The Other Side of the Night

Sep 22, 2003
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Yes it amazing what sells. I ended up buying your The Ship Magnificent volumes for 25$ as my $$$ resources are limited and the savings over paying for them new gave me a little more gas money, besides that I maintain what I originally said about the price when the book first came out.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I don't see how taking risks to save lives would tell against Captain Rostron.<<

In 1912, it wouldn't...unless he managed to blunder into an iceberg of his own and lose his ship. If that had happened, Captain Rostron would have been gone down in history as a zero instead of a hero.

Had he done the same in the current risk-averse and over lawyered day and age, he would have found himself up on charges for recklessly hazarding his vessel, passengers, and crew.

>>As for Captain Lord, surely we've come far from calling him an evil man.<<

Depends on who you ask. I've seen partisans on this issue do everything possible to put the man in the worst possible light, including hinting as sinister motives and/or cowardice. Likewise, I've seen people from the other side try to portray him as Saint Stanley, and some of this happened right here on ET.

None of these extremes really holds up under scrutiny in my opinion, but this is one area where you just have to take as impartial a look at the historical record for yourself, and form your own opinion.

>>But some good news. Titanic The Ship Magnificent is going into its 3rd printing.<<

Outstanding news Steve! Keep it up!
 
May 27, 2007
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Yes, Congratulations Steve! Have you ever written anything about the Californian? I'd rather read what you have to say then that pulp fiction!
 

Paul Rogers

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Re: Dan Butler's new book, Sam said:
quote:

I did go to the very last chapter to see his conclusions. As predicted, he has Lord as a sociopathic villain who could do no right, and Rostron an exemplary hero who could do no wrong.
Did you by any chance read the penultimate chapter, Sam, regarding what might have happened, had Lord (or his officers) taken Titanic's rockets seriously?

I would venture that Michael Standart, Erik Wood and Tracy Smith would find it extremely enlightening.​
 
Mar 22, 2003
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No Paul, I did not get that far. But now since you brought it to my attention, I have gone and took a look. I see it is the chapter where he tries to paint Lord as a sociopath.

Anyway, it is too bad that Butler didn't spend more time to study primary source material. He takes it for granted that Lord was informed about the first 5 rockets from Stone, despite Lord claiming he was told only about one. Gibson claimed that Stone told him that he (Stone) informed Lord after seeing the 2nd rocket, not being too sure about the first one he saw. This tends to support Lord's claim. I raised this in my ET article A Captain Accused awhile back, and how this explains why Lord may not have been very alarmed at the time. By time Gibson was sent down to report to Lord later, the ship had disappeared completely, and Stone reported that it had steamed away.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I would venture that Michael Standart, Erik Wood and Tracy Smith would find it extremely enlightening.<<

Enlightening or unrealistic?

If the Californian had been equipped with a warp drive, they still would have had to resort to using hand rowed boats to effect any sort of trasfer and this would have been the sort of operation which would have required all night and most of the morning to accomplish.

Titanic didn't have that amount of time and the Californian didn't have a warp drive.

Adding my usual disclaimer: I'm not saying that they shouldn't have tried but the blunt reality is that they needed time in abundance and time in abundance was exactly what they didn't have.
 
May 27, 2007
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I just want to get this off my chest. I know we've discussed this already. I have a grip about Lord being dipicted as a Sociopath!

I Don't understand how Mr. Butler takes Capt. Stanley Lord's reserved manner as Lord being a Sociopath! So Lord had a reserved Manner which a lot of people did then as well as now! The Press was just as bad saying Capt. Lord was cold and heartless and without compassion! Well the American Press! When Lord was just a reserved Stiff upper lip British Sea Captian who followed regulations. He was kept informed of the situation regarding the "Mysterious Steamship" when he could of just gone to be bed and left it to his men!!
 

Paul Rogers

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My apologies, Sam. I was making a reference without having the book to hand. I meant to reference the chapter that deals with what might have happened, had the Californian steamed to Titanic's assistance.

Michael: don't assume that you would disagree with what is contained within Butler's book in this regard. Actually, I think you, Erik and Tracy would find yourselves 100% in agreement with him.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Fair enough, Paul.

Still, I have to wonder at the 'sociopath' angle and where that comes from. My own read of Captain Lord's personality was that he wasn't what you would call excessively emotional. In fact, he struck me as being decidedly reserved, and that's not necesserily a bad thing with a ship's captain.

You may not want the guy to be a zombie, but you don't want him to be Bozo the Clown either.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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The Chapter is entitled "The Undelivered Verdict."

As pointed out correctly by Butler, the issue is not whether Californian could have reached Titanic in time, but rather in the inaction on part of those responsible at the time those 8 rockets were seen.

Again, the problem I have with the book is the numerous number of inaccurate statements and information it contains, the apparent lack of primary source research, and an armchair analysis of Capt. Lord based on questionable assumptions about what he did or did not know at the time.
 

Paul Lee

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Michael, during my own research I only found two people who depicted Lord as a martinet; Groves, whose interview with Walter Lord has so much that can be disputed marks him as an unreliable witness (IMHO), and Stone, whose remarks were reported 2nd hand to Walter, and in which the Captain is described as an "S.O.B." Everyone else had only good things to say about the Captain.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Michael, during my own research I only found two people who depicted Lord as a martinet;<<

I figured as much. Groves is not somebody who was really on my radar screen when Tracy and I were doing our research. Whatever can be said about the man, he just wasn't there when the rockets began to fly. Stone, along with Gibson, we started to call The Two Stooges. If they thought the situation was urget, they did an incredibly poor job of getting that across to their skipper.

I really can't say as I was all that impressed with any of these guys.
 

Dave Gittins

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I wonder if Dan Butler saw this letter from Commander John Macnab RNR, Board of Trade examiner. It appeared in various papers after Mersey's inquiry.

"Now that the memorable Titanic disaster is no longer sub judice I beg space for a word in favor of one who has been and still is a deep sufferer from the happenings of that fateful April night on the Atlantic. I mean Capt. Stanley Lord of the Californian.
I am not one to defend Capt. Lord's inaction, but I ask for sympathy in his terrible misfortune in failing to realise that the signals seen by his officers, indicated distress.
His past life and character go to prove that had he realized this he would have braved the ice dangers which beset the ship and gone to the rescue, but seamen are only mortals, and especially, when wearied with long watching, are liable like other people to temporary dullness of apprehension in reference to matters happening outside the limits of their own charge.
Capt. Lord passed all his Board of Trade examinations most brilliantly before me, his testimonials for good conduct and ability at sea being invariably of the highest order. Since then I have ever heard him spoken of as a humane and clever officer and commander as well as a kind husband, a loving father, and a high-principled gentleman. His mental punishment, however, may be assured by the reflection that his sin was one of omission, not commission, and was certainly in no sense intentional."

Personally, I'm no fan of Captain Lord, but at the worst I think he might have been guilty of 'not wanting to get involved'. It goes on all the time. People get used to hearing yelling and screaming from the house down the street. They ignore it. One night it suddenly stops and in the morning the police carry a body out.

When I'm in a better mood, I think Lord was the victim of a couple of nautical twits!
 

Paul Lee

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Michael, Stone and Gibson's careers post-Californian were nothing to write home about either!
 
Jan 29, 2001
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Michael S. writes in part - It may well be against my better judgement.

Must be that Military man in you! I thought about it myself...but owing to Butler's condemnation of RMSTI(Tulloch) & IFREMER, I optioned to pass. Ken Marschall & Don Lynch, the gentlemen that they are, corrected themselfs in regards to NAUTILE collapsing the foremast while retrieving the masthead nav. light.

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Must be that Military man in you!<<

Possibly. It may also be something in me that's a bit cautious these days about being overly critical of something I haven't yet read for myself. The Captain Lord as a sociopath angle is something I want to see how Mr. Butler jutifies since Captain Lord is no longer available to put "on the couch."

Since I've also recieved my copy of Paul Lee's book in the post today, I'm going to have quite a bit of reading to do.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I truly hope you enjoy it Michael.<<

I am. I jumped ahead a bit to check out the post-Titanic careers of The Two Stooges Stone and Gibson. As you indicated, they had nothing to brag about. That part about Gibson being relieved and ejected from the bridge of one of his ships was said a lot about his competance. Considering how thinly steamships were manned, you can bet that his skipper didn't do that lightly.