BALLARD Article


Jun 12, 2004
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I'd be curious as to what Michael Standart thinks of the 'wired Titanic' theory. Ballard says it's possible, but is it possible at that great distance below the surface? How would the flow of electrical charges affect the Titanic, even while keeping in mind the use of insulated wires? Or would sonar or radar equipment stationed near the wreck make that possibility safer and easier?...

Interesting article. Thanks, John.
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Feb 14, 2011
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Typical Ballard....


in his mind, only HE should dive Titanic...

I haven't a shred of respect for the man....
He has taken full credit for the findings of all the expeditions he has been on, and downplayed or ignored the contributions of others...

I think Ballard is still seething that the 2001 Cameron expedition rendered him (Ballard) totally irelllivant....

Ballard's proclimation that submersible visits should end is likley motivated out of a desire to prevent further Cameron style expeditions, that could potentially draw attention away from Ballard.

Im wondering, since in Ballard's book, the good Doctor wrote 'nothing of historic value has ever been recovered from the wreck'. if thats so, then why protect the wreck at all, if it contains nothing of historic importance?

Bah!!

regards


Tarn Stephanos
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I'd be curious as to what Michael Standart thinks of the 'wired Titanic' theory. Ballard says it's possible,<<

Dr. Ballard is probably right about it being possible. Practical and feasible may be a whole 'nother smoke. Sooner or later, all that expensive and extensive hardware would need attention of some kind, either for regular maintainance or to carry out emergency repairs. Having all of this at ~12,450 feet and accessible by only a few submersibles only four or five months out of the year could make this rediculously difficult.

Mind you, I'm a deckplate sailor and hardly a qualified expert on electronics. Systems of the required durabilty and reliability could very well exist. At these depths, they'ed better. If something breaks, it could be a long time befor the repairman could get out there.
 
May 12, 2005
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The man won’t be satisfied until Titanic is turned into "The Ballard Museum of All I’ve Done And Don’t You Just Love Me." But the press is to blame, I’m sorry to say. Reporters keep sniffing him out and letting him rattle on.
 

Eric Paddon

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Jun 4, 2002
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This is once again, Robert Ballard the arrogant hypocrite demonstrating as always that he wants the Titanic to be only about himself, and that the hard work done by many others in the last 18 years that have told us more about the Titanic than he ever did, should be rendered null and void by his decree.

And yes Randy, the press is guilty of not doing their homework on this and eating up all of Ballard's bovine scatology like it were ice cream. He has become the biggest snake oil salesman I have ever seen in connection with the Titanic.
 
May 12, 2005
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Well this reporter has avoided Ballard. The two articles I've written about the exhibition did not contain quotes from him, except basic comments from a press release authorized by NGC. The people I interviewed personally were a spokesperson for the channel and Phillip Gowan, who supplied images of the passengers. The last time I interviewed Ballard was in 1998 or ‘’99 and it’s not an experience I care to repeat. Reporters who speak to him need to ask him tougher questions than they do. The problem is (from my experience) when you do that, he cuts you off and ends the session. He must be in charge and will not accept criticism. He’s a floor show, that’s all there is to it. Praise him and he lights up the room. But ask him a question that he doesn’t want to answer and he’ll hedge or argue and before you know it, you’re dead in the water. Hand shake. Goodbye. NEXT….
 

Jim Kalafus

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About the whole virtual museum thing he keeps touting- I am not sure if the technology to do it exists yet, but it would be interesting to see him attempt to "bring the idea to life" on a more easily accessed, better preserved, wreck in shallower water to see if A) the expense of setting up such a museum could ever hope to be recouped, judging by the quality of and interest in, the finished result, and B) could the fibre optic tour be made interesting....or would it be like one of his videos, with endless shots of murk, a brief glimpse of preserved floor tile and a sudden cascade of rust obscuring the view for the next ten minutes? Perhaps Mr Ballard might want to test out his act, so to speak, on one of the popular East Coast dive wrecks (such as the well preserved Pinta or Stolt Dagali, or deteriorating but endlessly fascinating USS San Diego, all off the coast of NJ) as a test run for the projected museum. He could then step up to a more challenging well known wreck (Andrea Doria comes to mind) and then triumphantly use the accumulated knowledge to implement the oft mentioned virtual museum. I am of course being facetious- I see about as much chance of the museum happening as I do someone suggesting "Let's build a Jetsons style plastic dome over the wreck, drain the water from it and create a Titanic- themed underwater biosphere" and finding the backers and technology to make it feasible.
 

Scott Newman

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I actually watched the NOVA special on the Britannic last night, and Ballard actually discusses the virtual museum idea quite a bit. It seemed at the time that the Britannic was going to be "thee spot" for his great museum...but I haven't heard much about that either. It seems to me that he left a lot of unfinished business at the Britannic, (finding the mine's anchor chain, traveling inside the wreck, creating the virtual museum)...of course, I could just be imagining things.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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I suppose as long as Ballard is the one in charge, its all that matters (in Ballard's mind that is).....

I have said it before, I'll say it again- the 2001 Cameron expedition proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that there must be additional expeditions to explore the deep interior of the wreck.

Ballard would have us believe looking at photos of Titanic's forepeak in his book is all we need to get close to Titanic.
The Cameron expedition rendered Ballard irellivant, and I think this latest Ballard expedition was simply a way for Ballard to steal the Titanic spotlight back from James Cameron.

Ballard doesnt seem as daring and willing to take risks as Cameron in exploring the deep recesses of the wreck, so if Ballard can't do it, noone else can either....
Bah!

Ballard was a rude ******* to me when I met him at the 1987 THS convention, and my impression of him now was as negative as it is was after his rude outburst to me in 87'....

Regards


tarn Stephanos
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Why don't we write a joint letter to Nat Geo et al. detailing our points one by one? I'd be willing to write and send the letter, if it was agreed by every signatory, which we could do by email before sending it off.

If you like this idea, please email me, or pst here. I've read bits of his latest rant and its egocentric bullying.

Paul
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http://www.paullee.com
 
May 12, 2005
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Jim Kalafus brings up a good point. A site like Lusitania or Andrea Doria would be ideal. It’s too bad Ballard won’t go for it. It’s maximum publicity he’s after and Titanic guarantees him the spotlight. If he truly cared about the technology or about exploration he’d go for the site that’s more feasible and the one that would have a potential for impacting most on history. In my opinion, that spells Lusitania.

Those in the know were deeply dissatisfied with his dives there and they feel there’s a lot left to discover. There are so many mysteries about Lusitania’s loss that it is a crime more hasn’t been done to explore her. She is historically the more important wreck by far. But the glare of the world’s attention is cast on Titanic and so Lusy languishes in her shadow.

Maybe things will change but I have my doubts.

I’m also more than agreeable to Paul Lee’s suggestion. If it’ll do some good, why not?

Randy
 
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>>Jim Kalafus brings up a good point. A site like Lusitania or Andrea Doria would be ideal.<<

Indeed he does and great if it works. However, if it doesn't, the smart money is that it won't work very well at 12,450 feet and pressures of over 3000psi in one of the most hostile and unforgiving stretches of ocean in the world. The North Atlantic has been killing the biggest and the smallest vessels by the thousands for several centuries worth of time. It's not much of a stretch to see how it can kill cameras, bouys, and relays.

>>Why don't we write a joint letter to Nat Geo et al. detailing our points one by one?<<

So long as our concerns are expressed in a level headed and impartial way, (And without the ad hominums ) I have no problem with supporting such a letter. Not that I blame anyone for some of the annoyance expressed here. It certainly appears well justified on the face of it. The problem is that justified or not, hostile overtones won't go over too well. One catches more flies with honey then vinegar and all that.
 

Jim Kalafus

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I WAS being facetious, of course. I think that the underwater museum idea is inane. The cost, on a wreck like Pinta which is a small ship in about 130 feet of water, would likely be staggering. The difficulties encountered on the Lusitania would be even more so. Then imagine the cost and difficulty of establishing such a museum on Titanic. And then there is the tedium factor.....physically diving on a largely deteriorated wreck must be quite an adrenaline rush, but watching unedited footage of long LONG expanses of tangled wiring, rust cascades, and unidentifiable metal shards is HORRIBLE (I know- I've watched a friend's unedited dive footage) which is why documentararies are always so tightly edited. Since there IS a lot of high quality documentary footage already out there, I can't imagine that watching "live broadcast" of exactly the same site on a monitor in a museum would represent an improvement.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Another similar article in USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/discoveries/2004-11-14-titanic-usat_x.htm
Other than his own Institute for Undersea Exploration- does anyone know of any historical society devoted to Titanic, or Titanic-related project in the U.S. or Europe to which Bob Ballard has contributed since 1985? Someone posed this question to me today-and I was hard-pressed to recall any such gesture. I recall his huge speaker fees, not to mention the profit and royalties from the numerous book sales. When I think of it, Bob could well fund a whole blasted museum and state-of -the art conservation for every artifact ever brought up. Now there's a thought!
 

John Clifford

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Another thought: in order to check on the feasibility of any attempted "interactive museum" idea, wrecks in low level waters have been mentioned.

However, if a serious attempt to test such a device could be marketed, one could try to make an excellent case on how it could benefit the US Navy, and then a "not too intrusive" review proposal might be made for the USS Arizona site. Yes, that would call for someone with excellent advocacy skills (which leaves me out).

I know many veterans and victims' relatives would be upset, but a study of the Arizona structure could, if carefully and properly performed, yield valuable insights for this technology (for example, outer hull deterioration rates) and as it is inside Pearl Harbor, it would probably be easier to test any technology, with a land connection. Also, any test would include a mandatory moment of tribute to the entombed sailors, and all who died on December 7, 1941.

Another idea: how about a test on the Empress of Ireland site, which has been visited and salvaged several times? The Empress could demonstrate, just as much as Titanic, the consequences of repeated visits and retrieval trips, as well as possible obstacles to be wary of, especially as at least six divers (I believe) have died on the Empress site.
 

Mark Draper

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Nov 9, 2004
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An uderwater museum could work, but at that depth? I see a slight problem with that and the cost of trying such a thing.

Also I don't agree with Ballard's repeats of banning other visitors to the wreck. That's selfish IMO. Everyone, depending of course, should see this relic of history. I like the idea of both filming/ documenting the wreck and salvage. The Titanic is deteriorating and I think stuff should be saved from that decay before the ship is gone completely.
 
Mar 28, 2002
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After weighing up the pros and cons I have to agree with Mark. Do we wait until the Titanic finally caves in on itself and everything inside is lost to us forever? Or do we bring up as much stuff as is humanly possible? Of course, after everything is brought up it should be on display to the public and not lounging in someone's private collection.

No, I have no qualms about salvage. It's not plundering or stealing or grave-robbing. And from what I'm reading about Ballard, well.... I'd love to know what he said to Tarn in '87.
 
May 12, 2005
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My point on the underwater museum thing was not that it was a good idea or practicable. I wouldn’t know about that. The point was Ballard will only focus on projects in which he can get the most publicity. He doesn’t care about history or he’d be interested in other more important wrecks.

Despite my distaste for Ballard, I agree with his stance on the wreck in many particulars. It should not be salvaged. It is a grave (in my opinion) and it should be protected in some legal manner. But I am not in support of outlawing dives to photograph and explore the wreck and the new sea life discovered there. I don’t think science should be impeded but greedy salvagers should.
 

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