Stanley Lord guilty as charged

Rob Lawes

Member
A while ago, we had a discussion regarding other members of the crew of the Californian and why they were never called to give evidence.

I saw today that in the famous picture of the crew outside the inquiry, apart from the ships officers and Evens, there were three others in the photograph, namely Firement G Glenn, Greaser W Thomas and Seaman W Ross.

Clearly they weren't taken of the ship and sent to the inquiry without reason so, a) I wonder why they were never called? and b) I wonder what evidence they would have given?
 

Rob Lawes

Member
Most likely Sam.

An interesting selection from the crew though. AB Ross may well have been the lookout at the time and I would have expected him to be called to the inquiry but, I wonder what the Fireman and the Greaser were there for?

Perhaps they were there to be questioned on what Gill had said?

Amusingly, I've noticed the deck boy on the crew list has the same family surname as me so who knows, it may well have been a distant relative.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Perhaps after reviewing their depositions it was decided that there didn't seem to be much more added value to calling them. Just guessing.

Or, with the British Inquiry, were some people worried that certain (uncalled) witnesses might say things that they did not necessarily want to hear? I was thinking on those lines because the British Inquiry took place over a month after the disaster and there would have been a few press interviews in the interim.
 
Steven, given your interest in mystery vessels, You might be interested in Albert Moulton Foweraker's 1913 analysis of the Californian affair based on his own research into the reported events, and his personal correspondence with Captain Lord. Part of that correspondence included having access to the April 18, 1912 written statements of 2/O Herbert Stone and Apprentice James Gibson that Lord withheld from the inquiries the year before. His analysis, which he called “A Miscarriage of Justice,” was published in consecutive issues of Nautical Magazine from April through July in 1913.

Foweraker decided on three main conclusions:
1. There were two unidentified steamers between Titanic and Californian: Steamer “X” that was observed by Californian and fired low-lying rockets or Roman candles; and Steamer “Z” which was observed by Titanic that at first approached and later turned away.
2. Titanic’s reported position was wrong since it would have placed Titanic on the western side of a thick ice barrier that ran north to south blocking her path westward.
3. Californian’s overnight position was consistent with her route to Boston, the position of the ice fields, and her 6:30am position was “indisputable” and 26 miles from where he believed was the actual disaster site.
(All of this was, of course, well before the discovery of the wreck site.)

Foweraker provided several hand drawn diagrams within his published article
showing the positions of various vessels involved and their relation to the icefield that ran more or less north to south. In fact, besides mystery vessels X and Z, Foweraker decided that there were five other mystery vessels in the vicinity of the disaster, not counting the six vessels that he did identify:
Californian, Titanic, Carpathia, Mount Temple, Frankfurt and Almerian.

I provide a summary and analysis of his Miscarriage of Justice articles in App. K of my book, Strangers on the Horizon, which includes several of his charts, including one that was attributed to Lord.

What is your considered opinion of Foweraker's analysis, Sam? What do you think he got right, got wrong, has anything changed with regards his conclusions since the Titanic's discovery in 1985, etc?

This thread seems to have exhausted itself of late, alas... but for the record, let me give my possible final opinions (and anyone feel free to correct me);

- If Titanic's bow was facing north, could the mystery vessel seen by both Titanic and Californian alike have been one and the same? It would certainly clear up one or two loose ends if so...

- If Titanic's bow was facing WNW (as I've always believed but no longer sure about, thanks to Sam, credit where its due), then by the laws of both physics and reason, the vessel seen by Californian could NOT have been Titanic, likewise Californian could not have been the vessel seen by passengers and crew of the foundering Titanic. In such a scenario, I agree with Foweraker and others that more than one mystery vessel was present in that ice field and surrounding area, and have thus remained unidentified to this day.

These two scenarios I cannot decide upon, if either are remotely accurate, and it'll take a much smarter and more qualified person than me do so with any qualitative authority.

As far as the erstwhile Captain Stanley Lord and the final analysis of his actions (or lack thereof) that night; I do believe his vessel was made an undeserved scapegoat at the two subsequent inquiries... I do not believe they could have changed a single thing about the final outcome nor (likely) saved a single life by the time they arrived on scene had Lord got Stone to waken Evans and fire up the wireless after the initial 1:15am rocket report down the whistle tube.

But the fact remains that, as Arun correctly stated, Lord was a trained and qualified and experienced professional who would have been able to waken himself almost immediately to a state of full awareness and readiness at the drop of a hat, so the 'half-asleep' argument may just have been a fallible human moment of fatigue at an unfortunate time, or Lord was trying to cover his rear (and career) from an unexpectedly ferocious blowback once word got out about Californian's role in the sinking... we'll never know.

Although he escaped official censure, Lord did deserve some of the criticism he received... it was legitimate to question why exactly he never went back on the bridge or even got his OOW Stone to see what, if anything, was being transmitted over the wireless once reports of rockets were given to him... rockets mean something on the open sea and Lord should have known the use of company signals was prohibited on the Atlantic routes by regulation.

In short; even if nothing could have been changed or anyone saved by Californian's potential immediate rescue attempt, nonetheless there is a disconnect in what Lord did and what was expected of a trained and professional mariner... he did nothing legally wrong, but fell short of what anyone would have hoped the skipper of a relatively nearby vessel would have done if that anyone was on a ship sinking beneath their very feet!

I sympathize with Lord's plight, and the man himself, but he was not blameless in this incident, and that's an aspect of this incident where my opinion has changed.

And there you go, that's my two cents for what it's worth...

As Captain Kirk once so memorably quipped, "it's been... fun".

Hailing frequencies closed.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Och! Why not? My notes and kit are still in a container at Grangemouth due to Covid. However I have been using the "hailing frequency" on this borrowed laptop. I would hate to be the one to spoil any one's fun, so here we go again:

Sam cannot know whether Foweraker was wrong or near the mark, because Sam himself does not know what happened...he, like the rest of us , can only make an intelligent guess at best.
His entire case is founded on Titanic turning to the northward after impact with the iceberg. There is no evidence that this happened , but firm evidence to the contrary...that a second helm was not given as part of the berg avoiding action.
Additionally, for these vessels to have been in sight of each other at any time, both Watches ...on Titanic and Californian ...were not only short sighted, but in one case, entirely blind. For a very simple reason...if Californian's crew saw a ship approaching, then unless they were asleep... the crew on the approaching ship could not possibly have missed seeing the Californian. There is firm evidence from Titanic's lookouts showing that the only thing sighted before impact with the iceberg was the iceberg itself.
Apart from the foregoing, Sam's "sweet and sour" witness... the one whose evidence he used to show a northward -swinging Titanic...5th Officer Lowe...torpedoes the separation distance story. Because if, a he said, he saw a red side light with the naked eye from a lit boat deck at or near to 1 am that morning, then the vessel showing that light was no more than 5 or 6 miles away. In fact any one in a lifeboat who saw a red side light before the second last rocket was fired was for absolute certainty, not seeing the Californian
I earlier used he expression "short-sighted" and did so for one reason. How else could you describe no less than all the seamen on both vessels who reported seeing a light 5 to 7 miles away when according to Sam the true separation distance was 14 miles?

Even the panel of experts advising Lord Mersey agreed to these reported separation distances although the latter suggested it was a little more...at 8 or 9 miles.

I quote from yet another experienced source... the MAIB Report:

It is in my view inconceivable that CALIFORNIAN or any other ship was within the visible horizon of TITANIC during that period; it equally follows that TITANIC cannot have been within CALIFORNIAN'S horizon.
More probably, in my view, the ship seen by CALIFORNIAN was another, unidentified, vessel."


But heck! What did these morons know about "the price of herring"? (An old expression for lack of experience and knowledge)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
I quote from yet another experienced source... the MAIB Report
"I think there can be no reasonable doubt that a current setting about south by west at something like knots existed in the area of the accident."

But then again, what did these morons know about currents or the price of herring?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
As Captain Kirk once so memorably quipped, "it's been... fun".
I have participated in this discussion long enough and now choose not to remain in a discussion that is obviously moving in endless circles. All my views, supportive evidence and detailed analyses have been documented in 556 pages of my book, StrangersOnTheHorizon, including an appendix (K) dealing with the icefields and theories of Albert Moulton Foweraker which Steven asked about. If others want to continue with the fun, have at it. If something new comes up, then I may rejoin the discussion. Who knows? But right now, I'm working on a something that doesn't involve Californian which has been brought up a number of times on this forum and in FB discussions. Hopefully, it will be completed soon barring some continuous distractions.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
I have participated in this discussion long enough and now choose not to remain in a discussion that is obviously moving in endless circles. All my views, supportive evidence and detailed analyses have been documented in 556 pages of my book, StrangersOnTheHorizon, including an appendix (K) dealing with the icefields and theories of Albert Moulton Foweraker which Steven asked about. If others want to continue with the fun, have at it. If something new comes up, then I may rejoin the discussion. Who knows? But right now, I'm working on a something that doesn't involve Californian which has been brought up a number of times on this forum and in FB discussions. Hopefully, it will be completed soon barring some continuous distractions.
Sam-
This has gone on for 185 pages so far and who knows how much longer ?

Being much of one who knows even very little about nautical matters I have tried to stay out the discussions.
So I will go back to the sidelines as a spectator .

And leave with the following thoughts:

What I have learned in these 185 pages:
Stanley Lord could be guilty of doing nothing but he couldn't be guilty of not saving very many lives even if he had done something .

And also:
Not everyone who has ever served in any Navy of any Nation deserves to be called a "sailor."
Self included ! :)
 
I know a bit about the price of currants but I don't suppose that'll help. ;)
I don't know even more or even less than a bit about the price of currants but I do know the price of seedless red grapes at the local supermarket but I suppose that is even of less help ? ;)
I do have a lot of experience as far as the subject of seedless red grapes is concerned . ;)
And being a local amateur historian I know a little bit about Grapevine, Texas.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Jim Currie

Member
"I think there can be no reasonable doubt that a current setting about south by west at something like knots existed in the area of the accident."

But then again, what did these morons know about currents or the price of herring?
There you go again, Sam, avoiding evidence you do not like.

The question is... were these vessels in sight of one another from before the impact with the berg and and remained so throughout the sinking process?
The considered answer of the MAIB Deputy Director to that question was NO, not unless abnormal refraction existed.
He does not agree with you in any of your assumptions except for the matter of a south-setting current. Even then, he estimated that the effect of such a current was minimal.
He did not agree with you concerning the separation distance or the bearing between the 2 vessels. Nor did he agree with you concerning the orientation of the ice barrier.
Why don't you explain how all these experienced men on both vessel got the separation distance wrong by a factor of 3? or how it was possible for Californian's red sidelight to be seen so early in the sinking sequence?
 

Jim Currie

Member
I have participated in this discussion long enough and now choose not to remain in a discussion that is obviously moving in endless circles. All my views, supportive evidence and detailed analyses have been documented in 556 pages of my book, StrangersOnTheHorizon, including an appendix (K) dealing with the icefields and theories of Albert Moulton Foweraker which Steven asked about. If others want to continue with the fun, have at it. If something new comes up, then I may rejoin the discussion. Who knows? But right now, I'm working on a something that doesn't involve Californian which has been brought up a number of times on this forum and in FB discussions. Hopefully, it will be completed soon barring some continuous distractions.
Abject nonsense , Sam. Which one of the following 17 best fits your response? 17 Amazing Tricks for Dodging Unwanted Questions | Best Life
Now why should anyone buy your book, Sam when all you have to do is to give straight (not circular) answers to a few simple questions?
 

Rob Lawes

Member
When you think about it, if Californian could see a vessel 5 miles away and this vessel wasn't Titanic then why did they bother trying to Morse it?

If the rockets being fired, which according to Stone "appeared to come a good distance beyond" weren't coming from this mystery ship then Californian were clearly wasting their time contacting the wrong ship anyway.

If this mystery vessel was also firing rockets then how come no one on the Titanic mentions seeing them?

Finally, if the Titanic was looking at a vessel 4 to 7 Miles away and the Californian was looking at a vessel 5 miles away, and they were both looking at the same vessel then that would make the Californian between 9 and 12 miles from the Titanic and both within visual range of each other as well. That is of course unless by complete fluke, all three ships were on an exact line.
 
When you think about it, if Californian could see a vessel 5 miles away and this vessel wasn't Titanic then why did they bother trying to Morse it?

If the rockets being fired, which according to Stone "appeared to come a good distance beyond" weren't coming from this mystery ship then Californian were clearly wasting their time contacting the wrong ship anyway.

If this mystery vessel was also firing rockets then how come no one on the Titanic mentions seeing them?


Finally, if the Titanic was looking at a vessel 4 to 7 Miles away and the Californian was looking at a vessel 5 miles away, and they were both looking at the same vessel then that would make the Californian between 9 and 12 miles from the Titanic and both within visual range of each other as well. That is of course unless by complete fluke, all three ships were on an exact line.
Interesting points you brought up. Could have been this thread or another but I brought up if a mystery ship was firing rockets then she wasn't trying to hide and would have come foward later saying they did fire rockets. Thats one of the reasons I don't buy any mystery ship firing rockets that night. Thats why I still maintain if anyone saw rockets it was from Titanic.
 
Top