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Dr Ballard's New Expedition

Discussion in 'The Many Expeditions to the Wreck' started by Paul Lee, May 25, 2004.

  1. Jon Hollis

    Jon Hollis Active Member

    William Barr
    The 1985 and 1986 photos were supposed to be in the public domain but seems Ballard only allowed the tip of the iceberg to be seen. It was not WHOI who released the first TV re research please
     
  2. William Barr

    William Barr Guest

    I'm curious, what was Ballard supposed to do, retire, not look for ships or just sit back and talk Titanic after he became host of National Geographic? What could he have done that would have been considered admirable by contrast?

    He was never shy about showing when he failed either as he did the first year he tried to find Bismark or how he recently failed to find Japanese subs in Pearl Harbor.

    He proved his ability (and his teams abilities) to find things several times over and they are heros for it. They had some incredible discoveries (Pt109, Bismark, Noah's Flood, Yorktown to name a few)and some expeditions where already-found ships he visited and proved little. (Lusitania/Britanic) among the more famous endeavors. He did visit Lusitania a second time also in the Lost Liners special a few years ago where he went to Empress of Ireland.

    It seems more others made their careers off Titanic after he left it and got lot's of the perks and world-wide acclaim Ballard got for their participation and wrote their own books and they were entitled to do so.

    Why should Ballard not write books or do speaking lectures, everyone does? Is he obligated to keep going back to the same places? No, but he has gone to Lusitania twice and now Titanic twice.

    Maybe this is the end for him and this is unfinished business or he's trying to protect the ship because he is associated with finding it.

    As for the report to Congress I have read these comments several times over the years. I was curious to the questions and the theme of the questions and what qualifies as " that material " because the Rybiyiat of Omar Kahyyam was/is down there and so is the logbook and he made it clear in his book he would have to contact Woods Hole if it were found for instructions.

    There is no little doubt he had thoughts of salvage but in his own words he had a change of heart. What's important is he did do not anything when presented with the opportunity to take things in 1986. The Navy had no interest in funding that kind of expedition either.

    It's also fair to say in 1987 he could have funded his own expedition and did the same things the French/RMSTI did or as Herbo Humphries was ready to do later on.

    What's important to remember is Ballard did leave the site as he found it, others changed it.

    Sure his subs bumped into the ship and he lobbied Monday against things he was doing himself 19 years ago. It does come off as hypocritical but isn't it fair to say Titanic is at a point where it has to be treated more delicate than ever?

    Who better to get out that message than Ballard?
     
  3. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Member

    "I'm curious, what was the man supposed to do, retire, not look for ships or just sit back and talk Titanic after he became host of National Geographic? What could he have done that would have been considered admirable by contrast?"

    I could have been more admiring of what he's done post-Titanic were it not for the fact that (1) he has gone out of his way to demonize the whole concept of artifact salvage as "graverobbing" while not being candid about his 1985 Congressional testimony and (2) he has demonized and slandered the character of all those who headed the salvage expeditions and has even told blatant untruths in order to advance his agenda. Robert Ballard has refused to acknowledge the good intentions of those who favor salvage and the benefits artifact preservation has brought to the long-term legacy of the Titanic and instead prefers to keep acting like the Japanese sailor on Guam who keeps fighting World War II for decades after the question was rendered academic. Once salvage took place, we needed a coming together of people on both sides of the issue so we could guarantee that an agreeable solution could be found, but for Ballard and his supporters it was always keep fighting the propaganda war and use deceit if necessary at every possible opportunity.

    "They had some incredible discoveries (Pt109, Bismark, Noah's Flood, Yorktown to name a few)"

    Finding Bismarck and Yorktown was remarkable but all he did was the equivalent of the 1985 Titanic expedition with those ships and give us no meaningful follow-up work. I suspect that Ballard realized that a sequel book on both of those ships wouldn't have had much of a market from his standpoint.

    "If anything others made their careers off Titanic after he left it and got lot's of the perks and world-wide acclaim Ballard got for their participation."

    Sorry, but I never saw anyone from RMSTI become a camera hog and publicity seeker the way Ballard did, with guest shots on Johnny Carson, a regular spot at the end of every episode of the short-lived "Seaquest DSV" show, and lecture fees etc. RMSTI's leaders at least stayed focused on the ship and trying to bring the ship to the people.

    "There is no doubt he had thoughts of salvage but in his own words he had a change of heart."

    False. I have his TV interviews from the site during the 1985 and 1986 expeditions, and what they reveal is (1) he was wrapping himself up in the "don't touch" argument on Day 1 in all his TV interviews then suddenly (2) he gave this testimony before Congress that went off in the other direction and then suddenly by the time of the 86 expedition in his interviews from the site with Ted Koppel he was back to (1) again. All of this long before there was an organization called RMSTI. And if he did this "change of heart" thing he owes it to be truthful and candid regarding what he said to Congress and explain the difference, because he has not once ever acknowledged the existence of his testimony before Congress.

    "And what's important is he did do not anything when presented with the opportunity to take things in 1986. The Navy had no interest in funding that kind of expedition either."

    And Charles Pellegrino's first book has remarkable interviews with the members of Ballard's 1986 team who almost unanimously were convinced Ballard was blowing an opportunity.

    "What's important to remember is Ballard did leave the site as he found it, others changed it."

    To me, that's only important from the standpoint of thinking that Robert Ballard wanted the legacies of Titanic to rot and dissolve and to have future generations be left with only grainy underwater photos while seeing them up-close would forever remain the domain of the privileged elite.

    "I cannot answer for the crows nest yet Ballard still contends it was knocked off. All we know is sometime between 1986 and 1987 it fell."

    Yet Ballard, with no evidence, chose to write in print a lie that it was destroyed "undoubtedly as the result of recovering the telephone." His own photos from 1985 and 86 showed there was no telephone in the crows nest when he dived on the wreck, yet that lie is going to stay in print for eternity whenever anyone reads his book. Now, he tries to say it was destroyed by recovering the bell, but there is no bell in his 85-86 photos either and again RMSTI released photos showing that both artifacts came from the debris field. In both instances, Robert Ballard was only concerned with grandstanding to score a propaganda point about the evil of salvage, and not about gathering all of the facts before making an accusation. And that does not speak well of him, nor will it ever until he retracts those comments.
     
  4. Barb Shuttle

    Barb Shuttle Member

    Hi all -- Guess I might as well put in my two cents worth.

    I watched the show Sunday night... and my blood pressure (which is normally low) was, most likely, off the scales by the time it ended. The very first thing, quite early in the show, that totally amazed me was when they were talking about the ROV's and the reporter referred to them as "Dr. Ballard's brainchild." Excuse me???? It was at that point that I knew we were in for some rough water.

    One of these days I want to see someone call Ballard on his October '85 Congressional statement, which was 100% IN FAVOR OF RECOVERY. To my knowledge, no one has had the courage to do that in a public forum. And, if they have, Dr. Bob certainly managed to bury it somewhere.

    Certainly, he has the right to explore any ship he wants. What really fries me, though, is that he says that he's not involved with Titanic for the bucks and yet his speaking fee is how many thousands of dollars??? How many times did George or P.H. attend a Titanic function and speak for nothing more than the love of Titanic and maybe cost of getting there (and most times, not even THAT)? Sure, Ballard's entitled to make money. Everybody is... but honesty would be such a novel idea.

    I'm not even going to get into all the garbage that was touted on that show. The sad part is, it seems nobody in the media has the courage to question his "facts" (and I use that term loosely --- Come Quick Distress????) or his motives or, for that matter, his honesty. He's Robert Ballard... God forbid we should do anything to make anyone think he's less than perfect.

    Yes, I'm biased. Can you tell??? In my humble opinion, this man has done more to hinder the furtherance of Titanic's knowledge than his "finding" her can ever overshadow.
     
  5. William Barr

    William Barr Guest

    Sorry Eric.

    I really do not want to go any further into the past debates at this time.

    There is a 2004 expedition going on and that's really the topic at hand. I guess talk of Ballard's new comments about old issues does bring things back to the past automatically?
     
  6. Tim,

    Sorry...I used "Dr." out of courtesy for your accomplishments, a title of which I have assumed that you have earned through hard work. I do, however, understand what you say...even though I am entitled to be addressed as "Commander" (the rank at which I retired from the Navy), I am uncomfortable whenever people use it in conversation. I prefer simply "Parks."

    Jon,

    I'm not sure what bracket you are referring to...the foremast lamp has a tongue on the back of the housing, which slid into a groove in the mast. The electrical connection was made through this contact. Could it be that you are thinking of the ship's bell?

    Parks
     
  7. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Member

    I do find it odd that you would raise these questions in an ongoing thread that by necessity require going into past debates in order for the questions to be answered, and to then say you "don't want to go further."

    Robert Ballard's continued pattern of behavior, which has remained the same for 19 years is why these past debates become necessary. All Robert Ballard has to do is stop the grandstanding and the deceit, and they won't become necessary to bring up again.
     
  8. Jon Hollis

    Jon Hollis Active Member

    > [Mr Barr I posted the information on how you could perhaps get a copy of the Hearing. I also was there and testified and sat right next to him. Even then I could see that there was going to be problems in the way he spoke by the tone of his voice and presentation he was already giving the impression this was his ship. I met with him a few times afterwards and even pinned him down about photographing the ship before 1985. Sure the man is to be lauded for finding the ship but he foune it he did not build it or own it. He went on to discover others but never followed up and the Lusitania bit was another John Kerry type Fip Flop. Befoire the expedition he said he was going to prove munitions were on board and basically hinyed he was going to uck to the British, But he ended up coming around 180 degress as they wished. Again credit where it is due but to Bahs others and just plain LATINO HEAT "Lie Cheat and Steal" is the impression he is giving to many many many. Do some Deeeeeeep research into his life and work and you might see the forest from the trees. His biggest problem is I, I, I, and ME, ME, ME , ME ......PLUS HE DID NOT FIND THE BRITTANIC as many now think...]
     
  9. Jon Hollis

    Jon Hollis Active Member

    > [AMEN!! Parks just sent you an e-mail with a photo of the mast head light showing the supportng BRACKET. Didn't have toime to play around reducing it for this post but there it is bolts nuts and all. Cheers Jon]
     
  10. Jon Hollis

    Jon Hollis Active Member

    Regarding the Mast Head Light Bracket Question by Parks. Here is the photo showing the "bracket" complete with the nuts and bolts and at the bottom you can make out what looks like s binding strap for the bracket. Which proves the light was not directly attached to the mast that there was a space between it and the mast of about 3 inches. So it was mounted on a "bracket" as this photo clearly shows. Also note the split in the mast itself. .
    87024.jpg
     
  11. I don't understand, and I always ask the same question. Why on the debris there are shoes, baggages, glass..etc and into the Ship NOTHING when into the Room there must be shoes, baggages, or a clock. Sorry, I'll never understand this.
    Thanks.
     
  12. Jon,

    I sent you another picture of the lamp being removed from the mast. That bracket may touch the lamp, but it doesn't hold it to the mast.

    Since I have a Mac, I can't reduce the picture small enough to post on E-T. Maybe you could post the picture that I sent to you so that others can see what I'm talking about.

    Parks
     
  13. Hey Parks - if you want to send me the picture you have, I can reduce it and send it back for you to post.
     
  14. >>There is a 2004 expedition going on and that's really the topic at hand. I guess talk of Ballard's new comments about old issues does bring things back to the past automatically?
    <<

    Well in fairness William, if Dr. Ballard opens the door and effectively rolls out the Welcome Mat...and he has...he shouldn't be surprised at anyone who walks in.
     
  15. Sandro: Oh I'm sure the staterooms are filled with interesting items. They are just buried under several inches of decomposed materials, paneling, ceiling material, etc. The items outside the ship are for the most part kept uncovered by the ocean current. The rooms however are a contained area, thus the debris and sediment piles up. Think of a room in a house. Dust will gather in the corners or behind chairs, but the "traffic" areas where people walk thru alot are kept clear of the dust as we walk thru. Same Idea down there too. Oh I'm sure there are plenty of things scattered on the floor that may have been covered by silt. But it is amazing what IS still visable.

    David Smith
     
  16. Jon Hollis

    Jon Hollis Active Member

    Hi Parks,
    Here is the reduced copy of picture number 2 of the Mast Head Lamp from my collection.Thanks for your personal reply and information.
    Sandro If you watch Ghosts Of The Abyss you will see remnants of clothing on the beds and Mr. Harpers Derby (Bowler) hat. Tons of stuff inside but as mentioned most of it is under piles of silt.
    Photo credits Masthead Light. Bulldog Productions in association with MARS Marine Associates Research Systems/Ifremer 87032.jpg
     
  17. William Barr

    William Barr Guest

    " I do find it odd that you would raise these questions in an ongoing thread that by necessity require going into past debates in order for the questions to be answered, and to then say you "don't want to go further."

    I guess the past debates are overshadowing what's happening currently. Actually for now I am more curious as to June 2004 because that is really the topic and what matters at present.

    I guess Ballard's comments now do bring things back to the last nineteen years and make it part of the topic also for myself and others and in some ways I guess it is a necessity. For myself at this time I would rather take a step back from that and just enjoy what's happening currently.
     
  18. Jon: I love it! Where else can one come to debate a Titanic topic like that Mast light and not only get the whole truth, but pictures to match! grin.gif Thanks for sharing that!

    David Smith
     
  19. Jon Hollis

    Jon Hollis Active Member

    Thanks David for your support much appreciated. Pity about the continuing Titanic flip flops. Seems the old adage applies very often that some cannot see the forest because the trees are in the way. Or it's my ball and if I can't play or have it my way,I am going to take it home.
    Cheers and thanks again Jon
     
  20. Paul Lee

    Paul Lee Member

    According to his 1986 Titanic interviews, Ballard didn't give any interviews in the few months after he "found" the wreck. But he must have given loads of interviews after that - so perhaps there are other examples of him changing his mind over the issue of salvage and recovery. I've been looking for an OMNI magazine interview he gave in 1986, but to no avail.

    Best wishes

    Paul
    --
    http://www.paullee.com
     
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