When and where did Smith know the ship was doomed?

AlexP

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Isn't it time you got some consistency in your replies Jim? Are you saying now that Stone reported to Lord, when he called down the speaking tube, that the vessel was changing her bearings when he called to report seeing a rocket in the direction of the steamer?
But these Californian related topics should be taken off this thread and put on the Lord guilty as charged thread or the Interrogation of Stone thread.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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what Boxhall would be told by the Captain at 12:00am
Where does this 12am come from? According to Boxhall's own estimate, it was about 20 minutes after the ship struck that he called upon the off duty officers and then went out to uncover the boats as the watch on deck was coming onto the boat deck having just been called.
"I went right along the line of boats and I saw the men starting, the watch on deck, our watch...I went along the port side, and afterwards I was down the starboard side as well but for how long I cannot remember. I was unlacing covers on the port side myself and I saw a lot of men come along - the watch I presume. They started to screw some out on the afterpart of the port side; I was just going along there and seeing all the men were well established with their work, well under way with it, and I heard someone report a light, a light ahead. I went on the bridge and had a look to see what the light was."
Now consider this:
"The Captain did remark something to me in the earlier part of the evening after the order had been given to clear the boats. I encountered him when reporting something to him, or something, and he was inquiring about the men going on with the work, and I said, 'Yes, they are carrying on all right.' "
This obviously had to be some time after Boxhall and the men began unlacing covers. What brought him to the bridge at that time was the report of a light seen ahead. It was then that he encountered Smith who asked how well things were coming along, and it was then that "I said, 'Yes, they are carrying on all right.' I said, 'Is it really serious?' He said, 'Mr. Andrews tells me he gives her from an hour to an hour and a half.'

At the BI, when Boxhall was asked if that occurred 20 minutes after the accident, Boxhall said, "No, I do not think so...I cannot fix the time; I have tried, but I cannot."
 

B-rad

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Where does this 12am come from? According to Boxhall's own estimate, it was about 20 minutes after the ship struck that he called upon the off duty officers and then went out to uncover the boats as the watch on deck was coming onto the boat deck having just been called.
"I went right along the line of boats and I saw the men starting, the watch on deck, our watch...I went along the port side, and afterwards I was down the starboard side as well but for how long I cannot remember. I was unlacing covers on the port side myself and I saw a lot of men come along - the watch I presume. They started to screw some out on the afterpart of the port side; I was just going along there and seeing all the men were well established with their work, well under way with it, and I heard someone report a light, a light ahead. I went on the bridge and had a look to see what the light was."
Now consider this:
"The Captain did remark something to me in the earlier part of the evening after the order had been given to clear the boats. I encountered him when reporting something to him, or something, and he was inquiring about the men going on with the work, and I said, 'Yes, they are carrying on all right.' "
This obviously had to be some time after Boxhall and the men began unlacing covers. What brought him to the bridge at that time was the report of a light seen ahead. It was then that he encountered Smith who asked how well things were coming along, and it was then that "I said, 'Yes, they are carrying on all right.' I said, 'Is it really serious?' He said, 'Mr. Andrews tells me he gives her from an hour to an hour and a half.'

At the BI, when Boxhall was asked if that occurred 20 minutes after the accident, Boxhall said, "No, I do not think so...I cannot fix the time; I have tried, but I cannot."
Indeed... The 12am comes from the several news papers that claim Burton privately asked Boxhall, who said it was 20min after impact that Smith told him. I don't quite know how much validity this article should receive (Andrews is given the abriviation of J.W. Andrews...) That is why I wrote 'supposedly'. This announcement to the senate, though it appears in the tabloids, does not appear in the transcripts... So again, how much weight it can be given is up to debate.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Well it may have been Burton's impression that it was 12 o'clock, but at the British inquiry it is very clear that Boxhall did not think it was 20 minutes when asked, and that he could not fix the time despite trying to recall when that particular conversation took place. To me it is clear that it occurred well after the men started to clear the boats from what Smith had asked him. I would guess that it was when Smith told him what Andrews had said, that Boxhall asked about a distress signal having been sent out and Smith telling him that he sent one and that it was based off of the 8pm DR. That is probably when Boxhall told him that he could work it from the 7:30 star fix position that he had, and Smith told him to go ahead and do so.
 
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B-rad

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If bride is correct about the captain telling him that the ship had only a half hour to live around the time he contacted the Baltic... And if smith was going off what Andrews said then this puts Andrews hour and a half around 12:37 (if my Baltic memory serves me right). This is roughly ten minutes after the first CQD, and again if my memory serves me right, Boxhall's amended the CQD came out 10 min. After the first CQD. Feels like I'm stretching but the numbers are close.
 
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George Jacub

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Sorry mate but I cannot treat your "research" seriously at all. It's bogus, fairy tale stuff.

And I think I speak for a few on here when I say that pushing your blog on every other post is getting rather tiresome.
Computer problems fixed (temporarily at least) I can catch up.

I haven't posted anything that wasn't relevant to the discussions on this thread. If you and the "few" you speak for don't like research, that's just sad.
 

George Jacub

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Well it may have been Burton's impression that it was 12 o'clock, but at the British inquiry it is very clear that Boxhall did not think it was 20 minutes when asked, and that he could not fix the time despite trying to recall when that particular conversation took place. To me it is clear that it occurred well after the men started to clear the boats from what Smith had asked him. I would guess that it was when Smith told him what Andrews had said, that Boxhall asked about a distress signal having been sent out and Smith telling him that he sent one and that it was based off of the 8pm DR. That is probably when Boxhall told him that he could work it from the 7:30 star fix position that he had, and Smith told him to go ahead and do so.
You have here two versions of the same story. The Senator says Boxhall told him he spoke with the Captain 20 minutes after the accident. But at the British Inquiry Boxhall said he didn't know what time it had been.
This is actually a good example of how research works.
(1) If you accept the principle that the first account is the most accurate, then the scale tips toward the Senator. He spoke with Boxhall on Sept. 28, 1912, 24 days before Boxhall testified in London.
(2) The Senator's account is a contemporary written document (even if it was written in the newspaper), which gives it more weight than Boxhall's memory or lack thereof. Asked if he said his meeting with the Captain took place "about 20 minutes after the collison", Boxhall said," No, I don't think so." That's not a denial; it leaves open that he did make that statement and he just doesn't remember doing it. The lean is still towards the Senator.
(3) Look carefully at the exact language used. Boxhall said he met with the Captain "earlier in the evening" and "after the order to clear the boats." Midnight meets both criteria.
(4) Boxhall said in the inquiry that the Captain told him that Andrews said the Titanic would sink in a hour or hour and a half. Other survivors said they had heard the same thing---and heard it around midnight. Point, Senator.
(5) Finally, look for supporting evidence. Boxhall's inquiry account was that the Captain said he had already sent a CQD, and that Boxhall worked up a corrected position for the Titanic and took it to the wireless room for transmission. The recorded times of Titanic's wireless messages shows that the first CQD was sent at 10:25 p.m. New York time, and the "corrected position" ten minutes later. Even if you dispute the one hour 33 minute conversion between New York time and Titanic time you must still check in out to do proper research. This results in an initial CQD at 11:58 p.m. and the revised position at 12:08 a.m. Those times bracket the midnight version of Boxhall's meeting with the Captain perfectly.
Boxhall said the noise of steam venting was deafening when the corrected position message was being sent. Lightoller's accounts tell us almost exactly when the steam noise stopped. He said at the Senate Inquiry "from the time we commenced to strip No.4 boat cover until the time when we swung them (lifeboats) out" was "at most 15 to 20 minutes." In his memoir, he said that when he got No.4 even with the boat deck, the steam noise stopped. Another witness (Pitman) said the davits worked so well that the swinging out of a boat took only two minutes. Put that all together and you have Lightoller starting to clear No. 4 about 11:55 p.m., finished at 12:10 to 12:15, and the steam noise stopping two minutes later at about 12:12 to 12:17 a.m. A midnight meeting with the Captain fits this scenario; a later meeting does not.
 

George Jacub

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Well it may have been Burton's impression that it was 12 o'clock, but at the British inquiry it is very clear that Boxhall did not think it was 20 minutes when asked, and that he could not fix the time despite trying to recall when that particular conversation took place. To me it is clear that it occurred well after the men started to clear the boats from what Smith had asked him. I would guess that it was when Smith told him what Andrews had said, that Boxhall asked about a distress signal having been sent out and Smith telling him that he sent one and that it was based off of the 8pm DR. That is probably when Boxhall told him that he could work it from the 7:30 star fix position that he had, and Smith told him to go ahead and do so.
You have here two versions of the same story. The Senator says Boxhall told him he spoke with the Captain 20 minutes after the accident. But at the British Inquiry Boxhall said he didn't know what time it had been.
This is actually a good example of how research works.
(1) If you accept the principle that the first account is the most accurate, then the scale tips toward the Senator. He spoke with Boxhall on Sept. 28, 1912, 24 days before Boxhall testified in London.
(2) The Senator's account is a contemporary written document (even if it was written in the newspaper), which gives it more weight than Boxhall's memory or lack thereof. Asked if he said his meeting with the Captain took place "about 20 minutes after the collison", Boxhall said," No, I don't think so." That's not a denial; it leaves open that he did make that statement and he just doesn't remember doing it. The lean is still towards the Senator.
(3) Look carefully at the exact language used. Boxhall said he met with the Captain "earlier in the evening" and "after the order to clear the boats." Midnight meets both criteria.
(4) Boxhall said in the inquiry that the Captain told him that Andrews said the Titanic would sink in a hour or hour and a half. Other survivors said they had heard the same thing---and heard it around midnight. Point, Senator.
(5) Finally, look for supporting evidence. Boxhall's inquiry account was that the Captain said he had already sent a CQD, and that Boxhall worked up a corrected position for the Titanic and took it to the wireless room for transmission. The recorded times of Titanic's wireless messages shows that the first CQD was sent at 10:25 p.m. New York time, and the "corrected position" ten minutes later. Even if you dispute the one hour 33 minute conversion between New York time and Titanic time you must still check in out to do proper research. This results in an initial CQD at 11:58 p.m. and the revised position at 12:08 a.m. Those times bracket the midnight version of Boxhall's meeting with the Captain perfectly.
Boxhall said the noise of steam venting was deafening when the corrected position message was being sent. Lightoller's accounts tell us almost exactly when the steam noise stopped. He said at the Senate Inquiry "from the time we commenced to strip No.4 boat cover until the time when we swung them (lifeboats) out" was "at most 15 to 20 minutes." In his memoir, he said that when he got No.4 even with the boat deck, the steam noise stopped. Another witness (Pitman) said the davits worked so well that the swinging out of a boat took only two minutes. Put that all together and you have Lightoller starting to clear No. 4 about 11:55 p.m., finished at 12:10 to 12:15, and the steam noise stopping two minutes later at about 12:12 to 12:17 a.m. A midnight meeting with the Captain fits this scenario; a later meeting does not.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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We have the guess of Lightoller which place the starting of uncovering the boats about midnight.

Mr. Lightoller: When we started to uncover the boats.
Senator Smith: How long after the collision?
Mr. Lightoller: About 20 minutes.

[American Inquiry, Day 1]

Then we have Quartermaster Hichens who was still in the wheelhouse and had the clock on his back giving a better proof for the time..

1040. Did you hear any other order? – No other order after that. That was the last order I heard with the exception of the boats.
1041. What was that you heard about the boats? – I heard the Captain say "Get all the boats out and serve out the belts." That was after 12.

[British Inquiry, Day 3]

Aside from these two we have other crew members who place the order well about or after midnight and not before.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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If you accept the principle that the first account is the most accurate,
No I don't. I accept the principle that a first hand account has much greater weight than a second hand account. And the first hand account from Boxhall has more detail about that conversation with Smith that proves that it had to have happened some time after the men were well established in their uncovering of the boats. And the men were seen first coming on deck at midnight when 8 bells were struck.
 
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B-rad

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I don't think it matters if one believes or not that a 1hand or second hand or 5th hand account is more reliable. All are proned to errors. What matters is presenting data and supporting it with more data. Whether someone's conclusions are flawed is irrelevant once the conclusion is made. Best hope is present other data in support or not in support and have all data available. If someone holds fast to their beliefs, cool, if someone rethinks their conclusion, cool. I personally don't think the goal of such forums to be to persuade people in believing or following any particular theory or conclusion but to merely offer a wealth of info and thoeries so we as individuals can form our own conclusions.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Hey, Brad. I just grabbed a beach ball and a basketball of exactly the same size and shape and dropped them from a height of 50 feet at the exact same time. Guess what? Aristotle was right. The heavier object fell to the ground much faster than the lighter object. Galileo's so called first hand account experiments was wrong because I have a bunch of eyewitnesses and a video to prove it. Conclusion: Heavy objects fall faster than a lighter objects. :p
 
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Seumas

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I don't think it matters if one believes or not that a 1hand or second hand or 5th hand account is more reliable. All are proned to errors. What matters is presenting data and supporting it with more data. Whether someone's conclusions are flawed is irrelevant once the conclusion is made. Best hope is present other data in support or not in support and have all data available. If someone holds fast to their beliefs, cool, if someone rethinks their conclusion, cool. I personally don't think the goal of such forums to be to persuade people in believing or following any particular theory or conclusion but to merely offer a wealth of info and thoeries so we as individuals can form our own conclusions.
The now deceased pair of Robin Gardiner and L. Marmaduke Collins certainly pushed that to the extreme !
 

Jim Currie

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Consider the problem from the time of impact using a modicum of common sense.

Impact + 5...Boxhall below on first inspection.. QM Olliver below to find Carpenter... Carpenter sounding around.
Impact + 8...Boxhall reports to the bridge then goes below again, meets Carpenter on way to the bridge to report to captain. (Carpenter has called the next Watch of QMs, since QM Olliver did not have time to do so).
Impact +10..Carpenter reports to Smith.. Smith orders all hands called then works the first distress position.
Impact +15.. Hands muster on fore-deck. Boxhall and Mail Clerk report flooding of the Mail Room. Boxhall ordered to call the Officers, Smith takes first distress position to the W/O. Boxhall calls Pitman (Who has already noted it is almost time to go on duty), Lightoller and Lowe.
Impact + 17..Boxhall goes round the boat deck loosening the slip knots on the boat cover laces and heads for the Chartroom to work a distress position.
Impact + 19... Lightoller on deck...Steam venting...Crew start to arrive on the boat deck.
Impact + 20... QM Hichens relieved by QM Perkis in the wheelhouse. Finished with the wheel and both men go to help with boat preparation. Fleet and Lee relieved in the Crow's nest... Lee finds all hands up at the boat deck when he comes down from the nest.
Impact + 25.. Boxhall works distress position, takes it to the W/O then returns to bridge to be advised of approaching vessel.
Impact + 40.. Approaching vessel much nearer... Boxhall suggests sending up signals to attract attention... Smith agrees.
Impact + 42.. No. 7 Lifeboat launched
Impact + 45... QM Rowe see No, 7 off the starboard side and phones the bridge. Boxhall answers and tells him to bring 2 boxes of detonators for the signals.
Impact + 1hr. 5 min... First signal fired...Boxhall and Rowe commence signalling the vessel on the port bow using the morse lamp.

I suggest that the above sequence of events, while not exactly accurate, is more in keeping with what actually happened. To suggest or imply that Captain Smith did not appreciate the gravity of the situation and that his ship was going to sink after receiving news of the extend and volume of flooding indicated by the soundings and the visual experience of the Mail Clerk is ridiculous to say the least. Of course he knew she was doomed. Had he the time, and after consulting with his Chief Engineer, he could have worked out how long the ship had to live. However, he did not have that luxury, but he did have an admirably qualified man in the form of the Builder's Architect to run the numbers for him