Schooner Seen by Captain Moore

Jim Currie

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I wonder since when you have changed your mind so drastically? Was it, when you’ve decided it will suit your allegations better?
Hello again, Alex.
Once again, you are correct in your observation regarding Tim Maltin's expertise. However, he had some impressive academic assistance when he wrote about his mirage theory. Andrew T. Young, an astronomer and mirage specialist at San Diego State University, helped him refine his theory.
Tim simply pushed the idea that mirage-effect was the reason why Californian seemed so close to the sinking Titanic. it was a possibility and he produced the Log Book evidence of another vessel to show that conditions of abnormal refraction were present in the area at the time. To me, his argument fell down in the fact that if mirage affected the sighting distances at the time, then every single vessel in the area would have reported it because it would have had a significant effect in what everyone supposed they were seeing. There were no such reports.
If the air temperature above the sea was near to freezing (which it was)...if the barometric pressure was very high (which it was) and if flat calm conditions prevailed (which they did)... then abnormal refraction existed. This was the reason for the "much refraction" Tim got ecstatic about. It is also a reason that Boxhall's green flares were seen at much greater distances than normal.

I have never changed my mind about anything on this subject. However, I am quite willing to listen to a constructive argument.
 

Jim Currie

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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.
If that was Carpathia, then we are talking about rockets fired prior to 3-02 by that vessel's clocks and those on the Mount Temple. At that time, she would have been 14 or 15 miles from Boxhall
 

Julian Atkins

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Incidentally, and right on topic, Captain Moore never mentions this mystery schooner in any of his press reports or first telegram.

His first telegram states he first saw the Carpathia at 6am, which is pretty much what Durrant states to the press the same time. Captain Moore later shifts his first sighting of the Carpathia to 6.30am a day or so later.

Cheers,

Julian
 

AlexP

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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.
If the air temperature above the sea was near to freezing (which it was)...if the barometric pressure was very high (which it was) and if flat calm conditions prevailed (which they did)... then abnormal refraction existed.
I have never changed my mind about anything on this subject. However, I am quite willing to listen to a constructive argument.
 
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Jim Currie

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You mean as far north as Carpathia was east of him about 6 o'clock in the morning while Californian was crossing the ice going from east to west?
No, I don't. The only time that ever happened was at or close to 6-49am on Californian...Just about the time Groves arrived on the bridge and 20 minutes after Californian had cleared the western side of the pack ice. But back yo the subject of Moore's evidence.

Consider the man's evidence in light of the evidence given by others.

When there was enough light, Rostron on the Carpathia saw 2 ships to the northward of his location at the wreck site. One of these was a 4 masted vessel, the other a 2 masted one. He had no idea as to the identity of these, but they were close enough to see how many masts they each had. The time had to have been some time between 4 am and 5 am. During that time, Mount Temple, a 4 masted vessel was stopped against the ice and to the north of a 2 masted vessel in similar circumstances. Ergo, the two vessels seen by Rostron were Mount Temple and A.N.Other. At that time. Californian was completely out of the picture.
However, if Mount Temple was where Moore said she was when she stopped, then at 5 am, she would have been bearing about West by North, not to the northward of Carpathia as seen by Rostron.

At 5 am, when there was enough light, Mount Temple backed out of the ice and turned southward toward the above mentioned 2 masted vessel. (Five minutes later, Californian calls on her wireless.)
Mount Temple passed the two-masted vessel and continued-on, a little farther south, before turning back to the northward. All before 5-30 am.
At this point, you an others should stop trying to tie Californian into this story and ask the questions:

1. If Mount Temple was stopped near to the CQD position at 5am that morning, why didn't Rostron see her bearing about W x N?
2. If Mount Temple moved south then back to the north between 5 am and 7 am, why is it that not one single witness in lifeboats or on Carpathia ever noticed a 4 masted, coal-belching passenger vessel parading back and forth across their western horizon during that time?
 

Jim Currie

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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.
We don't know where the Mount Temple was at 4-30 am, Alex. Wherever it was, it was not at, even close to, the CQD position...not if she was stopped at the western edge of the ice barrier.
If Carpathia fired a rocket to a height of say 400 feet above the sea, then an observer on Mount Temple's bridge would see it right on his horizon (under normal conditions) when the two ships were separated by 31.9 miles. As the distance between the two decreased, the rockets would be seen at an increasing height above the observer's horizon as long as he stood on the same spot. Keep in mind, these vessels were on converging courses.
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Sam,

I don't know what to make of the Caronia's PV entry. I am looking as I type at page 93 of "Titanic Calling" (Hughes) and the 1.16am NYT entry "firing rockets - there - we are firing rockets", from unknown station "here look out for rockets".

I suppose we must just take this as it is, and as you pointedly remark 9 minutes earlier than Durrant's PV entry on the Mount Temple at 1.25am NYT "If you are there, we are firing rockets" from Cottam on Carpathia (1.25am NYT was 3.11am ships time Mount Temple, and 3.15 ships time on The Californian as you have pointed out elsewhere).

The problem I have with all this is in respect of Dave Gittins' paper, which proposes a very plausible error by Rostron (and perpetuated by Bissett) that Rostron's 2.40am sighting of Boxhall's first green flare seen was a mistake for 2 hours 40 minutes into the rescue run, and as a result started firing their own distress rockets around 3.15am.

The Caronia's message recorded in the PV of 9 minutes earlier than Durrant rather throws all this up in the air?

Cheers,

Julian
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Jim,

If you consider Captain Moore's first telegram which I have referenced, he states he saw the Carpathia at 6am on the 15th. This then gets put back to 6.30am.

Captain Rostron swore in an affidavit of 4th June 1912 that he never saw the Mount Temple to identify her.

I, myself, consider this to be typical of Rostron, not wanting to implicate anyone, same as he did for Captain Lord, not identifying The Californian till 8am, yet there is substantial hearsay evidence that his other officers held a very different view of an earlier sighting.

Rostron's stance seems perverse now, but having had glory and fortune heaped upon him, he was doing his best IMHO for those fellow Captains of the British Merchant Navy who were not so fortunate or lucky, especially in Captain Lord's case.

Cheers,

Julian
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Julian,

I don't think anyone was being very precise in giving times or reported distances. If my memory serves me correctly, Moore said at the Senate inquiry that it was about 6am when he sighted Carpathia and noticed what turned out to be Californian crossing the ice from east to west. Lord said he started to cross the ice at 6 and cleared it about 6:30 having traveled about 2 to 3 miles during that time. Moore stated that Californian appeared to be about as far north as Carpathia was east of him. He also said the ice was from 5 to 6 miles wide, and according Rostron, he was about 4 to 5 miles from the edge of the field at that time.

Rostron's about 5am was also not very precise, and he estimated the vessels were 7 to 8 miles off, and Lord said about 5am there was a 4-masted steamer to his SW about 8 miles off. The geometry of the situation being described is pretty simple, but treat the distances with a grain of salt.

As far as Caronia's logged PV time, that may not be far out if time on Carpathia was more like 1h 57m ahead of EST, which is what I believe, making it 3:13 ATS on Carpathia.

Cheers.
 
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Jim Currie

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Just curious, what time (relative to GMT) do think Carpathia was actually carrying? I know what Rostron told Sen. Smith, but I don't buy it.
To discover that, it is best to work in the same way as did Rostron and his men...in GMT. But first I establish an amount of clock change every day. A ship making an average of 14.5 knots heading on a course of about due east in Latitude 41 North, will require to advance her clocks by 31 minutes every day. This adjustment would be made between 10 pm and Midnight each night. Consequently, I believe that Rostron allowed for that average speed therefore Carpathia's clock change sequence would be as follows.

Day 1...Faop...2pm...1900GMT... Ambrose LV Abeam to port. 11th April.
Clocks advanced 36 minutes ( plus 5 for EST:) Run for 9 hours 26 minutes
Midnight ....04-26am GMT Day 2.....12th April.
Clocks advanced 31 minutes...Run 23 hours 29 minutes.
Midnight ....03-55 GMT Day 3...13th April
Clocks advanced 31 minutes...run 23 hours 29 minutes.
Midnight ....03-24 GMT...Day 4...14th April...
3-35 GMT...10-35 pm EST...12-21 am ship...Durrant calls Titanic and is told of the distress in progress. Takes the information to the bridge. The OOW works a DR, then the two of them go down and call Rostron.
3-44 GMT...10-44 pm EST...12-30 am ship... Rostron called and given the news.
3-49 GMT...10-49pm EST...12-35 am ship....Ship turned.
I do not think that 9 minutes from first contact until Rostron being called is excessive in any way.

As for the DR position used? It is very obvious that Rostron did not make sufficient allowance for the Gulf Stream which seems to have been running at about 1.5 knots which is not unusual in that area.

Did this in a hurry so forgive any errors.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Well I guess we differ because of the assumptions made. This is what I get. I used an average speed of 13.8 knots which is just under Bissett's 14 knots to get from 73° 50'W 14:02 11 Apr EST to 49° 13'W at 22:38 14 Apr EST.
That's 1115 nautical miles in 80h 36m, thus the 13.83 knots.
table.gif
 

Jim Currie

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Well I guess we differ because of the assumptions made. This is what I get. I used an average speed of 13.8 knots which is just under Bissett's 14 knots to get from 73° 50'W 14:02 11 Apr EST to 49° 13'W at 22:38 14 Apr EST.
That's 1115 nautical miles in 80h 36m, thus the 13.83 knots.
View attachment 44804
I agree with you vis a vis total distance but there is absolutely no doubt that Carpathia would meet with the Gulf Stream after 60 West. That is the only hard fast fact. Consequently, she would have been pushed north and eastward by it as would have been the Mount Temple.
You should not be too quick to use the departure longitude of 49-13'W since Carpathia would have made at least a mile of easting from the time that DR was calculated and during her turn to the northwestward. Nor is it correct to use average speeds when plotting Carpathia's movements unless we have details of the conditions she met with during the first 2 days, as wells as Rostron's initial speed.

Consider the following based on your work:

Time of departure = 11d 19h. 00 GMT.
Run Time 3d 8h. 36
Your Turn position: 15d 03h.36 am GMT... Ship time 12-22 am.
First contact with T. 15d 03h 35 am GMT...Ship time 12-21 am. (PV Mount Temple)
Carpathia turned .....15d 03h 41 am GMT...Ship time..12-35 am.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Based on my work:

Time of departure = 11d 19h. 00 GMT.
Run Time 3d 8h. 36
Turn position: 15d 03h. 36 am GMT... Ship time 12-35 am.
First contact with T. 15d 03h. 35 am GMT...Ship time 12-32 am. (PV Mount Temple)
Carpathia turned .....15d 03h. 38 am GMT...Ship time..12-35 am.

Projected lon. at LAN for 15 Apr was 45° 44'W at 15:03 GMT. Clocks were 3h 03m behind GMT.
 

Jim Currie

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Based on my work:

Time of departure = 11d 19h. 00 GMT.
Run Time 3d 8h. 36
Turn position: 15d 03h. 36 am GMT... Ship time 12-35 am.
First contact with T. 15d 03h. 35 am GMT...Ship time 12-32 am. (PV Mount Temple)
Carpathia turned .....15d 03h. 38 am GMT...Ship time..12-35 am.

Projected lon. at LAN for 15 Apr was 45° 44'W at 15:03 GMT. Clocks were 3h 03m behind GMT.
As I have pointed out to you before, mariners did not think in Standard times. They used a difference between New York and GMT of 4 hours 55 minutes, not 5 hours.
I suggest to you that when Rostron was giving the following information, "The New York time at 12:35 was 10:45 p. m. Sunday night."
He was talking about a difference between ship time and New York Time as shown here:
NYT 2019-06-26 001.jpg


If he was, it would explain a great deal. Let's see how it works.

Ship time Noon 15th expected to be 1hr 50 minutes FAST of New York Time. New York Time 4 hours 55 minutes SLOW of GMT therefore equivalent GMT at Noon April 15 - 4 hrs 55 min minus 1 hr 50 min = 3 hrs 05 minutes. Equivalent Noon Longitude would be 46-15'W.

That gives a total steaming time of 92 hours 5 minutes and an average speed of 13.6knots

It also means that Carpathia's clocks were 1 hour 55 minutes FAST of EST. This, in turn, means that when it was 12-35 am on Rostron's clock, the equivalent EST New York Time was 10-40 pm...that was 5 minutes after the distress signal was received by Carpathia's Operator.

However, if Rostron was running at 13 knots until he reached 60West, then his average speed would increase to over 14 knots with the Gulf Stream.

By the way, the above tables were in use right up to 1947.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Rostron was fully aware of what was asked of him. He also knew that NY was carrying time for the 75th meridian west longitude, and did so since the early 1880s. That table shows LMT for the ambrose lightship, not the time carried on clocks in New York, Boston, or any other location on the east coast of the US and Canada. That table you show is practically useless.
Now as far as where Carpathia would have been at LAN on April 15th, her DR position for when she turned around was at 49° 13'W. This was based on working the given evidence that Carpathia was calculated by Rostron to be 58 miles and bearing S52°E true from the SOS position which was 41° 46'N, 50° 14'W. Apparent time on Carpathia was 12:35am, a time that would have be such that when her clocks reached 12:00pm some 11 hours 25 minutes later, it would have corresponded to local apparent noon. At a reported speed of 14 knots, Carpathia would have covered a distance of about 160 miles. She was heading eastward on the GC to Gibraltar. Down in latitude 41° 10'N, each mile eastward is loss of 1.33' in longitude, or 160*1.33 = 212' = 3° 32' from 49° 13'W yielding a longitude for LAN at:
45° 41'W. LAN at 45° 41'W on 15 April came at 15:03 GMT, which means Carpathia clocks were set at midnight for 3 hours 3 minutes behind GMT.
If she had not turned around for SOS position when she did, she would have discovered that she was running ahead of the DR when a longitude site of the sun would be taken in the forenoon, and any correction to the time would be done at that time. If you work the same problem assuming a speed 15.5 knots, then LAN would have been at 45° 17'W, and clocks adjusted to be 3h 01m behind GMT.
 

Julian Atkins

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I am very grateful for Sam and Jim discussing the niceties of the navigation.

I forget exactly what was said at the time but I think Rostron said that Boxhall's CQD position was excellent, and Boxhall said Rostron told him it was splendid.

As we know now, this was far from the truth, but it probably didn't matter at the time, and Captain Moore and Captain Lord questioning Boxhall's CQD was overlooked.

If the Carpathia steamed to the "CQD" and found the lifeboats, and latter a bit of wreckage, and rescued the survivors, then at the time lots of things were overlooked or not considered properly.

I tend to give Captain Moore the benefit of the doubt, though there are questions to be validly asked. Both Captain Moore and Captain Lord got to Boxhall's CQD, sort of, and it was both clear to both that Titanic must have sunk on the other eastern side of the ice field...

1. Because they saw no wreckage when they were in the vicinity of Boxhall's CQD position

2. They both could see the Carpathia on the eastern side of the ice field which by wireless information and actual observation apparently in the case of The Californian and signals with The Californian the Carpathia had picked up lifeboats that side of the ice.

3. Both assumed, especially Captain Moore, that Titanic could not have crossed the icefield without mortal damage and sinking - which is a bit odd as Captain Lord did this twice that morning.

4. Ergo, and not explicitely stated, there was no way the lifeboats could cross from the western side of the icefield to the eastern side where the Carpathia was picking them up as seen and reported via wireless!

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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I forget exactly what was said at the time but I think Rostron said that Boxhall's CQD position was excellent, and Boxhall said Rostron told him it was splendid.
And that Julian is why everything Rostron said or Boxhall were taken as Gospel truth. Both were wrong about the distress position, both were wrong about the times in GMT when Titanic struck ice and when she founded, and Rostron was mistaken about the time, expressed in NY time, when he was told about the CQD call by Evans.

At the US Senate Investigation into the Titanic disaster, Capt. Rostron said that he received the distress message from Harold Cottam at 12:35 a.m., Monday, April 15, 1912. He also explained that 12:35 was Apparent time and asked if the Senators would rather have it in New York time. He then said, “The New York time at 12:35 was 10:45 p.m. Sunday night.” Harold Cottom was asked at the Senate Investigation how much time elapsed between the time when he received the distress call and the time he communicated it to his captain. His answer was, “A matter of a couple of minutes.” He was then asked, “Only a couple of minutes?” to which he replied, “Yes, sir.”

Rostron said: “The wireless operator had taken the message and run with it up to the bridge, and gave it to the first officer [Dean] who was in charge, with a junior officer with him, and both ran down the ladder to my door and called me. I had only just turned in. It was an urgent distress signal from the Titanic, requiring immediate assistance and giving me his position. The position of the Titanic at the time was 41° 46’ north, 50° 14’ west…Immediately on getting the message, I gave the order to turn the ship around, ..."

Clearly there was very little time between the receiving of the distress call and when Rostron was notified. We know that Carpathia received the CQD at 10:35pm NY time. If Rostron was correct about the difference between his ship's time and NY time, it would have been a full 10 minutes before he was told of that Cottom received a CQD. Based on what I showed above, the the difference between Carpathia time and NY time would have 1 hour and 57 minutes. So when it was 12:35 Carpathia, the time Rostron was told about the CQD, it was 10:38pm NY, three minutes after the message was received.