Human Remains


Adam McGuirk

Member
May 19, 2002
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Kathy, let me say something.......

In late July of 2001 I went to the artifacts exibit in Nashville. For about 3 and a half years I had been reading everything possible on Titanic. I had really gotten to know alot about the great ship. Let me just say that when I looked at those artifacts I had never felt closer to Titanic than ever. It was an in desribable feeling for me to know what I was looking at. I was looking at money that had once belonged to a passenger on Titanic. If those artifacts weren't brought up, I would have never felt closer to Titanic than I did in that time span. What's really the point of letting the sea and the organisms with it get the artifacts when we can get them and preserve them so future generations can see what the people of 1912 used throughout there daily lives and what it looked like. What better way to show people history than that? It does something that no book can do.
Adam
 

Eric Paddon

Member
Jun 4, 2002
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"And I fail to see how recovering artifacts and ship pieces does anything to further historical knowledge or honor the victims."

Under that line of thinking, we might as well demolish all that remains of the Parthenon or the Pyramids of Egypt, and while we're at it, let's bulldoze the Texas School Book Depository and Ford's Theater, and wasn't it nice we also knocked down a wonderful work of turn of the century architecture like Penn Station too? Because, heck we can always still just *read* about all those things so why bother preserving anything of the real thing itself!

God help the whole business of historic preservation if that mindset ever took hold.
 
K

Kathy A. Miles

Guest
Adam, I appreciate your feelings experienced when you saw artifacts, but not everyone would feel the same way. How do you think the survivors would feel when they did not want anything salvaged? Are your feelings more imporatant than theirs?

>when we can get them and preserve them so future
generations can see what the people of 1912 used >throughout there daily lives

We don't need artifacts from Titanic to show how the people from 1912 lived their daily lives, there are scores, and I do mean scores of antiques out there.

If I were to stand there and look at artifacts, all I could think about was how upset those survivors who are opposed to salvage would feel. I couldn't help but feel I was being disrespectful. Please know that this is not how I am saying you should have felt, but that's how I would feel.

Eric, I don't have all the answers when it comes to salvaging archeological sites. I can tell you that there is little comparison between the Titanic and the pyramids. First, there are many, many things we don't know about Egyptian life, not trivial things like patterns of china, but major things. Excavation here does lead to significant and major historical discoveries. Also, there are no "survivors" of the pyramids alive today who would be upset at the invasive actions of salvagers. As far as I know, no one has traced their ancestry back to Ramses II. Even so, if I had to make the decision to salvage or not to salvage, I would find it hard. I would certainly want to be as respectful as possible. Reasons for salvaging must be very, very good. Curiosity, and so that grandkids can actually touch a life davit, is not a valid reason in my book.
Kathy
 

Adam McGuirk

Member
May 19, 2002
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"Adam, I appreciate your feelings experienced when you saw artifacts, but not everyone would feel the same way. How do you think the survivors would feel when they did not want anything salvaged? Are your feelings more imporatant than theirs?"

Remember, it is not every survivor that objects this. Some have no problem whatsoever with this. I think when Eva Hart's comments were made that some people kind of took her as the voice of every living survivor and that her opinions were everyone else's. Remember, that in life no matter what you do you are allways going to offend someone or make someone mad. You can't allways dodge something that you want to do because your afraid you will offend someone. I might think different about it if I was Eva Hart. No, my feelings are not more important than anyone elses, no ones are more important than mine.

"We don't need artifacts from Titanic to show how the people from 1912 lived their daily lives, there are scores, and I do mean scores of antiques out there."

This is true when based on 1912 society but no antique can make up for a Titanic artifact. The artifacts really show you what the passengers did in the days leading up to your lives. The artifacts will forever show people what the Titanic's passengers did in those last few days and hours before they died. No antique can do that.
Adam
 

Eric Paddon

Member
Jun 4, 2002
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"I can tell you that there is little comparison between the Titanic and the pyramids."

Sorry, but dressing up the chronological snobbery argument in new language just isn't going to work because no matter how many times you pretty up that phrase it is still chronological snobbery and a bad piece of reasoning that every history graduate student is told on day one to avoid at all costs, in which age is the criteria of an artifact's worth to history. We have had no qualms about preserving Auschwitz and Belsen for people to walk about, or putting the artifacts of the Holocaust into museums, or preserving the locations where John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln were murdered because there is a recognition that we in this modern era possess an advantage the ancients did not have, and that was to preserve what we knew to be locations and objects of historic significance not long after they happened. This notion that "we know everything about this period" is only a subjective opinion and not an objective fact.

"First, there are many, many things we don't know about Egyptian life, not trivial things like patterns of china, but major things."

But here again, you are imposing your definition of what is a "major thing" based on the chronological snobbery argument and nothing else. 20th century historians like me don't give much of a flying leap about Egypt because we think more lessons appropriate to today's society can be gleaned from our recent past and the more we can preserve of that, the better. But unlike the advocates of chronological snobbery when it comes to the Titanic, I don't try to hinder the efforts of ancient scholars to excavate and preserve the work that they deem significant to their chosen field.

"Also, there are no "survivors" of the pyramids alive today who would be upset at the invasive actions of salvagers."

Which is totally irrelevant to the issue. All human life remains equal whether its 3000 years old or 80 years old, and if you go through one you have every right to go through the other. And when survivor opinion is not clear-cut as the anti-salvor camp likes to falsely claim it is, then that argument goes completely out the window and has no no bearing one way or the other on the issue as far as I'm concerned.

Your way of thinking, applied to its logical conclusion would result in the destruction of every artifact and landmark associated with seminal events in 20th century history and how poor we would be for that.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>We know what happened to Titanic, we have survivors accounts.<<

In all fairness to the "other" side Kathy, that's not entirely accurate. There are a lot of questions being asked today about how and why the Titanic ended up blundering into an iceberg, and the survivors accounts are the typical mix of confusion that one tends to find in all such incidents. They're not easy to wade through, and we cannot trust that the witnesses saw what they thought they did. (Especially if the prevailing conclusions contradict the laws of physics!)

Examination of the wreck from the start blew away any notions that the ship went down intact, and further examination of samples of steel and rivets at least provided a starting point to help us understand why some events may have taken place as they did. Further examination of the wreck by Jame's Cameron's expedition will literally be re-writing the books about what we know of the ship if anything getting back here is any indication. This information, and much on the differences between the Olympic and the Titanic, as well as information germane to past and on going forensics investigation would never have come to light if we just said "hands off" and let that be the end to it.

When you get down to it, the witness accounts and the inquiries were the beginning of the story, not the end. The rest of the story is yet to be written.
 
Aug 29, 2000
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There will never be an end to this controversy- or the power to provoke strong and emotional response. Observing the general sentiment over the years since 1986, it would seem that there is still the diehard anti-salvage faction, but a goodly number has softened somewhat in the acceptance that artifacts have been and will continue to be harvested from the wreck over time, and the prime focus now has shifted to how they will be preserved and exhibited, the great fear being the sale and dispersal of the collection. Some good points made above- yes, often the most media-accessible and vocal survivors who were anti-salvage did seem to sway the public that their point of view was the only way of thinking. Lou Pope and Frank Aks were very pro-salvage, provided a museum collection was the destination for the artifacts. Marshall Drew and Marjorie Robb were quietly anti-salvage. Often-but not always, their position depended upon if any family member was lost in the wreck. All showed great interest in the White Star claims, and Mrs. Haisman set great store by the watch, I know. Recently Mrs. McDermott of the Lusitania disaster told me she would very much like to see her family items recovered from the wreck, and was supportive of museum display. As we recently discovered, both her newborn brother and mother succumbed to the after effects of the sinking. There was a time when I thought the Brits were wrong to haul back the Elgin Marbles and other antiquities from other parts of the globe to be exhibited on foreign soil- but who knows what might have been lost to time, decay, acid rain, air pollution and the many modern day perils if someone had NOT saved these antiquities. Why is there no hue and cry against the salvage of countless other wrecks such as the Lusitania and Andrea Doria? In 200 years, will someone applaud the effort to retrieve and conserve something of the most famous 20th century maritime disaster? I believe so- and it may not take that long.
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Shelley, Your final sentence is one that I have raised time and time again on this board - and been ignored! Perhaps you will get some response - after all, you are prettier than I am! (mind you, even Cook is prettier than me!)

Geoff
 
May 8, 2001
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Kathy. Respectfully speaking. Not all people are going to feel, react and learn the same way, but in this instance, you've decided that we must feel the same way, and that no one should have the desire to touch or see the Titanic, if the research is genuine. Seeing the artifacts brought a reality to myself and children, that CANNOT compare to reading it in a book. It is one thing to say a door is a certain thickness, width and depth, but when you see it in real life, the whole effect of the presence was moving. It was not done disrespectfully, or with malice.

I agree with BOTH Geoff and Shelly. Somehow, the words keep ringing in my head over and over that George Tulloch said in the A&E video. "It is too soon to appreciate this excavation. It hasn't been a couple thousand years and we've excavated an ancient Sarcophagus. But 200 years from now, some kid will stand and say Geeze dad, is that really the bell that Fleet rang three times?".
Sincerely,
 

Adam McGuirk

Member
May 19, 2002
567
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Colleen, you brought a good point up with your children. Alot of small children may not care about a book about Titanic, but when they see something from the wreck, it sheds a whole new light on things for them.
Adam
 

Auden G Minor

I am a Titanic enthusiest!
Member
Sep 8, 2020
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Excuse me but..........WRONGO!

First you have the salt water, then you have the bone crushing pressure, then you have the marine life eating away at whatever floated to the bottom..

Plus there was no mention about how deep this skeleton was found.......

I would make the presumption that if they went into the Arizona, it would not be a pretty sight down there since it's only 40 ft down.

Regards,
Bill
Dear Bill,
I hope this message gets to you. But there are bones on the titanic. I want you to look at this photo:
View attachment 49977
See anything? Here I'll zoom in the image for you:
Screenshot 2020-09-23 at 12.08.21 PM.png

Those are some bones in the clothing.
 

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