Did RMSTI map what they took from the ocean floor


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William Barr

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I was just curious because today they showed National Geographic's search for the Roman ships, Ballard discovered. He had his experts around and they did the imaging first, graphed exactly what they took and from where. It was said this is done so the site can be identified as it was when it was discovered.

Did RMSTI take the time to do this when they took things from Titanic or do we have nothing as to what the site looked like from when it was discovered.
 

Bill Willard

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Yes, RMST has detailed documentation for every piece recovered through the 2000 Expedition. RMST hired an outside consultant, Ken Vrana, to compile the information amassed by the company over the years.

In Federal Court, in a perioidic report hearing before the late Judge Clarke and Judge Smith, Vrana testified that the records were very detailed and thorough. I would print for you the exact quote, but I'm out of town at the moment and my files are back home.

There have always been charges that RMST just grabbed and ran. It seems that a neutral assessment contradicts those claims. RMST has never been open with all the information it has gathered, and many have promoted these claims unjustly, because (in my opinion) they see nothing else.
 
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I don't know of any that are out there, on or off line. I tried searching through the IMAC homepage, but don't seem to be able to dig anything up. Apparently, they don't really index a lot of their material, or it's buried somewhere on the website.
 

Bill Willard

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IMAC is not associated with RMST, so it wouldn't have the previous expeditions. If you do search the IMAC site, you should find an article by Pat Clyne, who also was on the 2000 Expedition, and I think an article by Michael Manyak, a doctor on the same expedition. It is interesting to note that the Executive Director of IMAC is Pat Clyne and another Director is Jim Sinclair.

Pat Clyne, it is believed, is the person who took some of Mel Fisher's ashes down to the Titanic and left them.

Paul, in previous expeditions, RMST had participants sign copyright agreements, in essence that said all photos and intellectual materials would be under a copyright of RMST. This was not done, based on my understanding, for the 2000 expedition. That's why you can read articles and see photos on the internet, plus see at least one book on the market, specifically from the 2000 Expedition.

And this practice by RMST was a fair practice. RMST was expending large sums for these people to be out at the site, and for many to dive down to the site. It is comparable to a scientist inventing a device while employed by a company. The company would own the patent for such device.
 
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William Barr

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" There have always been charges that RMST just grabbed and ran. It seems that a neutral assessment contradicts those claims. RMST has never been open with all the information it has gathered, and many have promoted these claims unjustly, because (in my opinion) they see nothing else. "

Fair enough, but it's always been interesting why there is not an exact count of things that have been brought up. Everyone has a different number and it makes it seem like a lot of speculation where there should not be. Why is there no map released of every single item recovered, where, when.

Even in the documentaries it seems with regard to some things done there have been major contradictions. For example in 1996 documentary Paul Matthias discovered sixty feet of the hull intact with his imaging. It was explained it was plotted on the map by the narrator and it was even videotaped.

Move forward to the 1998 documentary. In this program they had to find this section to prove how the ship broke in two and they made it into this dramatic, 4am, wake up the scientists search
when they finally found it.

This begs the question did anyone bother to check the mapping they said they did to find this section they did find only two years earlier? A section they even had on video and released to the public.

I guess my point is you see things like this and wonder how from 1987-2000 things have been done properly with regard to recreating the site from when it was first discovered.
 

Bill Willard

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Those are good points William.

First, "it's always been interesting why there is not an exact count of things that have been brought up".

The main reason why there are different numbers of recovered artifacts is accounting methods. Adolphe Saalfeld's bag was recovered. It is 1 bag, but in it were ampules of perfume. Do you count the bag as one artifact, or does each individual component (ampules in this case) count individually? Other examples are a bag containing personal effects. Does each shirt and each pair of pants count individually, or does the bag count collectively? This is the significant reason why different numbers exist, and it's due to the accounting methods.

As far as the expedition shows, first understand that RMST produced NONE of them, including the Telly Savalas show true Titanic fans know about. That means creative control is in the hands of those who create the scenes. The production teams do try for cinematic suspense, instead of a pure documentary. In one of the episodes, where we first tested our ROV, the TV producer had us open the gate 7 times to get the one where the chain fell just right for his creative style. It included loading up the ROV, locking the gate, driving up into the parking lot, turning around and driving back to the gate, unlocking the gate, driving trough and then unloading the ROV. He would look at the take, and then ask for it to be done again, because "it wan't quite right". So, don't blame the theatrics of the television profession entirely on RMST. Same goes for the Savalas show. Though RMST takes the blame for the show, the production company really engineered the telecast. I know George Tulloch did not like the fact they used what looked like green fishing tackle boxes to transport the artifacts and he really disliked the presence of armed security guards. Again, though, it was the TV people, not RMST.

And, being on the 1998 expedition, things did happen 24/7, and many interesting moments occurred in the wee hours of the morning. I can personally vouch for that.

While you and I would look for a scientific documentary, the TV people look for a creative topical investigation, but also a creative, artistic program as well. I can email you a couple of the idiosyncracies I had with them off board, if you'd like.

B
 
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William Barr

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You raise some good points as well. I'm sure there are lot's of things done that have to be
re-done for the people doing the documentaries, some for dramatics, television ect. And of course Joslyn had creative content control of his show and wanted huge ratings and got them.

Re-finding something they found already two years earlier and not using the stock footage from that I guess was one of them, it's just curious.

This is a complete guess on my part but at this point (forget Titanic) is there a standard practice with regarding to counting things recovered?
 

Bill Willard

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"This is a complete guess on my part but at this point (forget Titanic) is there a standard practice with regarding to counting things recovered?"

To my knowledge there is no 'industry standard' and it would be done according to how the recoverers wanted to document it.
 
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