March 2, 2024

The ‘Spooky’ True Story : ScienceAlert

Almost immediately after the The Titanic sank in April 1912there were efforts to recover the wreck and the bodies of those who went down with the ship.

But the limited diving technology of the time prevented this from becoming a reality for more than seven years.

In 1985, the wreck was discovered during joint research by former Navy officer and oceanographer Robert Ballard and French oceanographer Jean-Louis Michel.

But the dive had nothing to do with the Titanic at first – it was a secret mission to find the wreckage of two nuclear submarines, the USS Scorpion and the USS Thresher.

Of course, no one knew that until 2008, when Ballard revealed the true nature of the mission. National Geographic.

“The Navy is finally talking,” Ballard said National Geographic in the year 2008.

Initially, Ballard met with the US Navy in 1982 to secure funding for a new type of submersible technology that would allow him to find the Titanic. The Navy agreed to fund the project – but only if it could be used to locate sunken submarines.

The USS Thresher sank in April 1963, and the USS Scorpion followed two years later, in May 1965. They remain the only nuclear submarines the Navy has ever lost.

The Navy agreed that Ballard could search the Titanic if there was any time left in the mission after finding the replacements – and after confirming whether or not the Soviet Union had any part in the sinking.

“We saw no indication of some external weapon that caused the ship to go down,” said Ronald Thunman, deputy chief of naval operations for submarine warfare at the time. National Geographic.

With 12 days left in the mission, Ballard was able to find the Titanic using a probe that had split the ship in two and left a trail of debris.

“That’s what saved our buttons,” said Ballard. “It turned out to be true.”

According to Ballard, the Navy was nervous that people would find out why they were scouring the ocean floor.

“The Navy never expected me to find the Titanic, so when that happened, they got really nervous because of the publicity,” Ballard said.

“But people were so focused on the legend of the Titanic they never connected the dots.”

So, 23 years later, Ballard revealed the truth about his mission. He also wrote about his experience finding the ship in his book ie. Discovery of the Titanic.

“There was one thing that won – finding the ship,” he wrote.

“Being there was something else. That was the spooky part.”

This article was originally published by Insider Business.

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