Was Californian Caught in an Eddy?


AlexP

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You, like everyone else, assume that Groves was seeing the same steamer that Lord did. Unless you selectively chose the evidence that could not have been the case.

Groves may well have seen a passenger ship but what he described could not have been Titanic. He saw his showing a single white light at 11-10 pm but coming from an entirely different direction... from the south. He saw her 2 masthead light at 11-25 pm and she stopped 15 minutes later, at 11-40 pm. He also said that the other ship was showing a red light and turned to port. If that had been Titanic then Californian would have to have been to the SW of her as she turned.
Lord saw his vessel before 11- pm... probably with the naked eye. He even saw it's green light from a lower deck just after 11 pm. It was approaching from the eastward. His had one white masthead light. He said it was something like Californian and it stopped at 11-30 pm
Gibson described seeing a single masthead light and the glare of lights on the after deck. Titanic did not have an "after deck" she had an aft well deck which is different.
Incidentally the timing of when Lord saw his ship is verified by the evidence of Californian's wireless operator.
[
OK, Jim. Let's assume the Captain and Mr. Groves saw two different steamers.
You agree that Mr Grove showed a steamer to Mr. Stone.
What steamer it was?
a) the steamer with two masthead lights that Mr. Groves was watching since 11:10.
b) the steamer with one masthead light that the Captain was watching.
c) none of the above.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Of course a real ocean eddy is much more complex thing.
You got that right.
Is it because it is beyond simple comprehension?
Simple comprehension says that there is some conflicting evidence. Nothing knew when it comes to Titanic or Californian.
If you are going to create diagrams such as the one you did, then use the evidence as given. The evidence as given says the steamer that was stopped when Stone took over from Groves was SSE by compass. That comes from multiple witnesses. Groves never really took a bearing on the steamer but was guessing it was coming up about 3 points abaft the starboard beam when his own vessel was pointing about NE by compass.

If the steamer seen by Lord, Stone and Gibson was different than the steamer seen by Groves, then explain what steamer was Lord and Grove both looking at when Lord came up to the upper bridge to speak to Grove at about 11:45?
 

Jim Currie

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OK, Jim. Let's assume the Captain and Mr. Groves saw two different steamers.
You agree that Mr Grove showed a steamer to Mr. Stone.
What steamer it was?
a) the steamer with two masthead lights that Mr. Groves was watching since 11:10.
b) the steamer with one masthead light that the Captain was watching.
c) none of the above.
You tell me. What does the evidence suggest? Here is what Stone said:

7814. He [Captain Lord] pointed out another steamer. What could you see of the other steamer?
- One masthead light and a red sidelight and two or three small indistinct lights.
here is what Captain Lord said:
"
6805. (The Attorney-General - To the Witness. Captain Lord) Can you tell us whether you saw one or two masthead lights?
- I only saw one.
6806. You only saw one?...A: - The Third Officer said he saw two.


Now compare the evidence to what those who would be the judges said:

The Commissioner: That is very important, because the "Titanic" would have two.

Groves very clearly told his questioners that the ship he saw was approaching on the starboard quarter, showing a red sidelight, right up to and after 11-30 pm. If so, then that vessel was on the western edge of the ice and possibly coming northward. Groves left the bridge and went below to report to Lord. The time was 11-30 pm
At the time Groves reported this vessel showing a red light on the starboard quarter, the vessel seen by Captain Lord, which up until then had been showing a green light, had met the ice and turned around to show a red light and stopped. The one seen by Groves was still approaching from a different direction.
At about 11-40 pm, if we are to believe Groves, it turned hard left to avoid ice and its port side accommodation lights seemed to go out. Was it masked by the ice barrier? If it turned to shut out it's port side light's it would have had to turn back to starboard to show it once again as well as shut out one of it's masthead lights. if it was Titanic, it would still have been lit up like a Xmas tree.

This, I hope will answer Sam's last post.
 

Mark Baber

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Moderator's hat on:

Keep the discussion civil, folks, and avoid personal commentary about one another. Thanks.

Moderator's hat off.
 
B

Bob_Read

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We can talk about lights all day but the distress rockets can’t be explained away as inconsequential.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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By the way, this business about Grove's steamer having two masthead lights first came up Monday morning while Californian was running down the western side of the pack ice. For some inexplicable reason, Lord asked Groves how many masthead lights did the steamer have that they were both looking at the previous night. Here is the relevant evidence, the witness is Stanley Lord:
6805. (The Attorney-General - To the Witness.) Can you tell us whether you saw one or two masthead lights?
- I only saw one.
6806. You only saw one? - The third officer said he saw two.

The Commissioner: I am sorry to interrupt you, but it is not satisfactory to me. When was it the third officer said he saw two lights? The third officer by this time was below; I do not know what you are talking about now.
6808. (The Attorney-General - To the Witness.) When was it the third officer told you he had seen the two lights? - Before 12 o’clock.
6809. Before 12 o’clock? - Before midnight. At the time I saw one, he saw two.
6810. Were you on deck when he told you this? - He told me the following day, I think; I do not think it was mentioned that night.
6811. He told you next day he had seen two white lights when on deck about 12 o’clock? - Yes, two masthead lights.
6812. Is the third officer still in the ship? - Yes.
6813. Will you tell me his name? - Mr. Groves.
6814. (The Attorney-General.) He will be called, my Lord. (To the Witness.) Will you tell us what he said to you next day about these two lights? - I asked him the next day or the following day - I do not remember exactly, it is so long ago - how many lights the ship had, and he said “two.” I remarked that I only saw one.
6815. (The Commissioner.) Now I want to know this. You had seen only one, and you and he were on the deck together, as I understand you? - Yes.

6816. Why did you ask him how many there were? - Well, I was curious about this “Titanic” accident. I was trying to locate the ship that was supposed to be between us and the “Titanic.”
6817. Were you in doubt as to whether you had seen one or two lights? - I had not myself.
The Commissioner: Then I cannot understand why you should ask him how many lights he had seen if you yourself had no doubt whatever about it.

Mersey asked a very good question that was never really answered. There was but vessel seen out there, not two. It either had one masthead light or it had two. Three out of four eyewitnesses said it had one. Only one said it had two, and that came up after they found out about Titanic the next morning. I believe Groves never saw two masthead lights but decided sometime Monday morning that this vessel which he thought may have been a passenger steamer, had to have been Titanic, and therefore it had to have had two masthead lights, just like the Mersey and Isaacs thought, not having asked anyone who would actually know.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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This, I hope will answer Sam's last post.
What Jim is saying, if no one else can figure it out, is that there were two mystery vessels that stopped off Californian's starboard side close to the same time, the one seen by Lord that came up from the east, and the one seen by Groves that came from the SSW, or thereabouts. The one seen by Groves somehow disappeared by the time Lord arrived on deck, masked by the ice barrier somehow. Is it not strange how two experienced mariners failed to notice the other vessel described by the other witness as both vessels were approaching within what, 5 miles of Californian, about 11:30pm? But we are talking about two mystery ships here, and of course anything is possible.
 

AlexP

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You, like everyone else, assume that Groves was seeing the same steamer that Lord did. Unless you selectively chose the evidence that could not have been the case.

Groves may well have seen a passenger ship but what he described could not have been Titanic. He saw his showing a single white light at 11-10 pm but coming from an entirely different direction... from the south.


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.


8150. How were you heading?
- At that time we would be heading N.E. when I saw that steamer first

Jim, you do understand that one cannot see a steamer coming from south "a little bit abaft our starboard beam" if his own steamer is heading N.E.? In fact, one cannot see a steamer coming from south "a little bit abaft our starboard beam" before his own steamer would be heading around E.by N.
So it appears that Mr. Groves was simply confused and both men saw the same steamer, and this steamer was the Titanic.
 

Jim Currie

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You got that right.

Simple comprehension says that there is some conflicting evidence. Nothing knew when it comes to Titanic or Californian.
If you are going to create diagrams such as the one you did, then use the evidence as given. The evidence as given says the steamer that was stopped when Stone took over from Groves was SSE by compass. That comes from multiple witnesses. Groves never really took a bearing on the steamer but was guessing it was coming up about 3 points abaft the starboard beam when his own vessel was pointing about NE by compass.

If the steamer seen by Lord, Stone and Gibson was different than the steamer seen by Groves, then explain what steamer was Lord and Grove both looking at when Lord came up to the upper bridge to speak to Grove at about 11:45?

As for the bearing of the stopped vessel? That is academic relative to what the geometry of the plot tells us.
For instance, if I use the same stopped position for Californian, the same run time of 35 minutes for Titanic but a bearing of SE true for the stopped vessel position, the results are equally damning.
In the alternative plot, Titanic stopped 5 miles from Californian would have been 16.5 miles away bearing East 1/2 South 35 minutes earlier...just within the realms of possible sighting and close to the evidence given by Lord.
However, if Titanic had stopped 10 miles SE of Californian, she would have been 20 .5 miles away bearing East by South 35 minutes earlier. Only an eagle would have seen that.
Going from the sublime to the cor-blimey...if Titanic had stopped 15 miles SE of Californian, she would have been 25 miles away bearing East South East. the the eagle would have had to have been in a basket atop the mast to see her at that distance.
From the foregoing, it seems the only plausible separation distance between the 2 ships would be about 5 miles. If that was the case and if Lord could see that vessel approaching for a full 25 minutes...how on earth did Titanic's lookouts miss seeing a ships lights about a point and a half on the starboard bow?
More to the point: the greater the separation distance the more absurd the whole thing becomes. Do you agree?

The fact that Groves saw a vessel abaft the beam at all, completely rules out Titanic unless Californian was heading to the left of North 1/2 West when he saw her... do you agree?
 

Jim Currie

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By the way, this business about Grove's steamer having two masthead lights first came up Monday morning while Californian was running down the western side of the pack ice. For some inexplicable reason, Lord asked Groves how many masthead lights did the steamer have that they were both looking at the previous night. Here is the relevant evidence, the witness is Stanley Lord:
6805. (The Attorney-General - To the Witness.) Can you tell us whether you saw one or two masthead lights?
- I only saw one.
6806. You only saw one? - The third officer said he saw two.

The Commissioner: I am sorry to interrupt you, but it is not satisfactory to me. When was it the third officer said he saw two lights? The third officer by this time was below; I do not know what you are talking about now.
6808. (The Attorney-General - To the Witness.) When was it the third officer told you he had seen the two lights? - Before 12 o’clock.
6809. Before 12 o’clock? - Before midnight. At the time I saw one, he saw two.
6810. Were you on deck when he told you this? - He told me the following day, I think; I do not think it was mentioned that night.
6811. He told you next day he had seen two white lights when on deck about 12 o’clock? - Yes, two masthead lights.
6812. Is the third officer still in the ship? - Yes.
6813. Will you tell me his name? - Mr. Groves.
6814. (The Attorney-General.) He will be called, my Lord. (To the Witness.) Will you tell us what he said to you next day about these two lights? - I asked him the next day or the following day - I do not remember exactly, it is so long ago - how many lights the ship had, and he said “two.” I remarked that I only saw one.
6815. (The Commissioner.) Now I want to know this. You had seen only one, and you and he were on the deck together, as I understand you? - Yes.

6816. Why did you ask him how many there were? - Well, I was curious about this “Titanic” accident. I was trying to locate the ship that was supposed to be between us and the “Titanic.”
6817. Were you in doubt as to whether you had seen one or two lights? - I had not myself.
The Commissioner: Then I cannot understand why you should ask him how many lights he had seen if you yourself had no doubt whatever about it.

Mersey asked a very good question that was never really answered. There was but vessel seen out there, not two. It either had one masthead light or it had two. Three out of four eyewitnesses said it had one. Only one said it had two, and that came up after they found out about Titanic the next morning. I believe Groves never saw two masthead lights but decided sometime Monday morning that this vessel which he thought may have been a passenger steamer, had to have been Titanic, and therefore it had to have had two masthead lights, just like the Mersey and Isaacs thought, not having asked anyone who would actually know.
Yet Mersey pounced on the 2 masthead light idea.
 

Jim Currie

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What Jim is saying, if no one else can figure it out, is that there were two mystery vessels that stopped off Californian's starboard side close to the same time, the one seen by Lord that came up from the east, and the one seen by Groves that came from the SSW, or thereabouts. The one seen by Groves somehow disappeared by the time Lord arrived on deck, masked by the ice barrier somehow. Is it not strange how two experienced mariners failed to notice the other vessel described by the other witness as both vessels were approaching within what, 5 miles of Californian, about 11:30pm? But we are talking about two mystery ships here, and of course anything is possible.
Of course it is strange. The situation was anything but normal. It was a pitch-dark night, the ship was surrounded by light ice with a solid barrier of the stuff to the southward and westward of her. The barrier was about 6 feet high interspersed with bergs, bergy-bits and growlers...hardly a perfect horizon.
However, cast that aside for a moment and consider the following:

When analysing the vessel sighting evidence of Grove's it is always considered from the Californian point of view. You and others believe Groves was seeing Titanic. If he was seeing as he described...Titanic approaching showing a red port light...then Californian must have been south of Titanic's intended track if he saw her approaching at a 45 degree angle on the Californian's starboard quarter. Do you and others, agree?
 

AlexP

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The barrier was about 6 feet high
Where this info came from?
If he was seeing as he described...Titanic approaching showing a red port light...then Californian must have been south of Titanic's intended track if he saw her approaching at a 45 degree angle on the Californian's starboard quarter. Do you and others, agree?
Mr. Groves testified that glare from deck lights did not allow him to see any sidelight before the Titanic struck and turned.
 

Jim Currie

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Where this info came from?

Mr. Groves testified that glare from deck lights did not allow him to see any sidelight before the Titanic struck and turned.
Before jumping-in with both feet, Alex, you should check the evidence:

Captain Lord said the light stuff was 6 feet thick, but have a look at what the captain of the Mesaba said in his ice report:
Had to steer about 20 miles south to clear it. Ice seemed to be one solid wall of ice, at least 16 feet high, as far as could be seen. "..

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:
Groves's vessel1.jpg
 

AlexP

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Captain Lord said the light stuff was 6 feet thick, but have a look at what the captain of the Mesaba said in his ice report:
Had to steer about 20 miles south to clear it. Ice seemed to be one solid wall of ice, at least 16 feet high, as far as could be seen. "..
If the pack were 6 feet high even an icebreaker would have difficulties breaking it. 16 feet high is very rare even in Arctic, leave alone the Atlantic. It probably was a typo, unless you want to use that 16 feet high ice the way Maltin used it, namely to prove his allegation of a super refraction like he does here

“Whenhttps://timmaltin.com/2015/12/16/superior-mirage-titanic/

Mesaba says: “Ice seemed to be one solid wall of ice at least 16 feet high, as far as could be seen”, she is in fact describing miraging field ice. This is because for field ice to be floating 16 feet above the water, it would have to be about 120 feet thick, which it was not. In reality, we know from the positional data given by the Mesaba and by the location of Titanic’s wreck site that this was the field ice that Titanic sank only a couple of miles east of and which the Californian later was able to plough through, twice, during the early morning of the 15th April 1912.”
Here is what our days icebreakers could do
50 Years of Victory
“Twenty years in the making, 50 Years of Victory is the first Arktika-class icebreaker to have a spoon-shaped bow, capable of breaking through ice up to 2.5 meters (9.2 feet) thick! This is one of the world’s largest, most-powerful nuclear icebreaker.”
Yet according to you, Jim, the Californian was able to go through 16 feet high barrier two times. Really?
 
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Jim Currie

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If the pack were 6 feet high even an icebreaker would have difficulties breaking it. 16 feet high is very rare even in Arctic, leave alone the Atlantic. It probably was a typo, unless you want to use that 16 feet high ice the way Maltin used it, namely to prove his allegation of a super refraction like he does here

“Whenhttps://timmaltin.com/2015/12/16/superior-mirage-titanic/

Mesaba says: “Ice seemed to be one solid wall of ice at least 16 feet high, as far as could be seen”, she is in fact describing miraging field ice. This is because for field ice to be floating 16 feet above the water, it would have to be about 120 feet thick, which it was not. In reality, we know from the positional data given by the Mesaba and by the location of Titanic’s wreck site that this was the field ice that Titanic sank only a couple of miles east of and which the Californian later was able to plough through, twice, during the early morning of the 15th April 1912.”
Alex, Ice of any kind at sea has about 4 x 5 ths of its mass under water. Any less than that and it tends to become unstable and turns over. When Californian butted her way through the light stuff, she turned it over. That is how Lord knew how thick it was. This was in 2 places...at the north end of the barrier and at its southern end.
Mesaba was about a mile east of the ice barrier all the way down its 20 mile-long eastern edge, so forget about the mirage nonsense.
What on earth are you trying to prove?
here is a photograph of the actual field;;
1563982022169.png
 

Jim Currie

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Nothing, except that the pack could not have been 16 feet high and that it probably was not 6 feet high either.
The image is rather useless because there is no scale.
I leave the judgement of your reply to others. Just one last little attempt at bringing sanity to this nonsense... do you know what happens to pack ice when it is driven against an iceberg by the wind? (Pack is more influenced by wind than current in case you didn't know).
As for scale? Here is the original photograph. There is another somewhere that shows a vessel on the far side. I'll see if I can find it. if I do you will no doubt claim it was a pigmy, mirage boat or an arctic fly on the lens.
1563982739694.png
 

AlexP

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I leave the judgement of your reply to others. Just one last little attempt at bringing sanity to this nonsense... do you know what happens to pack ice when it is driven against an iceberg by the wind? (Pack is more influenced by wind than current in case you didn't know).
As for scale? Here is the original photograph. There is another somewhere that shows a vessel on the far side. I'll see if I can find it. if I do you will no doubt claim it was a pigmy, mirage boat or an arctic fly on the lens.
Jim, what I was trying to say was that if 16 feet high sea ice mirage is nonsense, 16 feet high real sea ice is even more so. I doubt that the photograph you are looking for will be helpful because unless the boat is floating next to the barrier, it will be impossible to judge the barrier height.
However, maybe you could explain how the Californian was able to go through 16 or even 6 feet high ice? Or maybe it melted by the morning?
 

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