On A Sea Of Glass Real Time Sinking Animation


Arun Vajpey

Member
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.
That sounds logical. Am I correct in thinking that what you are saying is that the major damage (like the keel starting to break) occurred at a low angle of about 11 to 12 degrees like Sam calculated but complete separation did not occur and so the bow continued to dip and stern rise further while the break-up process continued? I can buy that but please indicate Kent, at approximately what angle you believe the bow and stern sections actually separated and the latter fell back.
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.
Most accounts agree that the stern reached a very high angle after the break while rotating at the same time. Thank you.
 

Kyle Naber

Member
That sounds logical. Am I correct in thinking that what you are saying is that the major damage (like the keel starting to break) occurred at a low angle of about 11 to 12 degrees like Sam calculated but complete separation did not occur and so the bow continued to dip and stern rise further while the break-up process continued? I can buy that but please indicate Kent, at approximately what angle you believe the bow and stern sections actually separated and the latter fell back.

Most accounts agree that the stern reached a very high angle after the break while rotating at the same time. Thank you.

I don’t think that the rotation was the result of any port list. Yes, a port list would cause the decks to change direction, but it’s entirely possible that the rotation occurred as the aft well deck reached the water towards the end.
 
That sounds logical. Am I correct in thinking that what you are saying is that the major damage (like the keel starting to break) occurred at a low angle of about 11 to 12 degrees like Sam calculated but complete separation did not occur and so the bow continued to dip and stern rise further while the break-up process continued? I can buy that but please indicate Kent, at approximately what angle you believe the bow and stern sections actually separated and the latter fell back.
And again, that's the ticket -- we simply can't split hairs about specific angles. We do know a few things: we know Titanic's flotation pivot point (FPP) throughout the sinking; Sam calculated that long ago and when you use his research things begin to work correctly during the sinking. We also have reports of water being at certain spots at certain times, and we know of certain lists this way or that at specific times, as well. Toward the end, however, things got really fast and really messy.

Here is what we do know: When Lightoller went into the sea, he said the Crow's Next was just about coming level with the water. That's a vital clue on angles when factoring in the FPP. We also know that the forward portion of the ship actually bobbed back up slightly and briefly after the forward dip; it is depicted in the animation, but to give some idea of how slight it likely was, you can't actually see it in the final cut. However, eyewitnesses in that area were very clear on the point. We know also that the wave that washed aft from the forward plunge was expended around the vicinity of the No. 2 funnel, and that is where Gracie was deposited. We know that when Gracie went under in that vicinity, he claimed the ship's decks were intact.

We also know that many survivors said they could see the roof of the Lounge (or referred specifically to that area of the ship) when the ship's upper decks parted and she opened up at the top in the main (and visible) break. Indeed, since the main split was just fore of the No. 3 funnel and many people clearly saw the ship's top decks open up, we know that the ship had to have broken before that area was submerged from lifting the ship's stern into the air as the bow descended.

There are many things that we know were going on that we simply could not show in this animation -- and those things actually begin to explain the stern's odd motions in corkscrewing around, and are reflected in damage patterns to vital pieces of the wreck that have been observed.

However when you use the FPP and run through the angles, accounting for a margin of error this way or that, things do begin to line up. But no, while I will say that the model never hits thirty degrees in this animation until the stern lifts up post-break, because we may have certain refinements to make with things moving forward, I won't be discussing the specific angle that the model sits at at the moment of the break; I won't be splitting hairs that close on a specific number.

So at what point was the ship beginning to break up, or was her hull at least audibly protesting the strains being imposed on it? Here is an interesting clue: as Boat No. 4 was moving aft along the port hull toward the stern (she began to pull out and away only after crossing the aft davit and fall for Boat No. 16), there were reports of loud and horrendous noises coming from within. Although many have taken these references to being 'breaking china', there's plenty of unbroken china within the wreck safely stowed in their cupboards. It was much louder than that concept alone would explain. Joughin wasn't the most reliable witness at all points, but he did mention something interesting at about that time about the sound of metal parting while he was in the A Deck pantry. The ship's hull was clearly under tremendous strain up to a few minutes before breaking.

So what was the noise of metal simply protesting under increasing strain, and what was the noise of elements of the structure actually parting? Realistically no one can say. However, it is likely that nothing actually parted until roughly the time that peak stresses were reached, because as the stresses decreased with increasing angle, enough of the structure remained to hold the rest of the ship together until things finally crossed the line and she broke.
 
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Arun Vajpey

Member
There is an interesting reason I asked Kent or anyone about the relationship between the break and the angle of the stern as seen by the onlookers. Kent's post took me back to the 1997 version of Cameron's depiction of this at the start of the film (NOT later) when Bill Paxton's bearded colleague illustrates graphically why he thought the stern rose after the break. I know it is only a movie (and I did not like it) but I have considered only those parts that might be close to the corresponding actual events.

Could the sequence of events be as follows? (Apologies for the non-technical lingo)

  • At about 02:16 am the Titanic lost its longitudinal stability and gave a sudden downward lurch at the bow, causing displacement of a large body of water rush stern-wards in the form of a 'wave'.
  • That resulted in the stern rising higher (with the lights still on) and in about 60 to 90 seconds it reached an angle of 11 to 12 degrees, at which time the stresses on the keel caused it to bend and the resultant 'stretching effect at the top decks started the break-up top down.
  • The break-up process caused the flooded bow section to dip further and while the two parts were still attached at the keel, it briefly dragged at the forepart of the stern section which then rose higher at the rear end. A few lights probably still remained on at the the stern even then.
  • The keel snapped, separating the bow and the stern section; the former started to sink immediately while the latter 'fell back' and started flooding rapidly through the exposed deck surfaces. IMO all the lights would have failed by then.
  • Since the flooding of the stern section was from front to back, the front past started to sink while the rear part rose again as air left was displaced to that part. At some stage the rising stern section also started to rotate counter-clockwise (as seen from above).
  • The stern attained a very high angle before it almost vertically downwards and disappeared.
 
You're right, the 1997 film is just a movie, one that I happened to like a lot about, and you will never hear me say anything bad about that film in general terms. Most of the things that we know are incorrect in the film we've only learned were incorrect since the film came out as a result of good research done due, in part, to the film's popularity. A lot of work was put into getting the film's historical elements up to a standard that was way beyond Hollywood's typical concept of 'good enough for film', and Cameron has done much over the years to further historical research on the disaster.

However, and very briefly, the sequence of events for the breakup that you just suggested does not seem to match what we know happened even remotely. And again, I will not split hairs regarding this minute or that, or this angle or that. We simply do not have enough data available to get that deep in the weeds, as the saying goes.
 

Kyle Naber

Member
I think you might have misunderstood me. I meant that I did not like the introduction of Rose and Jack romantic angle.

I can see why some would have this opinion. I think this is what caused the film’s success, however. I think the movie really is about the love story and the sinking and ship itself serve mainly as a backdrop (as Winslet even put it). The plot really focuses on the fictional story, and I think when we can keep this in mind, we’re a little more gentle with our critiques.

To get even further off topic, I would really like to see a remake of A Night To Remember with a more modern understanding of the disaster and film-making technology. I’d expect something like this to come out within the next 10-20 years easily. I would just hope those in charge were passionate about historical accuracy over impressive cinema.
 
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Kyle Naber

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I do find it interesting how general consensus moved from the 1997 sinking theory, to a very shallow angle break (and almost underwater “V” formation) to the 2012 heavy port list and then sort of back to a diet 1997 with some small edits. I feel like a culture of strict wreck analysis and computer technology formed and survivor accounts took a bit of a back seat, when those are some of the most valuable pieces of information imo.
 
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Here is what we do know: When Lightoller went into the sea, he said the Crow's Next was just about coming level with the water. That's a vital clue on angles when factoring in the FPP. We also know that the forward portion of the ship actually bobbed back up slightly and briefly after the forward dip; it is depicted in the animation, but to give some idea of how slight it likely was, you can't actually see it in the final cut.
Oh the very slight bob up is visible in the animation. At 2:37:41 watching the forward mast we can see the tip of the crows nest come back above water slightly just before the plunge.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
At 2:37:41 watching the forward mast we can see the tip of the crows nest come back above water slightly just before the plunge.
I tried very hard to see if I could make out this detail but not sure if I saw anything. Perhaps a very slight rise of the mast but I might have imagined it. Perhaps my 65 year-old sight is not sharp enough.

Update: I went back and tried again and yes, I spotted the momentary rise of just the top of the crow's nest. To be able to spot that movement, one needs to keep looking at the nest as it submerges.
 
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I tried very hard to see if I could make out this detail but not sure if I saw anything. Perhaps a very slight rise of the mast but I might have imagined it. Perhaps my 65 year-old sight is not sharp enough.

Update: I went back and tried again and yes, I spotted the momentary rise of just the top of the crow's nest. To be able to spot that movement, one needs to keep looking at the nest as it submerges.
You can also spot one of the lights from the Officer's Quarters rise a bit too, but the crow's nest is the easiest part of the ship to see when the slight bob up occurs.
 
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Kyle Naber

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It’s kinda crazy how this slight righting (whatever may have caused it) sparked the whole V Break Theory and those consequential heated debates. Something so subtle and simple turned into THAT mess haha.
 
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I tried very hard to see if I could make out this detail but not sure if I saw anything. Perhaps a very slight rise of the mast but I might have imagined it. Perhaps my 65 year-old sight is not sharp enough.

Update: I went back and tried again and yes, I spotted the momentary rise of just the top of the crow's nest. To be able to spot that movement, one needs to keep looking at the nest as it submerges.
I also think the ship should not suddenly have a pivot point around the third funnel, like in the "Final Word" animation.
You're right, the 1997 film is just a movie, one that I happened to like a lot about, and you will never hear me say anything bad about that film in general terms. Most of the things that we know are incorrect in the film we've only learned were incorrect since the film came out as a result of good research done due, in part, to the film's popularity. A lot of work was put into getting the film's historical elements up to a standard that was way beyond Hollywood's typical concept of 'good enough for film', and Cameron has done much over the years to further historical research on the disaster.
100% agreed!

When you say the ship came back up after the dip, do you mean how she corrected the Port list?
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
When you say the ship came back up after the dip, do you mean how she corrected the Port list?
No, not just that. The animation shows a very slight and barely discernible rise of the flooded bow end towards the end. It occurs at about 02:37:41 on the timeline of the sinking. If you observe where the crow's nest was after it is immersed, the top edge only becomes visible again for a fraction of a second before sinking again.

Likewise, the little square of light that is probably the officers' quarters momentarily reappears after sinking, again for a fraction of a second.

You need to watch the two points separately to make out clearly. Probably easier to you with your young eyes.

I think it is a separate event from the easing of the port list, which probably happened several seconds earlier. I found it interesting because we are viewing the sinking Titanic from the starboard side in that animation when the slight rise of the bow occurs. If it had been a part of the easing of the port list, then that square of light on the starboard side would have gone down further, not appeared to rise.
 
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