The Iceberg Resurfaced By Henning Pfiefer

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Jan C. Nielsen

Member
Congratulations, Henning! --So finally, after all these years, we get to see the infamous iceberg (note: it doesn't look like a "black" berg either). Were there any pictures of the Titanic's victims in with the pictures that you acquired, Henning? I'm very interested in what the passengers and crew aboard the Bremen actually saw. Thanks very much for the interesting article.
 
Sam Brannigan

Sam Brannigan

Member
This looks really good. Can I see the first bit please??
Proud


Regards

Sam
 
H

Henning Pfeifer

Member
Hi Sam, thanks Jan.
There are no victims to be seen in all three photographed pictures (the four other cards are printed souvenir cards Rehorek has bought). The iceberg had been in the vicinity but not among the victims. Maybe there are more pictures Rehorek has photographed, but we do not know for sure. However I don´t think so: he wrote to his parents that he just has photographed the icebergs in the area and did not mention other pictures...
If you like to read more about what the people aboard the "Bremen" saw, please try this link (the Logan Marshall book online):


Then click on Chapter XXI,

Regards Henning
 
B

Ben Holme

Member
Excellent article! The Rock of Gibralter comparison was convincing enough for me.

I am, however, confused over one detail - most survivors, notably seaman Scarrot remembered the iceberg as having the tallest point on its RIGHT side and from Titanic's position, this would mean the OPPOSITE side from the point of impact, i.e the Titanic's starboard side must have hit the SMALLER LEFT peak based on Scarrot's observations.

Rehorek's photo, however, reveals an iceberg which appeared to have met with collision on it's RIGHT side, which from the point of view of the Bremen, would have been it's TALLER peak.

In other words, Scarrott's testimony
actually conflicts with the photograph rather than supports it.

I hope I explained myself clearly.

Henning, could you put me out of my misery?
Sad


Regards,
Ben
 
H

Henning Pfeifer

Member
hello Ben,
I hope I can put you out of your misery.

(You wrote) "Scarrot remembered the iceberg as having the tallest point on its RIGHT side".

This is correct.

(You wrote) "...from Titanic's position, this would mean the OPPOSITE side from the point of impact, i.e the Titanic's starboard side must have hit the SMALLER LEFT peak based on Scarrot's observations."

Maybe there are some misunderstandings:
- The steamer Bremen had the same position to the iceberg as the Titanic has had before. You can deduce that from the position of the rammed edge of the iceberg combined with Scarrott´s description.
- So this photograph is showing the iceberg from the same point of view as Scarrott has seen it a few seconds after the collission.
- The taller peak of the berg was closer to Scarrott and to the Titanic (If you look on the photograph, imagine that the Titanic came from the very right side).
- That consequently means that this taller peak has been rammed.
- When Scarrott said that the higher peak was on the other side he did not compare it with the rammed edge of the iceberg. His comparison only concerned the view of the Gibraltar Rock, and the higher point of the Rock would be on the other (left) side.

Sorry, my English is not good enough to express complicated things very clearly. Maybe there is anybody else who can follow my intention and can explain it in a clearly way?

Regards Henning
 
Paul Rogers

Paul Rogers

Member
Hello Mr Pfeifer / All.

I too enjoyed the article a great deal. As I was reading it, one question leaped to mind as follows:

I have already "bought in" to Capt. David Brown's theory about Titanic steaming after the collision towards Halifax, albeit for a relatively short period of time. (Ten minutes or so?) Taking Capt. Brown's theory at face value, this would mean that Titanic sank some distance away from the iceberg that had caused the damage. I'm not too sure how far away; thoughts anyone?

Mr Pfeifer: You stated that: "There are no victims to be seen in all three photographed pictures (the four other cards are printed souvenir cards Rehorek has bought). The iceberg had been in the vicinity but not among the victims." May I assume from this that, although the iceberg was not adjacent to the victims, it was however relatively close to them?

If this is the case, it would seem improbable that the passengers/crew on the Bremen saw the bodies of Titanic's dead floating near to the "guilty" iceberg. Unless, of course, the bodies had drifted spookily towards their nemesis in the time between Titanic's foundering and the Bremen steaming by.

Are Capt. Brown's and Mr Pfeifer's theories incompatible? Or, (more likely), please tell me what am I missing.

Regards,
Paul.
 
B

Ben Holme

Member
Dear Henning,

Thank you for clearing that up, and your English is better than you think!

I now understand what had me baffled - Scarrott saw the berg AFTER the collision i.e when he looked aft. In other words, he saw the the TALLEST RIGHT peak striking the ship from his position. I had simply assumed that Scarrott had seen the berg COMING...I can't think why..

Apologies for the confusion, and thanks again.

Best Regards,
Ben
 
B

Beverly J. Crowder

Member
Incredible work Henning and thank you! We would have never known that this picture exsisted. Amazing how it showed up in April 2000. Anniversary link??

There are scars, but no paint. On the other iceburg, there is red paint, or so it was said.

I would think that if Titanic grounded on it(the iceburg), and (IF) red paint was visible on the iceburg, then the iceberg rolled slightly onto Titanic, thus the ice in the fwd. well deck and the red paint on the side of the iceburg. The iceburg did damage below the water level which would not have been visible on the outside of the ship. But, if she grounded on a shelf and it rolled the iceburg into her, the motion may have brought the ice down and back up again like a bouy, kinda bobbed there like a cork. (no movie pun intended)
I believe that what Captian Brown is telling us is correct.
Wouldn't there be some black paint as well???

Maybe it was a much bigger iceburg under the water line and it broke into 2 or more pieces on the impact???

Am I making any sense here, sometimes what I am trying to explain, doesn't always come out right.
Especially after being up since 5:30 am and tending to a teething, cranky, clinging grandson for 10 hours. LOL

Help me out here friends!!!!

GOd how I LOVE a good mystery!!!
Thanks

Beverly The Landlubber
 
David G. Brown

David G. Brown

RIP
A couple of thoughts regarding "The Iceberg."

First, I wouldn't rely on anyone's memory of specific details regarding the berg's appearance. After all, they only had a few seconds to view the berg on a dark night. The descriptions seem to confirm the fatal berg had points, but I wouldn't form any hard and fast conclusions beyond that.

Something else -- Titanic was not traveling in a straight line during the accident. It was turning to the right at the moment of impact. This wold cause a constant change in the "face" of the berg as seen from the ship.

Assuming the Fatal Berg was photographed, the position of the paint scar may have nothing to do with the attitude of the iceberg at the time of the accident. Bergs are unstable and being hit by an ocean liner would do nothing to improve that situation. The scar might well have been vertical a day or so later, if it was still visible.

Finally, bottom paints are relatively soft as compared to those used on topsides. This is to allow the antifouling chemicals to "leach" out of the paint binder in service. I am not sure of the composition of the paint used on Titanic, which would have been quite different from the materials used today. Topside paint has always been intended primarily as a protection to the steel and secondarily for good looks. I am not surprised that the softer bottom paint left a mark, but the harder topside paint did not.


Special to Paul -- Thanks to Parks Stephenson, I'm chaning my opinion about the ship steaming for Halifax. I still believe that it did make way for up to 20 minutes after the accident...and that Halifax was the destination...but, Parks has me convinced that Captain Smith had a better motive than the one I postulated in my book. Smith was probably heading north toward the steamer track where he would presumably have had a better chance of finding assistance.


-- David G. Brown
 
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Henning Pfeifer

Member
hello Beverly, Paul and David and thanks for all your remarks!

To Paul: I think we will never know how far (or close) the iceberg exactly has been to the place of sinking. We even don´t know how far away from the victims the iceberg was that has been photographed by Rehorek. But from some reports before the Councils we know that there were not so many bigger icebergs in the area. I am convinced that the number of bigger icebergs (I don´t mean crawlers) in a (certain) vicinity to the place of sinking were pretty low. For that I believe that it was possible to find out which one was the unfamous one, even some days later.

To Beverly:
I am pretty sure that scars of damage at the iceberg were clearly visible above the waterline as well. Otherwise it is hardly possible that chunks of ice were thrown on deck. I don´t think that the berg has been "moved" from the collission very much. Instead of moving parts of the berg have been chipped away.

To David:
I think if Scarrott resembled the Rock of Gibraltar he must have seen something like that. Why should he report this very special comparison if he did not had got that impression? You expect a "constant change in the face of the iceberg". This is exactly the case with the Rehorek iceberg: the whole face of the one edge is damaged and of course we don´t know how much ice has been chipped away and how this edge was looking before the collission.

Generally:
Every doubt is welcome! I specially would have certain doubts if we get a photograph of an iceberg with the inscription "Titanic has hit me"
Happy
 
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Henning Pfeifer

Member
WHAT IF NOT THIS ONE...

What we know for sure is that Rehorek made this photograph in the area of disaster when victims and parts of the ship were still afloat.

If we state: "No, the Rehorek iceberg is NOT the one the Titanic had collided with", we then are doing pretty hard to find convincible answers which can explain all the indications I have listed at the aned of my report. These answers only could be:

- Parts of the iceberg were lost not because of a collission but because of a natural weakness of this edge of the berg. Another collision between another ship and another iceberg is not known.
- This natural break coincidentally happened about the same time (fresh breakline) when the Titanic collided with another iceberg in some distance.
- This damage coincidentally happened at an edge where the Titanic has hit another iceberg.
- The shape of this Rehorek iceberg matched coincidentally the description of the Titanic iceberg.

I cannot believe that there was a second very similar iceberg in the vicinity showing so many indications that are speaking for the collission iceberg as well.
 
Paul Rogers

Paul Rogers

Member
Hi David / Henning,

David: Would you be kind enough to answer a question for me please? How fast would you imagine that Titanic steamed after the collision? Here's my thinking to explain the question:

Assume Titanic steams at 6 knots for 20 minutes. (Is this a realistic speed for 'Slow Ahead?') I think this means that she'd be 2 nautical miles from the point of collision when she finally stopped. That's a fair old distance from the iceberg...and that's what raises the doubts in my mind about Henning's 'berg being "the one."

Henning: Despite my doubts, your article was fascinating, and you do make some excellent points to defend your theory. I have never even got close to doing any useful and/or original research, and so I take my hat off to you Sir!

Regards,
Paul.
 
B

Beverly J. Crowder

Member
Ok, I know, too many questions again!!!

How long would it take Titanic to stop after the ALL STOP had been ordered??? Does it take a mile?
Considering she was RVSR Engines, would she stop quicker? I don't recall an anchor being dropped after the ALL STOP order. How much drift would there be? Wasn't Hitchens still at his post at the wheel for 45 mins. after the collision? Getting back to the frequented shipping lanes makes perfect sense to me.

How much area was there between where the passengers were picked up from the wreck site, the actual wreck site, and the CQD/SOS collision location given that was sent marconi?

How much drift would have been on that iceburg after impact? Would it still be moving along on the same current that it was before the collision?

Sorry, I know I did it yet again.

But, thank you for answering my questions.
Happy


Beverly
 
David G. Brown

David G. Brown

RIP
Paul -- I would speculate that the ship made roughly 8 knots. Anything slower would have made steering too difficult. There is no way of knowing the exact speed or the exact number of minutes it steamed. In my mind I've always considered the distance on the order of 3 nautical miles.

Beverly -- you have asked excellent questions that should tax some of our "rivet counters" for answers. I'm a bit too tired at the moment to tackle most of your inquiries. Perhaps Captain Erik can answer the question about how far a ship will "shoot" ahead if no effort is made to stop it with reverse thrust.

-- David G. Brown
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
One thing also to consider, the evidence for the Titanic reversing her engines is so scanty as to be unreliable in the extreme. Boxhall is the only one who asserts this, and this based on a conversation he said he overheard between Smith and Murdoch. Second hand in other words, and it's very probable that he got some details mixed up. None of the survivors on the bridge at the time this was actually happening reports such a thing.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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