Why were Asplunds separated


To all:

From the Detroit News Tribune, Sunday, April 21, 1912, Mrs. Hamalainen states:

"There must have been scores of people in the water near our boat floating among the small icebergs, clinging to whatever, they could seize when the crisis came. Our boat picked up eight poor fellows, all steerage passengers, within a few minutes. Two of them died soon after being hauled in."

The rest of the interview was very extensive and detailed, and the serious researcher clearly identifies boat #4.

No doubt some researchers haven't seen this interview. To those who claim Mrs. Hamalainen was in boat #10 (because she states this?), please reference your source and quote the specific statement. Then, we can have a serious debate. Until then, she remains in boat #4.

Also, check Colonel Gracie's comments about helping the young mother and her baby. Although Gracie never identifies the who they were, nor what boat they entered, it would seem possible that it was #4 since Gracie was in the vicinity of it.

Best wishes to all,

Mike Findlay
 
Mike Findlay wrote:

>The rest of the interview was very extensive and detailed, and the
>serious researcher clearly identifies boat #4.
>No doubt some researchers haven't seen this interview.

No doubt.

>To those who
>claim Mrs. Hamalainen was in boat #10 (because she states this?), >please reference your source and quote the specific statement.

Since you say you've already seen my sources, you have my permission to post them here.

>Also, check Colonel Gracie's comments about helping the young >mother and her baby. Although Gracie never identifies the who they >were, nor what boat they entered, it would seem possible that it was >#4 since Gracie was in the vicinity of it.

Possible? Yes. Evidential? No.
 
Dear George,

Portions of Mrs. Hamalainen's interview in Detroit were "picked up" by other newspapers around the country. Unfortunately, the actual interviews were "edited" and in some cases, "improved" by the editorial staff.

Undoubtedly, the interviews by Mrs. Hamalainen to which you refer were mostly based on her 4/21 interview in the Detroit News Tribune. They were included in large newspaper articles across the country in which five or six survivors are quoted describing various aspects of the disaster.

Unfortunately, I do not have the other interviews in my file on the Hamalainens since I have not filed every account from every newspaper in my passenger index. When we corresponded years ago, I remember you telling me that you kept such an index of interviews by each survivor. Since you were familiar with the interviews you mentioned (where Mrs. H. states she was in boat #10), the burden of proof is on you to supply them. Obviously, you were aware of their existence or else you wouldn't have made mention of them. I posted my data with regard to my beliefs (and those of other serious researchers). Again, I ask you to reference your source and quote Mrs. Hamalainen's statements or else your claims have no basis.

I look forward to seeing the data.

Michael Findlay
 
Mike Findlay wrote:

>Undoubtedly, the interviews by Mrs. Hamalainen to which you refer >were mostly based on her 4/21 interview in the Detroit News Tribune.

No, the two interviews I referred to were given independently of each other the day before Mrs. Hamalainen spoke to the Detroit News.

>Since you were familiar with the interviews you mentioned (where >Mrs. H. states she was in boat #10), the burden of proof is on you to >supply them.

Certainly.

London (Ontario) Free Press, April 20, 1912

"Ours was the last of the lifeboats to be launched - No. 10 - and it seemed ages while we were kept there filling the boat so far as possible with women. Always the brave fellows were calling out 'Any more women!' There were no more coming, and the order was given to lower away."

Detroit Journal, April 20, 1912

"We were notified that the boat had struck an iceberg but at that time the crew did not think there was any danger. I went to my cabin and dressed myself and baby and by the time I got on deck again all the boats were lowered with the exception of No. 10. I was hurried into that one."

By the way, contrary to what you've suggested, I do not insist that Mrs. Hamalainen was in boat #10; as I said before, though, it's completely unwarranted for you to make ironclad pronouncements about her being in boat #4 based solely upon a few newspaper interviews (some of which contradict others.) That's not history -- that's gambling (which, as I said before, is why I distrust many of the so-called 'lifeboat passenger assignments' that appear in various places on the web; I know how flimsy the documentation is for many of those lifeboat assignments and wouldn't touch them with a ten foot oar.)
 
Dear George,

Thank you for supplying the news articles. I was familiar with the Detroit Journal article, but I don't recall seeing the one from the London (Ontario) Free Press.

Some observations. Mrs. Hamalainen claims she was in boat #10. Interesting. However, what she describes about the boat is contradictory to what was happening at boat #10.

From the London (Ontario) Free Press, Mrs. H. claims that it was one of the last boats to be lowered. Considering that boats #12, #14 and #16 were in full view, hanging in the davits, I do not understand how Mrs. H. would claim such a thing. Also, she states that a call was made for more women to come forward but none did so. The boat was then lowered. Evidence shows that there was a bit of a rush into the boat at the last minute - two men made successful attempts to jump into it. Many of the women and crewmen in the boat make mention of the "Armenian" and the "Japanese" who made leaps to save themselves. Mrs. H. also claimed "being kept there and having to wait for ages" to enter the boat. As you know, many women, mostly first-class passengers, waited for boat #4 to be made ready for loading since Lightoller first lowered it down to A-deck. Boat #10 experienced no delays in being filled and lowered.

From the Detroit Journal, 4/20/12, Mrs. H. claims that when she returned to the boat after dressing herself and the baby, that there was only one boat left - #10. Again, Mrs. H. would have certainly seen the three other boats hanging in the davits.

Since I am unfamiliar with the London (Ontario) account, does Mrs. H. make any mention of rescuing swimmers from the water, two of whom later died? In the Detroit Journal article, she does not mention this. This is something I wouldn't have forgotten, and I'm sure the reporter wouldn't have either.

If she was in boat #4, she would be correct in stating that it was "one of the last lifeboats" and that "there was only one boat left." She wouldn't have seen any others if she was on A-deck. If she was in boat #4, she would have been correct in stating that "she was kept there and made to wait" until the boat was loaded. Many women and children were made to wait until the windows were opened and #4 was made ready. The main reason is that Mrs. H. claimed that eight men were hauled into her boat, two of whom later died. This never happened at boat #10, and how would Mrs. H. have known such a thing if she wasn't in boat #4?

While I agree that many of the lifeboat assignments that appear on various places on the web are inaccurate and have no solid basis, most of my fellow researchers believe that Mrs. H. left enough of a description to place her in boat #4. Even the articles you kindly supplied contradict the theory of her being in #10. Yes, she does claim boat #10 but the descriptions she related do not match with the incidents that took place at this boat. Many survivors were incorrect in stating what boat they were. Edwina MacKenzie never could figure out which boat she was in. For years, she always claimed boat #13, then #16 and more recently, researchers have placed her in D. She always claimed boat #13 with Quartermaster Bailey in charge. Bailey was in charge of #16. How did she ever get into D? Who is correct?

Thank you for supplying the articles, George. I have already stated my position on this matter but would certainly interested to hear other views.

Best wishes to all for a prosperous New Year!

Michael Findlay
 
>The main reason is that Mrs. H. claimed that >eight men were hauled into
>her boat, two of whom later died.

No, the *reporter* claimed that Mrs. H. said that. There's a big difference.

>This never happened at boat #10, and
>how would Mrs. H. have known such a thing if she >wasn't in boat #4?

The same way so many other stories became widely known -- through gossip on board the Carpathia.

Although there is a certain amount of evidence which suggests that boat #10 might have been launched before #12, #14 and #16, there is better evidence that shows it was launched *after* those three boats. Please refer to the revised launch chart that Bill Wormstedt, Tad Fitch and I have researched and posted on the web, as well as the launch chart in Paul Quinn's new book. Both of these charts utilize the evidence I refer to and agree that #10 was launched last. Mrs. Hamalainen's statement about being in boat #10 conforms perfectly with the evidence in question.

The long-accepted launch chart published by the Senate Inquiry (and which you seem to be relying on) contains *major* errors. Perhaps Bill, Tad or Paul will be willing to discuss the subject with you if their schedules permit.
 
Dear George,

How do you know the reporter wrote those words from Mrs. H.'s interview in the Detroit News Tribune? Source? She is quoted directly. For that matter, what proof do you have that the interviews attributed to her in the other Detroit paper and Ontario paper were made by her? Surely a reporter would be capable of doing the same thing in the interviews you supplied - thus, where's the proof that your interviews are genuine?

Miss Gretchen Longley, in a privately printed memoir, wrote that she and her aunts couldn't get into boat #8 because they thought it was too crowded. Instead, they turned around and walked aft to the first boat that was loading. It turned out to be #10 and she stated the boat number. She also said that there were few people in the boat at that time and that they could have waited even longer "to enter the other boats being made ready for launching." She didn't want to leave the ship but her aunt Kornelia was nervous and felt they should obey orders and leave as soon as possible.

Miss Longley also said that "when the other boats touched the water 'after ours', we were quickly tied together.'

Boat #10 was not the last boat to leave on the port side. I am also not following the Senate launch chart. Boat #14 was the last of the four aft portside boats to depart (the Senate report claims #16) Actually, the boat followed #16 by a few minutes.

I appreciate your trying to attempting to debate the report based on your interviews, but one has to look at the whole picture to understand the situation. You are entitled to your opinion, but the evidence is pretty substantial to dispute the possiblity of Mrs. H. being in boat #10.

I would suggest that we terminate this on-going discussion since we will never agree. I will not be responding to any further discussion regarding this matter. Thanks for your efforts.

As I will not be back until after the New Year, my best wishes to all of you!

Michael Findlay
 
>How do you know the reporter wrote those words >from Mrs. H.'s >interview in the Detroit News Tribune? Source? She is quoted >directly.

Well, I've also seen plenty of newspaper interviews in which other passengers (who were supposedly quoted directly) said that they saw Captain Smith shoot himself in the head etc. etc. Just because a reporter claimed that a passenger said these things doesn't necessarily mean it's true.

>For that matter, what proof do you have that the >interviews attributed >to her in the other Detroit >paper and Ontario paper were made by >her?

Exactly. You've just made my point for me. Even though it's unlikely that two different reporters in two different countries misquoted Mrs. H. about her presence in lifeboat #10, I don't know that Mrs. H. was quoted accurately in my two sources any more than you know she was quoted accurately in your source. Therefore, when it comes to making dogmatic pronouncements about which lifeboat she was in, it would seem prudent for us to remember Voltaire's quote: "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."

>Miss Longley also said that "when the other boats touched the water
>'after ours', we were quickly tied together.'
>Boat #10 was not the last boat to leave on the port side. I am also not
>following the Senate launch chart. Boat #14 was the last of the four aft
>portside boats to depart (the Senate report claims #16) Actually, the
>boat followed #16 by a few minutes.

You're correct in saying that #16 was launched before #14, but your statement that #14 was the last boat lowered does not hold up to close scrutiny. Poigndestre testified that he saw #14 lowered away and that he then returned to boat #12 (which was still unlaunched.) Evans testified that he loaded #12 with passengers, lowered #12 away, and then went to boat #10. Buley confirmed that Evans lowered #12 to the water and that he then came over and got into to #10. Buley specified that #12 was the last boat to be lowered away before #10 was launched. (In my opinion, Buley and Evans were much more likely to know which boats they launched and the order in which they launched them than was Miss Longley, a mere passenger.) At any rate, when we join all of this data together we arrive at a launch order of #16 first, then #14, then #12 and then #10. Mrs. Hamalainen said that the lifeboat she was in -- boat #10 -- was the last boat launched, and the evidence seems to confirm the truth of her statement.

>You are entitled to your opinion, but the evidence is
>pretty substantial to dispute the possiblity of Mrs. H. being in boat
>#10.

IMO, the evidence I've just presented counters that statement pretty effectively.

>I would suggest that we terminate this on-going discussion since we will
>never agree.

I second the motion.

>I will not be responding to any further discussion
>regarding this matter. Thanks for your efforts.

And thanks for yours. However, it was never my intention to try and change your opinion -- I'm just trying to point out the fallacy of basing dogmatic conclusions upon a limited amount of information; familiarity with a broader spectrum of evidence can oftentimes completely disrupt such conclusions.
 
M

Mark Bray

Guest
This question is to Michael Findlay, I have tried to contact Miss Lillian Asplund by letter. I know it could be hard for her to write, so what do you think about me calling her? I really always wanted to meet a survivor, but if I could just talk I would be so very happy. Please help........
Mark [email protected]
 
Dear Mark,

I would respectfully ask that you not contact Miss Asplund regarding her memories of the Titanic disaster. She prefers to remain silent on the subject of the sinking owing to the loss of her father and three brothers. She still retains painful memories of the sinking and very well remembers the family's tragic separation on the Titanic's deck.

Sincerely,

Michael Findlay
 
Dear Mark,

I contacted Miss Asplund back in 1986 for the first time. She was very kind to me but I could tell that she did not like to discuss the Titanic. I had no idea what her thoughts were at the time I first contacted her. A member of her family in Sweden wrote to me and explained that her brother Felix did not mind speaking of the disaster because he had no memories of it. He died in 1983. When I approached Lillian, I discovered a kind and soft-spoken woman. However, it was very obvious that she had lived with the Titanic for her entire life, and she disliked to be reminded of it. I was only a student when I spoke with her so I believe she felt comfortable telling me what little she could remember about the night the Titanic went down. She told me that she had received phone calls from Don Lynch and a few other historians earlier, but she would not speak to any of them because she was afraid of being exploited.

I never kept up a correspondence with her. I was told that after the James Cameron movie was released, many attempts were made to contact her by complete strangers. Family and friends guarded her privacy and Lillian herself asked to be left alone in a newspaper interview in 1998.

If you wish to telephone her, that is entirely up to you. I was only suggesting that it might upset her to be contacted directly. You did ask what I thought about your contacting her in your first post to the message board. I said that I didn't think it would be a good idea. Out of respect for the woman (who is now 93-years-old), I thought you would understand.

Sincerely,

Michael Findlay
 
M

MARK BRAY

Guest
MICHAEL,

I HOPE YOU DO NOT THINK I WAS GETTING ANGRY WITH YOU. WELL, I WAS NOT, I JUST WANTED TO KNOW WHY YOU CONTACTED HER. I KNOW SHE IS OLDER NOW AND I TAKE YOUR ADVICE TO HEART AND THANKS FOR IT. NOW I UNDERSTAND MORE.THANKS

MARK
 

Stephanie

Member
I was just wondering whether anyone knew why Carl Edgar Asplund was not placed into the life boat along with his mother, twin sister and younger brother?

Thanks for any help on this matter.

[Moderator's note: This message, originally a separate thread in a different topic, has been moved to this pre-existing thread discussing the same subject. MAB]
 
T

Talira Greycrest

Guest
The oldest child, Felix, was 13 and (unless I'm wrong) as soon as boys hit their teenage years, they were considered to be men. However, there's no reason why 5-year-old Carl and 9-year-old Clarence should not have been put in that lifeboat with their mother and siblings. OK, they would have lost their father and older brother, but at least they wouldn't have lost their own lives.
 
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