Tuesday, 11 July 2017


One of the interesting facets of the Harlow account must surely be Captain Bruce's assumption that Waratah exploded, hence the two distinct flashes of light, moments apart, followed directly by the lights of the flagship disappearing. It is well recorded that although the prevailing wind was blowing from the position of the Waratah towards Harlow, NO sounds of explosions or detonations were heard. This was one of the weak links in the credibility of the account and applied equally to keepers at the Cape Hermes lighthouse, just over 3 miles from the last position of the Waratah, who allegedly heard nothing. 

Sound waves travel faster through cold air than through warm air. If there was a condition, prior to the arrival of a cold front, where a layer of warm air was overlying the cold sea, a phenomenon known as as acoustic shadow zone could have occurred both in the vicinity of the Harlow and Cape Hermes. The principal is based on sound being deflected upwards by the layer of warm air and not reaching the ears of those on the Harlow or at Cape Hermes, further compounded by ambient noise both on Harlow (machinery) or Cape Hermes (wind, waves crashing on rocks). 

It cannot, therefore, be assumed that Captain Bruce was being untruthful about his assessment that Waratah exploded. Against explosions would have to be great mushroom clouds of smoke rather than dazzling red light (both 300 and 1000 ft.) witnessed and no reverberation felt (see previous post 'No Sign of Wreckage). 

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