United States Senate Inquiry

Day 9

Testimony of James H. Moore, cont.

That is the code of the Titanic.

Still calling C. Q. D. Our captain reverses and steams for M. G. Y. We are about 50 miles off.

That is, roughly, the position I gave him, which afterwards proved within a mile, as far I could say.

10.48. Frankfurt answers "M. G. Y."

Which is the Titanic.

Titanic gives his position and asks, "Are you coming to our assistance? D. F. T." -

That is the Frankfurt.

Asks, "What is the matter with you?" M. G. Y. replies. "We have struck iceberg and sinking. Please tell captain to come."

Senator SMITH.
Let me see. "M. G. Y." was the message from the Titanic?

Mr. MOORE.
Yes, sir. He has given me the code here, according to each ship, sir.

Senator SMITH.
That indicates that the second message was a further call of distress?

Mr. MOORE.
Yes, sir. Of course, the distress signal was going. We first caught it at 12.30 by our ship's time, sir.

Senator SMITH.
You think we are getting what the Frankfurt got?

Mr. MOORE.
These are the messages that crossed between the two ships, sir, which we caught.

Senator SMITH.
The Titanic and the Frankfurt?

Mr. MOORE.
Yes. I have a code here. Perhaps I had better give the names.

Senator SMITH.
I wish you would.

Mr. MOORE.

Frankfurt asks, "What is the matter with you?" Titanic replies. "We have struck iceberg, and sinking. Please tell captain to come:" "O. K. Will tell the bridge right away."

That means that the Frankfurt asked if the Frankfurt's operator should tell the captain of the Frankfurt right away, and the other man says, "O. K. Yes; quick.." That is, the Titanic's man said, "Yes; quick."

10.55. Titanic calling S. O. S.

- which is the other distress signal - the new distress signal.

Senator SMITH.
The signal of the Berlin convention?

Mr. MOORE.
Yes, sir; I suppose it is.

10.57. Ditto.
10.59. Working M. R. A.

Senator SMITH.
Who is that?

Mr. MOORE.
That must mean that he is not working with the regular current, sir; that perhaps he is on his auxiliary. I can not understand that. I think that must be the auxiliary.

Senator SMITH.
I think I understand you, captain, and I thought I did at first, because the water had at that time submerged the other source of electric supply.

Mr. MOORE.
The dynamo, sir.

Senator SMITH.
And he was now drawing on his auxiliary from the upper deck?

Mr. MOORE.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
And that is what that indicates?

Mr. MOORE.
But before that, sir, he is still calling "M. K. C.," whatever that is. I will look that up. (After referring to code.) "M. K. C." means Olympic. He is calling the Olympic, then, at 10.59.

Working M. P. A.

That must be the auxiliary, because that is not a code for any ship he has given me.

11 o'clock. Calling M. G. N. and C. Q. D.

"M. G. N." is the Virginian.

11.10. Calling C. Q. D.

Senator SMITH.
Do you know who " M. R. A." referred to?

Mr. MOORE.
No, sir; I think that must be the auxiliary, because there is nothing here. Perhaps I have made a mistake. This looks like "M. P. A."

Senator SMITH.
Would that be the Corona [Caronia], or do you know?

Mr. MOORE.
I think there is a mistake there.

Senator SMITH.
The Carpathia is "M. P. A."?

Mr. MOORE.
It may be "M. P. A.," but he has "M. R. A." Perhaps that is the Carpathia.

Senator SMITH.
I do not want you to guess. If you know, you may tell.

Mr. MOORE.
I think that is the Carpathia, "M. P. A." He certainly has "M. R. A." here, but he has given "M. P. A." for the Carpathia. So that would be:

10.59. Working the Carpathia.
11. Calling M. G. N. (the Virginian) and C. Q. D.

That is the distress signal.

11.10. Calling C. Q. D.
11.20. Gets Olympic and says "Captain says get your boats ready. Going down fast at the head." Frankfurt says, "Our captain will go for you."

Senator SMITH.
What hour is that?

Mr. MOORE.
11.25.

11.27. Titanic calling C. Q. D. and Baltic.
11.30. Still doing the some.
11.36. Olympic sends service message to Titanic. Titanic replies, "We are putting the women off in the boats."

Senator SMITH.
Anything else?

Mr. MOORE.
Titanic says:

C. Q. D. Engine room flooded.

Senator SMITH.
What time is that?

Mr. MOORE.
11.41, sir.

11.43. Titanic tells Olympic, sea calm."
11.45. D. K. F. -

I do not seem to have gotten that. I expect it should be "D. F. F."; but he certainly has "D. K. F." He has not given me that is this code. "D. F. F." is the only one that commence with a "D."

"Are there any boats near you already?" No reply.
11.47. Olympic sends service message to Titanic. Titanic acknowledges it and sends "R. D."

I can not make anything out of that. I suppose it is "regards." It looks like "regards."

Senator SMITH.
Does that give the hour?

Mr. MOORE.
That is 11.47.

11.55. Frankfurt and Russian liner Birma calling Titanic. No reply.

A. m. Monday, April 15, 1912.

12.10. Olympic, Frankfurt, Baltic calling Titanic. No reply.
12.35. Birma tells Frankfurt it is 70 miles from Titanic.
12.50. All quiet now. Titanic has not spoken since 11.47 p. m.

Senator SMITH.
The last message you picked up from the Titanic was "regards," was it not?

Mr. MOORE.
I really do not know what it was. It says "Rd," sir. Of course, we abbreviate sometimes when we are sending messages.

Senator SMITH.
I think it was very thoughtful of you, Captain, to bring the operator's notes. It is the most complete information we have had concerning messages from the Titanic, their records all being destroyed. Have you anything further to read?

Mr. MOORE.
Yes, sir; I have a lot, sir.

12.50. All quiet now. Titanic has not spoken since 11.47 p. m.
1.25. Carpathia sends "If you are there, we are firing rockets."

Senator SMITH.
This to you?

Mr. MOORE.
No, he sends this to Titanic:

If you are there, we are firing rockets.
1.49. Carpathia calling Titanic.

Senator SMITH.
Let me ask you right there, did you see the rockets from the Carpathia?

Mr. MOORE.
I never saw any rockets whatever, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Is it possible that this passenger from Toronto, who claims to have seen rockets, may have seen the rockets from the Carpathia at that time?

Mr. MOORE.
I do not think it possible, sir, because if the Carpathia was farther away it is not likely you would see her rockets. But you see, this ship says she is sending rockets up. So it is possible that other ships may have seen them. I do not know. I thought of sending rockets up, but I thought it far better to let it alone, because if other ships - they thought they saw them - might be coming to me, and I had not seen anything of the Titanic and did not know exactly where she was; because I think, after all, the Titanic was farther east than she gave her position, or, in fact, I am certain she was.

Senator SMITH.
East or south?

Mr. MOORE.
East, sir.

Senator SMITH.
How much farther away?

Mr. MOORE.
I should think at least 8 miles, sir, of longitude.

Senator SMITH.
What makes you think so?

Mr. MOORE.
Because when I got the position in the morning I got a prime vertical sight; that is a sight taken when the sun is bearing due east. That position gave me 50º 91/2' west. I got two observations. I took one before the prime vertical and on the prime vertical. We were steering north at the time, steering north to go around this pack again, to look out, to see if we could find a hole through the ice, and we took these two positions, and they both came within a quarter of a mile of each other; so that the Titanic must have been on the other side of that field of ice, and then her position was not right which she gave.

Senator SMITH.
Does that indicate to your mind the possibility that after striking this iceberg, in the position that has been indicated by these wireless messages, the Titanic drifted -

Mr. MOORE. (interrupting.)
Excuse me, sir. It was such a short time I hardly think the drift would be anything like that, sir; nothing like that.

Senator SMITH.
And you could not imagine her going far under her own power after that impact?

Mr. MOORE.
I understood she stopped. I don't think she would go astern on it.

1.40. Carpathia calling -

Senator SMITH. (interposing)
Just one moment.

Does the fact that you found no evidence of the wreck when you got to the Titanic's reported position tend to confirm you in the idea that her position was 8 miles farther to the southward?

Mr. MOORE.
No; to the eastward.

Senator SMITH.
To the eastward?

Mr. MOORE.
Yes.

Senator SMITH.
That tends to confirm you in that belief?

Mr. MOORE.
Yes, sir. My observation was this: My fourth officer took two observations, and of course, he is a navigator, and also, an extra master's certificate is held by him, which is a better certificate than mine, and he took those observations both times, and both of them tallied. One came 50º 9 1/2' west and the other came 50º 9 3/4'. Of course, it proved afterwards when, after coming southward and trying to find some place I could get through, on the way back again - I suppose about 6 o'clock in the morning - that I sighted the Carpathia on the other side of this great ice pack, and there is where I understand he picked up the boats. So this great pack of ice was between us and the Titanic's position.

Senator SMITH.
As given by her?

Mr. MOORE.
No, sir. I was in that position. I was to the eastward of the position the Titanic gave me, but she must have been to the eastward still, because she could not have been through this pack of ice.

Senator SMITH.
As I recollect, the captain of the Californian, who was sworn yesterday, and who went to the position given by the Titanic in the C. Q. D., also said that he found nothing there, but cruised around this position.

Mr. MOORE.
I saw the Californian myself cruising around there, sir.

Senator SMITH.
She was there when you were there?

Mr. MOORE.
She was there shortly after me, because when I came to this great pack of ice, sir, as I remarked, I went to the southeast to try to get around them because I realized that if he was not in that position - I had come from the westward - he must be somewhere to the eastward of me still. Of course, I had no idea that the Titanic had sunk. I had not the slightest idea of that.

Senator SMITH.
At that time?

Mr. MOORE.
No, sir. It was not until I received word from the Carpathia that she had picked up the boats and the Titanic had sunk.

Senator SMITH.
And then you gave it up?

Mr. MOORE.
I stayed there until 9 o'clock.

Senator SMITH.
It was not until that time that you gave the ship up?

Mr. MOORE.
That I gave up hopes of seeing her, sir, because I was cruising around all that time.

Senator SMITH.
How near the Carpathia did you get that morning?

Mr. MOORE.
This pack of ice between us and the Carpathia, it was between 5 and 6 miles. She did not communicate with me at all. When we sighted her she must have sighted us.

Senator SMITH.
On which side of the ice pack was the Californian?

Mr. MOORE.
The Californian was to the north, sir. She was to the north of the Carpathia and steaming to the westward, because, after I had come away and after giving up my attempt to get through that pack, I came back again and steered back, thinking I might pick up some soft place to the north. As I was going to the north the Californian was passing from east to west.

Senator SMITH.
And you were also cut off from the Carpathia by this ice pack?

Mr. MOORE.
Yes, sir; by this ice pack. He was then north of the Carpathia, and he must have been, I suppose, about the same distance to the north of the Carpathia as I was to the westward of her.

Senator SMITH.
Were there any other vessels in sight at the time the Titanic was supposed to have gone down?

Mr. MOORE.
We saw, as I have mentioned, this tramp steamer.

Senator SMITH.
And that is all?

Mr. MOORE.
About 8 o'clock we sighted the Birma.

Senator SMITH.
How far away?

Mr. MOORE.
We could just see smoke when we first sighted her. We just saw the smoke, and then we saw the yellow mast and yellow funnel. I thought it might possibly be the Olympic, and we steered toward her. Shortly after she was coming up very fast and we saw she had only one mast - that is, one funnel, rather.

Senator SMITH.
I recall that, but what I want to get at is this. The captain of the Carpathia testified before the committee in New York that he saw but one body in the water.

Mr. MOORE.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
When the lifeboats came alongside.

Mr. MOORE.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
And that he cruised around for an hour or more after he took these people from the lifeboats on board and saw none. The captain of the Californian said yesterday he saw none. You say this morning that you saw none?

Mr. MOORE.
I saw none whatever, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Does that indicate that the Titanic might have sunk in a different position?

Mr. MOORE.
I do not think it proves anything, as far as my going is concerned, because I must have been at least 5 miles to the westward of where the Titanic sank.

This great field of ice was 5 miles at least between us and the Carpathia, where she had picked up these lifeboats.

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