Published On: Wed, Aug 28th, 2019

Titanic discovery: How navy made smoking gun find while on top-secret Atlantic mission | World | News

The RMS Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, four days after the ship’s maiden voyage from Southampton to New York went sour. The White Star liner had an estimated 2,224 people on board when it struck an iceberg at around 11:40pm, and her sinking two hours and 40 minutes later resulted in the deaths of more than 1,500 people. Following the tragic events, numerous expeditions were launched using sonar to map the seabed in the hope of discovering its remains, but they were unsuccessful.

It was not until 1985 when the wreck was finally located by Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 

However, in December last year, Mr Ballard admitted this expedition was not entirely scientific.

Speaking about the now-declassified events, Mr Ballard said the voyage was part of a secret US military mission to recover two sunken nuclear submarines at the bottom of the ocean.

He told CNN in December: “They did not want the world to know that, so I had to have a cover story.”

The US Navy offered him the funding and opportunity to search for the Titanic, but only if he first explored the USS Thresher and the USS Scorpion, two American nuclear subs that sank in the Sixties.

The vessels had perished during the Cold War and the US government wanted to learn the environmental impact on the subs and find out whether foul play was involved.

Mr Ballard explained: “We knew where the subs were.

“What they wanted me to do was go back and not have the Russians follow me, because we were interested in the nuclear weapons that were on the Scorpion and also what the nuclear reactors [were] doing to the environment.

“[The press were] totally oblivious to what I was really doing too.

READ MORE: Titanic doomed: Divers discover ‘shocking’ shipwreck state

Since then, there have been several other visits to the sunken vessel, but none quite as surprising as last weeks.

In the first expedition in 14 years, divers discovered the sunken ship in a “shocking” condition as a number of once-prized sections the Olympic-class liner have been lost to sea, as salt corrosion and metal-eating bacteria gradually consume her remains.

Titanic historian Park Stephenson said: “That whole deck hole on that side is collapsing, taking with it the staterooms, and the deterioration is going to continue advancing.

“The captain’s bathtub is a favourite image among the Titanic enthusiasts, and that’s now gone.”

Source link

Most Popular News