Harris describes artifacts from latest expedition

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Randy Bryan Bigham

Member
Bob,

Thank you for posting this & the other news re: RMST's work. I find the news of what they're finding fascinating but I can't help worrying that this is all wrong. If only these items could be put into safekeeping by a REPUTABLE museum - and taken out of the hands of persons employed by the salvage group, I'd feel much better about what they're doing. How do we know these things will be PRESERVED and not eventually sold? What will happen to all these things if the company dissolves one day? I mean, how can we trust a group that, no matter how high-tech & 21st century, is still really only a bunch of pirates?

Randy
 
B

Bob Mervine

Member
Randy:

I am only a writer -- hopefully a journalist who's job is to report the information about the story.

At the risk of losing my objectivity -- this forum is the place to opine about the issues. I have spoken to both sides and tried to objectively present their version of the truth.

It is up to you, the informed and interested public, to venture opinions about the issues.

It seemed to me that Mr. Harris was being castigated without a chance to respond. His opinion and Mr. Geller's have merit.

Bob Mervine
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
In regards for the new feild of debris found 700 meters from the wreck, this actually re-inforces my opinion that what is needed for the exploration of the wreck are properly trained marine archaeologists and marine engineers to handle the forensics. This find could shed some light on a wealth of useful technical information in doing an analysis of the sinking itself...but let the salvage vultures pick it clean, and a lot of information will be lost forever.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Dan Cherry

Member
I had a feeling they would go after the telemotor on the bridge. I noticed during the ABC GMA show, during their dive, the telemotor was 'tagged' and had three notes left at its base ('claim' checks?). Too bad - one of the last moving symbols of the ship.
I'm not so sure about what to make of their claim that the one piece of luggage may have belonged to Pitman. His cabin is in a fairly well-sealed area in the bow, forward of the split where the expansion joint widened, yet behind the peel of the officer's quarters' wall. I guess it could happen...
As for the chastising of Ismay, credit goes to Lowe for that skiff - not Pitman, as the article reads.
The buttons in the luggage, I take it, are White Star Line buttons. I guess any crew member on board with an over coat or jacket would have had buttons with the WSL burgee on them. However, RMST must know something we don't...
Ballard found baulastrades from the aft GSC during his 1985 expedition (pictures can be found in his Discovery of the Titanic book). Wooden components from the GSC were found floating and recovered in 1912. Harris hints that the GSC was wrongly thought to have broken loose and floated away, and that the (re)discovery of these wrought iron components is some revelation.
I raise my eyebrows at the 'legendary' claim they put forth that Smith was standing at the telemotor, pistol in hand (!) as the ship sank. I don't believe I ever heard this one beyond a few sensationalistic-type stories written in the days after the sinking. Legend? ....
I would be more in support of, as Michael says, more 'properly-trained marine archaeologists'. I have always felt, since 1987, that the 'salvagers' seem to be nothing more than modern-day pirates...
 
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
Dan -

Indeed, the evidence as given in the article for the suitcase having belonged to Pitman is quite scanty: a pipe, long underwear, and a 'shirt collar and buttons consistent with the uniform of a third officer'.

I agree that they must have had more to base the i.d. on than this - after all, the fact that there was a pipe and 'Pitman smoked a pipe' is tenuous indeed. Lowe, too, smoked a pipe - indeed, informal photos of him with a pipe in hand seem to outnumber the photos of him without one. Presumably some of the other officers did as well.

It raises an interesting question, though: what would have happened if the expedition turned up Murdoch or Moody's dunnage? I've spoken to members of both families, and they are quite emphatically opposed to what they see as the intrusiveness of the salvage expedition.

Best wishes,

Inger
 
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Dean Manning

Guest
hey all!

I have one question about the "new" debris field. Wouldn't somebody, Dr. Ballard, or others have run across this debris field while searching for the ship? I'd like to compare the searched areas vs. where the new debris field is located...

skeptical almost to a fault,

-Dean
 
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Randy Bryan Bigham

Member
It's very telling what Inger Sheil's mentioned re: the Lowe and Moody families' opposition to salvage. I wondered what they might feel about all this. I realize there are some descendents who feel otherwise but I believe most relatives of Titanic victims/survivors must feel as they do.

In my own area of research I can at least say for sure that the Duff Gordons' relatives are also very much opposed. Lucy Duff Gordon's late grandson, Tony Halsbury, told me he deemed the salvaging of "artefacts" to be "an absolute outrage." Susan Glyn has also expressed to me her fear that if her Great Aunt's pearls are ever recovered they would probably never be returned to the family but would be "carted about in a road show" which she feels is "heartbreaking and a travesty."

I agree with Inger that as to Pitman's belongings, RMST, Inc must have more data than the slim proof they have given.

My question to those who are in support of RMST is will this group be trying to locate the relatives of Pitman or of the lady whose bag was found (Miss Meanwell was it?). If they insist on poking through personal effects, shouldn't RMST try and return them to their proper owner and or their next of kin? If this group is so above-board and caring, as they are always in great pains to assure us they are,why don't they do the honorable thing where these private belongings are concerned?

Randy
 
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Jennifer Mueller

Member
mr mervine thank you for telling us about the article about the major findings of the expedition from this summer's expidition to the titanic i think its amazing that they found pieces of the grandstaircase and never said anything about it in their daily reports on the rms titanic,inc website and abouyt the wrenches that confirm that it was the titanic and about the new debris field i wished they had said that while they were there instead of telling us about it now a month after the fact jennifer mueller
 
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
Hallo, Randy -

Yes, I'm not too keen on the idea of salvage myself (that sniggering sound is those who appreciate understatement).

One minor correction - the Lowe family have not expressed the same reservations/objections that members of the Moody and Murdoch families have. I have the views of Harold WG Lowe on record, and while not really enthusiastic about the idea you can't exactly say he objected either. Other members of the Lowe family have different views again.

Best wishes,

Ing
 
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Randy Bryan Bigham

Member
Hi Inger!

I'm sorry for the mistake. I said Lowe & meant Murdoch. Easy mistake to make though - I mean always in my mind "Inger + Titanic = Lowe."

All my best,

Randy
 
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Shane Kruger

Guest
hi all
good o for the salvage
i think we should bring up as much as possible and as soon as possible
if i was going down on the ship i would have wanted my belongings recovered and whatever parts of the ship possible.

shane......
 
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
Shane -

You're absolutely entitled to your opinion, of course.

Personally, if I were caught up in a disaster, I would not wish my effects pawed over and used to generate profits for a private enterprise under the guise of historical research. Nor would I wish an event causing grief to my family to be exploited in this way.

But to each his own.

Inger
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Hello Mr. Shane Kruger, and haven't we covered this ground befor? Inger is correct in that you're certainly entitled to your opinion. What I'm a tad disturbed by is the fact that you keep repeating it without really explaining why you feel salvage is justified.

As to your belongings being recovered, even if they were salvaged, you would never get them back as they would become the property of whoever has the legal salvage rights to the vessel.

And as I have pointed out befor, you can't really speak for the remaining survivors and their reletives on this matter either. Especially when most of them who have spoken out on the matter make it pretty clear that at best, they're ambivalant of the whole thing, but more often they are passionately against salvage or even disturbing the wreck. I f you wish to argue for salvage, then discuss your proposed merits of the idea. You'll get a fair hearing. Ahhh...just make sure they're your own ideas.

Dean; in regards to the debris feild, it's entirely possible that it could have gone completely unnoticed all this time. Remember that there is no light down that deep. Absolutely none...other then what they bring with them on the submersibles, and even then, it doesn't go very far. Sonar is not without its problems too. Even the best sets can be snookered by anomolies, and even then, somebody has to know to look in a certian spot.

If memory serves, a marine archaeologist who posted here last month had as her cheif complaint the fact that a proper topographic survey had not been done of the site. As such, any charts of the area aren't going to be 100% reliable. A pity really.

I don't blame you for your skeptisism either. Like so meny other things, RMST is long on claims, but suspiciously short on proof.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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