down quickly; a mangled stern that needs to still go vertical and spin around? That might take a bit more time. Just my take on things.
Very true, Kyle. We had to balance the varying timing reports and also make sure that nothing was happening either too fast or too slow. It's easy enough to throw a digital model around and ignore physics (lots of movie studios seem to do that these days, in fact); but we had to account for all of that in our animation. Like I said in my first post: We aren't saying it's 100% perfect, and we have some things that even we want to tweak moving forward, but if you don't see it in this animation, or you do see it, be assured that it is all in there (or not) for very good reasons.
 
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As long as its under 32/33 degrees and trim, I think the angle was higher than that
Yea this will always be one of the many topics that'll be open to discussion when it comes to Titanic. The On a Sea of Glass appendix gives a range between 20 and 30 degrees, and there was numerous survivor accounts pointing to about 30 degrees of forward trim.
 
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Kyle Naber

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I think 20-25° before the break is most likely where reality lies. Lots of survivors remember the stern being well out of the water while the lights were on.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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I think 20-25° before the break is most likely where reality lies.
I am no expert but Sam Halpern makes a very convincing presentation as to why the break could have occurred at a much lower angle.


Lots of survivors remember the stern being well out of the water while the lights were on.
IMO, that depends on the survivor's impression of "well out of water". The stern of a ship rising is a very abnormal event and is likely to have made a deep impression on onlookers even when slight. By 02:05 am the propellers were well out of the water and by 02:15 am the stern had reached an angle of about 10 degrees. Given the size of the Titanic, the poop deck area would have been very high above the sea level even at a 10-degree trim down. Of course the lights were still on then.

Also, the stern did reach higher angles a few minutes later after the break-up. As it flooded and sank, the stern section rolled to port, rose and rotated.

Depending on which survivor saw what part of the above from his or her vantage point, their impression would have been different. Add to that the differences in the manner of later reporting, and there would appear to be considerable differences in what people saw and heard.
 

James B

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The angle which and if the ship broke is less important, the point/frame/bulkhead which was subjected to the most strsses would have had astractural failure regardless of the trim/angle.
 

Kyle Naber

Member
I am no expert but Sam Halpern makes a very convincing presentation as to why the break could have occurred at a much lower angle.



IMO, that depends on the survivor's impression of "well out of water". The stern of a ship rising is a very abnormal event and is likely to have made a deep impression on onlookers even when slight. By 02:05 am the propellers were well out of the water and by 02:15 am the stern had reached an angle of about 10 degrees. Given the size of the Titanic, the poop deck area would have been very high above the sea level even at a 10-degree trim down. Of course the lights were still on then.

Also, the stern did reach higher angles a few minutes later after the break-up. As it flooded and sank, the stern section rolled to port, rose and rotated.

Depending on which survivor saw what part of the above from his or her vantage point, their impression would have been different. Add to that the differences in the manner of later reporting, and there would appear to be considerable differences in what people saw and heard.

I’m not sure about that. Lightoller described the lights all going out at an angle of what he estimated to be 60°. 15° could never look to be that high in my opinion.
 
In short, we are well aware of Halpern's research on a low-angle break and his calculations of peak stresses. We work with Sam all the time, and his research is terrific.

However, viewing the breakup as an ongoing failure, we believe that reconciling those calculations to eyewitness accounts means that as the stern continued to come up out of the water and the angle increased, the stresses decreased and the break continued over time as the stresses decreased. This likely allowed the stern to reach a higher angle than stress calculations alone would indicate. We have pretty good eyewitness testimony on how the ship looked before the break, and that is translated into the angles you see in the animation. We wrote a great deal about this in the appendix on Titanic's final plunge and breakup that we wrote ten years ago for OASOG. We have since refined some of those theories as we have taken in more eyewitness accounts and also working with the model for this animation. It's amazing what began to come together when we didn't go into it with preconceived ideas and simply took what we knew and began animating it.

As far as the angles after the break: the stern did reach a very high angle. This is confirmed because as it rotated, eyewitnesses from every conceivable angle reported that it went vertical or almost vertical. If it had not gone nearly vertical, you would have had people from one perspective reporting that, but those watching from other angles would have disagreed completely, and that is not what we found.

Meanwhile, as I said before, the roll to port was not what has been shown in recent depictions over the last decade or so. That heavy port roll post-breakup, and the stern staying over on that side, is simply incorrect. It is largely based on one eyewitness, and goes against other testimony.

There are very, very good reasons for what we show in this animation.
 
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