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Stanley Lord guilty as charged

Discussion in 'Accusations against Captain Lord and Subsequent Di' started by schuylervanjohnson, Sep 23, 2013.

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  1. Adam Francis

    Adam Francis Member


    Precisely, mistakes were made but when it comes down to it Lord did not know exactly what was happening and to slowly fire rockets did not indicate distress. It's not as though he ignored a message, there was no recognizable message that night, at least not to those on the Californian.
     
  2. TimTurner

    TimTurner Member

    A hero of whom most of us would probably have never heard of, since the Titanic would have become a footnote in maritime history, instead of a legend.
     
  3. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member

    Hi all,

    Tim:

    It doesn't matter whether the ship is the Titanic or not though, if there is a ship which is behaving in a strange manner then more efforts should have been made to contact the ship. As i've said before, it would only take 5 minutes to wake the wireless operator, send a message out or listen to any that are incoming - if there is no response, all the better. We know now that if they had bothered to check the wireless they would have heard Titanic's frantic distress calls, and the rockets and the appearing to list and all of that other stuff would have made sense. And the Californian could have covered the approximate ten miles instead of the Carpathia having to steam almost sixty miles.

    I would have thought that in the case of fire, you would see flames or at the very least, smoke. E-mailing apartment managers doesn't make much sense, in the event of an emergency are you really going to switch on the laptop and fire off an e-mail? I think not.

    There has been a campaign here in Australia for some time now with neighbourhood watch and crime stoppers, urging residents to report ANY activity they spot which gives them even the slightest tinge of suspicion. Because it's better to be thorough and safe than lax and sorry, as unfortunately too many people wait too long to act.

    Unfortunately we always run the risk here of viewing things with the benefit of hindsight, but all that aside there is definitely more which could and should have been done by the Californian that night. It was so at the time, and history has judged it in the same light.

    David:

    But why would the ship be firing rockets to warn of an ice field that was blatantly obvious, and had been for some time, to everyone in the area? I don't think the thought crossed the minds of the Californian's crew that the mystery ship was going all "Captain Obvious" on everyone.

    Yes, I understand that there was no certainty that the ship was the Titanic or that the ship was even in distress, etc etc, but given the scenario I simply cannot fathom why Lord, or one of the other officers, wouldn't have woken Cyril Evans up and said "can you just check if there is a signal coming from that ship?" instead of trying to contact her by morse lamp which she clearly was not responsive to.

    On the Titanic, if the distress rockets were irregular it was partly because the Californian to them appeared to be not responsive, and given that the unsinkable ship was sinking, and they had to evacuate as many people as possible when those people hadn't even done a lifeboat drill - the officers had their hands full as it was. This is what I mean, you can do all the training you like but when the real scenario occurs it can often be a very different kettle of fish, one which requires individuals to act on instinct rather than training.

    Every famous incident throughout history has its heroes and villains, and as you say, Rostron became one of the heroes and Lord became one of the villains. But it could have been so much different.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  4. TimTurner

    TimTurner Member

    Adam,

    Why? Why didn't Captain Lord do anything? What was his thought process? You say he should have done X, but he did Z? Why do you think that was?
     
  5. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Hello Adam.

    "I simply cannot fathom why Lord, or one of the other officers, wouldn't have woken Cyril Evans up and said "can you just check if there is a signal coming from that ship?" instead of trying to contact her by morse lamp which she clearly was not responsive to."

    I can very well understand why you and many others can't understand this. As David and Michael point out; you should not be trying to understand it with the thought process of a second millenium thinker. Just read over the evidence again and do so with the knowledge that although a young bridge officer in 1912 was up with the latest inovations, he would not think rockets-wireless-distress. In fact in passenger vessels like Titanic and others, the wireless was looked upon as A; a sales tool for attracting punters (customers) and B: a means of communication navigation warnings etc. If you read the wireless message evidence and careless methods of keeping the various Processes Verbal (Wireless Logs) of the vessel which did have wireless you will discover that even Wireless Operators were very lax about their responsibilities in the event of a distress. For a better understanding of the then situation, I highly recommendt the following:imo.org/KnowledgeCentre/ReferencesAndArchives/Documents/P. Boisson History of safet at sea extract.htm.
    It took the Titanic incident followed by WW1 to get everyone at sea to completely understand the value of this new-fangled way of talking without the use of flag, lights rockets or even wires. Many of the then ship-masters had been trained in sail and had only recently moved over to steam vessels. Most ships did not have witeless.

    Let me give you a more recent example of an older seaman's attitude to change. It happened shortly after WW2; after radar had become fairly commonplace on board vessels.
    I sailed as 2nd Officer on a passenger ship which did have radar but the screen and controls were covered by a locked wooden box which was made by the Carpenter on the order of the Master. Although I had sat and passed exams for and was certificated as a Radar Observer, I was not allowed to use the radar without calling the master and obtaining the key and having him standing by my side wathing to make sure I did not over-use it or rely too much on it.

    At the time, there was even one very well known London Company who would not allow these new-fangled things on any of their ships.

    Jim C.
     
  6. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member

    Hi all,

    Tim:

    Only he can answer that, I am not privy to the workings of Stanley Lord's mind. However, if I were to offer an opinion, it would be that he had stopped his ship in the icefield for the night and had bunkered down. Nothing short of an absolute certainty (somebody holding a Jurassic-sized poster from the ship which said "help, we're sinking" perhaps) was going to cause him to go over and check the scene out or take other methods than those which he did to contact the ship, which was apparently not giving any response.

    I believe that he thought the Titanic was the only ship in the vicinity and did not take the thought of a major accident seriously. I'm sure he chewed all this over in his mind in the years to come, and again I don't believe he acted or intended to act with malice, but he did make some poor choices and could have done much more that night - and, most importantly of all, saved more lives.

    Jim:

    I understand where you're coming from and in 1912 wireless was this new technology which was still being introduced and many ships didn't have it, etc etc. However, is it not better to try and contact the ship incase it DID have wireless, rather than to not bother contacting the ship on the presumption that it DIDN'T?

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  7. TimTurner

    TimTurner Member

    That's a decent rationale. But it also calls into question why his junior officers didn't think something was up and say something. From what we know, it appears all of the officers on the Californian didn't realize that the other ship was sinking.


    Regarding whether the Californian should have used the wireless:
    You need to account for what the Californian's officers knew at the time:

    1. Wireless was a newfangled toy for passengers.
    2. Many ships did not have wireless.
    3. Many ships that did have wireless were not always on the air (As evidence, take the Californian itself which had one wireless operator who had already gone to bed). Most ships went offline at night.
    4. The strange ship was not the Titanic (The officers on the Californian had discounted it from being the Titanic).
    5. The rockets were not distress signals (They were sent up too infrequently to be distress signals)
    6. The strange ship may not have been sending up signals (It appeared that the signals might have been coming from beyond the strange ship, or might not have been rockets at all)
    7. The strange ship was not responding to standard Morse lamp signals. If the ship's watch can't be bothered to man the Morse lamp, what are the odds that they would man the wireless at midnight?
    8. If the Californian could see the strange ship, the strange ship could see the Californian. If the strange ship was sinking, and saw another ship on the horizon, why wouldn't it use the standard ship-to-ship Morse lamp to signal for help? (The Titanic did in fact do this)
    9. The Titanic, which the Californian knew was in the area, had told off the Californian earlier for jamming their wireless signal.
    10. The Titanic was thought to be about 20 miles south, out of visual range. The strange ship (which turned out to be the Titanic) appeared to be about 5 miles away.
    11. The strange ship appeared to be a cargo steamer, not a passenger liner
    12. The Titanic was the only ship reported to Captain Lord as being in wireless range
    13. Eventually the Californian did try to contact the strange ship on wireless, about 3:30am New York time
    14. The strange ship was steaming around, moving away from the Californian. This is very odd behavior for a sinking ship.
    15. Some might have suspected the strange ship was a ship that had been asking for a tow earlier.
    16. That the strange ship and the Titanic were one and the same was still uncertain as late as the Senate inquiry. The Californian's crew had been debating it the whole journey into New York.

    You are projecting your certainty that the Titanic was sinking onto the officers on the Californian. Doing everything in your power to save a sinking ship only makes sense if you know a ship is sinking. The officers on the California weren't sure. They knew something was unusual, that was all.
     
  8. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

     
  9. >>Only he can answer that, I am not privy to the workings of Stanley Lord's mind. However, if I were to offer an opinion, it would be that he had stopped his ship in the icefield for the night and had bunkered down.<<

    The reason Captain Lord was stopped in the icefield is clear enough from the existing evidence. He had narrowly avoided a collision with some of the pack ice and wisely decided to heave to for the night until sunrise when they could at least see where the hell they were going.

    If any of you have ever seen a longitudinal section of the Californian...I have...you would know that this shop didn't even come close to having the sort of watertight sectioning the Titanic did. The hull was essentially one huge cargo bay, all wide open, broken only by an engine room in the middle and a modest passenger/crew accommodation built on top of that. ONE hole below the waterline ANYWHERE would have put the ship on the bottom. Captain Lord would have known this.

    Think anybody wouldn't have an incentive to stand pat? I know I would have given the same information he had. To get me to move would require something much better then my officers telling me that somebody had popped a few rockets into the air and then sailed away. (And that was what Lord's officers told him.)
     
  10. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member

    Hi all,

    Tim:

    It wasn't up to the junior officers to make a decision, they were simply standing watch. There is a saying around workplaces, "We don't pay you to think." So it was with the Californian, they could only report what they were seeing to Lord and he had to make the final call.

    All of your points are good ones but what I get from that is that if the Californian's officers had analysed it via all, or even some of those points on that night, then they were vastly over-analysing the situation. It just makes things more complicated and confusing, sometimes you've just got to simplify the problem and not try and guess what's going on ten miles away.

    Jim:

    So are you suggesting then that there was indeed another ship in the vicinity, and that perhaps the ship in the vicinity was standing between the Californian and the rockets of the Titanic which were being fired beyond it? If so, who was this ship, why was it not seen from the Titanic and why did it not make attempts to respond to the Titanic's signals - or the Californian's, for that matter? And when the mystery ship 'moved away', would this not have revealed the Titanic?

    I, too, would have thought that the Titanic would be fairly hard to miss, even at night time and from ten miles away.

    Again, what you describe as happening on the Californian is a case of over-analysing. It's like the owners of the Titanic saying that they not only met the requirements of the time for lifeboat capacity but, in fact, exceeded it. True. And yes, the officers of the Californian followed their protocol and made an effort to contact the ship. Also true. But in neither case did they go above and beyond the call of duty, and in both cases it was to the detriment of others.

    Of course it's an "if" moment. But this is a forum so we might as well discuss it. It is absolutely not a fantasy, there is - again - much more that could have been done by the Californian that night and many more lives which could have been saved. Was it their fault? Absolutely not. Did they contribute to the deaths in any way? Ridiculous. BUT could they have done more? You bet.

    I understand that you want to protect and defend your seafaring colleagues of the past, but sometimes facts are facts.

    Michael:

    The irony, then, that the Titanic sank and the Californian was unscathed. Of course it didn't have the watertight technology of the Titanic, but then did the Carpathia? Not a chance, and yet Rostron blindly sailed his ship through the same ice field at top speed to get to the ship - from virtually another fifty miles further away. You don't think they were risking everything as well?

    And that is why Rostron has gone down as a hero and Lord has gone down as a villain.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  11. TimTurner

    TimTurner Member

    Good gracious. Yes. But Captain Lord was asleep, he didn't see these things, so the junior officers did impact the decision that Captain Lord made.

    Now if you want to accuse Captain Lord of not training his junior officers properly or having poor communications on his ship, that I would consider seriously. But the idea that Captain Lord should be expected to make decisions on things he didn't see is preposterous.


    Like immediately jump to the conclusion that every unknown ship is sinking? They did simplify the problem, they didn't guess what was going on 10 miles away, that's what you've been accusing them of for the last 5 pages of posts.


    No. The suggestion is that the Californian thought there might have been three or four ships in the vicinity: The Californian itself, the Titanic 20 miles away with wireless, the strangely behaving ship about 5 miles away without wireless and possibly sending up rockets, and possibly some other ship also without wireless between the Titanic and the strangely behaving ship. In fact, there were just two ships: The Titanic and the Californian.

    The Titanic was thought to be 20 miles away, not 10 miles.

    Your duty cannot logically compel you to go above and beyond the call of duty. If they did their duty, then they did their duty and cannot be faulted for not doing more than they were required to. If they didn't do enough then it is the requirements at fault, not the men.

    Captain Rostron positively knew that the Titanic was sinking because he had received a wireless message. Captain Lord did not, because all he knew was that there was a strange ship not responding to messages. Here again we need to consider the probability that the house is on fire.

    Adam, have you ever studied the role of mathematical probability in risk assessment?
     
  12. >>The irony, then, that the Titanic sank and the Californian was unscathed. Of course it didn't have the watertight technology of the Titanic, but then did the Carpathia? Not a chance, and yet Rostron blindly sailed his ship through the same ice field at top speed to get to the ship - from virtually another fifty miles further away. You don't think they were risking everything as well?<<

    The big difference....the really HUGE difference...was that the Carpathia had in fact received the distress call over the wireless and was acting on it. In other words, Rostron had the essential information at hand whereas all Captain Lord ultimately had was information was that a ship which was behaving strangely had fired a few rockets at unpredictable intervals and sailed away.

    As to Rostron, in todays risk averse environment, he would have very likely lost his master's license for his actions. He took some very extreme risks with his ship and the only reason he got away with it in 1912 was because he succeeded and was being lauded in the press as a hero. He had some extremely close shave with some ice on the way to the scene of the accident and it could easily have gone the other way on him.
     
  13. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Hello Tim:

    Just a few pointers.

    "Now if you want to accuse Captain Lord of not training his junior officers properly or having poor communications on his ship, that I would consider seriously."

    Not worthy of consideration at all. It was not part of any MN captain's duty to train his officers. They would not be engaged as an officer at a particular rank if they were not certified efficient to carry out the duty of such a rank.

    Adam, you ask:

    "So are you suggesting then that there was indeed another ship in the vicinity, and that perhaps the ship in the vicinity was standing between the Californian and the rockets of the Titanic which were being fired beyond it? If so, who was this ship, why was it not seen from the Titanic and why did it not make attempts to respond to the Titanic's signals - or the Californian's, for that matter? And when the mystery ship 'moved away', would this not have revealed the Titanic?

    Not suggesting Adam; declaring it. The evidence from both the Titanic and the Californian proves there was at least one other vessel. Here is the proof:
    The vessel seen from Titanic was moving. Californian was stopped before Titanic hit the iceberg and did not move until at least 2.5 hours after she sank.
    The vessel seen by 3rd Officer Groves approached Californian on a course of about NNE and was making about 12 knots. Titanic would have approached Californian on a course of about West and she was making 22 knots.
    The vessel seen by Californian crew member Gill was moving and still moving after Midnight. It disappeared before 12-45am. Whereas, the vessel seen by Lord, Stone, Gibson and Groves stopped nearby at 11-40pm and remained stopped and in sight until 2 am.
    Gill said he could see the hard edge of the pack ice between Californian and the other vessel.
    Lord said he too saw the hard edge and it was about quarter a mile from Californian.
    The hard edge was about 4 miles west of Titanic.
    The hard edge evidence itself suggests a vessel on the western side of the pack-ice and the approach course of Groves' vessel confirms it. It's all in my book.

    "when the mystery ship 'moved away', would this not have revealed the Titanic?"


    If Titanic had been beyond that other vessel and Californian was where Lord said she was then there was about 22 miles separating Californian from Titanic.
    Titanic' boat deck was 70 feet above sea level and Californian's flying bridge about 55 feet above sea level. This being the case then Titanic's hull and entire superstructure would have been below the horizon 18 miles away. The short answer to your question is No.
    The foregoing maximum range is based on Titanic being at the same height above the water as she was before she hit the ice-berg. Obviously, as time passed, that height was reduced to zero. It follows that if the ship near Californian had been Titanic, then Californian's officers and crew would have had a grand stand view of the entire event. Not only that, they would have been able to see Boxhall's green flares and the lights of all the lifeboats who had them. They would have seen Carpathia's signals and her arrival on the scene as well as her recovery efforts as she moves around the disaster site.

    There is a big hole in the Californian story it was permitted by Lord's questioners on both sides of the Atlantic and has been totally ignored by his accusers.
    Besides the men on Californian's bridge that night and early morning, there would have been a lookout as well as a number of ABs and junior ratings of the Watch. Not one of these men was questioned. WHY?

    "But in neither case did they [Californian's oficers]go above and beyond the call of duty, and in both cases it was to the detriment of others."

    But that's the point 'Adam'. To go above and beyond the call of duty requires a reason for doing so. Stone was in temporary command of Californian. and was fully qualified for the job. He made a decision based on his knowledge and reported to his captain accordingly. Obviously his decision was that he was not seeing anything that required action above and beyond the call of duty.


    "BUT could they have done more? You bet."


    No, not really Adam! There is an excellent article (I think written by Captain Charlie Weeks) somewhere in the archives which deals with this subject in detail so I won't go over the technicalities.


    "I understand that you want to protect and defend your seafaring colleagues of the past, but sometimes facts are facts."


    That has been suggested before Adam. it clearly illustrates what I have been saying about the risk of making assumptions too quickly. Let me explain in a round- about way (the boring way).

    I am a relatively late-comer to this site. I arrived here by accident (It was David's fault).

    While trawling the various threads, I came across the Californian story quite by chance. Until then, I had never heard of the Californian or Captain Stanley Lord. However, when I discovered what was being laid at the door of Captain Lord, my reaction was instant and as you would expect.

    " No way would any man I have ever known behave in such a manner! I have known very many brave men who have survived WW2. Men who risked their lives to save the lives of others. No true seafarer would ever ignore a call for help. A ship-master is simply a high ranking seafarer who is as vulnerable to drowning as a deck boy. How on earth could anyone be so calous?"

    Then I had second thoughts.

    At that time, I was still a practicing Marine Accident Investigator. As such, I had come across some very dubious characters in my time. Although it is an absolute fact that 99% of all ship masters are courageous, concientious men, there are a few rogue elements among their ranks. I therefore decided to put my Inspector's hat on. Instead of viewing the case from an emotional point of view, I started to forensically disect all of the avaialale evidence. The result is in my books and a continued crusade to try and separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Adam, I think that if you or anyone else ever put that suggestion to a seaman in 1912, you'd need a head-start. I know perfectly well you personally do not mean to insult but believe me, 99% of us now and then would treat it as such.
    In 1912, every man who followed the sea, knew of it's dangers. Knew that someday he could very well find himself in dire straights and in need of rescue. Many of the men in question had been involved in wrecks and saving those in peril on the sea. Have a look at the stats for the previous 30 years. 99% were religeous and followed the creed of "Do unto others as ye would have done unto yourself".

    Jim C.
     
  14. TimTurner

    TimTurner Member

    Jim,

    Nevertheless, Captain Lord was responsible for the actions of his crew. If Adam had a serious charge against the behavior of the officers, it would reflect upon the captain. Assuming, of course, that the officers had somehow failed.

    Jim, you seem to give equal merit to the words of crewman Gill. How do you weigh his accusation that Captain Lord tried to "hush up the men"? If he is lying, then do you give equal weight to his testimony, and if he is telling the truth, do you give equal weight to Captain Lord?

    Also, how do you consider the possibility of light refraction due to cold air? Do you believe it is possible that the strange ship seen nearby was actually the Titanic, but distorted by the air temperature? In my understanding, a temperature gradient could cause a large ship far away to be a small ship nearby, and perhaps the ship "sailing away" was actually the aspect of the ship sinking. It also explains why the ship did not respond to Morse lamp, because it was actually much farther away than it looked and light distortions interrupted the visibility of the lamp. I would love to have your take on this.
     
  15. I don't think you're going to find that Captain Jim gives a lot of weight to Ernest Gill's testimony. I know I don't and for the same reason that the testimony of jailhouse informants isn't taken very seriously. For a guy who got in the habit of saying "I can't speak to that" he spoke to a helluva lot. Even among the most passionate of Captain Lord's critics, Gill is the witness nobody likes.
     
  16. >>No, not really Adam! There is an excellent article (I think written by Captain Charlie Weeks) somewhere in the archives which deals with this subject in detail so I won't go over the technicalities.<<

    Actually Captain Jim, the first such article was written by Tracy Smith, Captain Erik Wood, and myself. See The Californian Incident, A Reality Check by Tracy Smith, Michael H. Standart & Captain Erik D. Wood - Titanic Research

    A guy by the name of Don Gavin also deals with this. See Titanic and Californian by Gavin Don - Titanic Research
     
  17. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member

    Hi all,

    I'll maintain my brevity here as much as possible as i'm afraid there's simply too much to respond to from too many different people, and spare time is not something I have much of.

    Tim:

    I don't believe that Captain Lord or his men were poorly trained. However, and you alluded to it yourself, there's no reason why Lord couldn't have sorted the situation out himself. Just like he could have had his wireless operator woken up. Instead, he allowed his junior officers to go - pardon my french - arse about face with everything, when shorter, easier solutions were available. Clearly he didn't recognise the situation for what it was but that's no excuse.

    Let me tell you something about jumping to conclusions, Tim. I am no seafarer myself but I live on the coast of a country which is surrounded by water, and know many people who either have previously or continue to work at sea. And I have never, ever seen or heard anything about any ship - passenger, freight, whatever - firing rockets in the middle of nowhere and for no apparent reason. It just doesn't happen, historically or logically. The men on the Californian knew that much, if it was a regular occurrence then they probably wouldn't have taken any heed of it at all.

    It's simply another case of individuals like yourself trying to make up excuses for actions that were clearly insufficient, despite the fact that i've stated many times - and, what the hey, let's do it one more time - that I do not believe Lord and his men acted with any malice and I do not believe that they deserved to be villified as much as they were. My sole opinion on the subject is that there is more that could have been done that night to help the Titanic.

    20 miles away is still much closer than 58, when I went to school.

    Michael:

    It's a circular argument because Lord would have had the very same information if he'd bothered to wake his wireless operator for 5 minutes. As for Rostron, you're wandering dangerously close to the realm of what if's there but in any case I doubt that it would have bothered him. In situations like that you must act first and deal with consequences later. There would have been a savage outcry if the hero, Rostron, lost his position because of his actions. Most people would do exactly the same as what he did if they had half a spine.

    Jim:

    I would be interested to know more about which vessel this supposedly was which the Californian saw - although if it is in your book and you'd rather not say then I can understand. You might also need to convince Tim of that as he likewise seems convinced that there was just the Titanic and the Californian.

    That there were other ships in the vicinity we do know, but that close? And as i've said, it's strange that they simply vanished into thin air as well, with no attempt to communicate with either the Titanic or the Californian. What was that all about? I'd imagine they were stuck in the same ice field.

    What can I say, I just take a lot of inspiration from people who put themselves and their careers on the line for the greater good of others. Plenty of examples of those throughout history, just like there's plenty of examples of how some of our greatest inventions and discoveries have come from people who were laughed and sneered at when they pioneered it. No greatness was born easily. The weasels who hide behind the "oh no I musn't breach the protocol, the rule book is my bible" lines just irritate me. Guilty as charged, Jim!

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  18. TimTurner

    TimTurner Member

    Lord did sort the situation out himself. Here is the relevant testimony from Captain Lord:

    "...When I came off the bridge, at half-past 10, I pointed out to the officer that I thought I saw a light coming along, and it was a most peculiar light, and we had been making mistakes all along with the stars, thinking they were signals. We could not distinguish where the sky ended and where the water commenced. You understand, it was a flat calm. He said he thought it was a star, and I did not say anything more. I went down below. I was talking with the engineer about keeping the steam ready, and we saw these signals coming along, and I said "There is a steamer passing. Let us go to the wireless and see what the news is." But on our way down I met the operator coming, and I said, "Do you know anything?" He said, "The Titanic."

    So, then, I gave him instructions to let the Titanic know. I said, "This is not the Titanic; there is no doubt about it." She came and lay at half-past 11, alongside of us until, I suppose, a quarter past, within 4 miles of us. We could see everything on her quite distinctly, see her lights. We signaled her, at half-past 11, with the Morse lamp. She did not take the slightest notice of it. That was between half-past 11 and 20 minutes to 12. We signaled her again at 10 minutes past 12, half-past 12, a quarter to 1 o'clock. We have a very powerful Morse lamp. I suppose you can see that about 10 miles, and she was about 4 miles off, and she did not take the slightest notice of it. When the second officer came on the bridge, at 12 o'clock ,or 10 minutes past 12, I told him to watch that steamer, which was stopped, and I pointed out the ice to him; told him we were surrounded by ice; to watch the steamer that she did not get any closer to her..."

    At that time, the Titanic was thought to be about 20 miles away.

    That either makes Lord's testimony blatantly false, or puts him in the clear. Lord had verified that the strange ship did not have a wireless and was not the Titanic. Waking the wireless operator to signal a ship which does not have a wireless is a fool's errand.
     
  19. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Hello lads.

    Great conversation! Lots of uncertainty and curiosity.. very healthy indeed.

    Thanks for the heads-up Michael. I knew there was a lot done on the subject.. just couldn't remember who did it.

    Tim and Adam; let me explain my method.

    When I looked at the evidence, I did so forensically. The verbal evidence conjured-up a picture in my minds-eye. This I compared to real life experiences as a bridge officer on ships equipped almost exactly the same as Titanic. From my minds eye picture, I attempted to 'paint' a physical picture of the situation that night. At no time did I allow personal opinion or emotion enter into the equasion. The result was that every bit of evidence pointed to at least one other ship being in the vicinity.
    Unlike Captain De Coverley of the British MAB who, at the request of the British Government in the late 1990's also performed the same exercise, I had all the time in the world and no political masters at my door. Yet De Coverley's concluded:

    “What is significant, however, is that no ship was seen by the Titanic until well after the collision...watch was maintained with officers on the bridge and seamen in the crow’s nest, and with their ship in grave danger the lookout for another vessel which could come to their help must have been most anxious and keen.
    It is in my view inconceivable that the Californian or any other ship was within the visible horizon of the Titanic during that period; it equally follows that the Titanic can't have been within the Californian’s horizon."


    His report went on: “More probably, in my view, the ship seen by Californian was another, unidentified, vessel.”￾ [/I]

    Lads, if any navigating officer on the face of the earth was presented with exactly the same evidence, they will come up with exactly the same conclusion.
    The crime, if there was a crime, was that all these officials on both sides of the Atlantic were in possesion of exactly the same information yet they chose to ignore it. Yet they based their conclusions on the evidence of 3rd Officer Groves and more to the point Crew member Gill.
    In the case of Gill; as I have pointed out, his ship was moving and disappeared while the one seen by Groves was still there and in plain sight.
    As for Groves: his ship was only moving at 12 knots and coming from the wrong direction for over half an hour. The identity of that vessel or even vessels is not important since the officer or officers obviousy saw what Stone saw, and like Stone, either mis-read what they were seeing or ignored it. Why own-up to a mistake when someone else is being blamed for it? All supposing of course that you think you made a mistake in the first place.

    Tim: You must keep in mind that Lord was not aware that there was anything for him to 'sort-out'. Groves told him about a vessel, he came up and had a look at it. When Stone was going on duty, Lord told him about what seemed to be the same ship. So now Lord had two qualified officers who were aware of what was round them. He told Stone to watch the other vessel and report. Stone did. Obviously Stone's report did not arouse curiosity in Lord. The latter would most certainly have been curious had Stone's report warranted it.
    Lord acted before he heard of Titanic's distress and immediately after he heard about Stones multiplicity of rockets. It was still early dawn at that time. That tells you a very great deal about Lord.
    His C/O Stewart knew about these rockets before Lord did but did not think it warranted calling Lord before the proper time. Obviously, like Stone, Stewart was not too much concerned about rockets which had disappeared two hours or more earlier.

    As for the use of rockets. They were very much in use in 1912 for all sorts of reasons. Even the great captain Rostron mis-used them as a signal of comfort although they may have inadvertantly drawn a would-be rescuer away from the site of the disaster. The captain of the Mount Temple said he would never use them for that very reason.
    For an excellent slant on the use of rockets I recommend an article by John G. Gillsepie in the Titanic Historical Society..Titanic Historical Society.

    As for breaching protocol: Actually I think Rostron was a very lucky fool who owed his survival and that of his ship, crew and passengers to the quick thinking of Boxhall.
    A ship's crew are a team, a very tight team. Each man has a job to do, each job is inter-dependent on the jobs being carried out all round him. If a rogue individual takes it into his head to break with tradition or protocol, the outcome is uncertain and can be catastrophic. The master is the only man who has the final say. Because of that his responsibilities are extremely heavy. Sometimes just doing nothing is the only sensible option for the sake of all those in his charge and their families.
    There are particular times at sea that you don't get a second chance. Some of these are when you are surrounded by ice, in bad visibility or when something breaks loose in a storm. There are a few more. Bottom line: You just can't get out and walk.

    Jim C.
     
  20. >>It's a circular argument because Lord would have had the very same information if he'd bothered to wake his wireless operator for 5 minutes.<<

    Adam, he had NO compelling reason to do so. None.