Was Californian Caught in an Eddy?


Jim Currie

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I believe my plot is about right. Mr. Groves sees the Titanic somewhere around SE and some 20 minutes later she stops around SSE. What is wrong with this? Could you please explain?
Nothing better than a picture. I have taken the liberty to add to your plot.
I have added the the path of a 22.5 knots vessel on a course of 265 True first seen at 11-40 pm from the bridge of Californian and how Californian would need to have been heading at 11-40pm if she was swinging right at the rate of 1 degree/minute. I have shown that same 22.5 knots vessel stopped, slightly abaft the Stbd. beam at 12-10 am when Stone relieved Groves. I quote:
On going up to the bridge I was stopped by yourself at the wheelhouse door, and you gave me verbal orders for the Watch. You showed me a steamer a little abaft of our Star-beam and informed me she was stopped.

Groves-Alex 1 2019-07-28 001.jpg

Now do you understand?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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This entire story about two steamers stopping around 11:30-11:40 makes no sense at all. Groves said he saw a steamer coming up about 3 points abaft the starboard beam, goes down to the chart room and informs Lord around 11:30 who tells him to find out who it is via the Morse lamp. Around that same time, Lord said that this steamer that came up from the east that he had been following occasionally from the lower bridge had stopped. We know he told Stone at 12 that it could be seen a little abaft the starboard beam. We also know that went up about 11:45 to the upper bridge to talk to Groves about it. Now explain to me how two trained and experienced deck officers could fail to to see each other's steamer, both of which were off their own vessel's starboard side just a few points apart? To claim that there were two steamers out there is simply ludicrous.

You cannot simply accept everything that these people claimed they saw weeks after these events took place. There is no way Groves could have failed to see what Lord saw, and vise versa.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Look at this crap:

8155. Now, how did she bear, how many points abaft the beam did she bear? - Do you mean when I first noticed her?
8156. Yes? - I should think about 3 1/2 points, but I took no actual bearing of her.
8157. That would leave her S. by W.? - We were heading N.E. and she was three points abaft the beam.
8158. Your beam would be? - S.E.
8159. That would bring her about 7? - S. or S. by W. - S. 1/2 W.

If his ship was pointing NE, his starboard beam would SE. Three points abaft the beam would be S by E, not any of the bearings Groves said above in Q. 8159.
And besides, Groves admitted "I took no actual bearing of her," so you need to take his 3 or 3 1/2 points with a grain of salt. Plain truth is the man probably never gave it a single thought when these events happened. And I bet that he never even thought about the number of masthead lights the steamer had until Lord brought up the subject the next morning after they had learned about Titanic. Do you think Lord himself gave a thought about that until the next morning? Why do you think he asked Groves that question the next morning if he himself saw that stopped steamer while talking to Groves on the upper bridge at 11:45 Sunday night?
 

Jim Currie

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This entire story about two steamers stopping around 11:30-11:40 makes no sense at all. Groves said he saw a steamer coming up about 3 points abaft the starboard beam, goes down to the chart room and informs Lord around 11:30 who tells him to find out who it is via the Morse lamp. Around that same time, Lord said that this steamer that came up from the east that he had been following occasionally from the lower bridge had stopped. We know he told Stone at 12 that it could be seen a little abaft the starboard beam. We also know that went up about 11:45 to the upper bridge to talk to Groves about it. Now explain to me how two trained and experienced deck officers could fail to to see each other's steamer, both of which were off their own vessel's starboard side just a few points apart? To claim that there were two steamers out there is simply ludicrous.

You cannot simply accept everything that these people claimed they saw weeks after these events took place. There is no way Groves could have failed to see what Lord saw, and vise versa.
No one is suggesting that everything given in evidence is gospel- truth. However you cannot selectively accept what these people claimed they saw, just because you cannot conceive it to be true or partly true or because it does not fit your idea of the facts.

You imperiously claim "There is no way Groves could have failed to see what Lord saw, and vise versa."

You have to be so wrong about that. Simply because the 2 men described seeing two entirely different ships in entirely different directions at different times over a different period of time and showing entirely different light arrangements.
On the other hand, one of these men has the the backing of 2 others who described seeing exactly the same ship.
 

Jim Currie

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Look at this crap:

8155. Now, how did she bear, how many points abaft the beam did she bear? - Do you mean when I first noticed her?
8156. Yes? - I should think about 3 1/2 points, but I took no actual bearing of her.
8157. That would leave her S. by W.? - We were heading N.E. and she was three points abaft the beam.
8158. Your beam would be? - S.E.
8159. That would bring her about 7? - S. or S. by W. - S. 1/2 W.

If his ship was pointing NE, his starboard beam would SE. Three points abaft the beam would be S by E, not any of the bearings Groves said above in Q. 8159.
And besides, Groves admitted "I took no actual bearing of her," so you need to take his 3 or 3 1/2 points with a grain of salt. Plain truth is the man probably never gave it a single thought when these events happened. And I bet that he never even thought about the number of masthead lights the steamer had until Lord brought up the subject the next morning after they had learned about Titanic. Do you think Lord himself gave a thought about that until the next morning? Why do you think he asked Groves that question the next morning if he himself saw that stopped steamer while talking to Groves on the upper bridge at 11:45 Sunday night?
This is the same man whose 11-40 pm one bell evidence you are perfectly happy to accept. The same man whose heading at midnight you are happy to accept... the same man whose beam bearing of the nearby ship you are happy to accept. The same man whose 2 masthead lights evidence Lord Mersey et al were happy to accept. The same man who said the ship he saw turned away to port, hiding her port side from him. The same man who said he saw a passenger ship.

You ask a question about a conversation that took place the following morning between Lord and Groves concerning why Lord would ask Groves about how many lights he saw. Think about it and try the following for size.!

A Captain is on the bridge at 11-45 pm having a discussion with an officer who, 15 minutes earlier, has called him up to see a ship which he already knew about since he had been watching it for almost an hour previously. Now why would he bother going up there instead of simply saying "Yes! I know all about that vessel with the single white light"? Might it be because the officer in question described something that the captain had not seen before?
Then the following morning, after he learned of the fate of Titanic, he went over in his mind, what was reported to, him and what he, himself saw during that moment at 11-45pm.
For instance:........Thinks "Mmmm. That ship I saw last night was most certainly not a passenger ship. We're heading S 16 W. in the direction of the sinking Titanic. What was it that lad said about the vessel we were looking at together at quarter to midnight? A passenger ship who put her lights out?...could that have been Titanic?...." Turns to the officer at his side:....."Mr Groves, tell be again about that ship we we watching last night. How many lights did she have?"
 

Jim Currie

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Hi Alex,

I am not going to quote Groves' testimony, but I agree it is very confusing what he said in his testimony on these matters - to those of us now looking back.

Groves always maintained that it was a "passenger steamer" he saw, and he claimed he told Stone this in his testimony when he handed over the new watch to Stone around 12.10 that night. Groves also testified he told Captain Lord he had in sight a "passenger steamer", and in fact Captain Lord's wreck commissioners statement included this detail, and because Captain Lord denied that Groves' told him this when Captain Lord was in the witness box in London, he had his wreck commissioners statement quoted back at him on this point.

Groves only saw one ship, but in my above post I provided some explanation as to why Groves might have muddled up the timings.

He was, when he took the stand at the British Inquiry, about to completely undermine Captain Lord, and he must have been inwardly nervous; as to what he planned to say on oath, and the consequences and the 'fall out' from it.

Now here is something that I think may have been overlooked. Groves probably expected Ernest Gill to give evidence in the UK first, same as in the USA. After all, Gill had a first class ticket on the Cestrian (of the Leyland Line) home to the UK, but things were to go somewhat wrong with the British Inquiry schedule. The Duff Gordons were not yet home in the UK on the 14th May, and Gill had apparently gone off on his honeymoon when he returned to the UK on the 15th (presumably Gill got a special licence - if special licences were possible in 1912 - to get married immediately on his return, or his wedding had been planned beforehand), and it would appear The Californian witnesses were asked to attend on 14th May (and 15th May), rather earlier than they may have expected to give evidence to the British Inquiry, by a few days.

So Groves had to face the British Inquiry without Gill having given evidence first. Gill did not give his testimony till 4th June to the British Inquiry, some 2 1/2 weeks after Captain Lord, Gibson, Stone, Groves, Stewart and Evans.

Cheers,

Julian
Gill signed a written affidavit, Julian. Presumably the UK Inquiry had a copy? They certainly were being update by Reuters during the US Inquiry. The following is the brand of 'poison' punted by the AJ on the day Gill was questioned in the UK:
"Mr. Gill's story, as told in America, has - I do not want to say more than this - been very much confirmed by the evidence which we have put before the Court of the various officers - your Lordship will remember we called a number of them - and also of Gibson, the apprentice; so that it is not necessary now to go into his story, whatever it may be, as your Lordship will see the substance of it is no longer in dispute, and he was fully justified in what he said in America. The Officers have now borne out the substance of his statement."
Nothing could have been farther from the truth. The man's evidence was fantasy from start to finish.

"
 

AlexP

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Nothing better than a picture. I have taken the liberty to add to your plot.
I have added the the path of a 22.5 knots vessel on a course of 265 True first seen at 11-40 pm from the bridge of Californian and how Californian would need to have been heading at 11-40pm if she was swinging right at the rate of 1 degree/minute. I have shown that same 22.5 knots vessel stopped, slightly abaft the Stbd. beam at 12-10 am when Stone relieved Groves. I quote:
On going up to the bridge I was stopped by yourself at the wheelhouse door, and you gave me verbal orders for the Watch. You showed me a steamer a little abaft of our Star-beam and informed me she was stopped.

View attachment 44907
Now do you understand?
Jim, where did you get the info on the Californian's heading from? At 12:10 according to Mr. Stone she was heading E.N.E. Then if we are to apply your own rule of 1 degree per minute swing we could calculate that at 11:10 (the time Mr. Groves first saw the Titanic) the Californian had to be heading almost north. So, maybe Mr. Groves simply did not look at the compass to check the Californian's heading?
 

AlexP

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Now explain to me how two trained and experienced deck officers could fail to to see each other's steamer, both of which were off their own vessel's starboard side just a few points apart?
They could have been mistaking in the connecting relative bearings to the time of the observations. They had no reason to remember them.
 

Jim Currie

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Jim, where did you get the info on the Californian's heading from? At 12:10 according to Mr. Stone she was heading E.N.E. Then if we are to apply your own rule of 1 degree per minute swing we could calculate that at 11:10 (the time Mr. Groves first saw the Titanic) the Californian had to be heading almost north. So, maybe Mr. Groves simply did not look at the compass to check the Californian's heading?
If, as indicated by the evidence of Apprentice Gibson, Californian was swinging to the right at the rate of 1 degree a minute and the head was NE at 12-10 am, then at 11-40 pm, 30 minutes earlier, the head would have been 30 degrees to the left... i.e. N15 East NE = 045 minus 30 = 015. ENE Compass was NE true
 

AlexP

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If, as indicated by the evidence of Apprentice Gibson, Californian was swinging to the right at the rate of 1 degree a minute and the head was NE at 12-10 am, then at 11-40 pm, 30 minutes earlier, the head would have been 30 degrees to the left... i.e. N15 East NE = 045 minus 30 = 015. ENE Compass was NE true
Jim, Mr. Stone stated in his affidavit that they were heading ENE when he came to the bridge. He came to the bridge at 12:08. Why do you assume Californian was heading NE at that time. Do you believe than Mr. Stone was incorrect?
He also testified the same thing

8061. If you turn round - heading W.S.W. I think you said?
- We were heading E.N.E. at the beginning of the watch and slowly turned round to W.S.W.

Why do we care about 11:40. Mr. Groves testified he first saw the steamer at 11:10.

8135. Now, what did you see, and when?
- As I said before, the stars were showing right down to the horizon. It was very difficult at first to distinguish between the stars and a light, they were so low down. About 11.10, ship's time, I made out a steamer coming up a little bit abaft our starboard beam.

Mr. Groves testified at the time he first saw the lights the Californian was heading NE.

If you believe that the both officers were correct in their testimonies than you also have to agree that between 11:10 and 12:10 the Californian was swinging much slower than a degree per minute, and it means that you should also agree either with Samuel that sometimes she was swinging in retrograde or with me that her swinging rate depended on the eddy she was drifting in and, therefore, was irregular.
 

Jim Currie

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Jim, Mr. Stone stated in his affidavit that they were heading ENE when he came to the bridge. He came to the bridge at 12:08. Why do you assume Californian was heading NE at that time. Do you believe than Mr. Stone was incorrect?
He also testified the same thing

8061. If you turn round - heading W.S.W. I think you said?
- We were heading E.N.E. at the beginning of the watch and slowly turned round to W.S.W.

Why do we care about 11:40. Mr. Groves testified he first saw the steamer at 11:10.

8135. Now, what did you see, and when?
- As I said before, the stars were showing right down to the horizon. It was very difficult at first to distinguish between the stars and a light, they were so low down. About 11.10, ship's time, I made out a steamer coming up a little bit abaft our starboard beam.

Mr. Groves testified at the time he first saw the lights the Californian was heading NE.

If you believe that the both officers were correct in their testimonies than you also have to agree that between 11:10 and 12:10 the Californian was swinging much slower than a degree per minute, and it means that you should also agree either with Samuel that sometimes she was swinging in retrograde or with me that her swinging rate depended on the eddy she was drifting in and, therefore, was irregular.
Stone was on the bridge at 12-10 am. He said she was heading ENE by compass... if so that was NE true. GIbson said he was told she was heading ENE. So did captain Lord.
Captain Lord pointed out an approaching ship to Groves at or about 10-35 pm. Groves thought it was a star.
Groves did not positively identify a ship;s lights until 11-10 pm. That was 15 minutes after Lord had had a talk with the W/O and sent a warning to Titanic after seeing an approaching ship. That is why the positive sighting by Groves is significant. If Captain Lord's stopped position was correct, then Titanic's rocketed were on the beam bearing SSE true and the head would have been ENE True, not by compass.
 

AlexP

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Captain Lord pointed out an approaching ship to Groves at or about 10-35 pm. Groves thought it was a star.
Not to Groves, Jim. He pointed it out Mr. Stewart.

Mr. LORD.
When I came off the bridge, at half-past 10, I pointed out to the officer that I thought I saw a light coming along, and it was a most peculiar light, and we had been making mistakes all along with the stars, thinking they were signals. We could not distinguish where the sky ended and where the water commenced. You understand, it was a flat calm. He said he thought it was a star, and I did not say anything more. I went down below.

See that “when I came off the bridge”? I believe it was a star the the Master saw at 10:30.

I do not believe the Captain mentioned that 10:30 sighting at all during British inquiry
6715. Now close upon 11 o'clock did you see a steamer's light?
- I did.

The Commissioner:
11 o'clock when?

The Attorney-General:
At night, my Lord.

The Commissioner:
This was on Sunday night?

6716. (The Attorney-General.) Yes. (To the Witness.) This was on Sunday night that you had stopped?
- After we had stopped.

6717. And you saw a steamer's light. Was it approaching you?
- It was approaching me from the eastward.

6718. How did it bear?
- I did not get the bearings of it; I was just noticing it casually from the deck.

6719. Where was it? On your quarter?
- It was on the starboard side.


Back to headings. Both Mr, Groves and Mr. Stone testified about compass heading. Why to confuse them with true headings
 
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AlexP

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Stone was on the bridge at 12-10 am. He said she was heading ENE by compass
Let's try to do it one more time.
Mr Groves and Mr. Stone agreed that at 12:10 a.m. the Californian was heating ENE.
You are stating that she was swinging with a constant rate at about 1 degree per minute.
It means that at 11:10 p.m. she was heading about north by the compass and her starboard beam was heading about east.
Mr Groves testified the steamer was a little bit abaft of the starboard beam.
For the simplicity let's say she was about east form the Californian.
She came to the stop some 30 minutes later.
Mr Stone testified that the steamer was located SSE of the Californian at the time he first saw her.
So she traveled from almost East to SSE in half-an-hour. Only the Titanic could have done this.
Agree?
 

Jim Currie

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Not to Groves, Jim. He pointed it out Mr. Stewart.

Mr. LORD.
When I came off the bridge, at half-past 10, I pointed out to the officer that I thought I saw a light coming along, and it was a most peculiar light, and we had been making mistakes all along with the stars, thinking they were signals. We could not distinguish where the sky ended and where the water commenced. You understand, it was a flat calm. He said he thought it was a star, and I did not say anything more. I went down below.

See that “when I came off the bridge”? I believe it was a star the the Master saw at 10:30.

I do not believe the Captain mentioned that 10:30 sighting at all during British inquiry
6715. Now close upon 11 o'clock did you see a steamer's light?
- I did.

The Commissioner:
11 o'clock when?

The Attorney-General:
At night, my Lord.

The Commissioner:
This was on Sunday night?

6716. (The Attorney-General.) Yes. (To the Witness.) This was on Sunday night that you had stopped?
- After we had stopped.

6717. And you saw a steamer's light. Was it approaching you?
- It was approaching me from the eastward.

6718. How did it bear?
- I did not get the bearings of it; I was just noticing it casually from the deck.

6719. Where was it? On your quarter?
- It was on the starboard side.


Back to headings. Both Mr, Groves and Mr. Stone testified about compass heading. Why to confuse them with true headings
Read the evidence properly.
First, know that the Watch of the Chief Officer was from 4 until 8 morning and evening, The Watch of the second officer was from 12 to 4, afternoon and early morning and the watch of the Third officer was from 8 to 12, morning and evening. It follows that the officer Lord pointed out the approaching light to 3rd Officer Groves, not Chief officer Stewart. The latter was sound aslep tucked up in his bunk.
Additionally: Lord must have seen the vessel in question before 11 pm since Wireless operator Evans:
Senator Smith: When did you next communicate with the Titanic and what was the message you sent or received?
Mr. EVANS. 9.05 New York time, sir."

According to Lord. Californian time was 1 hour 50 minutes FAST of New York Time. This makes the communication with Titanic 10-55 pm ship time. If Lord left the bridge at 10-35 pm, then he had been seeing that ship (the one dismissed by Groves) for all of 15 minutes or more before he ordered Evans to warn Titanic. At that time, he estimated the approaching ship to be about 7 miles away. he reckoned he saw the other vessel's green light when about 5 miles away and it stopped at 11-30 pm when about 4 miles away...like this:
Groves -Alex 2.jpg
 

AlexP

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It follows that the officer Lord pointed out the approaching light to 3rd Officer Groves, not Chief officer Stewart. The latter was sound aslep tucked up in his bunk.
Doesn't look like the Chief officer Stewart was sound asleep, does it?


8977. Did you go on deck when you found the ship had stopped?
- Yes.
8978. I think you found the Captain and the Chief Engineer discussing the matter?
- Yes.
8979. And then did the Captain make a communication to you and ask you to do something?
- Well, Sir, he was talking about the ice then; he was talking to the Chief Officer. I asked him if anything was the matter, and if he wanted me. A little after that he came along to my cabin to talk to me.

If Lord left the bridge at 10-35 pm, then he had been seeing that ship (the one dismissed by Groves) for all of 15 minutes or more before he ordered Evans to warn Titanic.
As I demonstrated above the Captain saw the ship not from the bridge, but from a deck. It was probably a star. It was not 10:30 when he saw it, but later. Then he went to talk to a few crew members and came back to a deck around 11. It was the time he really saw a steamer. He assumed it was the same steamer that he saw before, but it probably was the very same steamer Mr. Groves saw from the bridge at the very same time.
 

Jim Currie

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Let's try to do it one more time.
Mr Groves and Mr. Stone agreed that at 12:10 a.m. the Californian was heating ENE.
You are stating that she was swinging with a constant rate at about 1 degree per minute.
It means that at 11:10 p.m. she was heading about north by the compass and her starboard beam was heading about east.
Mr Groves testified the steamer was a little bit abaft of the starboard beam.
For the simplicity let's say she was about east form the Californian.
She came to the stop some 30 minutes later.
Mr Stone testified that the steamer was located SSE of the Californian at the time he first saw her.
So she traveled from almost East to SSE in half-an-hour. Only the Titanic could have done this.
Agree?
I did not state that the ship was swinging at about 1 degree a minute... according to the evidence of Apprentice groves she was swinging at about 1 degree per minute. I say this because it was very close to 3 hours between when the rockets from Titanic were in the direction of abeam to starboard and when the rocket of Carpathia were in the direction of abeam to port. That is 180 degree swing in 3 hours.
Groves qualified his evidence and said his vessel was about 10 or 12 miles away on the starboard quarter and stopped 30 minutes later when about 6 miles away...that makes his vessel travelling at the rate of about 10 to 12 knots... not 22.5 knots.
 

AlexP

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At that time, according to Groves, Californian was heading NE. This is the picture which I believe Groves actually saw at that time. He also said he first started to really pay attention to this steamer around 11:25 and then reported to Lord around 11:30.
View attachment 44909
Yes, I know what Mr. Groves testified, but then Jim's constant rate of swinging one degree per minute does not work.
 

AlexP

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Groves qualified his evidence and said his vessel was about 10 or 12 miles away on the starboard quarter and stopped 30 minutes later when about 6 miles away...that makes his vessel travelling at the rate of about 10 to 12 knots... not 22.5 knots.
It depends. If the steamer traveled from around East to SSE in 30 minutes and she was at first 12 miles away and then 6 miles away it means she traveled around 10.5 miles. What other steamer could have traveled 10.5 miles in 30 minutes?
I did not state that the ship was swinging at about 1 degree a minute.
So you know agree that there was no constant rate of swinging?
 

Jim Currie

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At that time, according to Groves, Californian was heading NE. This is the picture which I believe Groves actually saw at that time. He also said he first started to really pay attention to this steamer around 11:25 and then reported to Lord around 11:30.
View attachment 44909
Groves used the term "Starboard Quarter no less than times When a bridge officer uses that expresion, he does not mean "a little abaft the beam pr forward of the beam... if he did , he would say so. These expressions are part of the daily vocabulary of a bridge officer. If the mans said it was abaft the beam it was!
He very clearly stated that the vessel he saw was "on the quarter" and claimed he reported seeing the vessel in that direction at 11-39 pm.
He did not start to pay attention to the approaching vessel at 11-25pm, he very clearly stated: "
8144. When do you think you began to pay particular attention to her? A: - About 11.15.
 

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