A private banking dynasty has hidden a terrible secret since a family member escaped the Titanic.

On the new “WHY THE TITANIC SANK” revelation/ slander/pack of lies.

By Brion Boyles

Not really a writing “piece”, but a rant in response to a woman trying to hawk yet another “conspiracy” book. She posits that there was confusion over rudder orders, the ship turned into the berg, Captain Smith tried to make for Newfoundland after the collision, etc… and that all surviving crew kept their mouths shut in order to spare the White Star Line bad publicity…Those who are students of RMS TITANIC are about the only ones who’ll find this the least bit interesting…

There are a great many things wrong with the ridiculous tales told by the woman who claims her grandfather, 2nd Officer Lightoller, had some “secret conference” with the rest of TITANIC’s’ surviving officers and conspired to hide culpability in the collision. She claims that she has known since being 10 years old that Lightoller covered up the fact that the helm had been put over the wrong direction due to the use of obsolete (read: sailing or obverse) helm orders, which lead to the collision. She puts forth as well the silly notion that Captain Smith practically drove TITANIC under the waves because White Star Line President Ismay ordered him to continue steaming along after the collision. I say BS.

There were several Officers that survived…3rd Officer Pittman, 4rth Officer Boxhall, 5th Officer Lowe and 2nd Officer Lightoller. That’s HALF the Deck Officers, and a LOT of people to keep a secret to their graves. This is not to mention the helmsman, Hitchens, who would have been the “guilty party” and might go along with a cover-up, but what about the lookouts Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee, who also survived? Surely, in order to spare their hides, the lookouts… who came under EXTREME SCRUTINY, PUBLIC OUTRAGE AND SENATE / BRITISH BOARD OF TRADE HEARINGS… would have sung like birds that the ship swung INTO the iceberg AFTER they reported it! That didn’t happen…

Although 1st Officer Murdoch was the Officer of the Watch on the bridge when it happened and was lost in the accident, there was also 6th Officer Moody at the side of the helmsman at the time of the collision and he certainly would have noticed the helm going over in the wrong direction. That was his main job as Junior Officer of the Watch…to back up the Officer of the Watch and ensure his orders were carried out properly. Even so, ALL Officers on the bridge of a ship (I am a retired Navy Quartermaster and Qualified Officer of the Deck) habitually check and confirm that the helm is correct when a steering order is given, and ESPECIALLY in imminent danger of collision!! A ship takes a lot of time to answer helm. You have plenty of time to check, and there are usually helm or rudder position indicators throughout the bridge and on the bridge wings. Even if they hadn’t checked as the helm went over, the slightest pause in the ship’s reaction time would have piqued Murdoch and Moody’s panicked curiosity and caused additional checks. Repeatedly…and then some.

A Quartermaster is no idiot. They usually have been serving on the bridge of various ships a heck of a lot longer than the Officers they answer to. They are usually savvy about everything that happens or IS happening on the bridge. Due to their working environment, they often are a little more intimate with the usually class-conscious Officer ranks. Hitchens would certainly have swung the helm correctly as ordered (“old style” orders or not…this was not the first time either he or Murdoch had to puzzle out a mere course change with standard rudder orders!). However, if Murdoch had given a questionable order to avoid an iceberg on the starboard bow and given the circumstances, Hitchens may have openly questioned it. Certainly 6th Officer Moody would have. Any error would more than likely be corrected in seconds…probably before the wheel had spun more than a turn or two.

Lookout Fleet reported later that the berg was slight on the starboard bow, maybe a point or so. That’s perhaps 11 and a half degrees, folks. ANY turn toward the iceberg, even given her poor handling and response, would have resulted in a bone-breaking head-on collision instead of the scraping, rumbling jar that barely wakened passengers. But, that didn’t happen…

As to the farcical proposition the President of the line Ismay ordered Captain Smith to continue making way, no seaman in his right mind would attempt to load, lower and launch boats full of skittish passengers with even 3 knots on. As the order to clear boats was given early, and to load them within 30-45 minutes of the collision, Titanic wouldn’t have traveled more than a couple of miles, even if she drifted. As it was, Murdoch had rung FULL ASTERN as he ordered the helm hard over and basically brought the ship to a skidding, sliding halt…like a baseball player sliding into home plate. This, incidentally, is what ACTUALLY caused the accident. By ordering his engines reversed, he lost all steering forces acting against the rudder. In fact, TITANIC’s center screw was turbine driven and couldn’t go in reverse if it wanted to…and this was the primary screw that gave TITANIC’s rudder any effect at all. A large vessel requires propeller wash…not “glider action”… to make the rudder effective. By ordering the engines reversed, he rendered the rudder useless. He would have been better off whacking the iceberg with it.

Bruce Ismay was also being ripped apart in the papers and at the Senate/Board of Trade hearings…indeed, for the remaining 30-odd years of his life… for being a coward by taking a seat in a lifeboat. He would have most certainly defended his honor and stated that he tried to save the ship or passengers by ordering Captain Smith to steam on. No such animal occurred, though.

There is some historical confusion/question about the Captain ordering “SLOW AHEAD” (about 5 knots max) after the crash, but I doubt it was for very long even if it were true. No Captain would order ANY speed on a damaged ship after a collision of ANY kind without a full damage report. To do so is insanity and contrary to the common sense of a 2-year-old. For the least reason of not knowing what is now going to fall off!

Lastly, the ship began blowing off steam almost immediately, and the fires were drawn to prevent explosions in the flooding boiler rooms and excess steam from the others. There was steam enough to keep the electric generators going for a while and that was IT, without relighting the fires. In fact, the engine room shut down the ventilation system to save steam. However, most of the fireman had abandoned the flooding boiler rooms, and the rest were soon ordered to go “up top” to man lifeboat crews. Boiler room #6 was flooded right off, #5 within minutes and the rest were shutting the dampers. To make headway, even at “DEAD SLOW” under these conditions, would have sucked the remaining steam out of the boilers in 20 minutes and given TITANIC a very few sea miles before going dead in the water and dark as a coffin within a half hour. Most of the surviving crewmen were, in fact, firemen…and would have reported the engine room asking for propulsion steam after the collision. That didn’t happen, either.

In summary, this “new revelation” is a lame attempt by a woman with a tenuous tie to history trying to make money selling her book to gullible “conspiracy” fools… More holes in it than the TITANIC. Let ’em rest in peace, for crying out loud. Freakin’ cannibal.


2 thoughts on “HORSE MANURE

  1. Richard Holland says:

    Garland, you are correct.

    The concept of a conspiracy is just unadulterated crap
    I’m a bit of a maritime historian & I’ve read a good deal about the RMS Titanic. There are two probable events that took place. One was that the coal in the ships bunkers had spontaneously ignited, & the only was that this can he dealt with is by either dumping the coal overboard & feeding it into the boilers. So to use up the steam generated, Captain Smith increased speed, relying on the crew to be observant.

    The other issue is this. The ship swerved to miss the iceberg, whereas if it had collided with it ‘head on’ the forward portion of the vessel would have been severely damaged. However, it is thought that the ships integrity would have been maintained by damage control, but the crew occupying the focsul would have been casualties. In the wrap up, probably the best option.

    There is a some conjecture that an unidentified vessel was much closer than the history has suggested & could have assisted. It may have been a sailing ship, but the crew of captain has never come forward. So ??????

    In addition the Titanic was supposedly unsinkable. The ships; builders Harland & Wolfe never said this, it was the nonsense put out by the U.K. print media. The ships’ builders, & as all builders & seamen know, that there is no such thing as a unsinkable vessel, despite all of the new ‘electronic’ facilities that existed at the time.

    As an aside, I reside in New South Wales, one of the eastern states of Australia, & I live in the western desert areas. Broken Hill is a mining town & has been taking minerals out of the ground for over 100 years. So as with most mining towns in the past, there were a number of brass bands & musicians. After the sinking they got together & erected a monument in Sturt Park to the ships’ band, and a few of the musical notes of the old Episcopalian Hymn, ‘Nearer my God to Thee’ are inscribed thereon. This is the official belief that the band played this tune, but some commentators have suggested that they played the Irish Hymn, ‘Faith of My Fathers’, seeing so many of the casualites were Irish immigrants.

    Another conspiracy perhaps?

    I enjoy reading you epistles, keep them going.


    Dick Holland

    Liked by 1 person

  2. With regard to the “fire”, most of the surviving crew were firemen and stokers… freed as each flooding boiler room was evacuated one after the other. As TITANIC had a pitifully small Deck Department of seamen, (there really isn’t a need for many seamen on a liner once away from stevedores and longshoremen of a port…just a few lookouts and line-handlers), these freed firemen were used to crew the lifeboats. Not one of these firemen mentioned anything about a fire in a bunker, something they would have all known about and perhaps stood watch over. A scoop such as this would have been literal gold for the first man to break silence. The White Star Line was particularly thoughtless and cheapskate in it’s treatment of surviving crew, and I find it difficult to believe that there wouldn’t be one “disgruntled” man in the bunch to slip up or otherwise open his mouth…Newspapers would have paid him a lifetime salary. No, they said nothing…not even on their old age or deathbeds.

    As Officer -Of-The -Deck, 1st Officer Murdoch did the instinctive thing…turn away. I doubt very much that he had damage control or casualties on his mind when he ordered “ALL BACK FULL” and had the helm thrown hard over for a port turn. Just as the recent wreck of the cruise ship COSTA CONCORDIA has shown, officers of large vessels have very little experience with how their ship handles in maneuvering situations, much less emergency situations. They carry out minor course changes far out at sea, with perhaps a few large changes nearing port…but a Pilot handles the ship when steering and experience is most critical. Never mind that TITANIC and her sister OLYMPIC were the largest vessels of the day afloat and practically only a tiny handful of mariners had any idea of how ships of this size handled…hell, even the harbor pilot in Queenstown almost sucked another liner into her ass… but how many officers have EVER had the experience of maneuvering their ship with a full astern bell and hard rudder? No, Murdoch did what came natural to any man without that experience…try to turn away and reduce speed or reverse. Maneuvering TITANIC became like trying to fly an airplane in a flat stall. Gravity or inertia rule.

    As far as the “missing ship” goes, the Leyland liner “CALIFORNIAN” was drifting for the night in a field of drift ice, waiting for dawn to pick her way out. She was reported as close as 10 miles, and her officers openly and freely told their stories about seeing flares and odd lights and several other details that are tantilizingly close to proving CALIFORNIAN’s presence, but not conclusive enough to be without question or doubt. Captain Lord swore up and down she was no where near, but he never got out of bed …so I don;t know how he could state that empirically. Additionally, CALIFORNIAN’s log for the night contained several erased and missing several entries…no help to clearing her, in any case.

    CALIFORNIAN did “come forward”, in a fashion, as the Board of Trade and the US Congress both held inquiries and interviewed all vessels in the vicinity. Her officers and wireless operator were not particularly evasive or misleading about what they saw or heard that evening…just not conclusive. CALIFORNIAN also reported that at first light, when her wireless operator had come back on duty to discover to his shock and reported to Captain Lord what had happened in the night, CALIFORNIAN steamed for hardly more than an hour before she encountered the rescuing ship CARPATHIA in the debris field, and asked if she could be of any assistance…to which CARPATHIA said “No”. It is doubtful that slow-poke CALIFORNIA would have drifted much from her stopped position to find herself so close to the wreck site that she could be there in such short time…without having been pretty darn close to begin with.

    Lastly, there was an excellent documentary recently on TV about a phenomenon that could explain a great deal. I forget the title, but it was extremely convincing to THIS seasoned mariner. Vastly different thermal layers near the waters’ surface may have distorted what was thought to be the “visible” horizon that night….similar to mirages and heat wave ripples seen on hot roads or cool layers of air over water. Dependly on how close one is to the surface, sometimes one cannot see things that are only a few hundred feet ahead. TITANIC had experienced a VERY sudden change in water temp… warranting her officers to worry over freezing tanks, and passengers expressing how cold it suddenly became outside. Lookouts noticed “whiskers ’round the lights”, indicating unusual atmospheric conditions, and the water was remarked to be as “still as a millpond” by several witnesses… all setting up perfect conditions for mirage. The documentary not only described and recreated these conditions that ultimately showed how the lookouts may not have been able to detect the iceberg at the large distances they normally would…even with the naked eye, but also explained 1) the iceberg’s sudden appearance so close aboard and 2) the difficulty CALIFORNIAN’s officers had deciphering just what the hell they were looking at… or seeing what was really happening.

    All in all, the conspiracies fade away. Just a matter of coincidences and twists of fate…which can be very unexciting and unsatisfying to conspiracy theorists.


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