Was Californian Caught in an Eddy?

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
275
14
18
Usa
It was atmospheric light he was referring to...not the ship's light itself. Incidentally, perhaps someday you will see "the light".?
“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.”
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
5,006
619
213
Funchal. Madeira
It was a most peculiar night,
When the captain saw that light
He wasn't wrong but surely right, for soon her ports were seen.
There was nothing wrong with that that man's sight,
'Cause he also saw her green.

(Apologies to McGonigle)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Samuel Halpern
Mar 22, 2003
5,412
765
273
Chicago, IL, USA
Another transcription error that occurred at the American hearings. Here's the formal correction:

7340. (The Attorney-General.) I would rather see the original. (The log was handed to the Attorney-General.) My friend, Mr. Edwards, put some questions about what happened at the Court of Inquiry in America. I have the Report from America, and I think it is right to put this to the witness. (To the Witness.) I see you said this in answer to Senator Smith, in America: “When I came off the bridge at half-past ten I pointed out to the officer that I thought I saw a light coming along, and it was a most peculiar light. We had been making mistakes all along with the stars, thinking they were signals”? - [Lord] “Most peculiar night,” I think that should be.
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,412
765
273
Chicago, IL, USA
Maybe it was Vega?
You must be joking, no? Vega, which is a magnitude 0 star in the constellation Lyra, was about 18° above the horizon in the NE at that time. Even Titanic's masthead light would not be that bright unless she came to within about 6 miles of an observer. If you're looking for a rising star, look toward the SE.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
5,006
619
213
Funchal. Madeira
You must be joking, no? Vega, which is a magnitude 0 star in the constellation Lyra, was about 18° above the horizon in the NE at that time. Even Titanic's masthead light would not be that bright unless she came to within about 6 miles of an observer. If you're looking for a rising star, look toward the SE.
How do you think the lights of Titanic would have looked at 6 miles, Sam? here's a photograph of a ship in Belfast Lough. She is about 3 to 4 miles away as the crow flies.
1564606073144.png
 

Julian Atkins

Member
Sep 23, 2017
991
454
73
South Wales UK
I have posted a bit about Groves in January 1916 on another thread...


It seems to me that Groves was a bit of a fantasist in old age!

Cheers,

Julian
 

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
275
14
18
Usa
You must be joking, no? Vega, which is a magnitude 0 star in the constellation Lyra, was about 18° above the horizon in the NE at that time. Even Titanic's masthead light would not be that bright unless she came to within about 6 miles of an observer. If you're looking for a rising star, look toward the SE.
It is complicated to convert time, but there were plenty of stars at the time the Captain saw a star that he took for a light, or you now too believe that the Captain saw a mystery ship?
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,412
765
273
Chicago, IL, USA
If I recall correctly Seumas its from a photo of Olympic from the 1920s.
That picture was taken from almost six nautical miles away. You can easily get the distance knowing the overall length of the vessel and the width of the moonstreak on the water.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Seumas
Mar 22, 2003
5,412
765
273
Chicago, IL, USA
How could anyone mistake such a sight for a tramp steamer or something like the Californian?
As I said, Titanic was never within 6 miles of Californian, and when she did stop, she presented an acute angle on the bow to Californian, hull down beyond the visible horizon, not a broadside view within the horizon like the picture of Olympic that I posted.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
5,006
619
213
Funchal. Madeira
As I said, Titanic was never within 6 miles of Californian, and when she did stop, she presented an acute angle on the bow to Californian, hull down beyond the visible horizon, not a broadside view within the horizon like the picture of Olympic that I posted.
Captain Lord said he first saw a white light,,, then a few other lights which might have been doors or portholes then eventually the green sidelight. The last was carried at a height of close to 70 feet above sea level. The only deck lights Titanic had on her boat deck were shielded. These were small and would have been almost invisible from anywhere except abaft the beam
The next deck down was the enclosed prom deck. These would have been put out after 11 p-m.
Then we have the description given by Apprentice Gibson. He saw a white light which, after looking at it through the binoculars, identified it as a white masthead light. He also saw the"Glare" of lights on the after deck...A stopped Titanic would have had a glare of lights ahead of the read light, under it and for a distance aft of it.

If Titanic was passing Californian to the south of her, on course and was anywhere between 16 and 18 miles away when she hit the bergs and stopped, then the vessel seen by Lord just before he went below could never have been Titanic and here is why.

If Californian was stopped 16 miles to the NW of where Titanic hit the iceberg, then at 10-35 pm (10-47 pm on an unadjusted Titanic clock), Titanic would have another 19.9 miles still to run and be 32.5 miles x 107 True from Californian. No way did Lord or anyone else. for that matter, see a ship's masthead light at that range.
Even worse; if Californian was 18 miles to the NW of where Titanic hit the iceberg, Lord would have been seeing her masthead light at an incredible distance of 34.4 miles on a bearing of 108 True.

If Groves saw a light at 11-10 and it stopped at 11-40...If that ship was Titanic, and she was on course and she stopped 6 miles away. then when Groves saw her, she had 11.25 miles to run and was bearing 100 True and 15.6 miles away. She could not possibly have been the same vessel seen by Lord... not unless of course, Groves, like his boss, had no idea what a ship hull down on the horizon looked like.

Your "acute" bow angle is pure guess-work on your part, based on an earlier "eureka" moment you had when making Californian fit the light seen on the port bow of the sinking Titanic. There is absolutely no evidence to support that a second helm order was given as part of the iceberg-avoiding. In fact the evidence points directly to no such order ever having been given. For sure, a second order was given but it had nothing to do with swinging the stern clear of the iceberg. You remind everyone about your triumph of catching out Captain Lewis Marmaduke Colins when he made a mistake (which he acknowledged) but his article on this subject which can be found here: encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-final-manoeuvre.html sums-up the evidence against such a turn.

Edited only to correct formatting error. MAB
 
Last edited by a moderator: