Paul Slish


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Paul Slish

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Jan 18, 2006
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I have been interested in the Titanic and the Californian since first reading about the incident about 40 years ago. I'm primarily interested in the nautical and navigational aspects of the issue. That is the who, what, when and where. I'm not as interested in the why as that is harder to make conclusions about. I think a careful study of the US and British Inquiries can still lead to meaningful discussion of the issue. To a lesser extent the April 18, 1912 statements of Stone and Gibson and other contemporary documents can add to the discussion. Material from the 1950s by various parties is too far after the fact to be relied on. I also intend to discuss the Titanic and the Californian without using the flamethrower approach.

I have never been a seaman or a yachtsman. I do have experience with taking bearings on a surveyor's staff magnetic compass. I worked for the US Forest Service in 1975 on a surveying crew in Oregon. We ran surveys for the preliminary work to plan out the construction of logging roads. A surveyor's staff compass was sufficiently accurate for this. I frequently acted as instrument man and we took bearings to within 1/2 degree accuracy. We also used a surveyor's level to measure the elevation along the survey line, and a surveyor's 100 foot steel chain with plumb bobs to measure the distance. We also measured the slope on either side of the line with an instrument called a clinometer. If the survey line was for a brand new road (as opposed to upgrading an existing road) we used chain saws and axes to cut the initial line through the forest. There was no GPS in those days. There was no laser equipment for measuring distances. Everything was done with mechanical equipment. There was no computerized data capture. Every measurement (bearing, elevation, distance, slope angle etc) was written down in a surveyor's notebook. We found our way around the Fremont National Forest by maps and when off the gravel roads we used landmarks to keep from getting lost. Orienteering in the woods can be learned. I write this up just to share that measuring distances, angles, and elevations and various trigonometric calculations are familiar to me. Thus a lot of the concepts and terms mariners use seem readily understandable to me.

I look forward to continued interaction with other posters on the site.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Californian? You go where angels fear to tread. Short of salvage issues, this is one of the most rankling controversies in the Titanic community. I wish you the best in it. If you haven't done so already, you might want to check out All At Sea With Dave Gittins for some in depth information on the navigation issues. I think you'll find it very useful.
 

Paul Slish

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Jan 18, 2006
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Greetings Dave and Michael,

Thanks for writing. Dave I have read your entire website and it was quite educational. I'm considering the e-book.

Michael, I have been studying the Californian issue in detail from the inquiries the last two years. Of course I read "The Ship That Stood Still" back when it came out in 1993. I've also purchased and read "A Ship Accused" by Molony. I realize it is still controversial, but I'm an adult. I can take the heat.

Dave, I've read your position that you believe the Californian and Titanic were 10 to 13 miles apart. It is an honest assessment from someone who has done a lot of sailing on a yacht. Fair enough.

I have concluded that there are problems with the reasoning of all the advocates of the ten mile separation. I think the five mile position has been pretty much abandoned. So it is now between the 10 mile and 20 mile position. There are difficulties with both views. The question will never be satisfactorily resolved to everyone's contentment. All the players are dead. There is substantial testimony, but it is obviously not exhaustive.

David and Michael,

I readily admit I have not been a seaman. But I know what it is like to work long hours and through fatigue. When I fought forest fires we often worked over 24 straight hours. I was an over the road trucker for a couple of years. Federal Regulations and logbooks not withstanding, we often worked over 24 straight there too in all kinds of weather conditions.

I've spent close to 25 years now as a computer programmer, systems analyst, and database administrator. I work on the IBM mainframe. It is not unusual to read a technical manual five to ten times to decipher it and get software installed and debugged. It is a lot different than a PC. Detailed study is how I earn my living.

I believe I am a gentle person, and unfailingly polite. But I am not afraid of vigorous debate. I will be involved in the discussion boards and I will be writing a few papers. I don't like it when people say anyone who believes the Titanic was over the horizon from the Californian are idiots. But, I'll live with it. I don't call other people idiots. There are difficulties with the ten mile position also. Molony has pointed out many. I'll be pointing out more. Enough said. That is what discussion and debate are for. I am quite cognizant of dealing with what is physically possible.

Once I picked up freight just east of Syracuse, NY. It was to go to Cincinnati, OH. It was a 600 mile run. I picked it up at about 3:00 pm and dispatch told me I had until 6:00 am to get it there. That's 11 hours drive time in a truck. That gave me 4 hours for rest. Not a problem. The lady at shipping said I had to have it there in SEVEN HOURS! I told her I can't drive 90 miles per hour. She said in a real smart a#$ voice. You have to have it there in SEVEN HOURS. I didn't answer her. I called up dispatch at the nearby phone. I reported the number of pieces, the weight, and the bill of lading number and verified the destination (Ford). I then said in a REAL LOUD VOICE, I'll have it there by 6:00 am, don't worry. I looked over at the know it all lady who could easily hear what I said, and walked out. I pulled into that Ford plant about 5 in the morning one hour early. I know what is physically possible.

David Brown emailed me and it turns out we are both Great Lakers as I live in Buffalo, NY and Dave in Sandusky, OH. He invited me to a September meeting. I may make it.

Paul Slish
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Paul S

Nice to see some Extra info on you. Hope your having fun here on ET. I believe you know my position the Californian as we've been yapping away in the same thread for about 5 days now I think. I myself don't think either side will ever agree on everything, and those in the middle? well their accounts get criticism too and are also selectively quoted by others (The info Favorable to their case that is). The MAIB Report is one such example and Coverly knew it before it was released "neither side will be satisfied" (Pg 19)
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I don't like it when people say anyone who believes the Titanic was over the horizon from the Californian are idiots.<<

Nor do I. The Californian debate is dicey enough and the non-stop ad hominum attacks that often accompany the debate don't help in the least. At best, they make the partisans in the discussions a lot more entrenched in their positions and unwilling to consider the possibility that on some level, they just might be wrong on a few points.

Very few of my own views on the Californian are set in stone. Was she there?

Yes. Nobody questions that seriously.

Did she see the socket signals fired by the Titanic?

Yes. Few people question that too seriously either.

Could she have realistically effected a rescue?

In my professional opinion, no. It would have been nice if they had tried. It might or might not have made a difference but it would have spared Captain Lord a lot of grief.

Did anything the Californian's officers see impress them enough to instill any real sense of urgency?

Well, that's not my read of the evidence. From what I've seen, they were more confused then anything else. If they were really all that concerned, they did a lousy job of conveying that concern to their commander. They had their "Oh S**t!" moment in the morning once the news reached them on the wireless and thereafter, spent a lot of time answering awkward questions. Rightly or wrongly, Captain Lord would never live it down.

Was there another vessel in the area?

I don't know. It can't be ruled out past any point of debate, but I don't think it really takes away from Californian's culpability. At best, all it can do is show that there was somebody else who should have been obliged to deal with some very tough questions.

Was a real injustice done to Captain Lord?

In my opinion, hell yes! Though perhaps not for the reasons that you might think. He was essentially suspected without ever being informed he was a suspect, indicted without ever being told he was indicted, tried without ever being tried, and convicted without ever being convicted, and had no recourse, redress or rights of appeal by way of the courts because legally nothing ever happened.

Nothing was *ever* put to the test before a jury. Whatever one may think of Captain Lord, he deserved to have his day in court he never got it, and I find that very troubling.

That's where I stand on the issue. (And I could be wrong on some points!) If anybody wishes to hoot at me for being either pro-Lord or anti-Lord, so be it.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Addendum: my folks come from the Buffalo area as well and I've spent quite a bit of time there. I hope you can make the September gathering as I'm planning on being there too. I think you'll enjoy it.
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Dave Gittins

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"He was essentially suspected without ever being informed he was a suspect, indicted without ever being told he was indicted, tried without ever being tried, and convicted without ever being convicted, and had no recourse, redress or rights of appeal by way of the courts because legally nothing ever happened."

A pretty good summing up!

A point I make is that Lord Mersey was careful not to blame Lord by name. In his report, he takes care to blame everything on "the Califorian". She should have done this or that. She did nothing. Was he trying to leave the way open for a prosecution? If he did, it didn't come off, largely because it was felt Lord could not get a fair trial after revealing so much in Mersey's court.

In the end, Lord could count himself lucky. Suppose Sir Rufus Isaacs had informed Mersey that statements in his possession indicated that an offence had possibly been committed and advised him to leave the Californian matter to the appropriate court. Suppose Mersey agreed, as the actions or inactions of Lord were peripheral to the disaster. Lord and Stone could then have found themselves in a magistrate's court, facing serious charges. Maybe the lies in Boston would have come out. They are on Board of Trade files!
 
May 12, 2002
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Hi Jesse,

"I myself don't think either side will ever agree on everything"

I think you're absolutely right! There's no theory that will fit all the testimony, because there are bits and pieces of it that bluntly contradict each other. Then it comes down to a matter of choice as to who you believe, and then the fun starts :)

Cheers

Paul
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Suppose Mersey agreed, as the actions or inactions of Lord were peripheral to the disaster. Lord and Stone could then have found themselves in a magistrate's court, facing serious charges.<<

Possibly, and from what I understand, it damned near happened that way. As I indicated, the whole Titanic thing was a political hot potato of the first order and it was an embarrassment that the powers that be wanted to get off the radar screen. Holding Lord and his officers to account in a public trial would only serve to keep everything in the public eye a whole lot longer with no gaurantee of a conviction.

From a political standpoint it was easier, to say nothing of expediant, to leave the existing findings in the public record hanging over Captain Lord's head and then let the whole thing drop. It's not like there was anything to appeal whereas a verdict can be.

Pretty slick!
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 13, 1999
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Hi Paul, how are you?

You wrote:
"David Brown emailed me and it turns out we are both Great Lakers as I live in Buffalo, NY and Dave in Sandusky, OH. He invited me to a September meeting. I may make it."

I myself live in Cleveland, so it looks like we have something else in common besides our mutual interest in the Titanic and the "Californian Incident." Looking forward to having more discussions with you.

I enjoy a nice debate or discussion too, as long as it's friendly. Regarding the Californian, by now you are aware of most of our opinions, but I really don't think that regardless of how far the ship was from Titanic or what mistakes may have been made, that Captain Lord should have been blamed for the loss of life. Blamed and taken to task for lying about the ship and crew's involvement and sighting of rockets perhaps, but that is a separate issue regarding how he handled things afterwards. There really are so many dimensions to this topic.

Hope you had a good day.
Kind regards,
Tad
 

Paul Slish

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Jan 18, 2006
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Thanks for all the input gentlemen. Titanic is too huge for any one person to study all aspects of it. Even Californian has a number of different aspects to it, and one can even specialize there.

What should have been done in regard to witnesses is as follows.

US Inquiry. All Americans should have been warned anything they said could be used against them in court. The should have had opportunity for legal counsel. That would protect their rights and provide for due process. If they said anything after that they could later be charged in court. The US Constitution protects people against self-incrimination. All British subjects should have been instructed anything they said could be used against them according to British law. They should have been told they have the right to be silent.

British Inquiry. Whatever British law provides for due process should have been followed. Any Americans should have been warned whatever they say could be used against them in the USA.

"In my opinion, hell yes! Though perhaps not for the reasons that you might think. He was essentially suspected without ever being informed he was a suspect, indicted without ever being told he was indicted, tried without ever being tried, and convicted without ever being convicted, and had no recourse, redress or rights of appeal by way of the courts because legally nothing ever happened.

Nothing was *ever* put to the test before a jury. Whatever one may think of Captain Lord, he deserved to have his day in court he never got it, and I find that very troubling."

Very well put Michael. I won't try to add a word to it.

I'm not saying that if the Californian was far away there was no responsibility. For whatever reasons they just didn't grasp what was going on. That is not really the area I am concentrating on. That is a hotly contested question. If I had to describe Stone and Gibson in one word, I would use "bewildered." If I had to describe Lord in one word it would be "unaware." Obviously any one in an Inquiry is going to try to put their best foot forward. I don't think there was any great conspiracy by the Californian men. I don't think Lord believed he had done anything wrong. When he said "As we were heading down, I though we might possibly have seen the Titanic's rockets at 19 miles" that sure doesn't sound like a man trying to cover things up. Why would Stone say, "They might possibly have been distress signals" if he was trying to cover up.

Well I'm going to let it go at that for this area of the Californian saga. Senan Molony is probably the most eloquent defender of Captain Lord in his "A Ship Accused."

What I am concentrating on is the physical aspects of the Californian situation. I just find it a very interesting problem. I start with the premise that Captain Lord's calculated DR position was accurate according to the celestial navigation methods available in 1912. 1.5 miles for a competent navigator is what I have read. Then it is DR from the last morning, noon, or evening fix to where you stopped. Being a few miles off from the DR position is not bad navigation. As David Brown said to me, a circle 1.5 miles around your ship was operationally insignificant.

So unless there is some compelling evidence that the Californian was way off course we should expect it to be within a few miles of its DR position. Boxhall obviously made a mistake in his longitude and Dave Gittins has a pretty good theory for that. I'll have to get Captain Brown's "Last Log" to study his analysis.

I'm going to coin terms. I'm going to call the two views the "nears" and the "fars." Lordite and anti-Lordite is just too much to type. Anti-Lordite sounds like something from Star Trek.

I find it interesting that the "nears" are getting closer to the "fars" as time goes on. Mersey was 8 to 10; Dave Gittins is 10 to 13, I think Sam Halpern is probably about that as well (correct me if I'm wrong), and Dr. Paul Lee is 15. If the "nears" get any farther they will start bumping right into the "fars." I guess I was "far" before "far" was cool. I've been 20 since the 1992 Reappraisal. I guess the debate is now whether the Californian men were seeing the Titanic somewhere around 13 to 15, or another steamer at 5 and the Titanic was over the horizon at 20.

So from here on out, I'll be concentrating on writing up some things in regard to the physical aspects of the night and morning in question. I've observed some things in the testimony that I haven't seen anyone write up about, or I'd like to expand on what has been written.

Lastly, I do have a confession. I was much more impressed with Senan Molony's "A Ship Accused" than I was Leslie Reade's "The Ship That Stood Still." Reade did some excellent research, but I think he relied too much on newspaper accounts and hearsay. I was on a jury for a trial once. Every time some witness said, "Joe Smith said...", the appropriate lawyer would jump up and yell "hearsay" and the judge would respond "sustained."

All right you may now start throwing your eggs. I'll be in research mode for a while, but in a while I will be posting and submitting some research papers.

Paul Slish
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 13, 1999
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Hello Paul, how are you? No egg throwing here, nor will there be from this individual, although I cannot promise to cease throwing differing opinions, or acknowledging points of agreement. In any case, I know that you are open to hearing all of our opinions, so it works out well, haha!

Along those lines, I do have to respectfully disagree with the following statement from your post.

You wrote:
"When he (Lord) said "As we were heading down, I though we might possibly have seen the Titanic's rockets at 19 miles" that sure doesn't sound like a man trying to cover things up. Why would Stone say, "They might possibly have been distress signals" if he was trying to cover up."

The fact that both Captain Lord and Stone lied and tried to cover things up is a known fact, not really an opinion. Their own words condemn them in that regard. Below are two particularly incriminating denials made after the Californian arrived in Boston, and there are many more examples on the record.

Before we get to that, a couple of thoughts. We can debate whether the Titanic and Californian were within visual range, but I think one thing that we all agree on is that the Californian's crew saw the Titanic's distress rockets and took no action. They can be faulted in that regard regardless of how many ships were or were not in the area. However, as I've said, I think it is definitely unfair to try pinning the loss of life on Lord. Were mistakes made? Yes. Did they intentionally ignore signals? No, any inaction was due to not being aware of what the situation was, for one reason or another. There is no way the crew would have intentionally ignored distress calls if they had been aware of the full extent of the situation. Someone can argue that the mistake was due to negligence, but not that it was intentional. Could they have saved more lives? Perhaps, perhaps not, but even by saving one life or trying to save lives, Captain Lord never would have been criticized.

It is the way in which he tried to cover up the mistakes and lied about things afterwards that I personally find deplorable. In addition, why all of the denials and outright lies if Captain Lord was so confident that the Californian was bound by ice and not in visual range of the Titanic that night? He must have at least suspected a mistake was made to get affidavits from Stone and Gibson and then deny they were anywhere near the scene. There must have been shock and some guilt to find out the next morning that they had probably seen the rockets from Titanic, and possibly even the ship itself, but due to mixed signals between crewmembers, difficulty interpreting what exactly the situation was, etc., that nothing else was done. I can sympathize with Lord for being unfairly blamed for the loss of lives, but I cannot say the same when it comes to the criticism that he covered things up.

Captain Lord:
"Every officer and man of this crew is an Englishman and a white man, and no Englishman will stand by and see anybody or anything in distress without trying to lend assistance.

"Mr. Stewart, the first officer, was on the bridge during the times that the signals were supposed to have been seen, and he can tell you himself that nothing of the kind was seen by him, or any of the men who were on watch with him.

"Everything had been quiet during the night and no signals of distress or anything else had been seen, and about 5 o'clock in the morning, which is my regular time for getting up, I told Mr. Stewart to wake up `Wireless' and have him get in touch with some ship and get an idea of what kind of an ice field we had gotten into."

Stone:
"Captain Lord's story of the Californian's position and the other occurrences on that night was corroborated by First Officer Stewart, Second Officer Stone, and the quartermaster on duty at the time. Stone emphatically denied that he had notified Capt. Lord of any rockets, as he had seen none, nor had any been reported to him. He also denies that he signed any statement, under compulsion by the captain, stating that he had seen any signal of distress."

Here is another denial from Captain Lord on April 25, 1912 saying that none of the crew said they saw rockets, even though the private affidavits of Stone and Gibson were written on April 18, 1912:

"One who said he was in the crew of the Leyland steamer Californian and who was visiting relatives in Clinton last Sunday night is alleged in a statement printed in the Daily Item of that city, to have said that the signals of distress sent up by the Titanic were seen by the Californian and ignored. The name of the man is not given. According to this unnamed authority, the Californian was within 10 miles of the Titanic when the accident occurred."

"Captain Lord simply ignored the story yesterday. 'Here are some facts and you can see for yourself.' He then gave the position of the Californian, when he stopped in the icefield, and the position of the Titanic, as given by the Virginian. This shows that the Titanic was 18 miles due south of us and seven miles west, which would make her 20 miles away.

"The first thing picked up by the operator, says First Officer Stewart, was a confused message from the Frankfurt in which it was made out finally that the Titanic was sinking.

"None of the crew yesterday would say they had seen any signals of distress or any lights on the night of Sunday, April 14. One of them said he did not believe that anyone else did. The chances, he added, were that anyone on deck that night was not looking for signals of distress but was more likely looking for some warm place in the lee, as it was very cold."

In any case, just my rambling thoughts as I head off to bed. Paul, I am glad that you have joined this forum, we have already had some interesting conversations, whether we agree on all the issues or not. Hope you have a great end to the week.
All my best,
Tad
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Even Californian has a number of different aspects to it, and one can even specialize there.<<

Some have.
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Regarding what should have been done, in a proper investigation, all the officers and I would even say all of the crew should have been questioned to get at least a sense of what the knew. With the Senate investigation, this didn't happen and the judgement rendered was made on some very flimsy evidence.

Stone and Gibson were never questioned, Ernest Gill was a bought and paid for witness that even Leslie Reade wasn't comfortable with, and the testimony of Cyril Evens was essentially hearsay. It was germane in that he passed on radio mesages, but he didn't actually see anything. As the main suspect, the problems with Captain Lord were obvious.

The BOT was a lot more methodical though as people who would stand to lose (Stone and Gibson were the guys on watch!) they had quite the incentive to be less then forthcoming on a lot of points.

>>All right you may now start throwing your eggs.<<

Errrrr...dreadfully sorry, can't. I cooked the eggs and ate them. Have to get more from the grocr as I'm al lfresh out. You understand. (Would you settle for tomatos?)
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>>I'll be in research mode for a while, but in a while I will be posting and submitting some research papers.<<

And seriously, that's something I'll be looking forward to. It looks to me like you'll bring a fresh perspective to this whole sorry mess and who knows, you may even pick up on something we may all be missing here.
 
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Good Luck w/ your Research Paper Paul S. I look forward to reading them. I myself have thought of writing a few from time to time, and probably should just to get my views out
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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"... I told Mr. Stewart to wake up `Wireless' and have him get in touch with some ship and get an idea of what kind of an ice field we had gotten into."

"Gotten into"?

Somebody must have made that up. Prolongued service on the north atlantic notwithstanding, Captain Lord does not strike me as a 'Cunard Yank'. I'd be inclined to demand independent confirmation of any statement he reputedly made in those terms.

Noel
 

Tad G. Fitch

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"I'd be inclined to demand independent confirmation of any statement he reputedly made in those terms."

Fair enough, but his denials were covered in several different interviews and in several different sources, all with him saying that they saw no rockets, nobody he talked to saw rockets, etc., which is independent confirmation enough.
 

Paul Slish

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Jan 18, 2006
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Tad, What I was getting at and perhaps did not make myself clear is as follows. At the US Inquiry and the British Inquiry I don't think there was any coverup and the quotes I cited were from the Inquiries, not from Boston Newspapers. Under oath they answered the questions that were put to them. Stone said he initially thought the low-lying rockets he saw were signals to another ship or from beyond the ship he saw. Later after hearing about the sinking he concluded they might have been distress signals. If he was certain they were distress signals from the start, I believe he would have taken more action. He may have been lulled somewhat by Captain Lord asking if they were company signals. Was he evasive or just telling it as he initially interpreted things. Gibson was asked if he and Stone thought this was a serious matter that ought to be brought to the Captain's attention again.

"7750. Did you say anything to him about going to see the Captain and saying this seemed to be a serious matter? - No, he told me he had reported it to the Captain and the Captain had told him to keep calling her up.

7751. Did Mr. Stone say this vessel seemed to be in distress? - No; he said there must be something the matter with her.

7752. Did he make any remarks to you as to the Captain taking no action? Did he say anything to you at the time? - No.

7753. Are you sure? - Yes."

For whatever reasons they just didn't grasp it at the time. Afterwards they conceded they might have been. I think you are right. Communications did break down. I'm still not convinced there was willful negligence. Others can say they should have figured out more. Stone was unclear at the Inquiry about when he told Lord of the rockets. Was it after the two or after five? Lord said he only heard of one. What if Stone said "I saw rockets" meaning five. Then said, "I was sure about the second one." Then Lord thinks "he wasn't sure of the first, but he is sure of the second." and concludes there was just one definite out of two. What I am saying is you could have a case of garbled communications, and neither man was lying. Or it could be one or both were lying. But garbled communications does not in itself prove a lie. I don't know if you are married, but I have been for 29 years. Believe me, I've had plenty of cases of garbled communications in those years.

Now as far as Boston goes, I haven't studied it in detail and read all the complete newspaper articles. Maybe they did try to cover up. Maybe some of what was recorded was garbled. Maybe some of the reporters embellished things or just made things up. We had a New York Times Reporter do it recently. Maybe it was a combination of all three things.

I remember once about 30 years ago I was briefly mentioned in a newspaper article though not by name. I'm about 99.9% sure it referred to me. The reporter took a quote from another person and assembled things in such a way as to cast me in an unfavorable light. I don't think to this day there was any basis to cast me in an unfavorable light. And yet it was in the newspaper, and we all know the newspaper is always right! Well, not always. I don't know enough to make a comprehensive analysis of the Boston Newspapers at the time.

Here is a thought.

"Mr. Stewart, the first officer, was on the bridge during the times that the signals were supposed to have been seen, and he can tell you himself that nothing of the kind was seen by him, or any of the men who were on watch with him."

Lord may have mentioned both first officer Stewart and second officer Stone during the interview. Stewart and Stone sound similar. What if the reporter got them mixed up? What if Lord said "the distress signals" and it got recorded as just "the signals." Even at the time of the British Inquiry I'm not convinced that Lord thought the signals seen by Stone were the distress signals from the Titanic. He can only testify on what he thought THEN. Today we are all convinced the Titanic's distress signals were seen. Now I'm not saying for sure Stewart was substituted for Stone. I'm not sure Lord said distress signals and it was recorded as signals. I'm just saying it was a possibility. Now you might say "but you haven't explained every occurrence of what might have been a lie." That is so as I haven't read every article in full and analyzed them.

In conclusion what I am saying is that the "pack of lies" supposedly spoken in Boston may not be such a big pack at all. Now I agree we shouldn't lie in our lives. I'm not condoning lying. But I am not going to condemn a man until I read all the articles and make an informed judgment. I'm not informed enough now.

Next conclusion is I put much more weight on sworn testimony. Now this ought to open the floodgates up a little.

Would someone care to point out a definite lie by either Stone, Gibson, or Lord in their testimony in the US for Lord or in Britain for all three. A mistake is not a lie. Saying something dumb isn't a lie. A deliberate deception is a lie.

This ought to provoke quite a response. It will get people reading the testimony for one thing!

I'll put my hard hat on.

Paul Slish
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 13, 1999
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Hello Paul, how are you?

You wrote:
"What I was getting at and perhaps did not make myself clear is as follows. At the US Inquiry and the British Inquiry I don't think there was any coverup and the quotes I cited were from the Inquiries, not from Boston Newspapers."

Thanks for clarifying. It seems like we were thinking about two different things. I took your statement to mean that you did not believe Captain Lord or any of the crew were trying to cover things up in general, not just at the inquiry.

You wrote:
"Maybe some of the reporters embellished things or just made things up."

I would be willing to accept this possibility if the statements attributed to him were from one story, or a few stories, but that is not the case. We have multiple different interviews from multiple papers (not just the same article reproduced in multiple papers) all attributing quotes to him denying any involvement, not having seen any rockets, etc.

You wrote:
"But I am not going to condemn a man until I read all the articles and make an informed judgment. I'm not informed enough now."

Fair enough. Regardless of whether we agree on all points or not, it is good that you gather the information and reach your own conclusions, not enough people do that.

You wrote:
"Next conclusion is I put much more weight on sworn testimony. Now this ought to open the floodgates up a little."

I agree, sworn testimony is generally more reliable and desirable of a source than press stories, which is why we need to cross-check information from papers before we can give them any weight. In the case of the statements Lord made in Boston, cross-checking between multiple sources reveals consistent information about his denials, which makes it highly unlikely that reporters were making it up.

Hope you have a great weekend,
Tad
 

Paul Slish

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I think it will be interesting to read the newspaper articles for myself some day. You make a good point that if there are many accounts of denials there may be truth to them. I just wonder how consistent the reporters were in distinguishing the terms distress signals vs. signals in general. I am not in any way condoning lying. But I think when you take an oath to tell the truth in court it does put a little of the fear of God into you.

Paul S.
 
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