Schooner Seen by Captain Moore

Ajmal Dar

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Does anyone have any information whatsoever about the mystery schooner that Capt. Moore of the Mount Temple claims to have seen coming from the direction of the Titanic at about 3 25 am. He said this at the American inquest and said that he manoeuvered his ship so as not to collide with the schooner and that he heard its horn sounding.

Regards,
Ajmal
 
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Scott Mills

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Capt. Moore's own testimony makes the man seem guilty of something. There is quite a bit of unsubstantiated nonsense, including his schooner story, in that testimony.

I suggest you pick up Senan Molony's book Trial of Mount Temple. It is an excellent book, and well researched. I am not absolutely convinced by its central argument--that Mt. Temple and not Californian is Titanic's 'mystery ship'; however, I am completely convinced that Captain Moore lied repeatedly about his actions on April 14th and April 15th, 1912.
 

Scott Mills

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Yes, if you want to read a piece of fiction that is highly biased.
Sam, the book in question is not a piece of fiction, and I say this as an academic. You may disagree with its central thesis--I do--but your insistence that it is a work of 'fiction,' or as you have said once, 'a fictionalized trial,' suggests to me that you have not actually read any of the book. If you had, you would know that it is well researched.

Again, that research is applied to an argument I do not buy. You may also accuse it of being biased, or 'cherry picking' information--of course, but this is par for the course in any academic article or book. You use the evidence available to support your argument. It is up to other people to challenge that argument with their own evidence.

In any case, while it has not convinced me that Mount Temple was the 'mystery ship', Senan's research (combined with my own limited efforts) tells me quite a bit about Captain Moore. For example, note the 'schooner' here referred in this thread. I have read Captain Moore's testimony, I have read Senan's book, and I have read the testimony and recollections of the other captains in command of vessels in the area of Titanic's foundering.

The only person who mentions seeing a suicidal schooner near Titanic is Captain Moore. If you disagree, the proper thing to do, as you should know since I consider you to be one of the professional historians here, is to cite any information you might have that would disprove, or problematize this statement. This goes for the research in Senan's book as well.

Simply declaring by fiat that Senan's book is 'a piece of fiction that is highly biased' does not live up to your obligation as an historian, nor frankly my image of the man who has contributed so much to the study of the Titanic disaster. Honestly, your fervor in denouncing Senan and his work with such ad hominem and straw men makes me think that you have an issue with Senan personally--one that might be justified, I do not know; however, even if this is the case, your duty as an historian is to write a proper academic book review where you challenge Senan's evidence with your own.

What it is certainly not is to just to declare the work "fiction" or "fictionalized" every time it comes up in conversation here.
 
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Scott, I'm getting old and cranky these days. I'll accept your remarks as constructive. I obviously have some strong issues regarding Senan and his work, and in particular how he has treated others who have opposing views to his. But this is not the place for that, and I'll stick to the topics being raised.

Regarding the schooner encounter, I think that is a non issue. As MT was heading 065°T toward the SOS position, the green light of some vessel was seen ahead. That vessel, taken to be a sailing vessel, was going more or less southwesterly to southward since its starboard light was opened up to MT, and was crossing MT's bow from left to right. As a sailing vessel, it had the right of way over MT which was a steamship. That is when Moore starboarded to pass green-to-green to this vessel. Soon the green sidelight got shut out and the vessel was then in darkness. The only navigation lights required of a sailing vessel back then was to carry red and green sidelights. A stern light was not required to be carried, however, if a vessel found itself to be overtaken by some other vessel, the vessel being overtaken was required to show a flare-up light to the overtaking vessel. For some reason was not done by this sailing vessel, but as MT got close to her, someone on the sailing vessel blew a fog horn which apparently they found handy to attract the attention of MT as it passed by.

The only one who was making a big deal out this encounter was Sen. Smith. Why Moore bothered to even mention this little incident is not explained. But the way Moore talked in general, he always seemed to jump from one detail into another as he was answering questions, which makes following what he had to say at times somewhat difficult. I guess that was the way he was.
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hi Scott,

The book you quote has been torn apart by many as being completely inaccurate and prejudiced and a complete distortion of the actual evidence.

Go back to the primary source material and read it for yourself plus Captain Moore's telegram rather than rely on an inaccurate book.

Captain Moore in his evidence wasn't perfect, but neither was Captain Lord! Neither was Captain Rostron!

I'm 100% with Sam on all this.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Dave Gittins

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Quite some time ago, I got out a universal plotting chart and went over Mount Temple's navigation. What I found is that it is all coherent. Captain Moore went far south of his planned course to avoid ice. He eventually turned NW and steered for Cape Sable. The position where he said he heard Titanic's CQD is on that course. Steering for the CQD position, he sighted the green light of the schooner at a position about 25 miles from the wreck site. It obviously is utterly irrelevant to the Californian business. About all it proves is that Captain Moore's men were keeping a very good watch. They sighted the dim green oil light on the schooner, which would have been visible at maybe two miles or so at best.

Moore was actually one of the better navigators that night. He reached a point close to the CQD position and was one of the first to point out its wild inaccuracy. His fourth officer gave us a good longitude for the western edge of the icefield.
 
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Jim Currie

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I'm afraid I do not share an admiration for the Navigation skills of Captain Moore or Captain Rostron. Both seem to have made exactly the same mistake.
At or near to 12-30 am April 15, both turned their ships in northwesterly direction and steamed across the northern margin of the Gulf Stream easterly extension. Both neglected to make allowance for doing so when plotting ship positions after they turned. This can easily be demonstrated and a value for current drift calculated.

If Mount Temple was where her captain said she was when he was called, at 12-30 am, April 15, and if, as he claimed, his ship had earlier crossed the 50th Meridian at 41-15'North... then she ran a total of 71 miles from when she turned. If she averaged her normal speed of 11.5 knots from when she turned, then she turned at 7-30 pm that evening and would have had at least a latitude to check her position.

If at Noon April 14. her clocks were set 1 hour 46 minutes FAST of EST New York, then her Noon Longitude was close to 48- 30'West. From there to where she crossed the 50th Meridian is 71 nautical miles. If she crossed at 7-30 pm then she averaged 9.5 knots from Noon, not her usual 11-5 knots. This indicates she was stemming a current setting about ENE at 2 knots. A plot of the course of the Carpathia produces much the same value of rate.

Mount temple was in that current at 7-30 pm when she turned onto her course (280T) for Seal Island, Nova Scotia. She would be in it for most of the time up to Midnight. So how would that affect her DR position? She would continuously have been set back toward the 50th Meridian. When he turned at 12-30 am, he probably still had an element of it pushing him eastward. Captain Moore even referred to it increasing his speed to nearer 12 knots.
 
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A lot of "if"s in your post above Jim. So let's get rid of a few of these, starting with your assumed speed for MT of 11.5 knots. Moore stated that his ship was making "about 11 knots" Sunday afternoon and evening. (BI 9266). Secondly, his noontime position Sunday was 41° 38’N, 48° 20’W. This comes directly from MT's logbook. For that longitude and date solar noon occurred at 15:13:37 GMT, putting her clocks 3 hours 14 minutes behind GMT (1 h 46m ahead of NY) just as Moore gave in evidence. From that location down to 41° 15'N, 50 00'W is a run of about 78.5 miles. From there to her turnaround point at 41° 25'N, 51° 14'W is another 56.5 miles. Durrant's PV noted that his ship was turned for the CQD at 12:26am. The DR distance from noon to that point was 135 miles in 12h 26m, or an average speed of 10.9 knots, which is close to Moore's "about 11" as one can expect. The distance from the turnaround point to Boxhall's CQD was about 49.5 miles on a heading of 065°T. If MT worked up to 11.5 knots on her way to the rescue as reported, the time it would take to cover this distance would be about 4 hours 20 minutes for an expected time of arrival at the CQD location close to 4:45am ATS. Moore estimated that he was about 14 miles from the distress position at 3:25am when he cut his engines because of encountering ice. This would be 3 hours into his run toward the CQD. At 11.5 knots he would have traveled a distance of about 34.5 miles which would have put him about 15 short of the CQD. Moore estimated he was 14 miles short. MT proceeded onward at some slow speed, and at 4:46am it was noted in Durrant's PV that his ship was stopped amongst the pack ice.
I do agree that MT was further eastward when she reached he southernmost point down in lat 41° 15'N and where she was when she turned around for the CQD. But Moore did not know that until they took that PV sight of the sun around 6:52am (when the sun would be on the PV at his location) which showed they were then about 3 miles east of CQD longitude.

Cheers.
 

Scott Mills

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The real issue for me in Senan's book is that it does not go far enough to problematize his own findings, or to confirm them. And I mean this in this sense, Senan presents a lot of what appears to be pretty damning circumstantial evidence. As it stands it is enough for me to be convinced of the fact that Moore lied to one, or both, inquiries; however this does not lead one me to be convinced of Senan's central thesis--Mount Temple was the mystery ship.

What I would like to know is:

  • What are the alternative explanations for why a man like Moore may have lied about his actions?
  • What alternative explanations could there be for what appears to be huge inconsistencies in his logged positions, claimed speeds, and actual capability of his ship?

There must be some alternative explanations, even if Senan is correct!

I am not prepared to damn Captain Moore as anything more than a liar based on what was presented in Senan's book, and this may be because I do not know enough about being the captain of an ocean going vessel to assess the true implications of what Senan presents.

Another thing I would like to know--and fair enough people were being paid for any story related to Titanic after the disaster--is how many other vessels in the vicinity of Titanic that night, when they returned to port, had both crewmen and passengers tell the press "we were near enough to Titanic to see her rockets, but did nothing..." or even "we were close enough to see the rockets..." If I had a good idea of this, or the time on my hands to start looking for myself, I would know how much weight should, or should not, be assigned to the occurrence of things to Mt. Temple.

Similarly, Senan makes a lot of the number of crew who jumped ship, including the third officer who was on duty when the initial distress message was received, as soon as Mount Temple reached port; however, part of me suspects that this number may not have been out of the norm for such ships in 1912. Given that I do not have the proper context or background knowledge, it is stuff like this that I have to dismiss out of hand.

All of that being said, Senan's research is quite detailed and well presented; and by-the-by, the 'fictionalized trial' is nothing more than a narrative device Senan uses to communicate to the reader that it is 'up to them' to decide whether or not Senan's conclusions have merit. The book itself is an actual historical accounting of Mt. Temple, her captain, and crew, albeit an accounting shown through a very specific lens--Senan is trying to convince the readers Mt. Temple was the mystery ship.

This bit is no different than a countless books on the history of countless things. One tries to convince the reader of his or her thesis. This is the entire point of writing histories!
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hi Scott,

Sam has written a paper on the Almerian and the Mount Temple, but rather than tread on his toes, you might like to read the following paper written by David Dyer:-


(and please read all the footnotes, as this is a very well researched and cross referenced paper)

If you read Paul Lee's book "Titanic and the Indifferent Stranger" you will come across numerous references to Merchant Navy seamen on other ships telling their families they saw saw Titanic's rockets that night etc but Paul Lee went to great lengths to show that none of these tales could be substantiated because all these ships were too far away at the time, often by hundreds of miles. And we have the classic example of the Samson which has been conclusively proved to be a lie.

You might also like to read the following thread:-


and in particular Dave Billnitzer' post 2 of 16th November 2002.

It is quite obvious to me that Fourth Officer Notley on the Mount Temple rather jumped to conclusions, and what he is actually describing is no doubt the Carpathia's rockets fired from circa 3.15am onwards, and it is also possible Notley later saw Boxhall's green flares as the Mount Temple got closer. It is important to note that at the time no one knew for sure Titanic had actually sunk, or when it might have sunk.

Notley does not provide any timings to Baker, and when he met up with Captain Lord for lunch, would not allow Captain Lord to quote him.

It is interesting to note that Leslie Harrison served with Notley's son in the Merchant Navy in 1937. The only reason Baker's account via Notley received prominence is because Captain Lord kept Baker's letter amongst his papers. Senan Molony has been assiduous in sifting through the Captain Lord/Leslie Harrison archive in the Liverpool Maritime Museum archive, but that does not mean that what Captain Lord retained was necessarily relevant, with a few notable exceptions such as Stone and Gibson's 18th April 1912 statements.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Scott Mills

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If you read Paul Lee's book "Titanic and the Indifferent Stranger" you will come across numerous references to Merchant Navy seamen on other ships telling their families they saw saw Titanic's rockets that night etc but Paul Lee went to great lengths to show that none of these tales could be substantiated because all these ships were too far away at the time, often by hundreds of miles. And we have the classic example of the Samson which has been conclusively proved to be a lie.
Thank you for the reference! I will certainly check out the book. I suspected this would also be the case, and it would have been nice had Senan included some of these stories in his book. I still think, even with this information, Senan's argument is somewhat persuasive in as much as it still causes me to be suspicious--nothing more. Particularly when the stories, published before any testimony was given, match a lot of the facts of the matter that night on Mount Temple--specifically references to some of the officers contemplating forcing the captain to end his radio silence and attempt to contact Titanic.

The passenger in question who shared this story had to be one lucky guesser had someone on the ships crew not told him that Mount Temple maintained radio silence from the moment it received Titanic's distress call, until Mount Temple told Californian in the morning that Titanic had sunk--which is, in and of itself, suspicious.

In addition, without having read your referenced book, I think it is worth noting that there are references to Merchant Seamen telling their families, and not going straight to the press shortly after they make port immediately after Titanic founders, nor do you reference any passengers on other ships doing the same. In and of itself, it means nothing... but it does, in my mind, make the Mount Temple accounts different from the others in an important way.

I really get why Senan came to his conclusions, there is quite a bit of smoke that seems to cling to Mount Temple, but smoke, as we know, is not necessarily proof of fire.

It is quite obvious to me that Fourth Officer Notley on the Mount Temple rather jumped to conclusions, and what he is actually describing is no doubt the Carpathia's rockets fired from circa 3.15am onwards, and it is also possible Notley later saw Boxhall's green flares as the Mount Temple got closer. It is important to note that at the time no one knew for sure Titanic had actually sunk, or when it might have sunk.
Is it? It is entirely possible you are correct. Even probable. Here is the rub though that raises suspicions:

  • Captain Moore testified twice that Mount Temple saw no rockets or lights, other than those of the suicidal schooner only he saw that night, and the unidentified tramp steamer that 'stayed ahead of him' from the moment he turned on receiving Titanic's distress despite Moore's claimed 11 1/2 knots;
  • According to Moore's story, he, nor anyone on Mount Temple, know Titanic sank (except apparently his wireless operator) because his ship did not witness it. He then is the first ship to arrive at Titanic's CQD position, he sees no wreckage, nor the Titanic, nor life boats. He then decides for some reason, to not try and contact Titanic by wireless, nor inform by wireless the other ships he knows are heading straight for him that Mount Temple is at the distress position and sees nothing. Now add to that the idea that he and his crew likely saw Carpathia's rockets (I mean, how could they not have) and/or Boxhall's green flares. Still, not knowing Titanic has foundered, he ignores these rockets/flares, does not attempt to contact anyone about them, and chooses to fire rockets of his own.

Now, again, these 'facts' prove nothing other than I think quite conclusively (if the schooner and the tramp steamer were not enough) that Moore is lying when giving his testimony. Neither Moore's lying, nor the above facts, come anywhere near meeting the burden of proof necessary to convince me that Senan is correct in concluding Mount Temple is the 'silent stranger.' It does, however, raise the questions:

  • Why did Moore lie about Mount Temple not seeing Carpathia's rockets?
  • Why did Moore lie about the schooner "very near" Titanic's distress position, which he has to take evasive action to avoid?
  • Why did Mount Temple remain silent until Californian wakes up in the morning, despite being the first ship on the scene, despite Moore's testified conclusion that "Titanic must have been further East," and despite the fact that it nearly impossible to imagine Carpathia's rockets were not seen by Mount Temple?
  • Why does Moore insist he sees nothing, no lights, no rockets, nor flares?

It is easy to see why someone, should they indulge in the very human behavior of speculation, might put all of these things together (including the passenger and crew 'testimony' to the press) and conclude, "Mount Temple is the mystery ship!" This is something I am not prepared to do; however, I will admit that Senan's book went a long way in convincing me to move Mount Temple from clearly innocent to suspect--one of the very few suspects in the ship that may have played the role of ship who stood still.
 
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Miller88

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At what point in the sinking did Titanic's crew notice the lights of the mystery ship? If I remember correctly the crew began firing rockets at around 1am, does that mean that is when they noticed the lights? If so, then could the Mount Temple have covered the distance she began at, to the position of the mystery ship in the time from when she first received the CQD to the point in time that Titanic saw the Mystery lights?

Actually, I do remember reading that Smith ordered the first lifeboats launched to head toward the mystery light in the distance. I believe this would in itself exclude the mount temple from being the mystery ship
 
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  • Why did Moore lie about Mount Temple not seeing Carpathia's rockets?
  • Why did Moore lie about the schooner "very near" Titanic's distress position, which he has to take evasive action to avoid?
  • Why did Mount Temple remain silent until Californian wakes up in the morning, despite being the first ship on the scene, despite Moore's testified conclusion that "Titanic must have been further East," and despite the fact that it nearly impossible to imagine Carpathia's rockets were not seen by Mount Temple?
  • Why does Moore insist he sees nothing, no lights, no rockets, nor flares?
Why do say Moore was lying about not seeing Carpathia's rockets? How do you know that he did?
Why do say Moore was lying about a schooner seen in his path around 3am?
What do you mean MT remained silent? Who was he supposed to communicate with? Titanic already told him that they could not hear him because of steam blowing off. Unlike, Cottam who didn't bother to record anything after receiving the CQD, or Evans who was a total idiot who didn't shut up when he was told to do so, Durrant knew better than to flooded the airways with unnecessary chatter.

Think about it. Why would Moore even bother to turn his ship around in the first place, swing out his boats under davits, get other preparations for a effecting a rescue in place, and then try and hide from a sinking ship when they get near the scene?
 

Jim Currie

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A lot of "if"s in your post above Jim. So let's get rid of a few of these, starting with your assumed speed for MT of 11.5 knots. Moore stated that his ship was making "about 11 knots" Sunday afternoon and evening. (BI 9266). Secondly, his noontime position Sunday was 41° 38’N, 48° 20’W. This comes directly from MT's logbook. For that longitude and date solar noon occurred at 15:13:37 GMT, putting her clocks 3 hours 14 minutes behind GMT (1 h 46m ahead of NY) just as Moore gave in evidence. From that location down to 41° 15'N, 50 00'W is a run of about 78.5 miles. From there to her turnaround point at 41° 25'N, 51° 14'W is another 56.5 miles. Durrant's PV noted that his ship was turned for the CQD at 12:26am. The DR distance from noon to that point was 135 miles in 12h 26m, or an average speed of 10.9 knots, which is close to Moore's "about 11" as one can expect. The distance from the turnaround point to Boxhall's CQD was about 49.5 miles on a heading of 065°T. If MT worked up to 11.5 knots on her way to the rescue as reported, the time it would take to cover this distance would be about 4 hours 20 minutes for an expected time of arrival at the CQD location close to 4:45am ATS. Moore estimated that he was about 14 miles from the distress position at 3:25am when he cut his engines because of encountering ice. This would be 3 hours into his run toward the CQD. At 11.5 knots he would have traveled a distance of about 34.5 miles which would have put him about 15 short of the CQD. Moore estimated he was 14 miles short. MT proceeded onward at some slow speed, and at 4:46am it was noted in Durrant's PV that his ship was stopped amongst the pack ice.
I do agree that MT was further eastward when she reached he southernmost point down in lat 41° 15'N and where she was when she turned around for the CQD. But Moore did not know that until they took that PV sight of the sun around 6:52am (when the sun would be on the PV at his location) which showed they were then about 3 miles east of CQD longitude.

Cheers.
Thank you for your information up-date, Sam.

We have to be careful when analysing the evidence of Captain Moore. He states that to avoid the ice he headed down for 41-20'N at one point and 41-15 N. at another. He gets the distress positions all mixed up and even his own turning position. He says he met the heavy ice at 3-25 am and continued on Slow, covering 14 miles in an hour. As you say, let's be exact.

As on all ships. the Noon position would have been a mean of the Noon positions obtained by comparing the results of the Noon sights taken by the bridge officers at that time. Before these sights were taken, the GMT of the sun's meridian transit ...the actual time when the sun was due south... solar Noon... would have been precalculated by the Second Officer, as would have been the estimated altitude of the sun at that moment. If this was done, and your calculation of meridian transit is correct, then the Noon position shown on the Log Book is wrong and is almost 4 miles short of her true Noon position. Either that or they truly were the world' s worst navigators.

If the sun was on the Meridian at 3h-13m-37sec, pm as you have calculated, then the true longitude would have been 48-24'.25"W, not
48-20'West.
The calculated course fromTrue Noon to the turning point is 252 True and the distance to steam was 75.7 miles. At 11 knots, Mount Temple would have been at the turning position at 10-07pm GMT.
The calculated course from Log Book Noon to the turn is 253T and the distance is 78.82 miles. At 11 knots, she would have been at the turning point at 10-24 GMT.
According to the Wireless log, the ship turned at 3-40am GMT April 15 If so, then the steaming time form the time the ship turned at 50 West was either 5 hours 37 minutes or 5 hours 16 minutes. At 11 knots we get distances of 61.8 miles or 58 miles.
However, if Mount Temple was at 41-15 North, 50-00'W at 10-21 pm GMT and turned onto a course of 280 True at that time, then at 3-40 am GMT the next morning, she should have been at either 51-22'W or 50-17'W. Moore claimed it was 50-15'West. It is allrather "neat and tidy".

The Wireless Log ( PV ) states the amended distress call was received at 10-25 am...12-11 am ship time yet according to Moore:
"At 12:30 a.m. on the 15th I was awakened by the steward from my sleep with a message from the Marconi operator...I immediately switched on the light and took a message that the operator sent up to me which said that the Titanic was sending out the C. Q. D. message, and in the message it said "iceberg." ... just a message he [the Operator] picked up... east, sir, and to come down at once, "

There is something very wrong with the times.

If Noon was at 3-14 pm GMT on the 14th and the amended distress call was received at 3-25 pm GMT(10-25 EST), then she had been steaming for 12 hours 11 minutes at that time of receiving the call. Even if there had been no head current, and she did make 11 knots, then she would have covered a distance of 134 miles in total from Noon to the moment she received the amended distress call.
If the ship was not turned until 3-40 am GM, then that was 29 minutes after receiving the call, in which case, she would have run-on for another 5.3 miles past the turning position given by Moore. These facts are a direct contradiction of what Moore said..."I immediately blew the whistle on the bridge. I have a pipe leading down from the bridge, and I blew the whistle at once, and told the second officer to put the ship on north 45° east ".
You correctly point out, "The DR distance from noon to that point was 135 miles ". However, as you can see, it was steamed in 12 hours 11 minutes, not 12 hours 26 minutes. There is a fifteen or 16 -minute gap here.
Additionally: if Mount Temple ran for 136.8 miles in 12 hours 11 minutes then she averaged 11.25 knots before she turned toward Titanic.

Moore said: "I reached the Titanic's position. I reckon I was very close to that position, either that position or very close to it, at 4.30 in the morning, sir." ...an hour and 5 minutes after he first stopped then went slow ahead. Therefore Mount Temple would have stopped against the ice barrier at 7-30 GMT...4-16 am ship time. According to the Wireless Operator, at 8 am GMT, there was no wireless traffic and the ship was stopped among pack ice. That does not mean she stopped at that time, she must have stopped at some time before that for him to be able to write that remark.

The plain truth is this:
On her way down to 50 West in 41-15 North, there is no way that Mount Temple could have avoided being affected by the Gulf Stream as it was known then. Nor could he have avoided it turning onto his westerly course and all the time he was on that course until he turned toward Titanic. In fact, he didn't avoid it and quite plainly knew it was there; he simply glossed over it.
The question should be asked...If Moore felt he had to add on a bit for the Gulf Stream to his speed when up at 41-25'North why was there no effect seen of it on his run from that latitude down to the 50th meridian and from the 50th, back up to the same latitude?
Additionally: if there was a south setting current in the area running at 1.1 knots, why did it not affect the Mount Temple?
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Sam and Scott,

If I might put the first question another way, what was Baker's source of the rockets seen on Mount Temple? It is far from clear it was 4th Officer Notley. Baker wasn't on the ship at the time, but states "officers and others" as his source, replacing Notley on the next trip because Notley had a "shore billet" (whatever that was).

Baker's August 1912 letter to Captain Lord is hearsay.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Scott Mills

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Why do say Moore was lying about not seeing Carpathia's rockets? How do you know that he did?
I do not know that he did. I do know that, given Moore's stated position at, or very near, Titanic's distress position, he absolutely should have seen them. Particularly given that, not only does he state that he has extra eyes in the crows nest, but that he actually states he has someone hauled up to the top of his mainmast. Senan, in the book you hate so much :), does a pretty good job of showing the intervals and times Carpathia fired her rockets, and compares that to Mount Temple's stated position during those times. Mount Temple could have not been more than a few miles away from Carpathia, and assuming Carpathia's rockets went to an altitude of 300 feet above sea level, they should have been visible for 24ish miles.

On top of that Mount Temple's third and fourth officers claim at some point to have seem rockets and colored lights. Julian suggested that what they were seeing was Carpathia's rockets and Boxhall's flares--so assuming this is the case, then Moore must have been informed about them, yet testifies twice (not counting his multiple press statements) to have seen nothing all night, except of course a schooner, which suicidally maneuvers in such a way to cause Moore to have to execute emergency measures to avoid a collision AND the tramp steamer, that Moore states stayed ahead of him all night headed in the same direction as Titanic's distress position, despite Mount Temple making 11 1/2 knots.

It is very difficult, for me at least, assuming that Mount Temple was not the mystery ship, that: given her stated positions and the statements from some of her crew (including officers) did not see Carpathia's rockets.

Given this, I ask the question again, why does Moore not only fail to acknowledge this, but clearly testifies under oath that it did not happen at all?

Why do say Moore was lying about a schooner seen in his path around 3am?
For many reasons:

  1. No other ship in the area that night, or the next morning, sees the schooner;
  2. Moore states the schooner has a steam fog horn. Pretty odd for a sailing ship;
  3. The behavior of the schooner is rather suicidal, almost as if she is trying to collide with Mount Temple;
  4. The schooner, after having barely missed Mount Temple, turns of her lights, despite the other 'tramp steamer' in the close and immediate vicinity of Mount Temple;
  5. Moore's stated start position when he responds to Titanic's distress call, and his end position, it seems to me just cannot be account for is Moore has to run his engines in reverse, and violently maneuver Mount Temple to avoid the schooner; ergo, if he is not lying about the schooner, he is lying about his actions in response to it.
What do you mean MT remained silent? Who was he supposed to communicate with? Titanic already told him that they could not hear him because of steam blowing off.
Correct, however, this occurred during Mount Temple's first, and only, attempt to respond to Titanic. After which, all through the night Mount Temple's wireless operator testifies to hearing Titanic communicating with other ships--back and forth--and chooses not to chime in. Durrant later testifies that 'he does not want to interrupt' so says nothing; however, Sam, you must at least admit that this is odd since Durrant knows that Mount Temple is the closest ship to Titanic. So while he is listening to Carpathia, the Virginian, Frankfurt, and others continually updating Titanic on their positions and progress towards rescue, Mount Temple's wireless operator "does not want to interrupt."

Then Mount Temple is the first ship to arrive at Titanic's distress position. They arrive there encountering no sign of Titanic, wreckage, or lifeboats. Indeed, even Captain Moore testifies that he had no inclination Titanic had actually foundered at this point, yet still Mount Temple does not try to raise Titanic, nor does Mount Temple fire rockets.

Not only that, but he fails to contact the other rescue ships he knows are headed straight for Titanic's distress position to say, "we are here and see nothing." This is even more problematic for Moore and Mount Temple, because Moore testifies that he does not fire rockets because "he does not want to have other rescue ships come to him instead of Titanic." Moore also states that, on finding nothing and being stopped by ice, he is certain Titanic was further east than the reported distress position--incidentally, this is absolutely correct. So...

  1. He does not attempt to raise the other rescue ships to tell them, "we are at, or very near, Titanic's distress position. No sign of Titanic and there is thick pack ice here. Titanic probably to the east of reported distress position;
  2. He does not fire rockets in fear that "he will bring the rescue ships to him;"
  3. Yet, he already knows the other rescue ships are heading towards him because he is at Titanic's distress position, and has not bothered to tell the rescue ships via wireless that neither Titanic, nor wreckage, nor lifeboats can be seen in the vicinity and that the pack ice would indicate Titanic is further east of her distress position.
Now this does not do anything close to proving Senan's thesis that Mount Temple was the 'mystery ship;' however, Sam, if you are not bothered by this, or do not feel that this behavior is quite odd, I am unsure what further to say.

More later. I have a meeting to attend, and like the responsible government employee I am, I am writing this while at work. :)

Best,
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Moore states the schooner has a steam fog horn.
Really? Where did that come from? The schooner turned off her lights, who said that? The behavior of the schooner is rather suicidal? Really, because it crossing MT's bow, and MT had to get out of the way which is what the rules of the road calls for?

Shades of Molony if you ask me.

The schooner, or whatever small sailing vessel this was, was irrelevant and became an issue only because Sen. Smith trying to make an issue out of it.

The real issue here is the inaction of Capt. Stanley Lord on the night Titanic sank, not the actions of Capt. Moore. The tactic of trying to shift blame by pointing the finger elsewhere has been going on for decades by Lord and his apologists.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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If the sun was on the Meridian at 3h-13m-37sec, pm as you have calculated, then the true longitude would have been 48-24'.25"W, not 48-20'West.
MT's noontime position Sunday was 41° 38’N, 48° 20’W. This comes directly from MT's logbook. The equation of time was not 0 on 14 Apr 1912 as you assume.
 

mitfrc

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I do not know that he did. I do know that, given Moore's stated position at, or very near, Titanic's distress position, he absolutely should have seen them. Particularly given that, not only does he state that he has extra eyes in the crows nest, but that he actually states he has someone hauled up to the top of his mainmast. Senan, in the book you hate so much :), does a pretty good job of showing the intervals and times Carpathia fired her rockets, and compares that to Mount Temple's stated position during those times. Mount Temple could have not been more than a few miles away from Carpathia, and assuming Carpathia's rockets went to an altitude of 300 feet above sea level, they should have been visible for 24ish miles.

On top of that Mount Temple's third and fourth officers claim at some point to have seem rockets and colored lights. Julian suggested that what they were seeing was Carpathia's rockets and Boxhall's flares--so assuming this is the case, then Moore must have been informed about them, yet testifies twice (not counting his multiple press statements) to have seen nothing all night, except of course a schooner, which suicidally maneuvers in such a way to cause Moore to have to execute emergency measures to avoid a collision AND the tramp steamer, that Moore states stayed ahead of him all night headed in the same direction as Titanic's distress position, despite Mount Temple making 11 1/2 knots.

It is very difficult, for me at least, assuming that Mount Temple was not the mystery ship, that: given her stated positions and the statements from some of her crew (including officers) did not see Carpathia's rockets.

Given this, I ask the question again, why does Moore not only fail to acknowledge this, but clearly testifies under oath that it did not happen at all?



For many reasons:

  1. No other ship in the area that night, or the next morning, sees the schooner;
  2. Moore states the schooner has a steam fog horn. Pretty odd for a sailing ship;
  3. The behavior of the schooner is rather suicidal, almost as if she is trying to collide with Mount Temple;
  4. The schooner, after having barely missed Mount Temple, turns of her lights, despite the other 'tramp steamer' in the close and immediate vicinity of Mount Temple;
  5. Moore's stated start position when he responds to Titanic's distress call, and his end position, it seems to me just cannot be account for is Moore has to run his engines in reverse, and violently maneuver Mount Temple to avoid the schooner; ergo, if he is not lying about the schooner, he is lying about his actions in response to it.


Correct, however, this occurred during Mount Temple's first, and only, attempt to respond to Titanic. After which, all through the night Mount Temple's wireless operator testifies to hearing Titanic communicating with other ships--back and forth--and chooses not to chime in. Durrant later testifies that 'he does not want to interrupt' so says nothing; however, Sam, you must at least admit that this is odd since Durrant knows that Mount Temple is the closest ship to Titanic. So while he is listening to Carpathia, the Virginian, Frankfurt, and others continually updating Titanic on their positions and progress towards rescue, Mount Temple's wireless operator "does not want to interrupt."

Then Mount Temple is the first ship to arrive at Titanic's distress position. They arrive there encountering no sign of Titanic, wreckage, or lifeboats. Indeed, even Captain Moore testifies that he had no inclination Titanic had actually foundered at this point, yet still Mount Temple does not try to raise Titanic, nor does Mount Temple fire rockets.

Not only that, but he fails to contact the other rescue ships he knows are headed straight for Titanic's distress position to say, "we are here and see nothing." This is even more problematic for Moore and Mount Temple, because Moore testifies that he does not fire rockets because "he does not want to have other rescue ships come to him instead of Titanic." Moore also states that, on finding nothing and being stopped by ice, he is certain Titanic was further east than the reported distress position--incidentally, this is absolutely correct. So...

  1. He does not attempt to raise the other rescue ships to tell them, "we are at, or very near, Titanic's distress position. No sign of Titanic and there is thick pack ice here. Titanic probably to the east of reported distress position;
  2. He does not fire rockets in fear that "he will bring the rescue ships to him;"
  3. Yet, he already knows the other rescue ships are heading towards him because he is at Titanic's distress position, and has not bothered to tell the rescue ships via wireless that neither Titanic, nor wreckage, nor lifeboats can be seen in the vicinity and that the pack ice would indicate Titanic is further east of her distress position.
Now this does not do anything close to proving Senan's thesis that Mount Temple was the 'mystery ship;' however, Sam, if you are not bothered by this, or do not feel that this behavior is quite odd, I am unsure what further to say.

More later. I have a meeting to attend, and like the responsible government employee I am, I am writing this while at work. :)

Best,

Scott, a few points about the schooner:

1. She had the right of way and it’s very hard to judge distance and velocity at night at sea.
2. Assuming she moved radically, it is an ice-bound area giving her plenty of potential reason. Her crew might be on something of a hair trigger with course changes to avoid ice.
3. By 1912 most sailing ships had steam donkey engines performing tasks like windlass operation and so a steam whistle on a sailing ship is completely plausible.