Ballard article in the DEC 2004 issue of National Geographic


Feb 14, 2011
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The December issue of National Geographic magazine is out, and on page 96, is Dr Ballard's surprisingly short artcle "Grave Site Or Gold Mine?" can be found.
Visually the article is impressive, with a large foldout of the new wreck mosaic, but all the photos in the article are to be found in the new book.(i.e no new pictures)
There is an interesting artists rendering of what the profile of the wreck might look like by 2112..
And there is a crystal clear photograph of Capt. Smith's bathtub-

As for the text, Ballard attacked all past expeditions he was not a part of of having damaged the wreck in some way...

Perhaps Dr Ballard has forgotten that he set the Alvin down on Titanic's deck on more than one occasion......
Oddly enough Titanic is not on the cover of this issue-but rather there is a picture of planetoids....

regards


Tarn Stephanos
 
Jun 12, 2004
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So do I, especially of the stern. That ought to be very enlightening.

>>As for the text, Ballard attacked all past expeditions he was not a part of of having damaged the wreck in some way... Perhaps Dr Ballard has forgotten that he set the Alvin down on Titanic's deck on more than one occasion......<<

Maybe he considers himself some kind of authoritative sentinel over the site, since he was the one who discovered it. Obviously he thinks he has some form of 'special privelege' with Titanic, which, at least in his mind, explains why he has put Alvin and other equipment on deck. To him, he wasn't causing damage, only "performing the necessary contact for close up research."

Still, we need someone to take charge of this issue. Whom shall it be?... ;) hehe.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Ballard was not "the one who discovered the Titanic wreck", but was rather CO-LEADER of the 1985 expedition that found the wreck.

There were other people involved in the discovery, and thier contributions deserve recogniation.
Plus remember, Dr Ballard was in his cabin when the discovery was made, so others on the expedition should be credited with the actual discovery (or at least be given some credit)..

My frustration with Dr Ballard is he does not give credit where creit was due.
I'm wondering if the good Dr.Ballard has ever heard the saying
"There is no 'I' in 'teamwork'".


I have my doubts..

regards

regards


Tarn Stephanos
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Still, we need someone to take charge of this issue. Whom shall it be?... ;) hehe.<<

Well, if I had to choose any one person for the job, I think I'd go for James Cameron. I don't know if he'd be masochistic enough to want the job, but when you get down to it, he seems to have done more...or at least published more...on the wreck then anyone else, and he did it without picking up even so much as a teacup. The list of others who can say the same you can count on one hand with fingers to spare.
 

Mark Draper

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Nov 9, 2004
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Cameron would be a good choice to do a good film survey for Titanic, Ballard no. Besides, judging from Ballard's constant yammering, he doesn't want anyone to go to Titanic except for himself.

Also yeah, Ballard took way too much credit for Titanic. Infact PBS aired a documentary in 1999 called The Battle for Titanic, and in it, alot of the people who went with the 1985 expedition were not happy with how Ballard took all the credit without even a word of thanks for his team. IFREMER wasn't happy either, they helped find Titanic, but Ballard just dismissed them.

IMO, if anyone should get as many chances to return to the wreck it's both Cameron and Ken Marschall. Besides, Cameron is very good at planning ways to dive on the wreck without getting into trouble.
 

Mike Bull

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Dec 23, 2000
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If I had my way, James Cameron, Ken Marschall and associated crew/experts etc would be down there for weeks at a time. 2001 was stunning; there MUST be another expedition like it!
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>Ballard was not "the one who discovered the Titanic wreck", but was rather CO-LEADER of the 1985 expedition that found the wreck.

There were other people involved in the discovery, and thier contributions deserve recogniation.
Plus remember, Dr Ballard was in his cabin when the discovery was made, so others on the expedition should be credited with the actual discovery (or at least be given some credit)..

My frustration with Dr Ballard is he does not give credit where credit was due.
I'm wondering if the good Dr.Ballard has ever heard the saying
"There is no 'I' in 'teamwork'". <<

Tarn,

Yes, I know this and I completely agree with you. Ballard has gone down as the one who discovered Titanic, right or wrong, but his own doing or by the doing of the media. I was applying tongue-in-cheek sarcasm. Just thought I'd let you know.

As for Ballard giving credit where credit is do, where a person holds the public light as well as a very influential position, he/she tends to do what he/she deems favorable without much criticism. I'm not saying that's ethically right, nor am I saying that it is an absolute condition (as it doesn't always work that way), but that's the way it usually works. With Ballard, it may not have been the case, but he managed to get himself into the spotlight fast, which worked to his advantage. Once he did that, he gained an audience and then even a following....
 
Apr 11, 2001
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So true, all the sentiments expressed above regarding the eternal preface, "Titanic Discoverer" before Ballard's name. Yet, searching around for precedents, it seems every blasted expedition leader's name tends to get slapped on the discovery, whether or not that singular person in fact was actually literally on the spot at the very moment of discovery or achievement. By the same token, the buck also stops at the top of the chain of command in the military and at sea with the Captain, whether or not at the actual helm at the moment of disaster or failure. Glory or blame-usually neither is the case for just one person. I would have preferred simply that Ballard be remembered as simply American Expedition Leader of the joint effort. But it makes a less catchy sound byte-and I suspect the moment he might have caught and corrected "Discoverer of the Titanic" to include the broader crew went right by and will never be revisited!
 

James Smith

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Dec 5, 2001
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Not trying to say anything for or against Ballard, but just for clarification's sake, per the article:

"Just aft of the number one cargo hold I saw three separate submersible landing sites. I'd landed not far from here myself in 1986 in Alvin . . . before I became aware of the possible effects of such contact."

--Jim
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Good points Shelley!

I noticed in the film and book following James Cameron's 2001 expedition, Mr Cameron seemed to put great stock and value in recognizing the contributions of expedition members and researchers like Ken Marschall, Parks Stephenson and Roy Cullimore.
James Cameron is not out for the glory- He has a genuine interest to explore Titanic, and share the findings with all of titanic buffdom.

Dr. Ballard on the other hand has at times been vague and secretive in what he has seen at the wrecksite, and he has never been as bold and daring to explore the interior of the ship.
I still think the good doctor would not be inclined to acknolwlege the contributions of others, but would rather overstate his own importance....

Who should oversee and protect the wreck? Good question- But Dr Robert Ballard would be one of the last people I would pick.

I favor further Cameron style expeditions of the interior-

I agree with what Parks Stephenson once posted on ET, in that some of the Marconi Room equipment should be recovered, thus artifact retrieval must continue.
But carried out by whom? If RMS Titanic Inc's implosion continues, who knows....
I would love the see the recovery of the frame of the grand staircase skylight, a picture of which is in Ballard's new book.
And yes, I favor the dives for the public, and if and when I have the bread, that is most likely the manner in which I will visit Titanic.

Just my humble opinion...
Regards


Tarn Stephanos
 

Dan Cherry

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Mar 3, 2000
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Tarn,
from what I've seen (two pictures) of the top portion of the aft GSC framework, it looks rather fragile, and very incomplete. I wouldn't be sure how a retrieval of such an intem with so many weakend protrusions would be able to be recovered.
Regarding salvage, my personal opinion leans toward the 'graveyard, please don't touch' viewpoint. I do see the validity of salvage, though. Each side has its pros and cons. I've observed Titanic artifacts firsthand, but found most of them ineffective in stirring emotion, with the exception of the personal effects. I think mostly because I've seen a lot of the items pictured in books, magazines and period photos that I am 'used' to seeing them. The D-deck shell door, the bench end, the cherub, the tiles - no real effect by seeing them up close and in person...

I've no problem with people visiting Titanic - for me, it's all a matter of the intent and context in which the dives are being made.

As far as exploration of the wreck, I believe James Cameron, hands-down, has contributed more to the Titanic community than most before him, including, yes, Ballard. Ballard was instrumental for laying the groundwork by participating in the expedition that pinpointed the wreck, but it's the ones who have gone one step further with that seed that has made the difference in giving the world a better vision of the wreck.

Just my two cents...
Dan
 

Mark Draper

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Nov 9, 2004
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Yep, Cameron would be the best pick for me to film the Titanic wreckage.

For the aft GSC dome framwork, taking that up would be relatively easy. You simply shovel it up with the sediment it rests on, then once on the surface and ready to be cleaned up, use the same process old gold miners did in rivers, sift the silt and mud through a screen. Any debris that fragile should go through that procedure to protect it's fragile structure and it would be alot easier than just lifting it out of the mud.

Another artifact I would like to see is the hatch cover Cameron filmed in 2001. Imagine seeing that in an exhibit
happy.gif
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Don't forget (from another thread) - if we can collate some ideas then we can write a collective letter to the National Geographic bemoaning Ballard's me-me-me-me-me-me-me attitude. For starter:

his attitude that he solely discovered the wreck;
his changing stance on salvage (correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that his first anti-salvage stance was in the first edition of "Discovery of the Titanic" in October 1987, after the French expedition);
Ballard 1985 companions' statement that Ballard doesn't give credit where its due;
His incomplete photographic record in 1985/6, where he didn't opt for a full wrecksite expedition, but just to go for photogenic targets;

If we are talking about exploiting the wreck then surely Ballard has to be the first offender in this respect. His test of Argo and JJ were to test new military technology with as much fanfare as possible.

Paul
--
http://www.paullee.com
 
Jan 29, 2001
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However it was not a TITANIC cover-story as someone had previously told.

The photographs are stunning in clarity and amongst the ensemble of a two-page spread, aside from the shoes one can make out hair comb and hair attire, no doubt the contents of a 1st class passenger.

The mosaic is nice but I did not care for the vairiations in color. I feel Paul Mathias's work to be superior.

Michael A. Cundiff
USA
 
Jan 29, 2001
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ADENDUM: Two video clips (& other pics) from the recent Ballard expedition are also featured on the NG website
Check them out at:
nationalgeographic.com/magazine/0412

They are worth the wait...

Michael A. Cundiff
USA
 

Mike Bull

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Dec 23, 2000
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I read on here somewhere that ALL the pictures in NG are also in the book? I'm only interested in buying it when it comes out here for the larger version of the mosaic, which hopefully will be easier to study than the one in the tightly-bound book.

Personally, I didn't care for the Mathias mosaic much; poor on details, and they made the ship look like a giant brown...never mind.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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With all due respect to Ballard and James Cameron, blessed with the gift of putting vision on film, why, oh why do we ignore the obvious choice of the one most able? -One who has made more dives to the wreck than anyone else, with expertise in all areas and has been a major, yet unsung and unapplauded player in this continuing, unfolding saga-yes, I mean Paul Henri Nargeolet. My dream team would include P.H. as pilot, Captain and expedition leader, along with hull analyst Dr. Roy Cullimore of Canada, conservation folks from Electricite de France, Ken Marschall who has no equal in capturing, envisioning and reproducing detail, and and Matt Tulloch who knows a thing or two about organizing such an undertaking. If only....
 

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