Titanic and Californian – A Forensic Approach
by Samuel Halpern
On April 22, 1912, during the third day of the US Senate investigation into the
loss of
Titanic, it was learned that there had been a steamer in sight of Titanic.  
This steamer had failed to respond to distress rockets that were being sent aloft
from the stricken
Titanic as she slowly sank beneath the surface of the Atlantic
following a collision with an iceberg.  The following day, on April 23, 1912, a
story was printed in a small New England newspaper that claimed that a small
tramp steamer, the SS
Californian, had seen the lights and rockets of Titanic,
and had refused to come to her aid.

This book takes a new look into what has since been called the
affair.  It is significantly different from previous treatments of this highly
contentious subject in that it does not try to simply interpret or reinterpret
every single word that eyewitnesses said in 1912.  Instead, it takes a novel
approach of applying specific analytical techniques to test the many conflicting
and sometimes contradictory statements that were made in 1912 in order to find
the reality of what took place.  It includes detailed analysis of distances,
bearings, headings, speeds, drift rates, ranges of visibility and other quantifiable
information that has never before been examined in any great detail.  It
provides answers to the question of where was
Californian relative to Titanic
that night, and were they in sight of each other.

This book also looks into the role played by several other vessels that were in
the area that memorable night, delving into some of the claims made afterward
concerning rescue attempts and movements.  In addition, the book also explores
the moments leading up to, and immediately following,
Titanic's collision with an
iceberg, piecing together a detailed moment-by-moment picture of the events
and actions that took place from the time the fatal iceberg was first spotted, to
the time that the iceberg was last seen fading astern into the dark of night.
Foreword (p.7)
    By George M. Behe.
Preface (p.13)
    This section explains why this book is being written.
Prologue (p.19)
    Describes the first rockets fired from Titanic by eyewitness Lawrence Beesley on Titanic and  
    Herbert Stone on Californian.
Ch. I – A Californian Voyage (p.21)
    Details the path of Californian and some inconsistencies in her reported navigation leading to her
    stopped DR position on the night of April 14, 1912.  
Ch. II – A Maiden Voyage (p.34)
    Details the path of Titanic up to the point where she stopped following the collision with an iceberg
    on the night of April 14, and how the erroneous distress position may have come about.
Ch. III – Twenty Minutes to Midnight (p.60)
    Details reported events on Titanic immediately before and after the collision with an iceberg on the
    night of April 14, 1912.
Ch. IV – The Middle Watch (p.118)
    Describes events as witnessed on Californian between midnight and 4am on April 15, 1912.
Ch. V – She Had Beautiful Lights (p.143)
    Describes what was seen from Titanic and from the boats from about midnight until the arrival of
Ch. VI – Rockets Bearing South-Southeast by Standard (p.174)
    Develops a navigational line-of-bearing from Titanic to Californian, and establishes minimum and
    maximum distances between vessels.
Ch. VII – Ships, Lights and a Drifting Ice Field  (p.188)
    Determines the distance between Titanic and Californian by several independent means including:
    maximum geographic range between lights and an observer, the geometry of an icefield, and from  
    ship sightings at daybreak.
Ch.VIII – Lights Come and Lights Go (p.213)
    Explains why Californian was not seen early on, how its appearance changed as it swung around,
    and why it would seemed to disappear to those in the boats before daybreak.
Ch. IX – The Path to Carpathia (p.233)
    Details the actions and movements of the SS Californian on the morning of April 15th from about
    4am onward, and looks at the movements of the SS Carpathia on her race to the rescue.
Ch. X – ‘Proceeding New York Unless Otherwise Ordered’ (p.256)
    Describes Carpathia’s departure from the scene of the wreckage and Capt. Rostron’s decision to
    return to New York.
Ch. XI – Drifting Ice and Meandering Currents (p.269)
    Describes the movements of Californian following the departure of Carpathia, why Carpathia and
    Californian did not report seeing many floating bodies amongst the wreckage, and answers the
    question as to why Titanic was not affected by the Gulf Stream before reaching the ice region.
Ch. XII – A Matter of Time (p.300)
    Provides a detailed look at the issue of time carried on board Titanic, Californian and other vessels.
Ch. XIII – A Tale of Two Ships – Part 1: Mount Temple (p.325)
    Provides a detailed look into the role played by the SS Mount Temple in the Californian affair.
Ch. XIV – A Tale of Two Ships – Part 2: Almerian (p.351)
    Provides a detailed look into the role played by the SS Almerian in the Californian affair.
Ch. XV – The Enigmatic Excursion of the SS Birma (p.369)
    Unlocks a number of puzzles concerning the mad dash taken by the SS Birma to reach Titanic’s
    distress position, and the events that took place after she arrived on the scene.
Ch. XVI – Boston – A Tangled Web (p.397)
    Describes what happened after Californian arrived in Boston and the birth of what would become
    known as the Californian affair.
Ch. XVII – The Controversy Lives On (p.414)
    Provides a summary and overall conclusions of this work, and examines why the debate regarding
    the Californian affair is likely to continue.
Epilogue (p.438)
    Describes the last minutes of Titanic as witnessed from a lifeboat and from the upper bridge of
    Californian, and the one irrefutable conclusion from that night to remember.
Appendix A.  Maritime Terminology in 1912 (p.440)
Appendix B.  Report from
Californian’s Second Officer Herbert Stone (p.447)
Appendix C.  Report from
Californian’s Apprentice James Gibson (p.449)
Appendix D.  Capt. Lord’s Letter to the Board of Trade (p.451)
Appendix E.  Capt. Lord’s Letter to the Editor of The Reporter (p.453)
Appendix F.  1959 Affidavit of Captain Stanley Lord (p.455)
Appendix G.  Socket Distress Signals in 1912 (p.462)
Appendix H.  A Short Tutorial on Marine Navigation (p.474)
Appendix I.   Distance Between an Observer and a Light at Sea (p.481)
Appendix J.   Particulars of
Californian and Titanic (p.489)
Appendix K.  The Icefields of Albert Moulton Foweraker (p.498)
Appendix L.   Captain A. H. Rostron’s Report to the Cunard Shipping Company (p.507)
Appendix M.  12:35am Apparent Time
Carpathia (p.509)
Appendix N.   IMM Company Rules Regarding Time Kept and Clocks on Board (p.513)
Appendix O.   Bells, Clocks, Watch Schedules and Time Alterations (p.514)
Appendix P.   Extract from the Memorandum of Robert Ellis Cunliffe Solicitor to the BOT (p.521)
Appendix Q.  Transcript of the
Almerian Report Written by Capt. Stanley Lord (p.524)
Appendix R.  Transcribed Extract From the Handwritten Wireless Log of the SS
Birma (p.525)
Appendix S.   Affidavit of
Californian’s Second Donkeyman Ernest Gill (p.527)
Appendix T.   The Icefields and Charts of Captain John Joseph Knapp (p.529)
Appendix U.   Excerpts From the Speech of Senator William Alden Smith (p.540)
Appendix V.   Lord Mersey’s “The Circumstances in Connection with the SS
Californian” (p.543)
Acknowledgement (p.547)
Index (p.548)
Size: 7"X10"        Pages: 556