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Retired Mariner Who Has Been Ill Makes Statement
Baltimore, Md., July 20--The statement that Capt. E. J. Smith, commander of
the ill fated Titanic, was not drowned, but was seen yesterday morning in
Baltimore, was made to-day by a retired mariner, who claims to have been a
shipmate of Capt. Smith for more than seventeen years.

Peter Pryal of 907 Valley street, this city, who was quartermaster on the
steamship Majestic of the White Star Line over 20 years ago when Capt. Smith
commanded the vessel, made the statement and added that he not only had seen
the captain but talked with him. Pryal also said he saw Capt. Smith last
Wednesday morning, but was sceptical as to his identity, and to confirm his
belief that the captain was alive went to the same spot yesterday morning
and again saw the captain. So shocked was Pryal at seeing the man he
believed dead that on his return home he said he suffered a nervous

It was while on his way to he office of Dr. MacTier Warfield for treatment
for an internal disorder last Wednesday that, he asserts, he first saw
approaching him the commander of the Titanic. Attired in a neat fitting
business suit of a light brown color, straw hat and tan shoes, the man
carried two suitcases and was staring straight ahead. Mr. Pryal approached
him and spoke, but received no reply. The man seemed unconscious of his
surroundings and continued walking rapidly west out Baltimore street.
Thinking that he was mistaken Pryal returned home and told his wife of the
occurrence. She told her husband that his imagination had got the better of

Yesterday morning he went to Baltimore and St. Paul streets and stood on the
corner for almost an hour. Finally, to his astonishment he saw the same man
approaching. Walking up to him he said: "Capt. Smith, how are you?" Then,
according to Pryal, the man answered: "Very well, Pryal, but please don't
detain me; I am on business."

Without realizing what he was doing Pryal followed the man. Several times
the latter turned and when he finally saw Pryal behind him rushed into the
Calvert building and, according to Mr. Pryal, endeavored to lose himself in
the crowd. Pryal was behind him, however, and followed him through to the
Equitable building and saw him board a car. His pursuer boarded the same car
and saw the man get off at the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis station,
where he purchased a ticket for Washington. As he passed through the gate to
board the car he turned to Mr. Pryal, smiled and said: "Be good, shipmate
until we meet again."

Pryal, when seen to-day, said that he did not expect to be believed when he
told of the incident and added with great earnestness that he was willing to
swear to his statements.

Related Biographies

Peter Pryal

Related Ships

Majestic (1890)


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2012) THINKS HE SAW CAPT. SMITH ( ref: #19127, published 22 July 2012, generated 27th January 2023 05:30:15 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/thinks-he-saw-capt-smith-19127.html