First and foremost, the alleged French sdubmarine, in this case there is only one, the NAUTILE, *WOULD NOT and *COULD NOT* perform diving operations on the Titanic during this alleged NOV. DEC. period.
Anyone familiar with the Titanic expeditions knows that Mother Nature allows but a *quaint* window of opportunity.
The U.S., French, and Russian Oceanagraphic institutes are well aware of this.
Something that i was wondering....
I saw an article on another website: www.titanicnewschannel.com that a US government Satellite saw a ship over the Titanic wreck site in the fall.It couldn't tell if the ship was stationary or moving. Question: do any modern day shipping routes go directly over the wreck of Titanic?
Sir, I am afraid your facts are incorrect. Contact WHOI yourself, perhaps they will be obliged to confirm this. With many documentaries on hand, I do not not recall, perhaps it was "BATTLE FOR THE TITANIC" (PBS) which disclosed this information.
Think it about, afterall you are ex-Military, correct?
Here's this *brand new* technology being tested. If you will recall, upon Dr. Ballard's successful documentation of the NAVY'S "Thresher" and "Scorpion" wrecks, he was then allowed, what turned out to be, sufficient time to locate and prelimilarily photograph...TITANIC.
So why would this co-NAVY endeavor entertain a compromise when so much is at stake? As much as a career!!
Beings that the innovation and property were
NAVAL originated, in fact J.J., the "swimming eyeball" had to be altered, enabling the vehicle's allowance into the aforementioned torpedo tubes, thereby confirming decompositon
rate of it's *armmagedon* cargo. Surely, and considering the remote locations(s) the U.S.N. would not want their property ending up in the hands of???
(SEE: Subject heading this topic)
In concluding, I can only surmize it were as a precautionary measure.
As a token of respect to the loss which occured 15 April 1912, ships of of civilian/commericial orgin veer away from this GPS fix. In fact, on it's regular crossing, the QE-2 announces a proxmity arrival, for the interested parties to engage in whatever private ceremonies one had planned at paying homage to TITANIC's loss.
The closest QE-2 ever got was on, Dennis Cochrane's (TITANIC HISTORIAN of a previous expedition) resurfacing aboard a MIR, in which he *noted* a "...meeting of the QUEENS at sea".
The Captain of this last North Atlantic greyhound
rendered "all ahead stop" to acknowledgement his friend's achievments, and offer condonement to this ongoing endeavor.
It was by far one of the most touching
and logical accounts to date.
However, Ken Marchall's accounting is always to the "T" and on a proifesional level, I was hoping he would share a more personal insight into his dive(s),
For me, his BRITANNIC contribution (THS Commutator) was an "out of body" reading experience.
I was hoping that the artefacts (articles sounds so much more approriate) would *hook-up* with the late Mr. Walter Lord's invaluable holdings, at the Grenwhich Museum.
(BTW: Dr. Eric Kently, at the time representing Grenwhich Museum, contributed an outstanding article in regards to salvage, from a curators standpoint. These same folks who's *anti-salvage* views, ultimately changed and they were to entertain a much successful exhibition of the artefacts.)
Now, am I mistaken in recalling that *whomever* from the Society of Museums of the continental U.S. also denounced salvage and vowed to *not* allow the housing of TITANIC artefacts at U.S. museum grounds.
Is it really all about money, or do any of these folks have just the slighest notion of the artefacts significance?
Are these same folks really trying to save them?
George Tulloch, P.H. Nargeolet, Yann Houard, Pierre Valldy, LP-3 Conservator,
the NAUTILE and so many others already saved them...
...now it's up to the rest of the world to entrust a permanent savoir.
Sorry Michael, but Navy sponsored does not in fact speak to a warfighting capability. I'm well aware of what was behind the technology being tested, in this case, a means to better locate and examine sunken navy vessels, particularly the USS Scorpion.
Technical testing of survey equipment doesn't speak to weaponry, which is exactly the sort of thing a warship would carry and what would be needed if the Navy was to take on the job of "protecting" the wreck. Unarmed vessels do not protect anything.
Now, if you can point out where the guns, torpedos and missile launchers are on the survey ships, as well as a documented mandate for wreck protection given to the military authorities and a permanent presence on station, then we'll have something to talk about.
Back to the main topic, yes there was an illegal expedition last Novemeber/December. We know what ship was used. We know what salvage company conducted the expedition. We know that an unmanned ROV was utilized to recover small objects (good call Dave Gittins.) All this has been verified from multiple sources and information has been presented to the Norfolk Court by interested parties and by RMST at the request of the Court. It happened. This isn't a rumor. It might not be a good thing to go into complete detail about the expedition at this time, pending Norfolk Court action in this matter.
Now the question must be asked: Why? Why did a rogue salvage company make a clearly illegal expedition to this famous shipwreck? What makes the expedition illegal is that they retrieved artifacts in defiance of Norfolk Court jurisdiction over the wreck. Was it thought that the recovered artifacts could be used to lay claim to Titanic after RMST successfully relinquished salvor status? Was the company under the impression they might be able to go to a third world country that may not recognize all facets of Admiralty Law as defined by US standards and make salvage claim and possibly ownership claim to the wreck and remaining unrecovered artifacts?
I'm not a lawyer and don't play one on TV, but it seems to me Norfolk retains jurisdiction. The court can appoint or remove slavors as it see fit. If RMST is allowed by Norfolk to relinquish its status, then Norfolk would retain jurisdiction and would appoint another salvor from several companies that might apply or would immediately command a federal marshall to assume control of the wreck site and all recovered artifacts. Most of the civilized world would recognize that jurisdiction in Norfolk as ongoing under Admiralty Law. And now that almost everyone in the civilized world knows of the expedition, how could the salvage company involved possibly hope to be successful in establishing claim to the salvage rights? I think someone has shot themselves in the foot and soon the Norfolk Court will address this issue. The judges must be very upset that someone has seen fit to defy their specific orders.
Once again D, thanx for this. You obviously have your finger "on the pulse" as it were. But one thing to keep in mind........
Perhaps the salvor was salvaging as it could then claim in the Norfolk court that RMST has relinquished its position through acquiescence. It has not been to the wreck site since 2000 and that is now 3 years......it is hardly maintaining its supervision of the wreck site as obligated by the Norfolk court. The court said a year ago if it cannot control the site, another co. may be appointed to fulfill that role. (See my article on the Artifacts Appeal Decsision elsewhere on this board.)
I don't think the court would simply "appoint" sometime to take over that role. They would need to actually salvage and bring artifacts to the court. So, you do it now before RMST abandons it salvage right, and claim, as they have not fulfilled their obligation to periodially go to site, they have "constructively" lost their right.
What I think interests me most is that a U.S. Court has assigned a salvor to a British owned vessel in International Waters that is 90 years old.
On top of that you have the immediate issue of salvage, not in the traditional sense meaning to raise the vessel and either return it to service or turn it into razor blades, but a more broad definition (three parts including the above)of salvage is hereby applied.
This second definition refers to the security of the wreck site and all things contained there in, a site that is quite large, this site being contained in International Waters where vessels of any orgin under any flag with just about any intention are freely allowed to transit. The word security alludes to the idea that the salvor is then responsible for ensuring the wreck site is "secure". How does one do this??
In order for this to be done you have to have a ship on station 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. This isn't feasible, so how can any organization (court or otherwise) maintain security of the site and stop people from freely looting it?? The basic answer is that it can't.
The court can order that it not be done, but the reality of the salvage trade is something completely different. How are you going to maintain this court order??
Then you have a third definition applied to the wreck site under the word "salvage". This third definition is in regards to what is retrieved from the wreck site and how it is handled and taken care of. Some of these things that have been retreived are personal effects, not owned by the company who owned the vessel but owned by a specific individual or family. When these are retrieved and identified to whom do they then belong?? The salvor?? The salvor was by law awarded the possesion of and responsible for the security of the wreck and ALL things contained there in. So now the salvor is now in legal posession of anothers property, when the orginal owner of that property did not (unless they had there things insured and put in a claim) receive compensation for or the right to retrieve the belongings that where legally theres and lost due to no fault of there own.
Then you have what was the ships, things the ship was probably paid for via insurance which the orginal owner has not legal claim to. Things that the salvor can now posses and do whatever they wish with.
I have a lot of interaction with those in the salvage trade. The trade itself is based of money (just as is any business). Usually when a insurance company or owner of a vessel appoints a salvor it is to either scrap the ship or remove it from it's current location and repair it. But 9 out of 10 times (the ones I have dealt with involving large ships) the intent is to move the vessel.
In Titanic's case the intent is to "protect" the vessel. I use the word "protect" very lightly. How can a company protect something that it can not physically posses?? Something that is in international waters??
These are just thoughts of mine and I don't have (or refuse to share it in public) my thoughts on the salvage subject. I just wanted to add something to an already interesting debate.
For a very well-written explanation of how admiralty law works in the salvage of wrecks in international waters, where the wreck cannot physically be brought to shore -- and, incidentally, for a hell of a good read -- see "Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea" by Gary Kinder. It is about the salvage of the gold-laden Central America, but it applies equally to the Titanic. The same Norfolk federal court awarded salvor rights in both cases.
Just coming out of "lurker" mode long enough to say welcome to Marc! I have enjoyed reading your on-going coverage of the court proceedings in this case and appreciate the time you take to get all of the facts correct. As I am no longer able to attend the hearings myself (I've moved) your articles are the next best thing to being there.