If there are any human remains in the wreck where do you think they are


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Susan Leighton

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Well, ya'll got me going on this and it is past my bedtime, but I feel the need....

Mark, I get your point that Titanic IS a gravesite. I just don't get why that is relevant in terms of research, other than an emotional connection to the event.

And, the research I am interested in goes beyond the 'exploration and study so we can learn more about the people who died and how they died.' I have a pretty good idea of how they died. My interest is in the archeology of whether remains could be preserved in the wreck environment

...and I don't think anybody said anything about raising these suspect remains, but samples could be obtained for research purposes. Getting to the point where a sample could be obtained, would probably create more havoc than actually securing a sample.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>My interest is in the archeology of whether remains could be preserved in the wreck environment.<<

I am curious as to how you'd consider proceeding on this. What ideas do you have in mind?


>>Getting to the point where a sample could be obtained, would probably create more havoc than actually securing a sample.<<

Well, there are, perhaps, advantages and disadvantages to every research method. This is why it takes a while to conduct research: It's important to look into how to proceed most advantageously, and sometimes that requires research preparation in itself. I'd be very interested in hearing more of your reasoning on this.


>>But the scientific research that could be gained by a true scientific study of "Are there human remains within the wreck and ruins (including debris field)" could provide some remarkable results.<<

Oh, I agree. I am curious as to how such a study would be conducted. Let's take the factors I mentioned, for example: the foot-deep silt built up on the Titanic deck floors, the poor calcium/acidic-based water, the depth, the amount of time. How, in your opinion, can these work for and against the preservation of human remains at the wrecksite? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. I don't have a strong background in science, but I am really going by what I've read and what I see. I'm going to think about this myself.

>>Maybe in 1985,the skeletal remains could have been identified as such. But with the decay occurring exponentially each day, maybe it's unlikely that those pictures could be duplicated today.<<

Yes, but couldn't the soil be tested for microbiological samples? Ballard mapped out everything, as I recall, and with the assistance of the pictures, we could ascertain where these possible skulls once were. Perhaps even the boots? However, performing these kinds of scientific tests within the wreck without knowing where exactly to look will be even more difficult. How do archeologists (and, I presume from your profile, that you are one?) proceed in situations like this?

Like you, I find it a very interesting discussion, and I look forward to discussing it more and seeing what kinds of answers emerge.

Sorry for any misunderstanding...
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>and, from Michael’s perspective, we may not be able to answer that question.<<

I'm not so sure about that. There is *one* way to either prove or falsify the proposition, but the only way I know to do that is to go down there and recover the objects. One way or another, the question would be answered past any point of debate.

The catch is that if these objects are skulls, can you just imagine the public reaction? Especially from those opposed to any sort of salvage and/or exploration?

I wouldn't want to be caught in the middle of that one!
 
Jun 12, 2004
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I presume, then, Michael, that you're suggesting that Ballard and his crew might have known they were skulls and steered away from the issue (denied it, calling them "mud bubbles" or whatever) because they strongly anticipated the controversy such an issue would draw? It doesn't sound like a matter of ethics or science - but of "politics"("keep it 'hush-hush,' lest...").

This is only a thought on my part, of course; I am not confirming, nor intending to confirm, any of it as fact.
 
Dec 24, 1997
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> [Mark re your Ballard thoughts I can only sa "BINGO" This is one of the rare discussions that so far have bee very constructive Thanks to yoiu Mark and Susan good to see no hostilty or such on this discussion Great Job Cheers Jon]
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I presume, then, Michael, that you're suggesting that Ballard and his crew might have known they were skulls and steered away from the issue <<

No. What I'm suggesting is that the only way to confirm whether or not those objects are skulls is to go down, recover some of them and find out. One way or another, that particular debate will end. I can't speak to what Dr. Ballard knew or suspected and wasn't even considering that last night.
 
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Susan Leighton

Guest
‘My interest is in the archeology of whether remains could be preserved in the wreck environment

I am curious as to how you'd consider proceeding on this. What ideas do you have in mind?’

I don’t have any answers, I only have questions. As Michael just said, and I said earlier, this subject is so taboo and controversial that public opinion has restricted genuine research in this matter.
And, my ‘interest’ is just that. In the course of this discussion I became more interested in whether remains exist at the wreck site. I hope that more forensic research could be conducted, but, as I have said, there would need to be enough attention generated to produce capital for a project. If that is done, then I agree with Michael that it would definitively answer this age-old question of whether human remains have ever been or currently do exist within the wreck.

“The only way I know to do that is to go down there and recover the objects. One way or another, the question would be answered past any point of debate.

The catch is that if these objects are skulls, can you just imagine the public reaction? Especially from those opposed to any sort of salvage and/or exploration?”

Perhaps the entire objects don’t need to be retrieved as such. But I think with the right researchers, some forensic samples could be obtained and studied without too much public reaction….Maybe.

“but couldn't the soil be tested for microbiological samples?”” YES, I am thinking DNA samples, but not for the purpose of identity of any one individual, but to determine the existence of human life.

“the foot-deep silt built up on the Titanic deck floors, the poor calcium/acidic-based water, the depth, the amount of time. How, in your opinion, can these work for and against the preservation of human remains at the wrecksite? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.”

The 'preservation' is the question I think we are discussing. We don't know if human remains could be preserved in the environment where the wreck exists.
I think collecting forensic samples could be done without too much difficulty. Certainly easier that collecting artifacts and the back-breaking, extremely dangerous undertaking that was generated to recover the ‘big piece’. But, these are just my thoughts, based on my experience, for the purpose of this discussion. I have performed a good many environmental site assessments at surface and groundwater contamination sites. Maybe something similar to the techniques used to conduct site assessments could be used to determine if human remains exist at the wreck site.


..and Mark,
I am not an archeologist. My degree is in Bioenvironmental Engineering which is a fancy word for Industrial Hygienist, which is an often misunderstood occupational designation that involves determining potential exposures to workplace hazards including radiation, hazardous noise, chemical and biological contaminants, etc. We do that by collecting samples, analyzing the raw data, and comparing the results to established standards. Without posting my resume’ here, suffice it to say my career has spanned over two decades under the elusive umbrella term “Environmental”. I have always worked for the government in some capacity and spent eight years in the USAF (SAC command) and was discharged in 1996 as an O-3 Captain. Currently, I am an Environmental Enforcement Officer for the State of Florida. That’s that.

‘good to see no hostilty or such on this discussion Great Job Cheers Jon’
Jon, I think you might interpret lively debate for hostility and I can see why and how you might feel like that. I have followed your discussions on this board, and respect your contributions, so I hope you see that nothing is personal….it’s just business….as Michael [Corleone] would say.

It's naptime for me, now. I hope to continue this discussion later on, gentlemen. It's the weekend, and I have more times for discussions such as this....and for naps.
 
Dec 24, 1997
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Right Susan, It is easy to interpet Lively as Hostile sometimes and for this I apologise, Just a stubborn old Yankee I guess. Hope you had a good Nap.. Mike and Mark, Cheers Jon
(Note Typo again no extra charge)
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Perhaps the entire objects don’t need to be retrieved as such.<<

You may have a point there. Detailed work with high resolution cameras by themselves may be enough to do the job with minimal disturbance to the objects in question. It's worth a try.

>> But I think with the right researchers, some forensic samples could be obtained and studied without too much public reaction….Maybe.<<

Maybe indeed.
wink.gif


The Titanic's notoriety is perhaps unfortunate in this instance as a lot of people have built up an emotional attachement to the affair and the ship herself alomst if not being to the point of treating the wreck as holy ground. Whether or not it should be treated as such is a matter of highly contentious debate and I don't pretend to know any of the "right" answers to that one or even if there are any right answers to be had. Warranted or not, they're there and aren't about to go away in the forseeable future, and this can be a formidable barrier to scientific investigation which, in my highly subjective opinion, is sorely needed.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>I am not an archeologist. My degree is in Bioenvironmental Engineering which is a fancy word for Industrial Hygienist, which is an often misunderstood occupational designation that involves determining potential exposures to workplace hazards including radiation, hazardous noise, chemical and biological contaminants, etc. We do that by collecting samples, analyzing the raw data, and comparing the results to established standards.<<

Susan,

I do know what bioenvironmental engineering is. What you do is both fascinating and dangerous. You have to love your job and be highly trained to know what to do under certain circumstances, otherwise lives, including your own, are at extreme risk. I don't know if I envy you or not, hehe.

I find the proposition of both high-resolution photography and microbiological soil sampling to be quite intriguing. I would look forward to seeing if anyone ever does proceed. Of course, with the rate of deterioration, such would benefit more to be done rather sooner than later, while we have more physical material to work with. I am just wondering if such an endeavor could possibly have already been considered and halted due to fear of the unknown, let alone the legal and spiritual/religious implications. I am all for learning about how human remains exist in such an environment. I don't think that this endeavor is as much of an issue doing as it is whether or not to conduct such procedures discretely or openly. If the latter, there would certainly be conflict; if the former and those in the outside world find out, the charge would be why such an action was carried out behind the backs of the public or without the "public's" permission. No matter which way to go, there will be conflict. First, people would insist they need to know about it (and maybe they do. I know I would), then they would insist on granting permission. It's as if you can't win either way.

The emotional attachment is just as real as the need for research. There is nothing necessarily or inherently wrong with the former, as long as such attachment doesn't grow into fanaticism. The personal insights we've gained through the tragedy have helped us to grow both personally, socially, and technologically. That's just as important as scientific discovery. Should either one be treated with more or less recognition and respect as the other?


Oh, sorry about that. I want to also focus on the scientific process. What type of equipment would be needed? How much would this most likely cost? It seems like a catch-22 to a point - we need to proceed in order to see how human material endures in that type of environment, but it also seems as if we need to have that knowledge in order to know how to proceed most effectively. Where and how to begin...
 
Dec 24, 1997
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Regarding my circled photos of that "object" on 20 May here. Well here is another circled "Object" BUT....This is from inside the Hangar Deck of the Bismarck. I posted this on the Bismarck Thread as well/ NOT only do we have an ??Object?? but what are the stick like items around it. True you have to really look close and close your mind to "It Ain't" Cheers Jon
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Paul Rogers

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Interesting photos, Jon.

I'm not saying they are human remains, and I'm not saying they aren't. What I am saying is that the human brain has an inbuilt recognition system that attempts to interpret strange shapes / items / etc. as familiar objects. One must be cautious.

For example: who can see Jesus here? There have been many other examples of likenesses seen in items such as grilled cheese sandwiches, as I'm sure many here can recall. Although I have no idea why one would expect to see Jesus in an ultrasound scan, it is true that, if one is expecting to see human remains in a wreck, then that increases the probability of spotting items that could be human remains. One sees what one is looking for.

Michael Standart summed it up, really. One would have to recover the objects, or take high resolution close-up photos, to be sure.

Addendum: Here are some good examples of 'faces' seen where none actually exist.
 
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> [Paul thanks for the resoponse. You are absolutely correct that the Human Eye and Mind can excuse the pun Go Overboard. I always seem to catch these fleeting images and wonder about them.so that is why I post them so others who may not have caught them, can think about them and make their own opinions. Like you say Mike is correct there is no way to prove for certain without Hands On. So thanks very much for your input. Much appreciated. Cheers and all the best Jon]
 
May 2, 2000
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I don´t understand, Inside of the Titanic can't be rescued object because the titanic is a Santuary. but Outside they can rescue something where there are much shoes that had body!!!!, near of a shoe I can rescue a bottle, but inside of the boat nothing!!!!!.

I think, the titanic is as Pompei city, They are society that for a tragedy remaind in the time.

They are patrimony of the Humanity, for study of the generations of how were those society. For that, the objects must be rescued and conserved for all.
 
Dec 24, 1997
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> [Was wondering if anyone has any detailed information about the rumour that the remains of Mel Fischer (Fisher) of "Atocha" fame were placed on board the Titanic?? Cheers and Thanks Jon]
 
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Re Mel Fischer have not heard back from anyone yet. I had hear his ashes were put in and urn and the urn was placed on the wreck. Mike?????
Cheers all Jon
 
Dec 24, 1997
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> [Hi Mike Thanks for the reply Mel Fischer was the subject of many TV docs re salvaging the gold and artifacts from the SpanishFGalleon "Atocha" off of Flroida and got into a big battle over rights with the Stae but he prevailed in the end. I know his son and daughter in law died when their boat capsized and sank while theywere asleep. He continued on then I heard he passed away and that his remains were put in an urn and Think it ws RMST that put them on the wreck. So if ANYONE can confirm this and have more details I and probably others would like to kno. Many many thanks and big Cheers. Jon]
 
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Bodies! the #6 engine room generater was running almost up to the end, there had to be engineers and stokers in there. also towards the stern was the huge meat and cold storage areas that were air tight like a salvage air bag that proberbly kept the ship afloat for some time, people could have been in there too!
 

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