Shallow Angle Break Theory

Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Tyler J Frederick on Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:36 pm

With pleasure. However, we are talking about 705 accounts, so, it's going to take me some time. However, I will tell you that one of them is Jack Thayer. He did a sketch from memory right after the sinking & he saw Titanic pitch her stern at 45o. And let's for the movies A Night To Remember & Titanic. That is all for now. Tyler J Frederick
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby George Behe on Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:38 pm

Hi, Tyler.

I'm afraid Thayer didn't draw that sketch - Louis Skidmore did. In any case, Thayer later denied ever saying that the ship broke in two, so Skidmore's drawing of a 45-degree angle can't really be taken at face value. Even so, I'll look forward to seeing the other survivor accounts that you mentioned.

All my best,

George
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Timothy Trower on Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:03 am

Incidentally, while preparing the manuscript for The Night Lives On, Walter Lord and I both corresponded and talked by phone about the ship having broken in half -- Walter challenging me to go back to the survivor accounts and pay close attention to them, and to the masses of cork insulation and wreck wood found floating on the surface after the ship sank.

This easily predated Ballard's discovery of the Titanic (even though the book carries a copyright of 1986), and at the time we talked, Lord had already gone from thinking that the ship sank intact (1955) to knowing through survivor's accounts that the ship, had indeed, broken in half.

As much as I admire Bob Ballard for having a great deal to do with finding the ship (this in spite of the fact that Jack Grimm had imaged the wreckage on one of his earlier expeditions -- he just didn't recognize the feature on the seabed) he is not the first to say that the ship broke apart. Indeed, and memories are just a little hazy, but Ballard initially thought (and once said) that he had bumped into the ship's second funnel, and that the ship was still in one piece.

I would be very cautious with hero-worship as you seem wont to do.
All the best,

Tim

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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Tyler J Frederick on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:10 pm

What's hero-worship go to do with it? And that John Thayer denying that Titanic broke in two is a new one on me. Tyler Frederick
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Tyler J Frederick on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:12 pm

I'm sorry. It seems I haven't been paying attention lately. I meant what's hero-worship got to do with it.
Tyler
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby George Behe on Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:02 pm

Hello, Tyler.

>And that John Thayer denying that Titanic broke in two is a new one on me.

Thayer's statement is contained in his "The Sinking of the SS Titanic," which was reprinted by the THS a number of years ago.

George
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Genevieve Laursey on Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:05 pm

I have it open in front of me now. He describes a meeting with some engineers, and Thayer says "I did not say she broke into separate parts, but that some bending and breaking did take place."

Later on he mentions a meeting with Lightoller in 1914: "We went over our experiences and checked our ideas of just what had happened. We agreed on almost eveyrthing, with the exception of the splitting or bending of the ship. He did not think it broke at all."

- a great contrast to what he said in 1912. But then there are many differences and additions in 1940. One day I shall list them all !
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Timothy Trower on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:50 pm

Tyler,

You are blindly worshiping those who you like at the expense of the historical record. Just because Robert Ballard was on the expedition that found the Titanic doesn't mean that his word is better than the historical record, and he was certainly not the first to say that the ship had broken in half. I'd come to that firm conclusion myself pre-discovery after prompting by others to examine the whole record . . . and not to blindly take the word of just one person or source.
All the best,

Tim

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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby James Smith on Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:38 pm

Tim, I wasn't aware that it had been definitively determined that Grimm found anything. Do you have a source where I can learn more about this?

Thanks--

--Jim
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Timothy Trower on Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:54 pm

Jim,

I've got the Grimm reports for 1980, 1981 and 1983, and remember that an analysis of his data shows that they flew right over the wreck site I believe in 1983. Perhaps I ought to look into the legalities of posting parts of all of these reports on the web; although Grimm is dead, most of the other principals are still alive if not still active in their fields.

It's important to note that Grimm didn't photograph, nor realize that they had found the ship, although it was certainly an anomaly that would have been revisited on a future expedition. I furnished copies of the Grimm reports to Woods Hole prior to the 1985 expedition, and suspect (but don't know) that they were used to determine where not to look for the ship.

Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word "imaged" in my earlier post (and apologize if I've caused any confusion); I've just paused to look for the reports (buried here somewhere on my desk) and I will look into posting them complete if at all possible.
All the best,

Tim

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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Genevieve Laursey on Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:51 am

The Titanic museum in Orlando used to have a sonar plot from one of the Grimm expeditions mounted on a wall. It was claimed that this was of the Titanic (it showed two traces separated by a good distance) and therefore Grimm found it first. The problems with the plot were that the two traces were orintated east-west rather than north-south, and the distance between the two segments was more than the 2000 feet between the bow and stern. I don't know what happened to this plot. When I emailed them years later, they played schtum, saying that it probably belonged to one of their trustees who was in jail at that point.
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby James Smith on Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:52 pm

Thanks, Tim.

I seem to recall that in The Discovery of the Titanic, Ballard accused Grimm of providing him with incorrect data. Do you know whether there was any truth in that accusation?

--Jim
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Timothy Trower on Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:18 pm

I cannot address the veracity of that statement; I can tell you that Ballard had (from my hand) the full reports from Grimm's team for all three years. By plotting the lines of the Grimm expeditions with that of the Ballard position of the wreck, you can see where the two intersect.

If Grimm (who certainly wanted another shot at finding the ship) really wanted to throw Ballard off, I suppose that he could have done so easily by manipulating the data shared. But since Grimm is dead, and his published work mentions nothing of the kind, we may never know the answer to your question.
All the best,

Tim

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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Jim Keller on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:16 am

It's important to remember that in the scientific community, credit for a discovery goes to the individual or team that first identifies a phenomenon, demonstrates it, and publishes the result. If another team's data is later shown to have demonstrated the phenomenon earlier, credit for the discovery does not get reassigned, since that team had not understood what they were looking at (though it's useful for validation of the later-recognized result). I don't think anyone can realistically claim that Grimm deserves credit for the discovery over Ballard. Grimm had a lot of false hits in his search, and it's pretty clear that Ballard was the first to clearly and unequivocally identify the wreck. I think the fact that the Grimm data does show the wreck site should be taken merely to intensify the drama when we tell the story of the race to be the first to locate the ship.
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Timothy Trower on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:16 pm

Jim,

You've said it in a nutshell.

Time and distance from the Grimm expeditions tend to make us forget the "propeller" photo and the wonderfully descriptive artists conception of the ship sitting on the side of a valley, canted over like a melting ice cream cake.

Of course, neither was real.
All the best,

Tim

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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Alrik Vilhelmina on Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:28 am

Hello everyone. I's not posted much over the years now. I still read the board. Did anyone print a book about those early expeditions?

Alrik.
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Timothy Trower on Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:56 am

Grimm's book Beyond Reach is the only one that comes to mind right off. Other books and articles have dealt with the early days of exploring for the ship, such as Joy Waldron Murphy's article in Smithsonian Magazine in the mid 1980s.
All the best,

Tim

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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Joshua Noble on Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:11 pm

A new theory just occurred to me. Now please bear with me as I try and explain it. I'm thinking the Titanic was at a semi-shallow angle, maybe 50-55°. The stern began to break but not completely, causing the ship's lights to go out and with it a large almost explosive sound. The ship then goes to a 90° angle. The ship is still semi-intact as she disappears from view, settling back on the way down. The ship is still settling back as she picks up speed right after disappearing. The speed of the ship, weight of the stern, and other components cause a final and violent separation and both sections go their separate ways. This theory would explain many conflicting accounts (Thayer, Lightoller, etc.) and explains the missing 100 feet and the collapsed part of the bow.
Hello, Lights, Are you warm?
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby steve on Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:22 am

at one point I was agreeing with the low angle theory, but looking through eye witness reports. yes they all contradict the breaking, some say she sank intact etc etc, but one thing after reading eye witness accounts over the past few days, they almost say the same thing, they saw the ship rise at a high angle. Some probably did it to protect WSL's reputation in how they built ships that saying the ship break in half may hurt WHL, heck we heard some eye witness accounts say she broke in half like knife through butter.

Here is one eye witness account from First-class Passenger Arthur Godfrey Peuchen ( I saw her bow pointing down and the stern up; not in a perpendicular position, but considerable...I should think an angle of not as much as 45°It was intact at that time.

We always get these types of explanations, the ship breaking in half is a different story, but the angle of the stern when the lights were on is always consistent.
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Re: Shallow Angle Break Theory

Postby Jim Buchanan on Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:58 pm

There is evidence from Trimmer Dillon that the ship did indeed break between the third and last funnels.

Dillon was standing on the poop when Titanic sank. He left her poop deck when it was 12 feet under water.
However, before she submerged her stern, he stated that the stern of the ship came level and at that time, he saw number four (the last) funnel cant topward him. In other words it seemed to him to be falling aft toward him. There are three ways that could have happened:

1. The bow rose out of the water.
2. The funnel broke from it's mounting and fell over.
3. The ship split vertically forward of the funnel and the action caused the hull to briefly arch upward at the split.

Number one is a non-starter.

In case number two, if Titanic was down by the head any more than the rake angle of the funnel, gravity would have caused number four funnel to fall away from Dillon and toward the bow.

That leaves case number three and it would not take a great deal of imagination to picture what might have happened.
If it did happen then there is little doubt that a shallow angle break took place.

Why should that part of Dillon's evidence be discounted? After all, he was up on the poop for 50 minutes before the ship finally sank.
In fact Dillon said he though the stern came briefly back to the surface before finally diasppearing!

Jim
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