Schooner Seen by Captain Moore

Bob_Read

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Sam made a point I’ve been wondering about. These various threads go on ad infinitum about other possible ships that like the Californian saw Titanic’s distress signals and did nothing. The crew of the Californian actually admitted seeing those signals. Whether there were other ships or if they saw anything has always been a matter of speculation. I have never understood how the mere possibility of other ships in any way absolved Captain Lord of at least moral culpability due to his inaction.
 

Jim Currie

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In my last post to Sam, I pointed out that there was absolutely no way that Mount Temple could have kept out of the Northeasterly setting Gulf Stream Current - from Noon April 14 until almost the moment she turned toward Titanic's distress positions. I assume he agrees with me.
Various bits of evidence suggest this was running in excess of 1.5 knots. However, let's assume, for the sake of demonstration, that it was running at 1 knot. What do you think that would do to the positions of Mount Temple?
Sam has provided the Log Book Noon April 14 position for Mount Temple and a normal speed of 11 knots. I will not go into technical mumbo jumbo. Instead, I will produce a little sketch to show you how such a current would have affected the question as to whether or not, Moore saw Boxhall's green flare when he was in lifeboat No.2.
If Mount Temple had made 11 knots from Noon as claimed by Moore, then she would have turned at 7-11 pm. However, if there had been a 1 knot current against her. then she would not have got there until 7-54 pm. When she turned, the current would still be there, but then it would be acting on her port side and pushing her off her course in a northeasterly direction. Here is how that would have looked. I have drawn Captain Moore's version and an alternative using a 1-knot current since Noon.
The results suggest that if Rostron on Carpathia saw Boxhall's green flare at 2-40 am that morning, then Captain Moore and his men must also have seen it a little after that time. Not only that, but it shows that there was no way that Moore could have missed seeing Carpathia's rockets if they rose to a height of at least 400 feet above sea level.
The Schooner.jpg

atlanticvel.gif
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Sam,

Scott has already stated he disagrees with Senan Molony's book conclusion/premise.

The interesting to point to me - which Scott has mentioned - is that Baker received reports of green flares and rockets seen, and felt sufficiently compelled to write to Captain Lord about all this 'out of the blue' in August 1912.

Mount Temple and the Carpathia were (to simplify things) approaching Boxhall's CQD position on a sort of inverted 'V' with a gap. At some point around 3.30am on the 15th April one might have expected those on the bridge and lookouts to see The Carpathia's distress rockets being fired, if not earlier. A bit later, one might just have expected those on the bridge and lookouts to see Boxhall's final green flares across the ice field.

I tend to think the ice field was a barrier to proper observation, and there is some evidence to suggest it was elevated above the water line that causes all sorts of problems with the mathematics. And a green flare lit by Boxhall would not have been that bright and was also low down just above the water line.

But I do think Captain Moore, and his officers and others, ought to have seen one or two if not three of the Carpathia's rockets as they converged and got progressively closer to each other.

After all Stone and Gibson saw what were undoubtedly the Carpathia's distress rockets being fired and saw 3 in total.

As the Mount Temple steamed on a sort of North East bearing (and the Carpathia was steaming on a sort of North West bearing) (The inverted 'V') it is quite obvious they were converging on distance apart verses time.

So, to my mind, it is a valid question why Captain Moore denied seeing the Carpathia's distress rockets. I have a theory why he did this. But it has nothing to do with Senan Molony's book!

Cheers,

Julian
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Jim,

I think some time ago you arrived at the same conclusions as Dave Gittins had earlier that the Carpathia was off course and could not do 17.5 knots and so Dave Gittins' research indicates the Carpathia rockets were not fired from 2.40am?

It seems to me that all the revisionist evidence is that Rostron got his timings wrong, as explained by Dave Gittins, for when he first saw one of Boxhall's green flares, and was 'out' by 35 or 40 minutes and the first distress rocket he fired was not 2.40am (nor did he see for the first time Boxhall's green flares at 2.40am) but instead around 3.15am or even 3.20am (which ties in nicely with Stone and Gibson's evidence and Howard Chapin).

The 2.40am timing of Rostron, if amended to 3.15am or even 3.20am, has quite an effect on your posts about Captain Moore and the Mount Temple.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Rob Lawes

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As is often the case in these debates, the most revealing question to ask is "why?"

In this case, why would the Captain of the Mount Temple acknowledge the distress call, turn his ship around, proceed to the distress area, make ready to receive survivors but then stop and ignore everything and everyone?

It makes absolutely no sense to suggest Mount Temple would do all that for nothing.
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hi Rob,

A good question.

I have John Durrant's PV of the Mount Temple as per "Titanic Calling" by Hughes, and other sources. Durrant noted the, in effect sinking of Titanic, in his PV.

Captain Moore was not expecting to see Titanic as he approached.

Contrast this to Rostron, who seemed to be devoid of the accuracy of Durrant's PV , thanks to Cottam not recording anything at all on Carpathia, and thought initially Boxhall's green flares from a lifeboat at around 3.15am were Titanic's company signals being fired from Titanic herself. (Rostron must have realised this was nonsense afterwards, but as with much else he said and stated, fact and fiction gets mixed up).

As a peculiar twist of fate, it would appear the Mount Temple's Marconi transmitter was not particularly good, and as has been pointed out to me, messages received could be heard but messages sent were not too good from the Mount Temple. The same could be said of Carpathia.

The twist of fate was that The Californian had a good up to date new installation of the Marconi equipment and was less than a year old, as Harland has referenced in his research paper on here. The Californian Marconi set had a very good range as can now be examined from messages exchanged before and after the event.

Cheers,

Julian
 
Mar 22, 2003
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So, to my mind, it is a valid question why Captain Moore denied seeing the Carpathia's distress rockets. I have a theory why he did this.
I am interested in hearing what your take is on why Moore would deny seeing Carpathia's rockets. I agree, that MT would have been in range of seeing them although not in the direction that she heading in.
 

Jim Currie

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Hi Jim,

I think some time ago you arrived at the same conclusions as Dave Gittins had earlier that the Carpathia was off course and could not do 17.5 knots and so Dave Gittins' research indicates the Carpathia rockets were not fired from 2.40am?

It seems to me that all the revisionist evidence is that Rostron got his timings wrong, as explained by Dave Gittins, for when he first saw one of Boxhall's green flares, and was 'out' by 35 or 40 minutes and the first distress rocket he fired was not 2.40am (nor did he see for the first time Boxhall's green flares at 2.40am) but instead around 3.15am or even 3.20am (which ties in nicely with Stone and Gibson's evidence and Howard Chapin).

The 2.40am timing of Rostron, if amended to 3.15am or even 3.20am, has quite an effect on your posts about Captain Moore and the Mount Temple.

Cheers,

Julian
Hello Julian!

I am not familiar with Dave's work so am unable to comment. However, I agree with him that Rostron did not fire rockets at or before 2-40 am. In fact, Bisset claimed he started firing them at 2-45 am, right after they had seen the green flare.
Macleans News published an article in 1959 written by Sir James Bisset entitled "I Watched the Titanic rescue"
In that article, Bisset wrote:

"At 2.40.when we had twenty-five miles to go, we sighted a green light on the horizon right ahead. For a moment, this was disconcerting. it looked like the starboard navigation light of a steamer, perhaps the Titanic herself, unaccountably nearer than we had thought:"

If Rostron got his time wrong, then so did Bisset who was, after all, the Navigating Officer.

If you look at the PV of Mount Temple, you will see that at 6 -25 am GMT Carpathia sends " If you are there, we are firing rockets." At that time, it would have been 3-11am on board, Carpathia. and she would have been just over 12 miles from Boxhall in boat 2.
The most important words of the above message are in red. Cottam was referring to Titanic's Wireless Operators, not the ship. He is telling telling the recipients that if they can hear him, the action of firing rockets is actually in progress.
Captain Rostron would not have wasted rockets if he did not think they would have been seen. Bisset's articles tells us that if he thought Titanic was 25 miles away at 2-40 am, then since the total distance to steam was 58 miles, he assumed that Carpathia had steamed 33 miles from when she had turned. This means he estimated her speed to be close to 16 knots. The main thing is that 5 minutes later, Rostron could confidently fire a rocket knowing that and it would be seen by those for whom it was intended.
As for the green lights from the lifeboat? Under normal conditions of refraction, these would have been seen from Carpathia's upper bridge platform when up to 13 miles away. That would have been around 3-11 am and eave earlier from her Cow's Nest. However, the conditions were far from normal. In fact, as Tim Malton has shown, they were extraordinary.

Aside from the green lights, there is no way Moore could have missed seeing Carpathia's rockets at 3-30am that morning... the same ones seen by Stone and Gibson on the Californian. That was one devious old git!
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Sam,

Nothing particularly novel in my theory...

Just a review of pages 20-22 in Paul Lee's book 'Titanic and the Indifferent Stranger' where he reviews some of Captain Moore's statements to the press, and his telegram of 24th(or 25th) April 1912.

An example - ('New York American', 25th April 1912) "At no time during the night, nor indeed during the whole incident, did I or any of my officers, so far as I know, see any signals".

Captain Moore said quite a lot to lots of people before he appeared at the USA Inquiry. His wireless operator John Durrant also gave a newspaper interview on 25th April 1912 (p.233 in Paul Lee's book).

Captain Moore ought to have known that the Carpathia was firing rockets, because Durrant had diligently recorded the Carpathia's wireless warning message. He might not have seen them, but if he did, or his officers did, neither he (nor any of his officers) spilled the beans, and a blanket denial was in force. Given the speculation in The Press at the time, caused by Dr Quitzman's statement, this was probably a wise move, and it payed off.

Cheers,

Julian
 

AlexP

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If Rostron got his time wrong, then so did Bisset who was, after all, the Navigating Officer.

If you look at the PV of Mount Temple, you will see that at 6 -25 am GMT Carpathia sends " If you are there, we are firing rockets." At that time, it would have been 3-11am on board, Carpathia. and she would have been just over 12 miles from Boxhall in boat 2.
The most important words of the above message are in red. Cottam was referring to Titanic's Wireless Operators, not the ship. He is telling telling the recipients that if they can hear him, the action of firing rockets is actually in progress
I agree. Let’s say Captain Rostron was correct in his time and he saw the first flare at 2:40 a.m. it took some time to discuss what it was. Then at 2:45 a.m. Carpathia almost struck her first iceberg. It took some time to avoid the collision. It took some time to order to fire the rockets. It took some time to bring the rockets to the bridge. It took some time to communicate with the Monet Temple. It appears that Captain Rostron’s time was correct, and some authors alleging it was not simply because they have no explanation on why the Californian did not see the flares.

Is it known at what time Mr. Boxhall fired the first flare? I assume that he did not fire it while the Titanic was still above the surface. I assume that he waited for some time after the Titanic sank, to discuss if they should go back to look for the survivors. Maybe the Carpathia’s time and the Titanic’s time were different. Maybe this 2:40 a.m. flare seen by Carpathia was the first , or the second one Mr. Boxhall fired.
 
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AlexP

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Aside from the green lights, there is no way Moore could have missed seeing Carpathia's rockets at 3-30am that morning... the same ones seen by Stone and Gibson on the Californian. That was one devious old git!
There is, if at 3:30 a.m. the Californian was closer to the Carpathia (as she probably was) , than the Mount Temple was.
 

AlexP

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As far as I know, Tim Maltin is not qualified to analyse weather. His interpretation of the SS Morengo Log Book is wrong, For instance, he has a Eurika! moment with that ship's position vis-a-vis water temperature and Titanic's location. The Morengo was heading east, 40 odd miles to the south of the Titanic location and slap-bang in the middle of the Gulf Stream easterly extension. From about 7-30 pm on the evening of April 14 until dawn on April 15, an intense high-pressure system dominated the area. Flat calm conditions prevailed. Air and sea temperatures were very close and would remain so in excess of 100 feet above sea level. Conditions for abnormal refraction require a rapid temperature inversion in the first 100 feet above sea level. Such conditions did not exist between Titanic and the Californian. Here are the actual figures from the Californian's Log Book. during the critical time:

Air. Water.
Noon 14 50 56
4 p.m. 37 36
8 p.m. 32 27
Midnight 27 28
April 15 - 4 a. m. 29 29

I did this for a living, Martin. I kept the weather log for the UK Met office on an Anchor Line ship running between the Uk and New York so perhaps I might know a little about the subject?;)
As for the green lights from the lifeboat? Under normal conditions of refraction, these would have been seen from Carpathia's upper bridge platform when up to 13 miles away. That would have been around 3-11 am and eave earlier from her Cow's Nest. However, the conditions were far from normal. In fact, as Tim Malton has shown, they were extraordinary.
I wonder since when you have changed your mind so drastically? Was it, when you’ve decided it will suit your allegations better?
 
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The SS Caronia had an entry in their PV for 6:16am GMT "we are firing rockets here lookout for rockets" from an unknown station. This was 9 minutes, assuming accurate clocks, before MT picked up Cottom's transmission noted above. On Californian this would have been at 3:06am, which is about 15 minutes before Gibson saw the first of those 3 signals starting at about 3:20.
 

Jim Currie

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I agree. Let’s say Captain Rostron was correct in his time and he saw the first flare at 2:40 a.m. it took some time to discuss what it was. Then at 2:45 a.m. Carpathia almost struck her first iceberg. It took some time to avoid the collision. It took some time to order to fire the rockets. It took some time to bring the rockets to the bridge. It took some time to communicate with the Monet Temple. It appears that Captain Rostron’s time was correct, and some authors alleging it was not simply because they have no explanation on why the Californian did not see the flares.

Is it known at what time Mr. Boxhall fired the first flare? I assume that he did not fire it while the Titanic was still above the surface. I assume that he waited for some time after the Titanic sank, to discuss if they should go back to look for the survivors. Maybe the Carpathia’s time and the Titanic’s time were different. Maybe this 2:40 a.m. flare seen by Carpathia was the first , or the second one Mr. Boxhall fired.
Hello Alex.

Rostron was a very organised individual - or at least, that os the impression he created. If so, then in his ordered mind, he would have recorded events in the order of happening.
 

Jim Currie

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There is, if at 3:30 a.m. the Californian was closer to the Carpathia (as she probably was) , than the Mount Temple was.
Hello Alex.

That makes no sense. Even Moore said he saw Californian farther away from Carpathia than his ship was.
Moore moved at Daylight and moved southward in the direction of Carpathia. he did not see Californian at that time, only a small two-masted steamship on his port side.
 

AlexP

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Hello Alex.

That makes no sense. Even Moore said he saw Californian farther away from Carpathia than his ship was.
Moore moved at Daylight and moved southward in the direction of Carpathia. he did not see Californian at that time, only a small two-masted steamship on his port side.
I’ve read this article Mystery ship article
The Mount Temple arrived at the SOS position at 4:30 a.m. At the time the Carpathia was firing rockets, the Mount Temple was more than 20 miles away from the Carpathia.