STRANGERS ON THE HORIZON: Titanic and Californian – A Forensic Approach


Mar 22, 2003
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Dear friends:

After several years in the making, I am happy to announce the availability of my new book, “STRANGERS ON THE HORIZON: Titanic and Californian – A Forensic Approach.

As described on the back cover, this book takes a new look into what has been called the Californian affair. It is significantly different from most previous treatments of this highly contentious subject in that it does not try to simply interpret or reinterpret every single word that eyewitnesses said in 1912. Instead, it takes a novel approach of applying specific analytical techniques to test the many conflicting and contradictory statements that were made in 1912 in order to find the reality of what took place. It includes detailed analysis of distances, bearings, headings, speeds, drift rates, ranges of visibility and other quantifiable information that has never before been examined in any great detail. It provides answers to the question of where was Californian relative to Titanic that night, and were they in sight of each other. It also deals with a number of questions that have been raised over the years by both sides in this long-standing debate, and explores some of the more baffling observations and apparent mysteries of what was seen that night by various eyewitnesses.

The book also looks into the role played by several other vessels that were in the area that memorable night, including Carpathia, Mount Temple, Almerian and Birma, delving deeply into some of the claims made afterward concerning rescue attempts, movements and sightings. In addition, the book also explores the moments leading up to, and immediately following, Titanic’s collision with an iceberg, piecing together a detailed moment-by-moment picture of the events and actions that took place from the time the fatal iceberg was first spotted, to the time that the iceberg was last seen fading astern into the dark of night.

The book is 556 pages and is made up of 17 chapters, 22 appendices, 774 supporting endnotes, plus Preface, Prologue, Epilogue, Acknowledgement and Index. The Foreword is by George M. Behe. An outline of the book describing its chapter-by-chapter content can be viewed here:

StrangersOnTheHorizon.

The book can be purchased through Amazon.com here: STRANGERS ON THE HORIZON: Titanic and Californian - A Forensic Approach: Samuel Halpern: 9781702121989: Amazon.com: Books.
For those in the UK, it can be ordered here: STRANGERS ON THE HORIZON: Titanic and Californian - A Forensic Approach: Amazon.co.uk: Samuel Halpern: 9781702121989: Books.
For those in Germany, it can be ordered here: STRANGERS ON THE HORIZON: Titanic and Californian – A Forensic Approach: Amazon.de: Samuel Halpern: Fremdsprachige Bücher.

Best Regards,
 
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Seumas

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My sincere congratulations on your new book Sam.

I'll buy it in the New Year.

As I've said previously I lack the expert knowledge to judge exactly who "the ship that stood still" was and respect both sides of the argument. It will be very interesting to read your evidence, your arguments and your conclusions.

Congratulations again. :)
 
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AlexP

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I wouldn't speculate too hard about that Bob. :)
Why not?
Congrats on the book, Sam!
I have not read it of course, but as long as you cannot provide a valid explanation on why the Californian’s navigational lights were first seen from the Titanic an hour after the navigational lights of Titanic were first seen from Californian and why practically nobody, except maybe Mr. Boxhall, saw the Californian’s green sidelight by itself even after they saw her masthead lights, it will be incomplete IMO. The facts that I listed above are not conflicting. No witnesses contradict each other on them, and yet they should be explained if the book according to you provides novel approach. As long as you cannot explain the above inconsistencies, Maltin will allege they were due to a mirage and Jim would allege the Californian was never seen fromTitanic at all. So let's discuss it. Maybe you could quote your book on the topics I listed above? It is going to be an interesting discussion.
 
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Seumas

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Why not?
Congrats on the book, Sam!
I have not read it of course, but as long as you cannot provide a valid explanation on why the Californian’s navigational lights were first seen from the Titanic an hour after the navigational lights of Titanic were first seen from Californian and why practically nobody, except maybe Mr. Boxhall, saw the Californian’s green sidelight by itself even after they saw her masthead lights, it will be incomplete IMO. The facts that I listed above are not conflicting. No witnesses contradict each other on them, and yet they should be explained if the book according to you provides novel approach. As long as you cannot explain the above inconsistencies, Maltin will allege they were due to a mirage and Jim would allege the Californian was never seen fromTitanic at all. So let discuss it. Maybe you could quote your book on the topics I listed above?

Sam has undoubtedly spent a long time researching and writing this book.

He is under no obligation whatsoever to start posting excerpts from it just for you.

Buy the book if you want the information within.
 
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AlexP

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Sam has undoubtedly spent a long time researching and writing this book.

He is under no obligation whatsoever to start posting excerpts from it just for you.

Buy the book if you want the information within.
I try do not buy a cat in a bag.
I am not sure this book will appear in the libraries because it was "Independently published".
I don't believe in reviews written by laymen.

Of course Sam is under no obligation whatsoever to start posting excerpts from it just me but he appears to be interested in the discussion of the book, and how one would be able to discuss anything without posting at least some novel findings from the book?

And lastly have you ever heard about preview of the books like for example here https://books.google.com/books?id=RIcTDQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=halpern+titanic&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi-isy2o-rlAhUJnZ4KHf2HAyEQ6AEwAHoECAcQAg#v=onepage&q=halpern%20titanic&f=false or here https://books.google.com/books?id=PnlGDHNSCmoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=titanic+indifferent+strangers&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjVid7fo-rlAhWShJ4KHWJxCTwQ6AEwAHoECAQQAg#v=onepage&q=titanic%20indifferent%20strangers&f=false
Maybe that new book will be eventually published in Google books preview too.
 

AlexP

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It's already the "recommended book of the month" over on Dr Lee's website. Well done Sam !
And how many books on Titanic were published this month again?
But anyway, if the author wants to discuss the book, and I am sure it is going to be an interesting discussion, posting some kind of preview either here or in Google books is essential. otherwise there is simply nothing to discuss.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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I have not read it of course, but as long as you cannot provide a valid explanation on why the Californian’s navigational lights were first seen from the Titanic an hour after the navigational lights of Titanic were first seen from Californian and why practically nobody, except maybe Mr. Boxhall, saw the Californian’s green sidelight by itself even after they saw her masthead lights, it will be incomplete IMO.
I suppose, AlexP, that you will have to find out for yourself if what you consider to be a valid explanation for the things you list are covered in the book. As Seumas posted above, I am under no obligation whatsoever to start posting excerpts just for you. The book will speak for itself.
 
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AlexP

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I suppose, AlexP, that you will have to find out for yourself if what you consider to be a valid explanation for the things you list are covered in the book. As Seumas posted above, I am under no obligation whatsoever to start posting excerpts just for you. The book will speak for itself.
Sure, but then there is nothing to discuss. BTW Mila told me that you requested copies of her articles that *are* available in libraries and she emailed them to you. I guess she should have told you that she was not obligated to do it.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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BTW Mila told me that you requested copies of her articles that *are* available in libraries and she emailed them to you. I guess she should have told you that she was not obligated to do it.
No, she was not obligated to do so, but I believe that she will be honored to know that endnote 40 in Chapter-III quotes from her work. It was part of a subsection entitled, “If We Can See Through That We Will Be Lucky”. I guess I can share a tiny extract with everyone here because I'm such a nice guy.

>>>>>>
From what Shiers was able to describe in his deposition, he saw the dim outline of an iceberg astern of the ship that seemed to be in some sort of haze or mist. He did not take notice as to how far around that haze extended, only that is seemed to be on both sides of the iceberg. He was not able to notice any color to the berg or say how high the haze went. His description seems to describe there being a localized, patch of sea smoke extending around the base of the iceberg.[40]
_______________________________________
[40] According to Mila Zinkova, “Low patches of sea smoke might be hard to detect at night, but sometimes the glowing plankton that is common in these waters can enhance their appearance. The plankton glows when disturbed by the movement of waves or by predators. Shiers (1913) testified that he observed phosphorous that was coming up in the water right after the collision. Reflected starlight also could have made sea smoke more evident. The effect could have been greater over the ice field. Sea smoke could appear as localized fog (or haze) around the icebergs: the United States Coast Guard (1922) describes an instance in which vapor from the melting ice was clinging to the berg as steam. That localized, patchy appearance might provide some justification as to why most witnesses saw no haze and account for Fleet’s, Lee’s and Thayer’s haze and Jessop’s mist.” (Reference: Mila Zinkova, “Titanic’s Mirage, Part 2: Did a mysterious mirage-associated haze camouflage the iceberg?,” Royal Meteorological Society.)
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Harland Duzen

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Slightly late, but may I wish you and your new book the best.

It will certainly make for a very interesting Christmas present for some (unless you get it beforehand)! :D
 
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B-rad

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Good news and bad news. Good: My wife ordered this book for me. Bad: She says I have to wait until Christmas to get it. Either way I'm excited to read it!!!
 
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