Tag Archives: William McMaster Murdoch

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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Titanic 10 PM 14 April 1912

The four surviving officers of the Titanic. Fr...

The four surviving officers of the Titanic. From left to right, Harold Lowe, Charles Lightoller, Joseph Boxhall. Sitting : Herbert Pitman. Français : Les quatre officiers rescapés du naufrage du Titanic posant peu après la catastrophe. Debout, de gauche à droite : Harold Lowe, Charles Lightoller, Joseph Boxhall. Assis : Herbert Pitman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At ten o’clock First Officer Murdoch relieves Second Officer Lightoller as the officer of the watch. Lightoller makes his after watch tour before going to his stateroom to get some much needed sleep. Lookouts Fleet and Lee relieve Jewel and Symons, they pass on Lightoller’s ice warning. In about 25 minutes the radio operator of the SS Californian would attempt to warn the Titanic of ice ahead, only to be told to shut up by Jack Phillips.

Titanic was now going ahead full on a collision course with an iceberg that would send her to the bottom of the ocean. A collision that would leave more than 1500 people in life jackets to freeze to death in the North Atlantic waters.

An event that would haunt more than 700 survivors for the rest of their lives. An event that seems almost inevitable, an event that if it had not happened to Titanic it would have happened to another ship. Technology had advanced beyond our understanding of the dangers, but soon we would understand the error of our hubris.

Titanic Memorial inside St Augustine of Hippo ...

Titanic Memorial inside St Augustine of Hippo Church This is a memorial to a James Paul Moody, 6th Officer on R.M.S. Titanic, drowned in the North Atlantic, April 10th, 1912. The inscription is on the horizontal arm of the silver crucifix. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Titanic (Ship) Post card of the S. S.Titanic. ...

Titanic (Ship) Post card of the S. S.Titanic. Collided with an iceberg 10.15pm Sunday 14 April 1912. Sank at 2.20am. Latitude 41.46N. Longitude 50.14W. Gross tonnage 46,328. Length 883 feet. Breadth 92 feet 6 inches. 104 feet high from keel to navigation bridge. Speed 22 1/2 knots. Jack Phillips was the brave Chief Marconi Operator who flashed out his messages till the ship went down. (Description supplied with photograph). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Cargo ship SS Californian underway in San Fran...

Cargo ship SS Californian underway in San Francisco Bay on builder's trials in 1900. She later served as United States Navy cargo ship USS Californian. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


William McMaster Murdoch

William McMaster Murdoch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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