Titanic: Murdoch Waited 30 Seconds Before Turning. Really ???


In the book, Report Into the Loss of the SS Titanic – A Centennial Reappraisal, Samuel Halpern puts forward the theory that First Officer Murdoch waited 30 seconds after Fleet rang the warning bell 3 times, then he ordered hard-a-starboard. (At the bottom I have given a link to an article Mr. Halpern wrote about this.)

If you have read my articles, Titanic: Left Turn Only Myth (click to read article http://wp.me/P1MLkF-6x) and Titanic: “Iceberg Right Ahead!” – Conventional Chronology Wrong (click to read article http://wp.me/P1MLkF-70) you know this is not possible.

I will write a full article on Mr. Halpern’s theories, but I wish to address a couple of points in his theory now.

First. Mr. Halpern states Mr. Murdoch did not give the hard-a-port order until after Titanic had struck the iceberg. In addition to what I stated in my article, Titanic: Left Turn Only Myth (click to read article http://wp.me/P1MLkF-6x), a ship does not move like a car. A ship slides across the water as if it were on ice. A car has traction on the road, but a ship does not have traction on water. So, Titanic turning to the left (port) has the bow swinging to the left (port), and the back 2/3′s of the ship swinging to the right (starboard) towards the iceberg. Titanic’s momentum would have continued to push the stern of the Titanic against the iceberg opening up the entire right (starboard) side of Titanic, if the Titanic was still turning to the left (port) when it hit the iceberg. This we know is not true.

Second. Mr. Halpern depends heavily on the testimony of the man at Titanic’s wheel, Quartermaster Hichens. Then he looks for supporting testimony from other witnesses. The memory of a person is subjective, the laws of physics are not. If a part of Hichens’ testimony conflicts with the laws of physics then that part of his testimony must be rejected, and it puts into question the rest of his testimony (read my articles My Research Methods click to read http://wp.me/P1MLkF-9C) and My Research Methods: Part Two (click to read http://wp.me/P1MLkF-bZ) . One point of testimony that Hichens gave, and Mr. Halpern does not bring up, is that Hichens states he was never given a hard-a-port order. This we know is not true because of physics and eyewitness testimony.

Frederick Fleet

Frederick Fleet, Titanic’s lookout who spotted the iceberg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do want to say that Mr. Halpern’s article is well written and does bring up valid points. However, I am writing an article that will address these points and show that for many reasons, his theories are not only wrong, but not possible. (This is the link to my follow-up article http://wp.me/p1MLkF-Cv).

Here is a link to Mr. Halpern’s article http://www.titanicology.com/Titanica/30_Seconds_Lost.pdf

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