The position of Stone's first "Flash" relative to the nearby vessel.


AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
395
17
18
Usa
NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL PURE SPECULATIVE NONSENSE.
I am afraid the International Ice Patrol disagrees with you:

The current here was moving SE., evidently the southern edge of an eddy where the cold and warm water meet just before straightening out to the ENE.

Attention is invited to the curled appearance of the isotherms in the vicinity of 42° 00' north, 49° 00' west, which indicates a large vortex in process at that place and time, and is simply another illustration of the tendency of oceanic circulation to proceed in eddy-like formations which may be pictured as typical occurrences forming and dissipating in this particular region south of the Grand Banks where water masses are subject to intense, transformations.

Being unable to do anything in the way of locating bergs, I put in the time determining the limits of cold and warm water and calculating the strength of the currents. We found that the southern edge of cold water crossed meridian 50 just north of parallel 42, 'running thence nearly southeast until it crossed parallel 41, when it rapidly curved eastward and northward, crossing parallel 41 again in longitude 47° 40', and parallel 42 in longitude 47° 50'.


Large and rapid changes in the currents are constantly taking place due to differences of temperature and of salinity, to winds,
tides, and other causes.

It will be seen from our previous experiences that the effects of the currents were most irregular, being, at times, diametrically opposite in directions with no apparent reasons.

The slob ice coming from the north apparently had followed the east edge of the Bank as far south as latitude 45°, when it ran almost due south. At latitude 43° 40' it struck the current running northeast and eddied around with it, melting rapidly as it came in contact with the warmer water. This phenomenon absolutely corroborates the observations I made last year as to the movements of the currents in this vicinity, the ribbon of slob ice marking the eddy as plainly as could be done with a piece or chalk on a blackboard.


And if I were you, Sam, I would have avoided putting such statements in all caps on the subject that you have no expertise whatsoever, I mean just not to look silly later.
 
Last edited:

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
395
17
18
Usa
Here's the thing. We have a few hard-to-explain reliable testimonies in regards to the visibility and bearing of the lights. For example:

a) Mr. Stone's testimony about changing bearings.
b) Mr. Boxhall testimony about approaching lights.
c) Invisibility of the Californian's lights for 40 minutes or so after the Titanic's lights became visible.
and so on.

It is reasonable to assume that there was one single reason that could explain all of these testimonies.
And I doubt very much that hard-to-read trigonometry will shed a new light on these lights-related testimonies.
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,559
835
273
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
I am afraid the International Ice Patrol disagrees with you
Alex, you just don't get it. It's not a question about the existence of eddy currents in the region of the Gulf Stream and other areas. That has been well known for many years, and in fact, I deal with that in Ch 11 of my book under the subtitle "The Drift of Wreckage," and even show the existence of cold and warm water eddies in a number of satellite radar images in the subsection dealing with the Gulf Stream current. The question has to do with your speculation, yes speculation, that these vessels, namely Titanic and Californian, were being affected by different eddies in such a way as to explain the observations reported. As I wrote to Mia recently, "The burden of proof is on you to show by real quantitative examples (of size, location, speed of rotation) how eddy currents can explain the various sightings from different vantage points that were offered in evidence, and more importantly, how those sightings correlate which each other over the time frame involved. I can state irrefutably that you will not find that to be an easy task. Until then, you have nothing but an unproven hypothesis."
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
395
17
18
Usa
No, Sam, you are the one who does not get it.
You know how detectives decide if someone is a suspect in committing a crime?
They are looking at evidence and the opportunities.
In the Titanic's situation the evidence strongly support the fact that Titanic and Californian were drifting in a different sets of current.
And the IIP reports confirm that the currents could have had the opportunity to mess up with the drift.
Although drifting in different sets of current is a speculation, (as BTW all other theories) it is a reasonable speculation, which is strongly supported by both the evidence and the IIP's reports.
And, Sam, if you believe nowadays satellite images you are using to discuss the currents in your book could provide you with any idea on what the currents were on April 14/15 1912 you are fooling yourself.
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,559
835
273
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
Again: The burden of proof is on you to show by real quantitative examples (of size, location, speed of rotation) how eddy currents can explain the various sightings from different vantage points that were offered in evidence, and more importantly, how those sightings correlate which each other over the time frame involved. Until then, you have nothing but an unproven hypothesis.
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,559
835
273
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
How many times do I have to repeat it. The burden of proof is on you to show by real quantitative examples (of size, location, speed of rotation) how eddy currents can explain the various sightings from different vantage points that were offered in evidence, and more importantly, how those sightings correlate which each other over the time frame involved.
Is it that you can't do that, so you attack the work of others that you have not even seen?
Until you have something of real substance to offer, I'm done here.
 

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
395
17
18
Usa
The difference between your and Mila’s interpretation of the reliable testimonies is that her interpretation is based solely on the evidence, while you are inventing your own evidence like, for example, erratic, retrograde swinging of the Californian, incompetence of Mr. Stone., the Californian showing her stern when it suits your narrative and so on.
 

Julian Atkins

Member
Sep 23, 2017
1,057
478
93
South Wales UK
Oh come on AlexP/Mila

The difference between your and Mila’s interpretation of the reliable testimonies is that her interpretation is based solely on the evidence, while you are inventing your own evidence like, for example, erratic, retrograde swinging of the Californian, incompetence of Mr. Stone., the Californian showing her stern when it suits your narrative and so on.
That is again very unfair.

Sam, in his new book, explains all of this.

I happen to think Stone was lying through his teeth about what he claimed that night. I am not alone in holding this opinion, though Sam is far more measured and objective dealing with only the facts and a very careful analysis of them.

Sam has never "invented evidence" - in his new book he is very very careful to deal only with the facts. To suggest that Sam has "invented evidence" is a very serious charge which I hope you can substantiate, otherwise a further report to the Moderators on here.

To my mind, you/both of you AlexP/Mila have no proper grasp of all the evidence to make any interpretation that is sensible and coherent.

Thank you for ignoring my offer of buying a copy of Sam's new book to send to you (that is a sarcastic comment, as the niceties and subtleties of the English language seemed to be missed on you - same as you fail to understand Stone's testimony and his 18th April statement).

Cheers,

Julian
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
5,135
649
213
Funchal. Madeira
Hi Jim,

You are already considering that Stone got confused later on, which is a welcome admission!

When the watch changed at around just after 12 midnight, Captain Lord had pointed out to Stone the other ship before Stone went up the short rung of a ladder onto the flying bridge. Groves pointed out to Stone the bearing of this other ship and which way The Californian was then pointing. Stone confirms Groves. Gibson confirms them both.

So at 12.15AM on the 15th, all 3 if not all 4 are in agreement as to which way The Californian was then pointing/heading, and what bearing this other vessel was. That is overwhelming conclusive corroboration for the time of the change of watch to The Middle Watch.

Later events are all explained in Sam's new book, as is the above.

Cheers,

Julian
I have always thought that both Stone and Groves got their compass and true directions mixed up. Nothing new there.

Again you fail to read the evidence properly, Julian. Neither Lord or Gibson confirmed the heading at Midnight. This is what They told their questioners:
"7433. Do you know at all which way your ship, the quot;Californian," was heading? A: - I was told afterwards that she was heading east-north-east.
And Captain Lord: "
6779. Could you tell her bearing at all? A: - Well, I have heard it since. I heard what it was at midnight - S.S.E. from us by compass.

The above is at best hearsay evidence and in no way confirms the actual heading of the Californian.

IF Captain Lords' stopped position was correct and IF the nearby vessel was in line of sight of the sinking Titanic then when that vessel was abeam to starboard, Californian would have been heading ENE True, not ENE Compass and the vessel would have been bearing SSE True, not SSE Compass as stated.
Q: Do you really think that it is pure coincidence that the sinking Titanic was bearing exactly SSE True from the declared stopped position of the Californian?

If Californian was stopped NNW of Boxhall and the survivors, then if Carpathia's rockets were seen at extreme range of say 30 miles ... at 3-20 pm with these rockets abeam, Californian would have been heading 236 True = SW x W. If the swing rate was about 1 degree every minute, then at 4 am, when Stewart relived Stone, Californian would have been heading about 276 T = W 1/2 N..

On the other hand, If Californian was NW of Boxhall and Co. as claimed by Sam, then, at 3-20 am, when Carpathia's rockets were seen at the same extreme range, abeam to port, Californian would have been heading 221 True = a little over SW 1/4 W. Forty minutes later, at 4 pm when Stewart arrived on duty, she would have been heading 261 True = W 3/4 S.

The Chief Officer said the Deviation of the compass on that heading was 5.5 degrees West. I think the Variation was about 25 West. This makes the compass error = 30 ,5 West which means that at 4 am that morning, the ship was heading 301.5 True or 286.5 Compass The equivalents are
NW x W 1/4 W or W x N 1/2 N.

Stone claimed: " I saw first,’ took up the glasses and just made out a four-masted steamer with two masthead lights a little abaft our port beam, and bearing about S., we were heading about W.N.W. Mr. Stewart then took over the Watch and I went off the bridge.

As a caution: at 3-30 am, the wind started to rise. At that time, Californian would have had her bow swing interrupted and she would have started to respond to the wind. Consequently, we cannot use a constant swing rate after that time.

However, since both True headings for 4 am are south of West, we can safely assume that Stone was using a compass direction when he stated the above.
If Stone was using compass bearings then a vessel seen bearing south by compass would actually have been bearing nearer to SSE True.
However there is one thing that would stand out to a trained seaman. And that is that both Stewart and Stone were referring to a vessel to the south of there location and discussing the possibilities of it being the one that had fired rockets. The directions South East or South-South East were never mentioned at all. These are specific points on a Compass Card and would never have been ignored. They are term as an "ordinal" point and an "inter-ordinal" point. In 1912, navigators thought in points, not 360 degrees.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
5,135
649
213
Funchal. Madeira
Jim,

Captain Smith was way beyond his 4th year of apprenticeship but even I who has a humble RYA qualification am pretty certain that with a chart, a known good fix and a known running time at a constant speed and a constant course would have been able to pinpoint my position with an accuracy of better than 20 miles.

People screw up. You often claim these fellows would have done this or that and you know for certain.

I work in the railway industry and I know for certain that we train our teams in safety and how to work on live railways. I know this because I train some of these courses. I know what these blokes are told. Yet six months ago 2 track workers both with over 40 years experience each in railway engineering were smacked to bits by an on coming high speed train. I'll say it again, people are fallible and screw up.
But Smith did not "screw up, Rob. Whoever supplied him with the 8 pm DR position did that. In fact, I believe it was an error made by 3/O Pitman, carried forward by his assistant, 5/O Lowe which was the source of Smith's erroneous CQD DR.
 

Julian Atkins

Member
Sep 23, 2017
1,057
478
93
South Wales UK
Hi Jim,

Many thanks for your post 110. I wish you had posted it earlier today as I have been a day off today, and now have long shifts till a day off on Friday, and will not have an opportunity to respond in detail till then, except to say all your quotes deserve of a proper full reply.

Cheers,
Julian
 

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
395
17
18
Usa
I have always thought that both Stone and Groves got their compass and true directions mixed up. Nothing new there.

Again you fail to read the evidence properly, Julian. Neither Lord or Gibson confirmed the heading at Midnight. This is what They told their questioners:
"7433. Do you know at all which way your ship, the quot;Californian," was heading? A: - I was told afterwards that she was heading east-north-east.
And Captain Lord: "
6779. Could you tell her bearing at all? A: - Well, I have heard it since. I heard what it was at midnight - S.S.E. from us by compass.

The above is at best hearsay evidence and in no way confirms the actual heading of the Californian.

IF Captain Lords' stopped position was correct and IF the nearby vessel was in line of sight of the sinking Titanic then when that vessel was abeam to starboard, Californian would have been heading ENE True, not ENE Compass and the vessel would have been bearing SSE True, not SSE Compass as stated.
Q: Do you really think that it is pure coincidence that the sinking Titanic was bearing exactly SSE True from the declared stopped position of the Californian?

If Californian was stopped NNW of Boxhall and the survivors, then if Carpathia's rockets were seen at extreme range of say 30 miles ... at 3-20 pm with these rockets abeam, Californian would have been heading 236 True = SW x W. If the swing rate was about 1 degree every minute, then at 4 am, when Stewart relived Stone, Californian would have been heading about 276 T = W 1/2 N..

On the other hand, If Californian was NW of Boxhall and Co. as claimed by Sam, then, at 3-20 am, when Carpathia's rockets were seen at the same extreme range, abeam to port, Californian would have been heading 221 True = a little over SW 1/4 W. Forty minutes later, at 4 pm when Stewart arrived on duty, she would have been heading 261 True = W 3/4 S.

The Chief Officer said the Deviation of the compass on that heading was 5.5 degrees West. I think the Variation was about 25 West. This makes the compass error = 30 ,5 West which means that at 4 am that morning, the ship was heading 301.5 True or 286.5 Compass The equivalents are
NW x W 1/4 W or W x N 1/2 N.

Stone claimed: " I saw first,’ took up the glasses and just made out a four-masted steamer with two masthead lights a little abaft our port beam, and bearing about S., we were heading about W.N.W. Mr. Stewart then took over the Watch and I went off the bridge.

As a caution: at 3-30 am, the wind started to rise. At that time, Californian would have had her bow swing interrupted and she would have started to respond to the wind. Consequently, we cannot use a constant swing rate after that time.

However, since both True headings for 4 am are south of West, we can safely assume that Stone was using a compass direction when he stated the above.
If Stone was using compass bearings then a vessel seen bearing south by compass would actually have been bearing nearer to SSE True.
However there is one thing that would stand out to a trained seaman. And that is that both Stewart and Stone were referring to a vessel to the south of there location and discussing the possibilities of it being the one that had fired rockets. The directions South East or South-South East were never mentioned at all. These are specific points on a Compass Card and would never have been ignored. They are term as an "ordinal" point and an "inter-ordinal" point. In 1912, navigators thought in points, not 360 degrees.
I too agree that the compass readings were probably messed up. However IMO even if they were messed up they were messed up in the same manner whole night long, and Mr. Stone’s testimony about changing in bearing should be given a full consideration. He might have been wrong about SW, but he was probably correct that the bearings were changing somehow. Such change would be easy to notice even without looking at a compass.
 

Julian Atkins

Member
Sep 23, 2017
1,057
478
93
South Wales UK
AlexP/Mila,

It can be conclusively proved - beyond any doubt - that Stone failed to take into account that The Californian was swinging round that night erratically clockwise.

What bit of Stone being not observant do you not understand? What bit of Stone being a poor witness do you not understand? Why do you not consider a witness at the British Inquiry would not be lying? Witnesses lie every day in Courts, despite being under oath! I've seen it happening every day sometimes during my legal career. (The 'sometimes' is because I was in the office often, and not always in Court - daily, witnesses in cases I was involved with would be lying through their teeth).

Cheers,
Julian
 
Last edited:

Steven

Member
Sep 24, 2016
50
34
28
Here's the thing. We have a few hard-to-explain reliable testimonies in regards to the visibility and bearing of the lights. For example:

a) Mr. Stone's testimony about changing bearings.
b) Mr. Boxhall testimony about approaching lights.
c) Invisibility of the Californian's lights for 40 minutes or so after the Titanic's lights became visible.
and so on.

It is reasonable to assume that there was one single reason that could explain all of these testimonies.
And I doubt very much that hard-to-read trigonometry will shed a new light on these lights-related testimonies.
There is indeed a single reason that explains all of these testimonies... Californian and Titanic were nowhere near each other that night.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, etc... but to be more specific;

a) However incompetent (or not) that Stone was that night, he was still a trained naval officer; I find it unlikely he wouldn't know the difference between his own vessel gradually swinging in the current and a distant ship literally steaming away on it's own power by it's changed bearings, no?

b) As I've stated here before, the Californian may have been drifting in the current, but not nearly fast enough to convince another trained naval officer - in this case, Boxhall - that what he was seeing was another vessel in motion, approaching Titanic, stopping, turning around, and sailing off (he saw both sidelights, masthead light, and stern light, Californian must have been practically break-dancing in the water for that to line up with what Titanic passengers and crew alike saw regarding the 'mystery ship' approaching them), and that's not even taking into consideration the fact that said 'mystery ship' in question was approaching Titanic from the SW, whilst Californian was NW of the stricken liner... we do Boxhall and other witnesses who saw the exact same thing an undeserved disservice if we say that.

c) This speaks for itself... Titanic was much higher in the water than Californian; by the very laws of both physics and reason, even if the latter didn't see the former, there literally is no credible reason why the former didn't and wouldn't have seen the latter had they been anywhere in each other's visible horizon line, she would have seen masthead lights even if the Californian's sidelights were shut in (there's simply no evidence of that!)... and both Titanic lookouts Fred Fleet and Reginald Lee swore they saw nothing during their watch... this simply cannot be overestimated enough.

- The so-called 'mystery ship' was in motion... Californian was not.

- Californian was lying motionless in the water from 10:21pm... Titanic saw no other vessel in her vicinity until 12:30am.

- Captain Lord was proved right 73 years later, with the discovery of the Titanic wreck site, on his estimation from the morning of the tragedy onward that his vessel was approximately 19 nautical miles from Titanic's actual position not her incorrect CQD position.

- Survivors of Titanic saw no vessel on the horizon at breaking dawn; had Californian been on the horizon line all that night, she would have been seen instantly upon first light... and Captain Rostron said he saw two vessels in the vicinity of the site of Titanic's foundering upon arrival, but "neither of them were Californian".

I respect differing views and interpretations of the evidence, but again, if it walks and quacks like a duck, etc...
 
Last edited:

Bob_Read

Member
May 9, 2019
372
136
43
USA
Steven: Whose distress signals did the crew of the Californian see and why didn’t they proceed to investigate them?
 

Steven

Member
Sep 24, 2016
50
34
28
They were Titanic's distress signals, of course (only the most fanatical Lordite would dispute that!)... but Stone and Gibson didn't know exactly what they were seeing nor the motives behind the continued volley; from the pair's perspective, said rockets were being fired in an irregular manner, only ascended to half the masthead height of the vessel nearest them - and they even discussed if those rockets were coming from another vessel afar off, perhaps signalling the unidentified vessel nearest them or another one out of sight - plus they heard no audible report from the rockets upon detonation at altitude, which you would have heard in excess of 10 miles in any direction... meaning it was uncertain to Stone and Gibson they were even standard-issue sockets signals, they may have been company signals, who knows?

Proceed to investigate what exactly? The vessel they thought might have been firing them changed her bearings and seemingly moved off on her own power... and she didn't respond to continued Morse signalling so clearly she didn't seem to be in any peril.

Hindsight is 20/20... I'm sure Stone and Gibson and their erstwhile Captain wished they had investigated more fully that "most peculiar night"... but that's the thing with life, you don't get to do a second take!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
5,135
649
213
Funchal. Madeira
AlexP/Mila,

It can be conclusively proved - beyond any doubt - that Stone failed to take into account that The Californian was swinging round that night erratically clockwise.

What bit of Stone being not observant do you not understand? What bit of Stone being a poor witness do you not understand? Why do you not consider a witness at the British Inquiry would not be lying? Witnesses lie every day in Courts, despite being under oath! I've seen it happening every day sometimes during my legal career. (The 'sometimes' is because I was in the office often, and not always in Court - daily, witnesses in cases I was involved with would be lying through their teeth).

Cheers,
Julian
That is utter nonsense, Julian.

The only method of determining whether or not a target was moving relative to an observer in 1912 and for many years thereafter was by observing its bearing. It did not matter whether or not that bearing was Compass True or Magnetic... only that successive bearings used the same standard. Every Deck Officer was trained to make such an observation almost from Day 1 of his training.
Groves was ordered to report any approaching vessel. he did so. However, there is no evidence that he took a bearing of that vessel but simply indicated its direction relative.
Stone was ordered to report if the other vessel got any nearer. Gibson tells us that Stone was using the compass to take bearings of the vessel and Stone knew for a fact that the ships bow was swinging...."Third Officer, Mr. Groves, who also pointed out ice and steamer and said our head was E.N.E. and we were swinging. On looking at the compass I saw this was correct".
Stone would verify the swing by seeing the lubber line change relative to the compass card. However, it is not positive that Stone identified the heading as ENE, Magnetic or True. More so if the card in use was in 360 degree numeral format with the Cardinal points show as black darts.
From shortly after he arrived on the bridge, Stone would follow standard practice and take a bearing of the nearby vessel every 10 or so minutes. If that vessel had a steady bearing of SSE true, then Stone would read the numerical value of close to 180 degrees. He would pay no attention to the Cardinal Darts.
He would only know for sure if the other vessel had moved if, after taking several bearings together, the bearing changed appreciably and constantly to one side or the other of 180 degrees. He would automatically take several bearings at a time because, although its movement would have been dampened, and the ship was stopped in still, flat calm conditions , such a compass can often be unsteady when the ship is underway or swaying in a wind and or swell.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Mar 22, 2003
5,559
835
273
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
>> Captain Lord was proved right 73 years later, with the discovery of the Titanic wreck site, on his estimation from the morning of the tragedy onward that his vessel was approximately 19 nautical miles from Titanic's actual position not her incorrect CQD position. <<

6821. ... That particular spot? [Lord] The spot mentioned here as 19 miles away is not, in my opinion, where the “Titanic” hit the berg.
6822. Within a radius of 20 miles of you? - No, 30 miles.
6823. Do you mean she was further from you? - She was 32 miles from where I left the wreckage.

Lord claimed his vessel was at 42-05, 50-07 and the wreckage was at 41-33, 50-01. The straight line distance between those two locations is 32.3 nautical miles. The distance from his alleged overnight position and the SOS position is 19.7 miles. The distance from his alleged overnight position to the Titanic wreck is 22.8 miles. The discovery of the wreck in and of itself proves nothing about Californian's overnight position, but the position of the wreck site and the bearing to the rockets proves that his overnight position was in error. But we've down this road before.
 

Bob_Read

Member
May 9, 2019
372
136
43
USA
Steven: You said: "Proceed to investigate what exactly? The vessel they thought might have been firing them changed her bearings and seemingly moved off on her own power... and she didn't respond to continued Morse signalling so clearly she didn't seem to be in any peril." This is where your tagline is most appropos. ""A steamer that is in distress does not sail away, my Lord..." So why not investigate if the rockets were coming from another vessel? Answer: The captain's sleep must not be disturbed.