Yet Another Iceberg Picture


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Paul Lee

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Whilst at the Titanic exhibition in Newcastle Upon Tyne, I saw a photograph of an iceberg I had never seen before (and I have done a search on E-T to check whether it was on this website or not).

It shows a photo taken by Captain Woods of the SS Etonia on 13th April, depicting an iceberg - the caption next to the photo, of course, proclaims it as "the iceberg". What caught my eye was the position scrawled on the photo by the Captain. - 41 degrees 50 North, 49 degrees 50 West. Even allowing for the dead reckoning, this is remarkably close to the Titanic wreck site (41 44 N, 49 57 W).

Paul

 
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Alicia Coors

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You mean the iceberg stayed put between daylight on the 13th until midnight the next day? At least 30 hours?

Amazing.
 

Paul Lee

Member
I don't know why I bother putting posts on the board when I am faced with such ridicule.

41 50, 49 50 is NOT the same as 41 44, 49 57.
Think of the drift. The former is 6 miles north and several miles east of the latter.
 
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Alicia Coors

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The great circle distance is approximately 7.961881712534937 nautical miles. Considering a nominal 2-knot current prevailed in the area, the ice would have traveled at least 60 miles between the time the picture was snapped and when Titanic hit the ice.

The idea that Captain Woods' photograph is "the iceberg" is ridiculous.
 
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Alicia Coors

Guest
Point taken. But the drift data doesn't have to be specific, because the iceberg was photographed 8 miles northeast of the wreck site on the day before the collision.

Unless, of course, I have overlooked a source proving that the current ran southwest.
 

Paul Lee

Member
Alicia, I hope your scorn is not pointed at me. It seems that it is.

By the way, you don't need to consider the distance between the sighting of the berg and the wreck site. You need to consider where the Titanic collided with the berg. Wherever that it is. It might be that the collision location was indeed south east of the sighted berg.

Paul

 
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Alicia Coors

Guest
Hey, you're just the messenger. Relax.

The CQD position is something like 18 miles upstream from the berg sighting. I only mentioned the wreck co-ordinates because that's what you started with.
 

Paul Lee

Member
Phew!

One thing I will do is contact the exhibition organisers and confirm the date scrawled on the photo - it was a bit faint for me to discern. The caption next to it says "the day before the disaster", which I took to be April 13th. It oculd have been April 14th.

Anyway, heres a picture of the berg:

86048.jpg
 
I've got about eight different photos of the supposed villain. Some have quite good provenance but mostly they are not the right shape, since the berg must have had at least one roughly vertical face to allow ice to fall on Titanic's deck. I think that any photos should be taken with more than a grain of salt.

The thing that strikes me about the Etonian berg is why was it photographed at all? Was it really photographed at the claimed time and place, or was somebody a bit inventive after the sinking? Anybody can label a photo after the event.
 
Probably invented after the sinking. With so many potential candidates, who would know the difference? I'd be suspicious of any purported candidate regardless of provenance.
 

Steven Hall

Member
So many iceberg photographs.
Interesting to speculate how far behind the Titanic's stern was the berg after she stopped.
Why was there no reports of seeing it ?
When you do the math - not very far.
 
Michael - ever wise! - would be: "suspicious of any purported candidate regardless of provenance." And, rightly so. Soundest 'provenance' could only give us one of the 8 or 9 large bergs spotted in the near vicinity the following day. (Interesting - is it not? - icebergs seem never to have been mentioned in any lifeboat account.) The ice that 'fell' onto Titanic was - more accurately - 'thrown' aboard by a berg: the result of its extended 'spur'/'shelf' having been disturbed. Some special significance should be given to the claim of any berg that displays evidence of such a low-lying, connecting, virtual 'field' of ice. (There's a strong point of potential agreement here with our 'beloved heretic', 'Duke' Collins!) Among the possible contenders for the ever-elusive claim is that of an unpublished photograph taken from RMS Carpathia at daylight. But, we can still only add it to the "Oh, No! Not yet *another* 'The-Iceberg-That-Sank-Titanic's!".
 

Paul Lee

Member
Fascinating discussion.

One thing has occurred to me: the location of the iceberg was scrawled on the bottom of the picture by the captain (sadly not legible in the above scan). I reckon it must have been developed about April 18th, when the Etonian reached port, by which time the Titanic's supposed CQD location would have been widely known. I wonder why, if the pedigree of the picture is doubtful, would the captain put a position down that is obviously wrong compared to the official distress location?

Paul

http;//www.paullee.com
 
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Alicia Coors

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Paul,

Are you familiar with the work of Gregor Mendel, the pioneering geneticist? His experimental results were so close to the values predicted by his theory that he didn't think anyone would believe them. So he faked them, introducing little deviations here and there in an effort to increase his credibility.
 
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Alicia Coors

Guest
Steve,

Two witnesses in the engine room (Dillon, Scott) testified that the engine telegraph signaled "STOP" within seconds of the collision. Two witnesses in a stokehold (Beauchamp, Barrett) testified that the stoking telegraph signaled "STOP" within seconds of the collision. So the engine order was probably about simultaneous with contact.

Since it takes a minute or so to stop the engines (including reacting to the command, operating the reversing gear, and slowing down all that rotating mass), the ship would have remained under nearly full power for that length of time, then coasted until the engines were reversed some minutes later. She would have made at least a mile (and maybe two) in that interval.

Given that the prevailing visibility didn't reveal the iceberg until it was less than 1/2 mile away, I don't imagine anyone saw much of it after the collision.
 
'Paul's berg' - I'll refer to it as that! - uncannily resembles, spur and all, one photographed from Carpathia (facing its opposite side and more head-on): "A large iceberg in the area". Its caption, understandably, quotes - not, of course, intending to indicate taken precisely there! - Titanic's last transmitted position. 'Paul's captain' - I'll call him that! - has, understandably, captioned this other photograph with something like the real position where it was taken. "Mistakes may reveal more intelligence than mere corrections"!
 

Steven Hall

Member
I figured Olympic’s crash stop distance. Based on how far ahead they seen the berg in the first instance — and the length of the ship from bow to stern the distance appear close.
I always used this to figure what speed and what orders had been carried out by the engine room.
A little math and I image the berg would have been visible from the stern. Because it wasn’t leaves a few things in the air.
Alicia, it’s really just a spur of the moment add-on to the thread.
And yes, I agree with you. It’s always good to speculate. Myself, although there is no testimony — I believe there may have been to bergs. (one large and one small)

Steve
 
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Alicia Coors

Guest
I don't think there's enough evidence to support the contention that there was a crash stop - and a lot to negate it. First of all, it would have been noticed by everyone on board, and yet there was no report of the kind of motion (or noise) slamming back the engines would cause. Second, reversing also seems an unlikely course of action for an officer of Murdoch's skill and experience, because he would have known it would affect his ability to maneuver. If he truly intended to port around the ice, he would have known he would need total rudder effectiveness to bring it off. Finally, the testimony of two men in the engine room was that the order was STOP, and two men in the stokehold testified that the stoking order was STOP (which is not what is done in a crash-back scenario, because full steam is required throughout the maneuver).

The sole evidence for a crash-back was the testimony of Boxhall, who said he heard Murdoch tell Smith he had reversed the engines. I think his version of the conversation may have been contrived. Why he might have done this is impossible to say, of course. But one might speculate that Boxhall thought he was protecting Murdoch by saying that he ordered something that Boxhall himself might have thought a more advisable course of action.
 
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