Superior mirage and the Californian

A

Aaron_2016

Guest
People disagree with each other all the time. When they disagree with something I have posted I point them in the right direction and explain my reasons fully. I take criticism very well and am perfectly happy to be corrected, but when I receive blatant personal attacks which do absolutely nothing to convince me they are right, the moderator steps in and tells them to stop it. There is always a difference in opinion as each of us speculate what happened. Nobody has a monopoly on the truth. The key witnesses contradicted themselves over an important matter at the Inquiry. Other witnesses who testified also contradict what the key witnesses said. This makes their evidence questionable. There are strong reasons to indicate the Inquiry was not interested in disclosing the truth. There are strong reasons to believe the truth was suppressed. We have other survivors who spoke to and heard directly from the key witnesses and got a different story. So there is a strong indication that the phone was not answered. That is the conclusion I drew to, and still do.

There is so much evidence and sources to explore. e.g. When the lookouts went off duty and the next watch went up the crows nest to take over, they tried to phone the bridge and they were ignored as well.

You are free to believe Hichens, Fleet, and Lee's testimony, and try to makes sense out of their contradictions, shuffle it about and make sense out of it, and dismiss everything else that was spoken by the other witnesses inside and outside the Inquiry, including Boxhall and Peuchen, and you are free to do so, but I prefer to examine 'all' available evidence with no exceptions and come to my own conclusions.



.
 
Thomas C.

Thomas C.

Member
I was watching this thread from the beggining and I would like to say a few words.

Many people are accusing Aaron's theory as being wrong. The Aaron's version of the story is not wrong.

Olliver
''When I was doing this bit of duty I heard three bells rung up in the crow's nest. ... I had just performed an errand and was entering the bridge when the collision occurred.''


To get from the compass platform to the bridge, human would have to walk for about 50 seconds.

Hichens
''All went along very well until 20 minutes to 12, when three gongs came from the lookout, and immediately afterwards a report on the telephone, "Iceberg right ahead." The chief officer rushed from the wing to the bridge. ... He rushed to the engines. I heard the telegraph bell ring; also give the order "Hard astarboard.'' ... The sixth officer repeated the order, "The helm is hard astarboard, sir." But, during the time, she was crushing the ice, or we could hear the grinding noise along the ship's bottom.''

Dillon
3715. Did you feel the shock when the ship struck?
- Slightly.
3716. And shortly before that had the telegraph rung?
- Yes.
3717. Can you say at all how long before she struck that was?
- Two seconds.

Barrett
1860. Now just tell us what happened that you noticed?
- There is like a clock rigged up in the stokehold and a red light goes up when the ship is supposed to stop. ... This red light came up. I am the man in charge of the watch, and I called out, "Shut all dampers."
1866. What was the next thing that happened?
- The crash came before we had them all shut.

My conlusion is very simply. Titanic's crew spotted an iceberg about 1 minute before impact. However 1st officer, didn't give any order, until seconds before impact. Any helm or engine order had no effect on ship's course and speed before coliision.

I came to the same conlusion as Aaron. The lookouts warned the bridge about the iceberg. Bridge didn't take any actions (in time) to avoid the iceberg.

This conclusion is based on the inquiry from 1912. This is the same inquiry, which according to Aaron, tried to cheat the public opinion. This idea is completely wrong.
People would not be able to do something like that. Why nobody from the Titanic's crew never said something like that. ''The inquiry lied. They told us to lie. The truth is different.'' Nobody.

Why?

Because they told what they known. The inquiry had only 3 months to give a final report. Only 3 months and many questions without answers. Where is the wreck of the ship? Did the mystery ship was the Californian? Did ship broke in half? Did officer commit suicide? Why Titanic ignored the ice warnings? Why the lifeboats were only partially full? Today we know were the wreck is. We have simulations, detailed plans, and experts. Accusing the inquiry about a conspiracy, only because they came to the different conclusion in 3 months, than you in many years, is just
misunderstanding of the human psyche.

The inquiry was not wrong, and not right. They just came to the wrong conclusion. Absolutely, nothing, more.

About the case of the phone call and the helm order. In a view of the whole disaster, it is NOT important. As I wrote before they had no effect on collsion. It is only a matter of details. If someone wants to get to know that night in every detail, it will take him a lot of time. Maybe a whole life. :D
 
Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
This thread is to do with what it says on the can"
Superior mirage and the Californian
Discussion in 'Distance and Bearing' started by DarrenC, Dec 27, 2018.

A great deal of time has been spent arguing about events before Titanic hit the iceberg. Only one event is missing from that period and that is, the sighting of the SS Californian about 4 points on Titanic's starboard bow before impact.
If there was any abnormal refraction and/or Californian was visible after Titanic stopped, then Californian would have been standing out like a sore thumb before the lookouts saw the iceberg and the Crow's nest bell would have been sounded once...DING!

Then we have the first question which has never been answered:

Given that the rudder started to lose efficiency the moment the ship's engines started to slow down and the speed started to drop due to a combination of contact and turning motion ...how was it possible for a reverse helm order given at least 30 seconds after the first one, able to check the leftward swing of the bow and start it turning back to the right?
While of little significance under normal circumstances, the fact that Titanic's rudder was slightly undersized would possibly be detrimental to its efficient use in extreme conditions.

Bottom line? How was it possible for the stopped Californian to suddenly appear ahead of the stopped Titanic after a delay of more than 20 minutes...i.e. after the latter had been stopped for more than 20 minutes?
Perhaps the only answer is that the mythical mirage, like the mythical south setting current, affected selected vessels selectively.

I know the arguments are boring and not the least bit gossipy or intriguing. However, without satisfactory answers, the idea that Californian and Titanic were in sight of each other for whatever reason or reasons, is simply impossible!
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
another IMM ship - The Californian
The Californian was not an IMM ship and certainly under the IMM Ship's Rules and Uniform Regulations that were in effect at the time. Leyland Line was partially owned by IMM, who had controlling interest, but Leland had her own management and rules that were being followed.
She only turned into the berg after her stem had swung away initially, the turning away was the effect of the hard a starboard order and the later turning into the berg was the effect of the hard a port order.
Nonsense Tim. If she was swinging to the right under hard-aport the berg would not have stayed along the starboard side as vessel continued going forward.depositing ice through several open ports and getting the windows on the Cafe Parisian wet. It could not have passed within 10 ft of the strn as witnessed by QM Rowe.
Lord first saw Titanic at 10.42pm Titanic time, when she was at least 22 miles away from Californian.
I can easily prove that if Titanic was seen by Lord when she was 22 miles away heading 266°T and one hour before the collision, then she would have been 0 miles away at 11:40 and the collision would have been with Californian, not an iceberg.
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
'Can now see Carpathia [rescuing the lifeboats].
The truth about that request and response from Carpathia is that it did not happen at 6:10am Virginian time. It happened ad 6:10am NY time which was 8:00am on Californian. At that time, californian was 5-6 miles from Carpathia and received information about Titanic by signaling flags.
No one is above criticism whatever status of divinity they are awarded by their followers.
Including God himself.
I spent 13 years dealing with people who deliberately lied in court cases, and conversely people who genuinely thought they witnessed something and gave honest evidence on oath but were wrong in their memory/recollection.
So there are people who lie, and then there are people who think they are telling the truth. So what's new?
There were only 5 key witnesses.
More Aaron. What about those who observed events and were below in the engine and boiler rooms?
So there is no basic narrative to follow because none of them corroborated each other's story.
Not true. There might be differences in details between Fleet, Lee and Hichens, but they essentially support each other.
It was clearly contrived. Why, and who said what to who I don't know, but clearly the Chapin report wasn't an accurate account of what Hichens recalled of that fateful night.
You have no way of knowing that. It was a second hand report that contains information that I doubt could have been simply fabricated by Chapin. Hichens apparently was a very talkative person. He gave more information than what was directly asked of him during the inquires. But like most everyone else, when pressed, his story changed a bit in the details, particularly with regard how long after receiving the hard-astarboard helm order did the ship strike the berg.
 
Last edited:
Julian Atkins

Julian Atkins

Member
Hi Sam,

re Hichens and the Chapin Report,

I have read Hichen's testimony to the British Inquiry.

I thought he came across particularly well which was a bit of a surprise!

TIP | British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry | Day 3 | Testimony of Robert Hichens (Quartermaster, SS Titanic)

1314. You were given the order to hard-a-starboard?
- Yes.

1315. Was that the only order you had as to the helm?
- Yes.

He was pointedly and directly asked this question by Holmes on re-examination, after having given exactly the same testimony earlier on that day.

Hitchens was obviously on his best behaviour that day.

(I am suitably admonished in respect of my earlier posts you quoted).

Cheers,

Julian
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
Hitchens was very clever. IMO, he was answering with regard to orders given prior to the collision. The hard-aport order actually came after the collision. It was heard by QM Olliver who also heard 5/O Moody confirm when the helm was hard-aport. By that time the berg would have been passing close to the stern. Hichens also recalled seen QM Olliver by his side at the time Moody confirmed the that the helm was hard over. But that had to be the after the hard-aport order, not the hard-astarboard order, since Olliver was not on bridge when the first helm order was given. Memory is fallible. Olliver said he arrived just as the ship struck the iceberg and saw the berg pass aft of the starboard bridge wing. He also notice Murdoch at the WTD control switch, so he couldn't have been in the wheelhouse yet which was shuttered closed at night to prevent stray light from escaping. When Olliver said that the berg was 'way up stern' when he heard the hard-aport order, I believe it was when he heard the Moody say that the helm was hard-aport. It would take about 10-12 seconds for Hichens to get the wheel all the way over from one side to the the other. In 12 seconds, the berg would have been more than 1/2 ship length aft of the bridge and nearer the stern.

Cheers.
 
Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
Selective sighting was working at full-power that night.

Californian stopped at 10-21 pm that evening. Sometime between then and 10-50 pm or so, Captain Lord whose eyes were no more than 45 feet above sea level, saw the lights of a ship approaching from the east. The majority of you think that was the approaching Titanic.
If Titanic had been sighted by Captain Lord when she was 22 miles due east of Californian (nonsense!) then, when she had traveled that full distance on her course of 265 True, she would have been bearing SE true, and 2.8 miles away from the Californian.

However, there is a glaring fact that everyone chooses to completely ignore.

If Lord could see Titanic in any detail at any range, then the Lookouts in the Crow' Nest and Murdoch himself, on Titanic, could, in turn, see Lord's location with the same clarity. Not only that, but if it was Titanic which finally ended up 5 miles SE of the stopped Californian, those on Titanic would have had Californian in full view for no less than 49 minutes.
Here is a rough sketch which shows that unless Lord had telescopic eyesight, the watchers on Titanic were totally blind and she stopped no more than 5 miles SE of the Californian, the vessel seen by those on Californian could never have been the ill-fated Titanic.
22 miles away 2019 02 19 001

For 20 minutes...from about 11-10 pm until 11-30 when she stopped bearing SE,... the ship to the southeastward of the Californian would have been broadening her starboard side-on to watchers on Californian. There is no way that anyone seeing the then, biggest liner in the world at that range could be mistaken in what they were seeing. Anyone who thought otherwise was sadly lacking in knowledge.

Now get your thinking caps on.

If anyone cares to look carefully at the above sketch, they will notice that as the stopped distance from Californian increases, the distance between the 22-mile mark and the Titanic stop position decreases.
Since the speed and course are constants, then the steaming time between first sighting and stop position also decreases.
We know that Lord saw his vessel stop at 11-30 pm. It follows that as the steaming time between first sighting and stop decreases, then the ship time of first sighting advances from 10-41 pm. Right?
Now look at the sketch and think of the evidence.

Captain Lord backed by his wireless man stated that a wireless warning was sent out to the Titanic at 9-05pm EST...10-55 pm Californian Time.
If a message was sent at that time, and the ship stopped near to the Californian was Titanic, then she could never have been any farther away than 10 miles. What was it Lord Mersey concluded?
"according to Captain Lord, the two vessels were about five miles apart at the time of the disaster. The evidence from the "Titanic" corroborates this estimate, but I am advised that the distance was probably greater, though not more than eight to ten miles."

As can be seen, the remark by Lord Mersey only holds good if

A: Titanic was initially seen with the naked eye, from a lower deck and when 22 miles from the Californian.
B: That Titanic shut off all of her accommodation lights during the 20 minutes prior to hitting the iceberg.
C; If there had not been any partial alteration to Titanic's clocks prior to impact.

Taken one at a time;

A: to suggest such a thing is totally absurd...even on such a clear night.

B: The vessel seen by Groves had bright sidelights, but shut them off at the very last moment. What happened during the previous 20 minutes?

C: If Lord's vessel was sighted at 10-41 pm...then the time on Titanic was
10-53 pm. Since the time of impact was 11-40 pm...without a clock change, Titanic would have had 47 minutes to run before hitting the iceberg at 11-40 pm which would then be 11-28 pm. However, the vessel seen by Groves, stopped 12 minutes after that at 11-40 pm
If, however, Titanic's clocks had been set back 24 minutes before impact with the ice, then, when it was 10-41 pm on Californian. Titanic would still have had 1 hour 11 minutes and 26.6 miles to run before hitting the iceberg.

Basically, this little exercise shows:
1. That unless the sinking Titanic was less than 10 miles from the Californian, there is no way that the vessel seen by Captain Lord and his men was the Titanic.
2. If initially, Lord saw the Titanic 22 miles away then those on the Titanic must have seen the Californian 22 miles away and the only reason that could have happened would have been due to abnormal refraction( and it works both ways).
3. If the vessel seen by Captain Lord and his 3rd Officer had been Titanic, she would have been showing her entire starboard side and her green sidelight for 20 minutes before she stopped and could never have been mistaken for a standard cargo vessel of the day.
5. At 5 miles distant, the sound of the detonation of Titanic's socket signals would have been clearly heard and the stars from them would have been observed high above her single white masthead light.
6. Those on the Titanic would have very clearly seen with the naked eye (as did Lord) a ship showing a green sidelight and two white masthead lights (Lord saw one) from long before hitting the iceberg until 5 minutes before the last socket signal was fired.
 
Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
The truth about that request and response from Carpathia is that it did not happen at 6:10am Virginian time. It happened ad 6:10am NY time which was 8:00am on Californian. At that time, californian was 5-6 miles from Carpathia and received information about Titanic by signaling flags.

Including God himself.

So there are people who lie, and then there are people who think they are telling the truth. So what's new?

More Aaron. What about those who observed events and were below in the engine and boiler rooms?

Not true. There might be differences in details between Fleet, Lee and Hichens, but they essentially support each other.

You have no way of knowing that. It was a second hand report that contains information that I doubt could have been simply fabricated by Chapin. Hichens apparently was a very talkative person. He gave more information than what was directly asked of him during the inquires. But like most everyone else, when pressed, his story changed a bit in the details, particularly with regard how long after receiving the hard-astarboard helm order did the ship strike the berg.
Obviously you have never used semaphore flags or you would know they are not effective over a mile away. I agree with all the est
 
M

Mila

Senior Member
If Lord could see Titanic in any detail at any range, then the Lookouts in the Crow' Nest and Murdoch himself, on Titanic, could, in turn, see Lord's location with the same clarity.
Hi Jim, it it is anything but certain. Let’s say navigational lights of Californian were not as bright as navigational lights of much more modern Titanic. Maybe only dim stern light was visible at that time.
Let’s say the Milky Way that was rising at that time affected the visibility of the Californian’s lights. Who knows.
However, before you are to allege that the fact that Californian was seen from the Titanic much later than the Titanic was seen from Californian means it was not the Titanic Gibson and Stone saw, you should try to explain why nobody saw Rostron’s green Roman candles.
I believe one should not drive any conclusions from the lights that were not seen.

Regarding Lord’s light. He saw his first light from the bridge at around10:30. Groves told him it was a star, which was probably correct. The next time he saw the lights from the deck after 11. Now factor this. Groves saw many lights of a big passenger steamer from the bridge. Lord saw a few lights only. Why? Groves could see more lights because he was higher. They both were watching the approaching Titanic under normal refraction condtitions.
 
Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
Mila,

You completely miss the point.

Lord was looking in the direct of about East. Since Californian's bow was pointing in a Northeasterly direction. he was looking over Californian's starboard side... in the direction that side was pointing.
Californian would have had exactly the same bulbs in her lights as those fitted to Titanic. They were governed by minimum power requirements laid down by the BoT.

Californian never did show her stern light in the direction of Titanic. She was swinging to the right at the rate of about 1 degree per minute (Gibson).
If Titanic's signals were being fired at a rate of 1 every 6 minutes and the 2nd last one was seen by Gibson about 2 points...22.5 degrees to the right of the bow, then the last one should have been seen about 11 degrees to the left of Californian's bow. At that moment, when the last signal was fired, Californian would be showing a red light and 2 white lights in the direction of Titanic. Titanic stopped firing her signals 30 minutes before she finally sank. During that 30 minutes, Californian's bow would continue to swing to the right. This means that 30 minutes after the last signal was seen by Gibson, the Titanic would have disappeared when still 40 degrees to the left of Californian's bow. At that time, she would be showing a red and two whites.
If Californian was swinging at about a degree a minute, it would be at least an hour and 10 minutes after Titanic sank before she would present her stern light in the direction of where the signals were first seen.
How do I know this?
If the signals seen at 3-20 am were from Carpathia, then Californian was pointing her port (opposite) beam a little to the right of these signals. At that moment, her white stern light would be just become visible to an observer in the direction of Titanic for the very first time...well over an hour after Titanic had sank.

Californian was to the northwestward of the sinking Titanic. Except for the circumpolar variety, stars rise in the east so forget about the Milky Way.

Rostron's Company Signals have nothing to do with this. His white signals were seen. The Company signals rose to about 150 feet. These should have been seen from a lifeboat no earlier than 3 am when Carpathia was an hour away from the survivors in boats. The standard distress rockets would have risen to about 3 or 4 hundred feet. and would have been way above the horizon at that time. Carpathia herself was not seen until near to 3-30 pm.
 
Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
Hi Jim, it it is anything but certain. Let’s say navigational lights of Californian were not as bright as navigational lights of much more modern Titanic. Maybe only dim stern light was visible at that time.
Let’s say the Milky Way that was rising at that time affected the visibility of the Californian’s lights. Who knows.
However, before you are to allege that the fact that Californian was seen from the Titanic much later than the Titanic was seen from Californian means it was not the Titanic Gibson and Stone saw, you should try to explain why nobody saw Rostron’s green Roman candles.
I believe one should not drive any conclusions from the lights that were not seen.

Regarding Lord’s light. He saw his first light from the bridge at around10:30. Groves told him it was a star, which was probably correct. The next time he saw the lights from the deck after 11. Now factor this. Groves saw many lights of a big passenger steamer from the bridge. Lord saw a few lights only. Why? Groves could see more lights because he was higher. They both were watching the approaching Titanic under normal refraction condtitions.
"Groves told him it was a star" Didn't Capatain Smith on the Titanic also correct one of the bridge crew that it was a planet and not a ships light that he was seeing? Lots of observational confusion going on that night.
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
>>it did not happen at 6:10am Virginian time. It happened ad 6:10am NY time <<
That was the time that Gambell asked Lord to send info back regarding Titanic. Lord's response back to Gambel came afterward, obviously when he got close enough to exchange messages with Carpathia. The report of what Gambell said was: 'Californian immediately replied: "Can now see Carpathia taking passengers on board from small boats. Titanic foundered about 2 AM."' I guess 'immediately' could not have been very immediate.
 
M

Mila

Senior Member
If Titanic's signals were being fired at a rate of 1 every 6 minutes and the 2nd last one was seen by Gibson about 2 points...22.5 degrees to the right of the bow, then the last one should have been seen about 11 degrees to the left of Californian's bow.
Jim, I do not believe Gibson ever mentioned the bearings of the Titanic’s signals. May I please ask you to put the testimony you are referring to here?
"Groves told him it was a star" Didn't Capatain Smith on the Titanic also correct one of the bridge crew that it was a planet and not a ships light that he was seeing? Lots of observational confusion going on that night.
Yes, I believe it was Rowe, who saw what he thought was a stern light from the starboard. Many witnesses said it was easy to mistake stars with lights.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Didn't Captain Smith on the Titanic also correct one of the bridge crew that it was a planet and not a ships light that he was seeing? Lots of observational confusion going on that night.

As Captain Lord once said - "It was a very deceiving night......I was sometimes mistaking the stars low down on the horizon for steamer’s lights."

Mr. Sutherland (wireless operator on the Parisian) said their lookouts kept making mistakes that night as well as they kept mistaking the stars on the horizon for steamer's lights.

One can only presume that Titanic's lookouts may have done the same and the officers got so fed up with their mistakes that they paid little attention to their signals (like the boy who cried wolf). This could account for the multiple times the bell rang before the collision. Boxhall said there was a report of a ship off their starboard bow and how it moved across to their port bow. I believe the Titanic was slowly swinging after she stopped which created the illusion the ship was crossing their bow.

Fleet was asked at the Inquiry when he saw the other ship:
"There was no lights at all when we was up in the crow's nest." Fleet saw the light when he was in the lifeboat. He was asked where the light was.

Q - Where did you see it?
A - On the port bow. The other lookout reported it.

That would be Hogg and Evans who were in the crows nest until around 12.20am. Hogg testified and said:

"We stopped about 20 minutes, and lifted up the back cover of the nest, the weather cover, and I saw people running about with life belts on. I went to the telephone then, to try to ring up on the bridge and ask whether I was wanted in the nest, when I saw this. I could get no answer on the telephone. Also my mate -- (answer interrupted by examiner)"


.
 
Top