Observations from the wrecksite

Mar 3, 1998
I've done quite a bit of thinking about the Titanic wreck over the past couple of years, thanks to work that brought me close to it. Last year, I was fortunate to be able to review all of the NOAA 2004 imagery in support of their ongoing analysis effort. Earlier this month, I was doubly fortunate to view the wreck up close with my own eyes, thanks to the generosity of Jim Cameron. What I have experienced has deeply affected me. I have been asked to publicly share my feelings about the wreck, but have been reluctant to do so because I know that what I have to say will alienate some people. Then again, it serves no purpose to keep my opinions to myself. Ultimately, I am only one person among many and my opinions are just that -- just another voice in the howling mob -- so why not share the conclusions that I derived from my experience?

Although my statement of opinion may start a debate, I am not interested in debating my stance. I’m simply throwing my perspective out there for people to take or dismiss as they choose. I don’t mind if people disagree with my opinions, just don’t tell me that I have no right to express them. If nothing else, I can honestly say that I’ve earned that right.

So much for my disclaimer, which may at first blush seem unwarranted, but that experience in Titanic-related online forums has taught me is necessary.

I would like to start my stream of consciousness with the subject of the crow’s nest. I may be wrong, but I believe that I have found the remains of the crow’s nest, lying on A Deck atop the fallen bridge bulwark, directly forward of the telemotor. I first saw it in the 2004 HD imagery, and then examined it in person during my dive to the wreck. The artefact in question is a badly-corroded remnant of curved steel, with a row of rivet holes along one edge. If my assessment is correct, then it must have been caught by a vehicle and yanked aft and upward from its original location on the mast. It probably ended up on A Deck after hitting the forward edge of the Boat Deck...that’s my guess.

So, until someone comes up with a better analysis, let’s say for the sake of argument that this artefact is the remains of the crow’s nest. There has been a lot of a lot of discussion about the fate of the crow’s nest and fingers have been pointing in all directions, seeking out responsibility for its "disappearance." I have to ask...why? What’s the big deal about the crow’s nest? When we first saw it in 1985, it was flattened against the fallen mast and hanging at a crazy angle. I have since learned from Dr. Cullimore and Lori Johnston that once metal has been distorted, corrosion proceeds at an accelerated rate. In all probability, the crow’s nest would have fallen of its own accord not too many years after it was first imaged. Surely, given the sad state that the mast is in today (the forward half of the mast has split from the after half and collapsed inward along the mast’s entire length), no one could reasonably expect the crow’s nest to still be affixed to the mast. So, why do people anguish over its loss?

In my view, the subject of the crow’s nest is more about assigning blame than the aesthetic or historical importance of the actual artefact. Some have used it as an example of man’s destruction of the wreck and demanded accountability. Why? What purpose does that serve, other than possibly deflecting criticism from the accuser? Isn’t it better to simply admit that it was torn off the mast by accident, one of the many sacrifices that have to be made to bring images of this famous shipwreck to the public? And why is the crow’s nest of such interest? What about the sole surviving gooseneck vent and nearby thermotank behind the #1 funnel? What about the stokehold vents on either side of the #2 funnel boiler casing? These, too, have been damaged since the discovery of the wreck by various explorers, but you don’t hear anyone agonising about them.

I just don’t understand the hoopla concerning the crow’s nest. From what I can ascertain, the thing was knocked off the mast by accident, but would have fallen off on its own, anyway. I just don't get it.

Some people talk about the wrecksite as a graveyard. To my mind, a graveyard is a place where bodies are deliberately laid into the ground to rest. I see the Titanic wrecksite as more the chaotic scene of an accident. What’s more, there are no bodies lying around. If anyone wanted the bodies to be left undisturbed, they should have talked to the organisms that devoured any human remains that settled in the area. There’s nothing left to disturb now.

Once upon a time, I read a thriller entitled, "There’s Something Alive on the Titanic," by Robert Serling. The overall plot hasn’t stayed with me, but a few isolated images have...that of Captain Smith’s ghost pacing the remains of the Bridge, the ghost of 1/O Murdoch in his cabin and all the glowing eyes down in the First-class Dining Saloon. When I dove down to the wreck, I briefly wondered (after having decided if I would eat my Russian chocolate bar during the descent or save it for the ascent) if I would see anything like that. Well, if Smith were walking the Bridge today, he would be too busy trying to avoid tripping over the row of memorial plaques and plastic flowers left at the front of the wheelhouse. Murdoch’s cabin no longer exists except as a gaping hole. There’s no hint of a metaphysical presence in the Dining Saloon or anywhere else, for that matter. In fact, there was no sense of life at all in the wreck. Sure, crabs crawl hither and yon, rat-tails glide by unconcernedly and the rusticles continue to grow as they consume the steel, but overall, the place feels silent and not particularly "watchful."

Yes, I’m aware of the shoes. I’m also aware of the slicker with boots sticking out from underneath it (would that have been a Titanic crewman, or an unfortunate who fell overboard from some other ship?) found last year. Not to sound uncaring, but I’m not going to worry about bodies until I actually see one. As long as there are more people wanting (and paying) to see the wreck than those who want the wreck to be left to the darkness of the abyss, people will continue to visit and film the wreck (incidentally, that rule holds true for all shipwrecks). If there were any of Titanic’s dead littering the wrecksite, those remains were consumed by the deep-ocean’s occupants long before man found the wreck. So why worry about disturbing the dead as we explore?

And why is it that the crewmen of the CSS Hunley could be exhumed and their personal artefacts recovered in the name of historical research without any fuss from self-proclaimed moralists? Or, to look at it another way, why is there so much concern about bodies during explorations at the Titanic wrecksite when none have been encountered?

And why would the ghosts of Titanic’s dead haunt the wreck, anyway? The ship was not their cherished home, but rather the instrument of their doom. I know that if I placed my trust in a ship to bring me safely to my destination and that ship instead left me to die alone in freezing water, I wouldn’t hang around it for eternity. I’d leave it to those who were far enough removed from the tragedy to love it. But, I digress for no good reason...who can say what a ghost thinks? The point is, the wrecksite better fits the definition of an accident scene than a graveyard. From what I understand, accident scenes are meant to be analysed so that the events leading up to the accident can be better understood.

Speaking of loving the ship, though, reminds me of something that I want to touch on before moving on. The wreck cannot be raised; at least, not in my reality. I don’t think too many people will argue for raising the stern section, so I’ll confine my comments to the bow section only. Do you know that the bow section is essentially broken into two major pieces? The two pieces haven’t physically separated yet, which gives the illusion that the bow section is intact. Truth be told, the downward angle of the bow forward of the superstructure is increasing. For that matter, so is that of the crushed decks aft of the #2 funnel. At the same time, the middle part of the bow section still sits atop the ocean floor...you can still see the keel in some places. It won’t be long before a chasm opens up in the deck either underneath or aft of the cranes on the forward well deck.

The deckhouses atop the Boat Deck are literally falling to pieces. I’ve already described the beginning of the final collapse of the Marconi Room roof and you may have seen the continuing "unzipping" of the walls on both sides of the Officers’ Quarters. The portions of roof that remain are so fragile that they undulate in the current. The Boat Deck itself is peppered throughout with holes caused by corrosion. Years ago, the port side of the Boat Deck was firm and straight. As I looked out my viewport of the Mir just 2 weeks ago, it looked now to be made more of rotting cheese than steel.

Raise the Titanic? Not on your life. It’ll fall apart if you try, and the pieces you do get won’t be recognisable.

By now, you might have gotten the idea that I don’t care for the wreck. You would be wrong in assuming that. What I don’t care for instead are the myths and petty jealousies that have attached themselves to the wreck since it was discovered in 1985 (I’m staying away from the "wreck was found earlier" speculation, because the exploitation of the wreck didn’t begin until the IFREMER/WHOI expedition stumbled across that boiler). I am very interested in the forensic value that the wreck has, the information that can help us understand what the ship was like and how it broke apart and sank. For this reason, my dive was the high point of my research into the disaster, as well as up there in the Top 10 events of my life.

So what is my point? I’ve been steering this monologue to this point...after all the books, movies, photos, dive footage and now personal observation of the wreck, I’ve come to the conclusion that the wreck of Titanic is not a memorial, gravesite, corpse, or embodiment of a dream. Rather, it’s a shipwreck. Arguably the most famous and well-known shipwreck in human history, but still a shipwreck. This may seem obvious to most, but I mention it here for the benefit of the few who fail to see that. I mention it because I want to continue with my forensic evaluation of the wreck without having to deal with people who insist that the wreck is anything other than what it truly is.

Why was I compelled to speak on this now? Because I am about to cross a line that has been previously considered taboo...that of recovering artefacts from inside the wreck. Thanks to the emotion stirred up by those who consider the wreck to be something more, the courts have decided to draw a distinction between artefacts inside the wreck and those on the outside. This was boundary line is arbitrary and the decision was made for political reason. Regardless, it now stands to frustrate attempts to preserve Titanic’s legacy. I’ll use the Marconi transmitting apparatus as a prime example of why salvage from inside the wreck should be considered. Here, we have a unique artefact of enormous historical value that is in imminent danger of being lost forever. There is no other known 5-kW wireless telegraph transmitter in existence. The Marconi archives hold only a few contemporary photographs of a similar apparatus and no blueprints or other detailed information that tell us much about the system. Most of what we know about this apparatus comes from Jim Cameron’s exploration of Titanic’s Silent Room. Soon, however, the imagery that Cameron captured will be all that we will ever have, because the roof over that room is in the final process of collapse. Not long after that, the deck underneath the room will give way and that machinery will fall into the depths of the wreck. I would like to see as much of the Marconi transmitting apparatus recovered as is possible. To do that will destroy what is left of a disintegrating roof, but I consider that a small price to pay for salvaging the history of this device which played such a critical role in the disaster. I don’t want what happened to the exercise equipment in the Gymnasium happen to the Marconi apparatus.

In order for this to happen, though, we must first understand that we are dealing with a shipwreck filled with clues about its previous life as an ocean liner, not some fantasy dream ship that is merely lying peacefully in slumber on the ocean floor. The wreck is not in peace...it is under constant, daily attack by the organisms and creatures that are even now, as you read this, consuming the steel and defecating it in rusticles that eventually end up as heaps on the interior decks and ocean floor.

I fully support the effort to document the exterior and interior of the wreck before it fully deteriorates, capturing in images what the wreck and surviving artefacts looked like in situ. After that has been accomplished (by section), I would support the recovery of artefacts that are threatened with imminent loss or destruction. Because the superstructure will be first to give way, I would give the recovery of artefacts there the highest priority. Leave what you can in the wreck until it is about to be lost, then recover it in the nick of time...a tricky proposition, at best. The technical solution to this problem would not be an easy one. It may very well be an impossible task, making this entire discussion academic. But if there’s a way, I intend to explore and/or support it.

Seeing the wreck firsthand has strengthened my resolve on this. It’s a bittersweet thing...the beauty of the ship can still be seen in the wreck, but so too is a glimpse of the wreck’s inevitable end. Hovering near the retracted #1 lifeboat davit, I was overwhelmed with emotion as I was reminded of Murdoch’s last moments as he fought desperately to launch the last collapsible. And then I saw the first indication of collapse in the Silent Room overhead and knew that time was getting short for the valuable artefact underneath. There is so much history there in the wreck...so much that we have learned and so much that we could potentially learn. I mentioned earlier in this post that the wreck is devoid of the living presence of those who sailed in her...ghosts, if you will. However, there remain physical indicators of that presence that are capable of telling us stories about the life and times of Titanic. We need to look for those artefacts that we haven’t yet found and protect those that we have found, even if that means removing them from their decaying surroundings. The tragic event that caused the shipwreck and resulted in the loss of over 1500 souls should be treated with the utmost respect, but I believe that prohibiting all forms of salvage is too extreme a measure. In searching out and preserving those items that tell the story of Titanic and the people who sailed in her, I believe we are honouring the victims of the disaster. We are, in effect, telling their story. If we don’t look, don’t probe, don’t recover, we will in effect be turning away from any stories that the wreck as yet to tell. Then those poor people really will have died in vain.

That’s my opinion, anyway.


Dennis Smith

Aug 24, 2002

Thank you very much for your "personal" insight to the wreck of Titanic. It may well be your personal view, but I (personally) agree with you 100%. I must admit I am against grabbing something simply because it`s there, but I do agree with the taking of artifacts if they have relevance to the era of Titanic or even of more importance to the sinking and of the saving of the 712 lives.

I didn`t post while you were at sea - I thought you might have enough to contend with - but now you`r home!!!!! - You Lucky Lucky Ba Ba - Person you. You did us all proud - well done and thank you very much!!

That`s all I`ve got to say -

Again thanks for your input prior to your dive and your personal view on what could and should be done before Titanic collapses in on itself.

Best Wishes and Rgds


Best --... ...-- ...-.-
Apr 11, 2001
Eloquently stated, Parks, and from the heart, I know. I have shared these views and will support these sentiments 100% as well. Your observations reflect a personal encounter which few of us will ever have.
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
>>Although my statement of opinion may start a debate, I am not interested in debating my stance. I’m simply throwing my perspective out there for people to take or dismiss as they choose. I don’t mind if people disagree with my opinions, just don’t tell me that I have no right to express them. If nothing else, I can honestly say that I’ve earned that right.<<

I would agree with that too. You've put so much of yourself into this ship and trying to reconstruct her true story that if you haven't earned the right, I'd have to say that nobody has.

>>What’s the big deal about the crow’s nest?<<

Other then some sense of sentimentality, I haven't a clue. Honestly though, I think it was more just a focal point...an excuse if you will...for the finger pointing you mentioned. Absent the crows nest, the parties involved would have found some other molehill to turn into a mountain.

>>Do you know that the bow section is essentially broken into two major pieces? <<

That thought occured to me in passing, and I don't think it would be lost on anyone who understands wreck foresics or how ships are built. Even had a break never occured to me, the way the structure is bent has spoken volumns to me about how badly that section of the hull has fared. Even if the technology existed to raise the hull, it would have to be in vastly better shape to be raised intact and it isn't.

>>If we don’t look, don’t probe, don’t recover, we will in effect be turning away from any stories that the wreck as yet to tell. Then those poor people really will have died in vain.

That’s my opinion, anyway.<<

And it's well expressed too. One that I have no cause to disagree with. Thanks for your insights on this, Parks. I hope it'll give some people something to think about. It's removed any ambiguity I've held on my own part on the merits of salvage.

Kyrila Scully

Apr 15, 2001
South Florida
I have to say you expressed yourself with a lot of passion and honesty and conviction. Your argument even preserves the romance of the story of Titanic and her occupants in a way. I don't know if you will change anyone's mind - people tend to cling to opinions rather tightly. But there may be some people who've been on the fence about salvage who may be swayed. Yet many of those who have been arguing against salvage have attended the exhibits and ogled what was brought up - so there's some hypocrisy there. I know I have been greatly moved by the artifacts, and I can see the historic and scientific benefit of continuing the salvage for those reasons - and if all the salvors were as passionate as you - and as George Tulloch was, God bless him - then I know they would continue the salvage with respect and reverence.


Dan Cherry

Mar 3, 2000
that was probably one of the most heart-felt, eloquent posts I've seen in a long time. I echo the sentiments of those who have posted in this thread before me. I've had a mixed bag of feelings regarding the Titanic wreck and the salvage issue since 1985. Yes, I believe bodies went to the bottom. Yes, I believe that historically significant items should be recovered and preserved. No, I do not believe that a person's shoe is one of those items. To some, I acknowledge that that fine line is rather gray and not a straight line, at that, regarding salvage of various items. I've seen a portion of those recovered items firsthand at exhibition, and admittedly, it's mixed emotions seeing the artifacts.

The decay of the wreck (crow's nest included) is a prime example of what happens when salt water and time mix. The results can be ugly; but it's also because of the decay of the wreck that some questions are being answered. One thing that comes to mind, for me at least is this: the deckhouse splitting at the corner of the first class entrance on boat deck has helped reveal the path of the Marconi pneumatic tubes as they traverse the hull from the boat deck to C deck. Unfortunately, this same level of decay has ruined the chance to see other things. Parks, you mention the gym equipment. The decay has allowed access to some areas not previously explorable; while in others, it's cut access off.

These recent expeditions in which Cameron has been involved has opened many doors into the life and death of the ship. The ship's internal layout and sinking forensics have been brought to a light in a way not done previously. These expeditions of exploration have found many historically unknown things of interest. Be it gates inboard of the D-deck gangway doors, a post here, a hot water cistern there, they're things that would not have been known to exist had it not been for these expeditions. Questions are being answered all the time, but yes, there are new questions as well. The historical and forensic knowledge of Titanic has grown by leaps and bounds just in these past few years. What else can be learned by recovering historically pertinent items? I've been gradually leaning toward the response, "A whole lot" in recent times...

Michael said:

"It's removed any ambiguity I've held on my own part on the merits of salvage."

I would concur. With the Marconi apparatus being the only extant 5-kW transmitter in existence, as Parks says, that is history crumbling before our eyes. I've authored a couple of books of historical significance (non-Titanic) and I've seen, firsthand, memorabilia and one-of-a-kind photographs here one day, and gone the next. People had the chance to preserve these items, and for lack of a better term, they blew it. Now the stuff is gone forever.

Questions may be further answered or historically important things may very well be found if a little poking around were to happen. Floor tiles surely lurk under the sediment in the officer's quarters, or the GSC. Perhaps the shipbuilder's plaque lies flat on the B-deck promenade under the place it was once affixed on the fore-facing bulkhead.

I won't take up any more bandwidth with this post, tonight. I've been a silent supporter of the Cameron team expeditions, and am extremely grateful for the team and what they've accomplished in recent times. As Dennis said, I too refrained from making posts because I acknowledge that time was critical and knew you would have enough with which to contend, Parks. I was stoked when I learned that you were given the opportunity to realize the dream of diving the wreck. Your post, again, I am sure will cause many to think, and IMO that's a good thing.
Jul 11, 2001
Parks, I'm glad somebody said it. I too lately have been lamenting that all of this will soon be gone, fallen into the collapsed hull eventually. Especially now that we have the technology to see what is inside. It is almost a tease, that now that we can get inside, the roof is caving in.

I would hope that future generations of Titanic historians will have actual artifacts to see in a museum, not just old blurry black and white photographs.
Mar 3, 1998
Thanks to all for your comments. I have read through this entire thread again and have just a couple more thoughts that I would like to add.

First of all, I acknowledge the typos in my lengthy post above. I tried to proofread the post before uploading, but obviously failed to catch everything. This is a lesson for aspiring authors (including myself)...don't count on just yourself to adequately proofread your own work. Always have someone else look at your work before release.

I came across as a bit more cavalier than intended about human remains. I would never advocate disturbing any remains of what once was a human body, including the clothes and/or shoes that once was worn on that body. No one with whom I have ever been associated would, either. I am as much against wholesale plundering of the wreck as anybody. In my view, if an artefact is to be recovered from the wreck, it has to be for one reason only...to preserve Titanic's legacy. Now, this is a loophole large enough to drive a truck through, so I would add that the recovery would have to be approved by an independent entity. As things stand today, that entity would be NOAA, as they are currently charged by treaty to enforce the protection of the wrecksite. If and when excavation of the wreck proceeds, a formal and effective process for the proper recovery of artefacts must be implemented and enforced.

We are lucky. We live in a time where the wreck is still recognisable as the Titanic. We can "walk" some of the same routes that passengers and crew would have taken when the ship was new. We can "sit" in their beds (Jim positioned a bot in an intact C-deck stateroom brass bed -- headboard, footboard and foundation -- to get the view from someone just having awakened), "stroll" the promenades, even "read" the gauges on the Marconi apparatus or the hands on the Straus mantle clock. By and large, the wreck is recognisable as the ship it once was. However, the time is fast coming when this will no longer will be the case. The deckhouses will flatten on the bow section like they already have on the stern (the 2nd-class library is a good example of this) and even though the hull will remain strong throughout my lifetime, some of our ingress routes to the interior may become blocked off by collapses from above. What will there be for future Titanic enthusiasts and historians to view?

The answer is obvious, and already stated in various ways above. Future Titanophiles (Titaniacs? I don't know) will only have what is saved for them. It will be their only direct link to the ship. Not to say that Titanic will ever be forgotten, but direct contact makes all the difference in the world. The disaster at Pompeii in AD 79, for instance, lived on in memory for years after the event but was eventually forgotten. It wasn't until excavations began in 1748 that the memory of what happened was firmly ensconced in the public consciousness. And it is the remains of that city, both physical artefacts and permanent casts of the victims' bodies frozen in Death, that gives us today a direct contact to that ancient world. However, because some much time passed between the original event and the excavations, the world had to learn all over again what had happened centuries before, and any details about the disaster that could not be ascertained by forensic evaluation of the ruins were lost forever. Who can say what we could know about the city of Pompeii if our direct contact with the city could have remained unbroken through the centuries?

We lost sight of Titanic for about 70 years. During that time, the evidence for some of her history was lost to the elements. Now that have the wreck back with us, it is our responsibility to preserve Titanic's legacy. We can do it in words and imagery, but nothing forges a direct contact like a physical remnant of that time.

One more example of a salvagable artefact...the etched-glass privacy screen in Cosmo Duff-Gordon's cabin. The walls of the Officers' Quarters on Boat Deck are dissolving away. Window frames litter the Boat Deck, having fallen out of walls already collapsed (I took pictures of several of these). Window frames from the A-deck promenade screens are falling loose from the after end of the bow section and falling to the ocean floor below. Eventually, this deterioration will reach the currently-protected walls of the A-deck cabins. When it does, that glass privacy screen in Cosmo's cabin will eventually fall and be lost to us forever. We were lucky enough to see it in situ, but there will come a time when all that will be left of that screen are the images we capture of it inside the wreck. Wouldn't it serve Titanic's legacy well if we could recover and preserve that large piece of glass -- the only one of its kind -- for future generations?

I've said this before and I'll say it again...people read this forum and others like it. When a producer or expedition lead tasks his team to research Titanic, they turn unfailingly to the Internet. A good amount of the time, their searches will lead them here. I know, because that's exactly how I came to the attention of the History Channel and at least one other. On the question of salvage, the message from this board and others like it is a mixed one...nothing but endless argument over who is right and who is wrong. If we really want to influence the people who will determine how the wreck will be handled in the future, then we have to deliver a strong message with majority support as we discuss the issue in this forum. Trust me...people are out there, unseen, but listening nonetheless. And they really do want to know how we, those of us to whom Titanic is important, feel.


Robert Berg

Jan 2, 2005
I agree, it is time to get items of historical importance as time is running out. There was a time when I didn't feel this way, that Titanic should be left "as is." However, it serves no purpose to let the marconi equipment, etc. be destroyed and lost forever. Reality shows us that time will destroy what we could now save. Time to get it now, because once it's gone, it's gone for good.
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
Another eloquent post, Parks. I wouldn't worry about a few typos. The message gets across and that's what matters. I'd love to see that etched window in the Duff-Gordon's cabin recovered and preserved. I don't think until recently anyone had any idea whatever that such fixtures even existed on the ship. If nothing else, that fact would tend to be a compelling arguement for continued exploration and carefully selective salvage.

We don't know it all, and anyone who thinks we do is clearly...in my opinion...living in a dreamworld.

Sean Hankins

May 15, 2004
Parks if that post didnt convince some who may have been sitting on the fence about salvage I dont know what will. Well said.

I totally agree with selective salvage. The Marconi equipment is arguably the most important link to the night of the sinking as nobody would have been saved without it.

Anyone who feels emotional about that night should want to see this equipment. Even if they have reservations about salvage most would at least be curious. You can only be so moved by a bunch of plates and silverware.

Steven Hall

Dec 17, 2008
Good posts Parks.
I suggested 9 years ago that it would be a reasonable suggestion to consider removing the Port and Starboard anchors.
One placed at Southampton and one at New York. Perhaps the centre anchor also - for Belfast.
When expeditions go to Titanic, I believe there should be at least one individual (each) with specific knowledge and expertise in their given field. That may come to 10 separate individuals — maybe more; maybe less.
Parks is a prime example of someone with a specific field of knowledge (and expertise) — an absolute passion for the ship and broad knowledge of all aspects. It’s a glowing example of what he (as one individual) has provided by way of his contribution to the expedition, and his words here. Apart from Ken, this is the best feedback I’ve seen from an expedition. I can actually see (visually) in my mind what he is actually communicating by his words.
Given an unlimited budget - you could really hit the wreck site with a crack team of individuals.
These sorts of (recent) expeditions should, and must continue into the future.
We all benefit now from this — but the true benefits are provided within the generations that follow. Perhaps those that later find the ship either inaccessible by law, deterioration or simply to dangerous. We owe them the opportunity (we have now) to explore. Like the old saying - when it's gone, its gone.
Well done mate. You’ve done a REAL good job.

John Clifford

Mar 30, 1997
Parks, in 1995, survivor Michel Navratil was at a dinner, as part of a THS Heritage Tour, organized by member Michael Rudd (Louise LaRoche and Millvina Dean were also present).

Anyway, Michel Navratil spoke of his admiration for the effort that Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, in sending the wireless messages.
Michel stated "If it was not for Mr. Bride and Mr.Phillips, neither myself, Ms. Dean, nor Ms. LaRoche would be here tonight".

If it is possible to retrieve the Marconi Room equipment, that would be great. If not, then many of us have the images available to us, including your computer-graphics recreations.

Time will tell us what might be saved, and what will be lost to the North Atlantic.

Jeffrey Word

I for one, IF Parks did indeed find the remains of the crow's nest, wouldn't mind seeing that brought up as well. Especially if it's just lying across the deck like that. Sounds pretty accessable. As long as no damage is done to the structure, not just for the whole "shrine" thing, but first and foremost for the safety of the recovery crew. It would be very neat to have the marconi equipment and crows nest (IF possible), find their way into a good exhibition's care. Just think, the bell and crows nest reunited.
I'd be there!

Oct 17, 2011
Personaly I think that artifacts should be raised up. Titanic will not be with us for long and we need to preserve every living lasting thing that we can. I think that it whould be awesome to bring up the macroni equipment and bringing up any other thing for that matter. A quick question is there any reason why they only do expeditions one time a year ? I whould think they can go out year round and search the wreck. I think that whould be the wise thing to do before we lose her forever.
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
>>A quick question is there any reason why they only do expeditions one time a year ?<<

Two reasons actually. One being money. Diving operations of any kind are very expensive so there aren't a lot of people or organizations who have the finances needed to underwrite the sort of expenses that come with these operations. (Dives to the wreck average out at between $25,000 to $30,000 each.)

The second also has everything to do with the location itself. There's only a very small window of opportunity, about two to three months, during which the ocean is calm enough that operations are possible there. This stretch of ocean has few equals for sheer nastiness where the weather is concerned. Anything rough enough to wreck even the largest of ships is also rough enough to make safe launch and recovery of minisubs impossible.
Oct 17, 2011
Thank you very much for that information. I am enjoying my time on these boards seeing as I stayed up all night browsing and reading the interesting facts that have been posted.
Apr 3, 2005
Good post Parks...The last expedition fulfilled alot of the expectations on what i was hoping to see on Titanic.
As for raising the marconi apparatus among other things, i think it's a great idea.
Yes, alot of people died on Titanic, but thier suffering ended on a long ago night in 1912, and what remains are just the mortal shells of what once was.
I'm not saying go hog wild and loot the wreck of everything but only just the items that could be of extreme historical interest or are one of a kind items that are in danger of being lost or destroyed forever if left in place.
If this wish to raise the historical items is to have any chance of succeeding beyond just talking or dreaming then i think this community (and others) should try to make it happen.
My wish would be for the marconi room (items/parts)to be raised and restored and set in the smithsonian in a recreation of the room as it was on Titanic. It would have the draw of being the only 5kw transmitter (from 1912) left today plus it would be the same apparatus that sent out the call that brought help to Titanic.
I think it is possible to make this a reality if people are serious enough to want to do this. If James Cameron could be enlisted to help (Doubtful?), not to mention the marconi company itself, (think it's still around but correct me if wrong please)Plus this site and others, then there is a small chance of it happening imho.
I for one would think that if a petition was formed and had enough backers/signatures, (few million maybe.....?) then i think it is entirely possible to get this beyond the dreaming/talking stage.It all would depend on us tho to make it happen...
Just my thoughts, and sorry to be so long winded.

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