Spot the Difference


Jim Currie

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OK! My last effort fell on barren ground. here's another for the photograph buffs.

Some of you may know that I have a Bee.jpg In my hat.jpg about certain Titanic photographs. In fact, I have fallen-foul of some because of that little insect. So instead of me pontification (which I often do). Here's a series of well known Titanic photographs:

(1)Sailing day1.jpg

(2)Leaving Southapton.jpg

(3)Sailing day 2.jpg

(4)titanic_departing_southampton_dock.jpg

(1) was taken from the High level, mobile passenger gangway seen in photograph 3. It was was not in use.
(2) was taken by a shore-based photographer.
(3) was taken by Father Browne from (possibly) the aft end of Titanic's promenade deck
(4) was taken from the cargo crane seen on the extreme right of photograph (3).

The last three of these photographs were alleged to have been taken within a time frame of about 10 minutes. Have a very close look at each one and let me know what you think. To help you, I suggest you look up the weather conditions prevailing during that 10 minute period.

Jim C.

Bee.jpg


hat.jpg


Sailing day1.jpg


Leaving Southapton.jpg


Sailing day 2.jpg


titanic_departing_southampton_dock.jpg
 
Mar 22, 2003
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No takers so far?

The last photo (4) had to be taken after they secured the New York around the other side of the quay. The Ocean Dock pier where Titanic had been berthed is on a line that runs about 015° to 195° true. At 12:15 on 10 April 1912, when the ship left the pier according to Pitman, the sun was at Az=183° and at an Alt=47°. Shadows were making a fairly sharp angle relative to the pier. You can see this in (3) which was taken by Father Browne. In photo (4) the shadows are pointing inward away from the water which meant that the picture was taken some ti later. The first photo (1) was taken well before noon as the shadows point toward the water. There are no apparent shadows that I could see in (2). The sun could have been clouded over at that time. It would have been a little before (3) was taken as the ship still had a single line attached at the bow.
 
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I've seen photo (1) before, it was suggested (not said with certainty) that Father Browne took this picture.

(2) is very well-known.

(3) and (4) were new to me. Do you also have (4) without the circle and note? I would like to add these to the Titanic wikia.
 

Jim Currie

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Actually. I now remember that it was not Father Browne who took photograph (3) but a lady passenger whose name escapes me for the moment.

Here's a mock-up of the weather that day provided by the UK Met Office:

"After a dry night with clear spells, the morning dawned fine with some good spells of sunshine. Similar conditions, dry
with sunny spells and patchy fair weather cloud, then continued for the rest of the day.
Despite the sunshine it was a chilly day with a cool northwesterly wind. Maximum Temperature/°C: 11.7
Minimum Temperature/°C: 4.4
Rainfall Amount/mm: 0.0
After a dry night with clear spells, the morning dawned fine
with some good spells of sunshine. Similar conditions, dry
with sunny spells and patchy fair weather cloud, then
continued for the rest of the day.
Despite the sunshine it was a chilly day with a cool northwesterly
wind. Sunshine Amount/hours: 7.7


Now here's the same pictures but with a few bits and pieces I've added by by way of observations.

View attachment 1628

As you note Sam, the shadows in the above photograph are sharp. However, From the Official Plans of the dock, berths 43 and 44 are orientated 282-102 True. This means that the 1st Class gangway in use in the picture is orientated 012-192 True. If it was much before Noon, the white dodger on that gangway which faced west would be completely in shadow. In fact, if you look closely you can see that all but the last inboard foot or so is in brilliant sunshine. My guess is that No.1 was taken very close to Noon. Also note the large crowd of well-wishers which includes ladies in long dresses one of which is almost white. Now have another look at (2).

Leaving Southapton.jpg


As you observe, there is absolutely no sunshine yet the UK Met Office reported that there was a total of 7.5 hours of sunshine at Southampton that day.
There are about 30 men on the quayside and not a single woman in sight. In 1912 an right up until 1960s, senior management and foremen in the shipping and shipbuilding industry wore bowler hats as a badge of office. Now look at the men in the photograph.. My guess is that all of these are associated with the builders or with the Southampton Port Authority. One is most certainly the berthing master( bowler hat and megaphone). Another, with the officer's cap is most likely the Southampton Harbour Master. Some are line handlers. For proof of this, look to the immediate right of the Harbour Master. You can see this better with a zoom-in, but it shows two men in the background handling a line from the Titanic. The eye of the line is not over a quayside bollard as it would be if it was being let-go. Instead, it is being manhandled. It is a bow line since it is led through the aftermost lead on Titanic's forward set of forecastle leads.
Up on Titanic's fore-castle-head, we can see the Chief officer and probably the Bosun right forward. There are two distinct knots of men on the forecastle. Two men are bent over the forar'd set of port side bitts, while 6 men are at the aft set of port side bitts. Five of the latter group seem not to be doing anything while one seems to be tending the the port shoulder capstan.
When letting go a mooring line, it is first slackened down fully from the mooring bitts then let go completely slack so that the quayside end and ship ends are hanging down vertically. This allows those on the quayside to cast it off the bollard with ease. Once it is cast-off the quay-side, the ship-board end is stoppered-off to prevent it running out under its own weight. The the rope is moved to the capstan for retrieving inboard. If the rope seen in the above picture was being let go, it would be hanging down from the ship and the quay. It would be completely slack and the eye would be on a quayside bollard. However, the rope in the above scene is being handled on the quay, the eye is not on a bollard nor is it visible in the dock. There is 'weight' on the rope. i.e. it has catenary. The men on the quay side are pulling that rope ashore, not letting it go.
The gentleman sitting on the balk of timber is beside a dock side maintenance crane. Both are situated adjacent to the third sack-handling gibbet on shed 43. Since the open door at the seaward end of the cargo shed on berth 44 and the space shed 43 and 44 can clearly be seen from where the man is sitting, it is obvious that that photograph was not taken from the seaward end of berth 43. but probably from a spot about 1/3rd from the seaward end of that quay.
At the shore end of Shed 43, the end nearest shed 44 , there is a large tarpaulin draped over the windows of the passenger gallery between the last and second last sack-handling gibbet on the end of shed 43 nearest to shed 44. Now for picture 3.

Sailing day 2.jpg

Once again the sun is shining very strongly. If picture (2) is part of the letting go sequence then it was taken a matter of minutes before picture 3 was taken. If (2) was taken on April 10, then there must have been a very large cloud over the sun for a few minutes when it was taken. However, apart from the man on the dock crane and the position of these cranes, this picture has little in common with (2). I think the man on the dock crane is the photographer who took picture (4). I have ringed the lady in the white dress. Now for picture (4).

View attachment 1631

The sun is still splitting the heavens in this one.
Now the tarpauline between gibbets 1 and 2 on shed 43 has vanished an in its place we see a man wearing a straw boater, There is now a tarpauline covering the windows at the other end of that shed.
Further more, the dock maintenance crane seen in picture (2) is now at the seaward end of berth 43, not adjacent to the last but one gibbet as it as in photograph (2)

Having carefully looked over these pictures until my eyeballs pop. I am now, more than ever, convinced that photograph (2) is wrongly named. I think what we are seeing is not the last but the first rope from Titanic being passed ashore at about 6 am on the morning of April 4th, 1912. Hence the gloom and lack of brightness seen in picture (2).
I believe that Titanic certainly berthed at The White Star Dock at Southampton at or near midnight On April 3 However, I also believe she was berthed starboard side to and bow-in when she arrived at first. That would make sense because she had to approach the berth from the river in complete darkness. The approach channel in the river was narrow and congested with mooring buoys. Not the best time or conditions in which to turn an 882 feet long ship short round. I think that she was berthed head to shore when she arrived and that at first light, the tugs turned her round and she was berthed stern to shore where she remained until sailing day om April 10.

Jim C.

Sailing day 2.jpg


Leaving Southapton.jpg


Leaving Southapton.jpg
 
J

Jack Dawson

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Hi, one of your picture attachments is broken. The link is bad.

Didn't Ken Marschall do quite a bit of research for his sailing day paintings?
 

Jim Currie

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Hello Jack!

Don't know about Ken Marshall's research. I suspect you're having problems with Pic 2.. I had the same thing but it seems to be OK now as I can open it on site. If you managed to eventually have a look, do you have any opinions about picture 2?

Hello there Dave! I thought photograph (3) was taken by Fr. Browne but Ioannis Georgiou corrected me in a post a few years ago and said it was by Mary someone or other. It's somewhere on site. Who am I to argue?

Do you have an opinion about photograph 2? If so, I'd be delighted to hear what you think.

I'm sure you known that there are some very strange "Titanic" photographs doing the rounds. Have you seen the following two and noticed the distinct difference? If so tell me what you know or think:

2- 2gether.jpg

And

Titanic and Olympic together.jpg

In both these photographs... official H & W source... Olympic has a second cargo derrick mounted on the fore part of her foremast. What happened to it?

Jim C.

2- 2gether.jpg


Titanic and Olympic together.jpg
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Actually I had no interest in coming back on this Forum but as I am here mentioned to have given false information I will just step in to correct the false statement.

This photo of Titanic leaving her dock has now been discussed about how much? 7 or 8 times or more, not only here on the ET Forum but also on FB. I see no point to go over all the stuff again. So I will make it short! Photo 3 was taken by Francis Browne and I NEVER said something different.

To solve some of the "mystery" here, it has been already pointed out several times not only here but also on Facebook:

Photos Nos. 1, 2 & 3 were taken all on April 10th 1912.
Photos Nos. 1 & 3 were taken by Francis Browne (who become later Father Browne).

Photo No. 4 is NOT Titanic!!!
As it has been told to Mr. Currie on FB when he first posted it there and mentioned to him at last 3 times, it is actually a picture of the OLYMPIC which was changed by Ken Marschall into TITANIC. This was used in the book "Ghost of the Abyss".
I think a original print of that Olympic photo is at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

With that said I am done here.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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>>From the Official Plans of the dock, berths 43 and 44 are orientated 282-102 True. <<

I don't know where you get your information from, but the berth where Titanic was docked is oriented, more or less, as I pointed out above. Noontime shadows would have been running almost parallel to the dock as I also pointed out above. The shadows in photo 4 are pointing well inward away from the water which would have been several hours after a noontime departure if that were Titanic on 10 April, 1912 in that picture. Ioannis' explanation about photo 4 explains why those shadows in that picture do not make sense. Photo 1 was taken about 10:45am if I had to guess based on the direction of the shadows.
Ocean dock.jpg

Ocean dock.jpg
 
Nov 13, 2014
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You were right Ioannis, look what I found!
tumblr_mp54z0HqQL1qgen3wo1_500.jpg
It's the original image of the ship leaving Southampton, you can clearly see it's the Olympic before her refit, because I counted 4 port aft lifeboats.

tumblr_mp54z0HqQL1qgen3wo1_500.jpg
 
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I think it is a bit unfair against the others who might have missed the seemingly not ending "discussion" between Mr. Currie and myself about this departure picture so I thought to post these few images. Most of the information about the dock, time, photographer, weather condition etc and most of these pictures I am posting, especially the departure ones, were already pointed out to Mr. Currie here on the ET Forum and on Facebook by others and myself.
For copyright reasons I am not posting the full pictures and have also added the source. I think everybody can here now see and make out for himself how the weather condition was about sailing time. Because of the near collision with the New York she left 1 hour later and photographs taken from that time show still clouds in the sky with holes where the sun is shining.

On Deck sailing day.jpg


leaving.jpg
 
Mar 18, 2008
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You were right Ioannis, look what I found!
View attachment 1639
It's the original image of the ship leaving Southampton, you can clearly see it's the Olympic before her refit, because I counted 4 port aft lifeboats.

Yes that is the one. From what I know the photograph was taken on 24 April 1912, the voyage was then cancelled because of the firemen strike.
Unfortunately it seems the page of the National Museum Northern Ireland has undergo an update and the picture files has change, so I can not find this one there at the moment. The same picture was published in 1912 in the Daily Mirror and Illustrated London News which reported about the extra boats on Olympic and the firemen strike.
 

Jim Currie

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It's amazing what a little stirring of the bottom will bring up.:D Now we have some action.

Let's begin by pointing out that the photographs I offered are presented by others (not me}as being of Titanic leaving Southampton on the 10th April. 1912.

We have Ioannis via jungle telegraph reminding us that the very last picture is of Olympic, not Titanic. So thanks to him, we already have exposed at least one fake among the gems. That leaves us with the first three: (1), (2), (3).

. Ioannis, write "So I will make it short! Photo 3 was taken by Francis Browne and I NEVER said something different."

Oh yes you did! I remind you of your post #19 of 4th July, 2014 on ET, when you you corrected me as follows:

"Oh and before I forget, regarding Beesley and the people waving farewell when she start to move, here a photo taken by 1st class passenger May Odell from the Titanic looking back.

If you do not still have that picture in your file, here's my copy of it

Sailing day 2.jpg

Are there two such photographs? OK! I wrote "Mary" instead of "May"... A rose by any other name?

We all have lapses of memory. No big deal!

I take it, if you're still there, that you completely discount the line handlers in photograph 2? If you are, and you think they are not line handlers, then what are they. On the other hand, if they ARE line handlers; what do you think they are doing with that head line of Titanic?

Sam: In your first post on this thread you wrote:

"The Ocean Dock pier where Titanic had been berthed is on a line that runs about 015° to 195° true"
.

That is correct.

You ask :"I don't know where you get your information from"

From the Civil Engineer's plans, Sam. I printed a copy and enlarged it then used the compass on the plan. The mistake I made was in assuming that the page was as in most modern CE plans, North-up. In fact it is West-up.
We can discuss the finer points of sun-cast shadows until Noon that day but that would be a time-wasting exercise since I'm not arguing that picture (1) is not one of Titanic taken on April 10.
It's picture (2) which gives me concern and which goes against my gut feeling. To me it is of a vessel berthing not leaving the berth. There is and was a recognised procedure for both; the latter is not evident in that picture. I would rather see your answer to the same question I put to Ioannis regarding the line handlers in that photograph. If the ship in that picture was leaving, there would be no need to carry a head line along the quay. Keeping her head to the quay would not be a requirement given the conditions. In fact, the bow tug is keeping her head off the quay. In the prevailing wind, a bow line would be superfluous. Don't take my word for it - ask Charlie Weeks or any of the other professionals at the Academy. Or for that matter, ask a practicing docking master or Pilot. I have already done so and in every case they see what I see.

In the meantime, I would also like to know how they managed to turn that ship in the narrow channel of the congested river Test in the pitch darkness that prevailed at midnight on April 3?

As a matter of further interest, most subsequent pictures of vessels alongside the White Star show then bow-in.

Jim C.

Sailing day 2.jpg
 
Mar 18, 2008
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. Ioannis, write "So I will make it short! Photo 3 was taken by Francis Browne and I NEVER said something different."

Oh yes you did! I remind you of your post #19 of 4th July, 2014 on ET, when you you corrected me as follows:

"Oh and before I forget, regarding Beesley and the people waving farewell when she start to move, here a photo taken by 1st class passenger May Odell from the Titanic looking back.

If you do not still have that picture in your file, here's my copy of it

View attachment 1646

Are there two such photographs? OK! I wrote "Mary" instead of "May"... A rose by any other name?

We all have lapses of memory. No big deal!


Really Mr. Currie? Are we starting now that way?

Then why did you not post the link for it? One moment here is the link and here my post #25
"I just noticed that I had posted the wrong photo. Instead of the Odell photo I posted one again from Browne. But that does not matter as his photo is much better and show the crowd at the pier."

Coming alongside or getting underway?

And by the way one of the images I have posted was this one where you can see and read that I wrote Browne. And even it was pointed out to you several times it is from 1912 it was you who was coming up with this one trying to "proof" it is from later.

So please keep it right and don't claim things which are not true.

2015-11-24 at 17-00-17.jpg


Browne 3.jpg
 

Jim Currie

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Ioannis, you really must resist the temptation to be confrontational. Being on this site and taking part is supposed to be an enjoyable experience.

I started this thread in the hope that I might create an interest and liven things up a bit. You left the site some time ago.

In my post of Nov., 23rd, I was responding to a post by Dave Gittings - not to you.

I remind you and everyone else that by your final post #33 on the subject on 11th July, 2014, you announced to the World that you washed your hands of the whole thing I therefore assumed that you had the better things to do you took great pains to advise me of.

From memory, I quoted Dave Gittings a bit of information you pointed out to me. I accepted your information in good faith, that's why I gave you the credit for naming the lady in question.

Since I cannot remember every single post that passed between us on this subject and since you felt it necessary to jump back in and make a statement which implied that somehow my memory was playing tricks with me, or that I was fabricating something, I searched the archives of this site. Lo and behold! I discovered your post #19 of 4th of July. 1914 in which you corrected me on a point re Lawrence Beesley. I was relieved to discover that although not quite senile yet, my memory was not failing me. I attempted to paste the entire post but I could not open the attachment. I therefore attached my copy of the same photograph.
You now refer to your post #25 of July,7, 2014 in which you corrected yourself. However that post was a two-line afterthought which did not contain any reference to a previous post except the names Browne and Odell. I have a good memory Ioannis, but it's not THAT good.

Now I'm hoping not to get you mad once more.:cool: But I need some more answers.

In your post yesterday, you attached
I can only see 3 views.
You write:

" I think everybody can here now see and make out for himself how the weather condition was about sailing time. ."


No one disputes the weather conditions. There are very good records at the UK Met Office which tell us these conditions. These photograph show a ship being 'canted' down stream in a river channel. I don't expect you to know the term nor do I scorn you for not knowing. What they do show very clearly, is how difficult it was to turn even a twin screw 882+ feet long vessel like Titanic off the entrance to the White Star Dock. Can you imagine how much more difficult that exercise would have been in pitch darkness and with a berth restricted in width due to three vessels moored abreast across an unlit dock?

Perhaps you are unaware of it but in 1912, photographers seldom if ever took black and white photographs into the sun if they could help it. Since the sun was about 45 degrees above the horizon and in the general direction of Titanic when these photographs were taken; the reason for that is very clear. If they did so, they got the quality of picture seen in your dark, brooding images.
It was normal, even after WW2 for photographers to take pictures with their back to the sun. Otherwise, they had to use a lense filter. Professionals used these all the time. The result was as we see in your pictures. No Sun and extremely stark, black shadows.

She sailed or left 1 hour later? Explain.

Oh by the way, if you have not been totally engulfed by boredom and once more left the scene, perhaps you will do me the courtesy and answer my question about the line handlers?

Jim C.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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>>Can you imagine how much more difficult that exercise would have been in pitch darkness...<<
Just two nights after full moon. I would not call that "pitch dark."
If you look carefully at photos 2 and 3 you can see what appears to be the same chap near the top of the southernmost crane platform in the exact same pose. Somehow I don't think he was there since the ship first arrived.
 
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From memory, I quoted Dave Gittings a bit of information you pointed out to me. I accepted your information in good faith, that's why I gave you the credit for naming the lady in question.

Since I cannot remember every single post that passed between us on this subject and since you felt it necessary to jump back in and make a statement which implied that somehow my memory was playing tricks with me, or that I was fabricating something, I searched the archives of this site. Lo and behold! I discovered your post #19 of 4th of July. 1914 in which you corrected me on a point re Lawrence Beesley. I was relieved to discover that although not quite senile yet, my memory was not failing me. I attempted to paste the entire post but I could not open the attachment. I therefore attached my copy of the same photograph.

No Mr. Currie, you claim that I gave you wrong information, that I have "corrected" you that the photo was taken by Odell which was actually Browne. You also said above (I do not think I made a post on 4th July 1914) you attached your copy of the same photograph.

You can not open the photo in question I have "corrected" you in my posting No. 19 on 4th July 2014? Here is a link and also the attachment.

This is my correction from post No. 18 4th July 2014 about your "Beesley photo" post No. 16 3rd July 2014.
"The coloured departure photo you posted was taken and the end of pier 38. The bow on the right side by the way is that of the Oceanic."

I must be missing the part where I "corrected" you giving you false information. In my post No. 19 I posted a "new" photo to show you the people on the docks of which I noticed in post No. 25 (it seems at that point I must have talked with myself) that instead of the Odell I posted a Bronwe photo. It was me who posted that photo first as I can not see it among the pictures you have posted before my post No. 19.
But interesting of all the parts and even in other discussions it was pointed out that the one photo is from Browne you stuck with the Odell (or as you try on Facebook, show to proof it is from 1930 because you find it in a magazine as I posted above).

But who I am to argue with Mr. Currie!

Titanic farewell.jpg
 
Mar 18, 2008
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>>Can you imagine how much more difficult that exercise would have been in pitch darkness...<<
Just two nights after full moon. I would not call that "pitch dark."

Right Sam! And aside from that, the ship was fully lit, arc lamps hoisted up and the docks were also lit.

So if the Titanic was docked bow first as Mr. Currie claims and turned on the morning at 6 o'clock, why no one mentioned that? Why is there no entry in the harbour logs? Why no entry in the log book for the tugs and especially payment for the tugs? Did Pilot Bowyer lied when he said they turned the ship and docked it stern first? Did the photographer lied to have taken this (and another photographer who took a similar one) to have took that on 10th April 1912 for what reason?

(Edit) I forgot to put 2 more people on the list for not telling the truth. Photographer Symes who claimed to have took that photograph I have attached here in the early hours of April 4th and 4th Officer Boxhall who confirmed that as he send later that day a postcard with that photo confirming what Symes said. There were other photographers there but I guess they also did not told the truth or were mistaken which day it was.

Olympic had docked several times bow first and was never turned before she left. There must have been something special about Titanic that she was "secretly" turned. "Secretly" because it seems everybody was wrong or did not told the truth going by what Mr. Currie said.

titanic_dock_large.jpg
 
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I do not want to post all details as it is still a project of mine and see no reason to share something I spend time and money before I publish it.
However April 4th 1912 between 5 and 7 o'clock the tugs had been already busy with other ships arriving or leaving Southampton among them "Arno" "Garth Castle" and "Normania".

So how did they manage to find the time to turn the Titanic?

But don't take my word as I am giving only false information!

I think I have now shared enough information (especially since 2014)... Time for others to jump in.
 

Jim Currie

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Hello Sam.

"just two nights after full moon. I would not call that "pitch dark."

OK! Dark? In fact, the full moon was still rising when Titanic arrived, if she did so at midnight. I don't have an almanac so don't know the Moon's declination but it seems to have been a little over halfway between a standstill. Apart from the possibility of a very low altitude, any cloud around would create horrendous visibility problems. If you have ever approached an anchorage in such conditions, you'll know exactly what I'm getting at. Incidentally, the official arrival time has always been Midnight. What was that official time of arrival.. was it end of passage or finished with engines?

"if you look carefully at photos 2 and 3 you can see what appears to be the same chap near the top of the southernmost crane platform in the exact same pose. Somehow i don't think he was there since the ship first arrived."

Perhaps he was a crane driver Sam. In both pictures he seems to be looking toward the head of the dock. He is doing so while everyone else is admiring the departing Titanic. He is position on the NE corner of the driver's walkway, not parallel with the quayside as everyone else is. A crane would be on standby both for arrival and departure. A member of the public would most certainly not have been allowed up there.

There are about 20 easily identifiable men in the group beyond the seated man. Of these 4 are senior officials. With the exception of one man, the rest are dressed as workmen. There is not one single well-dressed person in sight. Contrast this with the well-dressed mob seen in pictures 3 which if 2 Is pat of the departure sequence should have been highly visible. Additionally, you still have not given me your opinion of the line handlers clearly seen in 2.
 

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