Specifics of the Breakup


Mar 3, 1998
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Steve,

Given our past correspondence, no one was more surprised than me by your acidic comments regarding TFM:MP and whatever else we might have in the works. Maybe I am a little sensitive because all I have ever heard about the show is, "Why are those guys on TV...they don't know the ship like WE do." Regardless, since we have never met in person, I can only judge you by your words. I took your most recent comments to be a surprising change in heart.

I'm going to take a break from posting, too. Michael, the discussion is all yours.

Parks
 
Apr 20, 2007
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quote:

First, welcome to the board. Nice to have you here.
Thanks for welcoming me, Mark.
Ok, Wow, great! Thank you, Mark, also for showing me how to quote. This is great.

Yeah, Rojer Long said on the documentary is that on the wreck there is evidence that the decks were smashed and pressed together... Like, imagine holding the Titanic model, which has the break in the intended place--- on both opposite ends (bow and stern) and applying preasure on it inward, towards the center (like trying to create a "v" shape).

When the Titanic stern stood out of the water (Rojer claims that in a less steep angle than previously considered), the more-than-half submerged bow section (forward section of the break)-- at one point, came to create a shape of a very "open v"--- meaning that the bow-peak in the water was actually raised a bit when under water...

All this applied immense preasure, and in a way served to LOCALIZE it, on the keel plate (or double bottom) at the base of the "break-up"--- which in the end, gave way--- and when torn/broken, "released" the bow section to plunge into the ocean.

I wish I could have somehow shown to you, the Computer simulation they showed on that Doc...

In a way, it's not 'that' different or overly contradicting the previous views and conclusions of Cameron or Ballard--- The "break-up" is there and everything is quite similar except the differing view about angles, the shape of the "breakup", and how both sections of the breakup 'acted' with each other, prior to the sinking--- which mainly effected the bottom keel plates of the structure.​
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Solomon,

You're certainly welcome.
smile.gif
. As a matter of fact, go HERE for the whole series of formatting functions. I think you'll find them very fun and enlightening.

As for the Rojer Long documentary, I fear that I haven't seen it, so I am unable to comment on it at this time. As the discussion goes, however, the secret to where, when, why, and how the ship broke up lies in the series of boiler rooms--not one, but all of them. What I mean by that, however, is that no one boiler room takes the credit for the break; they all worked together to lead up to it. In order to figure out the entire picture, however, we have to determine what happened in each boiler room and at which point during the sinking. Without this information, we will have gaps.


quote:

The "break-up" is there and everything is quite similar except the differing view about angles, the shape of the "breakup", and how both sections of the breakup 'acted' with each other, prior to the sinking--- which mainly effected the bottom keel plates of the structure.

Well, the thing is, though, that angles and the "shape" play an instrumental part in understanding the breakup, so please don't trivialize them too much. It's important to know on which points need primary focus, but we should remember that many factors played a part and have to be counted to paint that picture.

As for the "shape" of the break, the wreck itself tells us what that is; by looking at the wreck, studying it, we know. I devised a list two years ago that included every single room and area, on every deck, involved in the break. There were quite a few, but I had to cross-reference pictures of the wreck with the blue prints to ascertain the areas of which that list comprised, and the size, shape, and measurements of that broken up area of the ship was central in completing the list.​
 
Mar 22, 2003
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There seems to be quite a bit of assumptions being made here concerning what happened and in what sequence. One is BR 4 was abandoned before Barrett left BR 5. Another is that the water seen in BR 4 came from damage somewhere due to the collision or stresses imposed because of the flooding intake. Both assumptions may be wrong.

Consider the following: Water was seen flowing down from E deck onto F deck on the starboard side just ahead of the No. 2 funnel casing by two different people about the time that the 1st lifeboat No. 7 was being launched. That was about 12:45 AM. The ship still carried a slight heel to starboard at that time. When Barrett left BR 5 he saw water coming from forward of him on E deck by the escape. Barrett estimated it was about 1:10 AM when he came out of BR 5. When Cavell left BR 4 with water 1 foot over the plates he did not notice any water on E deck. When got up to A deck only boats 13 and 15 were left loading on the port side. Barrett got into 13. Dillon left BR 4 just as water was first seen coming over plates. He estimated it was about 1 hr 40 min post collision (1:20 AM).

I will say no more.
 
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Matt Pereira

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Parks, I agree. Need to do more exploration. I havent bought those dvd`s off ebay, mainly because i wanted the full show or both shows or what ever they did that was shown on tv. Never got a chance to see it and even with them showing reruns of it, cant catch it without access to the channel.

I took a look at your sinking diagram`s and I have to admit look very convicing. I made some of my own just using the profile blueprint of Olympic i found online back in 2005/2006, but i doubt their anywheres close to what happened.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Colour me confused over the apparant sudden acrimony here, but perhaps were all over reacting on some level here.

Keep in mind that with the written word, we can't see the nuances of expression that we would see in a face to face conversation so it's easy...all too easy...to misinterpret somebody's intent. I don't see any reason for anyone to leave the forum because of that.

Steve Hall and Parks Stephenson rank among the finest researchers in the Titanic Community and I've come to think of both of them as friends. I'd hate to see either one of them leave for any reason. Both are valued members of the forum and we're all the wiser for their insights. If we don't always agree, well, that just goes with the territory.

On the matter of the breakup, I think we may be putting the cart before the horse if we look for any one thing to point at as the cause. The chain of events started with the interaction with the iceberg and ended with the ship breaking up as she made that final plunge. There were a lot of dynamics at work from the first which led to the last. Samuel could be right about the assumptions, Parks could be right, or both on some level could be on to something.

Likewise, something new could come up that may well have us all going back to Square One and completely rethinking everything. With Titanic, very little can truly be said to be set in stone.

The possibility of a progrsssive structural failure is one that occured to me for the first time back at the Topeka gathering and I'm of the opinion that on some level, this was a big part of what happened. Regardless of how the water got into BR#4, this only served to aggravate things. When you have the structural integrity of the hull girder compromised and you're throwing in differential flooding while lifting ten thousand tons of the ship's mass out of the water, the consequences aren't going to be pleasant, and they weren't.
 
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Matt Pereira

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A theory is good, then something new comes to light that shatters that theory and a new theory is supported. How it always goes. I cant comment on how water was getting into BR#4 still need to get caught up and somehow get a copy of that discovery channel Titanic live rebroadcast if there still going on.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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MATT: I, too, would like a copy, if I can ascertain the means of acquiring one.

As for theories, nothing is wrong with fostering them, as long as the facts known at the time and the principles of physics are maintained throughout. That's why we constantly ask questions.

MIKE:

quote:

On the matter of the breakup, I think we may be putting the cart before the horse if we look for any one thing to point at as the cause. The chain of events started with the interaction with the iceberg and ended with the ship breaking up as she made that final plunge. There were a lot of dynamics at work from the first which led to the last. Samuel could be right about the assumptions, Parks could be right, or both on some level could be on to something.

The thing is, though, Mike, when it came to Parks alluding to the water rising through the deck plates in BR #4, we automatically considered the entire condition because he is a respected authority involve in and aware of the details regarding that facet of the sinking. Yes, Parks could be wrong, but because he, like Samuel, knows more than we do regarding this, who are we to question it? We can sure speak opinions, but we can't necessarily say that what the authority says isn't so, especially since we aren't as aware of the given situation as the authority is. If Parks seemed to jumped at the mystery of BR #4, we assume he must have had a good reason, no? I said before that there are many contributing factors in the sinking, but I contend that the place to find out how and why the ship broke apart as it did lies in the boiler rooms, because that's where most of the action took place regarding the ingress of water and the forces that played on the structure of the ship. What actually happened there is a different story altogether.

What I am saying is this: We are pretty sure that the answers lie in the boiler rooms, but what those answers are and how they came to be remain unconfirmed. In other words: where is not the question; how, when and why are those questions to which we should not make assumptions.

This is my perspective at this point in time.​
 
Mar 22, 2003
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To clarify what I trying to get at above. I am not saying that anyone is right or wrong. I am only hoping that nobody reading this or any of the posts here goes off and jumps to conclusions about anything yet. There could be many causes for water seen in BR 4 that have nothing to do with direct damage to the ship, and then again it may have everything to do it. It is a mystery as of now. And I fully agree with Parks when he said what happened in BR 4 and 5 are not academic issues, for they may both prove to be key factors in the overall set of events that took place. I hope one day exploration of these boiler rooms will take place and that conditions down there would be such that some answers will be found. If anything, my guess is more questions will be the result than definitive answers to some of the questions we now have. That seems to always happen.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>but because he, like Samuel, knows more than we do regarding this, who are we to question it?<<

We're the people who, like Parks, Samuel, and just about everybody else on this forum, are trying to understand how and why things happened as they did. I suspect that if anyone might be dismayed by the "Who are we to question [fill in the blank]" notion, it would be Parks Stephenson himself.

Why????

Because he's been doing nothing but asking questions and coming up with possible answers which he of all people knows could be wrong!

Most all of the interested parties in this thread have been following the forensics research for years and it's not lost on me just how quickly the dynamic can change with the revelation of new evidence.

Look at what happened on that last History Channel expedition where the sections of double bottom were "found."

Well, not really found as in "New Discovery" because the existance of at least one of these sections had been known for years. What was new was somebody taking a good hard look at them and noting that the sections showed no evidence of the sort of compression damage one would expect if some of the old theories were right. One close examination and the whole picture changed!

Now, we have hints of something new and possibly important that was revealed by computer modeling that may well have us all going "Damn! Back to square one!"

Beware arguements from authority, especially when the authorities are justifiably and publicly skeptical.

>>If Parks seemed to jumped at the mystery of BR #4, we assume he must have had a good reason, no?<<

Oh I quite agree in the strongest possible terms. Parks is not the sort of chap who's inclined to shoot from the hip. He wouldn't even hint at something like this unless there was a damned fine reason for it, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the new data is. We'll have to wait awhile, (And I hope you subscribe to cable or satillite so you can see the presentation) but I think it'll be worth the wait.
 
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Matt Pereira

Guest
Michael, One thing is it is not easy to admit that you can be wrong or admit that you were wrong. Takes alot to say that. But like you said, we are all here to find out what really happened as best as we can.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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quote:

I suspect that if anyone might be dismayed by the "Who are we to question . . ." notion, it would be Parks Stephenson himself.

I guess I wouldn't doubt that. It seems as if Parks asks more questions than provides answers. Sometimes he'll do both at the same time.


quote:

What was new was somebody taking a good hard look at them and noting that the sections showed no evidence of the sort of compression damage one would expect if some of the old theories were right. One close examination and the whole picture changed!

I didn't see it, but I can believe how one little think can turn everything topsy-turvy. It's both aggravating and exciting at the same time.


quote:

Beware arguments from authority, especially when the authorities are justifiably and publicly skeptical

Ya know, I used to have that attitude in the absolute sense, but I've learned to respect authorities, even though I may not agree with them on some points and/or have my own opinions. For example, I would be the last person to question (retired) Captain Eric Wood on how to run a ship. He's had years of experience and I have none, beyond the occasional boat ride or fishing trip. In this case, telling Eric that he's wrong about commanding a ship is beyond my scope of knowledge, so I don't question it. However . . . in a case like this, when answers are not so clear, I tend to ask questions. And, yes, I would be inclined to pose those questions. It depends on the particular situation, but don't always trust authority 100% because that authority doesn't know all of the answers.


quote:

I'm looking forward to seeing what the new data is.

So am I
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quote:

(And I hope you subscribe to cable or satillite so you can see the presentation) but I think it'll be worth the wait.

Not likely under my current set of circumstances, but I look forward to hearing about it and getting the DVD if/when it comes out. I am eager to get Cameron's new one as well.


MATT:

quote:

we are all here to find out what really happened as best as we can.

Or to interpret. Yet, with more evidence emerging all of the time, theories and interpretations are either blown away or confirmed to at least some extent.

As for learning the total facts regarding the Titanic's sinking, we probably won't confirm everything, but hopefully we'll ascertain enough to fill in the gaps with a degree of confident certainty.

Also keep in mind hat the wreck is deteriorating, so we need to keep on it as much as we can now because I believe when she crumbles away, she'll take all existing forensic evidence--discovered and still unknown--with her and then it'll be gone forever. What evidence can a pile of dust provide?​
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Michael, One thing is it is not easy to admit that you can be wrong or admit that you were wrong.<<

Yes it does. For some, it's not as much a problem that you might think, especially if discerning the reality is more important to an individual then his own ego. David Brown is one such individual. I recall at a gathering listening to a conversation he was having with one of the attendees and offering up...among other things...a nice laundry list of things he'd been wrong about. He's done the same thing here on ET when finding evidence that a particular premise is mistaken.

David's approach is a lot like Thomas Edison's. He doesn't see 10,000 failures. He sees 10,000 things that we now know ain't so, and that gets us a lot closer to what is. Unfortunately, you won't find a lot of people with that kind of integrity knocking around these days.

>>I didn't see it, but I can believe how one little think can turn everything topsy-turvy.<<

Yeah, that bit with the section of double bottom changed a lot of things. If the break had been the top-down thing long believed, there should have been substantial compression damage, not a clean break. Surprise, surprise!

>>Ya know, I used to have that attitude in the absolute sense, but I've learned to respect authorities,<<

Respect is one thing, blind and uncritical acceptance "Because [fill in the blank] sez so." is quite another, because the guy who "sez so" could be mistaken on some point.

Skepticism isn't just naysaying for it's own sake, it's a method of critically evaluating information to see whether or not the evidence warrants provisional acceptance, but it's conditional upon being revised in the light of new evidence. That, by the way, is how the real experts do business. It's also the reason that scientists insist that there is no such thing as an "authority" on anything. Just people who have done a helluva lot more homework then others in a particular field of interest.

As you indicated, nobody knows all the answers. If they did, I daresay that this forum would be a mighty quiet place.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Mike,

Speaking about finding answers, some methods to conduct are better than others in certain contexts. The method employed is very important regarding the evidence we try to find and and how we attempt to search for it, and then once it is found, how we discern its significance. A particular method might be appropriate in one case, whereas the same method would not be appropriate in yet another, depending on the situation.

The breakup, as far as I can see at this point has two directions of study: left-to-right (from beginning to end) and from right-to-left (from end to beginning). In the first case, the means of studying the breakup would suggest that we start at the onset, which would be the contact between the ship's hull and the iceberg, and then go through the many stages of reactions brought on by the ingress of water up to the point of the breakup. This method seems to provide us with the cause-and-effect string that not only would eventually lead us to see what caused the breakup, but allow us to prevent gaps. In the end-to-beginning model, on the other hand, we start at the end result and then regress, or reverse the process so that we can eventually learn what started it all--the ship's contact with an iceberg. We need to need to ascertain how the break came about. Both means of evaluating the string of events is viable but not necessarily applicable. In attempting to learn and understand what happened, those looking for answers are best advised to utilize the right method.

For me, the left-to-right model would be prudent for the reasoning provided above. In order to determine how the break came about and why the breakup occurred as it had, the chain of ongoing reactions (i.e. the effects of each phase) would make it easier to understand that result. Beginning with the break, we'd start with the forensic evidence of the break itself and then analyze what kind of force(s) created it, how, and why. This method centers our attention around the target area and keeps our focus on that, but the progression of analysis is tougher because we proceed blindly, not necessarily knowing where to go or how, although we might, and quite often do, have our own ideas. We go one step back to the bow section immediately in front of the break, but where do we look and for what reasons? Not knowing and having a difficult time trying to determine these answers makes it impossible for us to move to the next step (or the previous phase, depending on how we perceive) and look for still more answers on earlier stages of the sinking, and on and on.

What I can't help wondering is whether or not our difficulty in finding or interpreting data lies not in the physical evidence itself (i.e. the wreck site) but in our approach. If we were to start at the contact point and gradually move forward, would that make finding the answers--the right answers--easier and less prone to misinterpretation?

Of course, this opens a whole other dimension of the process: discerning which type of research approach to apply and why so we can then effectively proceed to collect the data and find the right answers regarding the breakup and the sinking.

Is this more problematic, or will it ultimately make things easier?

Just a few thoughts.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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For whatever it may be worth, the finite stress analysis modeled by Gibbs and Cox was done on a beginning to end basis. It does a nice job of showing how one thing led to another and you can look at it at any point you wish. You can see a screencap of one of the images at http://home.flash.net/~rfm/BREAKUP/Breakup.html along with Roy Mengot's understanding of what the evidence pointed to at the time he put the site together.

I would point out that one of the problems with the Gibbs and Cox model...in my opinion of course...is that it only accounts for loading as water filled up the forward end of the ship and lifted the after part clear of the water. It does not, as far as I can see, take into account how the stresses might be distributed if you have signifigent damage to the double bottom and the framework because of interaction with the iceberg. Bluntly, if a part of the ship's structure cannot carry the load, another part has to.

I'm not sure I'd be wedded to any one method of looking at it when you need to look at the whole of the picture to understand cause and effect. Be it right to left, or left to right, whichever works for you, go for it.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Mike,

I acquiesce to perceive the same weakness of the Gibbs and Cox model. It merely illustrates a simple concept rather than describing any of the forces that caused it. The fact, too, that this explanation strictly pertains to what happened on the exterior shows that this model is, to use a vulgar term, "half-assed." Still, I can see what you mean about new evidence either confirming, changing, or eliminating theories. This seems not as much silly as it does erroneous in light of the many developments that have come about since this model was created.

And, yes, I see the advantages of a beginning-to-end approach, as it would naturally cover all the forces involved in the break and the sinking--forces that are necessary to understand and include in any quality analysis, especially an analysis that describes what occurred inside during the breakup, where the forces were more apparent, not to mention frightening, to anyone who should have unfortunately happened to be in that part of the ship at the time.

By the way, I have seen this before and was looking for it. Despite its shortcomings, it is very important regarding any article I were to write. I couldn't remember the web address. Thank you.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Mike,

I was just looking under Books and noticed an old 2006 post of yours in which you've mentioned the transcripts to the Mersey Wreck Commission, which I presume is also an invaluable read when it comes to Titanic. Do you have a link to that transcript? Also, I couldn't find it, nor do I remember it. Could you please provide the link to the site that features the Inquiries? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
 

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