Titanic Mystery Ship Unveiled
In the fateful night of April 15, 1912, Titanic, the unsinkable ship, sunk in the frozen waters of North Atlantic. This magnificent steam ship carried more than 2.000 souls, leaving Southampton and entering in the history.
Misteries and coincidences are a common place in this shipwrecking that is nearing a hundred years old. The history is told more or less that way.......
Olympic at left and Titanic to the right
Titanic and its twin, Olympic, were the flagships of White Star Company. At this time the route UK - New York was a great business and it was the main link to european migration to America. In US rail and steel tycoons made a strange mix with poor europeans that looked for a new life in a new country. J. P. Morgan, the financial tycoon, was the ultimate owner of White Star and, as a consequence, of Titanic. Destiny saved him from the fateful trip to New York.
The ship was making his maiden trip and was considered unsinkable. She was designed with watertight sections. The ship would resist flood in two adjacent sectors or in the first four. The night of April 14th was a perfect night. The sea remained still reflecting perfectly thousands of stars above. The moon was not in the sky and a profound dark was embedded in every soul. Several warnings were dispatched to Titanic alerting presence of icebergs. The latitude of 40N is not a sufficient high latitude to have iceberg presence. But this location, southeastern of Newfoundland, is in the corridor of icebergs that came from northern Canada when spring came. April is the worst time for icebergs in the region. Near the Titanic position the small steamer Californian stopped their engines to avoid a night collision with an iceberg. Commander Lord prefered to wait until the morning comes as the sea was cluttered with ice.
Commander E.J. Smith RNR, in his last trip before retirement, crossed the sea at a high speed of 24 knots. Nobody will ever know but, it seems reasonable that B. Ismay,Whitestar CEO, suggested Smith to go at full speed in order to beat a record in time between England and NY. At 11:40 pm, local time, the lookout F.Fleet, who had not binoculars available, detected an iceberg in front of the ship. He rang the bell, that can be seen in the Titanic Exhibition nowadays, and cried "Iceberg right ahead". Official Murdoch tried to avoid collision but it was too late.
Some moments later Mr. Thomas Andrews, the main Titanic designer has gone downstairs to do an assessment of the damage. At this time water was invading five sections and mail was floating. The fate of Titanic was sealed by destiny. Andrews warned Smith that Titanic would last at most two hours before sinking to the deep ocean. At this precise moment happens a mistery that is the main reason why a Titanic article is in an amateur astronomer page. While Bride was sending CQDs and SOS signals using a Marconi telegraph Murdoch believed that a ship was visible near the horizon. After some moments rocket were fired to warn this mystery ship. And the ship had gone away, disappearing below the horizon. Because these facts and some other testimonies, Captain Lord, of steamer California, was blamed to be responsible to not help Titanic survivors in the cold, fateful, 15th April 1912, night. In the morning of 15th steamer Carpathia rescued Titanic survivors and, with Californian and Mount Temple, scanned the whole region. Californian arrived in New York port with Titanic survivors.
Steamer Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic survivors to New York
Let's now explore the possibility that the mistery ship was, in fact, a celestial object. To begin to analyse this hypothesis we will see the full starry sky of that fateful night..
When Titanic hit the iceberg Ursa Major dominated the starry sky. Vega was rising and Procyon and Capela setting. Mars was about 11.5 degrees high. Jupiter was only 5.1 degrees above the horizon and rising. On this night Mars was setting exactly ar 00:54 April 15th. With a brightening of a 1.5 mag star, the planet deep red hue was very similar to a distant ship's light. Procyon, white, was setting at 00:45, azimuth 280, mag 0.4. No milky Way, no Moon was available in this still and dark night. Let's see what was happening at this time in the ship...
"At 12.45 a.m. Boxhall and quartermaster George Arthur Rowe began to fire rockets from an angled rail attached to the bridge. Rowe continued to do so until the rockets ran out around 1.25. Whilst Rowe was thus engaged Boxhall scanned the horizon, he spotted a steamer in the distance, he and Rowe attempted to contact the vessel with a morse lamp but they were unsuccessful. At one point Boxhall sought reassurance from the Captain and asked if he felt the situation was really serious, Smith replied that the ship would sink within an hour to an hour and a half."
"Senator FLETCHER. I understood you to say that you saw a steamer almost ahead of you, or saw a light that night, about the time of the collision?
Mr. BOXHALL. Shortly afterwards; yes, sir.
Senator FLETCHER. Did you describe that light? What was the character of the light you saw; and did you see more than one?
Mr. BOXHALL. At first I saw two masthead lights of a steamer, just slightly opened, and later she got closer to us, until, eventually, I could see her side lights with my naked eye.
Senator FLETCHER. Was she approaching you?
Mr. BOXHALL. Evidently she was, because I was stopped.
Senator FLETCHER. And how far away was she?
Mr. BOXHALL. I considered she was about 5 miles away.
Senator FLETCHER. In which direction?
Mr. BOXHALL. She was headed toward us, meeting us.
Senator FLETCHER. Was she a little toward your port bow?
Mr. BOXHALL. Just about half a point off our port bow.
Senator FLETCHER. And apparently coming toward you?
Mr. BOXHALL. Yes.
Senator FLETCHER. And how soon after the collision?
Mr. BOXHALL. I can not say about that. It was shortly after the order was given to clear the boats.
Senator FLETCHER. Did you continue to see that steamer?
Mr. BOXHALL. I saw that light, saw all the lights of course, before I got into my boat, and just before I got into the boat she seemed as if she had turned around. I saw just one single bright light then, which I took to be her stern light.
Senator FLETCHER. She apparently turned around within 5 miles of you?
Mr. BOXHALL. Yes, sir.
Senator FLETCHER. Had the rockets then gone off on the Titanic?
Mr. BOXHALL. Yes, sir. I had been firing off rockets before I saw her side lights. I fired off the rockets and then she got so close I could see her side lights and starboard light."
"Senator BURTON: You are very positive you saw that ship ahead on the port bow, are you?
Mr. BOXHALL: Yes, sir, quite positive.
Senator BURTON: Did you see the green or red light?
Mr. BOXHALL: Yes; I saw the side lights with my naked eye.
Senator BURTON: When did you see them?
Mr. BOXHALL: From our ship, before I left the ship. I saw this steamer's stern light before I went into my boat, which indicated that the ship had turned around. I saw a white light, and I could not see any of the masthead lights that I had seen previously and I took it for a stern light.
Senator BURTON: Which light did you see first?
Mr. BOXHALL: I saw the masthead lights first, the two steaming lights; and then, as she drew up closer, I saw her side lights through my glasses, and eventually I saw the red light. I had seen the green, but I saw the red most of the time. I saw the red light with my naked eye.
Senator BURTON: Did she pull away from you?
Mr. BOXHALL: I do not know when she turned; I can not say when I missed the lights, because I was leaving the bridge to go and fire off some more of those distress rockets and attend to other duties.
Senator BURTON: Then your idea is that she was coming toward you on the port side?
Mr. BOXHALL: Yes.
Senator BURTON: Because you saw the red light and the masthead lights?
Mr. BOXHALL: Yes, sir.
Senator BURTON: Afterward you saw the green light, which showed that she had turned?
Mr. BOXHALL: I think I saw the green light before I saw the red light, as a matter of fact. But the ship was meeting us. I am covering the whole thing by saying the ship was meeting us.
Senator BURTON: Your impression is she turned away, or turned on a different course?
Mr. BOXHALL: That is my impression.
Senator BURTON. At a later time, when you were in the boat after it had been lowered, what light did you see?
Mr. BOXHALL. I saw this single light, which I took to be her stern light, just before I went away in the boat, as near as I can say.
Senator BURTON. How long did you see this stern light?
Mr. BOXHALL. I saw it until I pulled around the ship's stern. I had laid off a little while on the port side, on which side I was lowered, and then I afterwards pulled around the ship's stern, and, of course, then I lost the light, and I never saw it anymore.
Senator BURTON. Her course, as she came on, would have been nearer to your course; that is, your course was ahead, there, and she was coming in toward your course?
Mr. BOXHALL. Yes, sir; she was slightly crossing it, evidently. I suppose she was turning around slowly.
Senator BURTON. Is it your idea that she turned away?
Mr. BOXHALL: That is my idea, sir.
Senator BURTON: She kept on a general course toward the east, and then bore away from you, or what?"
"About 45 minutes later Rowe telephoned the bridge, Fourth Officer Boxhall replied. Rowe told him he had just seen a lifeboat (No.7) in the water. Boxhall was surprised as he had heard no order to lower boats. He instructed Rowe to bring some rockets to the bridge. Boxhall had seen the lights of a vessel in the distance and Captain Smith had given permission for rockets to be sent up as a signal of distress. Boxhall and Rowe sent up the first rocket at about 12.45 a.m., and then fired them at five or six minute intervals according to Captain Smith's instructions. Between firing rockets Rowe and Boxhall attempted to signal the vessel using a morse lamp.
Rowe later stated that he was convinced that it was a sailing vessel that he observed, two points off the port bow at a distance of about five miles. Gradually the light diminished and finally disappeared. As the Titanic was stationary the mystery vessel was clearly moving away."
The direction of lights stated by testimonies was near what we expected was the Californian position. It is necessary to remeber that after hit the iceberg, Titanic positioned toward north. What it is clear is that Mars was setting at azimuth 305 exactly at the time Titanic was firing rockets. This awesome coincidence may be more than a coincidence. From above testimonial, Rowe said that the mistery ship was moving away. But Californian was stopped in the icefield and Titanic also was totally stopped. This is the most important aspect of testimonial. From our best positions Californian was away the 9.5 miles visibility range of Titanic deck and well away the 5 miles distance stated by Titanic crew. Californian was at azimuth 340 or so. Before hit the iceberg Titanic was traveling at full speed of some 24 knots and at azimuth 266. The graph below states the situation. The best position that we have of Californian was stated by the Carpathia in the morning of 15th, and it was about 10 miles.
It seems possible that, with the turmoil generated by situation on the sinking ship, some Titanic crew could have made a fatal mistake of seeing a mystery ship were the red planet was setting. For some time I've followed some UFO believers and saw clearly how strange are our perceptions in case of danger.
We can see Californian position at top, at left the original Titanic position as related by Titanic crew, at right the actual site were Titanic remains were found. Top right we can see the direction Mars was setting at 00:54.
Many books were written about the theme. This article was inspired in a beautiful one presented in October 1993 Sky and Telescope magazine. In this article was stated that Captain Smith had observed to Rowe that it was a planet. I also believe in that...
Some interesting links....
" In the deep of ocean, an infinite silence, untold misteries, dreams, adventure and fate. And stars are the lonely witnesses of the great human adventure."
"Not to be forgotten"
This site was last updated 11/23/03