Should The Wreck Site Be Declared Off Limits

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steve b

Guest
In light of the many recent incidents, the wedding not withstanding, im wondering this today. If international communities were able to band together and act as a unified front, and forever declared the wreck site off limits to all, who would be in favor of it? I dont just mean to weddings and that type of nonse either, im talking the scientific community and everyone. It would be interesting to see the reactions if such a thing ever took place. I choose to hold my opinion until others have spoken, but id be interested in hearing the thoughts of others
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Hello Steve,

I think "look but don't touch" expeditions are no problem. But when it comes to expeditions wishing to recover items, I'm both for them and against them at the same time. So basically, as far as the wreck being off limits goes, I'm undecided. Although there basically isn't much left down there to take or harm.


Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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I'm not at home right now, so I don't have access to the article, but I just got the new National Geographic which states that NOAA (???) has just managed to get an international decree on the sanctity of the Titanic and similar wreck sites to protect what is left. When I get home, I'll try to remember to post the article in its entirety. It was very encouraging, even if it is a task that will be hard to enforce. Apparently they were motivated to act by a salvage company that "swept" the wreckage for 5,000 pieces of artifacts. Too little too late, but at least someone is trying to do something.

Kyrila
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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Kyrila,

I saw that article too, but as I recall it only stated that there were proposed regulations, nothing final. Those controls have been in the works for many years. Further, RMS Titanic Inc. will challenge them in court, when they are enacted. A previous lawsuit was dismissed because it was not yet ripe. The United States District Court in Norfolk is the forum. In previous statements to the press, the district judge presiding over the case indicated that he would be inclined to rule in RMS Titanic's favor, because of the company's extensive investment in the salvage operation.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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When you get right down to it, the real problem if any such could be enacted is enforcement. With the wreck clearly in international waters, who would have jurisdiction???

I'm rather ambivalent about this in any event. Scientific investigation...which I strongly favor...requires dives, exploration, and sometimes recovery of certain artifacts. Otherwise, I just wish that the wreck would be left alone.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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steve b

Guest
Im in agreement Micheal, but im wondering if science can possibly teach us at this point of the game. I mean if they can so be it. But where the problem would come in in allowing science to be the only ones allowed, then you would have the other groups screaming bloody murder how they should have access as well. If it came down to a choice having them included so these vultures could continue to try and shake every last penny out of this, or whether it was a choice of excluding everybody, science included, acess to the wreck, well, if it finally means giving those poor 1500 souls final and un interrupted peace and eternal sleep, then theres no choice to make. In the final analysis, the rights of those who perrished there have to outweigh our need to learn..I think they deserve that final peace. But hey thats just my 2 cents
 

Mark Taylor

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Mar 18, 2005
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Re: Proposed Titanic Treaty

The treaty has been signed, as far as I know, but it has not been submitted to the Senate for ratification. The proposed guidelines are posted up at my site, titanicdiscuss.org (in the salvage section) so you can read them there.

As was previously noted, RMS Titanic will challenge if and when the enabling legislation is passed.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Oh I'm confident that science can teach us quite a bit. Just on the technical aspects alone, there are a lot of unknowns. Plenty of theories, but just be going through this site alone, it's all too obvious that each answer seems to breed new questions. I'd like to see some of the mysteries solved once and for all if possible.

As to those other groups screaming bloody murder, I'm afraid you may be right.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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Here's the paragraph in its entirety as promised:
FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * August, 2001; Geographica page 9. "Sinking the Salvagers"
"In the summer of 2000 a salvage company using high-tech equipment scoured the crumbling Titanic for a new haul of valuables and other artifacts--they had already recovered some 5,000 objects. Now international guidelines proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ban the sale of such artifacts and limit salvage. Like many lost ships, the Titanic, says NOAA, is more than just a wreck; it is 'a maritime memorial, a grave site and an underwater museum and laboratory.'"

For your consideration,
Kyrila
 

Kris Muhvic

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Sep 26, 2008
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Good day to all- I have to admit I'm quite ignorant of what I want to say here, but this thread triggerd something that I want to share. So, please forgive me if I sound a bit unsure...
I live in Michigan, surrounded by the Great Lakes, and from my understanding there are strict laws, regulations etc. when it comes to the lake wrecks. Exploration is one thing: but it is only that. The thing that sticks out in my mind is the joint U.S.-Canadian Law that Forbids any salvage, and even photography, of a wreck if any human remains are present.
( Now let me explain something- The lakes are fresh-water, cold, and the pressure is different from the oceans. I don't know all the dynamics, but it is not uncommon, evidently, to witness remains perfectly preserved on wrecks even after 70+ years. Hence the laws).
I realize I might be comparing apples to oranges here, but if this is the case on the lakes, I wonder if it might set up some kind of precedant, even on International waters?
Again, I may be just confusing matters, it's just something I felt a need to say-
Thanks!
Kris
 
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steve b

Guest
Kris, just curious, but do you know if that had anything at all to do with the Edmund Fitzgerald? For some reason i get the distinct impression that it must have. But ill stay true to my belief, i think it is high time the remains of those 1500 people take priority here, and theyre right to a peaceful final resting place. I know that comes with a price sadly, because if we do that, then we also declare science to be hands off and lose the chance to learn more valuable information as Micheal rightly points out.But im also of the belief that you have to remember why science does what it does too. I though its main goal was to help us understand who we are and respect the value of human life. If that is the case then the lives of those whos were lost on that sad night shouild take precedence over our need to learn. Hope that opinion doesnt sound stupid or shortsighted or whatever, but its how i feel. In some weird way it sems as though, sadly, those lives were never respected. They were just an afterthought to those who went seeking relics and artifacts in hopes of cashing them, in for major money. And that is the saddest crime there is. Respectfully and God bless. Steve
 

Dan Cherry

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Mar 3, 2000
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Steve and Kris,
Kris, you make a good point. Perhaps that because of the preservation of bodies at wreck sites on the Great Lakes, it's a more visible reminder that wreck sites are indeed grave yards. I don't know if the Fitzgerald has set a precedence, but it makes good sense. I do not believe further explorations of the Edmund Fitzgerald are even permitted, especially since they found the one body under a piece of wreckage off the port bow. It was a chilling reminder that though wrecks can be fascinating in their own right, they are still grave yards and should be treated as such. The recovery of the ship's bell and its replacement with a memorial bell, I feel, was a proper action to remember the crew of the Fitz.
 

Chris Dohany

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Jan 8, 2001
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Steve,
I believe you are correct, the legislation was set in motion when a body was discovered and photographed lying off the Fitzgerald's bow. The expedition leader received much criticism when plans were made known for the images to be published. Prior to this I recall documentaries freely showing human remains aboard other lake wrecks.
 

Kris Muhvic

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Sep 26, 2008
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Hello All-
First off, to Dan, and I believe Chris answered your question regarding if Fitzgerald, and the knowledge we gained from the wreck, put the current laws in motion. I admit, my above statements were based on a multitude of articles I came across in the papers during the 25th anniversary of the sinking, and with the memorial services held at the Mariner's Church in Detroit (I'm closer to Detroit than Lake Superior!)made the press, commentaries, etc. (there was even talk of a film being made of the Fitzgerald: which was met with a general contempt).
I guess because of the fairly recentness of the E.F., and, at least here in MI, she has gained a signifigant reverance. Indeed as a kid, I heard of E.F. before Titanic!
To steve b. and Michael, I also go through the personal struggle between scientific/historical understanding, and respect of those who lived (or didn't) the first time around. It seems they do not always go hand in hand-that is unfortunate- and I have yet to make a peace between the two.

Yours,
Kris
 
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steve b

Guest
Kris-I understand full well where you come from on the fine line between science and the respect for human life. No more evidence is better served than the humna cloning legislation pending in the US Houses
 

Kris Muhvic

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Sep 26, 2008
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steve b.- cloning! I can barely handle myself, let alone another "me"!
Kidding aside, maybe you, or anyone, can help me out on another moral dillema I ponder: with all these shipwrecks, are they truly graves, or places of death? I don't want to start any controversies- but there are other examples that make me scratch my head.
Many concentration camps in Europe are tourist attractions- somber ones, yes, still...
If that is too extreme, how about Triangle Shirtwaist Factory? The building did not burn down- fixed up after 146 garment workers lost their lives, it still stands...part of N.Y.U. now. Some desk is next to window where half a dozen girls jumped to their deaths to escape fire. What to do? If anything?
I may not be making much of a dialogue, nor do I mean any disrespect, only that the "fine line" is a most cumbersome one!

Yours,
Kris
 
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steve b

Guest
I understand what your saying, but personally id have a hard time with it. Myself, i see something actually kind of sick in seeing death camps used as a spot for visitors. Although on this subject we walk a fine line, because there is a difference between the 2. With the death camps, you are talking about the place where innocent people were put to death by many with no remorse or respect for human life. I neve bought into this garbage of 'i was only doing my duty' nonsense. If it was me, i would have much rather suffered my fate by refusing the order. If that meant my own life, then so be it. But i Digress. If we go by the logic that death camps are now a tourist attraction, then does that mean the Oklahoma Federal Building will be one as well in 50 years? No, my main concern here is for the 1500 people that will forever lay at the bottom of the Atlantic. For years no respect was ever accorded them by salvagers, and more to the point, mere golddiggers. My contention has and still remains theyre right to a peaceful resting place outweighs any of our modern day needs, and its time that the international community recognizes this, and sees fit to let the wreck site be. I hope someday, before i leave, that i will see the day when companies that even ATTEMPT to approach the wreck are levied with massive fines. We must find a way to give these souls an eternal resting place. Doing anything other is a disgrace to theyre memory. Sory for the long winded remarks, god bless all, Steve
 

Kris Muhvic

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Sep 26, 2008
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steve b.- Not long winded at all! By my above statements I hope it was not taken as a justification for plunder...only things that bother me, and others, that not much outcry surrounds. However, with the camps and Oklahoma bomb site, they are considered memeorials (the OK. site has been leveled and a very impressive structure, tasteful I think, dedicated to that horror is in it's place).
Is it because Titanic is under water, not on land(in our face) and not easily accesible? I guess when it comes to the "on land" disasters, there is little choice in doing...something with these plots of tainted ground. What happens on water's surface is one thing, the final resting place is dark and peaceful-final.
Of course your point regarding profiteering...well, that is something I too have a problem with, where I do find the terrible aspect of grave-robbing at it's worst.
Anyway, I often play devil's advocate, including with themes I believe in, only to make sure I see all sides- and make up my own mind. It's just not anywhere I can have this sort of discussion. Thank you for bearing with me.

Yors-
Kris
 
Jul 29, 2001
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I suppose one's opinion on this is largely influenced by religious or philosophical views. So here's my "take" on this.

If someone were to visit my grave 90 years after my death and interfere with my remains, how would I feel? Well the answer is that I couldn't care less. The body which God has "lent" me for my lifetime on earth doesn't belong to me after I'm gone and has no more connection to me than, say, a suitcase or a toothbrush. People can do what they like with it. If organs can be used by doctors, so be it. If scientists or historians want to study it, then again, so be it. If someone wants to risk his life by diving to the bottom of the ocean to "steal" my valuables - then they're welcome. No-one needs to "respect" my graveyard. I won't be resting "in peace" there - God will decide where my spirit goes and my peace doesn't in any way depend on what happens to my grave. Taking the worst case I can think of: even if someone were to commit unspeakable outrages on my remains, I believe I can honestly say that it would be no concern of mine whatsoever.

The present day wreck was the scene of an appalling human tragedy back in 1912 and many people today want to show respect for those who died. But let's not overreact. The victims of the tragedy are not going to be affected one way or the other about what happens to the wreck today.

I would suggest that those who risked their lives and their capital by searching for and locating the Titanic are the ones who should decide on its fate. One might hope that artifacts will be salvaged and that questions concerning the disaster and the people involved will be "answered", within reason. But as for declaring the site "off limits", no-one has that right.

bob falange
 
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steve b

Guest
Bobim going to respectfully disagree with you on this. When, on this earth, you are given a final resting place, you are entitled to it at peaceful eternal sleep. My problem with the entire thing is, if we are taught to respect the sanctity ofd human life, why can we not do so in death as well? Once you fail to recognize the needs and accomplishments, and further more, the RIGHTS of those that came came before you, then i worry about humanity