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Apr 4 12 12:10 AM
Apr 4 12 1:18 AM
Apr 4 12 11:48 AM
Apr 4 12 3:30 PM
Bob Henneman wrote:... but never once expressing the least bit of sympathy for those lost on Titanic. This lack of sympathy, his actions and interpersonal relationships (or lack there of) over the years, and various comments he made, have led some historians to believe he suffered from mental illness his whole life.
Apr 4 12 4:46 PM
Supreme Dictator of the Universe
Bob Henneman wrote:Californian had attempted to contact Titanic twice, once by signal light, which got no response, and again by wireless, which prompted the response "Shut up. Shut up." from the Titanic, who's wireless operator was trying to hear a commercial message from Cape Race. So the Californian's wireless officer turned off his set and went to bed. After midnight, at the change of watch, Californian again tried to contact Titanic by signal light, not knowing she had hit a berg. The watch officer and captain both thought the flares might be a company signal, as the convention for sending out a distress signal was to fire rockets one at a time, in rapid succession. Rockets left a trail of fire, signal flare did not, and they were not fired in rapid succession, so I guess I can see why their meaning was confusing. As a result of the Titanic sinking, international treaties were changed so make firing any kind of flare or rocket a distress call. But it seems like any confusion could have been easily cleared up by waking the wireless operator and turning the set on. Instead repeated efforts were made by the watch officer with the signal lamp only. The Cpatain of the Californian would variously claim that he could not turn on his wireless because the ship was stopped and not making sufficient electrical power, or that the Titanic seems to sail away after firing rockets for no apparent reason, or that nothing seemed amiss to there was no reason to check, or that he had not even been aware of the rockets.The Captain never did get out of bed, and did not seem to recall that a crewman had awakened him briefly and made a report of the rockets. If he was apathetic, incompetent, or just fast asleep and too groggy to grasp the situation, no one can say, but clearly not everything that could have been done was. The Captain of Californian would claim he was 30 miles from Titanic, then later 19.5 miles, though other evidence suggests he was closer that that, more like 10-15 miles. No one is exactly sure though, as no mention of Titanic appears in the ship's official log, and the 'scrap log' used by the watch officer to make notes as the watch progressed, which were then later cleaned up and entered into the official log, somehow went missing and was never found. So it would appear to me that the Captain of the Californian simply did not care enough to check on things, and once he found out Titanic had sunk he tried to cover up his error. Careful studies later determined that if Californian had responded promptly over 300 extra lives could have been saved.
Apr 4 12 7:20 PM
Apr 4 12 7:42 PM
Apr 4 12 9:51 PM
LA Dave wrote:
One question; I have read that even in April 1912, the presence of rockets of whatever color indicated that a ship was in distress. Thus, the claim that Californian thought they were "company signals" may not run true. (Of course, why would a ship be firing off "company signals" in mid-Atlantic, in the middle of the night? That question alone indicates how bizarre the "company signals" theory is.)
"Now, will you tell me what you had seen?- First of all, I was walking up and down the bridge and I saw one white flash in the sky, immediately above this other steamer. I did not know what it was; I thought it might be a shooting star.
What was the nature of the flash?- A white flash.
You did not know what it was?- No.
How long have you been at sea?- Eight years.
You know distress signals?- I know what they are, yes.
Was it like a distress signal?- It was just a white flash in the sky; it might have been anything.
I know, but what did it suggest to your mind? What did you say to yourself? What did you think it was?- I thought nothing until I brought the ship under observation with the binoculars and saw the others.
Then you took up your glasses, apparently, and looked?- Yes.
And how many more did you see?- I saw four more then.
What were they, rockets?- They had the appearance of white rockets bursting in the sky.
Did they come in quick succession?- At intervals of about three or four minutes.
Now what did you think they were?- White rockets.
What do you think they meant?- I thought that perhaps the ship was in communication with some other ship, or possibly she was signaling to us to tell us she had big icebergs around her.
Possibly, what else?- Possibly she was communicating with some other steamer at a greater distance than ourselves.
(The Commissioner.) What was she communicating?- I do not know.
Is that the way in which steamers communicate with each other?- No, not usually.
The Commissioner:Then you cannot have thought that. Just attend to the question.
(Mr. Butler Aspinall.) You are an Officer and hold a certificate and have been to sea for eight years?- Yes.
You had been keeping this vessel under close observation and saw five rockets go up in fairly quick succession. What did you think at the time they, meant? You applied your mind to the matter, did you not?- Yes.
Now, what did you think at the time?- I knew they were signals of some sort.
I know; of course - signals of what sort did you think?- I did not know at the time.
(The Commissioner.) Now try to be frank?- I am.
If you try, you will succeed. What did you think these rockets were going up at intervals of three or four minutes for?- I just took them as white rockets, and informed the Master and left him to judge. [my emphasis]
Do you mean to say you did not think for yourself? I thought you told us just now that you did think.- [No Answer.]"
Apr 5 12 3:39 AM
Apr 5 12 10:50 AM
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Apr 5 12 9:49 PM
Rmor wrote:Bob Henneman wrote:... but never once expressing the least bit of sympathy for those lost on Titanic. This lack of sympathy, his actions and interpersonal relationships (or lack there of) over the years, and various comments he made, have led some historians to believe he suffered from mental illness his whole life. The man was a product of his times: can you think of anyone more self-righteous or godlike than your sterotypical Victorian/Edwardian sea captain? At the enquiries, he'll have been thinking "Why are all these people so wrong-headed?"
Apr 5 12 10:19 PM
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Apr 9 12 5:01 AM
Bob Henneman wrote:Angus- Your questions show that you are not familiar with the facts. And I am not following your conspiracy theory- why would a company blame an employee of another company they owned? Far from blaming him, most people feel his errors were swept under the rug to try and keep Leyland Line and IMM from further liability. And Leyland Line did not have to defend Lord, as no charges were ever brought against him, and no one even recommended an investigation- he was simply asked to testify at the inquiry as a possible witness, and it was his own constantly changing testimony that cast doubt upon him. He was never investigated, was never charged, and no one ever blamed him for anything, let alone for the disaster- he simply kept putting his foot in his mouth and got trounced in the court of public opinion. Here are the facts:- Officers and crew of the Californian reported seeing a ship that matched Titanic's description both before and after it struck the iceberg. They even called to it on the wireless by name. - Officers and crew of the Titanic reported seeing a ship hove to, very close to them. Fourth Officer Boxhall estimated it was 5 miles away, and tried to reach it by signal light. His distance estimate may have been off on the open sea at night, but the ship was close enough where it could be seen from one of the lifeboats, which tried to row to it. After Titanic sank this ship reportedly sailed away, which matched the behavior of Californian described further below. Captain Lord admitted that his ship was hove to near Titanic, but claimed that what his lookouts saw, and what Titanic saw, was a third mystery ship in between them and not each other. Now it is important to remember two things when considering his claim. Firstly, in 100 years of repeated investigations no one has ever been able to find any ship that could possibly have been close to Titanic, let alone in between it and Californian. Secondly, Captain Lord admitted to being asleep in his cabin following a 17 hour work day, so one really has to wonder what he could possibly have known about the situation.- At 1:15 the second officer of Californian called down to wake his captain and report a vessel close to them firing rockets. He got a groggy response about a company signal and some comment about how they were wrong and it was not Titanic.- The second officer and a crewman from Californian later testified that the ship they sighted firing company rockets was within their line of site, and that they had made comment to each other about how the ship looked "queer" and that "everything was not all right with her." At 2:00 AM they thought the ship was underway and leaving the area. This would indicate that they were in fact looking at Titanic sinking (her lights were getting smaller not from increased distance but from her slipping further underwater), and not some mystery third ship. - At 2:00 the pair tried to wake Captain Lord and tell him they had seen the ship fire at least 8 rockets and then get underway, but Lord only mumbled something about what color the rockets were, and later claimed he did not fully wake and did not remember them talking to him at all. I believe that, and just think he was fast asleep after a long day and the seriousness of the situation just did not register. - At 3:30 AM Californian did indeed see rockets fired to the South. As this was the direction Carpathia was coming from, and Titanic has sunk an hour before, these could only have come from Carpathia. Californian assumed these were more company rockets, maybe from the same ship they had spotted earlier in the night, as with the wireless turned off no one was aware that Titanic had sunk.- At 4:16 Californian reported sighting a large, well lit ship with one funnel and four masts steaming up from the South. This matches the description and time line for Carpathia.- Carpathia reported sighting an unidentified vessel as she approached the wreck site sometime later (Californian was not nearly as well lit up and was harder to spot), but this vessel shortly sailed away. This matches the position, and actions, of Californian, and there were no other ships in the area.- At 5:30 AM Captain Lord returned to the bridge and got Californian underway again. He felt the best route out of the ice field was to head West, thus taking him out of sight of Carpathia. The bridge officer he relieved decided to wake the wireless operator instead of going to bed. the operator turned on his set and found out Titanic has sunk, and told his captain. Captain Lord decided to join the rescue operations, so he continued West until he was clear of the ice field, then turned South, then East, turning North to the wreck site after re-sighting and passing Carpathia at about 6:30. This whole circular route took quite some time, and by then Carpathia had picked up the survivors. California agreed to continue to search the area, so Carpathia sailed away. Californian spent two hours (Lord would later say 3) searching but found only debris and empty lifeboats, so she to sailed away.- When Carpathia and Californian came into close quarters at 8:30, no one on Carpathia knew that Californian had taken a circular route to get there, so they had no idea it was in fact the same ship they had earlier sighted to the North that sailed off to the West. So everyone assumed that Californian had approached from the South and was just getting there for the first time. Captain Lord did nothing to dispel this, and in fact said absolutely nothing to anyone. He simply sailed his ship to Boston, and because Carpathia had picked up all the survivors from the lifeboats, no one thought Californian or her captain & crew knew anything that had any bearing on the situation at all. On April 22, three days into the inquiry, it became known from Titanic survivors that a ship had been close to them but had not answered their distress call. No one knew what ship this was, until two separate crewmen went to two separate newspapers and said the ship was Californian. Lord was interviewed and then called before the board of inquiry. he claimed his ship was 30 miles away, then changed it to 20 miles, then refused to give an exact position claiming it was "a state secret." First he said he was unaware of any rockets, then he said he was aware of rockets but they were clearly a company signal, and fired from a ship other than Titanic, giving rise to the 'mystery third ship' claim. But from Californian's point of view this mystery vessel acted exactly like Titanic, and from Titanic's point of view it acted exactly like Californian. As no one has ever found this mystery ship, and there is a mountain of evidence that there were no other vessels in the area, there is no doubt that Californian and Titanic were within sight of each other. I do not think Captain Lord intentionally ignored the Titanic, and I do not think he was malicious. I just think he was a very tired, overworked man who was sound asleep, and failed to grasp that something was happening. Once the reality sunk in during the days after the sinking, I think he scrambled to try and keep his butt out of a sling. Lord seems to have been a rather odd fellow, ill tempered, anti-social, prone to threatening his crew, and quite unable to admit mistakes, so he changed his story a lot to try and exonerate himself rather than admit he screwed up by not getting out of bed and checking on the situation. On both sides of the Atlantic inquiries found reason to censure the ship for not being aware of the situation unfolding around them, but stopped short of placing blame on the actions of the captain or his crew, feeling they could not point to anything they did wrong other than being clueless. One does have to wonder though: if the bridge officer and watchman felt a ship was in distress nearby, and were unable to reach that ship by signal lamp, why did they not try harder to wake their captain? And if their captain was a jerk they did not want to wake after he blew them off twice, why did they not wake the radio operator instead? This led to one of the biggest changes after Titanic: ships with wireless sets had to keep them on 24 hours a day, so that no ship would again be unaware of an unfolding incident like Californian had been. Captain Lord continued to serve at sea, though no longer on Californian, commanding a vessel until he retired early at age 50 in 1927, for medical reasons. He passed away in 1962, expressing outrage at how he was portrayed in the novel and movie "A Night to Remember," but never once expressing the least bit of sympathy for those lost on Titanic. This lack of sympathy, his actions and interpersonal relationships (or lack there of) over the years, and various comments he made, have led some historians to believe he suffered from mental illness his whole life. Californian was sunk in 1915 by a u-boat, a fate shared by Carpathia in 1918.Bob, I am just as aware of most of the facts as yourself. Though some of the facts don't quite fit what you imply.Californian did try to contact Titanic and was told to keep out. This was around 11.00pm and some 40 minutes before the collision with the iceberg. So at that time, Titanic was at least 14 miles away from Californian plus the distance Californian was from the iceberg. Californian's wireless operator then went to his bed after 16 hours on duty and no attempt was made by Californian to contact the rocket firing ship by wireless. So why if Californian tried to contact the rocket firing ship by signal lamp, did no one on Titanic observe this and reply? It must have been much easier to observe light signals from a darkened, hove to Californian than a brightly lit Titanic.If the mystery ship was seen sailing away. The why does this appear to take place before 5.30am when Californian restarts her engines? Californian has to work herself round an icefield, but Carpathia doesn't seem troubled by one?As far as Lord's cupability and being defended by his shipping line. It would seem better for IMM and White Star to blame the loss of life on Lord, the public at large would not realise that both ships were owned by the same holding company, than Titanic's owners and captain. Much has been bandied about on the TV this weekend about Titanic and Cpt Smith, who is afterall the man with the final resposibility for the loss. He is in charge of Titanic, he made the final decision on the course and speed even if supposedly encouraged by Ismay. He makes a poor job of actually trying to save the ship and evacuating the passengers. Yet there are statues erected to the hero captain!Ismay and the BoT make decisions on the lifeboats carried, but the evacuation of the passengers is so poorly carried out, there would still be loss of life. So lets find a fall guy we can blame where there will be no one there to defend and that man is Cpt Lord who will cetainly not be defended by his employers. Lord had no trouble finding another ship with a different line and sailed her till his retirement. Strange that a shipping line would employ a captain it thought was guilty of such neglect. The public enquiry decided that Titanic did not break in two against all the evidence given to it by observers of the sinking and it took Ballard to prove the survivors correct. That is the state of official conclusions drawn up at the time, "if the evidence does not suit what we want the public to believe, then we adjust it" As for adjusting evidence to suit, one only has to consider the loss of Oceanic, another White Star great piece of navigation and evidence presenting.
Apr 12 12 1:29 PM
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Apr 12 12 11:58 PM
Fermi2 wrote:The real hero was Lightoller who saved countless lives on board the ship and in the water.I have the blue prints to the Titanic. Well copies of them at least!Is that the same Lightoller who left the most empty spaces on the lifeboats of which he oversaw the launching?
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