The Titanic and the Mystery Ship


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Oct 13, 2000
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In some ways I agree with Sam. Bottom line, though is that NO book ever published on the subject has yet to answer the issues he disagrees with. Of them all, Molony's comes the closest I have read. He blows Padfield, Harrison and Reade out of the water; they are even more guilty of the issues Sam raises.

The Californian is the Gordian Knot of all knots. Rather than pick apart any one book, I would really enjoy seeing the other side presented as comprehensively as Molony has done from his point of view.

all the best, Michael (TMiB)
 
Mar 22, 2003
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I believe the best one can hope for is to separate what was possible from what was impossible regarding the stopped positions of the two ships and what appearances they could present on a dark, clear, moonless night. Then let the reader come to their own conclusions. Short off someone finding that missing log line of the Californian on the bottom of the Atlantic, there will always be a degree of uncertainty we have to live with. The hardest part is trying to remain objective, which is far easier said than done. I do agree with Michael that Senan's book provides a most comprehensive treatment of the major issues involved. For that alone, and putting all feelings aside, I find it a must read for the serious student.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Another value of Senan's work in my opinion is that it's essentially the case for the defence had this matter ever been brought to the point of criminal charges and a trial.

Some might accuse Senan of trying to confuse the issue to which I would say: Fair enough. What do you think a halfway decent trial lawyer would have done? When trying to deal with a jury, all the defence has to do is make the case for reasonable doubt while the prosecution has to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt.
 
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I Think Senan's book is top notch and the best of the current Californian books. though those other 3 books should all be bought to as they all contain some essential info, and don't forget the MAIB Report too.
 

Rob Kamps

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Peter Padfield, author of The Titanic and the Californian (1965) has this to say about The Titanic and the Mystery Ship on his website:

"Anyone who can read this book conscientiously and remain a critic of Captain Lord merits condolence. Professional authors and historians seem to be united on this one."
 

Paul Lee

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Lest we forget, this is the same Peter Padfield who was interviewed by the BBC c.2000 and when discussing the Titanic and the Californian, only mentioned that "lights" were seen. No mention of rockets at all.

Convenient.
 

Rob Kamps

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No, Paul, very INconvenient I should say and you should get your facts right first before making such a wounding remark. It was "the same Peter Padfield" who complained bitterly afterwards that a lot had been edited out of that documentary by the makers, including the issue of the rockets. He had a lot more to say.

Rob
 

Paul Lee

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I shall dig out my copy of the documentary and see if there were any obvious edits in it. I shall also contact the production company involved to see if Padfield's allegations are correct. However, having obtained a copy of his book and being surprised at some of his anti-Lord omissions, I know which version of events I shall believe.

There does seem to be some scurrillous behaviour on both sides of the debate. I for one, won't buy Molony's book based on his nasty attitude on this forum. Also, Leslie Reade himself seems content to spend a great deal of time dissing those whose conclusions he doesn't agree with - but, as L.Harrison said to Reade, he wanted the latter to chnage his stance from anti- to pro-Lord as this would be good publicity for the Lordite cause.

What is important, is not what the researchers are like as people, but whether their research is sound. For instance, see here
 

Rob Kamps

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Hi Paul, good to see you are putting behind that public bust-up with Ghosts.UK. Some of the charges they are making against you on their website are extremely serious. Have you taken legal advice? You might be able to get the allegations taken down.

If you think you can slur everyone else's character, let's see how you like it when the magnifying glass is put on your own! You RICHLY deserve it:

http://www.ghosts-uk.net/moduls/news/article-php?storyid=708

and: http://www.ghosts-uk.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&topic_id=3832&forum=11

Making crank complaints to the taxman? Get over yourself, Doctor!

As for the Californian...
 

Paul Lee

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Yes I have taken legal advice. As for Ghosts-UK the argument is irrelevant to this discussion- and wheres the proof that I made crank complaints to the taxman about G-UK? Anyway, many people had done the same, indluding people who had been treated the same as me (including one person who made a complaing to the charity commission about G-UK's then maintainer running a charity vigil for Cancer-UK and then skimming £300 off to end up in his own pocket- his father was then dying of cancer at the time).

I must wonder about the tactics of any person/researcher who introduced irrelevancies into an argument in an effort to introduce doubt, or slander about their opponents. Your website is full of that. Does it really matter if Reade and DeGroot got up to any naughtiness in their research? Is it relevant? DId they come up with good conclusions? And, on the same hand, what are we to say of Harrison et al, particularly his boast to the press about "the book we managed to kill" (The Ship That Stood Still) in order to keep debate about the Californian one-sided amongst the media and GENUINE researchers, who had only heard the same tiresome Lordite propaganda and authors trilling about how Lord was falsely accused, and he is innocent of charges etc.

Slur everyone else's character? Lets take a look at this: demeaning Reade (which I agree with) - GOOD demeaning Walter Lord - GOOD demeaning Molony and Harrison - BAD

Could it be that the latter two are pro-Lord, and you don't like that, so welcome any excuse to assassinate their character, but your friends are above reproach? I suspect so. It seems that only pro-Lordies can do only right, and everyone else is wrong. Also, on YOUR website, you diss many serious researchers, some of whom's only "crimes" are debating things with Harrison et al. Some of these people are friends of mine, and the stories they tell of you and your antics are of some concern.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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As a point of order, the character of the members of this forum are not at issue and need to remain not at issue. Captain Lord's conduct and character are at issue and in matters of historical discussion, is fair game for all points good or bad.

This has been a refreshingly civil discussion so far and we need to keep it that way.
 

Rob Kamps

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"This has been a refreshingly civil discussion so far and we need to keep it that way".

I agree, but by stating that you, Paul Lee, had your facts wrong in your needless and insulting statement about Peter Padfield's allegedly deliberate omission of the issue of the rockets in that documentary, I obviously unwittingly invited you to put my website address on this board as some sort of retaliation.

First: Peter Padfield DID report to me that relevant issues he had touched in that documentary had somehow been deleted and I DO recall his frustration over that. This is the truth! I had no reason to doubt his words and I find it unprofessional for a scientist to doubt the integrity of a marine writer whose number of books on numerous aspects of history at sea is simply impressive. The man deserves utter respect for his many achievements. Especially from you. I pointed out your site about Titanic's possible pre-1985 discovery to him and he read it with keen interest. Can I attribute your remark about him to inexperience?

Second: In a private email to you about two years ago I gave you my website address in confidence with the words that I intended to delete some outdated material (including references to some people that are possibly your friends), add new stuff and what not in due course and not hand it out to others. Well, see how you retaliate. "It is such a shame that an educated man has to resort to such childish behaviour" is said elsewhere about you and I cannot but agree. And you lecture me about "tactics"?

My point in exposing great dishonesty on the part of Leslie Reade and immense copyright infringement by his Dutch editor is simply to dismiss credibility of their book 'The Ship That Stood Still' as the final word on the issue. It IS a pile of turgid rubbish and has been given far too much attention on this thread by some die-hards who treat it like gospel. People who twist matters and write down outright lies (they knew precisely what they were doing) and cheat all along without blinking their eyes should never be allowed to pass judgement on Captain Lord. What I said about De Groot is based on personal experience and intricate research into what he stole precisely. Large-scale copyright infringement IS a criminal offence, Paul, also in your country, and in the U.S., and cannot be dismissed as 'naughtiness' like you do. You are ill-informed, Paul! Almost two dozen books and 300 photographs that were misappropriated is no sinecure. It is therefore reprehensible that both Reade and De Groot should be the chosen people on this planet to accuse Captain Lord of lying through his teeth. Moreover, the latter's knowledge of maritime matters is practically nil: in one of his Dutch books he could not even tell port from starboard. People who swallow hook, line and sinker what he and Reade concocted and published are foolish and, yes, I admired Harrison for killing that book as it DID contain stolen intellectual property (1975) and false allegations (1995). I obtained numerous confidential reports from Harrison's solicitors. Furthermore, you probably deliberately misquoted me when I referred to Harrison's attempt to convince Reade of the true course of events and not because it was good publicity for the Lordite cause. After all, Harrison, unlike Reade, was a extra master mariner who knew what he said as he had ALL the facts pertaining to the case at his fingertips. Quote my words correctly, please. I know you can.

Leslie Harrison a liar? Not in the very slightest! I will tell you that he hated cheating and during the many years we corresponded I never caught him doing so. People who disagree with his conclusions try to discredit his achievements by saying that he lied all along. Had they worked with him, I dare say they would have been in awe of his knowledge and integrity. I am not exaggerating, and will, therefore, defend his integrity and legacy until my dying day. You also exchanged letters with him, Paul, albeit briefly, and I seriously doubt that Leslie Harrison fell out with you for some reason or suddenly decided to treat you with contempt to deserve your deplorable treatment of him now. I knew the man too well and can assure you that he would never have let you down.

Walter Lord's role in this aspect certainly deserves reconsideration. A celebrated author should not have associated himself with criminals for decades, yet Lord, Reade and De Groot were close friends. Walter Lord was told that his books had been plagiarized, and I was informed that he was very angry. However, the matter was cast aside for a higher goal: Publication of Reade's book. Financial issues certainly prevented rewriting of 'A Night to Remember' and would rip the heart out of both book and film.

I have been reading this site for years, studying the whole issue since 1974, I knew both Harrison and Padfield - and I have become increasingly irritated at your attitude and behaviour towards really good people, Paul. Moreover, you accuse me of bad research. Like you, I can boast a university degree, and I also learned the trade there.

This thread is about 'The Titanic and the Mystery Ship', not whether you are miffed about Senan Molony's dismissal of your past arguments with him. That is childish, the same as not buying the book is childish - just as you were accused of extreme childishness on another forum in relation to ghosts...

You want to leave personalities out of it now? Fine! Look at what independent customers who DID buy this book are saying about it. There are two reviews here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Titanic-Mystery-Ship/dp/0752437437/sr=8-5/qid=1157713984/ref=sr_1_5/202-4599629-0632612?ie=UTF8&s=gateway.

In fact, one of them was a committed anti-Lordite!

I also object to Michael's observation that "Captain Lord's conduct and character is fair game for all points good or bad" here. His misfortune is no cause for amusement. He was the man on the spot who made the right decisions. That he obtained his extra master's certificate and captaincy at an exceptionally early age and knew exactly what he was doing has steadfastly been ignored by his opponents on this board.

Captain Lord's conduct was exemplary, quite unlike that of many of his main critics.

Cordially,

Rob
 
Mar 18, 2000
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Rob:

What does Lord obtaining his license and captaincy at an early age, have to do with his actions the night of April 14 and 15? Not a damn thing! He could have won the Nobel Prize, but so what?

His actions or inactions, and that of his officers that night are the subject of this site.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I also object to Michael's observation that "Captain Lord's conduct and character is fair game for all points good or bad" here.<<

You can object all you like but in matter of historical discussion and research, that's just the way it goes.

Whatever his accomplishments during his life, what's at issue here are Captain Lord's asserted actions and/or inactions on the night of 14 to 15 April 1912 and how he conducted himself ex post facto to that. His defenders and critics alike have an equal voice in this...and in fairness...the same obligation to present their evidence to back it up as well as respond to any criticisms of same with rebuttals that are on point and relevant to that.

The champions of either side may be candidates for sainthood or eternal damnation for all I care, but what matters are the claims made and what evidence they have to support it. Ad hominum attacks just don't make or break anybody's case.

>>I for one, won't buy Molony's book based on his nasty attitude on this forum. <<

Sorry I missed this earlier. Paul, whatever you think of Senan personally, I think you're short changing yourself if you don't get a copy of this book. It really does make a good case for the defense. Whether I agree with it on all points makes no difference to the fact that he can make a case.

While my own interest in the Californian is a tertiary matter to me, ( I'm of the opinion that the whole Californain mess is a distraction from the more pressing issues of the Titanic's mismanagement which are the core reasons for her loss) I have a copy of every book written by any author on either side of this debate. The reason for this is sometime in the future, I may end up taking a greater interest. If I'm going to comment on any of their work...Gittens, Harrison, Molony, Peadfield, Reade, whoever...it helps me to know what they really said in their own words.

In matters as controversial as this, it's simply a matter of knowing what the arguements actually are.
 

Paul Lee

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Michael, I agree wholeheartedly.

Going back to Padfield briefly: it seems that Leslie Reade was supposed to be the first person to view the 1912 Titanic Inquiry documents. When he got to the offices where the papers were held, Padfield had already turned up and was rifling through the boxes. When they found Gerard Jensen's letter (which set in motion the BoT inquiry), Reade was interested, but Padfield dismissed it, saying "Ha ha! What a great hoax!"
 

Paul Lee

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Alright, Rob, if you did send me the website address a few years back, I apologise. I have been through a few changes of PC, and I didn't keep the email. I found your website on lycos a few months back.

I stopped communicating with Harrison simply for the reason that I was going to University and was just too busy to write to him. In total, my correspondence with him lasted from c.1988 to about 1991. We discussed some of the technical matters of the Californian matter, and I found that some of his assertions were demonstrably WRONG. Yet, when I asked him about these, he simply repeated his old research (such as the last rocket being fired before boat 13 being lowered, the heading of the Titanic etc. etc etc) I was suspisious of this, butt I thought "lets disagree agreeably". When I read George Behe's website about other manipulations of the evidence, I was taken aback.

Going through the Walter Lord correspondence with Harrison, the two wrote to each other and the communications were cordial, but with neither side backing down. Yes, both were polite, but Harrison's were slightly antagonistic. Lord closed off one round of correspondence saying something like "in future years, when my papers have been bequeathed to the Mariner's Museum [sic], future generations will be able to judge".

Let us not forget that Harrison's first duty was to act as a proponent for Captain Lord. A defence council if you like. To that end, and bearing that in mind, his writings are acceptable. But if you want an objective discussion of Lord's inaction on April 14th, Harrison's writings are not the place to look. Neither are Reade's writings, who is obsessed with a hatred of Harrison and Lordites in general. The closest I have seen to an opinion-free evaluation is Dave Gittin's ebook.
 

Paul Lee

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Incidentally, Mr.Kamps, for your information, I am hoping to obtain a transcript of the Padfield TV show to find out what was said and by whom.

I don't care whether DeGroot and Reade are criminals - they could be the Jack the Ripper for all I care. What I was interested in is whether the case they made is better than Harrison et al. - and for me, trhey did. Their personalities, vile or otherwise is totally irrelevant.

"My point in exposing great dishonesty on the part of Leslie Reade and immense copyright infringement by his Dutch editor is simply to dismiss credibility of their book 'The Ship That Stood Still' as the final word on the issue."

So, they broke copyright laws. So what? That is IRRELEVANT to the contents of the book and research it contains.

"It IS a pile of turgid rubbish and has been given far too much attention on this thread by some die-hards who treat it like gospel."

Why is it turgid rubbish? Is it because it contains conclusions that you disagree with? The anti-Harrison content is disgusting, in my opinion, but the main points are OK.

"Furthermore, you probably deliberately misquoted me when I referred to Harrison's attempt to convince Reade of the true course of events and not because it was good publicity for the Lordite cause. After all, Harrison, unlike Reade, was a extra master mariner who knew what he said as he had ALL the facts pertaining to the case at his fingertips. Quote my words correctly, please. I know you can."

WHAT did I misquote? The line about "killing the book" is a genuine Harrison quote. I simply do not understand what you have written above.

"and I have become increasingly irritated at your attitude and behaviour towards really good people, Paul."

Like whom? Please clarify, Mr.Kamps. I admit that I have no time for Molony. I also have serious problems with Captain Collins. Thats two people out of the many hundreds who have joined this board. I see no proof of your spiteful snide comment. Just more bald statements, backed up by nebulous evidence.

Other matters preclude me from buying Molony's book, not just my personal dislike for the author. For one thing, it rehashes the same old arguments. For another matter, I had already bought "A Ship Accused", and wasn't too impressed by it. Thirdly, I have in the past bought Molony's other books - "The Irish aboard Titanic" (which was excellent) and his thesis on the culpability of the Mount Temple, which I found interesting, but not proven. The Californian matter is a near 100 year old debate and all we rely on are the same transcripts of hearings and inquiries, subject to the spin of individual authors. My feelings for Molony are just one of the factors in this equation.

"However, the matter was cast aside for a higher goal: Publication of Reade's book. Financial issues certainly prevented rewriting of 'A Night to Remember' and would rip the heart out of both book and film."

Do you have proof of this? I could always go to the National Maritime Museum and check on this for you.

"Moreover, you accuse me of bad research. "

Did I?

And please leave my dealings with Ghosts-UK out of this. You have no idea what really went on behind the scenes, only the insults of injured parties who went out of their way to discredit me. Yes, I did seek legal advise and information from solicitors closed down their nasty debates for a while. I was not the only one to be suspicious of the group's activities - do you object to their conduct too? One of the detractors is now a bit of a TV celebrity and left after finding out, from the inside (he was a committee member) that the group was on the make. If you want, you can email him. His name is Mark Webb - www.mark-webb.com (or .co.uk) if you want. Or email Steve Paton at the Biritish Paranormal Alliance and ask him. Or askGeorge Lowe of Shanry. Or any other person I could name/ Or if you want to know what happened, look at my website:

http://www.btinternet.com/~dr_paul_lee/vigils.htm#guk

Why bring up irrelevancy - unless its a veiled personal attack. Which it was. WHEN DID I *EVER* INSULT YOU? Why did you resort to a spiteful, childish attack when I had never said anything nasty about you, or to you? That says more about YOUR personality, SIr, than any vituperative attack on authors on your website.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Bill wrote:
>His actions or inactions, and that of his >officers that night are the subject of this site.

Bill, you're absolutely right, those facts about when Captain Lord received his certificates are irrelevant when examining his actions and inactions that night.

I may get personally attacked for saying so, but I also find it interesting that until Bob decided to take the tone that he has, this thread had been completely civil, which is quite unusual given the subject matter, and had been quite refreshing.

When one has to resort to personal attacks and introducing irrelevant facts to make their case, it really makes one question their objectivity and motives.

I agree with what Michael said, perhaps it is best to return the conversation to the facts. This discussion has been both fascinating and civil and I hope for the benefit of all that it can return to that state.

Kind regards to all,
Tad
 
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