W5FG, Jack Najork, sends a good message - why if the recording was a
fake why wasn't it circulated.
I still have a feeling that the recording -
was done by the members of the AWA. I found Ed Gable's email address
(finally) and I am sending this to him.
Jack W5FG found the recording in Tasmania - and his last email is given below.
The recording is just too good - it was recorded locally. Parks
Stevenson hasn't written in about the tone of the spark - which would
certainly be telling because unlike other ships, the Titanic (and her
sister ships) were outfitted with a 5 kW synchronous rotary spark
Ed Gable, if you know where this recording came from, drop me a email
and I will send it onward to the various email groups that have been
---------- QTC ----------
From: J Najork <w5fgnaj@...
Date: Dec 23, 2007 4:04 AM
Subject: Re: SOS de MGY - Titanic - Real? or Fake?
To: David Ring <n1ea@...
Hi David: Thank you for sending me that lengthy msge re authenticity of the SOS
Titanic . I have one question which puzzles me. If, as you say, some
of the boys got together and decided to "make history" why did they
not promulgate their brainchild more widely? No one here or for that
matter in EU evidently ever heard this and you would think that the
"guys" would have had a lot more fun by passing their fake message
around and getting some reaction. As is, the thing was just about
lost in Australia so, good samaritan Jack decided to save
history......well, there are a lot of negative opinions out there and
that is what they are: opinions. In lieu of positive proof I'll just
go along with the opinion that the message was lost, was found, and is
of questionable authenticity but no hard proof of "fakery" exists.
Thanks again, David. I'm off jan 3 an another world cruise...68 days
around South America, Antarctica ...Look for me W5FG/MM on 18115
14153 SSB or low end of CW band. 73 Jack
David Ring <n1ea@...
Thanks for all the wonderful answers about the SOS recording of the Titanic.
There were only a few who thought it was real. Most thought it was
false, some for the keying speed, some for other reasons which we will
investigate later in this email.
Regarding the keying, many thought it was a Vibroplex, however two
people reported that they could and can send with a straight key at
that speed and that the keying in the recording was that of a straight
key. I know some whom I've heard on the air - TG9ADM comes to mind -
he is a young man - less than 20 years of age - and he sends with an
Ameco straight key - also known as a Japanese JJ38 key. He can send
25 to 28 wpm. I've heard him.
The other objection to the sending is the shortness of the dashes.
However, Phillips was a former wire telegrapher and they used a short
dash - about 2:1 ratio to speed up the transmissions. Also I've found
that when sending fast on a hand key -- "something" has to go to get
the speed - it's either the spacing of the length of the code elements
- mostly the dash.
In support of it being a fake were mentioned the "highly unlikely"
possiblity of MCE having a Edison Dictaphone - even if they realized
they had a "news story" and made a telegraph or telephone call - who
are they going to call that has such a machine? This is Newfoundland
- not New York City. However because of Newfoundland's significant
geographic location with respect to Europe, it had significant
telegraph coverage - if not telephone coverage. The trans-Atlantic
telegraph cable was at Heart's Content, NF to Valencia (where present
coast station EJK is located).
Some interesting reading on Newfoundland early communications is at
the bottom of the news release.
Others question the non-fading of the signal. A signal from 300 miles
or less - as was the distance from Titanic to Cape Race doesn't
exhibit the quick fading of the HF bands, but if it does fade, it does
so gradually often with the time of day - however 300 miles or less
was almost always solid copy with modern equipment. But most noticed
that the signal was "too loud" - I agree if the signal was received
with such a strong signal, it would have been received "somewhere"
barely received - but heard. It wasn't. Cape Race copied it fairly
I will close by giving the email from Canadian Radio Historian, Spud
On Dec 16, 2007 1:52 PM, Spud Roscoe
Here is my 2 cents worth.
It has to be a fake because none of the old boys I interviewed 35
years ago that were there mentioned it. The DF station on Cape Race
had call sign VAZ
and Reay Bridger operated that in 1919. He modulated a transmitter
with a gramophone and received several reports on the signal from
passing passenger ships. If there had been a recording like this these
old boys would have mentioned it. Unfortunately they have all been
dead at least 20 years now.
Another thing I have been given is a typewritten log for this incident.
Again false. The original logs burned when the MCE/VCE station burned
in 1919. I knew the log was a fake as soon as I saw it because it was
not written in the radio language of the day.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!
Halifax, Nova Scotia
So I conclude - with your help - that it is a fake.
Thanks for the answers and the help.
R/O US Merchant Marine (Ret)
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