Superior mirage and the Californian

M

Mila

Guest
Mila, Aaron is of course merely pointing out that there was enough light that night to see the Fata Bromosa at the horizon
Tim, may I please suggest at least to learn the correct spelling of phenomena you are talking about before you do? Aaron has never seen Fata Brumosa and maybe does not even know what it is.

I took this image of Fata Brumosa on a sunny day with a zoom lens. There are no long beam of light getting towards me and as soon as the sun set it was indistinguishable.
View attachment 43627

In fact, I took this image from the same place and just an hour or so later
View attachment 43628

I was no longer able to see the Fata Brumosa, but I did capture a long beam of light (Venus glitter), and it is probably what Beesley saw. Only for him the night was much darker, and there was no light pollution.

Secondly, I believe your images show exactly what they saw in a thin band all around the horizon that night, and which Symons and the Marengo were describing. As Aaron eloquently pointed out, there was enough starlight that night to be able to see the miraging strip/haze on the horizon.
And what exactly gave you a reason to believe this, Tim, if I may ask, please.

Nobody of your witnesses even used the word "strip".

Here's what Symons said:

"Pretty clear, Sir, a fine night, rather hazy; if anything a little hazy on the horizon, but nothing to speak of" .

He saw a very common hazy horizon and nothing else.

Please, Tim, do not put the words in their mouths. You may say that sometimes mirages are associated with a narrow strip of haze at the horizon. You may say that witnesses described some haze, but please do not say they saw miraged strips!

BTW I found Jessop's (Titanic's survivor) weather observations: https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/j.1477-8696.2000.tb04034.x

“[Evening 14 April 19 121 : Greyish skies replaced sunshine . . . calm sea . . . Perfect serenity for miles . . . grey sky, deepening into haziness as evening fell, made the water look like molten silver as it caught the soft beams of [brilliant starlight] .”
After a night [14/15 April 19121 of calm sea and floating mists, the wind rose to an icy keenness, cutting through our numbed bodies .
[my bolding]
So as you see the survivor describes "deepening into haziness" and not a miraged strip, the survivor describes "floating mist" (probably sea smoke) and not a miraged strip, and he describes "soft beams" [reflection of stars] and not Fata Brumosa.
 

T Maltin

Member
Dec 27, 2018
139
10
18
Tim, may I please suggest at least to learn the correct spelling of phenomena you are talking about before you do? Aaron has never seen Fata Brumosa and maybe does not even know what it is.

I took this image of Fata Brumosa on a sunny day with a zoom lens. There are no long beam of light getting towards me and as soon as the sun set it was indistinguishable.
View attachment 43627

In fact, I took this image from the same place and just an hour or so later
View attachment 43628

I was no longer able to see the Fata Brumosa, but I did capture a long beam of light (Venus glitter), and it is probably what Beesley saw. Only for him the night was much darker, and there was no light pollution.

And what exactly gave you a reason to believe this, Tim, if I may ask, please.

Nobody of your witnesses even used the word "strip".

Here's what Symons said:

"Pretty clear, Sir, a fine night, rather hazy; if anything a little hazy on the horizon, but nothing to speak of" .

He saw a very common hazy horizon and nothing else.

Please, Tim, do not put the words in their mouths. You may say that sometimes mirages are associated with a narrow strip of haze at the horizon. You may say that witnesses described some haze, but please do not say they saw miraged strips!

BTW I found Jessop's (Titanic's survivor) weather observations: https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/j.1477-8696.2000.tb04034.x


So as you see the survivor describes "deepening into haziness" and not a miraged strip, the survivor describes "floating mist" (probably sea smoke) and not a miraged strip, and he describes "soft beams" [reflection of stars] and not Fata Brumosa.
Actually I think that if you had thousands of stars above the Fata Brumosa in your beautiful photograph then some of the scattered light in there would look like beams of light coming down from each star "towards" the viewer.

Yes but notice how in your second pic the stars become extinct before they reach the water. That is not what Beesley saw - he saw each one apparently being cut in half at the horizon, and sending long beams of light towards him. It is as though he was seeing something much more like your earlier pic of the Brumosa, but very well lit by extremely bright starlight - and thousands of acres of field ice nearby to reflect light around.

Of course Symons did not mention a miraging strip - he would not have known that he was looking at Fata Brumosa/a miraging strip at the horizon. But this is what they said:

Slide-35.png


It reminds me of what Kelly said, here shown with one of your sunset pics:

Silde-36.png


I also think that Jessop's deepening into haze is consistent with this. I do not think that sea smoke would have this effect at the horizon.

Remember also that at the 1913 Hearings the precis went further, saying:

The sky was clear; the sea was not. There was a haze, as seen when one looked for the horizon.

Was there any kind of haze within half a mile of the ship? - I think there was. There was none round the ship.

Mr Murdoch was on the bridge. Another officer was popping in and out of the chart-room. He thought it was Mr Low [sic]. He came down from the crow's nest when he was relieved at 12 o'clock. At that time it was not clear at the horizon. He thought the haze was extending all round the horizon within a certain locality. When they were in the boats they could see a further distance.

There was a very slight haze on the horizon, but it did not hinder them in performing their duties. Shortly before the collision he saw a black object right ahead.


You certainly cannot rule out that Fata Brumosa is what they saw, albeit further complicated by ice blink and indeed the barrier itself! Remember that the berg may have appeared to have come out of that haze, even if that haze was right on the horizon.

Here are the simulations Professor Young did, showing how a miraging strip at the horizon would effect the sighting of the iceberg even nearby:

Silde-57.png


Half of the berg has such low contrast with the Brumosa beyond it that it can't be seen, making what is against the sea smaller and therefore seen later. in the scotopic conditions.

The iceberg is then seen very late indeed, when enough of it is against the sea to be able to see it:

Slide-58.png


But this was too late for Titanic. Had the band of refracting haze not been there in the background, they would have seen the berg earlier, when half of it was contrasted with the darker sky. But that hazy band hid such a large proportion of it for so long, which would not have been the case with a clear, darker horizon.

Best wishes, Tim
 

T Maltin

Member
Dec 27, 2018
139
10
18
Refraction was never noticed on Titnic. Please do not put words in witness mouths.
No but haze was, and I have very good reason to believe that this was refraction. I never said any survivor used the word refraction in describing the haze. Tks, Tim
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
4,792
555
183
Funchal. Madeira
Hi Mila, great sunset mirage pics, thanks. Titanic's last sunset was at about 7pm, when she was in about 41.33N, 47.38W, which is about 100 miles east of her crash site, and when she had only just entered the cold water of the Labrador current, and when the air temperature was 6.1 degrees C. Refraction was not noticed on Titanic until the 8pm - 10pm watch, when Symons said there was haze all around the horizon throughout most of that watch, when Titanic was another 20 miles further into the inversion. This diagram shows you what I mean:

View attachment 43629

And because there was no refraction on the horizon at that time the star sights all agreed.

Interestingly though, Beesley did say that the sunsets on Titanic every evening of the good weather throughout their westward passage were remarkable:

And each night the sun sank right in our eyes along the sea,
making an undulating glittering pathway, a golden
track charted on the surface of the ocean which
our ship followed unswervingly until the sun
dipped below the edge of the horizon, and the
pathway ran ahead of us faster than we could
steam and slipped over the edge of the sky-
line, — as if the sun had been a golden ball
and had wound up its thread of gold too
quickly for us to follow.

Thanks and best, Tim
Hello Tim.
Another couple of bits of information:

The Titanic was at 41-54'North, 47-27'West at 7 pm that evening.

When a Navigator calculates a true altitude, he applies corrections for Dip and Refraction. He obtains the last from a table which allows for pressure and temperature. To use that table, he checks air temperature and the barometer. No one would be able to "notice" refraction, certainly not the Lookouts. You do not see "haze" at sea unless you are close to land.
If the lookouts saw anything, they saw a lightening of the horizon due to reflected starlight...at first on the smooth surface of the sea and eventually off the flat surface of the pack ice. Due to the curvature of the earth, such reflection can only be seen in a narrow band in one direction. however, that narrow band extends around the horizon to the eyes of someone who is sweeping it with said eyes... eyes which incidentally, have a natural "dip" of about 10 degrees.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Samuel Halpern

T Maltin

Member
Dec 27, 2018
139
10
18
There is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance...
Dr. King.
I agree Mila, but I'm glad I've moved you from calling me dishonest to sincere. The next stage is to convince you that I am right - or for you to convince me that you are! Thanks and best, Tim
 
M

Mila

Guest
I agree Mila, but I'm glad I've moved you from calling me dishonest to sincere. The next stage is to convince you that I am right - or for you to convince me that you are! Thanks and best, Tim
Tim, I politely did not finish the quote, but you could find it on the NET. And besides I have never stoped to believe that the way you used Marengo’s log is dishonest, and it is not the only case.

From everything that is connected to the Californian affair, and the visibility of the iceberg, super refraction is the easiest one to disprove. However, it is all but impossible to argue with you. No matter what testimony you have at hand you allege it proves super refraction, and I have more interesting things to do than repeat over and over again that there is not a single compelling evidence of a super refraction.
And with this I wish you all the best.
 

T Maltin

Member
Dec 27, 2018
139
10
18
Hello Tim.
Another couple of bits of information:

The Titanic was at 41-54'North, 47-27'West at 7 pm that evening.

When a Navigator calculates a true altitude, he applies corrections for Dip and Refraction. He obtains the last from a table which allows for pressure and temperature. To use that table, he checks air temperature and the barometer. No one would be able to "notice" refraction, certainly not the Lookouts. You do not see "haze" at sea unless you are close to land.
If the lookouts saw anything, they saw a lightening of the horizon due to reflected starlight...at first on the smooth surface of the sea and eventually off the flat surface of the pack ice. Due to the curvature of the earth, such reflection can only be seen in a narrow band in one direction. however, that narrow band extends around the horizon to the eyes of someone who is sweeping it with said eyes... eyes which incidentally, have a natural "dip" of about 10 degrees.
Thanks Jim, on my chart I have her at 41.53N, 47.38W (I typed .33N instead of .53, apologies). So our latitudes more or less agree, but I have her 6 or 7 miles further along her track than you by 7pm. Are you basing your position on Boxhall's evidence?

Regarding the haze on the horizon, both Titanic Lookouts Lee and Symons said the haze was extending all around the horizon (and Fleet said the haze was "on" the horizon). Both you and I agree that the haze was in fact reflected starlight, but I go further in saying that this reflected starlight was in a refracting strip at the horizon. I think this is also the "Much refraction on horizon" and "Great refraction" which Marengo recorded in her log at 4pm and 8pm respectively on the 15th April 1912. (And we also have Niagara's "clear horizon with mirage" in the same part of the Atlantic on the 12th.)

If not the band of haze that Symons referred to, then what do you think Marengo's log was referring to?

Thanks and best, Tim
 
M

Mila

Guest
Hello Tim.
Another couple of bits of information:

The Titanic was at 41-54'North, 47-27'West at 7 pm that evening.

When a Navigator calculates a true altitude, he applies corrections for Dip and Refraction. He obtains the last from a table which allows for pressure and temperature. To use that table, he checks air temperature and the barometer. No one would be able to "notice" refraction, certainly not the Lookouts. You do not see "haze" at sea unless you are close to land.
If the lookouts saw anything, they saw a lightening of the horizon due to reflected starlight...at first on the smooth surface of the sea and eventually off the flat surface of the pack ice. Due to the curvature of the earth, such reflection can only be seen in a narrow band in one direction. however, that narrow band extends around the horizon to the eyes of someone who is sweeping it with said eyes... eyes which incidentally, have a natural "dip" of about 10 degrees.
Jim, the funniest part of this is that Tim would argue that Marengo reporting refraction being in much warmer waters for a few hundred miles around the wreck site is a very important evidence, while the Titanic’s officers and passengers not seeing any evidence of refraction while being in cold waters 100 miles from the wreck site could be dismissed because they were too far away.
 
  • Like
Reactions: T Maltin

T Maltin

Member
Dec 27, 2018
139
10
18
Tim, I politely did not finish the quote, but you could find it on the NET. And besides I have never stoped to believe that the way you used Marengo’s log is dishonest, and it is not the only case.

From everything that is connected to the Californian affair, and the visibility of the iceberg, super refraction is the easiest one to disprove. However, it is all but impossible to argue with you. No matter what testimony you have at hand you allege it proves super refraction, and I have more interesting things to do than repeat over and over again that there is not a single compelling evidence of a super refraction.
And with this I wish you all the best.
Hi Mila, my research reveals precisely as follows re the Marengo:

Annotated-Map.png


In my book I explained this as follows:

Further evidence of abnormal refraction in the area comes from the log of the Wilson Line steamer Marengo, bound from New York to Hull under the command of Captain G. W. Owen. On the night of the collision and sinking of the Titanic on the 14/15th April 1912 she was in the same longitude as the Titanic and only one degree south, and her log records both the clear, starlit night and the great refraction on the horizon:

upload_2019-1-28_20-20-54.png

upload_2019-1-28_20-21-24.png

upload_2019-1-28_20-21-47.png

upload_2019-1-28_20-22-12.png

upload_2019-1-28_20-22-29.png


The above is the exact text and exact images included in my book regarding Marengo. As I have explained at length in this thread, there is absolutely nothing dishonest about the above text and images, or my research into the Marengo, or any other of my research or work or writings. Indeed, I pride myself in being one who always tells the truth in life, and about the Titanic. In all my books I always back up my work by providing the actual evidence, both in testimony form or image form, so my readers can decide for themselves.

I will read your articles with an open mind in the next few weeks.

Thanks for the good debate, which I hope has also been interesting to others here, Tim
 

Rob Lawes

Member
Jun 13, 2012
1,059
583
143
England
There is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance...
Dr. King.
So basically Mila, you are saying that Tim is sincerely ignorant AND consciously stupid. Yes, I read the full quote out of curiosity.

I must say it saddens me to see these vitriolic words used against someone else regardless of your opinion of his work. It does your points harm because it would appear you have a personal issue with Tim and not a simple difference of opinion.

There is an old saying "you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar"

It's a fascinating discussion from all sides.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Thanks Aaron. And please do keep sending me any of these as you come across them. Best, Tim
Here are several more articles I found.



January 16th 1914
Michigan, Calumet News


The-Calumetnews-Michiganjan16th1914.png


It would have been very dark at 4.30 on that cold January. I wonder if this "vapor raised by the cold weather" was quite similar around the Titanic?


In June 1907 a number of American newspapers reported a fantastic mirage that was observed in the region where the Titanic sank i.e. two days outside New York.


Saturday, June 15th 1907
New York, Evening World

Eveningworld-NYsat-June15th1907.png


The SS Philadelphia also witnessed the steamer La Torraine caught in the mirage.


Daily Arizona

Daily-Arizona-July3rd1907.png


Titanic survivor Edith Rosenbaum said the mystery ship appeared so close that she could see a man walking on her deck. I wonder if the same kind of phenomenon had occurred. It seems that region was a hot bed for atmospheric changes.

Several more newspapers covered the story with slight variations in their description.


June 20th 1907
Democrat Sentinel


Democrat-Sentineljune201907.png



June 16th 1907
Washington Herald

Washingtonheraldjune16th1907.png



What really stood out to me were specific words in those articles e.g. The sea was like a "mill-pond." and "the sea was comparatively smooth with a haze hanging over it." and how there was a noticeable "mist" and a "vapor raised by the cold weather." The Titanic's survivors described all of those things. I believe it is almost a 99 percent certainty that there was indeed a mirage taking place on the night of April 14th 1912.


.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: T Maltin
M

Mila

Guest
So basically Mila, you are saying that Tim is sincerely ignorant AND consciously stupid. Yes, I read the full quote out of curiosity.

I must say it saddens me to see these vitriolic words used against someone else regardless of your opinion of his work. It does your points harm because it would appear you have a personal issue with Tim and not a simple difference of opinion.

There is an old saying "you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar"

It's a fascinating discussion from all sides.
Hi Rob,

Tim is a very nice person.

However, if you want me to spell it out, here it is.

As Charles Bukowski said

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubt, while the stupid people are full of confidence.”

And it precisely what Tim did and does in his book, his documentary and on this forum. Tim is full of confidence.

Here is an example.

Tim has never seen a superior mirage.
There is no any image of a night time mirage which does not involve a light or the Moon.
There is no any description of a night time mirage-associated haze.
Yet Tim keeps stating over and over and over again that he has good reasons to believe lookouts and others saw miraged strip.
What reasons one could possibly have to believe this?

Another example.
Tim has never seen a Fata Burmosa (A Fata Morgana of the sea surface).
There is no any image and/or any description of the phenomenon observed at nighttime with the stars. I am not aware about any Fata Burmosa observed even with the Moon.
As I said earlier polar explorers spent month and month of polar nights in Antarctica, and apperantly have never seen this with the stars.
Furthermore, any mirage is a vertical feature confied to a narrow strip of sky at the horizon. It cannot send long beams of light towards an observer.
Furthermore, I saw dozen of Fata Burmosas on bright sunny days. However, at nighttime they probably would be all, but undetectable. Even on daytime one sometimes needs binoculars to see one.
As I explained above there is no single record of nighttime Fata Burmosa display.
The weather conditions (floating mist) indicates that the ocean was warmer than the air, not the right condition for a Fata Burmosa to occur.
So under the circumstances I listed above what kind of person could be sure that Beesley’s poetic narrative described Fata Burmosa ?
And there are more examples of the same unreasonable confidence.

Mirages are very complex phenomena. I saw hundreds of them, and studied them and wrote articles about them and there are still many things that I do not understand.


So it is how I came to my conclusion although maybe I should not have gotten personal.

All the best.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
M

Mila

Guest
What really stood out to me were specific words in those articles e.g. The sea was like a "mill-pond." and "the sea was comparatively smooth with a haze hanging over it." and how there was a noticeable "mist" and a "vapor raised by the cold weather." The Titanic's survivors described all of those things. I believe it is almost a 99 percent certainty that there was indeed a mirage taking place on the night of April 14th 1912.
Right, except there is no mention of Tim’s most important evidence, namely haze at the horizon , in the articles you quoted and there is no mention of anything being upside down in the Titanic’s situation.

And, no, it is not dark at 4:30 in January in New York. The sun set at 4:52 on January 12, 1914 and then of course there was twilight.

In addition, I am not even sure it was a superior mirage of New York. For example here are a few images of superior mirages of Chicago Photos: The Chicago Skyline, Seen From Michigan (!), Thanks To An Incredible Mirage
IMO they cannot be described as upside down Chicago. A superior mirage produces at least one erected and one inverted image of a miraged object.
Below is an image of an inferior mirage of houses I photographed. Are they upside down?
maxresdefault-jpg.jpg


Was it even a mirage at all? A mirage with such heavy vapour that a professional pilot refuses to enter the familiar port seems highly unlikely. Maybe it was New York in fog, as it is shown here http://www.nymetroweather.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/BeBsdkOCYAAXG3j.jpg-large.jpeg that appeared upside down due to some strange light?

The same applies to the ship. Where was the errected image of the ship as it is shown here?

maxresdefault.jpg

Also, I have posted this link before but probably it worth to repost it here Reconstructing the prevailing meteorological and optical environment during the time of the Titanic disaster

This is a scientific research written by dynamic meteorologists
They concluded that super refraction was not present at the time and in the place of the disaster.
 

Attachments

Last edited by a moderator:

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
4,792
555
183
Funchal. Madeira
Thanks Jim, on my chart I have her at 41.53N, 47.38W (I typed .33N instead of .53, apologies). So our latitudes more or less agree, but I have her 6 or 7 miles further along her track than you by 7pm. Are you basing your position on Boxhall's evidence?

Regarding the haze on the horizon, both Titanic Lookouts Lee and Symons said the haze was extending all around the horizon (and Fleet said the haze was "on" the horizon). Both you and I agree that the haze was in fact reflected starlight, but I go further in saying that this reflected starlight was in a refracting strip at the horizon. I think this is also the "Much refraction on horizon" and "Great refraction" which Marengo recorded in her log at 4pm and 8pm respectively on the 15th April 1912. (And we also have Niagara's "clear horizon with mirage" in the same part of the Atlantic on the 12th.)

If not the band of haze that Symons referred to, then what do you think Marengo's log was referring to?

Thanks and best, Tim
Hello Tim.

No, I do not base my 7 pm DR position on the evidence of 4th Officer Boxhall, but on that of 5th Officer Lowe who indicated that Titanic slowed down between Noon April 14 and 6 pm that evening. I also base it on the evidence of Lightholler who stated that the clocks were altered before the impact with the ice. This means that the run time from the time of impact back top 7 pm was about 5 hours, nor 4 hours 40 minutes.

Morengo's "much refraction" is not based on mirage evidence since they would have to have been seeing one at regular intervals. In fact, one of the entries tells you. "4 pm: Much refraction on the horizon"
I have looked at the weather log . here is a value for Much refraction:

Mean refraction values are calculated using standard air temperature at bridge height...50F and a barometer level at the same height of 29.6 inches
Morengo recorded an air temperature of 0.5 C and a barometer reading of 1039.6 mb. The calculation is as follows.
Mean refraction value: 0 degrees...34.9 minutes of arc .
Correction for temp. 0 degrees... 1.4 minutes of arc.
Correction for Baro. 0 degrees... 1.4 minutes of arc.
Value of "much refraction "...................2.8 minutes of arc

The total value for refraction to be allowed for at sea level in the above case, was 34.9 + 2.8 = 37.7 minutes of arc...almost three-quarters of a degree.
If the temperature had dropped to -9.5C and the barometer had risen to 1050.0 mb, then the correction for refraction would have been 4.3 minutes of arc. Now that would truly have been "great refraction."

Hope this helps.

Jim.
 
M

Mila

Guest
Morengo's "much refraction" is not based on mirage evidence since they would have to have been seeing one at regular intervals. In fact, one of the entries tells you. "4 pm: Much refraction on the horizon"
I have looked at the weather log . here is a value for Much refraction:

Mean refraction values are calculated using standard air temperature at bridge height...50F and a barometer level at the same height of 29.6 inches
Morengo recorded an air temperature of 0.5 C and a barometer reading of 1039.6 mb. The calculation is as follows.
Mean refraction value: 0 degrees...34.9 minutes of arc .
Correction for temp. 0 degrees... 1.4 minutes of arc.
Correction for Baro. 0 degrees... 1.4 minutes of arc.
Value of "much refraction "...................2.8 minutes of arc


The total value for refraction to be allowed for at sea level in the above case, was 34.9 + 2.8 = 37.7 minutes of arc...almost three-quarters of a degree.
If the temperature had dropped to -9.5C and the barometer had risen to 1050.0 mb, then the correction for refraction would have been 4.3 minutes of arc. Now that would truly have been "great refraction."
Jim,

Let’s assume that Marengo were only 40 something miles south of the wreck site at the exact time of the collision and the sinking. Let’s further assume that Marengo recorded “much refraction” at that very time. Would this fact meant that there was super refraction at the wreck side? Would you please elaborate your response?

Thanks.
 

Julian Atkins

Member
Sep 23, 2017
908
427
73
South Wales UK
As a bit of an aside, Tim did find The Almerian's 'Greenwich Noon Observations form' and 'Daily Journal', which helped Sam solve the puzzle of The Almerian, and dismiss her as a 'mystery ship'.

Cheers,

Julian
 
  • Like
Reactions: T Maltin
Mar 22, 2003
5,221
658
273
Chicago, IL, USA
There were two people in the crow's nest that night between 10 and midnight. Both testified as to the conditions they saw.Both mentioned seeing 'haze'. But neither of them would agree on the extent and severity of that haze. Lee said it appeared all around the horizon and stated that at one point in time he told Fleet that they would be lucky to get through it, or some words to that effect. Fleet said that the only haze he saw was bout 10-15 minutes before the collision, and it was directly ahead of them extending from 2 points to either side of dead ahead, and nothing to really talk about. Fleet also emphatically denied being told by Lee that they would be lucky to get through it. In other words, one of them was lying.

As Jim pointed out in some post somewhere, you cannot see haze at night unless it is very close by. Anybody want to guess why? You also cannot see a mirage at night unless there is enough light to be miraged.
The last point I want to make is that haze or a mirage had nothing to do with when the iceberg was sighted. The berg was sighted when the ship came close enough for it to seen by the reflected starlight. It was well below the level of where the horizon would have been if it were visible, which it wasn't. The lookouts could not tell where the sky ended and the sea began. Some attributed the lack of clear dividing line to haze on the horizon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
4,792
555
183
Funchal. Madeira
On the subject of the visibility range of Carpathia's rockets... Lightoller saw at least two of them from his perch atop the upturned boat. He emphatically stated that he did not hear an explosion.
He said they were the same as the ones fired by Titanic. However, if he did not hear a bang from any of them, how could he be sure they were so?
If they were the same, then they would have been fired from a point 32 miles away and be on Lightoller's horizon at least 2 hours before Carpathia arrived on the scene at 4 am. Not only that, they would at that time have been seen on or above the horizon of those in lifeboats.
If there had been any abnormal refraction, they would have been seen well above the horizon at that time.
However, Carpathia did not start firing her rockets, for at least another half hour. By then, she would have been 25 miles from Lightoller and then, her rockets would have been bursting above the horizon of the survivors.
As she approached, her rockets would increase their height above the horizon of the survivors. There is no way they could have been missed when Carpathia was a mere 7 miles away at or near to 3-30 am Nor could the sound of an exploding shell (socket signal) not be heard at that range.
The only explanation can be that Carpathia was indeed firing old fashioned rockets which did not make an explosive sound at maximum trajectory. if so, these rockets would have risen to a height of about 300 feet above sea level.

Lightoller also said that he had seen the old type distress rocket fired previously before sailing in Titanic. Titanic had a box of 12 such rockets as well as the more modern socket signals. I am sure that Carpathia would have been equipped in the same way. If so, then her master would have fired them, not his more modern ones.
As an aside: the socket signals and guns were of most use when the vessel in distress and the potential rescuer were in sight of each other...as when the vessel was in plain sight and nearby to Titanic.