W M Murdoch what do you think happened


Mar 3, 1998
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Well, the conversation did take a different tack, so I guess I do have more to say.

<font color="#000066">Bluenose:a native of the
Canadian Maritime Provinces; a Nova Scotian. I am a Newfoundlander.

Another assumption of mine...I thought English-speaking Canadians and Americans shared the same language. I am suddenly finding, even though I have in the past served alongside Canadian Navy officers, that is evidently not true. When I said, "Bluenose," I referred to the honour bestowed on those who have entered into the Realm of the Arctic Circle. But, Captain Collins knew that. I also have another certificate that calls me a "Shellback"...I wonder what that term means in Captain Collins's language.

It's too bad that our language barrier keeps the good Captain from seeing my numerous attempts to give him his due wherever possible. I seem to have no trouble understanding his constant stream of invective, all because I have an opinion different from his. If I am so beneath you, Captain, why do you even bother taking the time to acknowledge me? You do realise that every time you respond to me, you provide me with an increasing amount of legitimacy?

By the way, why did you quote an icebreaker Master who admits to not have researched the particulars of the Titanic disaster to any great degree? I am once again assuming (a risky business, as you have pointed out) that you and the "professional mariners" you talk about know your business, but why does that necessarily mean that you know what happened to Titanic? Wouldn't you rather cite support from those Masters with ice experience who are also very familiar with the particulars of the disaster? Or do you find it easier to discredit and dismiss those "professional mariners" who have studied the disaster and arrived at conclusions different from your own?

<font color="#000066">You have misinterpreted the evidence.

By your standard, yes. I wonder by who else's standard?

<font color="#000066">Sorry, I have not read about, seen or heard any expert/witness/analyst (then and/or now)

Well, at least your view is consistent.

By the way, I have navigated under the ice, in addition to having navigated through it. Can you claim the same? You won't find me, though, ridiculing your selection of Pilkington's drawing of the underside of a berg for your book, which, in my experience dealing with such things, is over-simplified. Given our two differing methods of applying our experience when considering others' opinions, I can't help but wonder how well you would understand Captain Lord's command style.

Parks
 

Erik Wood

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Apr 10, 2001
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I have made several attempts (apparently to no avail) to show that in many significant aspects that I agree with Captain Collins orginal theory. I have attempted to show the same respect I would expect from a fellow mariner but the favor has never been returned.

In fact, I could almost go as far to say that I agree completely with Captain Collins theory. But that is all I agree with, his theory, his theory is not fact.

I have navigated my way through the ice clogged rivers in and harbors of the Great Lakes and the Hudson River, more times then I can count (which granted isn't very high
happy.gif
) so I am not completely ignorant as to how a ship handles in ice. I of course would defer to Parks or Captain Collins in either case as they have far more time at the conn in such conditions in open ocean. My experience is confined to open Lake and river systems when it comes to ice.

The International Ice Patrol (or those who work for it) agree with Captain Collins theory but not his method of badgering to get his point across and that was the intent of my statement. All have have been "lurking" at my request. I know that most or all professional mariners who have read and further researched Captain Collins book would agree (that is those I have talked to with experience in the field of ice) with at least 95% of it's findings, but of those mariners few of them (those who I have talked to, or who have contacted me on the subject) disagree with the manner in which he has fielded opposition to his theory.

I do not have a problem with Captain Collins theory, I have a problem with him stating it as fact, and when others (PM or not) question his theory they are attacked.

But it would appear that most historians around here (and others in general public) have that same problem. Not his book, but his actions after the fact.
 

Erik Wood

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Apr 10, 2001
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In addition:

Captain Collins said: As Master, to all watch keepers, Keep a SAFE Watch and Call Me immediately if in doubt, I will make the decision

I couldn't agree more, in fact that is why I get so little sleep when I am underway.
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Parks: From what you've responded, we concur entirely. I too have found portions of the Captain's thesis, insofar as elaborated, reasonably tenable. (Though there are frankly others that I find quite fantastic.) Unfortunately, several of his published contentions were quite "undercooked", and have remained relatively "chewy" ever since.

My major objection in these later "discussions" is to Captain Collins' subsequent leap of faith, his elevation of a merely "workable hypothesis" to the stature of irrevocable truth. Nothing I've found in his book in any way supports such an amazing non sequitur, and such hasty conclusions on his part are remarkably lacking in any scientific perspective.

There are, after all, all manner of logically consistent systems construable that do not necessarily represent reality. And some of Collins' evidential methodology -- the mere dismissal of key witness accounts, etc. -- defies even the first criteria.

Captain Collins wrote: You always cite reams of inquiry evidence, which, incidently, I have already analysed.

As have I, Captain. I present them merely as a standard protocol in substantiating any argument. Consider it as a courtesy, far preferable to bluntly saying, "You're wrong".

You, evidently, don’t have any explanation as to why Lookouts Fleet and Lee, and obviously Murdoch, did not see an iceberg.

Well, there you're definitely on a solid footing. Since Fleet and Lee (among many others) both testified that they DID see an iceberg, albeit too late to make any difference, I certainly *can't* explain how they "didn't". If your meaning is in fact related to visibility at some pre-conceived distance, I'll have to defer to the witnesses on that and simply accept that they *didn't* see that particular berg at the conventionally "expected" interval. (They were there; I was not.) That's not demonstrably *impossible*, and the absence of a suitable explanation has never served to negate actual events.

Erik wrote: I do not have a problem with Captain Collins theory, I have a problem with him stating it as fact, and when others (PM or not) question his theory they are attacked.

But it would appear that most historians around here (and others in general public) have that same problem. Not his book, but his actions after the fact.


Well, I have some problems with his book as well, at least in its methodology. But otherwise, "Amen", Erik. I've yet to see a reasonable question raised regarding the captain's premises that has been dealt with squarely, much less humbly.

But you're right. This thread supposedly concerns Murdoch. Collins opines that he was negligent. I find insufficient basis for that conclusion in the evidence, suspecting instead that Murdoch was only capable of *seeing* the berg about the same time as the lookouts. And by then, it was just too late to avert the accident.

To each his own, I suppose.

Cheers,
John
 
Mar 3, 1998
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John,

Yes, you read me correctly. I appreciate the experience and common sense that Captain Collins brings to his "no iceberg" theory. What keeps me from embracing the theory in Titanic's case is his interpretation of the evidence. It's not Captain Collins's theory that I object to, but rather the manner in which he dismisses any interpretation other than his own. I can't remember...weren't you the one who recently quoted Walter Lord's statement about people who thought they knew exactly what happened? That quote seemed very perceptive to me.

Parks
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Walter Lord's quote at the end of ANTR is:

"It is a rash man indeed who would set himself up as final arbiter on all that happened the incredible night the Titanic went down."
 

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