My On-Line Publications
A Captain Accused
The story of what Capt. Stanley Lord of the Californian was told about the stopped steamer that was firing rockets during the
night, and why what was told to him would not have been viewed as alarming.
A reappraisal of the location of where Titanic collided with an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912, including a collision
sequence animation, an estimate for Titanic's final stopping point following the collision, and a comparison to the 1992 work of
Iceberg Right Ahead
A stochastic analysis of the density and distribution of icebergs in the region where the Titanic went down, including a realistic
view of the sighting distances involved on a calm, clear, and moonless night.
Keeping Track of a Maiden Voyage
A look at the noontime positions of the SS Titanic during the first three days of her maiden transatlantic voyage, including the
GMT of local apparent noon, the amount of clock setback, and the average speed made good for each day of her short
voyage. (Originally published in the Irish Titanic Historical Society's White Star Journal, Vol. 14, No. 2, August 2006.)
Olympic and Titanic: Maiden Voyage Mysteries
Co-authored with Mark Chirnside, we explore some of the navigational aspects of the maiden voyage of Olympic and her
ill-fated sister, including the uncovering of a 100-minute error in calculating Olympic's average crossing time and speed that
was never before realized which understated her overall performance all these years. (Originally published in the Titanic
International Society's journal Voyage, No. 59, Spring 2007.)
Somewhere About 12 Square Feet
A look at how that famous 12 square feet of aggregate hull opening, which described the extent of damage done to the S.S.
Titanic, came about, and how a simple milk container can be used to visualize and quantify the flooding that took place on the
ship over time.
Speed and Revolutions
The development of a slip table for the Titanic, including the derivation of curves of speed versus propeller revolutions with
and without the central turbine connected up.
Titanic's Hidden Deck
A look into cellular double bottom of Olympic and Titanic which were made up of 44 separate watertight compartments below
the level of the tank top.
Titanic's Masthead Light
A detailed look at the characteristics of Titanic's masthead light, including how bright it would appear to be, and at what
distance it could be seen when viewed from the deck of another ship.
Titanic's Prime Mover
A in-depth examination of the propulsion and power plant installed on the Olympic and Titanic, including how it all worked
(including animations of the workings of various machinery) and how well it compared to the all-turbine plants of Lusitania
Titanic: Changing the Reality
A hard hitting response to Dave Brown's paper, "Titanic: Changing Course," which was originally published on the GLTS
website, that deals with issues of navigation and time. Co-authored with Mark Chirnside.
Speed and More Speed
In this article, co-authored with Mark Chinside, we examine:
- How fast was Titanic going when she collided with the iceberg, and when did she achieve that speed?
- Did the ship have enough coal on board to run at full speed across the Atlantic?
- Was Titanic out to break any crossing record and arrive in NY a day ahead of schedule?
- How much influence did J. Bruce Ismay have on Capt. Smith regarding the matter in which the vessel was driven?
- Was there any justifiable reason why Capt. Smith would drive his ship at full speed at night in a region of ice?
(Originally published in the Titanic Historical Society's journal The Titanic Commutator, Vol. 32, No. 182 and 183.)
Why A Low Angle Break?
This short article explains why Titanic was much more likely to break in half at a relatively small angle of trim (between 10°
and 15°) rather than at a high angle as once previously thought. Use is made of a simple analogy to a floating beam pivoted at
one end, and a curve of bending moment Vs. trim angle is derived.
It's A CQD Old Man
A fresh look at the question of why were Titanic's distress positions transmitted by wireless in the early morning hours of April
15, 1912 so far west of the wreck site. The first position transmitted for the first 10 minutes, and attributed to Capt. E. J.
Smith, was about 20 nautical miles off, while the second position, worked up by 4/O Joseph Boxhall, was 13 miles off. This
on-line article had appeared in the journal of the Titanic International Society, Voyage, Issues 64 and 65, and also in the journal
of the British Titanic Society, Atlantic Daily Bulletin, September and December 2008. It is an entirely revised work of my
original two-part article, "A Minute of Time," first published in 2005 in the journal of the Titanic Historical Society, The
A Matter of Stability and Trim
This article derives the height above the keel of Titanic's Center of Buoyancy (KB), Center of Gravity (KG), and Metacenter
(KM) for the night of April 14, 1912, before the accident took place. Also derived are the ship's Metacentric Radius (BM),
Initial Righting Arm (GZ) and Righting Moment (WxGZ) as a function of heeling angle in degrees. In addition, the location of
its Longitudinal Center of Floatation (LCF) is also derived. These parameters, along with the ship's displacement (W), draft
(T), and Metacentric height (GM) on that night are also discussed. Knowledge of these parameters are a must for anyone
wanting to build an accurate floating model that has the same stability and trim characteristics as the real ship, or for analyzing
other aspects dealing with its stability or trim.
She Turned Two Points in 37 Seconds
This in-depth article deals with the turning characteristics of Olympic and Titanic. Based on data presented by H&W's naval
architect Edward Wilding, we were able to recreate the turning circle of these ships with the helm put hard over with the going
full speed ahead. We also were able to determine the performance during several zig-zag maneuvers where the helm is ordered
shifted to the opposite side at a specified time following the initial helm order. The article also looks at the classic story of
Titanic's encounter with the iceberg and the various claims made by eyewitnesses. It also looked into the dynamics of the
initial impact with the iceberg. Several appendices are also included with show the details behind the various curves and data
that are presented as well as other related results.
Rockets, Lifeboats, and Time Changes
This article, now available on line, was first published in TIS's Voyage 70, Winter 2009 issue, and in BTS's Atlantic Daily
Bulletin, December 2009 issue. It deals with rocket sightings on the Californian and how they correlate with rocket firings,
lifeboat launchings, and planned time changes that took place on the Titanic.
Time and Time Again
This article (in PDF format) was first published in the September 2010 issue of the Atlantic Daily Bulletin of the British
Titanic Society. It is a hard hitting response to an article written by Senan Molony and posted on the Encyclopedia Titanica
website, called: "When Did Titanic Try For Help?" Molony's paper was written to discredit the claim presented in my article
"Rockets, Lifeboats, and Time Changes" (see above link) that the difference between NY time and Titanic time was 2 hours
and 2 minutes. In this article, revised on February 08, 2011, I show how the erroneous 1 hour 33 minute difference presented
at the American Inquiry (and advocated by Molony) most likely came about, show why that time difference has no basis
whatsoever for Titanic, is inconsistent with the way time was kept at sea, and most importantly, would have some astonishing
and unbelievable implications if it were true.
12:35 A.M. Apparent Time Carpathia
At the US Senate Investigation into the Titanic disaster, Capt. Rostron said that he received the distress message about Titanic
from Harold Cottam at 12:35 a.m., Monday, April 15, 1912. He also explained that 12:35 was Apparent time, and time in New
York was 10:45 p.m. Sunday night. Was he right? Was Carpathia's clocks 1 hour 50 minutes ahead of clocks in New York?
Or, was this another piece of erroneous information that was blindly accepted as true all these years?
Navigational Inconsistencies of the SS Californian
This article, in PDF format, looks at a number of navigational inconsistencies in the information reported in the logbook of the
SS Californian. In particular, I show that Californian's reported noontime position for April 14, 1912, was slightly in error, a
result of a simple entry error when her longitude was recorded in her logbook. After correcting for this small error in longitude
we find all calculated dead reckoning (DR) positions from 9:40 a.m. to 10:21 p.m. fall neatly into place for the reported course
headings she was put on, and consistent for the speed that she was making that day. We also show that her logbook entries for
that day, which were later written up, were not in agreement with several wireless messages she sent out, and offer direct
evidence that the DR stopping point derived in this paper agrees with the actual position Capt. Lord sent to Capt. Gambel of
the Virginian before receiving back official word about Titanic on Monday morning.
Finding the Apparent Floatation Pivot Point (AFPP)
To someone looking from far away as Titanic slowly trimmed down by the head over a period of some 2 ½ hours following
the collision with an iceberg, the ship would have appeared to be slowly pivoting about an axis on her original waterline located
somewhere about 1/3 the vessel's length from the stern. This short technical paper derives the location of this Apparent
Floatation Pivot Point (AFPP) when the vessel's draft aft and draft forward are know. It also shows why the location of the
AFPP remains about the same location as more water entered the ship in a relatively confined space forward, and also shows
why the angle of trim would tend to increase in direct proportion to the volume of floodwater that came into the vessel in the
early stages of flooding.
The Enigmatic Excursion of the SS Birma
This article deals with unlocking a number of enigmas concerning the mad dash taken by the SS Birma to reach Titanic's
distress position on the night of April 14/15 1912, and events that took place after she allegedly arrived at the reported place
only to find a scene littered with icebergs and pack ice. We attempt to answer a number of questions such as: Exactly what
time and where was Birma when she picked up Titanic's call for assistance? When and where was Birma when she allegedly
first sighted Carpathia picking up lifeboats? Did the two vessels ever come within hailing distance of each other, and if they
did, where and when did that encounter actually take place?
The Drift of Wreckage
Using the same models used in air/sea rescue operations, this article proves that the wreckage seen by Californian on the
morning of 15 April 1912 some ten miles south of the Titanic wreck site resulted primarily from the action of a south setting
Labrador current, not by the action of the wind that sprang up at dawn. It also shows why the floating wreckage seen would be
to the south of where many of the bodies would have been, an area that was avoided by both Californian and Carpathia.
What Color Were They?
In a 2012 National Geographic special on Titanic, definitive statements made that the distress signals sent up from Titanic
threw stars that were colored, and that the color of the stars or balls could be seen through viewing ports cut in the nose cones
of signals found in box at wreck site. It has been stated elsewhere that witnesses who insisted that Titanic broke in two were
dismissed as unreliable before the wreck was found in 1985, and that just because we think we have known something for a
long time is no reason not to re-assess firmly-held beliefs when new evidence comes to light. Yet, eyewitnesses who paid
particular attention to the distress signals being sent up from Titanic, both near and far, and insisted that those signals threw
stars that were principally white in color, are now being dismissed based on faulty interpretation of what is seen on the tips of
the signals found in this box. This 16 page article challenges those definitive conclusions that were stated before a nationally
televised audience, presents close-up color photos of the box of signals discovered in the 2004 dive, and presents detailed
descriptions of the socket signals themselves and how they were fired.
Proceeding New York Unless Otherwise Ordered
This article was first published in the Atlantic Daily Bulletin, journal of the British Titanic Society, in September 2012. The
article takes an in-depth look at why Carpathia's Capt. Rostron delayed communicating his decision to take Titanic survivors
to New York, and reproduces Carpathia's most likely route of departure from the scene of the wreckage. It also explores the
question of timing, Carpathia's course made good to reach the lifeboats, and the witnessing of her arrival on the scene in the
early morning hours of 15 April 1912.
The Almerian and the Mount Temple - A Tale of Two Ships
This article was first published in the December 2012 issue of the Atlantic Daily Bulletin, journal of the British Titanic
Society. It deals with the movements of two vessels, Mount Temple and Almerian, on the morning of April 15, 1912, following
the Titanic disaster. Mount Temple was one ship that has been implicated by supporters of Capt. Stanley Lord of the SS
Californian as the possible mystery ship seen from Titanic that failed to respond to Titanic's distress signals. Almerian was
later identified by Capt. Lord as the small tramp steamer that was seen going northward near where Mount Temple was
stopped while he was heading southward on the western side of the ice field before cutting through the field to reach the rescue
ship Carpathia picking up Titanic's lifeboats on the other side. This article deals with the various claims and allegations that
have been made based on new, hard evidence that has been uncovered dealing with the movements of Almerian. It shows that
neither Mount Temple nor Almerian had anything to do with the so called 'mystery ship' seen from Titanic, and calls into
suspect the Almerian account written by Capt. Lord detailing her movements on the morning of April 15.
Thirty Seconds Lost?
In this new and expanded article we look at the timing of the order to turn Titanic away from the object sighted ahead after the
lookouts sounded their 3-bell warning. We show that to completely avoid striking the iceberg without further actions, the
hard-astarboard helm order would have had to come within 5 seconds of those 3 bells, offering the 1st officer on the bridge
very little time to assess the unfolding situation. We also show that the opportunity window to take any successful avoidance
action was only 15 seconds or less. Once it became clear to the 1st officer that the ship was just too close to avoid striking the
object that loomed ahead, he had little choice but to attempt to minimize the potential damage to the ship. Ironically, if he
would have waited another 5 seconds before issuing those helm orders, it is possible the ship may have been saved despite
being badly damaged in the bow.
Mistakes in the Night
This is a new article dealing with the issue of why Titanic's distress positions transmitted by wireless in the early morning hours
of April 15, 1912 were so far west of the wreck site. It explores how simple mistakes made in haste can produce erroneous
results. The first, a simple mental error on the part of Captian Smith when comparing the time difference between two events,
and then an error by 4th Officer Boxhall when reading from the wrong column in a traverse table.
We Could Not See One Body
This revised and expanded article deals with the issue as to why Carpathia and Californian did not report seeing many floating
bodies amongst the wreckage on the Morning of 15 April 1912. It also looks at how the general circulation of current in that
part of the Atlantic may have affected to paths of vessels on their way to the rescue, as well as the locations of bodies and
wreckage sighted several days after the disaster.
Lights to Port - Lights to Starboard
In 1956 two passenger liners, the SS Andrea Doria and MS Stockholm, collided in one of the most famous shipping disasters
of the mid 20th century. It was later called the first major radar assisted collision in the history of shipping. This article
presents a detailed report into the circumstances that led up to the collision and subsequent loss of Andrea Doria that resulted.
A shortened version of this article was originally published in two parts in the journal of the Titanic International Society in
Voyage 75 and Voyage 76, in the spring and summer of 2011.
The following is a list of articles that I authored or co-authored and published on-line. You can view these by clicking on the
title which should take you directly to the article.
Copyright © 2007-2015 Samuel Halpern. All rights reserved.