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


Jun 12, 2004
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quote:

. . . unless enough mud accumulated to cover it up

Hence what you said above about any remaining organic material being buried deep in the sediment.
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As far as I know, the only human remains to exist now would be small pieces of bone.

Amanda, Mike, I will also venture to say that, with the Hunley, compactness also made a difference. Consider that those older submarines were tightly constructed to allow just enough space for those on board. The only organism-consuming microbials in salt water to have entered that vessel after it sunk would likely have been miniscule in size and design. In light of this, I would theorize, then, that any human remains aboard the Titanic to still be present in significant portions would be in tight, cramped areas deep within the ship, such as in crawl spaces, and even then not much would be left after all the time that has elapsed.​
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Hmmm.

I think, mostly, that human remains are only significant shortly after death. Then you can revere their life and celebrate it with people who knew them, and lay them to rest with due circumstance. Beyond that time frame, it becomes problematic.

All wrecks are probably grave sites, but we cheerfully excavate ones - both terrestrial and marine - which are out of our time frame - which is neither logical nor reverent. We are quite happy, it seems, to display King Tut's mummy, with it's 'goofy teeth' in order to raise revenue for further archaeological exploration. And then to speculate on whether the young King died as a result of murder, or as a result of a chariot race accident ... my experience of 19-year old boys suggests the latter. But what do I know?

Whether any of us like it or not, the Titanic will shortly move into the area of no living relatives who recall anything about it, and that will signal much more invasive research ... if it is still deemed interesting scientifically. And if research is still deemed interesting, I bet you it has nothing to do with the dead.
 
At the risk of being set on fire, tarred, feathered and set adrift on a raft, I don't see the Titanic as a gravesite. Do we regard the Empress of Ireland or the Lusitania of Andrea Doria as graves? They've been picked clean (the Empress inside and out). The Empress actually *has* human remains still in it. But divers are allowed to swim through.

None of the above are protected as much as the Titanic is and none of the above are as controversial when it comes to salvage. Is the Titanic treated differently because it's so famous? I really don't know.

That being said, how many bodies or pieces of bodies actually made it to the wrecksite for it to be considered a grave. Are we safe in assuming that even 500 were entombed in the ship and scattered around the wreck?

Why not consider the *memorials* the grave markers?

I'm sure many of us have seen the shrines left to victims of car crashes along the sides of highways. Are people angry when the ditches are mowed? Or burned out? Or when road work disturbs the site?

The above statement is NOT IN ANY WAY meant to justify the picking clean of the hull. But my stance on that is for preservation and not for reverence of the dead. I feel that the on-land memorials, actual graves, books, movies, plays, documentaries, pieces of the ship in collections, memorabilia, and other Titanic-related "stuff" is more testament and memorial than any other ship has received. Possibly more treatment than any 2.5 hour incident in recorded history.
 

Aidan Bowe

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May 22, 2004
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Jeremy

I hear what you are saying about being set on fire, tarred, feathered and set adrift on a raft so I'll be gentle with you!
Just because other wrecks have been picked over doesn't make them any less of a grave site - In all those cases, they were the only physical graves for those victims - Just because they perhaps haven't been protected as much as Titanic doesn't make them any less of a site where bodies became trapped and dragged to the bottom. I strongly believe that we should respect those sites accordingly.
What are your thoughts on the wreck of The Arizona sitting on the bottom of Pearl Harbour? Grave or no grave?
There you go - I was gentle with you!
 
Aidan - I see your point. One could argue both sides.

I guess I'm of this mindset: Human remains? Respect the limits. No remains? Grab your snorkel and rock on.

This opinion is from an EXPLORATION/SCIENTIFIC standpoint. I'm not sure where I stand on salvage. There is a lot to be learned from the wrecks and I vacillate on the issue of taking from them.

If minor exploration of the Arizona will further understanding of an important historical event like Pearl Harbor, I'd support. Diving and grabbing a watch...ick.
 

Aidan Bowe

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May 22, 2004
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Jeremy - Now I'm with you - Yes to EXPLORATION/SCIENTIFIC research - No for pure plunder of wrecks. Always makes me smile when people argue for retrieval of artifacts...Gee the Edwardians drank from glasses just like we do, they ate off plates, just like we do - Not sure just how those sort of artifacts are expected to make us learn anymore of that period in history
 
Aug 11, 2008
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To get straight to the point...there is probably no more human remains on the titanic. It has been almost a century and since then all of the human remains in that ship would probably be either fully decayed to dust or eaten up by creatures in the sea.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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Tell me about it...so its better off to say that the titanic corpses do not even exist anymore in the ship, not to sound superstitious but only their souls exist in the wreck now.
 
Jun 10, 1999
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Paleontologist, Dr. Charles Pellegrino who was a member of an 1996 RMSTI/IFREMER expedition, reported, and I quote:

"Seen through a porthole in the submersible NAUTILE, a robot arm raises a silver soup tureen in 1996. Clinging to the bowl's base is an unexpected sample from an anoxic "fossil bed" containing screws, buttons, shreds of clothing, splinters of china, and remnants of what might have been the last meal served aboard the TITANIC: lamb and quail bones with some of their meat still preserved. Given the possibility that human remains may also be interred, expedition leaders immediately call a moratorium on furthur exploration of the fossil zone".
-END QUOTE-

As a side note, George Tulloch and Paul Henri
Nargeolet were the '96 expedition leaders.

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 
Sep 25, 2004
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It easy to say that is a skull, but I highly doubt that it is so. It could be some debris, or more likely, something of a geological nature.

[Moderator's note: This post and the one above it, originally posted in a separate thread have been moved to the pre-existing one discussing the same subject. JDT]
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Aug 20, 2000
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Absolutely no human remains have been found at the wreck. Whatever was down there has long ago been eaten away by the sea life, or dissolved on it's own.

What may resemble a skull is more than likely something else, such as debris as James stated. It wouldn't be the first time.
 
May 3, 2005
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There is a shot in "Titanic" (1997) which shows what appears to be the china head of of a doll in the silt on the ocean floor . Is this a different article or could it had been identified as a human skull ? Maybe this scene could have been CGI.

Which brings up a question. Were china articles, such as the doll's head impervious to the acidic effects of dissolving on human bones ?
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Niagara Falls, Ontario
quote:

There is a shot in "Titanic" (1997) which shows what appears to be the china head of of a doll in the silt on the ocean floor.

That shot was actually filmed in a water tank in Baja, Mexico, which may have been done to resemble the doll face that Robert Ballard discovered in the debris field in 1986, during one of the first dives. When Ballard first saw it, he thought it was a human head, but upon closer inspection it turned out to be a doll's head.

quote:

Were china articles, such as the doll's head impervious to the acidic effects of dissolving on human bones ?

It appears that way, since quite a bit of the china artifacts that have been salvaged over the years are in relatively good condition, with the exception of the ones that were damaged or broken during the sinking. The image of the dishes stacked neatly together (which used to be on a wooden sideboard, but has been eaten away long ago) in the debris field from Ballard's first book on the Titanic comes to mind.

Having said that, the micro eating bacteria is not attracted to certain things, such as the china or leather for that matter.​
 

Cam Houseman

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Jul 14, 2020
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My personal hunch is boiler room 4, which flooded with people inside. I would also have said the Marconi room, as Bride and Philips attacked someone who was stealing one of their lifejackets and they left him for dead - but I gather no human remains have been found there.

For some reason, I think Annie Isham may also have been in her cabin when the ship went down, as no-one saw her that night. Just an idea though!

Cheers

Paul
Deep down in the Boiler Rooms. Under coal, silt, and debris...
 

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