Was Californian Caught in an Eddy?

Jim Currie

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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?

So you know agree that there was no constant rate of swinging?
You and Sam really don't read the evidence...or should i say, selectively read the evidence.
The vessel was approaching Californian's starboard quarter showing a red light and two whitemasthead lights. here is how Groves described it:
"8179. Could you see much of her length? A: - No, not a great deal; because as I could judge she was coming up obliquely to us.
8180. She was foreshortened? A: - Supposing we were heading this way she would be coming up in this way, perhaps an angle of 45 degrees to us (Demonstrating.)"

This is what he was describing:
 

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Bob_Read

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What difference does it make if other ship(s) were seen by Californian in addition to Titanic? The distress rockets seen from Californian could only have come from Titanic.
 

Jim Currie

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What difference does it make if other ship(s) were seen by Californian in addition to Titanic? The distress rockets seen from Californian could only have come from Titanic.
I don't think anyone is in any doubt that the pyrotechnics seen were from Titanic, Bob. The points of argument concerning these sightings are:

1. Was what was seen recognised by those who saw it as an urgent call for help?
2. Was what was seen by those who had never seen a distress signal but had a minds eye picture of what it should look like, match that minds eye picture?

And, much later, following the sighting of the rockets:

3. Did what was later learned about the Titanic's final actions match what was seen before the details of her final actions were known?

However, this thread had nothing to do with the forgoing. As I see it, it is about a theory which might explain the proximity or otherwise of Californian to the sinking Titanic.
 

Jim Currie

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My view of what Groves saw.
View attachment 44912
So explain why Groves saw a red sidelight before the vessel stopped but never saw a green one?
"
8228. Did you see any navigation lights - sidelights? A: - I saw the red port light.. As soon as her deck lights disappeared from my view.
.
8231. I mean, you are not suggesting that the port light was opened, having been shut in before? A: - Oh, no.


By the way, Groves also stated:

8247. Did you not take her bearing by the compass? A: - Not that steamer's bearing, no.

So if he didn't take a bearing of that steamer, what steamer did he take a bearing of?
 

AlexP

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So explain why Groves saw a red sidelight before the vessel stopped but never saw a green one?
He actually saw the red after the vessel stopped and her deck lights disappeared.

So the question is why could not he see her green while she was still steaming. You responded this question yourself, Jim.
Now read the evidence of Groves very carefully:
He describes seeing a vessel approaching in such a way that her port side accommodation lights mask the red port light (that was and still is, very common). Suddenly, the vessel turns away to port, shutting out the glare of the accommodation lights, and the red light can then be clearly seen. Here is what he was describing:
View attachment 44890
The only thing that we have to do is to change "port" to "starboard" and "red" to "green" and here's what we will get:

He describes seeing a vessel approaching in such a way that her starboard side accommodation lights mask the green starboard light (that was and still is, very common).


Jim, I wonder if you could draw a plot for the steamer seen by the captain, similar to the one you did for the one seen by Mr. Groves?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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But then it could not have been the Titanic. The speed is too low.
Why not Alex? Other than the sizes of the vessels, the lengths would be about to scale. What is not shown is that the vessel that is pointing up toward Californian reached within a mile of that location around 11:30 Californian time, and then turned northward before coming to a complete stop opening up her red sidelight to Californian. I will let you guess why she did that.
By the way, this picture also matches what Lord described. Steamer came up from the east and stopped slightly abaft the starboard beam around 11:30 because of the ice that was encountered. Despite Lord saying he only casually was watching the steamer, he was more observant than his third officer in my opinion.
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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So explain why Groves saw a red sidelight before the vessel stopped but never saw a green one?
He didn't. And the only way he knew it was stopped was that she was no longer changing her bearing. Remember they could only see her lights. He saw, or should I say noticed, the red sidelight after the deck lights were shut out. I also believe Groves never saw two masthead lights despite what he later claimed. If at 11:45, when Lord came up to talk to him, this steamer had two masthead lights, then Lord would have seen two lights as well. He didn't, nor did Stone or Gibson who arrived later. But, if you want to believe there were two mystery ships, one seen only by Groves with two mast lights and another seen only by Lord with one mast light, then that is your devine privilege.
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Sam,

I have just re-read Groves' testimony.

I appreciate your pic/diagram in your post 202 might seem to 'fit' a certain stance, but I would venture to suggest that Groves' actual testimony in it's totality, as to what he specifically stated on oath he actually saw or perceived at the time, is quite a bit more complicated and confused.

I am too tired this evening to do a hatchet job on Groves' testimony; but it needs to be done in the light of Leslie Reade's assumptions, same as Lord Mersey.

Just a few examples tonight:-

8479. Did you see her green light at all?
- Never.

Your diagram would suggest that at 11.10 or 11.15pm Groves ought to have seen the green starboard sidelight of this "passenger steamer" he saw.

He later says he only saw it coming up obliquely on the starboard quarter. His original "a little abaft the starboard beam" then becomes "3 points abaft the starboard beam" as the bearing from when he first saw it, with no qualification.

It is all an utter mess, IMHO!

Cheers,

Julian
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Just a few examples tonight:-
8479. Did you see her green light at all?
- Never.
Your diagram would suggest that at 11.10 or 11.15pm Groves ought to have seen the green starboard sidelight of this "passenger steamer" he saw.
He later says he only saw it coming up obliquely on the starboard quarter. His original "a little abaft the starboard beam" then becomes "3 points abaft the starboard beam" as the bearing from when he first saw it, with no qualification.
It is all an utter mess, IMHO!
I quite agree. It's a mess. The reason he never saw a green is because he was not paying much attention to this steamer by his own admission. Something happened around 11:30 that changed, and it was then that he noticed that this steamer whose deck lights became greatly foreshortened was coming up toward his own vessel. In other words, it looked as if it was now approaching, so he goes down to tell Lord a steamer was approaching in accordance with standing orders.
 

AlexP

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Why not Alex? Other than the sizes of the vessels, the lengths would be about to scale. What is not shown is that the vessel that is pointing up toward Californian reached within a mile of that location around 11:30 Californian time, and then turned northward before coming to a complete stop opening up her red sidelight to Californian. I will let you guess why she did that.
By the way, this picture also matches what Lord described. Steamer came up from the east and stopped slightly abaft the starboard beam around 11:30 because of the ice that was encountered. Despite Lord saying he only casually was watching the steamer, he was more observant than his third officer in my opinion.
Here's why.
Samuel.jpg


8 miles in 30 minutes is too slow for the Titanic.
 
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Julian Atkins

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I must go to bed, but Groves claims he never saw a sidelight till this "passenger ship" shut out her lights - because of the blaze of it's lights presumably earlier, and only saw the red side light when the ordinary lights had been 'shut out'.

He was sufficiently concerned to obey Captain Lord's order to report other ships coming up that he left the flying bridge unattended to go down to report to Captain Lord at approximately 11.30pm, though why he couldn't say he could confirm this time by seeing the chart room clock on the wall mystifies me. He could even have 'done a Gibson' and walked through the unused wheelhouse, same a Gibson claimed he did at 2.05pm, to look at the wheelhouse clock!

I take it the ATS on The Californian was 12 minutes ahead of Titanic ATS, and though I am too tired to check this tonight, it seems to me to crucial, and if I have remembered this the right way round, is very important in assessing all this, though I think Groves' wrist watch was running/set 5 minutes fast.

I tend to think Groves was a bit tired that night. He had 'covered' for Stewart for Stewart's "tea" (dinner) before his watch started some 2 hours 40 minutes (if not more) earlier, and not had the proper rest he was due perhaps.

He also claims he sees the icebergs some 5 miles off at 5.20pm

8121. Where did you see them?
- About 5 miles to the southward of us.

8122. What time was that?
- About 20 minutes past 5 when I saw them, when I relieved the bridge. I relieved the Chief Officer then for his tea.

8123. You are talking about the time by your clock?
- Yes, ship's time.

I don't know what to make of the above, and seems to have received scant attention.

Perhaps we should continue the examination of Groves' testimony etc on the 'Stanley Lord Guilty as Charged' thread?

Cheers,

Julian
 

Jim Currie

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He actually saw the red after the vessel stopped and her deck lights disappeared.

So the question is why could not he see her green while she was still steaming. You responded this question yourself, Jim.

The only thing that we have to do is to change "port" to "starboard" and "red" to "green" and here's what we will get:

He describes seeing a vessel approaching in such a way that her starboard side accommodation lights mask the green starboard light (that was and still is, very common).


Jim, I wonder if you could draw a plot for the steamer seen by the captain, similar to the one you did for the one seen by Mr. Groves?
I have already done so in my post#195.
 

AlexP

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I have already done so in my post#195.
Right, but your plot assumes that the Captain first saw the light at 10:30 from the bridge. As I demonstrated above he did not. He saw a light around 10:45 or later. It probably was a star. He went down. When he came back after 11 he saw the steamer, which he assumed was the same one. It was not.

Please take a look at this testimony
6731. About what distance approximately did you consider she was from you?
- At 11 o'clock?

6732. I was going to ask you the distance at the time this conversation took place, and you said it was not the "Titanic"?
- I suppose she was six or seven miles away. That is only approximately.

It is probably incorrect. The conversation took place before 11. She could not have been 6 miles away at that time.
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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8 miles in 30 minutes is too slow for the Titanic.
Read what I posted Alex in post #208. Let me repeat it here:
"What is not shown is that the vessel that is pointing up toward Californian reached within a mile of that location around 11:30 Californian time, and then turned northward before coming to a complete stop opening up her red sidelight to Californian."
The time from point A to B was about 20 minutes, not 30, and the distance is more like 7.3 miles.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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I take it the ATS on The Californian was 12 minutes ahead of Titanic ATS, ... I think Groves' wrist watch was running/set 5 minutes fast.
The ATS was the other way around Julian. I also have have no reason to believe Groves' watch was 5 minutes fast, and I don't believe Groves bothered to look at it much while he was OOW after it got dark. He probably estimated the time from the striking of ship's bells by the QM which took place every half hour. That 10:26 time was suggested by Mr Rowlatt. Groves just agreed. Rowlatt had heard Lord testify the day before when Lord said he stopped at 10:21. I think it was Rowlatt who made the mistake in stopping time and Groves agreed and said he looked at his watch last when the ship had stopped. Somebody had to write down the stopping time in the scrap log when that event took place. As OOW at the time, that would have been Groves.
As far as seeing those icebergs at 5:20, in his Middle Watch essay to Walter Lord, Groves wrote:
"The voyage proceeded normally until the afternoon of Sunday April 14th, when, at a few minutes before 6.00 pm, Mr. Groves went on to the bridge to relieve the Chief Officer for dinner." That means he had to have seen those bergs after 6, not at 5:20 if what he wrote about relieving Stewart for dinner about 6pm was accurate. That would agree to what was reported to Antillian.
 

Jim Currie

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I must go to bed, but Groves claims he never saw a sidelight till this "passenger ship" shut out her lights - because of the blaze of it's lights presumably earlier, and only saw the red side light when the ordinary lights had been 'shut out'.

He was sufficiently concerned to obey Captain Lord's order to report other ships coming up that he left the flying bridge unattended to go down to report to Captain Lord at approximately 11.30pm, though why he couldn't say he could confirm this time by seeing the chart room clock on the wall mystifies me. He could even have 'done a Gibson' and walked through the unused wheelhouse, same a Gibson claimed he did at 2.05pm, to look at the wheelhouse clock!

I take it the ATS on The Californian was 12 minutes ahead of Titanic ATS, and though I am too tired to check this tonight, it seems to me to crucial, and if I have remembered this the right way round, is very important in assessing all this, though I think Groves' wrist watch was running/set 5 minutes fast.

I tend to think Groves was a bit tired that night. He had 'covered' for Stewart for Stewart's "tea" (dinner) before his watch started some 2 hours 40 minutes (if not more) earlier, and not had the proper rest he was due perhaps.

He also claims he sees the icebergs some 5 miles off at 5.20pm

8121. Where did you see them?
- About 5 miles to the southward of us.

8122. What time was that?
- About 20 minutes past 5 when I saw them, when I relieved the bridge. I relieved the Chief Officer then for his tea.

8123. You are talking about the time by your clock?
- Yes, ship's time.

I don't know what to make of the above, and seems to have received scant attention.

Perhaps we should continue the examination of Groves' testimony etc on the 'Stanley Lord Guilty as Charged' thread?

Cheers,

Julian
You are correct Julian.

Groves described seeing a vessel approaching in such a way that her red-side light was lost in the glare of her accommodation lights. He said he was only able to see the red light clearly when the approaching vessel turned away to the left... to port... and her accommodation glare was shut out. If that vessel had been Titanic, then Californian would have been on her port bow before she hit the iceberg, not after it.

On the anxiety to make the evidence fit the findings, Sam and others completely ignore the obvious. i.e. ship's lights are designed to indicate to an observer, using the naked eye, the distance from and the direction in which another vessel is traveling relative to his own vessel.
If an observer on one ship sees the coloured lights or stern light of another vessel, then, in turn, those on that other vessel should be able to see the coloured lights or stern light carried by the vessel of the observer.

1. If Captain Lord or any other member of Californian's crew could plainly see the lights of an approaching vessel then those on that approaching vessel could plainly see the lights of the stopped Californian.
The evidence of Captain Rostron and numerous witnesses on the sinking Titanic relative to the sighting of ship lights is quoted ad nauseum. Why on earth was it that all these folks were able to see the lights of ships as Titanic was sinking and thereafter, yet the dedicated Lookouts on Titanic failed to see the lights of Californian before Titanic hit the iceberg? (They were specifically questioned about that and answered in the negative).
2. If Captain Lord could plainly see the white masthead light and accommodation lights of his approaching vessel before 11 pm and with, presumably the naked eye, saw the approaching vessel's green sidelight with the same naked eye...why was it possible for Groves, in a higher position with perfect night vision and using binoculars, to miss seeing that green sidelight, let alone have double vision ans see 2 masthead lights?
 

Jim Currie

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Right, but your plot assumes that the Captain first saw the light at 10:30 from the bridge. As I demonstrated above he did not. He saw a light around 10:45 or later. It probably was a star. He went down. When he came back after 11 he saw the steamer, which he assumed was the same one. It was not.

Please take a look at this testimony
6731. About what distance approximately did you consider she was from you?
- At 11 o'clock?

6732. I was going to ask you the distance at the time this conversation took place, and you said it was not the "Titanic"?
- I suppose she was six or seven miles away. That is only approximately.

It is probably incorrect. The conversation took place before 11. She could not have been 6 miles away at that time.
Nonsense!
Groves said Lord left the bridge about 10-35 pm. Lord said that as he left the bridge at that time, he pointed out a light to the Officer (Groves). The officer replied that "he", not Lord, thought is was a star.
Lord was talking to the Chief Engineer and watching the approaching vessel from a lower deck. This was before he decided to go see the Sparks who did not send his message to Titanic until 11-55 pm. Since he was blocking Titanic, he must have attempt to do so before 11-55 because Titanic told him to shut up.
You are making this up as you go along or you are on a very, very steep learning curve at my expense.