Bob Ballard's crew and Bob Ballard's crew alone found the wreck, it doesn't matter who had it nailed on Sonar, it doesn't matter who was going to find it on 9/3/85, HE FOUND IT FIRST, it's his discovery....Enough said.
What has happened here? Why are people arguing over Ballard's achievements? Why should anyone be arguing over Ballard's achievements in a thread devoted to "Ghosts of the Abyss"? Must every achievement in the Titanic world come at someone else's expense?
I was merely pointing out that Robert Ballard alone did nothing, that it was rather his advisors, some of whom have since been dismissed or ignored, who deserve much of the praise. This is only right to point out and I don't apologize for having done so. He has his slavish admirers and I'm proud not to be one of them. In fact I am not the only ET board member to have made the point in the past that Ballard has usurped credit rather than shared it with those of the deserving and hard-working crew of scientists and historians who made his expeditions to Titanic, Lusitania, Britannic, etc, possible. But I am the only one, it would seem, to be pounced on for suggesting that Ballard had more than a little help in his work.
Furthermore, I was not being confrontational nor inconsiderate. It was I who sounded the note of caution in the first place as to our being respectful of each other's views.
My comment, a legitimate opinion expressed completely in context, was also not off-topic. It was totally relevant. An aside to the main issue, perhaps, but not off-topic.
Lastly I have taken part in no argument. I simply responded to a statement that I found objectionable.
I was not singling you out ("pouncing") in my last post. If I had been, I would have begun my post with "Randy."
My comments were directed toward everyone who was involved with the conversation turning into away from "Ghosts of the Abyss" and into a debate over Ballard's merits. My concern about this does not mean that I am defending Ballard...as you know, I am friends with the very same advisors you mentioned and have heard and accepted their version of events. But that doesn't mean that I can't be confused by the relatively sudden change of direction this thread has taken.
This thread should not, in my opinion, be about kissing anyone's "arse." Why you felt that you had to mention that is beyond me. Nor should this thread be a condemnation of anyone who has contributed to Titanic's legacy. If you disagree, then I'll move on. I don't believe that Ballard should be denigrated to make Cameron look good, or vice versa. If I'm wrong in this, then this thread is no longer the place for me.
I want it to be clear that I believe there's room for both admiration and criticism of GotA. I may rebut someone's claim in a factual area, but that does not mean that I wish to beat down any note of dissent. If you didn't like either the film or the book, that's fine with me. A lot of people, including E-T members, did their best to produce a quality product. Even amongst ourselves, though, we disagree, so it's no surprise that people will react differently to the product. For the record, I accept those differences...the only reason I am participating now is to add or correct topics of a factual nature.
Parks - Likewise I was not referring to you re: "pouncing." And as to the "arse" remark. I removed that. Only those who have ET posts forwarded by email will be treated to that bit of silliness. My apologies there. Moreover, the "arse kissing" was not directed to you anyway. Don't assume I am aiming at you. We are beyond that I think.
I think GotA is a great book and £20 well spent. It'll sit next to Titanic: An illustrated history and Ken Marschall's Art of Titanic on my shelf.
There were lots of things in GotA I'd never seen before and it followed up on things on Ballard's books from the 80s that I haven't heard of since, such as the 'This Door for use of Crew only' sign which I was assuming would have been removed by RMSTi by now. I expect to find many more wreck revelations when I read the text in full.
Ken. For what it is worth. I will never completely understand the long hours, physical and mental strain, and what it takes to dive on Titanic, paint a beautiful tapestry, or write a best selling book, but I do have respect enough to say that I appreciate the effort you, as well as numerous other historians, have put into this, and other projects. For every person who was not satisfied with the book, and attacked you like "Bruce", I'd like to see their pictures, dive record to Titanic, and book. you have thousands behind you. Keep up the GREAT work!
In GotA, part of Cameron's personality, devotion, and love for the work he was doing stood out, and I caught it immediately. He was at the ocean's bottom, and you hear (I am pretty sure it was) Bill Paxton, chattering in amazement. For one brief moment on the screen, you can see the look of absolute concentration on James Cameron's face. He had everything and everyone blocked out, and he was completely focused. I will venture to say that in preparing to film, he carefully chose a crew of historians, those that complimented his own dedication, as well as shared and understood his dreams. I believe he had a very solid team.
May I say here, that though it is our right to disagree, and voice our opinions, very few actually post on this message board, but do watch. Especially when their names are being flung through the mud. Would you say the same thing you were in the same room, face to face with this person? I am proud to say,"Yes I would!" Several will not post here for the reason I mentioned above. The community is incomplete by the lack of shared knowledge these people have to offer. On the other hand, I can't say I blame them. I wonder how they speak about us? Do I really want to know?
For the record, I am very thankful for those who have chosen to step up to the bat and walk us through the maze of endless questions. You are to be commended.
Parks, I remember there was talk about trying to get into the boiler rooms on this board some time ago and it was to do with the bottom grounding theory or the damaged bulkhead, I really can't say for sure now. I presumed there would be something about it in the book but there isn't, not a single line. Even if there is nothing to tell, I would've appreciated some comment or other on this issue. Alas, it's the Titanic and people keep wondering what exactly happened that night, it's one of the major questions.
As for the reconstruction of the Marconi and silent room, congratulations Parks, this is by far the best bit in the whole book.
Thank you for your compliment about the Marconi/Silent Rooms. No one could have accurately reconstructed Titanic's Silent Room without the information that Cameron brought back from the wreck. I, in turn, would like to thank Jim for devoting a good portion of two separate dives -- about 50 minutes total -- to the area. In dive time, that's an extraordinary amount of time to spend in one particular area and just about every second of that footage is precious.
If there was talk on this board about exploring certain areas, that does not mean that that information would end up in the book. Also, the book could not include every unsuccessful probe or missed opportunity. All I can say is that at least one attempt (I think there were other attempts, but I can't speak to them) was made to enter the forward boiler rooms and the ROV could not penetrate without becoming blinded. Since no new information was gained from the attempt, I don't see where it would belong in the book.
The film did benefit, however. While setting up for the attempt to enter the Fireman's Passage and from there possibly BR #6, Jake looked down the spiral staircase. That sequence made it into the film...for a moment, we were standing right next to Fireman Hendrickson, sharing his vantage point as he looked passed the spiraling stairs to the Fireman's Passage below.
Is it appropriate to take one mans comments from another message board and post them here. By posting Beveridge’s comments here, there was only ever going to be one opinion based on the reviews thus far.
I would have thought that if Ken had a problem with Beveridge’s comments that he direct his opinions either directly to the individual himself or to the TRMA board.
Really, what was the point of posting his comments here. What has it achieved. Very little I imagine.
<font color="#000066">May I say here, that though it is our right to disagree, and voice our opinions, very few actually post on this message board, but do watch.
You don't know just how right you are. There are people out there who are listening, taking notes, and forming judgments on what we say and the manner in which we say it. This is a public forum and most people don't realise that they are building or busting their own reputations here.
I'll give you an example...when Actuality Productions was given the task by the History Channel to come up with a new Titanic special back in January, the producer and his staff immediately turned to the Internet. They surfed around, stopping at websites located through keyword searches, and eventually ended up in this and a couple other forums. Based on what they read, they extended invitations to certain people to participate in the programme. That's exactly how I ended up on the show. At first, I thought it was because Ken Marschall (who was also selected) gave the producer my name. I found out later that the show's producer had found my name on his own and that it was only a happy coincidence that Ken and I knew each other and could be interviewed together.
Jim Cameron has a staff that takes care of the many facets of his organisation(s). He delegates a number of responsibilities to his production crew. As they search for information, they too turn to the Web and forums like this one. I don't know if Cameron is aware of this forum, but I can assure you that some of his decision-makers are. They may not report everything they hear back to Cameron, but the decisions they make in Cameron's name can be influenced by what they see here. When I was first introduced to Cameron, he had in hand an e-mail from someone else who had seen my work on the Web and recommended that Cameron give my ideas a listen. I was totally floored by that because the author of the e-mail was not only well known, but also someone I have never met (and still haven't met), either physically or virtually. I will always owe that lurker a debt of gratitude, even though I may never have the chance to exchange greetings with him.
So, my unsolicited advice is to always keep in mind that this is not a private forum. No matter if you want to be laudatory or critical, people are judging you by your words and making decisions accordingly. This should be obvious and most people should know or sense this already. But, as in every endeavour, there are a few who just don't get it.
My apologies for taking your post as a direct response to mine. It appears that we both read these things chronologically and assume that each successive post is in response to the one before it...the great weakness of these online forums. I hope our private correspondence has straightened this out.
I find it amazing to see how James Cameron got so fascinated by Titanic over the years. No need to compare Ballard and Cameron cause their goals and motives were quite different anyway. Both have given the Titanic community a lot. Me personally I don't feel any need to criticize Cameron or GotA. Sure he cannot satisfy each and everyones personal wishes about special parts of the wreck completely. But I think with the actual Titanic movie and his incredible sets and recreations Jim Cameron gave us a great lively impression of what the ship really looked like. Far more than the few existing photographs could've done. And if he wasn't that obsessed with Titanic and he wouldn't put so much effort and work into the project there would be no GotA and we'd miss quite a lot of great pictures. I don't feel any need to always demand more and more and criticize what was left out and what wasn't possible. I think he's working hand in hand with a great team. They all have my respect and I think they're all really trying hard to make the best pictures they can and go as far as possible. Cameron so far has convinced me that if there's one man who will do whatever is possible and who will go to the absolute limits then it's him. I think he's his own toughest slasher and will not be content himself with his work as long as he hasn't made use of every possibility.
Colleen and Parks, IMO , make some very good points. The fact that we are in the public eye and that word does get around may not be something we give a lot of thought to and it would be a very good idea if we did. This Website's URL is turning up in the bibliographies of more and more newly published books on the Titanic so it's not as if anyone would have a tough time finding it. We would be very wise to consider that when posting something that might be construed as inflammatory.
When questioning somebody elses integrity and reputation, we put our own on the line as well, and everybody sees it.
as another way of possibly putting the current discussion about GotA's merits or lack thereof into context, the book might very well be a victim of its own prepublication publicity. we heard so many tantalizing clues over quite an extended period of time, that and everyone's eager anticipation contributed to perhaps a standard that no real publication could achieve.
I haven't gotten around to reading the book yet myself, though I browsed the images and found the photographs amazing and compelling. considering the buildup though, I could see how some people might be disappointed with the end result.
just a thought.
all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
Sally. Exactly what would Ken Marschall have to prove by surfacing on the said web site and personally speaking to Bruce? Do you think it would dissuade Bruce from hastily returning his book? Do you think it would have changed his view of the time and effort put into this project? Do you think Ken has the time, or desire, to sit in a forum and hash out differences with an individual? Do you think you would have seen some sort of groveling apology by Ken, stating he would personally stop the presses, pull all copies on the shelves and rethink the book to the specifications that would satisfy Bruce, before releasing it again? Ken choosing THIS web site, as one he occasionally contributes to, is an honor. His pointing out what was alleged by another is simply to prove that you cannot please everyone. Why would he post it here? Well, considering that the book was a combined effort that includes the talents of many on THIS particular web site, it was a valid choice. The way Bruce came across, no matter how much it was "his right" to state an opinion, could be easily construed as discourteous and insensitive. (Yes, moderators, I will stop here.)
You make a very good point. As one of the guilty parties, I can only say in my defence that I was very excited by what I knew could be coming our way and couldn't help but share what I thought I could get away with. I apologise if I overinflated anyone's expectations. Those with more experience told me that it would be better if I didn't say anything and I didn't always follow this sound advice.
I am still learning a lesson thanks to this project...being involved with the raw information does not give one special insight into the form a final, edited product will take. If there's a next time, I'll handle it differently.
The documentary I was referring to was "Modern Marvels: Titanic Tech," which aired on the History Channel on 1 April. I don't know when it will air again, but you can order a VHS copy here.