Titanic and Californian Myths: what actually happened.


Mar 22, 2003
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This is why this topic is so interesting. Everyone can interpret the available evidence anyway they choose to. But let's take what you said Aaron, point by point:
Olliver and Boxhall arrived on the bridge in time to see Murdoch closing the watertight doors.
That is what both of then claimed.
Boxhall heard the order. Olliver did not.
Boxhall said he heard 3 bells from the nest, and then depending which of four Boxhall stories you care to believe, at the time of those 3 bells he was doing something different. Then he said he heard the H-astarboard order followed by engine telegraph bells ringing, followed by the impact before he even got onto the bridge.
Olliver said he heard the 3 bells while on the compass platform amidships. He was not in a position to hear helm orders or engine telegraphs. He later felt the impact as he was coming onto the bridge and was able to accurately describe the impact and got a glimps of the peak of the berg as it passed aft of the bridge wing. The really big difference between these accounts is the timing. In the Olliver scenario the impact would have come no earlier than about 45-50 seconds after the three bells. Using the story Boxhall gave the US Senate investigators, the accident would have happened about 10 seconds after 3 bells.
Boxhall said the collision happened immediately after he heard the helm order and believed the Titanic was still facing west during the evacuation. This tells us he did not believe there was time for any maneouvre to be carried out and she was still facing west.
According to QM Rowe, 5/O Lowe and several others, the ship's head was facing north during the evacuation.
Murdoch's experience aboard the Arabic tells us the last thing he would do was order hard a-starboard as this would crush the entire side of the ship against the iceberg and serve no purpose at all.
Not at all. Different situations. In the Arabic it was a sailing ship crossing the ship's bows, while in the Titanic it was a stationary iceberg ahead and possibly very fine off the starboard bow. What his experience tells us is that he takes the time to assess the situation before jumping into action. His maneuver with Titanic appears to be a deliberate attempt to take the blow so as to dissipate the energy of collision along the ship's side instead of taking it head on. It almost worked. (Ever approach an object head on in a moving vehicle that could not stop in time?)
The only way to make sense out of the hard a-starboard order is to believe the iceberg was a considerable distance away and there was sufficient time to turn, but going by Boxhall's account (all three) there wasn't time to get the wheel hard over, let alone turn the helm hard over.
So what does all that say about Boxhall's accounts?
It just goes against Murdoch's judgement to do that, and Olliver never heard the order.
No it doesn't. Murdoch was not going to hit the berg head on and have the bows crushed in like an accordion possibly killing all those in the forecastle.

By the way,
the lookouts said the ship was already turning before they even reported it,
It was Fleet who gave that impression. If you read his testimony carefully you will see that it was Lee who told him that the ship was veering to port after he got off the phone and took his place back on the port side of the nest. The phone box was located on the aft starboard side of the nest, behind where Lee normally stood.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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It was Fleet who gave that impression. If you read his testimony carefully you will see that it was Lee who told him that the ship was veering to port after he got off the phone and took his place back on the port side of the nest. The phone box was located on the aft starboard side of the nest, behind where Lee normally stood.

At the American Inquiry Fleet said he was at the phone and his mate (Lee) saw and told him that the ship was turning to port, which he then was when he looked himself (seeing the ship turned over a point or two when she hit). At the British Inquiry he suddenly saw it himself after dropping the telephone and keep look out again.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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If you ask me I think Olliver and Boxhall were both on the bridge during the collision and only told half of the story as did Hichens who never mentioned the hard a port order aside aboard Carpathia. You can call it as my theory of course.
 

Harland Duzen

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Jan 14, 2017
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With the Inquiries as twisted and corrupt as they were, pretty much any theory has creditability. Actually, I wanted to mention this...

In George Behe's ''Voices From he Carpathia, Rescuing RMS Titanic'' One passenger was told what happened by Hitchens. Bearing in mind he possibly hasn't be told to shut up or keep quiet, he states that Murdoch saw the iceberg and just as he touched the telegraph to ''Stop'' the iceberg hit.

This suggests a) Titanic never even turned and that b) no action was taken at all. Then again, Hicthens would't have seen anything with the shutters masking his view and he might have made it up to save himself from any harm. Does make you wonder....

I go find the paragraph...

(footsteps walking away)
 
Mar 18, 2008
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With the Inquiries as twisted and corrupt as they were, pretty much any theory has creditability. Actually, I wanted to mention this...

In George Behe's ''Voices From he Carpathia, Rescuing RMS Titanic'' One passenger was told what happened by Hitchens. Bearing in mind he possibly hasn't be told to shut up or keep quiet, he states that Murdoch saw the iceberg and just as he touched the telegraph to ''Stop'' the iceberg hit.

This suggests a) Titanic never even turned and that b) no action was taken at all.

Have a look for the report written by Howard Chapin which must be in that book too. There you will find the longer story with the helm orders (first Hard to Starboard and with the collision Hard to Port) and not the shorted one without helm orders which was also in the Newspapers such as The New York World.
 
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Harland Duzen

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It turns out I was looking at the testimony of Carlos Hurd - A reporter for the New York World! Well at least it's been debunked.
 

Georges Guay

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Have a look for the report written by Howard Chapin which must be in that book too. There you will find the longer story with the helm orders (first Hard to Starboard and with the collision Hard to Port)

I would tend to say; First, Elm Hard-A-Starboard. Then, as soon as it became apparent that the swinging bow had a chance to clear the berg; Elm Hard-A-Port. The vessel had time to alter course to a point to Port at impact. The bow glanced blow along the berg and when it was located at the after end of boiler room 6, the vessel steady down, started to swing to Starboard. The center propeller died. The Elm was kept to Port as long as they were absolutely sure that the berg had cleared the stern.

I wish I could feed that on a cutting-edge approved Ships Bridge Simulator and see the results. :)
 
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