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 (about the discovery of the ship by Dr. Robert Ballard)

Dr. Robert Ballard is also involved with the EDS JASON Project which promotes science education.


September 1, 1985

Discovery of the Titanic

A joint French-U.S. search Sept. 1 discovered the Titanic luxury liner in the Atlantic Ocean some 500 miles (800 km) south of Newfoundland.

The sinking of the supposedly invulnerable ship on its maiden voyage in 1912 was one of the most famous disasters in history. More than 1,500people lost their lives.

Location of the vessel after 73 years and many fruitless searches created an international clamor. Expedition members tried to keep the Titanic's exact site a secret so as to discourage salvage attempts that could risk lives, mar the ship and disturb the victims' resting places.

The ship, 882 feet (269 m) in length, rested upright some 13,000 feet (4,000 m) beneath the ocean's surface. The ship's stern was split off and one of its four smoke stacks was missing, but otherwise cold and pressure had preserved it almost intact.

Small, recently developed remote-control submarines shot some 12,000 color photographs and extensive videotape of the ship and its surrounding wreckage. One such submarine, the Argo, had first happened upon one of the Titanic's boilers, simultaneously sending images by television camera back to monitoring scientists aboard the U.S. Navy ship Knorr.

U.S. participation in the search had been largely for the purpose of testing the Argo and its newly developed system of lights and TV cameras. Its use allowed scientists to scan the ocean floor for as long as they wished while they remained safely aboard ship.

The Knorr and Argo belonged to the U.S. Navy, but the American members of the expedition were drawn from the private, non-profit group that had developed the submarine, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute of Woods Hole, Mass. They had chartered the Navy ship and chosen the Titanic as a quarry on which to test the Argo. Robert D. Ballard led the group.

France's part in the search was overseen by the government Institute for Research and Exploitation of the Sea. Jean-Louis Michel headed the French team aboard the research ship Suroit.

The Suroit had combed some 80% of a 15-square-mile (40-sq-km) area by means of high-precision sonar developed in France. The Argo then happened upon the Titanic in the remaining 20% of the area, after first receiving an indication of the hulk's site by means of the same sonar technique.

Where do you want to go on the "Ship of Dreams"?

1st Class: Profiles of those passengers that fascinate me the most
2nd Class: Books, movies, and multimedia on Titanic worth a look
3rd Class: TITANIC Quiz!
The Bow & Stern: Lyrics to songs (Nearer my God to Thee, Eternal Father Strong to Save, & Come Josephine in my flying machine)
Grand Staircase: Titanic Related Links
Titanic Movie Quiz:  Try the Movie Quiz"
 The Crow's Nest: Titanic Article(s)
Wireless Room:  Awards to win from me, and Awards that I have won! (if you have a movie or historical Titanic Site!)
The Decks:   Links to my webpages!
Lifeboats:  HOME PAGE OF "Ship of Dreams"

Will you draw out Leviathan with a fish hook? - Job 41:1