Titanic found before 1985...?


Paul Lee

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While the old board is being transferred, I thought I would add to the old discussion about the possibility of the Titanic being found before 1985.
I have found that the RSS Discovery did a survey in July 1980 in the area of the Grand Bank of Newfoundland, at the so-called "J" Ridge anomaly.
Looking at the plots, the Discovery passed right over the wreck; indeed, she is described as doing a "figure of eight" over the site and her sonar
may have picked up something. However - and this is the real humdinger - the ship's magnetometer wasn't working because of software problems
so there was no way to determine if any objects on the sea bed were metallic or not. Anyway, a summary is at http://www.paullee.com/titanic/titanicfound.html
 
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Sep 7, 2008
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If you read the letter from Paul Henri Nargeolet to Robert Ballard in 2004, you know,that the Titanic was found in 1977. The HMS Hecate, a ship of the british navy found the wreck.But they can`t say, that they have found the wreck,because it was a secret mission in the north atlantic.
 

Paul Lee

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That isn't quite true. Although the Hecate's missions are classified (strangely, their deck logs are available in the UK National Archive), we do know that she
wasn't in the Atlantic in 1977. She was there in 1979, and indeed one of the old crew has posted a story on ET about this and I contacted him. He told me
that the Titanic was found in 1979, and I confirmed this with the CO of the Hecate, Commander Gobey, now retired. He wouldn't say what they were doing in the area at the time either.
I then contacted the UK Hydrographic Department, and while they wouldn't say what the mission was doing, they did say that the Hecate was nowhere near the wreck co-ordinates. Gobey's comments to me indicates that they didn't know for sure that the anomaly they had found was the Titanic. The
UK Hydrographic Department has been very good in providing information and I see no reason why they should lie to me.

Coupling this altogether, here is what I think happened: the ship was performing a survey on the Grand Banks. A stray trace appeared on the plot
and someone joking said, "Oh, looks like the Titanic." Not having anyone available to know if they were near the CQD location or not, and since the
inexperienced crew had no idea whether what they had seen was a ship (they were allowing the ship's doctors, cooks and so a chance on the sonar
so everyone had a chance to experience the equipment - strange but true, as confirmed by Gobey to me) and, not knowing any differently, the story
that they had found the Titanic filtered through the crew...and then to shore...and thats how rumours start.

Please be wary about PH Naregolet's letter. As he told me, he now admits that some details in it are wrong, such as the base back on shore being
given premature information to get a helicopter to the wreck in time to pick up the first video footage.
 

Adam Went

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Probably something to do with the Cold War/Communists/Russians/Secret spying.....a lot of that was going on during those years and as we know now, Ballard's own discovery of the Titanic can be traced back to that. You'd think after more than 30 years it wouldn't be of such mass secrecy....
 
Sep 7, 2008
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That the HMS Hecate found the Titanic was a joke of the crew? Mmmh.... Why said Nargeolet nothing about the wrong details on his letter? I never heard about it at the last years.
 

turricaned

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All they could have found were a couple of large sonar returns, which may or may not have been used by the Jack Grimm and Ballard/Michel expeditions later. The point is that until the Ballard/Michel expedition, any claim to have found the Titanic would have been an educated guess and nothing more. Ballard and Michel were the ones who proved it.
 

John Clifford

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Texas oilman Jack Grimm claimed he originally found TITANIC; kept on until his death, in 1998. However, no affirmative photos or other evidence was ever conclusively made available. So one can only wonder if a chance "pass-over" occurred.
 

Phillip Ivey

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If you read the letter from Paul Henri Nargeolet to Robert Ballard in 2004, you know,that the Titanic was found in 1977. The HMS Hecate, a ship of the british navy found the wreck.But they can`t say, that they have found the wreck,because it was a secret mission in the north atlantic.

Where can I read this letter at?
 
Sep 7, 2008
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Where can I read this letter at?

I have a german translation of the letter.It is very interesting, because Nargeolet says, Ballard has not found the Titanic. He says, Ballard lies about the damages on the wreck.He called Ballard a liar.But today, Nargeolet will no longer talk about his letter.Why not? I think, he have made an agreement with Robert Ballard. And so, both of them will not talk about the letter again.
 

turricaned

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The manufactured controversy from Nargeolet was bloody disappointing to behold. As a deep-ocean explorer he commands respect, but some of the things he has come out with over the years have been unbelievably petty.

As far as I can tell, Nargeolet was incensed by the decision Ballard took in 1986 to return to Titanic's wrecksite alone (effectively freezing his co-discoverers at IFREMER out). Perhaps understandably he saw it as an attempt by Ballard to grab the glory on his own. What we now know regarding the covert missions that went alongside the '85 and '86 expeditions provides a much more rational explanation. In 1985, access to the wreck was via the French SAR and the American Argo camera platform. Ballard mentions that he was forced to keep the IFREMER team in the dark by sending them to different areas of the Knorr while Argo took pictures of USS Thresher and Scorpion, and that he was astonished that they managed to get away with doing so - but because Argo was unmanned he was always present and able to answer questions. The 1986 expedition also included a visit to the sunken nuclear subs, but the Atlantis II was much smaller than the Knorr, and with Ballard himself going to the bottom in Alvin there was no way to have IFREMER representatives on board without them getting suspicious.

Not knowing this, Nargeolet and IFREMER responded by teaming up with George Tulloch and RMSTI - which was anathema to Ballard. Ballard voiced his displeasure and from then on the relationship between the me n was irreparably damaged.
 
Sep 7, 2008
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All they could have found were a couple of large sonar returns, which may or may not have been used by the Jack Grimm and Ballard/Michel expeditions later. The point is that until the Ballard/Michel expedition, any claim to have found the Titanic would have been an educated guess and nothing more. Ballard and Michel were the ones who proved it.

I have seen the video footage of the so called "stone", that Jack Grimm found in one of his expeditions.It is a propellerblade of the Titanic, but all members of the crew said later, that Grimm is crazy and so the world knows Grimm as a crazy man. I have never seen a "stone" that looks like a propellerblade of a ship, but this "stone" looks like a propellerblade...
 

turricaned

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Norbert, Grimm's camera was pointing straight *down*. All Titanic's propellers were still attached, making it impossible for what Grimm saw to be one of them.
 
Sep 7, 2008
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Norbert, Grimm's camera was pointing straight *down*. All Titanic's propellers were still attached, making it impossible for what Grimm saw to be one of them.

turricaned,the Titanic lost a propellerblade during the collision with the iceberg.Officer Lightoller says it at the british inquiry.And Grimm found this blade.I haven`t written,that he found the Titanic.He didn`t. But the propellerblade,that he have found at one of his expeditions, can be from the Titanic. The starboardpropeller at the wreck has lost a propellerblade.You can see this at fotos of the wreck.And this propellerblade Grimm has found.Maybe... That`s history.
 

turricaned

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Grimm wasn't talking about a propeller blade, he was convinced he'd seen the entire assembly. Not to take anything away from Grimm - he was on the money, but his insistence on focusing on where he thought he saw a propeller meant that he didn't have time to fully check out his last potential location, which was where Ballard and IFREMER started in 1985. Modern legend has it that they dropped SAR at that point and got back such strong readings that they were convinced the SAR unit was malfunctioning. They brought it up, tested and redeployed it - as luck would have it - further away from the wreck, and spent several weeks looking in the wrong direction.

Grimm was unlucky - Ballard freely admits that Grimm did much of the legwork, but as fate would have it it was Ballard who "sank the 9-ball" (to borrow an American idiom)
 
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Jack Grimm's search data proved that he came within 50 miles of the proper lat. & long. location of the Titanic wreck. In the end it was determined that Jean Louis Michelle (IFREMER), with his towed underwater SAR, achieved the proper magnetometer reading of the Titanic wreck. However IFREMER's search was terminated owing to depleted resources. Therefore he joined Ballard and his team and was at the underwater videos when the boiler was discovered on 1 Sept. '85.

Michael Cundiff
 

Danger-Mouse

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I have seen the video footage of the so called "stone", that Jack Grimm found in one of his expeditions.It is a propellerblade of the Titanic, but all members of the crew said later, that Grimm is crazy and so the world knows Grimm as a crazy man. I have never seen a "stone" that looks like a propellerblade of a ship, but this "stone" looks like a propellerblade...

Hello all, this is my first posting, so be gentle.

The Olympic shed a propeller blade over the Grand Banks in 1911/12. It necessitated a visit to Belfast and the only drydock large enough to accommodate it, which was, at that moment, being used by the Titanic.

Of course, the chances of it being the Olympic's missing blade are pretty high - it could just as well be any other ship's. Blade shedding was apparently quite common in those days.
 

Jake Peterson

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Hello all, this is my first posting, so be gentle.

The Olympic shed a propeller blade over the Grand Banks in 1911/12. It necessitated a visit to Belfast and the only drydock large enough to accommodate it, which was, at that moment, being used by the Titanic.

Of course, the chances of it being the Olympic's missing blade are pretty high - it could just as well be any other ship's. Blade shedding was apparently quite common in those days.

Never thought about it being from another ship, but I think I do remember reading that Olympic lost a blade. Too bad there's no way to know for sure....unless Olympic's log books are in a museum somewhere...
 

Mark Baber

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The Citizen, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, 26 August 1913
Original article digitized by Pennsylvania State University
Retrieved from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America web site,
chroniclingamerica.loc.gov


REEF MAY HAVE WRECKED TITANIC
---
Part of Vessel's Hull Sighted at Scene of Disaster
---
PROTRUDED FROM WATER
---
Report of Liner's Captain Believed to be Important by Naval Official---May
Establish Contention That Ship Was Torn by Sunken Ledge as Well as by Giant
Iceberg

---
Much of the mystery that surrounded the sinking of the White Star liner
Titanic on April 14, 1912, may be dispelled by the discovery of a wreck,
believed to be part of the hulk of the ill starred vessel, standing on end
in the Atlantic ocean off the grand banks of Newfoundland, practically in
the spot where the disaster occurred.

Captain Remnant of the British steamship Luciline, which arrived at
Philadelphia from Bordeaux some time ago, reported sighting the derelict,
and the United States hydrographic office has begun an investigation to
learn more about the wreck. Lieutenant Commander Landenberger, United
States hydrographer, stationed in Philadelphia, attaches much importance to
the report.

May be Titanic

Should the wreckage sighted by the Luciline prove to be part of the remains
of the Titanic the story of the memorable wreck would be rewritten. The fact
that after more than a year the hulk stands vertically in the waves,
protruding eight feet or more above the surface, would indicate that a
submerged ledge of rock had prevented the wreck from going to the actual
bottom of the sea. If such a ledge exists---and evidences of one were
reported as long ago as 1722---then it is regarded as possible that the
foundering of the Titanic was caused by the hidden obstruction ripping open
her hull as much as by her collision with the iceberg.

Should these theories prove to be facts, Captain Smith, who was in command
of the Titanic and perished when his vessel went down, might be absolved, it
is said, of the charge of lack of vigilance and damage suits against the
International Mercantile Marine based on the disaster would fail, admiralty
lawyers say, for the same reason.

Captain Remnant of the Luciline believes that what he saw was the wreck of
the Titanic or part of it. It was covered with a marine growth of
comparatively recent formation, tending to show that it had been in the
water a little more than a year. It had the appearance. Captain Remnant
said, of being held down by anchors in shoal water and of being buoyed up by
water tight compartments. He is of the opinion that it was the forward part
of the Titanic, which, it was said, split in two just before it sank.

Sunken Ledge May Exist

Mariners say there is every reason to believe the existence of a submerged
ledge of rock at or near the spot where the Titanic was destroyed. Three
different obstructions of such a character have been reported and the
calculations of the position of the grave of the Titanic as well as those
of the sunken rocks and of the wreck reported by Captain Remnant are all
approximate.

Lieutenant Commander Landenberger, United States hydrographer, said in
discussing the report that the matter is one of the utmost importance. He
asserted that the government should dispatch a surveying vessel to the scene
of the disaster to establish or disprove at once the existence of the sunken
ledge and to ascertain if possible if the wreck seen by the British officer
was that of the ill fated Titanic.

-30-
 

alanrutledge

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Feb 4, 2014
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Hello all, I wanted to add some thoughts to the comments in this thread.

Having read Jack Grimm’s book(Beyond Reach the Search for Titanic) and watching the video documentary(The Discovery, expedition 2) showing the discovery of the ‘propeller blade’ and pictures thereof…I have some concerns.

In the documentary they claim “painstaking measurements estimate the blade to be between 8-10 feet tall and place it 16-20 feet off the bottom”.
The main problem I have is that from the stern wreckage photos we now know the propellers to be half buried in the silt and those calculations to be impossible. He does insist in book that the blade in question is attached to the ship. Page 195 “So, I believe it is suspended, still attached to the shaft; the ship is here and just out of sight.” Also from the stern wreckage photos it does not seem possible that a camera sled could have been drug over that area without seeing more of the debris or getting caught on the stern wreckage itself. Not to mention that the documented location of the blade in the book it way off from the actual wreck coordinates.

It would help the theory if side scan radar was completed on the wreck to determine if all outer propeller blades are indeed intact. If we could determine that one was missing(especially from the starboard side) that would make Grimms’ theory a bit more believable.

So the way I see it there are only a couple possibilities:
A. The photo/video is of a rock or other natural seabed object
B. The blade is from Olympic(or another vessel), possibly Grimms’ measurements were off and it was indeed laying flat or sticking in the seabed straight up and down...highly unlikely
C. The blade is from Titanic…would mean Grimms’ measurements were off and it was indeed laying flat or sticking straight up and down…but not suspended…again highly unlikely...also would mean the titanic shed the blade on the iceberg way off estimates of iceberg location and way off current wreck coordinates...and then turned around(headed back east) for miles and sank there. Safe to say we can rule C. out?

Not to take anything away from Grimm. I do believe that he did the majority of the legwork for Ballard as well…but he did not discover the Titanic or a Titanic propeller blade(in my opinion). The book alone was released in 1982 and quotes the search grid they believed the wreck to be in at that time...which does put the current coordinates inside the Grimm search range…albeit on the outside edge however.
 

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