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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. TimTurner

    TimTurner Member

    If there were other ships, most likely they would have been non-English speaking ships. Likely that if they did have wireless, their wireless operators were asleep, though most likely they did not because otherwise the wireless operators on the Titanic, Californian, Carpathia, Baltic, Frankfurt, etc would have heard them during the previous day.

    Naturally, they probably wouldn't have heard of the Titanic's sinking until a week or so later when they reached port and the translated news reached them. At that point it was too late to do anything, and they probably wouldn't have wanted to be drawn into any investigation. They weren't Americans and they weren't British, so they wouldn't have cared about the hearings.
     
  2. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Hello Adam.

    Jim:
    I would have thought that in the modern age, radar and perhaps more specifically, GPS and other navigational and mapping devices used via satellite would be far more common and reliable than good old mapping co-ordinates on a chart?


    We all need a reference points on the surface of the earth. We need them so that we can exchange information about a place or object so that we know we are all talking about the same thing or place. Incidentally, the co-ordinates used on marine charts have other uses. Not so on an Ordinance Survey grid.
    Actually Differential Positioning Satellite has been used to correct marine charts which, with the advent of satellites, were found to be slightly inaccurate.

    The issue is that it's still as clear as mud to me WHO this third vessel was supposed to have been, and WHY they behaved in the manner which they did. Were they up to no good, or something?

    Not really! Perhaps they were practicing what is all to common these days: ignoring them as they did not think it had anything to do with them?
    Perhaps, like 2nd Officer Stone, they did not recognise them as a call for help?

    Of course it's perfectly possible that there were other ships in the area but then that should be all the more reason, I would have thought, to find out what on earth was happening with all the rockets and weird angles and so forth.


    The area in question was possibly one of the busiest parts of the North Atlantic. Very many ships of many nationalities would head for the imaginary point of The Corner before fanning-out and setting course directly for their North American destinations. Titanic hit her iceberg just over 130 miles west of that point. The difference in set-courses would be small therefore the 'fanning-out process would not have created much of a north-south separation between all those ships and th sinking Titanic.
    We know from Marconi records how many wireless- equipped ships should have been in the area.. how many without wireless were also in that area?

    It should also be understood that passenger vessels were in the minority on the North American trade. Most vessels were much smaller and carried vast amounts of cargo beween the continents. The Grand Banks area was also the hunting grounds for very many big fishing vessels.

    I don't discount the idea of a mystery vessel, I just think that it's an odd set of circumstances.

    With respect Adam, and I know you'll not be offended: the circumstances are only 'odd' to those who can not clearly understand and therefore picture the situation. Unfortunately this has resulted in a multitude of clever dissertations using maths and physics in an attempt to re-create things. Instread of arriving at the truth, these have severely distorted it much like the clever mirage theory.

    Jim C.
     
  3. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member

    Hi all,

    Tim:

    I would have thought that rockets and queer angles would speak an international language, even if the vessel was a foreigner and had no wireless operator. In any case that provides no reason for why this ship wasn't identified later and its crew called to account.

    Jim:

    I can understand the vessel not communicating because they thought, basically, that it "wasn't their problem". But if there was so definitely another vessel in the area then the part that isn't clear to me is why they weren't identified later on and called to account, as I mentioned to Tim. If they were between the Californian and the Titanic, then they were the closest vessel to the scene of the sinking and therefore in the best position to help.

    Another thing that perplexes me a little is that they supposedly sailed away out of sight, and yet presumably they were stuck in the same ice field that had stopped the Californian and claimed the Titanic? How did they manage to just....vanish? Both on that night and from the pages of history. Ships and their crew don't just disappear into thin air, Jim - unless it's the Marie Celeste.

    And of course I take no offence, but I feel it works both ways, Jim - what might seem sensible to you from your own experiences may also make no actual sense to others when all the evidence is considered.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  4. TimTurner

    TimTurner Member

    Adam,

    I don't believe that there were other ships, but I am open to the evidence. There are significant problems with the four-ship mystery theory, and I feel there are less problems with the two-ship-only theory. I'm still investigating the matter.

    The fact that the mystery ships were never identified is the least significant difficulty. Nobody in the area would have wanted to be drawn into accountability for the sinking of the Titanic. Mariners are busy men with places to go. If they could get away with it, its likely they would never have volunteered the fact that they lay off a sinking ship doing nothing while 2200 people were left in the water. Nobody wants to be the target of a which hunt, especially one in a foreign country.

    The rockets would be an international signal, but not the Morse lamp. If the ships didn't see the rockets, or were confused about what they meant, they likely would have ignored them, much like the Californian did. This is more unlikely, because both ships would have been closer to the Titanic, would have seen the Titanic more clearly, including her Morse Lamp. A ship firing rockets sporadically could be up to anything. A ship firing rockets and Morsing you in a foreign language is very clearly trying to communicate something important. The ships weren't stranded in the ice field. Titanic didn't even see ice until she hit it. I don't think the queer angles would have meant anything, unless the ship clearly saw the Titanic go end-up.

    I do find it unlikely that a ship behaving exactly like the Californian was visible only from the Titanic, and a ship behaving exactly like the Titanic, including firing rockets, was visible only from the Californian. Possible, but not credible. I find it much more likely that somebody was mistaken about seeing movement. That's where I'm focusing my investigation.

    You also have the problem that both of the mystery ships would have likely seen Titanic's rockets, and both would have ignored Morse signals. The idea that another ship would have been in the area, launching rockets with the same frequency as Titanic, stopped, moved out of visible range, until about 3:30am and started launching rockets again just when Carpathia (also launching rockets to reassure Titanic's passengers) arrived on the scene of the Titanic's sinking.

    I find it much more likely that someone mistakenly thought the mystery ship was moving, which is really the only solid evidence I see for the two-ship theory.

    I suppose it's also possible that the mystery ship also sank.

    Samuel, I appreciate your study on the visibility of Titanic's masthead light. Has a study been done on how far away her rockets could have been seen?
     
  5. Guys, the problem with the two, three, four or four TRILLION mystery ship theory is it still doesn't help the Californian. You can debate at length whether or not they acted appropriately or inappropriately. (I think it was BIG time miscommunications) but the elephant in the room which never goes away are those bloody rockets. Titanic fired them, Californian saw them, and no other ship was firing rockets.

    Whatever you all care to make of it, this doesn't go away.
     
  6. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Don't think anyone disputes the rocket thing Michael. But the title of this thread is "Stanley Lord guilty as charged".

    His charge sheet reads:

    Saw rockets and did nothing about them.

    Was told about rockets and did nothing about them.

    According to Lord and Gibson, the former was told of one rocket. Gibson makes no mention of Stone telling him that he further informed Lord of the total of five.

    There was no problem with communications per se. Lord was told about a rocket, not a distress rocket, just a rocket in the direction of a nearby vessel. He gave the proper order "find out more about it and report back". The report he got back was that the nearby vessel had fired 7 or 8 rockets, not distress rockets, then sailed off. End of story. No big deal!

    No one seems to ask the simple question: What should Lord have done when he recieved that final message?

    He did actually receive it later on that morning and reacted immediately by having his W/O called. This suggests the ridiculous. i.e. Lord didn't want to move earlier because it was too dark so he just ignored Stone's rocket warnings. What a load of old crock!

    "I find it much more likely that someone mistakenly thought the mystery ship was moving, which is really the only solid evidence I see for the two-ship theory."

    In fact Tim, Gibson tells of how Stone was constantly taking a bearing of the other vessel. That's how you determine if a ship is moving or not. If the bearing remains the same then the vessel is stopped. If it changes then the ship is moving. Gibson also described perfectly a turning ship at night.
    Stone was pressed to say that the rockets came from a moving ship. In fact, it would have been very easy for him or anyone who has ever seen a ship turn short-round in a loose ice field or in a narrow channelto have imagined the rockets came from that moving ship before it moved. The affidavit of Gibson suggests the same. His evidence points to him observing all the rockets in the same direction up until just before the other ship started swinging to the south. But let's examine the possibility that all the rockets seemed to come from a ship that moved off after firing her last rocket. Here is a sketch of what Stone and Apprentice Gibson described seeing:

    Rockets to the SE.JPG

    A short-round turn is made when it is desired not to move too far a head for any reason.
    In fact, Gibson wrote that the first 7 rockets were seen before the other ship moved and the last one was seen as she had just started to turn away to the southward. Thus he corroborated Stone's story.
    Captain Lord attempted to performed that exact same manoeuvre at 10-20pm that night when he twisted Californian's head round to the right trying to avoid entering the ice field.

    Jim C.

    Rockets to the SE.JPG
     
  7. >>Don't think anyone disputes the rocket thing Michael. But the title of this thread is "Stanley Lord guilty as charged".<<

    However, at this point, that's what's not being addressed. The issue being thrown out there were the asserted mystery ships in between. They may or may not have been there. I'm not even going to get into that. The point is that with the rockets out there and on the table, it's simply irrelevant to the Californian's situation.

    For my own money, the real culprit here is simple miscommunication from the bridge to the skipper. The sort of thing that puts a good skipper in a very bad spot because a Captain has got to be able to trust the people under his command. Up until that point, Stone and Gibson had been worthy of that trust. Afterward...well...you be the judge. I think they let him down.
     
  8. >>I don't expect you to debate this because it is beyond debate.<<

    Of course it is beyond debate because as you wrote: "I [meaning you Jim] am at a complete loss as to why you [meaning me] and others cannot see the obvious. Sorry Jim, but there is nothing obvious about anything here.

    >>According to Lord and Gibson, the former was told of one rocket. Gibson makes no mention of Stone telling him that he further informed Lord of the total of five.<<

    That may be true, and that is what I believe happened. But for me it doesn't quite explain why Stone wrote to Lord on the 18th while Californian was still at sea: "Between then and about 1.15 I observed three more the same as before, and all white in colour. I, at once, whistled down the speaking tube and you came from the chartroom into your own room and answered. I reported seeing these lights in the sky in the direction of the other steamer which appeared to me to be white rockets." Later, at the inquiry, he kept to the same story about informing Lord after seeing the first five.

    7829. What did you communicate to him? - I communicated that I had seen white lights in the sky in the direction of this other steamer, which I took to be white rockets.
    7830. What time was it you gave him that information? - Just about 1.10.
    Of course his written report to Lord came after they all knew about Titanic, and it may simply be a case of Stone trying to put the blame on Lord for not taking action while those rockets were still going up.
    By the way, at the inquiry, Gibson confirmed, more or less, what he wrote in his report to Lord on the 18th:
    7477. Did he [Stone] tell you anything else about what he had been doing while you had not been there? - He told me that he had reported it to the Captain.
    7478. Did he tell you what the Captain had instructed him to do? - Yes.
    7479. What was it? - To call her up on the Morse light.
    7480. Did he tell you whether he had tried to call her up on the Morse light? - Yes.
    7481. Had he? - Yes.
    7482. What had been the result? - She had not answered him, but fired more rockets.

    The key point is that Stone told Gibson that he tried calling the vessel up by Morse after reporting to Lord, the vessel did not answer, and that she "fired more rockets." It was Gibson, not Lord, who was told by Stone that 5 white rockets were seen.

    >>There was no problem with communications per se. Lord was told about a rocket, not a distress rocket, just a rocket in the direction of a nearby vessel. He gave the proper order "find out more about it and report back". The report he got back was that the nearby vessel had fired 7 or 8 rockets, not distress rockets, then sailed off. End of story. No big deal!<<

    Actually it was a big deal, and there certainly was a big communications problem.

    You continue to say he [Lord] was not told about a distress rocket. But what exactly is a distress rocket? Today it is a rocket or shell throwing red stars. Back then, according to the book, it was a rocket or shell throwing stars of any color. The socket signals being supplied to many steam ship lines for distress purposes by the Cotton Powder Co. back then happened to throw stars of a bluish-white color which could be seen from very far off. But as we have been saying here, it is the firing of these at intervals that make them signals of distress. And that is not what was reported to Lord if Gibson's third hand account is true, which, as I said, I happen to believe.

    To Lord, Stone's report of seeing one white rocket must have seemed very confusing. An strange vessel comes up from the east about 11pm and stops for the night in the SE about 11:30, presumably blocked by the same ice field that blocked Californian's path. Lord himself saw this stranger approach and stop from the lower bridge, and although the vessel did not respond to any of their Morse signaling attempts, there was nothing about it at the time to suggest anything was wrong. Then about an hour and a half later Stone calls down to Lord to report seeing a white rocket throwing stars over the vessel. Lord then asked if it was a company signal, and Stone told him that he did not know. Lord knew they were trying to call up the vessel by Morse, and the stranger was not answering back, so Lord must have wondered if the steamer tried to respond by firing a company signal or something. The problem here is that the next order he gave Stone was something like, keep calling them up and if you get a reply report back by sending Gibson down. Stone never got a reply to his Morsing attempts and so he never reported back until after the vessel disappeared from sight. He apparently didn't think it was his resposibility to call Lord up again when he saw more rockets going up at intervals. If he had, I believe Californian's involvement in this affair would have turned out very differently.

    >>A short-round turn is made when it is desired not to move too far a head for any reason.
    In fact, Gibson wrote that the first 7 rockets were seen before the other ship moved and the last one was seen as she had just started to turn away to the southward. Thus he corroborated Stone's story. <<

    Actually Gibson did not confirm Stone's story that the steamer turned around. He only confirmed that he was told by Stone, who was taking bearings on the steamer, that the steamer was steering away to the SW. That was shortly after the 7th rocket was seen, after her sidelight disappeared from sight. If the vessel was doing a short-round turn as you suggest, then I find it hard to understand how Stone could tell that she was steering to the SW. The 8th rocket, which was seen after Californian swung round about two more points, had to come from the same line of bearing to the SE as all the others. And by the way, when asked if he saw the steamer turn around, Gibson said no. Gibson also said he never saw what looked to him to be a stern light from that steamer.

    The other problem I have with a mystery vessel steaming off to the SW is simply, why? Why come by and stop in a direct line between Californian and Titanic because of an ice field that blocked your path, remain motionless for about two hours, see all those rockets go up, and then turn short-round only to steam away through a heavy field of pack ice to the SW in the dark of night? It just doesn't make any sense.
     
  9. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    I agree with you Michael to a point.

    Sure Lord saw rockets and did (almost) nothing about them and he had a reason or reasons for his inactivity.

    As an Apprentice, Gibson was what was known as 'the lowest form of animal life on the ship'. Unlike the equivelant rank of Midshipman in the Navy; he had absolutely no authority and was simply a general dogs-body who was resented by other ranks because some day he would become an officer with power over men. Gibson was innocent of any perceived wrong-doing

    Stone seems to have been a 'by the book' man. He acted perfectly and in accordance with how he was trained. I.e., report a situation to a superior and await response. Obey an order to the letter. If no response forthcoming, move on to the next duty. To me, he had but one fault - lack of imagination! But you and I know that on most ships, that is essential for smooth running. I can well imgine someone thinking "stuff-it! That can't be right and proper, I'll do it my own way" That was fine for wee Frank Sinatra but real life aint Hollywood.
    I'm sure as an ex navy man you know exactly what I mean. Having said that; I was asociated on and off with the Royal Navy from 1952 right up until 2004. You can imagine the good and bad changes I've seen between man and master during that time.:rolleyes:
    Stone also had reasons for acting in the way he did. As well as his undertstanding of what he was seeing and his ability to convey information accurately; his actions were influenced by whether or not there was more than one ship in the area. I.e., one ship firing rockets must be Titanic. More than one: all bets are off!

    My opinion is a simple one. The information Lord was given did not, in his experience, warrant action other that the action he took. To condemn him for anything requires a full understanding of the prevailing situation. The sighting of rockets cannot stand alone as a reason for inaction. He received information and acted on it. The quality of the information was the problem.

    The important word here with respect to Lord is 'experience'.

    We often hear the (to me, cringe-making) expressions of 'Lordite' and Anti- Lordite. I wonder if anyone has ever notice the dearth of professional sea-farers in the latter? If they have, do they consider why?
    The most popular offering comes to mind.. 'They were and are protecting their own'.
    That's outrageous rubbish! My reason for saying so is a simple one. It is; that since there are many more lands-people than seafarers, there are proportionally more professionally ignorant people in the world.

    There's was, and still is, a lot of people out there who wish the world to know that they know what Lord knew and understand the situation; but in their case, the understanding is greater. They compound the felony by telling us that unlike Lord; their superior knowledge gives them the advantage that, had they been in Lords shoes, they would have used their superior knowledge to influenced the outcome of the disaster.

    Oh well! It fills pages and hopefully stimulates new or even original thought.

    Jim C.
     
  10. >>Sure Lord saw rockets and did (almost) nothing about them and he had a reason or reasons for his inactivity.<<

    Actually Captain Jim, as you yourself have pointed out, Captain Lord didn't personally see any rockets at all. His officers did and they reported it to him. If they thought it was urgent...which if you believe their testimony that apparently DID think was urgent and in need of further investigation...they did a terrifically lousy job of getting the message across. Captain Lord couldn't act on information which he didn't have or which his people failed to convey to him.

    >>I'm sure as an ex navy man you know exactly what I mean. <<

    Oh I understand all of that. In the modern navy, creative thinking and taking the initiative is actually encouraged....uhhhh....to a point. That's neither here nor there in this instance because this sort of thinking wasn't pervasive in 1912.

    >>My opinion is a simple one. The information Lord was given did not, in his experience, warrant action other that the action he took. <<

    And I agree on that singular point. He needed more then he had and absent that, he had no clear reason to do anything and all that crunching ice outside...which damned near wrecked his ship....gave him an overwhelming reason to stay put.
     
  11. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member

    Hi all,

    Tim:

    Like you, I find it difficult to believe that there were other mystery vessels in the area that night, but then it is a possibility and if there is evidence to support it then it must be considered.

    It's all fair enough that mariners are busy and the rest, but where did they think they were going? They were presumably stuck in the same ice field that had stopped the Californian and claimed the Titanic. It's like being stuck in a traffic jam on your way to work, you may be busy and have places to go, but that doesn't change the fact that you're stuck. Besides, almost always when a cover-up like that is attempted, the truth comes out eventually. Decades later you'll get some 80 year old member of the crew come forward and sell the "true story of what happened on the night of the Titanic disaster" or whatever - it happens all the time. The fact that nobody seems to know anything noteworthy about this mystery vessel after 101 years is fairly persuasive in itself, I think.

    Regarding the rockets and the queer angles and all the rest, I simply believe there was enough happening there for the crew of the Californian to investigate more thoroughly. It almost seems like they were trying to think of reasons why they shouldn't bother too much about it. Seemingly it crossed nobody's mind that there could genuinely be a ship in real distress out there who was trying to communicate her difficulties.

    We must also remember that while the sinking of the Titanic took a fairly long time, by the time the damage was assessed and plans were put into action for distress calls and evacuation of the ship, much of that time had already been eaten up. So you could forgive the panicky crew for sending out 'messages' which didn't make muchs sense. They were sinking rapidly on the unsinkable ship!

    As for the mystery ship also sinking, that's an interesting possibility, but wouldn't the ship also have been found during the exhaustive searches for the Titanic? Maybe Jack Grimm's propeller blade came from the mystery ship.... ;-)

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  12. TimTurner

    TimTurner Member

    The problem with this is that if there were some drunken Chinese sea captain spinning yarns in a Shanghai bar 70 years ago about the night he missed the sinking of the Titanic, we still probably wouldn't know about it today. You assumption depends on this information making it into the mainline English-speaking news channels. Depending on their port of origin, it's possible that such a mystery ship wouldn't even know they had been in the vicinity of the Titanic themselves for decades afterward. Years after the fact, when the news of the Titanic finally reached them in their native language, would the average mariner correlate their exact position and time with the Titanic's?

    And that's what the whole debate is really about. Nobody can seriously claim that Lord intentionally murdered 1500 people. That leaves us with 3 apparent options: 1. the Californian did not have enough information to evaluate events. 2. There was a communication or evaluation error which was Lord's fault. 3. There was a communication or evaluation error that was Stone's fault.

    This largely depends on exactly what was seen by who, and what they said to each other about it. We do not have very good information on this.

    Yes and no. Disaster is precisely when those messages need to be sent accurately. Boxhall seems a little distracted by his competing duties during the sinking, but he was supervised by Captain Smith, who really had no higher priority than contacting another vessel. His officers were trained and prepared to use the lifeboats, but without another ship he knew that most of his passengers would probably die.

    Only joking there. We probably would have heard of another ship sinking in the vicinity of the Titanic, not to mention found their crew in their lifeboats. I doubt that we would have found their wreck on the ocean floor. Titanic itself was almost missed, and that's 900 feet of iron that we knew we were looking for, with a massive scattered debris field. It's quite possible that a 300 foot vessel may be 10 miles away completely undiscovered, and if was made of wood, there wouldn't be much left now other than a hulk of rusted engine. Less if she were a sailing ship.

    Interestingly, while reading into the testimony of these men, I've found that it appears Boxhall and Gibson did see each other's Morse lamps. Gibson reported that he saw the other ship respond by Morse lamp, but then attributed it to a flickering masthead light. Boxhall said that men in Lifeboat #1 next to him saw the other ship respond to his Morse lamp, but he himself could not see it. My natural interpretation of this is that they were just out of Morse range. If so, another tragic "if only" scenario for the Titanic.
     
  13. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Hello Sam:

    Of course it is beyond debate because as you wrote: "I [meaning you Jim] am at a complete loss as to why you [meaning me] and others cannot see the obvious. Sorry Jim, but there is nothing obvious about anything here.

    Perhaps not to you Sam but it's plain to me.

    That may be true, and that is what I believe happened. [Lord was told of one rocket] But for me it doesn't quite explain why Stone wrote to Lord on the 18th while Californian was still at sea: "Between then and about 1.15 I observed three more the same as before, and all white in colour. I, at once, whistled down the speaking tube and you came from the chartroom into your own room and answered. I reported seeing these lights in the sky in the direction of the other steamer which appeared to me to be white rockets." Later, at the inquiry, he kept to the same story about informing Lord after seeing the first five.


    Well Sam, if that is what we both believe then all the rest about what Stone wrote or said is academic. However we can speculate if you wish.

    Gibson and Stone each talked about seeing 3 rockets. Stone was referring to rockets 3, 4 and 5 while Gibson saw 6, 7 and 8. Stone does not say when he saw 3,4 and 5. We can only speculate that if he saw the first one at 12-45am and they were from Titanic then he must have seen the last one at close to 1-38am. However if these rockets had been sent up at 3 or 4 minute intervals as Stone said, then the last one should have been seen between 1-09am and 1-27am. Gibson saw his last at about 1-15am just as the other vessel was turning. Or did he see it turning at 1-33am? Stone called Lord at 1-45am. What did he tell him? If he told him the other vessel was underway and had fired 8 rockets?; why did he send Gibson down 20 minutes later to tell Lord the same thing?
    Essentially; why should Stone say he saw the rockets at 3 to 4 minute intervals when we know that Titanic was firing hers at 5 or 6 minute intervals? Why has that question never been addressed?
    I suspect we all commit the sin of forgetting that none of the principal characters took notes of what was going on as it happened. There would not be a record in the scrap log because there was nothing to write about. Consequently on April 18 and thereafter Stone and Gibson would have to rely on memories clogged with excitement.
    Lord on the other hand would probably have taken notes as the drama unfolded. That's what any efficient master would have done.

    Actually it was a big deal, and there certainly was a big communications problem.

    No there wasn't Sam. That's your perception. As I pointed out to Michael: "The information Lord was given did not, in his experience, warrant action other that the action he took". Obviously he thought that he needed more information about the nearby vessel. Did it fire that rocket? If so, why. If not; did it's officers know who had fired it and for what reason.
    Lord was concientious enough to check on Stone at 12-35am. If less that 30 minutes later Stone had told him about 5 rockets in quick succession he would most certainly have gone aloft and checked for himself. To think otherwise is ludecrous.
    Stone also had reasons for acting in the way he did. His was not to reason why. Just do as ordered - report anything unusual about the nearby vessel. That's exactly what he did. He was then told to try and contact it..that's what he did. He tried but the vessel in question fired-off a total of 8 rockets then steamed away. That's what he reported. The fault was not one of communication but one of inaction vindicated by the subsequent movement of the vessel under observation.
    As Stone confessed; He reported to Lord and left it up to him to give any necessary orders. Perfectly normal.

    Forget all the brow-beating waffle spouted by the attorneys at the UK Inquiry or the modern concept of 'acting on ones own initiative'. As Michael quite rightly points out "In the modern navy, creative thinking and taking the initiative is actually encouraged....uhhhh....to a point. That's neither here nor there in this instance because this sort of thinking wasn't pervasive in 1912."
    In fact, it wasn't fashionable or advisable until well after the 1960's

    You continue to say he [Lord] was not told about a distress rocket. But what exactly is a distress rocket?

    It doesn't matter. Stone told Lord that he did not think he was seeing a distress rocket. He did so after Lord questioned him about it. His answer obviously satisfied Lord.

    To Lord, Stone's report of seeing one white rocket must have seemed very confusing.

    Not confusing Sam. In fact, Lord probably was pleased that his young officer had obeyed his standing order to call him if anything untoward happened. Lord would be comforted by the fact that such a concientious officer would make every effort to carry out his next order and find out what was going on. He would would then relax. He was very tired. There would then be nothing else to concern him except mild curiosity until the next report came as he knew it would. When it did come, he would probably have been slightly annoyed that he had not been called earlier but, since the other vessel had moved away, relieved that he had not lost precious rest.

    An strange vessel comes up from the east about 11pm and stops for the night in the SE about 11:30, presumably blocked by the same ice field that blocked Californian's path. Lord himself saw this stranger approach and stop from the lower bridge, and although the vessel did not respond to any of their Morse signaling attempts, there was nothing about it at the time to suggest anything was wrong.[/COLOR]

    This is what I mean about carefully examining the evidence Sam. The evidence clearly points to Lord and Stone seeing two different vessels at different times showing different light arrangements and making different speeds. None of these vessels was making 22 +knots.

    Before 11pm,Lord saw a vessel approaching from the eastward, He said it stopped at either 11-15pm or 11-30pm It was showing a green light and one white steaming light just after 11pm and before it stopped about 4 miles away. He was watching it from two decks below Groves.
    At 11-30pm,Groves told Lord there was a vessel approaching from the opposite direction.."from astern" (3.5 points abaft the starboard beam) when Californian was heading ENE. Actually it would have been from the southward. It was showing a red sidelight and two white steaming lights and stopped at 11-40pm 5 to 7 miles away.
    The vessel seen by Lord was clearly seen by him and his Chief Engineer before 11pm since he asked his W/O about it before then and sent out a warning in response to seeing it.

    That's two different vessels Sam neither of which was the Titanic.

    He [Stone] apparently didn't think it was his resposibility to call Lord up again when he saw more rockets going up at intervals. If he had, I believe Californian's involvement in this affair would have turned out very differently.

    Obviously it would have done Sam but all you or anyone else can say for certain is that Lord would have moved his ship. Anything more than that is pure speculation.
    As I have pointed out frequently; he would have been extremely puzzled by the distress information he was getting; rockets to the Southeasward seeming to come from a great distance away and a ship in distress and sending out a cry for help from a position to the South-southwest.


    Actually Gibson did not confirm Stone's story that the steamer turned around. He only confirmed that he was told by Stone, who was taking bearings on the steamer, that the steamer was steering away to the SW. That was shortly after the 7th rocket was seen, after her sidelight disappeared from sight.

    Again Sam; Gibson's description of the other vessel's navigation and steaming lights is classic vessel turning away from you. Don't take my word for it; ask a Lake Pilot or anyone who has ever spent any time in marine traffic at night. Gibson's evidence also confirms two vessels. He was seeing a vessel with one white steaming light while the one Groves saw had two.

    If the vessel was doing a short-round turn as you suggest, then I find it hard to understand how Stone could tell that she was steering to the SW. The 8th rocket, which was seen after Californian swung round about two more points, had to come from the same line of bearing to the SE as all the others. And by the way, when asked if he saw the steamer turn around, Gibson said no. Gibson also said he never saw what looked to him to be a stern light from that steamer.

    How is it so had to understand Sam? Initially, Stone told Gibson the other vessel was slowly steaming away. Then that it steammed away quickly. Gibson said Stone was taking continuous bearings. Why should you disbelieve him? More to the point; why should Gibson?
    Stone said it steered 'toward the SW', not in the compass direction of SW. In fact it could have easily steered SSW without showing any navigation lights other than it's stern light. In that case, it would still change it's bearing quickly and finally 'disappear' into the distance.
    Depending how near she is, a turning vessel does not change her bearing quickly. She therefore seems to be moving slowly. Her bearing will only start to change relatively quickly when she settles on a new course. Her course and speed thereafter dictates the rate of bearing change.
    As to Stone's remark; if he could only just see the other vessel's sidelight when bearing SE then she was heading ENE. Her bearing would not change toward the right, until she was heading to the right of South East. Then it would start to change 'very slowly'. The rate of change would increase as she continued to turn and start to go ahead. At that time, an observer would not see any lights except the stern light and then, only with the aid of glasses at any distance over 3 miles. He would continue to see the stern light only until the vessel was heading SSW. On That course, depending on her speed, she would change her bearing 'quickly'.
    However, and it's a big 'however'. If Titanic was, as it should have been, bearing SSE True from Californian and the nearby vessel was on the same bearing; then she would have been heading SW before the green light became visible. Additionally; the rate of bearing change would be much greater.

    Gibson would need to use 'the' glasses to look for the other vessel's stern light. As normal, there would only have been one pair. These would be in the charge of Stone who was, as he said, using them with the bearing ring over the compass. That's probably why Gibson never saw it

    Additionally, a vessel turning short round in the flat calm conditions existing would, I imagine, present some rather strange images

    The other problem I have with a mystery vessel steaming off to the SW is simply, why? Why come by and stop in a direct line between Californian and Titanic because of an ice field that blocked your path, remain motionless for about two hours, see all those rockets go up, and then turn short-round only to steam away through a heavy field of pack ice to the SW in the dark of night? It just doesn't make any sense.[/QUOTE]

    We will all have that same problem as long as we confine our thoughts to the one vessel theory. Consider this:

    If there were two vessels as the evidence suggests, then one was to the south east and the other to the southward. In the case of the second; if it was as Groves declared, 5 to 7 miles away, then it was on the far side of the ice because we know the pack ice was trending Nw'ly- Se'ly at that place. We also now that there was a concentration of bergs locked-in with the pack ice in that area. Is it too much of a stretch of imagination to think that perhaps the vessel seen by Groves was eventually hidden by them?

    Jim C.
     
  14. >>We will all have that same problem as long as we confine our thoughts to the one vessel theory.<<

    Groves saw the same vessel that Lord saw. Grove said it had two masthead lights, Lord said it had but one. They were looking at the same ship together at the same time from the upper bridge at 11:45pm. One was right, the other was wrong regarding the number masthead lights. It's that simple. Lord's description matches that of Gibson and Stone, so I believe the observed vessel had but one steaming light. The vessel came up from the east, not the south.

    As far as how many rockets Stone saw, he said it was 8, first one about 12:45, last on about 1:40. That comes from him. Why did he say 3-4 minute intervals, because that it was it seemed to him. He wasn't taking time. This shows the difficulty when relying of subjective estimates, whether it be time or distance.
     
  15. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Hello Sam, You need to do more work on this one.


    Groves saw the same vessel that Lord saw. Grove said it had two masthead lights, Lord said it had but one. They were looking at the same ship together at the same time from the upper bridge at 11:45pm. One was right, the other was wrong regarding the number masthead lights. It's that simple. Lord's description matches that of Gibson and Stone, so I believe the observed vessel had but one steaming light. The vessel came up from the east, not the south.


    Neat Sam but too neat! Your'e doing exactly the same thing as did the Wreck Commissioner - separtating out and discarding the bits of evidence that do not fit with a pre-conceived idea of what took place. You will recall that the man in question preferred the evidence of Groves and Gill to that of Lord and Stone. Gibson was a 'floater'.
    In the case of the Commissioner et al; the preference was for a vessel showing two white steaming lights and a red light. It was down-hill all the wayfor Lord from that time onward.

    The fact was that Titanic turned away from the direction of Californian. In that case, she would first have shown a green sidelight and increasing blaze of white light until her entire starboard side was revealed to any onlooker to the north and west of her. This would deminish and the green light would disappear and she would show her stern light and fore-shotend side. You believe she swung back round to the northward after that, I do not.
    If she did as you suggest, then, as she came back round, she would once again expose her entire starboard side and green light to an onlooker, then both sidelights before finally showing about 45 degrees of her port side and her red sidelight. All of this would take place in a few minutes. How could Groves have missed all this? After all, by then he was watching her closely and signalling.

    For those who are unclear, here's a rough idea of what I mean. Titanic approaches from the eastward:

    Approach and turn.JPG

    In the above sketch, the vessel Groves described would have approached from the direction of the bottom RH side of the page.

    Sure the two men were looking at the same vessel at the same time...11-45pm. That is not in dispute. But it is incorrect to consider one piece of evidence in isolation. The total evidence covers the period from just before 11pm until 11-40pm and it commences with one man was looking eastward and the other southward. You cannot escape these facts if you understand and accept all of the evidence.


    As far as how many rockets Stone saw, he said it was 8, first one about 12:45, last on about 1:40. That comes from him. Why did he say 3-4 minute intervals, because that it was it seemed to him. He wasn't taking time. This shows the difficulty when relying of subjective estimates, whether it be time or distance.[/QUOTE]

    Sam, we have absolutely no idea whether Stone was taking time or not. Again you are being preferential in your treatment of the evidence. In fact, with regard to timing, you could say exactly the same about those on board Titanic. However, in the case of Californian, we have two observers giving different time-span for the same event.

    What I do know without fear of contradiction is that it would not have taken Gibson from 12-25am until close to 1-30pm to look-out and prepare a new set for the patent log. I also know that if he had taken all that time (an hour?) to do so, he would have been ripped-off as strip for doing so.
    You will recall that it took no time at all for Gibson to look for the parts, fail to find them, return to the bridge then go back down again. When he found them, he would simply unclip the broken end of the old log line then flake the new one on deck ready for streaming when the ship got underway again. That would take him 15 to 20 minutes at most. I remind you and others of what he wrote:
    "At about 25 minutes after twelve I went down off the bridge to get a new log out and not being able to find it, I went on the bridge again to see if the Second Officer knew anything about it. I then noticed that this other ship was about one and a half points before the beam
    This first trip below would have been done at a quick pace.
    "I then went down again and was down until about five minutes to one."
    So Gibson took a total of about 30 minutes to do the job. That's about 10 minutes too long. His excuse we know about.

    Jim C.

    Approach and turn.JPG
     
  16. >>Sure the two men were looking at the same vessel at the same time...11-45pm. That is not in dispute. But it is incorrect to consider one piece of evidence in isolation. The total evidence covers the period from just before 11pm until 11-40pm and it commences with one man was looking eastward and the other southward. You cannot escape these facts if you understand and accept all of the evidence.<<

    Hmm? So, according to your read of the evidence, two ships approached Californian over a period of about 1/2 hour, one out of the east and a second out of the south. Lord said the one he was watching casually from the deck, "was approaching me from the eastward... It was on the starboard side...I saw it [the green nav light] some time between 11 and half-past; I do not know exactly." He also said he noticed the vessel had stopped "about half-past 11."

    According to Grove, "About 11.10, ship’s time, I made out a steamer coming up a little bit abaft our starboard beam." He said he started to pay some attention to her around 11:15 and "about 11.25 I made out two lights - two white lights." He also said, "At that time we would be heading N.E. when I saw that steamer first." When asked how much abaft the beam was the steamer's bearing when he first noticed it, he said, "I should think about 3 1/2 points, but I took no actual bearing of her." Then according to Groves "I went down to him [Lord] it would be as near as I could judge about 11.30... I knocked at his door and told him there was a steamer approaching us coming up on the starboard quarter." Lord then instructs him to call the steamer up by Morse, which Groves does, and gets no reply. Soon after, Lord comes up to bridge at about 11:45, and according to Grove's account: "Well he said to me, 'It does not look like a passenger steamer.' I said, 'Well, she put her lights out at 11.40' - a few minutes ago that was."

    Are we to accept that there were two mysterious steamers approaching from different directions, one from the east, the other from the south? One seen only by Lord, the other seen only by Groves? Both stop about the same time off Californian's starboard hand, but somehow when Lord goes up to the upper bridge to talk to Stone around 11:45 to find out more about the steamer that had stopped nearby, only one of these two mystery vessels remains in sight. And are we to believe all of that because that is what was given in evidence?

    Silly me for not accepting all that. But I can understand why a proliferation of mystery vessels is need to cloud the scene when it comes down to the actions, or rather inactions, taken by those in charge on Californian at the time those rockets were seen.
     
  17. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Hello Sam.

    Hmm? So, according to your read of the evidence, two ships approached Californian over a period of about 1/2 hour, one out of the east and a second out of the south.

    No Sam, not 'according to my read' but according to the proper and full evalution of recorded evidence by which Lord has been judged and continues to be judged.

    Are we to accept that there were two mysterious steamers approaching from different directions, one from the east, the other from the south? One seen only by Lord, the other seen only by Groves? Both stop about the same time off Californian's starboard hand, but somehow when Lord goes up to the upper bridge to talk to Stone around 11:45 to find out more about the steamer that had stopped nearby, only one of these two mystery vessels remains in sight?

    Which part of the available evidence are we to reject then? Read the evidence again Sam. Groves saw his vessel approaching on a steady course for fully half an hour from a southward direction. He saw it 10 to 12 miles away and it stopped 5 to 7 miles away. It never showed him a green light. It covered the distance from sighting to stop in 30 minutes showing a red light all the time. No way was that veesel Titanic. Did it disappear? Perhaps it did. The one Gill saw certainly did and he was looking in the same direction as everyone else at around midnight. Where did his vessel go?

    And are we to believe all of that because that is what was given in evidence? Silly me for not accepting all that.

    No Sam, not one of us is duty-bound to accept all or part of the presented evidence. However, I would say 'Silly you' if you fail to consider any other possibilty other than the two-ship theory. If you reject parts of the evidence out of hand. If you home-in on the 11-45pm joint sighting part of the evidence given by Groves and reject every other part of his evidence.

    But I can understand why a proliferation of mystery vessels is need to cloud the scene when it comes down to the actions, or rather inactions, taken by those in charge on Californian at the time those rockets were seen.

    That's a bit silly too Sam. Only one extra vessel would do the trick. :cool:

    But I too can make similar observations. I can understand why it is necessary to reject all evidence which suggests more than one vessel which if it or they were there, might require a proper re-think of Titanic's final movements.

    Not by accident does the proper full consideration and evaluation of all evidence eventually form a strong chain. The Lord condemnation evidence-chain is made from tissue paper. :D


    Jim C.
     
  18. TimTurner

    TimTurner Member

    Do you fellows want swords or pistols or something?:D
     
  19. >>Do you fellows want swords or pistols or something?<<

    Tim, why spoil the fun?
     
  20. TimTurner

    TimTurner Member

    I just didn't want anyone to lose an eye.