Ghosts of the Abyss book


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Oct 13, 2000
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Parks, no apology is necessary. the excitement about this book was a communal effort. ;-) nearly everyone was fired up about it. my comment was just meant to suggest that for some people, when you get really excited about a forthcoming project, your expectations can sometimes surpass what is humanly possible. this has happened to me often with major motion pictures. I find that if I had low expectations of a film, if it was even marginally good, I ended up being satisfied with the movie. other times when I have had super high expectations, there is some slight disappointment with the final product; I had just built it up too much in my mind.

from the vast majority of posts on this thread, it is obvious that for most people, the book has lived up to people's expectations and then some!

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
 

Steven Hall

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I don’t understand why Bruce’s comments were reposted here.
I somehow believe Bruce is not going to get invited to join any future expeditions. His only crime is that he says what he thinks. 5 years from now, he will still be researching the ship. To him the ship is a passion, no an obsession.
Bruce is a mate. I might not agree with everything he says, but at the end of the day, he is mate.
If people don't like my opinion - they can lump it as far as I'm concerned.
 

Erik Wood

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As a Moderator:

Let's refrain from phrases like: "If people don't like my opinion - they can lump it as far as I'm concerned.

Opinions and those that counter opinions are always welcome. Let's keep it friendly.
 
Mar 3, 1998
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This appears to be another practical example of what I said just above:

"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...No matter if you want to be laudatory or critical, people are judging you by your words and making decisions accordingly."

My comments pertain to any public Internet forum. Comments posted in an Internet forum can end up anywhere, including another forum. There is nothing wrong in that, as far as I can see. This is a thread devoted to comments about the GotA book. Ken copied public comments from another forum as an example of critical comments about the GotA book. He violated no one's privacy, no copyright laws. More importantly, in a forum where people complain that only positive comments are being aired, Ken posted a negative counterpoint. Heck, I would have posted the negative review from Salon.com if doing so didn't violate a copyright law. Would anyone have complained about that?

Ken added his own feelings about Bruce's comments to his post, but he neither altered any of Bruce's words nor suggested what people should do as a result of those comments. All things said, Bruce spoke for himself...if people are uncomfortable with that, then maybe they should look to the source.

Parks
 
Jan 7, 2002
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I for one found the book to have surpassed my expectations in every way-
The quality of the text was excellent, the quality of the photos were breathtaking-
Of particular interest to me was the photo of the collpased gymnasium, which at once settled the long tossed about debate 'is the gym ceiling caved in'? many- even Ballard didnt beleive it, now we all know otherwise......

Parks, on a technical question, was the layout of the marconi room/silent room on Titanic generally the same as what was on Olympic, or was it radically different?

I read one unique feature of the Britannic's wireless room was there was a pneumatic tube connecting the wireless room the the bridge, so an messages pertaining to dangers ahead could be relayed at once....

Also Parks, I think you once posted youd like to see the marconi equipment recovered and possibly restored....Which component(s) would you most like to see recovered?

tarn Stephanos
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Tarn,

Olympic's Marconi Room was originally located on the port side of the Officer's Quarters. The operator sat facing the port side, where there was a small window. Titanic's Marconi Room occupied the same space as Olympic's Officers' Smoke Room and Pantry. Later, Olympic's Marconi Room was moved to the same location as Titanic's. There is a single photograph of either Olympic's later Marconi Room or Britannic's Marconi Room (the picture was identified in a THS Commutator issue as being of Britannic, but there is no corroborative evidence of which I'm aware to prove if it's later Olympic or Britannic). That picture shows a different equipment configuration as was found in the wreck of Titanic. So, although Olympic's and Britannic's room layout may have been similar to Titanic's, the configuration of Titanic's apparatus appears to be unique.

Both Olympic and Britannic received the pneumatic tube branch that connected the Bridge and the Marconi Room after the Titanic disaster.

Which component would I like to see recovered? The motor generator set, including the disc discharger. That's the source of Titanic's voice. They are heavy pieces that could withstand the recovery process and be restored to operating condition. The condensers and transformer could also be recovered, but substitutes/replicas could easily take their place. The switchboards/regulators are also very desirable. I would think that everything else is too fragile/decayed to be recovered, but people can sometimes work wonders. If the object in Stateroom Z turned out to be the telegraph key, I would consider that the ultimate prize.

I am in favour of recovering the apparatus because the roof overhead will not last much longer. When Jake was puttering around inside, you could catch glimpses of the Mir outside through gaping holes in the roof. A hole opened by corrosion in the steel wall of the elevator machinery room just aft of the Marconi Room reveals the brass Marconigram tube that led from the pneumatic motor. In the film, "Ghosts of the Abyss," there is a scene featuring Don Lynch as Thomas Andrews standing on the starboard Boat Deck...behind him, you see a section of the Officers' Quarters wall that has peeled away, revealing twin Marconigram tubes as they curve down toward C Deck. One day, the Officers' Quarters roof and walls will completely collapse, like the Gymnasium's, burying Titanic's unique wireless apparatus forever. I think we were meant to find it before that happened, so that we could save it.

The motor-generator set in the Titanic wreck is only one of two surviving examples of a Marconi 5-kW set in the world. The other lies inside Britannic.

Parks
 
Nov 2, 2000
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Hi all!
Question about the book: I don't have it yet but saw it at the bookstore. It looked pretty impressive I must say! I noticed on page 15 I think it was, the caption says the ship leaving port is the Olympic and yet it has a partially enclosed prominade deck. I thought Olympic's prominade deck was never enclosed. I also noticed there was only 20 lifeboats which would have made it prior to the Titanic sinking. Anybody else notice this?

Thanks,
Michael Koch
 
Mar 23, 2003
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Another question: I have gone through the book but have not as yet seen the 3D movie. Does the movie have more titanic scenery than the book or is it about the same.
 
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I am now seeing a benefit to having new images of areas on Titanic that have been photographed before, by other expeditions. We see clearly the dynamic nature of the wreck. Its deterioration over the last 15 years, and the comings and goings of Titanics current passengers. I've been comparing pictures from Ghosts Of The Abyss and Discovery of Titanic, to see the difference in certain parts of the wreck from 1986 until 2001, fifteen years.

A good area to start is the bridge telemotor. Compare page 56 of GoTA against page 126 in DoT, although the wood that outlines the former wheelhouse wall is for the most part still there, it has deteriorated in places, and I think I see a hole opening up at the base of the telemotor in 2001. Also look at the image on and opposite the title page of GoTA, and notice the old bouquet of roses that has been added. Notice also the floating white 'lifesaver' shaped rings along the forward edge of the wheelhouse wall, they are floats attached to memorial plaques placed by various visitors to the wreck. The roses can also be seen on page 56 but not as clearly.

Yet another feature that shows change is the port side anchor. Notice on the page opposite the Contents page in GoTA and compare it with page 145 in DoT. Note the cascade of rusticles seen in 1986 has shortened in 2001. And of course there is animal life seen in 1986 in the form of a white crab. Do I see the remnants of white paint on the lip of the circular opening in which the anchor rests? Notice also the pile of dirt on the leading edge of the anchor. My theory is that this dirt was deposited upon impact with the bottom and hasn't changed since.

One of the most gripping then and now areas is the gym. Especially comparing pages 58 and 59 of GoTA against pages 186 and 187 from DoT, looking at the fallen starboard wall and the collapsed windows. Notice on page 187 of DoT, the curved ceiling that covers the gym entrance. In 1986 there were still small remnants of the railing that went along the roof there, but on page 59 of GoTA, we find that most of those railings are now completely gone. One unexpected item that startled me was a picture found in another book titled: Titanic Legacy of World's Greatest Ocean Liner by Susan Wells,on page 149. The image is captioned as, 'Titanic's stern', but it seems apparent that it is actually a wonderful image of the gym taken through one of the windows just before the wall there completely fell inward. You can make out plainly a bicycle pedal laying across the window sill. And in the background, interior of the gym we see the collapsing roof almost touching the floor.

Finally its interesting to note that almost all the pictures of the bow, probably the most photographed area, are always slightly different. The most noticeable difference is the animal life that happens to be hanging onto the railing. Notice page 52 in GoTA, and compare it with the same image from DoT on page 212. Notice the additional rusticles along the top rail. And the little Christmas tree animal that was growing in a particularly unique location at the prow of the sunken Titanic in 2001, wasn't there in 1986. Perhaps we will all watch that little critter grow larger over the next decade with each future expedition, until it too finally vanishes.


Yuri
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Michael, you're correct that the Olympic's promanade was never enclosed. I've seen this same photo in the revised version of Paul Louden-Brown's History of the White Star Line. What happened was that the photo was digitally reworked so it would show what the Titanic would have looked like leaving the Southampton Dock.

This was touched on earlier in this thread.
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Thanks for the detailed information Parks...

It would be amazing if the Marconi room equipment could be recovered, conserved, then restored into working order...

..But with much of the recovered RMSTI artifacts sitting in crates in an Atlanta warehouse, perhaps its best the items have not yet been recovered....

I would be interested to see what lies beneath the grime on the floor of the Marconi room...If the remnants of the desk where Phillips sat can be spotted, perhaps the key where he tapped out 'sos' is still attached.....
Im sure the metal base of the chair he sat upon is still there....

It was shocking to see the brass pnematic tubes through a boat deckhouse rust hole...Its a telling image of how fast the ship is crumbling...

Any remannts of a bedframe in Phillips and Bride's sleeping quarters?

Tarn Stephanos
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Tarn,

If the motor-generator set were to be recovered, I doubt that it would sit in a crate somewhere. That artefact would be a major draw at any Titanic exhibit; in fact, I know one amateur Titanic historian who would fly anywhere just to see it. :)

I've seen the remnants of Phillips's desk...it's a jumbled heap of debris in the aft port corner of the Marconi Room. The chair is nowhere in sight, but there is more debris in the corridor aft of the Marconi and Silent Rooms, leading to port. It could very well be buried there. Or it could simply be gone.

There is nothing -- I mean, nothing -- left of the Marconi operators' sleeping quarters. There is one box-like shape lying half-buried in the silt that we never really get a good look at in the middle of the wasteland that was once the Marconi Room and operators' sleeping quarters. I think it's a room heater, probably the one from the forward wall of the Marconi Room, where the heater control now dangles on the end of its wire in space. The only other possible artefacts from the sleeping quarters are steam pipes with protective grating lying in the silt that might once have passed through the room.

Parks
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Thanks for the deatailed response Parks!

Just wondering- how many feet of these brass pneumatic marconi tubes were on Titanic, and how many tubes were there? The seemed to have survied in remarkable shape...

Also, has anyone ever attempted to 'fix' the father Brown photo of the wirless room, so two seperate images can be drawn form the double exposure?

Tarn Stephanos
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Tarn,

I know that the Marconigram tubes ran from the Marconi Room to the motor that forced air through them and down to the Enquiry Office on C Deck. I haven't felt the need to measure the actual length of the tubing. I'm not sure what I would do with that information.

As far as how many tubes there were...there was essentially one, made up of many segments and turns.

I haven't tried to merge the double exposure, but I did use it to re-create the room in CG. I'm still working on it, by the way.

Parks
 

Tracy Smith

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Nov 5, 2000
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Parks,
I take it that the pneumatic(?) Marconigram tubes ran on a similar principle to the tubes one uses when using a bank's remote drive-in window? Or am I all wet?
happy.gif
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Tracy, there are some differences, but yes, it's the same idea. A motor forced air through the tubing. Introducing a capsule into the air flow caused it to be carried along to the next outlet (there were only two) in the system.

Parks
 
Jan 14, 2001
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Parks,

I read with much interest your post about the Marconi Room.

I wasn't aware that there is a photo that may show Britannic's Marconi room.Could you tell me the number of the "Titanic Commutator" issue in question?

Is it possible that the different configuration on the photo was the result of the addition of the tube branch that connected the room with the Bridge?I understand that this tube was made of brass,so it should be still conserved on Britannic too.At what location of the Bridge was its terminal?

In Simon Mills' recent book "Hostage to Fortune", I read that Britannic's transmitter malfuctioned after the first distress message ,so more details about the ship's condition and position could not be sent to the rescue ships.What could have caused that malfunction?Do you have more information about it?

I realize that there are many questions in this post and that the thread is dedicated to a different subject.Perhaps we could continue this discussion in the "Technical" part of this forum.

Regards,
Michail
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Michail,

Unfortunately, I haven't been a THS member since about 1972, so I don't hold any Commutator issues. The photo was sent to me by a fellow researcher, so I can't give you the specific issue...maybe someone else on the list can provide that information. I immediately assumed that it was from Britannic and that's how I remember the photo. Fact is, the picture apparently was identified as being Titanic's Marconi Room in that Commutator issue, not Britannic's (I was corrected on this after I had posted). Now that I have had the chance to study the picture in more detail, my opinion is that it's either Britannic or post-1913 Olympic. It's definitely, without a doubt, not Titanic.

The addition of the pneumatic tube to the Bridge would not be visible in this photo. That branch was added to the system at a point outside the Marconi Room, so you'll see no change to the tube visible in any of the Olympic photos or the single Browne image taken in Titanic. I don't know where the Bridge end was specifically located, but I suspect that it came out in the wheelhouse. I hope that I'll have a chance to locate it someday.

I am only just now investigating the role Britannic's wireless played in the disaster. I don't have any worthwhile answers just yet. I should know more in a few months, after I finish my current Titanic Marconi work.

Parks
 
C

Christine Bucher

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Parks,
Someone mentioned to me that there is a GOTA book that includes 3d photographs, know anything about that? Also, I took snapshots at Fox Baja of some of the extras. I didn't want them to get out before the release, but intend to give them to the actors now. Do you know if this would violate any copyright laws? Another question, How did the Arabs fare in the campaign? Did it lend greater authenticity to your event?
Chris
 
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