Posts Tagged ‘robert ballard discovery of the titanic’

100 Years Later | RMS Titanic under the Northern Atlantic Ocean | Dr Robert Ballard

Monday, April 16th, 2012

100 Years Later | RMS Titanic under the Northern Atlantic Ocean | Dr Robert Ballard Video footage.  CLICK ON PLAY

Courtesy of the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT –

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Dr. Robert Ballard champions technology, education and the human story in every mission he ventures. His entwined history with Titanicis a perfect example.

Seeking to improve his ability to study undersea mountains in the early 1980s, Dr. Ballard, an ardent geologist, developed the ARGO-Jason remotely operated vehicle (ROV) system to locate and videotape underwater objects. Titanic, the ultimate deep water test site, beckoned. But what began as a challenge to test ARGO evolved into passion for the ship itself through the mentorship of Bill Tantum, founder of the Titanic Historical Society. While researching and discussing Titanic, the story of the ship, the people and the tragedy touched Dr. Ballard’s soul and “blew me right over…it was a complete surprise.”

Meanwhile, funding ARGO’s testing was another challenge. As a commanding officer in the Naval Reserve, Dr. Ballard turned to the U. S. Navy. In exchange for financial support and time to look for Titanic, he was commissioned in the summer of 1985 with a secret mission to explore two Navy nuclear submarines that went down in the 1960s in search of their nuclear reactors and weapons systems, one off the coast of Massachusetts, the other in the Azores.

ARGO proved successful and, mission accomplished, Dr. Ballard sped to the Grand Banks to search for Titanic. Though he had only 12 days to find the ship, Dr. Ballard had made an important discovery while documenting the two submarines—in both cases the downed subs left a long debris trail. Dr. Ballard calculated that if he could find Titanic’s debris trail, it would lead him to the ship.

Narrowing his search to 50 square miles, he ordered ARGO to make sweeps one mile apart. Nine days flew by and hopes were dimming. Then, at 12:48 a.m. on September 1, 1985, ARGO’s operator spotted debris. Dr. Ballard raced to the control room and entered just as ARGO glided over one of Titanic’s 29 boilers. Excitement exploded in the room. “I’ll never forget seeing Titanic for the first time in the pitch black,” he recalled. “You don’t see it until the last moment, as if someone pulled back the curtain, and out it comes from this black velvet void of nothingness.”

Music and Tips Show | Titanic Historical Museum | Mystic Aquarium Titanic Project 100 years after

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Music and Tips Titanic Historical Museum Mystic Aquarium Titanic Project 100 years after

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Catch Up Corner Guests: Erin Merz, Media Director for the Mystic Aquarium Titanic Project and Edward S Kamuda, founder of the Titanic Historical Society in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts.

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Program Details:

  • This week’s tips for travel to Titanic related exhibits and museums
  • Destination Tips, News & Tidbits from Cruise with Bruce Associate Cruise Ship Reporters
  • Listen to the last song heard by survivors of the Titanic as the ship slipped into the North Atlantic Ocean.

Courtesy of the Mystic Aquarium - Dr. Robert BallardJoin host, Bruce Oliver, of the “Cruise Radio Network’s: Cruise with Bruce™” radio program and hear travel and cruise tips 100 years after the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

As a child I recall picking up historic post cards from the White Star Line as they fell out of the barn that was being demolished after the sale of one of Enfield, Connecticut’s first historians. As the bull dozers crushed her house and barn, everything that Mrs. Karr had stored in the massive barn fell into the hole as we scurried around picking up everything we could find that fell through the cracks. It wasn’t until I visited the Titanic Museum in Folkestone, England in 1994, my interest in learning more about the sinking of the Titanic started. By the end of the 90′s world interest in the Titanic heightened after the release of the movie. I even ran into a young Chinese man who brought us up a tributary for the Yangtze River who watched the movie but didn’t realize it was based on a real ship that sank. A few years later I was invited on a cruise that I didn’t take to see the artifacts that were going to be brought to the surface by the research vessel that we would accompany. The material for this program has been gleaned from the public domain, Wikipedia and creative commons recordings. I will be telling you about exhibits, events and museums that you can visit in the United Kingdom and the United States. A couple are in the Northeast. And the oldest museum in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts was opened in 1963, just a few miles from my home.

During the 2.5 hours that the Titanic sank the band played lively tunes as loud as they could on the deck of the massive ship. According to Herman Finck, the Musical Director of the Palace Theatre, London, who spoke with Titanic survivors, later wrote: “The ship’s band in any emergency is expected to play to calm the passengers. After the Titanic struck the iceberg the band began to play bright music, dance music, comic songs – anything that would prevent the passengers from becoming panic-stricken.”

As the bow of the ship sank slowly into the North Atlantic Ocean some survivors reported that the ship’s string ensemble lead by Wallace Hartley play and while the remaining passengers could be heard singing “Nearer, My God, to Thee” along with the then popular waltz “Songe d’Automne” (Autumn Dream). Wallace Hartley, the ship’s band leader, who like all the musicians on board went down with the ship, was known to like the song and to wish to have it performed at his funeral. Now imagine being on deck that dreadful night as we listen to a rendition of Nearer, My God to Thee.



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