Chicken bones on the wreck

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Timothy Trower

Former Member
My wife and I attended a lecture that Pellegrino held at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri (I think that this was in 1998). During his slide show, he made reference to organic remains with this illustration:

A crew in the French submersible found the base of a soup tureen sticking out of the mud. They attached a suction cup and lifted it free from the bottom. Once in a collection basket and on the surface, conservators were washing the mud out with a fine spray of water.

Out pops fragments of china, a button or two, and a sock -- and an intact fried chicken thigh. (Don't shoot the messenger; I'm merely relating what I heard!)
He theorized that since the chicken thigh was encased in an oxygen-free (and presumably bacteria-free) area that it had not decomposed.

On screen he showed a slide of said chicken thigh in a plastic bag.

Hi Tim! This interests me a lot.

I don't know much on this subject, but the only thing I would have to offer on the chicken thigh is maybe it had the benefit of being "protected" let's say, but most human remains wouldn't have that luxury. There weren't any people "contained" in anything, except maybe their cabins, which wouldn't offer much protection from the elements of the sea. The only scenario I can see that would offer any kind of protection from the elements for human remains would be if they were encased in a cave-in and literally *shoved* into the mud once the ship impacted with the bottom. (around the areas of the break-up maybe?) Really there's no other way that human remains could be protected. Dr. Ballard said in an interview that the average "snowfall" (sediment etc floating to the bottom) is 1cm per 1,000 years. Based on Ballard's words, there's no way that a body could be buried in the mud in 90+ years. The only other thing I could see would be what may be under that 3rd piece (the hull bottom recently put on the map, which is upside-down.) Who knows what might be under that? Maybe nothing.

Not sure if this post really added anything to the conversation or not. I'm worn out from a long day and my wheels are just turning on this subject. Rusty wheels at that!
>>On screen he showed a slide of said chicken thigh in a plastic bag.<<

Fair enough. If it was there, then it was there. While I'm still inclined to be cautious with it, Dr. Pellegrino isn't inclined towards perpetrating hoaxes. (Which doesn't mean that somebody else might not try it at his expence, but that's another kettle of fish.) Right or wrong, he's an honest guy.

Timothy Trower

Former Member
By the way -- I checked my notes, in this case a clipping stuck into a first edition of "Her Name, Titanic" that I had taken to be autographed -- and the date of the lecture was 14 April 1998.

I saw the article in the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" that morning, and my wife and I drove the 3 1/2 hours to St. Louis that evening!
I understand that I was just curious as to if this was true or not. The refrence is near the begining(sorry about spelling) of the book. It is written in a way that makes it seem like it was a real occurance and maybe after reading the refrence somebody can clarify. I will try to read the refrence and post it here when I do .
Yes, it is true, it is mentioned by George Tulloch and Roy Cullimore. If this was false, they would dispute the claim.

Slight add on: the bones were discovered in a battered soup tureen in ‘96. There were multiple layers, and in one there lay the lamb bones. Ultimately, George Tulloch placed a moratorium around that area of the stern, in case there were more bones to be find
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