Who fired the gun on the Boat deck except Lowe


Mar 17, 2010
214
2
71
London
Hi Everybody!

I know that there have been a lot of theories as to who fired the gun twice on the boat deck, before allegedly shooting himself, but I want to know what theories other people have on the matter.

Carla

PS. I don't know if this topic has been discussed already, but I have looked and not seen anything... only one that asks if anyone shoot themselves, but not asking who actually fired the shots.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,614
680
483
Easley South Carolina
>>Is there no end to your knowledge <<

Let's just say thatI know everything about everything, except for all the things I don't know, and I'm always right except when I'm wrong!

Seriously, I've picked up on quite a bit since I first started taking part on this forum six years ago. I'm always happy to pass on what I've learned. Seems a fair trade for what I've gained.

On the matter of gunplay on the Titanic, we know that it happened although that which is known beyond question is amazingly slim compared to a lot that's inferred more from rumour, innuendo, and a lot of newspaper stories published by people who didn't mind getting "creative" with the facts. As you can see from the link, wading through all of that to get at a few hard kernels of truth is no small accomplishment.
 
Mar 17, 2010
214
2
71
London
>wading through all of that to get at a few hard kernels of truth is no small accomplishment<

... and that's why I want to know people's opinions
happy.gif
I've tried to get facts regarding the last moments of the Titanic straight by cross-checking the evidence I can find, and it has been almost a year since I started, but I'm not much closer to anything
sad.gif


God bless all the people who do that kind of thing for a living...

BTW, Michael, I'm glad that you do share what you know with us - it's better to let the world know so that people have a basic knowledge on which to build up on.

Carla

PS. Looking forward to more opinions...
happy.gif
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,614
680
483
Easley South Carolina
>>but I'm not much closer to anything <<

Welcome to the club. The chaps who wrote that article did more in depth research on the question then I could even dream of having the time for.

The problem with "opinion" is that opinions aren't facts. Often it's just speculation that's mistaken for fact. Just stick with the way you're doing it. You may not get much out of it, but what you do get will tend on the whole to be a lot more reliable.
 

John Knight

Member
Jun 4, 2004
161
0
111
"Often it's just speculation that's mistaken for fact."

And that is a fact ;-)

As I am sure everyone is aware so much of what happened on that night will be forever guessed at. Sadly, just like now, the press did not help matters either.

My approach to the Titanic story has been to read what ever I can get hold of that looks good, watch whatever documentaries I can on the telly or that I can buy. Then I started picking things out that intrigued me as I went along and delved a bit deeper.
So much of the research done by members on here though blows me away and I really enjoy reading most of it. I take my hat of to them all.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,614
680
483
Easley South Carolina
>>Sadly, just like now, the press did not help matters either.<<

You're absolutely right. They didn't. If you have a mind to try it, you might want to try comparing contemporary press reports to what can actually be shown or falsified by the evidence. My bet is that you would be able to get a helluva good paper or even a book out of it.
 

John Knight

Member
Jun 4, 2004
161
0
111
"If you have a mind to try it, you might want to try comparing contemporary press reports to what can actually be shown or falsified by the evidence. My bet is that you would be able to get a helluva good paper or even a book out of it."

I'm surprised that has not been done already. I would much rather read something like that than some of the other stuff written about Titanic over the years. A good idea that,
my problem would be making myself do it before someone else got there first! Something to think about though.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,614
680
483
Easley South Carolina
>>I'm surprised that has not been done already.<<

In a roundabout way, it has, but in my opinion, not all that concisely. "Titanic : A Night Remembered " by Stephanie Barczewski deals with the overall picture of how the Titanic affair was taken and written about in the media of the day, but I don't know of anything that made an attempt to put any fact checking of those stories in any one place.

The resources and the information are out there to do it. If you want to have a go at it, now would be a good time to start gathering it all together for publication at a time when Titanic interest is likely to on the rise...say in 2012.
 

John Knight

Member
Jun 4, 2004
161
0
111
"If you want to have a go at it, now would be a good time to start gathering it all together for publication at a time when Titanic interest is likely to on the rise...say in 2012."

Put like that, maybe even I could manage that time frame.
 
Mar 17, 2010
214
2
71
London
I'm sure I won't be able to do that even by 2012! I have time-management problems and I have a very short attention span
happy.gif
I can perhaps try though...

Carla

PS. What is Bill's site, please, Inger? I don't think I know.
 
Aug 13, 2011
18
0
31
I must say Murdoch's suicide in the film Titanic came as a complete surprise to me, nothing I'd read up to then even hinted at such a episode.

I wonder here Cameron find such compelling and hard testimony that he thought fit to ( controversially ) include it in the film ?
 

John Knight

Member
Jun 4, 2004
161
0
111
"I must say Murdoch's suicide in the film Titanic came as a complete surprise to me, nothing I'd read up to then even hinted at such a episode.

I wonder here Cameron find such compelling and hard testimony that he thought fit to ( controversially ) include it in the film ?"

Yet another case, I believe, of 'include it anyway, because it's exciting'. Yet another thing that caused great upset to the 'accused's' family.
In this case, unless I am mistaken, an apology was eventually made to the affected family.
I would rather things like that, which can seriously harm reputations and hurt families, never be included in films until they can be verified beyond doubt.
Writing about such like events in books is, I believe, ok, but only as long as it is made quite clear that it is all speculation.
Regards.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,288
302
353
Bill's site is required reading on the subject
Bill and Tad Fitch have also written an article that appears in the current Commutator, entitled "Did an Officer Commit Suicide on Titanic?" It's a great read.
 

Tad G. Fitch

Member
Dec 31, 2005
579
6
111
Hi John, how are you? I think that historically speaking, James Cameron had the right to include the scene in question in the movie, since there were a number of people who claimed that an officer fired on passengers and then shot himself, similar to how it is portrayed in the movie.

What I would consider far more controversial is the choice of the officer's identity in both Cameron's movie and the CBS mini-series from earlier in 1997, since it is far from certain that First Officer Murdoch was the one who did it, if anyone did. Perhaps he should have filmed it in such a way as to portray the event, but somehow leave the identity of the officer ambiguous. I'm not sure how that could have been done, but it would have been far less controversial.

One thing to keep in mind however, is that James Cameron drew his opinion from his interpretation of the evidence, he did not make it up himself. Certainly, Murdoch was mentioned in many press rumors as the one who shot himself, which is probably why they chose to portray him as doing it in the movie. Certainly, a case could be made that Murdoch did shoot himself, but one has to bear in mind that no first-hand accounts positively identify him, or any particular officer, as the officer who shot himself, at least not with any degree of certainty. Indeed, most who claim to have witnessed the event do not even mention a name, as they probably wouldn't have been able to recognize which officer was which, and even if they could, with the crowds on deck and poor lighting, could easily have mistaken who it was. An example of this is how Harry Senior and Hugh Woolner positively identify Murdoch as having fired warning shots in the air at Collapsible C, while Jack Thayer was convinced it was Purser McElroy, and Hurst thought it was the Chief Officer.

Further complicating matters is the fact that there were survivors who fervently denied that a suicide took place, and there were additional rumors identifying everyone from Captain Smith, Chief Officer Wilde, Chief Engineer Bell, all the way down to Major Butt as the person who committed suicide. My own personal thoughts are that the evidence suggests that an incident took place, but that it is much more difficult to say who might have been involved. I have my opinion about who the two most likely candidates might be, but they are just that, opinions. Nothing is for certain or can be taken for granted when looking at this subject.
Kind regards,
Tad

PS: Mark, thanks for mentioning Bill and my article, and for your kind words. As Mark mentioned, our article touches on this very topic. Hope everyone in the states has a nice holiday!
 

Similar threads

Similar threads