Monday, September 27, 2010


LONDON (Reuters) - Louise Patten, a writer and granddaughter of Titanic second officer Charles Lightoller, said the truth about what happened nearly 100 years ago had been hidden for fear of tarnishing the reputation of her grandfather, who later became a war hero. Nearly a century after the Titanic plunged into the murk of the Atlantic Ocean, a new secret has been revealed that could upend the existing story of how the ship sank. Until now, historians believed that Titanic rammed an iceberg because it was steaming too fast and the crew didn’t see it until it was too late. According to Louise Patten, Titanic hit the berg because the man at the wheel made a mistake, misunderstanding an order and turning right instead of left. Though the helmsman corrected the error shortly thereafter, the supposedly unsinkable ship was already on a collision course with the iceberg that would rip into her hull, taking the lives of some 1,500 people. “Turning the wheel the wrong way was a blunder,” Patten said.

Now, Patten is making the details of her family secret public in a new book, “Good as Gold.” “After 98 years, everyone who could be hurt by my writing this is dead,” Patten said. “And I thought it is probably right that the world now knows what actually happened on Titanic.” Lightoller was the only survivor to know that after the iceberg was hit, Bruce Ismay, chairman of Titanic’s owner, the White Star Line, persuaded Captain Smith to continue sailing. The truth of what happened on that historic night was deliberately buried, she said.

According to Patten, the true story of the Titanic disaster has remained a family secret for decades. She claimed her grandfather lied about the events because admitting human error would have brought lawsuits, the end of the White Star Line and the end of his job.

Patten (the granddaughter of the only senior officer to survive the wreck, Charles Lightoller) told the Daily Telegraph in an interview, that the Titanic hit an iceberg in 1912 because of a basic steering error, and only sank as fast as it did because an official persuaded the captain to continue sailing, rather than stay still afloat and wait for the rescue ship. “They could easily have avoided the iceberg if it wasn’t for the blunder.” The four flaws (desire to deceive, inattentiveness, inadequacy of the senses, and tendency to error) affect the judgment of every human being.

The conditioned soul has four defects: (1) bhrama (‘the tendency to error’), (2) pramada (‘inattention’), (3) karanapatava (‘the inadequacy of the senses’) and (4) vipralipsa (‘the desire to deceive’). Any conditioned soul has these defects. Bhrama means the tendency to think something that is true to be false and vice versa. Whatever I perceive directly (pratyaksa) or whatever deductions I make on the basis of those perceptions will be full of error. ... The word pramada means ‘inattention.’ Even when the senses do their job, the mind is not entirely attentive and so makes further errors. Karanapatava means the incapacity of the senses to properly perceive anything. And the last fault is quite devastating; it is vipralipsa, ‘the desire to deceive.’ ... Even the greatest scholars cannot free themselves of these defects when it comes to assessing transcedence. In these matters, the words of the Veda, which are not the product of human beings, are the only source of sure knowledge.

Śrīla Bhakti Promode Puri Mahārāja :

“Śrī Guru Pranali - Siddha Pranali”
A conversation with a sannyasa disciple,
Durga Puja, Sept. 28, 1998, Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha,
Cakra Tirtha, Jagannatha Puri.
Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library -

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