Let titanic rest in peace


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Jul 9, 2000
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>>Kathy...your Professor seems to be a bit biased in my eyes.<<

As do you Mike. What's your point? How do accusations of bias towards either side either add or subtract credibility or validity from their arguements?

>>Try telling Dave Shuttle and his family we learnd nothing from those *love letters* recovered by RMSTI.<<

But what do they tell us about the ship? Nothing really. At least not from a technical standpoint. The people are clearly a different matter.

>>Who is this Professor to pass judgement upon the vast individual personalities whom perished on TITANIC? <<

He was somebody who was asked for and offered an opinion on the ethics of salvage. I don't recall personalities being mentioned in Kathy's post or judgements being passed on same. Considering that the man is a trained and credentialed specialist in the field, I'm inclined to believe he knows what he's talking about at least when it comes to the question of ethical concerns. Whether or not he's right or wrong is a matter of some hotly contested opinion, but you would do well to give him his due credit. He knows and understands the dicipline.

Do we?
 
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C'mon Mike don't be ridiculous...from an Archaeologist's standpoint, basically your saying the human remains, and personal effects, at a site for example as, Pompay(ie?), do not fit into the scheme of things whilst trying to gain historical insight.

Look what invaluable insight TITANIC'S survivors left us...so then your agreeing to the effect that the dead left us nothing? Yes, I feel that my continual emphasis on the mail hold (ship to shore correspondence) carries much weight...

...you will recall the letters featured in "Titanic Voices", which found their way home...what about those that did not?

I think it is only fair to talk about a legacy in it's entirety when referring to an historical endeavor.

Michael A. Cundiff
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>>C'mon Mike don't be ridiculous...from an Archaeologist's standpoint, basically your saying the human remains, and personal effects, at a site for example as, Pompay(ie?), do not fit into the scheme of things whilst trying to gain historical insight.<<

I'm not saying any such thing and I'd appriciate it if you avoid strawman arguements. They don't make your case.

For my own part, I'm not militantly for or against salvage. I can appriciate the histroical value of the proper recovery conservation and study of artifacts and documents, but I can also appriciate the sensibilities of those who are against it. Especially those who see it as people rooting around in the graves of reletives. If I found out somebody was mucking around in my grandmother's grave, I can safely say I would be a little miffed. It's not shocking to see that a lot of reletives of those who perished on the Titanic hold the same attitude.

What I am taking issue with is your apparant attitude that other parties are not fit to make judgements on this matter, even though it seems you are, (And just who appointed you the Final Authority on this matter?) and the notion that a particular bias somehow renders an arguement invalid. In and of itself, it doesn't.

>>Look what invaluable insight TITANIC'S survivors left us...so then your agreeing to the effect that the dead left us nothing? <<

Another strawman arguement.

>>Yes, I feel that my continual emphasis on the mail hold (ship to shore correspondence) carries much weight... <<

Maybe, but recovery will be the easy part...reletively speaking. (Got any ROV's that can lug around waterlogged mailbags weighing hundreds of pounds each?) The tricky part will be conservation. Were talking literally hundreds of thousands of individulal peices of mail here and there's no practical way as yet to preserve it all. One other problem: Even if this material is brought up and conserved, what makes anyone think it'll ever be put out into the public domain? The Postal authorities may have something to say about that. As far as I know, they never relinquised their claim.
 
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Camron Miller

Guest
Obviously, there are arguments for both sides, but one has to put the question - who would be prepared to put the required money into such a venture? I doubt whether a single government would be prepared to spend that much, and a joint venture is unlikely - problems arise, such as where should it be sited once raised? If a corporation were to fund it, the question becomes one of ethics - is it right to profit from the disaster and charge entrance fee to view the ship?
 

Mike Herbold

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And now enters a third Mike, the voice of reason, to bridge the gap between our two combatants (I can hear my friend Mo teehee in the distance). I agree with Mr. Cundiff's premise and with Mr. Standart's civility.

The odyssey of Titanic casualty Henry Sutehall and his round-the-world travelling companion Howard Irwin has been well documented by Dave Shuttle. If you've never read this story, I urge you to do so now.

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/articles/sutehall_h_atf.shtml

The recovery of the Irwin diaries from the Titanic wrecksite uncovered a fascinating story that had been buried for decades. That recovery proved that it was possible to retrieve pieces of paper without destroying them. It also proved that it was possible for this material to be put out into the public domain. I'm all for more recoveries of this type.
 
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Mike S.,

First we must go back to the basis of the argument:

"HE SAID THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN RECOVER FROM THE SHIP THAT WOULD ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS".

That my friend is a one-sided pessimistic opinion.

If you will carefully read my contributions to all threads in regards to salvage, never once do I
ever disregard the respect of the *generations* involved. So whomever proposed this *two generations* law is basically declairing that one day it will be accepted to salvage from the TITANIC...what poppycock!
(Yea wait till we here on the E.T. forum are all deceased. Our lingering debate on salvage will no longer matter. One which has so hopelessly scorned so many a common enthusiast relationship)

And so some persons were *not so moved* on viewing the MONITER'S propellor in her de-saltinization period. How do these same persons feel on LUSITANIA'S propellor (SEE: Ballard's "Exploring the Lusitania"), withering away in some boneyard, perhaps awaiting meltdown for some commeorative golf-clubs, as we saw in the past with another Lucy prop?

Were not those Military personal and Lusitania lives as justifiably respected as yours and mine?
How could any life that perished aboard TITANIC, be more sacred than that of Capt. Dixon of the HUNLEY...he layed down his life for his country, knowing well that the command (HUNLEY) of which he was entrusted was not, however, *trusted* itself...

Why is that upon every salvage, the anti-salvage supporters are constantly adjusting the exception to the rules...what are they gonna say, if the environmentalists are forced with no other option than to furthur salvage the ARIZONA?

There is also one huge obstacle which makes so much diffence, in so many ways...twelve thousand and five hundred feet of water??

Mike H.,

Thank you for forwarding the IRWIN story (web address). A true-to-the-fact "love story".

Sincerely,

Michael A. Cundiff
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>>First we must go back to the basis of the argument:<<

Much better!

>>"HE SAID THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN RECOVER FROM THE SHIP THAT WOULD ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS".

That my friend is a one-sided pessimistic opinion.<<

And objectively speaking, I would be inclined to agree with that observation as the premise that nothing can be learned is demonsterably false. Quite a bit has been learned about the wreck through the recovery and analysis of samples of metal plating, rivets (Although the jury is out on the usefulness of the small numbers actually recovered and tested.), the rusticles etc.

>>If you will carefully read my contributions to all threads in regards to salvage, never once do I
ever disregard the respect of the *generations* involved. So whomever proposed this *two generations* law is basically declairing that one day it will be accepted to salvage from the TITANIC...what poppycock! <<

And the first statement relates to the second one...how?

And in regards the second, this seems to be a consensus of opinion among trained professionals in the feild, and it wasn't arrived at lightly! People who feel that they have a cultural and/or personal tie to a specific event or place don't particularly like it when strangers come snooping around in places that to them, are graves. Is it rational in the most objective sense?

Maybe not, but it's there and has to be dealt with. The passage of time tends to weed this sort of thing out as the people with the vested/personal interest pass on. Dead people don't raise objections to archaeological activities, but live ones do, and often rather loudly at that. Sometimes, even the passage of centuries doesn't make this go away, as archaeologists excavating in Isreal have learned this the hard way whenever they stumble upon human remains. The storm of protest and disruption they get from fundementalist groups has to be seen to be believed!

It's a question of who has a personal connection to a place and/or event. Keeping a respectful distance for an extended period of time tends to avoid these problems. Unfortunately, quite a bit of evidence can be lost this way, but it does avoid the sort of baggage that comes with being sneered at as a "graverobber".

Does it make sense? Is it logical in a practical sort of way?

Maybe not, but it is there and it doesn't go away.

In any event, I have no real interest in whether you personally favour or stand against salvage in and of itself. What I did take issue with was the in-your-face approach in these two statements that you made;

1)"Kathy...your Professor seems to be a bit biased in my eyes."

To which I have to wonder again, what is your point? You have a bias as well. No big deal, but still, how does that either add or take away from your arguements or his?

2)"Who is this Professor to pass judgement upon the vast individual personalities whom perished on TITANIC? "

To turn this one turtle, who are you to pass judgement on those who have opinions conterary to yours? (You're comments and opinions regarding Dr. Ballard's expressed views...while probably valid...are no less judgemental.) You see? It cuts both ways.
 
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Mike:

First of all upon who's authority is TITANIC considered a grave...yours?, Dr. Ballard's?, Ed Kamuda?, Eva Hart?, or the anti-salvage proponents?

My Sister died on a frontage road, and however her soul departed from that very site, certainly
no declaration by myself was made of a gravesite?

--The first one in regards to the second one
goes like this--

Since 1987 whence salvage first began at the Titanic wrecksite (You may want to archive TITANIC-DISCUSS & TITANIC LISTBOX) I continuously
voiced that the real purpose of the salvage, was to honor those who were lost 15 April 1912, by having something papable to grasp. To see Dick Barton's (Head of Security for RMSTI) favorite artifact...a neatly severed child's marble certainly has more emotional impact than an undiscernable image of a piece of crokery.

For an esteemed leader in his field (Professor) to proclaim.."THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN RECOVER FROM THE SHIP THAT WOULD ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS".
Surely that is more than an opinion Michael, that is straight-up dead reckoning!

Yes, in that I have nearly 36 yrs. of my life sincerely entrusted into the legacy we all know as TITANIC, for GOD sakes an outcry is my right.

My Father is a 50 yr., self-taught Gunsmith, surely he needs no doctrine (As with said Professor) to answer as credibility for his knowledge and skills...his hands do all of the talking...just take a look at past covers of RIFLE, AMERICAN RIFLEMAN, and PRECISION SHOOTING periodicals...that will be the "Desert Rat's" hands speaking for him!

Two simply impeccable examples which offer nothing but reason in support of myself, are the identification of an "UNKNOW SOLDIER" buried at Arlington National Cemetary...and believe it or not the other is in regards to TITANIC...the UNKNOW CHILD iterned at Fairview Cemetary, Halifax, Nova Scotia...

...I ask you again my friend...we do we drawe the line???

Michael A. Cundiff
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>>First of all upon who's authority is TITANIC considered a grave...yours?, Dr. Ballard's?, Ed Kamuda?, Eva Hart?, or the anti-salvage proponents? <<

On who's authority is she not considered a grave? yours? To answer your question though, it would seem that the survivors as well as the reletives of those who were lost pretty consistantly make this claim. Hard to tell them they're wrong when the wreck in a practical sense did indeed become a grave for close to 1200 people.

Nor is the official designation of a ship as a grave without precendent. You'll notice that quite a few sunken warships are considered to be war graves. If memory serves, the Bismark is one well known example.

>>Since 1987 whence salvage first began at the Titanic wrecksite (You may want to archive TITANIC-DISCUSS & TITANIC LISTBOX) I continuously
voiced that the real purpose of the salvage, was to honor those who were lost 15 April 1912, by having something papable to grasp. <<

I'm aware of your opinions and the strength to which you hold them. Others are of the conterary opinion, and hold them with equal conviction.

>>For an esteemed leader in his field (Professor) to proclaim.."THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN RECOVER FROM THE SHIP THAT WOULD ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS".
Surely that is more than an opinion Michael, that is straight-up dead reckoning! <<

Oh it's an opinion allright. No more, no less. It's not one that I agree with any more then you do, but you seem to have overlooked why professional archaeologists tend to hold to this rule. To refresh;

"And in regards the second, this seems to be a consensus of opinion among trained professionals in the feild, and it wasn't arrived at lightly! People who feel that they have a cultural and/or personal tie to a specific event or place don't particularly like it when strangers come snooping around in places that to them, are graves. Is it rational in the most objective sense?

Maybe not, but it's there and has to be dealt with. The passage of time tends to weed this sort of thing out as the people with the vested/personal interest pass on. Dead people don't raise objections to archaeological activities, but live ones do, and often rather loudly at that. Sometimes, even the passage of centuries doesn't make this go away, as archaeologists excavating in Isreal have learned this the hard way whenever they stumble upon human remains. The storm of protest and disruption they get from fundementalist groups has to be seen to be believed!"

Bottom line, the hangups here are emotional, and whether they be rational or not, it's the source of a lot of trouble and controversy. Can you truly say it's utterly without some justification? I can't quite make that leap, but if you can, more power to you.

>>...I ask you again my friend...we do we drawe the line???<<

I don't know. If there was an easy answer to that one, this thorny issue would have gone away ages ago.
 
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Kathy A. Miles

Guest
Michael Candriff, I still don't see what your point is, other than you're in favor of salvage and not in favor of archeologist's opinions, that, and you seem to have quite an attitude.

First, archeology is a vast science, encompasing civilizations which are thousands of years old where we don't ever hope to know names, let alone relatives, hopes dreams etc. We can only hope to learn a bit about the culture to add to human history.

I could argue that we know why Titanic sank, we know when, who was involved etc. We know who died, who survived, we even know what they ate for dinner. How much more do we need to know? I could further argue, what gives you the right to pry into these people's private lives by reading their personal mail? What historically will be gained by it? I think that that was the point my professor was trying to make, that we know the important things, how deep do you have the right to dig, and where do we draw the line between adding to history's body of knowledge and public curiosity?

I'm not sure that even if there were no bodies there that I would agree with salvaging, I'm just not sure about things like personal effects and mail. What right do we have to probe into people's personal lives?

You are looking at this from the perspective of one who is interested in everything there is to know about Titanic, and that's fine, as are many of us. But, I respect those people, and that includes their privacy. I would not doubt that if you could go back in time and talk to those people, most would not be in favor of their mail becoming public domain. What right have you to decide that it should?

By your standards, it seems it'd be ok to just start opening any old cemetary grave to collect personal effects because it would tell us something about that person and add to our body of knowledge. Because Titanic victims died accidently, does that mean it's ok to invade their privacy to satisy your curiosity?

Kathy
 
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Kathy Miles:

This thread has become much too heated at this point in time for me...I do not know how much longer my *bulkheads* will hold...:)

As in the past so many relationships, with such a deep common interest, are scorned, far beyond a point of repair. (Ex. Mr. Walden is now deceased)

You wrote..."What gives you the right to pry into these people's lives by reading their personal mail"?

I respond with...Are your serious? Your argument is so weak. It is like asking Walter Lord what gave him the right to pry into the personal lives of TITANIC'S survivors? Why is it that here on ET we have listed in alphabetical order, the names of the passengers whom sailed on TITANIC's maiden voyage? And how is it we know so much about them? BECAUSE WE DELVED INTO THEIR PERSONAL LIVES!! Your trying to tell me that all of those letters featured in TITANIC VOICES, including the one sent home by T. Andrews are not to be catergorized within the same classification as those entomed in TITANIC'S mail hold?. That if it were not for the encounter with the iceberg, that these letters would not have arrived home as well?

You people always make an exception to the dead. Where did Capt. Dixon of the HUNLEY receive the gold coin, of which at one time saved his life by deflecting a round during the Civil War? How is it now that we can unabatedly record that, this *myth*, until recent, has now become truth, and can be recorded for historical sake. Why? Because we recovered the dead body of Capt. Dixon, entombed *within* his command...HUNLEY.

Your trying to tell me that whatever effects, whether it be mail, or a photo, and even a keepsake, of those that perished with TITANIC, particualary those that we know little about (Immigrant class) are not worthy of the same fate as Capt. Dixon's remains, and for that matter John Jacob Astor (You will recall Astor's dead body was recovered weeks after 15 April, and his pockets were pilfered!)
Would Vincent Astor be forever remembered as a *graverobber*, if the technology would have allowed the recovery of his Father's body? (You will also recall that the socialite families, pertaining to the tragedy, sought proposal for just that!)

Yet, initialy your post said something to the effect salvaging a shipwreck after *TWO GENERATIONS* have passed...Really, and does your Professor have a clue of the current state of TITANIC'S structural integrity?

...who in SAM H__L amended that?

BTW - The World News reported today that the Japanese Submarine which found it's way into Pearl Harbor ('41) has been found!! The same one Dr. Ballard sought to find. And, more than likely *TWO BODIES* are entombed. You think they'll raise it? Why of course? Are they graverobbing? Afterall we know absolutely everything about those mini-subs. Where does it differentiate from TITANIC? Again I'll tell you where...12,500 feet of water bearing a pressure of 6,500 lbs. per square inch!
I remain,

Michael A. Cundiff
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Ms Milestone:

Yes, my bulkheads have failed, I am set adrift (From this thread), still searching...still trying to equate...

Kathy, you are absolutely right. It is none of my business to delve into the personal contents of the wreck of R.M.S. TITANIC. And neither is it yours. But as a student (Or is it Professor?)
of archaeology your views, IMHO, are so entirely selfish.

No, it is not my right...nor is it your right...

...but it is very much so Dave and Barb Shuttle's right!! For just a moment try walking in their shoes, seeing thru their eyes, and feeling from their hearts...

Read, and re-read "A tragic Friendship" (Aforementioned web-address courtesy of Mike H.) Come to the realization that this is one example...the contents of one suitcase...out of thousands at TITANIC'S wrecksite.

...and speak no more of this *two generation passed* proclamation practice.

BTW, it is evident Mr. Walter Lord thought highly of the museum, of which he willed his entire life's work. Which in fact, said museum made a 360 degree round-about of an opinion, realizing the historical need of TITANIC's tangible remains. Walter Lord...the prime mover of most of our meeting.

Imagine that!

Where do your aforementioned country's museum (curators) stand now?

GOD knows I stand alone in my opinion...and GOD knows I care not to change yours or for that matter any member of the ET forum. Me, I just never want to see the final chapter of the TITANIC legacy meet epilouge.

The last word is yours. BTW, the surname is
C U N D I F F. Seven letters as with T I T A N I C.

MAC
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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Having read Kathy's superbly expressed views, I can't help but add my own views on the subject. I've resisted doing so thus far because this debate is repetitive and circular, and my own opinions have not changed over time (if anything, subsequent experience has made them stronger).

However, Michael Cundiff's continuously breathtakingly dismissive comments about those who differ with him are such that I couldn't resist a word or two on the subject.

At the outset, let me say what I have always said - that I believe that there are individuals who are pro-salvage who have the most honourable of motives, and who I respect deeply as both researchers and individuals. Mike Herbold is one - the perfect example of the concept that Tim Pat Coogan expressed as 'ideas may contend, but men need not'. And I'm not going to pretend - as some do on both sides of this debate - that the matter we're discussing is clear-cut and without moral and ethical ambiguities. I think Kathy very honestly summed many of these up.

However, I take strong issue with the many of Michael Cundiff's statements:

...but it is very much so Dave and Barb Shuttle's right!! For just a moment try walking in their shoes, seeing thru their eyes, and feeling from their hearts...

As Michael Standard says, there's a flip side to most if not all of your arguments. The flip side is this is that I can cry with equal ferver that 'It is the right of the families of men who perished, like Moody and Murdoch, and some of those who lived, such as Boxhall, to argue that this site should be left alone'. Try walking in their shoes, seeing it through their eyes, and feeling with their hearts and you might begin to comprehend why people feel strongly against salvage.

...and speak no more of this *two generation passed* proclamation practice.

Actually, a delineating point makes good sound sense to me - methodology requires that we establish a time period before which probing an accident or disaster site and returning personal items for display and profit, otherwise we'd have legally sanctioned 'salvage' from Ground Zero. The question is always going to be where exactly that point is drawn, and that's one of the ambiguities I referred to above. Over here in the UK, after a long and bitter struggle, they've finally extended legal protection to all the war wrecks in which individuals perished. This was resisted furiously among some recreational diving groups - amateur divers have been taking items from wrecks for years. Now, however, not only is it illegal to do so, it's also necessary to seek permission in many instances from survivors groups to dive these historic wrecks. Such protection has also been extended to 'civilian' sites such as the SS Yongala, which went down in 1911 and is recognised as the grave of 121 people.

Kathy, you are absolutely right. It is none of my business to delve into the personal contents of the wreck of R.M.S. TITANIC. And neither is it yours. But as a student (Or is it Professor?)
of archaeology your views, IMHO, are so entirely selfish.


Actually, Kathy's views are the very antithesis of selfish. She has admitted that she also has the curious impulses when it comes to personal items and correspondence that we all share. However, it is out of her profound respect for the dead and their families that she resists this curiousity. I'd say rather that it was selfish to seek to gratify an often (but not in all instances) self-indulgant curiousity about people who were not public figures, but who had the misfortune to perish in a large-scale accident.

BTW, it is evident Mr. Walter Lord thought highly of the museum, of which he willed his entire life's work. Which in fact, said museum made a 360 degree round-about of an opinion, realizing the historical need of TITANIC's tangible remains. Walter Lord...the prime mover of most of our meeting.

Actually, I think it means nothing of the sort. I use the Greenwich's National Maritime Museum regularly, and live not far away. It has a fine collection of BOT documents and other sources, and many individuals have bequethed their papers to the Caird Library. The fact that I support the National Maritime Museum has no bearing on what I think about salvage.

Would Vincent Astor be forever remembered as a *graverobber*, if the technology would have allowed the recovery of his Father's body? (You will also recall that the socialite families, pertaining to the tragedy, sought proposal for just that!)

As was expressed to me by the niece of one of the officers, the Titanic is her uncle's grave. Had the bodies been recoverable in the immediate aftermath then that should have been done. However, as far as she was concerned, as this proved impossible at the time the wrecksite was as much of a grave as he had. Just as wrecks like the Salem Express and many of the war wrecks around the United Kingdom represent the graves of many others.

Raising slews of teacups does not educate us - it gratifies and panders to our insatiable curiousity (although, even there, I wonder how many teacups are necessary and must wonder at the motives of those who continue raising objects such as these). I think the question Kathy raises is very legitimate - how far do we have the right to gratify our wish to pry into private the private lives of individuals? I've worked extensively with official records and correspondence, always with the consent of either the public bodies that own these records or with the families who possess documents. Even with this consent, however, I feel that I've crossed a line sometimes. I'm thinking of a particular letter regarding a poignant and painful episode in a young man's life, a letter that he asked the recipient not to show anyone. By the time I read that line it was too late, and I was left with a feeling of having violated someone's privacy.

As I say - there are questions of where lines are drawn, and these are always going to be emotionally charged and controversial, with no clear cut answer. I think we'd agree (for the most part) that accessing personal material from the sites of the September 11th attacks (or, say the victims of the recent floods in China and Europe) and putting them on display would be wrong. I also think that, for the most part, finding a cache of letters written by a Roman and stored in stone tablets on Hadrians wall was a legitimate act of archaeology. Where, however, between these two extremes is the line drawn? Given the conversations and strength of feeling I've encountered among those who had family members who both survived and died on the Titanic, I believe that a private salvage company's removal of objects from the Titanic falls closer to the former than the latter.
 
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>>You wrote..."What gives you the right to pry into these people's lives by reading their personal mail"?

I respond with...Are your serious? Your argument is so weak. <<

1)Mike, that wasn't an arguement, it was a question that you have specifically avoided, except with rheotorical debaters questions. Would you care to try answering the question?

2)In going through your remarks, I have noticed several personal attacks such as;

a)"But as a student (Or is it Professor?)
of archaeology your views, IMHO, are so entirely selfish."

b)Ms Milestone:

Breifly putting on my moderator's hat, please rein it in. Ad hominums don't make anyones case and never will.

Now having doffed my hat, here is my own take on the matter of salvage; Conditionally, and so long as it's done with respect to the people who were involved in the tragedy, and with a respect to history and science, I don't have a problem with it in and of itself. Nor do I have a problem with RMSTI or any other such organisation turning an honest buck from the enterprise.

By the same token, I understand the reasons why some parties would be opposed to such, and I respect that position. Apparently, you don't, and your remarks on such in this and other threads indicates to me that this is something of a holy crusade with you to the point where you demonize, and heap scorn and ridicule upon anyone who differs with you no matter the reason. I do have a problem with that!

You might want to consider that those who differ with you on this do so for principled reasons, and treat such with the same respect you would demand for yourself. You might make a few freinds along the way and even learn something in the bargain. A win-win situation.

Think about it.

BTW, I doubt that much would be learned about Titanic and her passengers and crew by rifling through the contents of the mail sacks. There may well be some personal letters and postcards from some, but the lions share of the mail...literally tens of thousands of parcels, letters, and postcards would have come from people scattered all over Great Britain and Europe who never sailed on the ship.

Also, you may find that reading that mail without the consent of the authors, the intended recipiants, and any of their lawful heirs and assigns may well be illegal. If you have a beef with that, don't argue it with me. Take it up with the legislative bodies that write the laws.
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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Mr. Cundiff, you are obviously very passionate about how you feel, but in a public forum for debate, it is best to be dispassionate. We can all agree to disagree, and share different opinions for the sake of research and study, but to use the forum for the promotion of one-sided opinions is narrow-minded at best.

Kyrila Scully
 
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ADDENDUM -

I had hoped to retreat from this thread, because I never found the answer I was seeking. However, I will honor the request of Kathy Miles.

Ms Miles (So too forgive my mis-spelling, I was merely taking up a defense, as you used the incorrect spelling CANDRIFF, on more than one occasion).

You asked, "What gives you the right to go thru people's personal possessions and read their mails?"

I will give you two examples, which by far SUFFICE more than enough -

1) The letter Eva Hart recovered from her Father's coat pocket (BTW, her Father was among those perished), and reproduced for PUBLIC DOMAIN via "Shadow of the Titanic". (Subsequently sold at auction)

2) The letter mailed home by Father Byles (See: Encyclopedia Titanic, heading Father Byles). Also sold at auction.
__________________________________________________

Do I not stand on the same common ground, in my yearning to seek knowledge of an interest that has dominated my life. Am I not worthy of a seat in the same lifeboat as the author of "Shadow of the Titanic", or for that matter the moderator of said forum?
__________________________________________________

If anyone should be labled graverobbers, it is the ghouls who seek to obtain vast wealh per auctioning items, from the dead, as a result of the apalling tragedy to TITANIC!!

Michael A. Cundiff
USA
 
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Easley South Carolina
In the case if those two letters, you might want to note that consent was obtained from the heirs and assigns holding those letters. So how then do the above examples give you, me or anyone else the right to go through same without the consent of those who would have such authority by law to give or withhold same?

Hmmmmmmmmmmm...they really don't.

<sigh> Michael, I'm not going to do the usual tapdance of debaters questions, scenerios etc. That's been pretty well hashed over. I'm just as curious about the Titanic and those assocciated with her as you are, but I'm not going to take that as some kind of licence to probe and poke where I'm not wanted and where I have no right to intrude.

There are issues of privacy at work here which don't go away, and the mere fact that the Titanic is a historically signifigent event doesn't give anyone the right to brush those aside. It's well and good to want to have the historical record as complete as possible, but one would do well to tread lightly here.

And in case you're wondering whose call that is to make, try the remaining survivors and their families. They are under no obligation whatever to co-operate with anybody.
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Feb 9, 1999
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Kathy has already addressed your point re the difference between correspondence accessed with and correspondence accessed without the consent of those who have come into possession of it through the consent of the family or recipient.

How would you respond to those people who have expressed to me, in the strongest possible terms, that they do not want personal possessions (including correspondence) pertaining to their family recovered, displayed or sold? What is your response to them? Do you feel that their wishes are secondary to your curiousity?

I realise that it's difficult to come up with a consistent approach, and it's impossible to come up with one that will satisfy all parties. The situation is fraught with ambiguities and emotions. But what I'm trying to do is to help you understand why there are people who object so strongly to the idea of salvage.
 
Jun 10, 1999
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Inger:

Of course consent is the approriate measure to abide by, and with the utmost respect to next of kin.

But where do you approriate consent to a family lineage that has been wiped from the face of the earth? The GOODWIN family tree was severely broken. I sincerely doubt that tree ever recovered. Imagine the devastating wound dealt upon Uncle Thomas's soul, on learning of his families fate?

Inger, your survivor's accounts along with their feelings are genuinely felt, I know that sorrow much too well of losing a loved one. Matter of fact my beloved sister "Ginger" would have been 49 this 23 September. Everywhere we feel her, by holding onto those papable, personal things she cherished. My Sister was thee "BEATLE FAN".
Upon her death I was given a one-of-a-kind original photo of her favorite, JOHN LENNON (Ironically so, he also left us much too soon).
I can not convey to you, just how dear I hold that memento of a happier time.

Back to TITANIC. I often associate the Richard E. Cundiff family with the Frederick Goodwins, same family number, same Ms. and Mstrs.

The GOODWIN'S, IMO, exemplify the senselessness of the TITANIC tragedy. I want to know so much more about them. How do you tell your family, "This is the end", how did they die? Were they to become seperated as the "iceman cometh"? So deep inside of your hope, you wished it could have been different. Perhaps an heroic survival similar to that of JFK and his P.T. 109 shipmates.

My Father made a similar family move during his early years, however ours was just a 200 mile trek over land. We also traveled steerage :) Often I think, "What if he were faced with such a precarious scenario."

And what of the Thomas Goodwin of 1912...surely he would have wanted much more than a "telegram" to memorialize just how cruel life had been to him...

Michael A. Cundiff
USA
 
S

shane kruger

Guest
I have to say if I were to have died that night I would have wanted my belongings and as much of the ship as possible to be bought back for history......

Shane...
 
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