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Nautical Research Group Discovers Some Significant Findings on the Wreck Site of RMS Titanic




Sun Jul 24, 8:00 AM ET
(PRWEB) - New York (PRWEB) July 24, 2005 -- Nautical Research Group has returned from a highly successful scientific research expedition to RMS Titanic. In the course of processing the high quality digital video shot on Titanic last week, two startling observations of note were discovered. Preliminary findings have revealed that Titanic is in an advanced state of deterioration and some data may provide new clues to how she broke up near the surface.

The first significant observation was that the mast has finally collapsed in the area above the bell stanchion. In a recent scientific article that Nautical Research Group president, David Bright will present at Oceans 2005, our corporation reported from our 2003 Titanic expedition significant morphological changes in the bow structures on Titanic. In particular, the 2003 photometric data revealed a split in on the left side of the mast above the crow's nest with very distinctive crumbling of the metal on the right side of this same portion of the mast.

Last year, Dr. Robert Ballard filmed this area extensively and although they were able to verify our observations of the mast being damaged in this area, it was still rigid and intact. Over the past year, this area has weakened and we can report that the mast has now collapsed exactly at this position. Although the mast is intact, it now looks like an "L" supported upward by the forecastle of the ship. We will be publishing digital footage of this mast position in the next 6 weeks.

The second observation of note was one that was not expected. We found a life boat davit on the stern section of the ship, more than a half mile away from the bow section of Titanic. Many historians have thought that the break-up of Titanic was more aft than any of these davits and therefore the discovery of a davit in this area is most significant. This piece of data may suggest that Titanic broke up more forward than what was originally thought. Further analysis of this observation will need to be done. For the latest information on the analysis of the Titanic data, visit our corporate weblog at http://shipwreck.blogs.com .

Nautical Research Group, Inc., a private Delaware corporation, is a consulting firm that provides full service discovery, exploration, research and analysis on the sea and shipwreck disasters throughout the world. Our group of professional consultants are the leaders in their field for the scientific analysis of ships, shipwrecks and their historical preservation. Additional information about Nautical Research Group, its underwater projects and research services are available at http://www.nauticalresearch.com .

# # #

NAUTICAL RESEARCH GROUP, INC.
David Bright
908-892-3312
E-mail Information
 

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Mr T. said:
The second observation of note was one that was not expected. We found a life boat davit on the stern section of the ship, more than a half mile away from the bow section of Titanic. Many historians have thought that the break-up of Titanic was more aft than any of these davits and therefore the discovery of a davit in this area is most significant. This piece of data may suggest that Titanic broke up more forward than what was originally thought. Further analysis of this observation will need to be done.

Please don't let this be an excuse for another film wth that dreadfull theme tune!!! :(
 

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I watched a programme about the latest expedition to Titanic on the Discovery Channel over here last night.

Apparently the next expidition is going to look at the engine room to try and ascertain the effect that a boiler room fire that ran for 4/5 days prior to sinking had.

I was amazed that a ship with such a critical problem set sail at all...
 

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THe Independent: James Cameron Interview

10 August 2005 23:03


James Cameron: My Titanic obsession

While directing his Oscar-winning movie, James Cameron became fascinated by the real ship. The only thing for it was to explore the wreck himself. James Rampton hears why

Published: 09 August 2005



The director James Cameron would be the first to admit that he is obsessed by the ocean. Ever since he first plunged into the murky depths at the age of 16, the film-maker has been unable to kick the underwater habit.

He has dived into the subject again and again in his films - from his debut feature in 1981, the ultimate schlock-horror B-movie, Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (which he now laughingly calls "the finest flying piranha film ever made"), to the eerie deep-ocean fantasy, The Abyss, in 1989, and of course, the multi-Oscar-winning Titanic.

According to the director, who turns 51 next week, "beside film-making, the underwater world has always been my other love. So if I get an opportunity to be able to put the two together and to make a film on an underwater subject, then I can't be happier. If I had to choose one over the other, I would probably dive."

So he was very pleased to be offered the opportunity to combine his two great passions on his latest project, Last Mysteries of the Titanic, which is showing on the Discovery Channel on Saturday. This is a fly-on-the-wreck view of the Titanic, which lies two and a half icy miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. For the purposes of the programme, Cameron helms a flotilla of state-of-the-art research subs down to the stricken ship. The aim is to gain access, for the first time since the craft plummeted to the ocean floor, to what explorers see as the Titanic's two "holy grails": the ship's Turkish baths and its boiler room.

He says he relishes the sheer unpredictability of non-fiction. "Documentaries are hard," he asserts. "The kind of filming I had done before, where you have a script and you know what you're doing, is easy by comparison. When you're shooting a documentary, you never know whether you're wasting your time every time you start squirting off some footage, or whether this could be the moment of gold."

Cameron, who was born and bred in Kapuskasing, Canada, goes on to explain his love affair with documentaries about the deep. "When I was a kid, exploration was the most important thing. When I realised that I wasn't going to be an astronaut and I wasn't really going to go to other planets, I became very interested in the ocean.

"The imagery that Jacques Cousteau was putting on television back then in the mid-Sixties made me realise that there are alien worlds right here on Earth that you can explore for the cost of the Scuba equipment.

"I still have the same urge to explore and to understand the wonders of the natural world. Now I'm getting to live that fantasy." A fortune estimated to exceed $50m may well be helping him achieve that goal.

An imposing, 6'2" figure with a neatly clipped, greying, beard, the five-times-married Cameron bubbles with enthusiasm about the life aquatic. A self-confessed "nerd from Kapuskasing", he is utterly immersed in all things maritime. As he outlines in exhaustive detail the technological advances that have been made in submarine filming over the past few years, he breaks off for a moment to laugh: "I must warn you, I'm into this stuff."

Cameron first became intrigued more than a decade ago by the story of the Titanic, the grand liner that was launched in 1911 amid a blizzard of ticker-tape and hype. Less than a year later, at 2.20am on 15 April, 1912, its crew ignored all warnings of impending danger, and the ship struck an iceberg and sank. Of the 2,208 people on board, only 705 - predominantly women and children - survived.

The director worked the story up into a $200m shipwreck epic which soon sailed into the record books as the highest-grossing movie of all time. It rang up an eye-watering $1.7bn at box offices around the globe.

Cameron returned to the subject two years ago when he piloted a sub down to the real wreck of the Titanic to make the 3-D documentary Ghosts of the Abyss. So why, all these years after his initial interest was pricked, is the film-maker still hooked on the story of the mighty liner that came to a mightily sticky end?

"I felt I'd finished with it after making Ghosts of the Abyss," Cameron concedes. "But a little voice in my head kept saying, 'You've only searched 30 per cent of the wreck.' And so I thought, 'This is unfinished business. We now have new smaller, more sophisticated vehicles. Let's finish the job and make the definitive archaeological survey.'"

But, more than that, Cameron emphasises that the Titanic has immense symbolic significance. "You have to start from the fact that the Titanic is different from all other shipwrecks," reflects the director, who has made several other marine documentaries, including Expedition: Bismarck, Volcanoes of the Deep Sea, and Aliens of the Deep.

"The Titanic has a great metaphorical and mythical value in the human consciousness. Is it the most compelling thing in the world when we need to find a cure for Aids and millions of people are dying in Africa? No, on that scale, it's not a priority. But you have to think of the Titanic in terms of a feature film or a novel - something that touches people's emotions. Wrecks are human stories. They teach us something about ourselves. A wreck is a fantastic window into the past. Steel can't lie - it doesn't have an agenda. These wrecks are like time-capsules. We'll put parking lots over battlefields, but underwater these sites are frozen in time. By visiting them, we can touch history."

So what does the Titanic have to teach us today? "People cluck and say it's not relevant because the class structure of that time doesn't exist anymore, but it really does. Contrast the way we in the West live with they way people live in, say, Africa or Indonesia. There is still first class and there is still third class. We're all living on one big blue spherical Titanic." Cameron continues that there are also lessons to be gleaned from the way the ship came to grief. "Like the crew of the Titanic, we've identified the icebergs, but we're not reacting quickly enough as we approach them. By the time they reacted to the icebergs, their fate was already sealed. That's a great metaphor for today. Think about global climate-change. By the time we see evidence of it, it will be too late - a collision will inevitably occur. Mr Bush might have some questions to answer about that."

The director gives another example of what we can learn from deep-sea treasure-troves. "Look at the wreck of the Bismarck, the Nazi ship that I explored a couple of years ago. That opens a window onto a specific time in history. It gives us an insight into a certain mindset and makes it more immediate. A lot of kids watched Expedition: Bismarck, and all of a sudden to them the Second World War became more real.

"It's a way for me to give something back, in a sense, and not just be a taker, who just makes films and makes a lot of money, because ultimately that doesn't really return anything other than entertainment value. I don't want to negate that, but I think there's so much else that can be done.''

He is awestruck by the often unheralded endeavours of scientific researchers. "I identify with them. They're basically people who don't live in a glamorous world. They live off the beaten path and spend a lot of time on ships at sea. They're, in a sense, cloistered in academia, but they're really heroes because they're at the cutting edge of human exploration. They're at the frontier of knowledge."

He believes that the work of such pioneers underlines the shallowness of our celebrity-fixated society. "Most people are involved in making money. Unfortunately, in our society you are seen as a chump if you don't do that. People who pursue other dreams are the ones who interest me most, whether they are artists, explorers, writers, scientists, or people looking for some greater meaning or other purpose. I think these are the only people worth knowing and worth celebrating.

"Unfortunately, our Western society tends to celebrate the wrong people, people who entertain us in a very superficial way but don't entertain us intellectually. I don't have any problem with those folks, I just don't think that they should be put on a pedestal." After winning 11 Oscars for Titanic in 1997, Cameron was himself put on a pedestal by Hollywood moguls. He could have named his movie - and his price - but elected not to repeat himself with endless clones of his greatest hits.

Finally, though, he thinks the time is right for him to return to feature films because he can now harness new technology to make something entirely fresh. Unsurprisingly, he has opted for an almost insanely ambitious sci-fi blockbuster. It is clear that the director of such ground-breaking films as The Terminator and Terminator 2, Aliens, The Abyss, and True Lies wants his comeback movie to make as big a splash as they did.

Inspired by Japanese graphic novels, he is currently developing Battle Angel, a cyborg thriller set in the 26th century. "It's going to be a mega-budget film shot in 3-D," Cameron enthuses. "It's set in a post-human world in the distant future, and a number of the main characters will be computer-generated. It's a kind of virtual film-making. We're building a whole new motion-capture technology. I'm impatient to get on with using the tools of the future."

He continues: "The main thrust is a love story between a human man and a female cyborg, and the film contains a range of characters from the fully human to the fully machine. I'm embracing the fact that human beings are amazingly adaptable. We've got a lot of flaws, but we're also pretty clever. We've got the tools, but can we use them?"

So does this return to movie-making indicate that Cameron has finally got the Titanic out of his system? He reckons so. The director, who was reportedly at the head of the queue to pay $200,000 to go on Virgin's inaugural commercial space mission, says that "with Last Mysteries of the Titanic, I'm hoping we'll able to lay a few questions to rest. I've made the decision not to return anymore. We've shed a lot of light on it now, and enough's enough.It's time to move on.

That does not mean, however, that Cameron will stop being fascinated by this gigantic hulk of metal that has lain rusting on the ocean bed for almost a century. As far as he's concerned, the Titanic spell has not yet been broken.

"Over the years," Cameron muses, "I've found the Titanic story to be a wonderfully rich and renewable metaphor for the way we look at the world. I'm afraid that human nature has not changed much since 1912 - if at all!"

'Last Mysteries of the Titanic' shows on Saturday at 9pm on the Discovery Channel


The director James Cameron would be the first to admit that he is obsessed by the ocean. Ever since he first plunged into the murky depths at the age of 16, the film-maker has been unable to kick the underwater habit.

He has dived into the subject again and again in his films - from his debut feature in 1981, the ultimate schlock-horror B-movie, Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (which he now laughingly calls "the finest flying piranha film ever made"), to the eerie deep-ocean fantasy, The Abyss, in 1989, and of course, the multi-Oscar-winning Titanic.

According to the director, who turns 51 next week, "beside film-making, the underwater world has always been my other love. So if I get an opportunity to be able to put the two together and to make a film on an underwater subject, then I can't be happier. If I had to choose one over the other, I would probably dive."

So he was very pleased to be offered the opportunity to combine his two great passions on his latest project, Last Mysteries of the Titanic, which is showing on the Discovery Channel on Saturday. This is a fly-on-the-wreck view of the Titanic, which lies two and a half icy miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. For the purposes of the programme, Cameron helms a flotilla of state-of-the-art research subs down to the stricken ship. The aim is to gain access, for the first time since the craft plummeted to the ocean floor, to what explorers see as the Titanic's two "holy grails": the ship's Turkish baths and its boiler room.

He says he relishes the sheer unpredictability of non-fiction. "Documentaries are hard," he asserts. "The kind of filming I had done before, where you have a script and you know what you're doing, is easy by comparison. When you're shooting a documentary, you never know whether you're wasting your time every time you start squirting off some footage, or whether this could be the moment of gold."

Cameron, who was born and bred in Kapuskasing, Canada, goes on to explain his love affair with documentaries about the deep. "When I was a kid, exploration was the most important thing. When I realised that I wasn't going to be an astronaut and I wasn't really going to go to other planets, I became very interested in the ocean.

"The imagery that Jacques Cousteau was putting on television back then in the mid-Sixties made me realise that there are alien worlds right here on Earth that you can explore for the cost of the Scuba equipment.

"I still have the same urge to explore and to understand the wonders of the natural world. Now I'm getting to live that fantasy." A fortune estimated to exceed $50m may well be helping him achieve that goal.

An imposing, 6'2" figure with a neatly clipped, greying, beard, the five-times-married Cameron bubbles with enthusiasm about the life aquatic. A self-confessed "nerd from Kapuskasing", he is utterly immersed in all things maritime. As he outlines in exhaustive detail the technological advances that have been made in submarine filming over the past few years, he breaks off for a moment to laugh: "I must warn you, I'm into this stuff."

Cameron first became intrigued more than a decade ago by the story of the Titanic, the grand liner that was launched in 1911 amid a blizzard of ticker-tape and hype. Less than a year later, at 2.20am on 15 April, 1912, its crew ignored all warnings of impending danger, and the ship struck an iceberg and sank. Of the 2,208 people on board, only 705 - predominantly women and children - survived.

The director worked the story up into a $200m shipwreck epic which soon sailed into the record books as the highest-grossing movie of all time. It rang up an eye-watering $1.7bn at box offices around the globe.

Cameron returned to the subject two years ago when he piloted a sub down to the real wreck of the Titanic to make the 3-D documentary Ghosts of the Abyss. So why, all these years after his initial interest was pricked, is the film-maker still hooked on the story of the mighty liner that came to a mightily sticky end?

"I felt I'd finished with it after making Ghosts of the Abyss," Cameron concedes. "But a little voice in my head kept saying, 'You've only searched 30 per cent of the wreck.' And so I thought, 'This is unfinished business. We now have new smaller, more sophisticated vehicles. Let's finish the job and make the definitive archaeological survey.'"

But, more than that, Cameron emphasises that the Titanic has immense symbolic significance. "You have to start from the fact that the Titanic is different from all other shipwrecks," reflects the director, who has made several other marine documentaries, including Expedition: Bismarck, Volcanoes of the Deep Sea, and Aliens of the Deep.

"The Titanic has a great metaphorical and mythical value in the human consciousness. Is it the most compelling thing in the world when we need to find a cure for Aids and millions of people are dying in Africa? No, on that scale, it's not a priority. But you have to think of the Titanic in terms of a feature film or a novel - something that touches people's emotions. Wrecks are human stories. They teach us something about ourselves. A wreck is a fantastic window into the past. Steel can't lie - it doesn't have an agenda. These wrecks are like time-capsules. We'll put parking lots over battlefields, but underwater these sites are frozen in time. By visiting them, we can touch history."


So what does the Titanic have to teach us today? "People cluck and say it's not relevant because the class structure of that time doesn't exist anymore, but it really does. Contrast the way we in the West live with they way people live in, say, Africa or Indonesia. There is still first class and there is still third class. We're all living on one big blue spherical Titanic." Cameron continues that there are also lessons to be gleaned from the way the ship came to grief. "Like the crew of the Titanic, we've identified the icebergs, but we're not reacting quickly enough as we approach them. By the time they reacted to the icebergs, their fate was already sealed. That's a great metaphor for today. Think about global climate-change. By the time we see evidence of it, it will be too late - a collision will inevitably occur. Mr Bush might have some questions to answer about that."

The director gives another example of what we can learn from deep-sea treasure-troves. "Look at the wreck of the Bismarck, the Nazi ship that I explored a couple of years ago. That opens a window onto a specific time in history. It gives us an insight into a certain mindset and makes it more immediate. A lot of kids watched Expedition: Bismarck, and all of a sudden to them the Second World War became more real.

"It's a way for me to give something back, in a sense, and not just be a taker, who just makes films and makes a lot of money, because ultimately that doesn't really return anything other than entertainment value. I don't want to negate that, but I think there's so much else that can be done.''

He is awestruck by the often unheralded endeavours of scientific researchers. "I identify with them. They're basically people who don't live in a glamorous world. They live off the beaten path and spend a lot of time on ships at sea. They're, in a sense, cloistered in academia, but they're really heroes because they're at the cutting edge of human exploration. They're at the frontier of knowledge."

He believes that the work of such pioneers underlines the shallowness of our celebrity-fixated society. "Most people are involved in making money. Unfortunately, in our society you are seen as a chump if you don't do that. People who pursue other dreams are the ones who interest me most, whether they are artists, explorers, writers, scientists, or people looking for some greater meaning or other purpose. I think these are the only people worth knowing and worth celebrating.

"Unfortunately, our Western society tends to celebrate the wrong people, people who entertain us in a very superficial way but don't entertain us intellectually. I don't have any problem with those folks, I just don't think that they should be put on a pedestal." After winning 11 Oscars for Titanic in 1997, Cameron was himself put on a pedestal by Hollywood moguls. He could have named his movie - and his price - but elected not to repeat himself with endless clones of his greatest hits.

Finally, though, he thinks the time is right for him to return to feature films because he can now harness new technology to make something entirely fresh. Unsurprisingly, he has opted for an almost insanely ambitious sci-fi blockbuster. It is clear that the director of such ground-breaking films as The Terminator and Terminator 2, Aliens, The Abyss, and True Lies wants his comeback movie to make as big a splash as they did.

Inspired by Japanese graphic novels, he is currently developing Battle Angel, a cyborg thriller set in the 26th century. "It's going to be a mega-budget film shot in 3-D," Cameron enthuses. "It's set in a post-human world in the distant future, and a number of the main characters will be computer-generated. It's a kind of virtual film-making. We're building a whole new motion-capture technology. I'm impatient to get on with using the tools of the future."

He continues: "The main thrust is a love story between a human man and a female cyborg, and the film contains a range of characters from the fully human to the fully machine. I'm embracing the fact that human beings are amazingly adaptable. We've got a lot of flaws, but we're also pretty clever. We've got the tools, but can we use them?"

So does this return to movie-making indicate that Cameron has finally got the Titanic out of his system? He reckons so. The director, who was reportedly at the head of the queue to pay $200,000 to go on Virgin's inaugural commercial space mission, says that "with Last Mysteries of the Titanic, I'm hoping we'll able to lay a few questions to rest. I've made the decision not to return anymore. We've shed a lot of light on it now, and enough's enough.It's time to move on.

That does not mean, however, that Cameron will stop being fascinated by this gigantic hulk of metal that has lain rusting on the ocean bed for almost a century. As far as he's concerned, the Titanic spell has not yet been broken.

"Over the years," Cameron muses, "I've found the Titanic story to be a wonderfully rich and renewable metaphor for the way we look at the world. I'm afraid that human nature has not changed much since 1912 - if at all!"

'Last Mysteries of the Titanic' shows on Saturday at 9pm on the Discovery Channel
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh dear...

The Sunday Times
December 04, 2005


Explorer wants Titanic to be an undersea museum
Jessica Berry
THE explorer who discovered the wreck of the Titanic 20 years ago has disclosed that he intends to preserve its crumbling hull with a special anti-fouling paint under ambitious plans to turn the vessel into an ocean-bed museum. Robert Ballard, 63, a Kansas-born oceanographer, has long been worried about the deteriorating state of the wreck, which lies 2Å miles below the surface, 380 miles off Newfoundland.


Tiny microbes are feeding on its hull and a recent survey found that the mast could disintegrate within five years. Last summer a film crew witnessed the partial collapse of the roof of the Marconi radio cabin.
To stop the rot Ballard has come up with the idea of cleaning the hull and spraying it with a paint that would effectively seal it, minimising the damage from bugs and rust.

His ultimate aim is to install remote controlled cameras on the wreck to show the public “the biggest icon beneath the sea” from the comfort of land.

“If you can preserve Westminster Abbey, then why not the Titanic?” Ballard said last week in an interview. “Is it not one of the most historical shipwrecks in the world? Why shouldn’t we preserve it?”

The paint would be applied by remotely operated vehicles rather than humans, he explained. “There is no reason why they cannot work as well underwater as above, at 12ft or 20,000ft.”

It was 32 years ago that Ballard put forward the idea of using a submersible to find the Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912, with the loss of 1,491 lives after hitting an iceberg. Not until September 1985, however, did he finally succeed.

Ballard said he first had the idea of painting the Titanic the following year, when he discovered a section of the hull which had been below the original waterline and which was still pink, preserved by its anti-fouling agent.

As well as the effect of the microbes he has been concerned about damage done by wealthy tourists who pay up to £30,000 for a five-hour round trip in a three-man Mir submarine to visit the wreck.

Ballard has railed against such trips, claiming they are damaging the ship. He has denounced as grave-robbers those who take away parts of the vessel or the belongings of those who died there. They “are loving the Titanic to death”, he said.

He wants to start work on the bow section, which is in relatively good condition, rather than the stern, which is badly damaged.
“The Titanic is an eggshell,” the explorer said. “The deeper you go in, the more preserved it is. I just want to preserve the hull.”

Ballard is not rushing into the project, however. He will practise the techniques that he will need by joining missions already planned by the Greek and Ukrainian governments in search of wrecks in the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea.

He will then move on to the Britannic, the Titanic’s sister ship, which sank in the Aegean in 1916. It lies just 400ft down and so should be relatively easy to experiment on. “I can’t just say I’m gonna go out and paint the Titanic,” he said.

The project has provoked scorn among some marine archeologists who have aired their thoughts on the internet.

One, Jim Sinclair, wrote from Florida: “This is so outlandish, far-fetched, expensive and intrusive to the wreck it defies logic . . . Is not Bob Ballard the man who says this is a tomb for so very many people and as such should be left untouched? Of what, one may ask, is he thinking?”

Ballard is undeterred. “We have an expression in the US: how do you eat a 500lb cake? A bit at a time,” he said.
 

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Report: Titanic Sank Faster Than Previously Thought; Breakup 'Never Accurately Depicted'

By Jeff Dudas

Falmouth, Massachusetts (December 6, 2005)


The discovery of two large pieces of the Titanic‘s hull on the ocean floor indicates that the fabled luxury liner sank faster than previously thought, researchers said Monday.

After the bottom section of the hull broke free, the bow and stern split, said Roger Long, a naval architect who analyzed the find. The stern, which was still buoyant and filled with survivors, likely plunged toward the ocean floor about five minutes later.

Previous researchers believed the ship broke in just two major pieces, the bow and stern, which was how the sinking was depicted in the 1997 film version of the catastrophe. David Brown, a Titanic historian, estimated before the latest find that the stern took 20 minutes to slide into the water.

The newly found hull sections, located about a third of a mile from the stern of the wreck, were examined during an expedition in August sponsored by The History Channel. On Monday, Titanic experts met at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to discuss their analysis of the find for a documentary to be aired on the cable channel on Feb. 26.

"The breakup and sinking of the Titanic has never been accurately depicted," said Parks Stephenson, a Titanic historian who took part in Monday‘s conference.

Explorer Robert Ballard found the bulk of the wreck in 1985, at a depth of 13,000 feet and about 380 miles southeast of Newfoundland. Ballard was not impressed with the expedition‘s find.
 
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