Was Californian Caught in an Eddy?

AlexP

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Once again I believe I'm being accused of inventing evidence by suggesting that the light airs and calms reported by 2/O Stone in his report to Capt.Lord was the cause of some erratic swinging of Californian by a person pushing their own pet theory. Well let's take it on in the new thread I opened here: Was Californian Caught in an Eddy?.
It is not my own theory.
It is not a theory.
As everything else it is a speculation,but it is based on evidence.
Why instead of accusing me of pushing "my pet theory" you'd explain your own step by step.

Why the Californian lights were seen from the Titanic well after midnight?
Why nobody but Mr. Boxhall saw the green sidelight?
Why a few professional Mariners said that the Californian was approaching?
What time the survivors in #8 saw both Californian sidelights together?
Why Mr. Stone testified the steamer he was watching was changing bearings?
Why Carpathia's rockets were seen SW from the Californian?
Why Californian's heading did not change for the first 1.5 hours, but changed for 225 degrees in the same direction in the next 4 hours?

All questions I listed above are easily explained by the Californian drifting in an eddy. This eddy speculation interprets evidence, it does not invent it to fit the narrative.
You cannot explain any points I listed above without inventing, yes, inventing evidence.

I am very interested in the Californian incident and I'd like to learn what really happened, are you?
 
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AlexP

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Maybe I should be more specific.
For instance you write
I also believe that meteorological conditions were changing over time, from very clear (code 8) to exceptionally clear (code 9) and back again. When exceptionally clear, Boxhall was able to make out the sidelight with the naked eye, and that is what stood out in his memory.
However, as we all know Mr Groves and other Californian’s officers were able to see the Titanic’s navigational lights, including the sidelights long before anybody from the Titanic first noticed the Californian.
So were these mythical meteorological conditions affecting the visibility in only one direction?
Could you please explain?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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All questions I listed above are easily explained by the Californian drifting in an eddy. This eddy speculation interprets evidence, it does not invent it to fit the narrative.
I really don't think you know the difference between inventing evidence and interpreting evidence. Evidence is what was given, interpretation attempts to explain.

Evidence: The 3:20am rocket sightings from Californian, 1st rocket 2 points ahead of the port beam, 2nd right on the beam, 3rd back to 2 points ahead of the beam. Source: Gibson's report to Lord Apr 18.
Evidence: The three were described as all white rockets, none as green flares. Source: Gibson (BI 7579 and 7597-7598).

What you claim from this evidence is that two of the three were actually green flares from Boxhall's boat. Neither Stone nor Gibson said that the character of any of these were different, only that they were seen on different relative bearings. A rocket goes up several undred feet into the air and explodes into stars which then descend and flame out within a few seconds. A hand-held flare does not go up and they burn for a much, much longer period of time. There is no evidence at all that Gibson or Stone saw anything that resembled flares, let alone bright green flares. That claim of yours is not interpretation or speculation, but wishful thinking.

However, as we all know Mr Groves and other Californian’s officers were able to see the Titanic’s navigational lights, including the sidelights long before anybody from the Titanic first noticed the Californian.
So were these mythical meteorological conditions affecting the visibility in only one direction?
Could you please explain?
If you had actually read the centennial book you would have your answer. Fig. 10-13.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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This eddy speculation interprets evidence.
Well let's test that shall we. We have evidence from three mutually supporting sources (Groves, Stone, Gibson) that says that Titanic was SSE by compass at 12:10.
We have evidence from Stone that the steamer they were watching disappeared SW1/2W by compass.
We have evidence from Stone that the signals seen at 3:20 were bearing about SSW.
We have evidence from Gibson that the difference in bearings of those signals seen were 2 points.
We have evidence from Durrant with supporting evidence from Rostron that Carpathia was firing rockets about the same time those signal were seen by Stone and Gibson.
From Rostron and Boxhall we have evidence that Carpathia reached Boxhall's boat about 3/4 hours after those signal sightings.
From Bisset we have evidence that Carpathia had been making about 15-16 knots max.
From Lord we have evidence that the magnetic variation was about 2 points west (and this can be confirmed by other means).
From Rostron we have evidence Carpathia was heading N52W true (about N30W magnetic).

Putting all these pieces of evidence together, the picture that you get for Californian being caught in an eddy such that all the evidence fits is shown in the picture below.
CalEddy01.gif
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Now if you Alex, or Mila, think this drawing is not right somehow, feel free to modify it, or tell me what to change and I'll do it for you.

But to me the simple conclusion is obvious. For all the pieces to fit what was seen and stated in evidence, the Californian had to be caught in an eddy that changes its position over a 3 hour period as shown above. The speed of rotation would have to be more than 10 knots. Good luck finding one that could match that in the real world.
By the way, the angles and distances drawn are to scale, and since during all this time Californian was stopped, the field of ice directly to her east about 1/4 mile off had to move with her. I can also demonstrate how this scene would have affected the swinging of Titanic, but I'll leave that for another time.

Of course this is not a theory, its only speculation, right? I kind of like the speculation that there were multiple mystery vessels about that can explain all the appearances better.
 

Julian Atkins

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Alex P,

I am with Sam on all this.

Just a comment... You seem to be taking into account that Rostron (and many years later Bissett in his autobiography) stated that the first of Boxhall's green flares from his lifeboat were first seen at 2.40am on the 15th April. This is their evidence.

Dave Gittins has interpreted this evidence, nay challenged it, because the Carpathia could not possibly have seen Boxhall's green flares at 2.40am. Dave explained that the Carpathia could not have gone as fast as Rostron's 17 or 17.5 knots speed. Rostron did not see Boxhall's green flares till he was 2 hours 40 minutes into his rescue run. So he first saw Boxhall's green flares some approximately 30 minutes later.

There is no point in relying on Rostron's evidence in support of your contention that Stone and Gibson saw Boxhall's green flares, instead of (in Gibsons words) 3 white rockets! Rostron's evidence - to put it bluntly - has been 'trashed' conclusively by Dave Gittins.

My first ever post in reply to Mila was in respect of Dave Gittins' research on all this, but Mila has ignored Dave Gittins research.

Cheers,

Julian
 

AlexP

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If you had actually read the centennial book you would have your answer. Fig. 10-13
I do not remember every figure in every book I have ever read. Why don’t you copy the figure here?
What you claim from this evidence is that two of the three were actually green flares from Boxhall's boat. Neither Stone nor Gibson said that the character of any of these were different, only that they were seen on different relative bearings. A rocket goes up several undred feet into the air and explodes into stars which then descend and flame out within a few seconds. A hand-held flare does not go up and they burn for a much, much longer period of time. There is no evidence at all that Gibson or Stone saw anything that resembled flares, let alone bright green flares. That claim of yours is not interpretation or speculation, but wishful thinking.
They might have seen reflections of it.
If the flashes were Carpathia’s rockets, why Mr. Gibson said they were going up?
 

AlexP

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We have evidence from Stone that the steamer they were watching disappeared SW1/2W by compass.
We have evidence from Stone that the signals seen at 3:20 were bearing about SSW.
Mr. Stone himself testified that the bearings were only approximate.
From Rostron and Boxhall we have evidence that Carpathia reached Boxhall's boat about 3/4 hours after those signal sightings.
We have no such evidence, Captain Rostron testified he observed the first flare at 2:40 a.m. I'm not sure what Titanic's time it was.
From Bisset we have evidence that Carpathia had been making about 15-16 knots max.
We have no such evidence.

James Gordon Partridge Bisset, one of Carpathia’s officers writes in his book “Tramps and Ladies”:
At 3.30 there were numerous bergs surrounding us, and small growlers of ice grinding along our hull plates. Captain Rostron reduced speed to half, and then to slow, as the Carpathia was steered cautiously toward a green flare sighted low in the water, at a distance difficult to judge in the continuing peculiar conditions of visibility. It appeared likely, but at first was not certain, that this flare was from a lifeboat.

Besides even before 3:30 a.m. the Carpathia was turning all the time to avoid icebergs.
Putting all these pieces of evidence together, the picture that you get for Californian being caught in an eddy such that all the evidence fits is shown in the picture below.
I am not very good on reading the charts. What exactly is wrong with it? Is it a big distance the Californian had to travel to be in the position? As I explained above Mr Stone's bearings were approximate. Besides the lifeboats could have drifted in their own set of currents too.
 

AlexP

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Now if you Alex, or Mila,
;)
But to me the simple conclusion is obvious. For all the pieces to fit what was seen and stated in evidence, the Californian had to be caught in an eddy that changes its position over a 3 hour period as shown above. The speed of rotation would have to be more than 10 knots. Good luck finding one that could match that in the real world.
By the way, the angles and distances drawn are to scale, and since during all this time Californian was stopped, the field of ice directly to her east about 1/4 mile off had to move with her. I can also demonstrate how this scene would have affected the swinging of Titanic, but I'll leave that for another time.

Of course this is not a theory, its only speculation, right? I kind of like the speculation that there were multiple mystery vessels about that can explain all the appearances better.
I see. I responded your prior post before reading this one. So it is the distance. OK, I'll post the images later when I will get them.
 

AlexP

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Dave Gittins has interpreted this evidence, nay challenged it, because the Carpathia could not possibly have seen Boxhall's green flares at 2.40am. Dave explained that the Carpathia could not have gone as fast as Rostron's 17 or 17.5 knots speed. Rostron did not see Boxhall's green flares till he was 2 hours 40 minutes into his rescue run. So he first saw Boxhall's green flares some approximately 30 minutes later.
I really do not see how Captain Rostron could have told a passenger that he saw the first flare when he was 10 miles away but then testified he saw it, when he was 20 miles away.
Even according to Dave somebody heard the first transmission about the rockets at 3:13 Carpathia's time. Let's say they noticed the first flare at 3:15. How much time they needed to order to fire the rockets, to bring the rockets, to communicate with to their Marconi operator and to transmit the radiogram?
But whatever. Maybe Dave is right. It does not change a thing in the eddy's speculation if the first flare was sighted at 3:15.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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If the flashes were Carpathia’s rockets, why Mr. Gibson said they were going up?
Gibson didn't say that. Gibson responded to a question that contained several parts.
7597. Q. What sort of a light was it? You called it a rocket? Was it a flash; did you see it go up into the sky? - A. Yes.
His answer was a simple acknowledgement that what he saw was a rocket, not something else.

Mr. Stone himself testified that the bearings were only approximate.
Some of the bearings he gave were approximate, as were Gibson's no doubt. By the bearing of SW 1/2 W was down to 1/2 point precision. That is much tighter than simply saying "about".

If you think Carpathia was much closer to Boxhall's boat than 10 miles at 3:20, just say so and the picture can easily be adjusted. But Boxhall didn't mention seeing Carpathia when he said he saw a rocket from her which he estimated was 3/4 hours before being picked up. He also said he was picked up a little after 4 o'clock which is what others also said.

I need to go right now, so I have to defer for now a few more responses.
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Alex P/Mila,

Rostron was very good at planning for the rescue as he made his rescue attempt that morning (see the orders he directed in the USA Inquiry).

My own personal take on the "If you can see us - We are firing rockets" recorded by Durrant at 3.11am on the Mount Temple, and slightly earlier on the SS Caronia - from Cottam on the Carpathia, is that this wireless message was sent promptly if not before the Carpathia fired off the first of a series of distress rockets. When you get your head round Captain Rostron's way of working and thinking, and planning ahead that night, it makes sense.

It would not have taken more than say 2 minutes to get out the box of distress rockets and fire one off The Carpathia, in response to the first sighting of Boxhall's green flare seen - just before 3.10 am - or slightly afterwards, and no more than 3 minutes to write out a quick terse note and get it to the Marconi room for Cottam the wireless operator to transmit; which the Caronia wireless officer recorded, and Durrant the wireless operator on the Mount Temple.

The Carpathia was far closer to Boxhall's lifeboat and the position in which we now know Titanic sank, than Captain Rostron thought he was.

The effect of all this is to put The Californian a proportionate distance further away/the Carpathia a proportionate distance closer - but you erroneously consider The Californian saw Boxhall's green flares from his lifeboat - for which their is not a jot of evidence at all!

If you have a thesis or agenda, then plainly put this to the forum members, rather than expect us to provide the evidence, and interpretation.

I don't myself consider The Californian stayed in the same spot in the Atlantic Ocean as she swung around slowly and erratically that night from when stopped at 10.21pm on the 14th with her rudder to the right of the stern. No one suggests otherwise.

I don't quite understand Gibson's testimony that he saw the Carpathia's 3 white rockets he saw fired off at different bearings over what he stated were at 3 minute intervals. 3 rockets fired at 3 minute intervals would seem to indicate to me another ship in distress. I think there is a transcription error in the Inquiry transcript here, though I cannot say exactly how this came about, or what he might have said to cause this error. Stone with Gibson saw 3 of the Carpathia's distress rockets fired from 3.15 or 3.20 till Gibson went below to get the new taff rail log at either 3.40 or 3.45 am on the 15th April, and no report was made of these further rockets seen by Stone and particularly Gibson to Captain Lord in the chart room, and the significance of their evidence on all this was either ignored or totally misconstrued at the British Inquiry.

Leslie Harrison totally ignored all this in 'Titanic Myth', and Leslie Reade glossed over it all in 'The Ship That Stood still'. If Reade was as clever as he made out, he really ought to have come to the same conclusions as Dave Gittins, some many years later.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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AlexP

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Well let's test that shall we. We have evidence from three mutually supporting sources (Groves, Stone, Gibson) that says that Titanic was SSE by compass at 12:10.
We have evidence from Stone that the steamer they were watching disappeared SW1/2W by compass.
We have evidence from Stone that the signals seen at 3:20 were bearing about SSW.
We have evidence from Gibson that the difference in bearings of those signals seen were 2 points.
We have evidence from Durrant with supporting evidence from Rostron that Carpathia was firing rockets about the same time those signal were seen by Stone and Gibson.
From Rostron and Boxhall we have evidence that Carpathia reached Boxhall's boat about 3/4 hours after those signal sightings.
From Bisset we have evidence that Carpathia had been making about 15-16 knots max.
From Lord we have evidence that the magnetic variation was about 2 points west (and this can be confirmed by other means).
From Rostron we have evidence Carpathia was heading N52W true (about N30W magnetic).

Putting all these pieces of evidence together, the picture that you get for Californian being caught in an eddy such that all the evidence fits is shown in the picture below.
View attachment 44833
Could you please explain why in the chart your SSE arrow is pointing to SE?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Alex, in the previous thread you wrote: "These eddies make objects that are caught in them to rotate. They will not move the ice fields." Are you really sure about that? The article that you provided a link for had this to say:
(My bolding where shown and units conversions in brackets I added.)

>> The anticyclonic circulation is pronounced in the field of the drifting ice in the bay in June. Several large ice floes were captured by this circulation and came full circle, which made it possible to determine the period of eddy circulation and velocity of the surface current. The circulation diameter was about 40 km [21.6 nautical miles].The period of circulation in the eddy was about 3 days.The average velocity of the current on the surface was about 0.3 m/s [0.58 knots]. <<
 

AlexP

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Alex, in the previous thread you wrote: "These eddies make objects that are caught in them to rotate. They will not move the ice fields." Are you really sure about that? The article that you provided a link for had this to say:
(My bolding where shown and units conversions in brackets I added.)

>> The anticyclonic circulation is pronounced in the field of the drifting ice in the bay in June. Several large ice floes were captured by this circulation and came full circle, which made it possible to determine the period of eddy circulation and velocity of the surface current. The circulation diameter was about 40 km [21.6 nautical miles].The period of circulation in the eddy was about 3 days.The average velocity of the current on the surface was about 0.3 m/s [0.58 knots]. <<
The ice fields and icebergs are transported by the eddies. However, relatively small eddies that form in the frontal regions between the ice fields and the ocean will not transport the entire ice fields.
 
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AlexP

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It's pointing SSE by compass from the evidence given. That's why I also included the compass rose with a 2 point variation west. Print and check it if you like.
I see.

I believe that Mr. Stone's bearings were not precise.

See for example the account from the same region https://archive.org/stream/reportofinternat2025unit/reportofinternat2025unit_djvu.txt

While the ship was swinging left slowly, the compass swung
to the left rapidly about one point.



The White Star Line supplied the following document to the British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry:

As it is supposed by many that there is in some parts of the St. Lawrence a certain amount of local attraction, too much reliance should not be placed on the compass. Solar and stellar observations to correct the compasses should be taken at every opportunity. If no observations have been obtained for some length of time, particularly after a change in the course, you must be extremely careful how you proceed, bearing in mind the fact that the tides and currents, both in the St. Lawrence and also in the North and South approaches thereto, vary very much in force and direction, and cannot be relied on at any time.


So as I said I am not sure about SW 1/2 W .
However, I do believe that at some point the Titanic moved to the left from the Californian, and Mr. Stone should have noticed it.
There are some other eyewitnesses' accounts that collaborate the change in bearing.
For example.

10264. Did you see any lights of ships out at sea? - When?
10265. At any time? - Yes.
10266. Before or after you were lowered into the water? - Before and after.
10267. In which direction? - On the starboard side of the ship.
10268. Bearing how from the ship? - I should take it bearing North.
10269. That would be on the starboard bow? - Yes, on the starboard bow.
10270. What were the lights like? - I saw two lights. I took them to be plain, ordinary white lights - two masthead lights.
10271. Masthead lights? - Yes.
10272. It looked like a two-masted ship? - Yes.
10273. Could you judge at what distance? - No. Distance on water is very hard to judge.
10274. Could they have been lamp lights in any of your small boats? - No. They would not be that high.

Besides why Mr. Boxhall lost the sight of the masthead lights? I believe a single light he saw was a star and not the Californian's masthead light.
I believe he lost the sight of the lights because he was trying to find them in a wrong place.

And besides, Samuel, you do not believe that there was any change in the bearing at all. Then why do you insist that the eddy’s theory should be able to account for the precise change provided by Mr. Stone?
 
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AlexP

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I forgot to ask you what is your own version on why Mr. Stone testified the bearing were changing? As you know he stated the same in the affidavit he submitted to his own Captain. Mr. Gibson testified that Mr. Stone was taking compass bearings all the time. Mr. Stone also testified that Carpathia’s rockets were seen SSW. So why? It could not have been due to slow swinging. As I explained above compasses are unreliable in the area. Mr. Stone could have had wrong readings, but the fact that bearings changed somehow is hard to dispute.
About you chart. The track of the Carpathia is also shown with deviation?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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However, relatively small eddies that form in the frontal regions between the ice fields and the ocean will not transport the entire ice fields.
Yes, small eddies will not transport the entire icefield, but for the change in compass bearings that were given in evidence, you cannot be talking about a small, localized eddy. You are suggesting a relatively large eddy that must have a very fast rotational speed. The movements reported in these micro eddies are very small, some described as meters per day.
The track of the Carpathia is also shown with deviation?
The track of Carpathia on the chart that I put up is on a heading of N30W magnetic. That accounts for the 2 point variation as shown on the compass rose. The true heading would be N52W true that was given in evidence by Rostron.
While the ship was swinging left slowly, the compass swung
to the left rapidly about one point.
You forgot to include the sentence preceding the one quoted:
"Just off the harbor entrance a magnetic disturbance was noted. While the ship was swinging left slowly, the compass swung to the left rapidly about one point."
The swing of that compass caused by the disturbance was only 1 point. In the case of bearings from Californian, we are talking about 6 to 7 point differences.
By the way, there nothing unusual for some places to have local magnetic disturbances. NOTAMS in aviation warn airline and private pilots of where these are. The good news is that the directional gyro is unaffected by this, but still the DG has to be periodically adjusted to match the mag compass in places where there are no local disturbances. And by the way, solar flares have been known to throw the mag compass off. Perhaps you would like to jump on that bit of information?
There are some other eyewitnesses' accounts that collaborate the change in bearing.
The account you cited was from steward Hart. Hart went away in boat #15, quite late in the sinking timeframe. He said he saw the two masthead lights to the north before and after he went away in the boat. He was on the starboard side of the ship when he left in boat #15 for sure. Yet Lightoller, Boxhall, Lowe, Rowe, and many more said this steamer was off Titanic's port bow. I'm sure our mystery ship advocate friends would claim yet another two-masted mystery ship on Titanic's starboard bow in addition to the one on her port bow that was there at the same time. Or, as one of these advocates once wrote, 'What does a steward know about port and starboard?' I do know there is no double star in the northern sky that could be taken for masthead lights of a ship.
you do not believe that there was any change in the bearing at all. Then why do you insist that the eddy’s theory should be able to account for the precise change provided by Mr. Stone?
I'm not the one who said that the eddy theory, or speculation as you now seem to call it, should account for the precise change provided by Stone. It was you who wrote that the eddy theory can explain all the events described? What I showed is simply this. For change in bearings that were reported to be explained by Californian being caught in eddy, would require a movement of Californian as shown, more or less, in the diagram I posted. It would imply a relatively large sized eddy with a fairly rapid rotational speed that simply does not exist in nature.

Cheers.