Why didn't the Titanic's lookouts see the Californian?


Jim Currie

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An example of a eureka moment:

The diagram below is a visualization of evidence, with citations included, all of which mutually supports each other. Yet, the eureka moment for the person quoted above is that all of this must be wrong because Lord's overnight DR position is sacrosanct and unassailable.

See Cam, if you draw a line from Lord's DR position at 42° 05'N, 50° 07'W, to the now known wreck site position at 41° 43.5'N, 49° 56.8'W, you find a bearing line that runs 160.6° true, or S19.4°E true, from the DR position that Lord gave. That's 1.7 points east of true South, which, if stated in points, would be S by E 3/4 E true, or for all practical purposes, SSE true. Therefore, eureka moment, Stone and Groves either lied about the ship's heading and steamer's bearing when they both independently stated that they were by reference to the compass, or they converted those angles to true headings and true bearings in their heads despite stating that they were by compass.
("Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.")

Oh, by the way, to convert from compass to true one simply has to subtract the total compass correction, which in this case was given as 22° (about 2 points) west for the date and place. Thus, to make things fit, Californian's compass heading when Stone took over the watch from Groves at 12:15am would have to be due East, and the steamer's compass bearing would have to be due South for this eureka moment to play out.

Of course, if you accept all the evidence as stated at face value below, then Lord's overnight DR position had to be wrong, and Californian was further south and possibly somewhat further west of where Lord took her to be. That's the other eureka moment.

View attachment 76277
Lord's position is sacrosanct because there is evidence to support it whereas, there is no evidence other than the ship's heading and bearings of a nearby vessel to contradict it. Note I wrote bearings of a vessel, not Titanic or a rocket or rockets.
However, bearings have absolutely nothing to do with why the lookouts on Titanic did not see the lights of the Californian. I suggest we all take the direction of "The management" and stick to the subject of the thread. With that in mind, please let us all have your answer to the "on the horizon" question I asked which is eminently relevant.
 
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With that in mind, please let us all have your answer to the "on the horizon" question I asked which is eminently relevant.
It was answered way back somewhere in this thread I believe, but you don't accept that answer and instead insist that "on the horizon" meant precisely ON the horizon, not anything else. If such rocket bursts were precisely ON the horizon, then Gibson was lying when he answered the following question:
7597. What sort of a light was it? You called it a rocket? Was it a flash; did you see it go up into the sky? - Yes.
Can't go up into the sky if they were precisely ON the horizon. It's either ON the horizon, or just above.

Somewhere, way back in this or some other related thread, I even quantified how high an angle the flashes would make if they came from a ship about 22 miles away. It was a very small fraction of the diameter of a full moon if I recall, and for all practical purposes, would be considered as flashes on the horizon even though they were a few minutes of arc above.
 

Paul Burrell

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fascinating, thanks Sam! but why would Stone and Groves lie?? Maybe to cover their butts that they were closer to the sinking?

I think that is why, yes. And not necessarily just to lie, but to lessen the impact of their witnessing the sinking. It’s human nature.

Read the transcripts of Stone, Gibson and Lord at the BI and make your own conclusions. Gibson comes off best, I think. Look at the ease with which Stone and Lord answer the easy questions. Compare that with their answers (or lack thereof) to the ‘difficult’ questions, that is to say questions which would, if answered straight, have described them watching the Titanic sink. On the difficult questions, they come across as landlubbers.

I respectfully disagree with Jim in particular on this. Jim gives an explanation of some of Stone, Lord and Gibson’s evidence, both what they saw and what they didn’t see. But, they don’t use these explanations themselves - the odd lights being the prime example.

In the case of the conversation between Lord and Gibson, Lord’s explanation is farcical. All, in my opinion, to lessen the impact of his inaction on the night.

Stone’s questioner at the BI was incredulous at Stone’s answers, not because he had a preconceived outcome in mind. I am incredulous at Stone’s answers too. Consider this. He sees multiple rockets at sea. He is an experienced mariner with the requisite certificate. The ship has a ‘big side out of the water’ and ‘looks queer’. But, he says he doesn’t know what the rockets are for! He has no idea!

As to ignoring evidence, we all do it. Indeed, we must to it. Some of it is wrong. Here’s just some examples. Lightoller insisted the Titanic did not break in two. Boxhall’s final position. A large number of crew survivors (i) overestimated the number of passengers in their lifeboat, (ii) escaped in the last lifeboat and (iii) embellished the means of their escape. These crew survivors are doing what Stone, Lord and Gibson did - lessening the impact - as to why they survived when so many perished.

Boxhall may well have thought he saw a ship sailing from the deck. But, he may have been mistaken. After all, he was mistaken about the final position.

There were no mystery ships. Titanic saw the Californian. And vice versa.

For those that say there are mystery ships (at least two and remember they are underway with, at the very least, watch keepers on the bridge), you must believe that they ignored rockets, they ignored morse from two vessels, they never mentioned the incident to anyone and no one has ever been able to identify these ships. Too far a stretch for me.
 
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Jim Currie

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It was answered way back somewhere in this thread I believe, but you don't accept that answer and instead insist that "on the horizon" meant precisely ON the horizon, not anything else. If such rocket bursts were precisely ON the horizon, then Gibson was lying when he answered the following question:
7597. What sort of a light was it? You called it a rocket? Was it a flash; did you see it go up into the sky? - Yes.
Can't go up into the sky if they were precisely ON the horizon. It's either ON the horizon, or just above.

Somewhere, way back in this or some other related thread, I even quantified how high an angle the flashes would make if they came from a ship about 22 miles away. It was a very small fraction of the diameter of a full moon if I recall, and for all practical purposes, would be considered as flashes on the horizon even though they were a few minutes of arc above.
I presume that the "way back" answer was the one where it was claimed that the horizon could not be seen therefore could not have been used as a reference point? If so, that would be the same answer that was torpedoed because of the clear horizon evidence by others and the use of binoculars by the observers in question. An answer which was further amended to include the theoretical "angle above the visible horizon, explanation - the one referred to in the last paragraph of the above post. Unfortunately that answer also missed the point, because the author failed to understand what was being described or simply chose to dismiss it out of hand.

Allow me to explain. Unfortunately, I have to do so from actual experience.;)

A single pinpoint of light at or near the horizon on a night such as it was would have been almost impossible to distinguish from the back ground of stars. Even if it could have been seen, a star scope would have been required to measure its angular distance above the horizon. However, this is purely academic since we are not considering a single point of light , but a burst of light designed to draw attention... a practical problem.

A burst or FLASH of light on or near the horizon (above or below) would immediately draw attention.. Not only that but if the source was on or a little below the horizon, the Loom of the flash would radiate for a noticeable height, upward and into the atmosphere above the horizon.
Now - again - compare the above to the evidence of the "most trustworthy" witness - Gibson who said:
Appearance : 7597. What sort of a light was it? You called it a rocket? Was it a flash; did you see it go up into the sky? - Yes.
Source : 7596.- It was right on the horizon."

What that lad said could not have been plainer to a reasonable Juror without a previous agenda.
 

Jim Currie

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No, there is not. But I can understand why some people will accept it as such, and then try to reject everything that says otherwise.
Oh but there most certainly is.

However, it has been determined by others (some who should know better) that Captain Lord and his Chief Officer were so inefficient as to having been unable to work the simplest of navigation calculations. At best, this is pure fiction at worst, it is an allegation of gross misconduct on the part of both officers.

The claim is that Californian was driven southward by an extension of the Labrador Current running in a SSW ly direction at a rate between 0.5 and 2 knots and that when she and Titanic were stopped, a mere 14 miles separated the vessels.

So let's work backward.

If the separation distance was correct, then at daylight on the morning of April 15, those on Carpathia would have seen three ships - a small one with 2 masts, a large one with 4 masts and a medium sized one with four masts. They did not. Here is an extract from an affidavit made by Captain Rostron of the Carpathia at New York on June 4, 1912:
"At 5 o'clock it was light enough to see all round the horizon. We then saw two steamships to the northwards, perhaps seven or eight miles distant. Neither of them was the 'Californian.' One of them was a four-masted steamer with one funnel, and the other a two-masted steamer with one funnel.".
According to the 14-milers, Rostron should have seen 3 vessels, so who was he seeing?
We know from the Captain of the 4-masted Mount Temple that he had a small 2-masted "consort" which followed him around. That accounts for Rostron's sightings So where was the Californian? Hiding behind an iceberg that drifted between them?
If we are to believe the 14 miles to the NW tale, then at daylight, Californian would have been between 5 and 7 miles NW of the stopped Mount Temple and she and her 2-masted consort would have been both in plain sight At that time, Lord and his Chief Office should have seen a small 2-masted vessel, a 4-masted vessel and the Carpathia. We know they did not; they only saw a single, four-masted vessel at 5 am. which may or may not have been the Mount Temple.

Then, we have the Ice reports listed by the hard work of Paul Lee.
I these are read properly and their contents plotted, it will be discovered that instead of setting southward, the ice was setting eastward at the very slow rate of 5 tp 7 miles a day. Not only that, have a look at the number of vessels who reported the same 6 or 7 icebergs in more or less the same position during daylight hours of April 14, One was even reported close to the wreck site that day where did it go during the following 8 hours?
There is even a report which suggests a northward setting current between 49W and 50 W during April 14.
If there is proof of Lord's navigation, I've just pointed members to it.
 

Jim Currie

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I think that is why, yes. And not necessarily just to lie, but to lessen the impact of their witnessing the sinking. It’s human nature.

Read the transcripts of Stone, Gibson and Lord at the BI and make your own conclusions. Gibson comes off best, I think. Look at the ease with which Stone and Lord answer the easy questions. Compare that with their answers (or lack thereof) to the ‘difficult’ questions, that is to say questions which would, if answered straight, have described them watching the Titanic sink. On the difficult questions, they come across as landlubbers.

I respectfully disagree with Jim in particular on this. Jim gives an explanation of some of Stone, Lord and Gibson’s evidence, both what they saw and what they didn’t see. But, they don’t use these explanations themselves - the odd lights being the prime example.

In the case of the conversation between Lord and Gibson, Lord’s explanation is farcical. All, in my opinion, to lessen the impact of his inaction on the night.

Stone’s questioner at the BI was incredulous at Stone’s answers, not because he had a preconceived outcome in mind. I am incredulous at Stone’s answers too. Consider this. He sees multiple rockets at sea. He is an experienced mariner with the requisite certificate. The ship has a ‘big side out of the water’ and ‘looks queer’. But, he says he doesn’t know what the rockets are for! He has no idea!

As to ignoring evidence, we all do it. Indeed, we must to it. Some of it is wrong. Here’s just some examples. Lightoller insisted the Titanic did not break in two. Boxhall’s final position. A large number of crew survivors (i) overestimated the number of passengers in their lifeboat, (ii) escaped in the last lifeboat and (iii) embellished the means of their escape. These crew survivors are doing what Stone, Lord and Gibson did - lessening the impact - as to why they survived when so many perished.

Boxhall may well have thought he saw a ship sailing from the deck. But, he may have been mistaken. After all, he was mistaken about the final position.

There were no mystery ships. Titanic saw the Californian. And vice versa.

For those that say there are mystery ships (at least two and remember they are underway with, at the very least, watch keepers on the bridge), you must believe that they ignored rockets, they ignored morse from two vessels, they never mentioned the incident to anyone and no one has ever been able to identify these ships. Too far a stretch for me.
Hello Paul.

It does not matter whether anyone thinks the officers of the Californian were lying or otherwise because that does not contribute to the discovery as to why the Lookouts on Titanic did not see the Stopped Californian. What does matter is the proof of separation distance because that is an irrefutable reason form them not seeing each other. I have pointed out the proof of this, from two separate witnesses, one of whom was the one described as "comes off the best".

To judge the behaviour of a witness in 1912, evidence relevant to the time must be compared to what was known at that time. In much the same way. the response of a witnesses was according to what that witness knew of the event in question.
With this in mind, officers of the Californian had a ready made excuse for denial. They simply had to say the signals they saw were not from the Titanic but from another vessel because they were seen on the wrong side of the pack ice...not one of them claimed such a thing.
It has been written on these pages that Stone was fat, lazy and unimaginative. Such a man would have been incapable of performing under the stress imposed on young Stone. Yet, as can be seen, Stone was consistent under interrogation by questioners who had already decided on the answers they wanted and were extremely peeved when they did not get them and that young man stuck to his guns. To him, they did not look like distress signals therefore they were not distress signals and he very clearly said so. Heavens! his chief interrogator didn't even know what colour they were nor did the same person kninow that Titanic had but a single masthead light.
A signal of any kind has to be unique otherwise it cannot be a signal other than a general one
As to the suggestion that an Extra Master did not know the difference between a vessel underway and one stopped? I don't recommend making that observation in informed company. I assure you, it is totally absurd.
Another point about Stone's evidence which might be considered was the contradiction between him and Gibson as to the method of making the initial report of the signals to Captain Lord. If you examine the evidence, you will find that Gibson's version agrees with the one given by Lord. Oh! and before it is claimed that Gibson would have been blackmailed by Lord - forget it. A final year Apprentice almost out of his time would never lie at such a critical time in his career. He has no allegiance to his last commander. Therefore it is correct to believe much of what he recalled.

If there was no mystery ship and Californian's lights and morse signals were seen on Titanic and vice-versa, then I would like to see a rational explanation as to why Californian was not seen by Carpathia at daylight and vice versa on April 15 . After all solid objects are easier to see in bright sunlight than on a moonless dark night. :cool:
 
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the evidence of the "most trustworthy" witness - Gibson
"I then got the binoculars and had just got them focused on the vessel when I observed a white flash apparently on her deck, followed by a faint streak towards the sky which then burst into white stars."

Hmmm? At 22-23 miles away (the distance you claim Titanic was from Californian), Gibsom wrote that he could see the faint streak as the shell went skyward looking with glasses. I suppose it only went as high as 1/2 the masthead light of the steamer that was close by? That was what 2/O Stone had claimed? I suppose the flash that Gibson took to come from the deck of the nearby steamer actually came from the one 23 miles away? But if Carpathia's flashes in the sky were just on the horizon when she was 33 miles away, then this flash certainly had to be higher than the horizon because it was from a vessel that was not 33 miles away, but only 23 miles away. In fact, if the flash on deck was seen right on the horizon, then the ship that fired that signal was only 16-17 miles away, not 23 (assuming her deck was 60 ft above the sea).

Oh, if you don't buy any of this, then what of Gibson's account should be taken as trustworthy, and what should be trashed?
 
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Jim Currie

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"I then got the binoculars and had just got them focused on the vessel when I observed a white flash apparently on her deck, followed by a faint streak towards the sky which then burst into white stars."

Hmmm? At 22-23 miles away (the distance you claim Titanic was from Californian), Gibsom wrote that he could see the faint streak as the shell went skyward looking with glasses. I suppose it only went as high as 1/2 the masthead light of the steamer that was close by? That was what 2/O Stone had claimed? I suppose the flash that Gibson took to come from the deck of the nearby steamer actually came from the one 23 miles away? But if Carpathia's flashes in the sky were just on the horizon when she was 33 miles away, then this flash certainly had to be higher than the horizon because it was from a vessel that was not 33 miles away, but only 23 miles away. In fact, if the flash on deck was seen right on the horizon, then the ship that fired that signal was only 16-17 miles away, not 23 (assuming her deck was 60 ft above the sea).

Oh, if you don't buy any of this, then what of Gibson's account should be taken as trustworthy, and what should be trashed?
Let's pose a question to all out lay members - a question which does not require specialised knowledge to answer

I presume it is agreed that a distress signal such as fired by Titanic rose to a height of about 600 feet above the firing point. On reaching its maximum trajectory, the projectile exploded with a very loud bang and emitted a shower of brilliant white stars or balls. This shower descended slowly to the sea. Thus, the signal was seen for a number of seconds before darkness returned.

Q: If both Gibson and Stone saw signal bursts at any height above their visible horizon, and Carpathia was, as claimed, firing the same socket signals as Titanic, how on earth did they not see, at around 3-30am, what they saw earlier at around 1 am...i.e....signal bursts above the horizon?

Let's all take part. How many of you out there can answer the simple question above?
 

Paul Burrell

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Hello Paul.

It does not matter whether anyone thinks the officers of the Californian were lying or otherwise because that does not contribute to the discovery as to why the Lookouts on Titanic did not see the Stopped Californian. What does matter is the proof of separation distance because that is an irrefutable reason form them not seeing each other. I have pointed out the proof of this, from two separate witnesses, one of whom was the one described as "comes off the best".

To judge the behaviour of a witness in 1912, evidence relevant to the time must be compared to what was known at that time. In much the same way. the response of a witnesses was according to what that witness knew of the event in question.
With this in mind, officers of the Californian had a ready made excuse for denial. They simply had to say the signals they saw were not from the Titanic but from another vessel because they were seen on the wrong side of the pack ice...not one of them claimed such a thing.
It has been written on these pages that Stone was fat, lazy and unimaginative. Such a man would have been incapable of performing under the stress imposed on young Stone. Yet, as can be seen, Stone was consistent under interrogation by questioners who had already decided on the answers they wanted and were extremely peeved when they did not get them and that young man stuck to his guns. To him, they did not look like distress signals therefore they were not distress signals and he very clearly said so. Heavens! his chief interrogator didn't even know what colour they were nor did the same person kninow that Titanic had but a single masthead light.
A signal of any kind has to be unique otherwise it cannot be a signal other than a general one
As to the suggestion that an Extra Master did not know the difference between a vessel underway and one stopped? I don't recommend making that observation in informed company. I assure you, it is totally absurd.
Another point about Stone's evidence which might be considered was the contradiction between him and Gibson as to the method of making the initial report of the signals to Captain Lord. If you examine the evidence, you will find that Gibson's version agrees with the one given by Lord. Oh! and before it is claimed that Gibson would have been blackmailed by Lord - forget it. A final year Apprentice almost out of his time would never lie at such a critical time in his career. He has no allegiance to his last commander. Therefore it is correct to believe much of what he recalled.

If there was no mystery ship and Californian's lights and morse signals were seen on Titanic and vice-versa, then I would like to see a rational explanation as to why Californian was not seen by Carpathia at daylight and vice versa on April 15 . After all solid objects are easier to see in bright sunlight than on a moonless dark night. :cool:
Hi Jim

The direct answer to your questions - both why Titanic’s lookouts did not see the Californian and why Californian was not seen by Carpathia - is ‘I don’t know’. I’m not sure anyone will ever know now. But, it doesn’t mean they were not there to be seen. Let me explain in more detail.

Your two questions are filed in the ‘I don’t know’ file along with an exasperating list of many others. For example, why did many of the survivors not see the Titanic break in two? It happened, but they did not see it. The simple reason, mundane though it undoubtedly is, must be that they were not looking in the right place at the right time, they forgot as they didn’t think it was important or were (understandably) distracted by something else. Ditto, why didn’t Fleet and Lee see the iceberg sooner? Ditto, why isn’t everyone on Titanic agreed as to what lights were seen of the Californian?

One other point of note. On this forum, on other threads, I have been studying and trying to identify crew survivors from photos taken inside and outside the Seaman’s Institute in New York and from the Victualling department survivors in Plymouth. What struck me (and I hadn’t thought of again until now) is that not one single crew survivor in the photos is wearing spectacles. That seems unusual. I suspect that measures to correct vision were not taken as often in 1912 as they are now. But, eyesight wasn’t any better in 1912 than it is now. What I am trying to say is that I think a lot of people - deck crew included - probably had impaired vision. I acknowledge that lookouts had to have additional eyesights tests; I think I read on this site that they needed 20/20 vision. In any event, 20/20 vision is not perfect vision. My point is that I genuinely believe that less than optimal eyesight might explain some of the unanswered questions as to why people did not see things. I’m not using this as an excuse or to explain anything away, I’m just saying it could be a factor, one of several.

Yes, the evidence of witnesses should be taken in context of 1912. But, we must also update our assessment of that evidence too, I think. On this or another thread on this forum someone said that you cannot pick and choose someone’s evidence, that you must accept it all or reject it all. I disagree. Here are two examples. Boxhall’s position was wrong. But, you should discount all his other evidence. Greaser Prangnell’s claim that he was picked up by a ship other than Carpathia is false. Yet, his other claim about his experience of surviving on collapsible B was sound. If this is ‘cherry picking’ evidence then so be it. We all do it including you and I.

Take Lord’s evidence at the BI. Gibson says he was sent to make a report to Lord about seeing rockets. Lord denies the conversation, or at least partially denied it because he said he was asleep. This is at the point that he cannot bring himself to say that Gibson is trustworthy. He has deniability about hearing of rockets, rather than hearing of a single rocket. Ref BI 7275 onwards. At BI 7282, reference the same conversation, Lord admits asking Gibson a question. Yet, he also claims to be asleep! Ludicrous!

At the BI, Lord also admits that the only reason to fire rockets at sea is for signals of distress. In Stone’s position, what would you have determined the rockets were for, Jim? Would you say you had no idea? It was claimed that one of the rockets came from the deck of Titanic. Presumably then the other rockets came from the deck of another ship which sailed away. So, we have a mystery ship firing rockets as well!

I don’t buy into any blackmail theory. I do not support any claim that Stone was fat, lazy or unimaginative. I have not heard that before.
 

Jim Currie

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Hi Jim

The direct answer to your questions - both why Titanic’s lookouts did not see the Californian and why Californian was not seen by Carpathia - is ‘I don’t know’. I’m not sure anyone will ever know now. But, it doesn’t mean they were not there to be seen. Let me explain in more detail.

Your two questions are filed in the ‘I don’t know’ file along with an exasperating list of many others. For example, why did many of the survivors not see the Titanic break in two? It happened, but they did not see it. The simple reason, mundane though it undoubtedly is, must be that they were not looking in the right place at the right time, they forgot as they didn’t think it was important or were (understandably) distracted by something else. Ditto, why didn’t Fleet and Lee see the iceberg sooner? Ditto, why isn’t everyone on Titanic agreed as to what lights were seen of the Californian?

One other point of note. On this forum, on other threads, I have been studying and trying to identify crew survivors from photos taken inside and outside the Seaman’s Institute in New York and from the Victualling department survivors in Plymouth. What struck me (and I hadn’t thought of again until now) is that not one single crew survivor in the photos is wearing spectacles. That seems unusual. I suspect that measures to correct vision were not taken as often in 1912 as they are now. But, eyesight wasn’t any better in 1912 than it is now. What I am trying to say is that I think a lot of people - deck crew included - probably had impaired vision. I acknowledge that lookouts had to have additional eyesights tests; I think I read on this site that they needed 20/20 vision. In any event, 20/20 vision is not perfect vision. My point is that I genuinely believe that less than optimal eyesight might explain some of the unanswered questions as to why people did not see things. I’m not using this as an excuse or to explain anything away, I’m just saying it could be a factor, one of several.

Yes, the evidence of witnesses should be taken in context of 1912. But, we must also update our assessment of that evidence too, I think. On this or another thread on this forum someone said that you cannot pick and choose someone’s evidence, that you must accept it all or reject it all. I disagree. Here are two examples. Boxhall’s position was wrong. But, you should discount all his other evidence. Greaser Prangnell’s claim that he was picked up by a ship other than Carpathia is false. Yet, his other claim about his experience of surviving on collapsible B was sound. If this is ‘cherry picking’ evidence then so be it. We all do it including you and I.

Take Lord’s evidence at the BI. Gibson says he was sent to make a report to Lord about seeing rockets. Lord denies the conversation, or at least partially denied it because he said he was asleep. This is at the point that he cannot bring himself to say that Gibson is trustworthy. He has deniability about hearing of rockets, rather than hearing of a single rocket. Ref BI 7275 onwards. At BI 7282, reference the same conversation, Lord admits asking Gibson a question. Yet, he also claims to be asleep! Ludicrous!

At the BI, Lord also admits that the only reason to fire rockets at sea is for signals of distress. In Stone’s position, what would you have determined the rockets were for, Jim? Would you say you had no idea? It was claimed that one of the rockets came from the deck of Titanic. Presumably then the other rockets came from the deck of another ship which sailed away. So, we have a mystery ship firing rockets as well!

I don’t buy into any blackmail theory. I do not support any claim that Stone was fat, lazy or unimaginative. I have not heard that before.
A lengthy tome to respond to, Paul. But before I do, I was going to ask you to respond to an earlier post is made today, but for some mysterious reason, although it is addressed to all members, it is shown with a red shield followed by the legend " This message is awaiting moderator approval, and is invisible to normal visitors."

So I'll try my best to respond without creating outrage or whatever.

First: If my question is answered honestly and in a non confrontational way, then that answer in itself will be proof positive as to why the lookouts on Titanic did not see Californian and vice -versa.

Second:
When Titanic broke in two, the lights went out. Those watching from a distance... but not too far... would see this. Those close up would not. i.e. people at the forward end washed overboard.
Others actually on the stern section were the best witnesses to this event.
Third:
Even back in 1912, it was Ministry of Transport and BoT requirement that Deck Crew who had achieved the rating of AB had to have their eyes tested for standard vision and colour blindness. at regular intervals. I'll let Fleet tell about this:
Day 5 - US Inquiry:
Senator BURTON: Mr. Fleet, while you were acting as lookout man were your eyes examined?
Mr. FLEET: Yes, sir.
Senator BURTON: How frequently?
Mr. FLEET.
We are supposed to have them examined
every year, or every two years."
I suspect that Fleet was hedging at that point. However we cannot say that his eyes were a problem and in any case, a consultation of the records would prove if he was lying or not.
Fourth: As with the lookouts on the Titanic, (with, I suspect, the same ice berg): - the lookouts on Carpathia did not have much time to see the iceberg. But because their ship was travelling 7-plus knots slower, they had time to avoid it.
If the vessel seen from Titanic had been Californian, then the lights seen from the Titanic would have been two white masthead lights on over the other and the lower one forward and to the right of the higher one... as well as a green side light until the second last signal was fired. Thereafter, they would have seen the same to white lights but the lower one to the left and a red side light until Californian was heading West or WSW. After that, they would have seen a single white light. The foregoing is fact due to the arrangement of a ship's lights, Paul. The only disputable evidence is the bearing from Titanic. It follows that if there is any evidence of a red light showing before the second last signal was fired then the vessel showing it could never have been Titanic. Have I made myself clear? It also follows that if we use the popularly accepted times during which Titanic was firing her signals, the any red light seen by a witness on or off the Titanic before 1-45 am could not have been ojn the Californian. If you carefully go through the evidence, you will find that a red side light was seen from the Titanic between the hours of 12-55 am and 1-05 am. I don't know how else I can convince you and others? This is hard evidence. Even the Commissioner and his side-kick jumped on it:
"The Commissioner: Yes; one of them said he saw a sidelight.
The Attorney-General: Yes.
The Commissioner: It was a red light, was it not, the sidelight?"
6852. (The Attorney-General.) Yes, quite right, my Lord."


At the UK Inquiry, Lord already had a signed report from Stone and Gibson. The Gibson report backed him up, and also backed Stone up in his story about the signals, yet he chose not to reveal this. Why do you think that was?

As to his answer about rockets -plural. That was made retospectively. I quote:
"6882. Have you never heard from other Officers that she fired a number of rockets? A : - Since.
6883. When did you hear that? A: - The next day. (Actually he heard it from Stone at 2-40 am and said so.)
In fact the questioning of Lord regarding the initial report given to him by Gibson and subsequent one given by Stone is possibly one of the most incompetent bits of cross examination I have heard.
Lord's story was that he was told of a signal which was low lying relative to the nearby vessel, Ergo, it was not, by itself, an indication of anything. So he pressed for more information.
When he finally got more information, via Gibson or finally Stone, he still had not clear evidence of a distress call.
No matter whether he heard Gibson's first report or Stone's second one, both reports contained the "steaming away" information. Consequently - there was a mystery, but no distress. It was not rocket science for these two Interrogators. They didn't want to accept it.

As a former Marine Accident Investigator, I assure you that I consider every single morsel of evidence, however unlikely it might be. Then I subject it to a series of tests against normal accepted marine practices. I most certainly do not "cherry pick" a favourite idea. Had I done so in the past, I would not have lasted a New York Minute.
Old habits die hard, Paul. ;)
However, on several occasions, I have stated quite clearly that if I am shown to be wrong, I will be the first one to learn from an accepted mistake. I reiterate.
 
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Let's pose a question to all out lay members - a question which does not require specialised knowledge to answer
OK, here's such a question:
Is there any reason NOT to believe Gibson when he wrote:
"I then got the binoculars and had just got them focused on the vessel when I observed a white flash apparently on her deck, followed by a faint streak towards the sky which then burst into white stars." ?
 

Julian Atkins

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Jim,

I've been busy the last few weeks.

I disagree with all your recent posts, and I agree with Sam.

Despite your maritime experience, you offer, indeed brow beat us, with specious arguments that do not bear close examination.

You won't persuade me.

Sam has got it right.

Sam and I differ in a number of minor details, but I don't doubt his distance findings whatsoever or his overall conclusions.

Cheers,
Julian
 

Mike Spooner

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I have been watching this thread for some time now and can see there are different who said what. I can see the thread has reversed it role from: Why didn't the Titanic lookouts see the Californian? Why didn't the Californian lookouts see the Titanic?
One can see the two inquires the lack of evidence has been given and run by NON Marine experts indeed. The US Inquiry run by a Lawyer William Smith and 7 Senators who are not Marine experts. The UK Inquire is not much better either to. Run by a grumpy old retired Lawyer/Judge man Lord Mersey age 72 who is clearly past his best, hence why he is retired in the first place and a NON marine expert to. His assistant a very clever smart intelligent Right Honourable KC Sir Rufus Isaacs lawyer and one of the smartest Barrister in the country. He to is not a marine expert. Since the London inquiry has decided to turn into a court case. The temporary court room the Scottish drill hall is unsuitable for a court room due to poor acoustics where are difficulties to hear what evidence has been given and no doubt mistakes were made here. Any court case must have evidence beforehand where in this case by marine experts who have thoroughly investigated into. Which can takes months or even a years to so. Did this happen? Nope. Where was that public jury? Those in charge are Judge and jury and are NON marine experts to. If one reads the the UK transcript it will boiled down to a two man inquiry. Lord Mersey and Sir Rufus Isaacs quite frankly it is Rufus Isaacs 20 years younger than Mersey who has a memory of an elephant which Mersey cannot match and is controlling the inquiry to his way of thinking. It was Isaacs who came up with a figure that the Californian was only a few miles away. Where Mersey asked him how many miles away? Where Isaacs change to 5-7 miles away. Not bad for a NON marine expert indeed? Where poor old Mersey summary will land up as follows:
“Titanic” evidence with the “Californian” it is abundantly plain that the distance between them must have been comparatively small, that is to say certainly within five to seven miles, and could not have been 19 to 20 miles as the Captain of the “Californian” suggests.
Worse still a marine expert as captain Lord was will not be aloud for a rehearing to challenge Mersey outrageous statements. If Mersey was so confident in his statements why did he not let captain Lord have his say in the matter?
One can see evidence given by crew members who some are marine experts from both ships are mentioning a figure of a ship movement less than 5-7 miles away and is moving across there bow. Yet Californian and Titanic positions are stationary from midnight on.
One can see how controversial the real facts are at the times and congratulations must belong to ET members who have done a far better job of investigation into the real facts and nearer to the truth than the inquires ever did.
My personal opinion the UK Inquire was rigged for the benefit to prevent law suites cases against the White Star Line and an huge embarrassment situation for the British Government of the out of date safety regulations set by the Board of Trade. What made it worse the Titanic did exceeded the safety regulations by a country mile to.
 

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Jim Currie

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OK, here's such a question:
Is there any reason NOT to believe Gibson when he wrote:
"I then got the binoculars and had just got them focused on the vessel when I observed a white flash apparently on her deck, followed by a faint streak towards the sky which then burst into white stars." ?
No, Sam, there is absolutely no reason for us to doubt that Gibson thought he saw a flash on the nearby vessel's deck. After all, he was there, we were not.
Now; since I have had the courtesy to answer the question, surely reciprocation is only fair. I ask my question yet again - this time with a little sketch since it seems my written version was not understood.
Carpath flash.jpg

I do not expect a rational answer, but here's hoping.

:D ;);)
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Jim,

I've been busy the last few weeks.

I disagree with all your recent posts, and I agree with Sam.

Despite your maritime experience, you offer, indeed brow beat us, with specious arguments that do not bear close examination.

You won't persuade me.

Sam has got it right.

Sam and I differ in a number of minor details, but I don't doubt his distance findings whatsoever or his overall conclusions.

Cheers,
Julian
So be it, Julian. In reply, all I can do is quote you a wise caution:
"It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not to venture all his eggs in one basket.
Miguel de Cervantes."
 

Paul Burrell

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No, Sam, there is absolutely no reason for us to doubt that Gibson thought he saw a flash on the nearby vessel's deck. After all, he was there, we were not.
Now; since I have had the courtesy to answer the question, surely reciprocation is only fair. I ask my question yet again - this time with a little sketch since it seems my written version was not understood.
View attachment 76299
I do not expect a rational answer, but here's hoping.

:D ;);)
Hi Jim

I expect Stone and Gibson did not see Carpathia’s rockets for the reasons I set out in my previous post. They weren’t looking in the right place, they forgot or were distracted by something else. Or, maybe they didn’t know what the rockets meant. After all, Stone saw rockets hours earlier and couldn’t fathom what they were.

Just because someone did not see something doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

Just in case you think I am being dismissive or irrational, here’s an example. In lifeboat 1, Symons categorically saw Titanic break in two. In the same lifeboat, Horswill did not see Titanic break in two. In the same lifeboat, Pusey saw the sinking but not clearly (maybe he needed a pair of spectacles!).

Prior to that, Boxhall sees white, red and green lights of a vessel. Standing next to him, Rowe only sees a white light.

Furthermore, as this is also a subject of discussion on this thread, as you would presumably agree with Symon’s evidence on the break up, that wouldn’t mean that you would discount the entirety of Horswill and Pusey’s evidence.
 
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