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


AlexP

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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.
You mean that he would not have noticed the move until the steamer was well SSW?
What is bothering me it is inconsistencies between the testimonies of Mr. Boxhall and Mr. Gibson.
Mr. Boxhall testified that he saw the red most of time. From the testimony of Mr. Gibson we know that Mr. Boxhall could have seen the red only for the last 10-15 minutes before he left the Titanic. Before that he saw red and green together. It will be interesting to find out for how long total Mr. Boxhall was able to see the Californian’s sidelights.
 

Jim Currie

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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 unusual night"... but that's the thing with life, you don't get to do a second take!
Exactly! There is a mountain of rubbish written about this. People should consider the facts- first of all, without the presence of a nearby vessel. Then they should ask the question... how was it that four different individuals with different "axes to grind" saw the nearby vessel and estimated it to be between 4 and 7 miles away. The 3 most experienced of these 4 estimated between 4 and 6 miles away.
 
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They were Titanic's distress signals, of course (only the most fanatical Lordite would dispute that!)...
Well, I really find it hard to accept that those rockets seen by Stone and Gibson came from Titanic only 22 miles away. After all, the question was put to Boxhall by Senator Smith, "Suppose the Californian, 14 miles away, had been firing rockets for you and you had been on the bridge or on the boat deck, do you think you could have seen the rockets?" Boxhall's response was, "Not at 14 miles; I should not think so." So why do you say that only the most fanatical Lordite would dispute that? Boxhall did, and he held an extra master certificate with 13 years of sea experience.

Now according to Stone, who as you said was a trained naval officer, the rockets that he saw went only as high as half the masthead light of the nearby steamer. He also said he was sure that they came from this steamer after seeing one of them appear much brighter than the others, and he was further sure they had to come from that nearby steamer with a single masthead light because as the steamer was steaming off from the SSE to the SW, the rockets followed and stayed on the same bearing as the steamer. In fact, he said the bearing of the steamer started to change after he saw the 2nd rocket go up (the first he was not too sure about), and even Capt. Lord testified that Stone told him that this steamer was changing her bearings when Stone called down to him through the speaking tube about 1:10am to tell him that he saw what looked like a white rocket in the direction of that steamer.

Did I leave anything out? This was all stated in evidence.

So given what we were told by this trained naval officer, it is obvious, at least to me, that what Stone saw could not have been distress signals from Titanic, but were pyrotechnic signals that ascended to perhaps 50 feet in height over the deck of this tramp steamer and then exploded into what appeared to be white stars. It is perhaps only a coincidence that these low-lying pyrotechnic signals were being sent up about the same time that Titanic was firing off distress signals in a failed attempt to attract the attention of yet some other strange steamer that appeared on the scene from an entirely different direction (coming from the west) that then stopped in the ice on the western side this vast north-south running ice barrier, then turned slowly around, and mysteriously steamed away just before dawn broke.

But I'm still a bit puzzled Steven, or anyone else, as to why would the steamer seen from Californian fire these low-lying pyrotechnic signals that had the appearance of white rockets at intervals? (According to Stone, the first five went up at intervals of about 3 or 4 minutes apart, although he obviously was not timing them.) Perhaps as Capt. Lord and 2/O Stone both speculated, these signals were in response to Californian's attempt to signal her via a Morse lamp, or to simply warn Californian that there were some big icebergs about as Stone had said. It is also a bit strange, at least to me, that this nearby pyrotechnic-firing steamer would start to steam off toward the SW through an icefield in the dark of night while somehow showing a red sidelight to Californian until the 7th signal went up. To do that she must have been crossing the icefield steaming astern during the time that she fired pyrotechnic signals 2 through 7. According to Gibson, it was shortly after the 7th signal went up that her red sidelight had disappeared. Perhaps by then she made it to clear water on the other side of the field when she turned around and went away?

As I also understand it, yet a third stranger showed up around 4am to the southward when C/O Stewart came up to relieve Stone as OOW. It was a vessel that had two masthead lights and was facing the same direction that Californian was facing at that time, which was more or less westward. I really don't understand how Stone, a trained naval officer who held a first mate’s steamship certificate, failed to see this steamer arrive if he was on deck all along? Could this have been the vessel that fired those signals seen on the horizon to the SSW at 3:20am, the ones that Stone didn't bother reporting to Lord about? Probably not since those signals had to be too far away when they were seen 40 minutes before Stewart arrived.
 
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AlexP

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really don't understand how Stone, a trained naval officer who held a first mate’s steamship certificate, failed to see this steamer arrive if he was on deck all along?
Is this a fair question to ask? Did somebody from that stranger the saw the Californian at that time?
 

Julian Atkins

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For Steven and Jim, and AlexP/Mila...

Let us consider one bit of the drama...

Stone said "We saw nothing further until about 3.20 when we thought we observed two faint lights in the sky about S.S.W" (18th April Statement).

Gibson sees from about 3.20 am 3 rockets 2 points before the beam (Port) for the first one, right on the beam for the second one, and the third 2 points before the beam. (Gibson's 18th April Statement).

Stone misses the first of what Gibson sees at this time, and does not describe them as rockets.

At 4am Stone had to have pointed out to him by Stewart what was Carpathia, when Stone describes "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." (Stone's 18th April Statement).

The point about this 'mess' of evidence, is that if you analyse it properly and add in ALL the evidence, the Carpathia was the only ship firing rockets at 3.20am, and was SE of The Californian. (You can extrapolate a lot more, but I won't confuse matters at this juncture).

If anyone would like to suggest the Carpathia came up from the SSW ploughing directly through an ice field, then please do!

This little bit of the drama proves Stone got his bearings wrong (or lied), and was both less observant than Stewart and Gibson.

You can also clearly see how by 4am The Californian had swung right round during the night, yet Stone makes no allowance for this, and in the 1959 Affidafit and 1961 taped recorded interview transcripts, Captain Lord makes no allowance for this either.

When I say ALL the evidence, you have to consider the Marconi wireless messages relating to all this none of which are in the British Inquiry testimony and evidence submitted, and much else besides.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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AlexP

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A little picture may help.
View attachment 45354
It is what I meant when I said using only these evidence that supports the narrative. In his affidavit Mr. Stone, provided relative bearings: "a little abaft our port beam". Generally speaking relative bearings are more reliable because they exclude compass errors. And of course, as everybody (well, probably not everybody) knows, the masthead lights and sidelights are visible up to 2 points abaft the beam. Why would have Mr. Stone said "a little abaft our port beam" if the lights were more than 2 points abaft Californian's port beam? If the lights were seen a little abaft of the beam, no matter what way the Californian was heading, her navigational lights should had been seen from Carpathia or from whatever steamer it was and plus survivors in the lifeboats should not have lost the sight of the Californian's navigational lights either, if Carpathia was where lifeboats were and as Sam alleges the bearings between Californian and Titanic had never changed.

1576034473650.png
 
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Steven

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Well, I really find it hard to accept that those rockets seen by Stone and Gibson came from Titanic only 22 miles away. After all, the question was put to Boxhall by Senator Smith, "Suppose the Californian, 14 miles away, had been firing rockets for you and you had been on the bridge or on the boat deck, do you think you could have seen the rockets?" Boxhall's response was, "Not at 14 miles; I should not think so." So why do you say that only the most fanatical Lordite would dispute that? Boxhall did, and he held an extra master certificate with 13 years of sea experience.
So you accept Titanic and Californian were 22 miles apart? Would that be nautical or statute miles then?

And with regards to Boxhall, he may have indeed been a qualified naval mariner, but he likely had little to no experience with socket signals (very few actually did), much less determining how far away on an unusually clear night they could be seen... I would put his above answer to Senator Smith as more of an educated guess than an authoritative declarative statement.

The rockets seen by Stone and Gibson were from Titanic... I would put every penny I own or ever will own on that assertion... let's be sensible...
 

Jim Currie

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>> 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.
Rubbish!

Lord , like you, and many others, assumed that the flotsam he left at 41-33'North was the spot where Titanic sank. Likewise, Rostron assumed he had arrived at the wrecksite just before 8 am. None of these two mention your mythical south-setting current.

If you have ever seen were a ship went down, you will know for sure that neither Lord or Rostron ever arrived at the actual site of the sinking or at the site of the bulk of the wreckage and bodies which would have remained within a tight area until the wind and sea rose appreciably and scattered them according to profile above the water. I suggest that everyone reads inwardly digest : (PDF) Complex Network Modeling For Maritime Search and Rescue Operations

Additionally, Look at the picture of the boat hanging from No.1 Derrick of the Carpathia, Where do you think all the planks and loose items from that boat went?
tumblr_m2e4fuG4mM1qd7ygho1_1280.jpg


We'll be passing down this road a few times until you consider all of the evidence, not just the bits which fit your speculative theories, Sam
 

Bob_Read

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Jim: What missing planks and other loose items from the boat? This was either emergency boat #1 or #2. After the passengers were unloaded, the boat was hoisted aboard Carpathia and unloaded at the White Star dock in New York.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Really? I was simply presenting the evidence from the inquiry record BI 6821-6823. The statement I posted between >>... << was a from Steven, and I was correcting him by showing what Lord stated at the enquiry. It was Lord who said his stopped overnight position was 32 miles (nautical miles Steven) from where he left the wreckage and left the impression with Senator Smith that that was where he believed Titanic struck the iceberg, not at the SOS position given to him by Virginian, but where the wreckage was found Monday morning.

And then I gave some specific factual distances:
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. What's rubbish about that? The distance from his alleged overnight position and the SOS position (41-46, 50-14) is 19.7 miles. What's rubbish about that? The distance from his alleged overnight position to the Titanic wreck (41-43.5, 49-56.8) is 22.8 miles. What's rubbish about that? All factual statements.

By the way, the reported area of the observed wreckage, which included overturned collapsible boat B, was 11 nautical miles bearing 196° true from the wreck site. The drift time was 9 hours and 15 minutes based on what was reported from Californian.
 

AlexP

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Now that statement of yours AlexP clearly shows that you don't know what you are talking about.
I sure do. I should have added that relative bearings are more reliable than compass bearings in regards to the making conclusions on the visibility of the lights. I thought you'll understand what I meant. But once again you've ignored the main point I've made. So here it is again: You are making one of your major conclusions on the fact that the lifeboats lost the sight of the Californian's lights because the masthead lights were out of their arc of the visibility. I've just demonstrated to you that it was probably not the case and you have nothing to respond.
 
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I've just demonstrated to you that it was probably not the case and you have nothing to respond.
You have demonstrated absolutely nothing Alex despite Stone's own information where he actually tells us what "a little abaft" meant to him. Read the passage you yourself posted. Stone said that his ship was heading "about WNW" and also said that the lights of that steamer that was pointed out to him by Stewart was bearing "about S". That's a 10 point difference in compass bearings right there. And "about S" is 2 points aft of his vessel's port beam which would be facing about SSW at that time. (See the diagram I posted.) The direction of the big arrow is toward the bearing reported for the stopped steamer at 12:10 corrected by the change in deviation from 2°E to 5.5°W that occurred in between. (Deviations from Stewart and Lord as given independently in evidence.)

If Stone somehow saw Carpathia's rockets in the SSW at 3:20, then 40 minutes later he saw Carpathia's lights roughly about S by E1/2E at 4am. But I'm sure your eddy hypotheses can easily explain all that.
 

AlexP

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I am only saying that all evidence should be give equal consideration.
If you allege that the lights were invisible because some evidence support it, you should present the ones that do not and discuss them at the very same time most of all if they are probably more correct that the ones you are using. If Mr. Stone wanted to say the the lights were 2 points or more abaft, it is what he would have said.

It is not my eddy theory as you are well aware.
Eddy theory could account for many things, but I do not believe that Mr. Stone’s accounts in regards to compass reading should be taking as precise. They are probably not. For example he testified he saw 3:20 rocket about southward

8008. What did you do?
- At about 3.20, just before half-past three, as near as I can approximate, Gibson reported to me he had seen a white light in the sky to the southward of us, just about on the port beam. We were heading about west at the time. I crossed over to the port wing of the bridge and watched its direction with my binoculars. Shortly after, I saw a white light in the sky right dead on the beam.

So he gives compass bearings as approximate, but relative bearings as precise.

The Titanic’s bearings could have changed, but not to the degree Mr. Stone testified they did. I believe the distance between the two was changing during the night. The drift model will be very complex, but it is possible to produce them, and there are many reasons to believe that it is what really happened.
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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I do not believe that Mr. Stone’s accounts in regards to compass reading should be taking as precise. They are probably not. The Titanic’s bearings could have changed, but not to the degree Mr. Stone testified they did.
Hmmm. Not that I disagree with his bearings not being very precise, afterall he did use the words "about" more than once, but how far off would you say he was in saying what he said? You said there are many reasons to believe something or other about some very complex drift model that could explain everything, but you have not offered anything that would show that to be the case. However, you somehow seem to know what Stone would have said if he meant something different from what he did say. I find that quite amazing. So tell us Alex, to what degree did his bearings change?
 

AlexP

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As you understand everything in regards to the drift will be a speculation. Both Titanic and Californian could have drifted in their own eddies. One of them could have moved to another eddy in the middle of the drift. However, as I mentioned many times already, reliable testimonies indicate that the vessels were drifting in different sets of currents, and the currents in the area are known to have it possible. Below is an extract from Mila's not yet published book reproduced here with her permission:



There were no mystery ships between the Titanic and the Californian.

Boxhall was watching the Californian, and Stone was watching the Titanic.

Both Titanic and Californian really were approaching and later leaving each other, changing the bearing between them in the process.

What phenomenon could have brought the Californian off her course?

The currents could have.

What phenomenon could have made stopped steamers to appear to approach, to leave, or to be stationary? What phenomenon could have made stopped steamers to change their bearings?

The currents could have.

If two stationary steamers appear to be approaching or leaving each other, it probably means that each is drifting in her own set of currents.
If a lifeboat that is rowing for three hours towards a supposedly stationary steamer cannot get any closer to her, it probably means that the currents are preventing the lifeboat from making any progress.
If a drifting steamer appears to be stationary to somebody observing from a lifeboat, it means that the rowing speed of this lifeboat and the speed of the currents nullify each other. Usually, such equality does not last for a long time. Eventually, the currents will start winning, and at that time, the lifeboat’s observes would realize that the steamer they are trying to reach is drifting away.
 

Rob Lawes

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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.
Off topic really Jim but why would Pitman or Lowe supply Smith with an 8pm Dead Reckoning position which would have nowhere near the accuracy of a fix applied to Smith's chart and taken only 30 minutes before?

Would you prefer to work up your position from a known point calculated with a degree of certainty in both time and position or from a DR which in fact is a best guess?

To be that far out I presume the DR was based on a run up from the point of turn to the new course which occured 3 hours before? That in itself is a screw up. Be it Smith, Lowe or Pitman, they still managed to work out a distress position with a significant margin or error.