Titanic's last moments missing pieces


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Nov 29, 2005
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Here is the official Press Release for The History Channel show:

TITANIC´S FINAL MOMENTS: MISSING PIECES On The History Channel(R)

NEW YORK, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A top-secret expedition by The History Channel to the Titanic wreck site, conducted in August, 2005, produced never- before-seen footage that could completely rewrite the final moments of the world's most famous sunken vessel. Using high-definition photographic equipment, an internationally acknowledged team of experts has located brand- new information that maritime historian Simon Mills has termed "...possibly the most significant pieces of evidence since the wreck was located in 1985." Find out what was down there and what it means to the story you thought you knew in The History Channel special presentation, TITANIC'S FINAL MOMENTS: MISSING PIECES, premiering Sunday February 26, 2006 at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Veteran shipwreck divers and hosts of The History Channel hit series Deep Sea Detectives, last summer Richie Kohler and John Chatterton joined a team of maritime experts on the Russian research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh. The trip was a gamble: heavy on resources, but highly speculative, with a legitimate possibility that they would come back empty-handed. They were in search of new clues whose existence had long been talked of in Titanic expert circles, rarely seen but never examined for their role in Titanic's sinking. They cruised the known debris field days in front of an oncoming storm, racing against time and the elements to try and find new clues from Titanic's final moments.

What exactly did they find, and why is it being called "the missing link" in the Titanic story, the piece of information that can help settle issues that experts have debated for years? Kohler and Chatterdon are joined by renowned naval architect Roger Long, historian Simon Mills, and a host of other experts on a deep-sea search for clues and in the raging debate as to what they really mean. Go along on a ride more than two miles beneath the surface of the sea and see for yourself, in TITANIC'S FINAL MOMENTS: MISSING PIECES.

Executive Producer for The History Channel is Carl Lindahl. TITANIC'S LAST MOMENTS: MISSING PIECES is produced for The History Channel by Lone Wolf Documentary Group.

David Concannon
www.explorerconsulting.com
 

Senan Molony

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The press release was a gamble. Highly hypacious, could it hook enough non-experts to view in their thousands, even millions? The drafters pored over their text again, pulled a fresh thesaurus from the shelf, sought out new, undiscovered words that just re-write history hysteria. And at the end, what?
 

Senan Molony

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The second draft tore up the handbook of Titanic press-release wisdom.

MURDER, betrayal and the kiss of a beautiful woman clad in scarlet have nothing to do with the millions of words that fell out of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
Now, more than ninety years on, words long forgotten - indeed, ignored for decades - have been dredged to the surface, some as shining and brilliant as the day they were first minted.

What bits of the bottom of the Titanic lie on which bits of sand? Experts have flung away mankind's obsession with a trifling thousand-and-a-half lives to uncover the stunning truth.

Racing against time, expert sand-sifters sifted desperately against the dwindling sands of the hour glass, conscious only that Feb 26 hurtled ever closer.
Until - Eureka!

This bit of bottom lies on that bit of sand...

Etc, etc.
Apologies, but we can do without the froth.

The show, nonetheless, should be mighty interesting.
 
Mar 3, 1998
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The History Channel has created a website for the show. It's still a work in progress, but can be seen at:

http://www.historychannel.com/

Click on "Titanic" in their Hot List to go to the TFM:MP page.

I expect that they will add more as time gets closer to broadcast.

Parks
 
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I am very much looking forward to this broadcast, and I'm eager to see if the new discoveries live up to their hype.
 
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I hope so, and would like to add that both Simon Mills and I are writing articles for the THS Commutator that will provide amplifying information to what you will see on TV. Simon's article will run in the next issue and mine will follow in the issue after that. Simon will give insight into the expedition and the group analysis of the expedition's finds. I will describe an alternative take on the analysis and bring together some information not covered during the programme. The show is not meant to close the book on Titanic's break-up and sinking, but rather to inspire discussion and debate. Our Commutator articles are written with that in mind.

Parks
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>The show is not meant to close the book on Titanic's break-up and sinking, but rather to inspire discussion and debate.<<

I don't know that anything could possibly close the book. Each new piece of evidence found appears to act a lot like the 7th variable of Murphy's Law in that each new piece breeds new theories.
 
Mar 3, 1998
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John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, the hosts of "Titanic's Final Moments: Missing Pieces" will appear on Good Morning America this coming Tuesday (2/21) to discuss the expedition and the upcoming documentary. If you would like a preview of the History Channel show, this would be a good opportunity.

Parks
 
Nov 26, 2005
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Sorry if this has already been listed in another thread, but I couldn't find it.

So here's a link to an interview on 'Missing Pieces: Titanic's Final Moments' on Good Morning America.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/

Parks, I'm full of about 1,000 questions right now!!! Can't wait until it airs!

[Moderator's Note: This message, originally posted in a separate thread in a different topic, has been moved to this pre-existing thread on the same subject. MAB]
 
Mar 3, 1998
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I'd like to give you an update on what I know about the show which airs in just a few days.

I was added to the Live Chat board today, specifically so that I could talk about my thoughts concerning the break-up and sinking, which differ somewhat from Roger Long's. An advance copy of the show is being sent to me so that I can see it in time for the chat session (it won't have aired in California by the time the chat starts).

In addition, an AP article will hit the wire on Friday that describes both Roger's and my differing interpretations of the evidence found by the Lone Wolf Documentary Group (LWDG). This article will probably be picked up by various media outlets, unless more explosive news stories fill all available space (which may happen, if today's news is any guide).

I am excited by this, because it demonstrates that the History Channel and LWDG are not beholden to any one theory and are willing to accommodate differing interpretations of the evidence. As many of you know, Titanic research demands that kind of flexibility...as Walter Lord so ably put it, "It is a rash man indeed who would set himself up as the final arbiter on all that happened the incredible night the Titanic went down." None of us on the LWDG team felt that we had uncovered the final answer, but we do feel that we can present a lot of new material for everyone to chew over. The AP reporter today asked me if we would ever know what happened to the Titanic when it went down and my answer was, "I think so." Every time we go down there, we get closer to the truth. LWDG made a huge discovery this past summer and if it doesn't answer all the questions, it points us in a direction that will most certainly bring us closer to what really happened. I am excited both by what has been found and what it hints at still being out there to be found. Even though the pieces found answered some questions, they raised even more.

First of all, though, we have to dispel all the erroneous assumptions about what was found and what conclusions our team derived from them. I've seen the wildest things posted in various Titanic discussion forums and look forward to the show setting everyone straight in that regard. We could be right or wrong in our analysis, but we can't debate or defend what we didn't claim.

I'm looking forward to the show on Sunday night and the live chat afterward. Following that, look for two articles that Simon Mills and I are writing for the THS Titanic Commutator magazine that will provide more detail on the different interpretations of the evidence.

Parks
 
Nov 29, 2005
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"I am excited by this, because it demonstrates that the History Channel and LWDG are not beholden to any one theory and are willing to accommodate differing interpretations of the evidence."

I am glad you said this Parks, because this was the spirit in which the expedition was conducted. Nobody was sure what we would find or what it would mean. Instead, we focused on pushing out beyond the known limits of the wreck site to see what was there. We conducted exploration for exploration's sake. The purpose was to bring back the data and interpret it later.

I have not been involved in the post-expedition investigation, and I will not be able to watch the show on Sunday night. However, I look forward to eventually watching the show and reading the comments posted by the members of this forum

David Concannon
www.explorerconsulting.com
 
J

Jon Meadows

Guest
Did anyone else feel that they did not explain themselves very well in the GMA interview? My partner and I watched it and looked at each other during it, scratching our heads.

They failed to state that the piece that they found was part of the bottom from the break in the ship, which it what I have gathered from other sources. They also failed to say that the time that the ship went under is undisputed, but they feel that a break caused the rate of sinking to increase.

What it sounded like was that the ship sank faster than thought and that they found the ENTIRE keel of the ship laying elsewhere on the ocean floor.
 

Paul Lee

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Once agin, we in the UK miss out. I've just heard from the History Channel (UK) and we won't be getting the Missing Pieces broadcast until April 17.
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Remember, Jon, the GMA interview is a teaser for the show. I'm not saying that any omissions were deliberate, but they want to raise questions, rather than answer them, in any pre-show publicity.

Another thing that I noticed...interviewers don't know the right questions to ask. If a Titanic person had been the one to ask or phrase questions, then the answers would have been a lot different. The live chat after the show is designed to do just that...let people with Titanic knowledge ask more pointed questions.

Parks
 
May 9, 2001
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It was my perception also that the GMA host, Charles Gibson, was poorly informed as to what the expedition found and what conclusions his guests were ready to provide. Almost as if Mr Gibson was somewhat 'mis-informed'.

Both Kohler and Chatterjen had to correct Gibson that they 'didn't' think the pieces were broken off by the iceberg.

As to what Jon posted above, I think if you view the entire interview again you'll find that the origins and dimensions of the new found pieces are clearly given early in the presentation. I think both men were clear about the breakup causing a change in characteristics of the sinking. That there was a 'moment' when Titanic went from being relatively stable but sinking slowly, to becoming very unstable and sinking very quickly, and that this transition was caused by the hull coming apart. As I heard their version, if the hull had remained intact, Titanic may have actually floated for several more hours than it did. Perhaps allowing enough time for Carpathia to reach the scene and begin rescue efforts between the two ships. They didn't come out and say that, but implied it.
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Yuri,

>Almost as if Mr Gibson was somewhat 'mis-informed'.

If you're implying that the LWDG fed false information to Charles Gibson so that he would ask the wrong questions, then I don't believe anything of the sort.

>Both Kohler and Chatterjen had to correct Gibson that they 'didn't' think the pieces were broken off by the iceberg.

The story of the History Channel expedition is a convoluted one. They went out expecting to find something that might either prove or disprove the grounding theory and ended up coming across something entirely different. This story will be told in Sunday night's programme and was probably summarised for the ABC interviewer. Now, to someone who doesn't follow Titanic closely, I can see that person (in this case, the ABC reporter)getting confused by the shift in priorities...switching from a search for debris that might have been torn off by the iceberg (I'm referring to what they were originally looking for) to finding debris that was torn loose during the breakup.

As to the rest, you and I will both have to wait until we see how they frame their conclusions during the show. The way I see it, the debris found tells us more about how the ship broke apart and sank. The ship was doomed when those 5 compartments were flooded, no doubt about it. But did those on board -- Andrews chief among them -- predict that the hull would split, accelerating the sinking? That's a question that we may never be able to answer. It was a hard notion to grasp in 1912 -- look at how the subject was treated by both H&W and the Wreck Commission -- and is still being debated today, even though we have evidence for the break.

Andrews knew that the ship would flood, that buoyancy would be lost, that the loss of buoyancy would create a situation where the designed tendency of the hull to right itself would go negative and when that happened, the ship would either roll over or tip up, and then sink. Did he calculate that the hull structure would break? I imagine that the thought would have crossed his mind, at the very least. Regardless, though, Andrews knew that when the righting moment started to go from positive to negative, there was nothing more that could be done. How much time would one have then? Obviously, the ship would stay on the surface a bit longer if it were intact, rather than if breaking into two pieces, and minutes -- seconds, even -- may make the difference between life or death for some.

The point here is that when you read through the eyewitness testimony, people were surprised first by the "plunge" (Lightoller's word) or "wave" (Gracie's word) that rolled aft along Boat Deck and later by the sudden violent actions of the hull. To people who had become accustomed to a slow, steady sinking process, the end was sudden, unexpected and lethal. In the eyes of those aboard, the ship really did sink faster than they expected.

That's my view and the marine architect hired by LWDG, Roger Long, is of the same view. I can't speak to what the hosts will say in the show itself, but I believe that they understand the situation well. And then there's showmanship...how much of what was said on Tuesday was meant to intrigue you so that you would watch the show? We'll see.

Again, John, Richie, Roger and myself will be available for questions during the live chat after the show.

Parks
 
May 9, 2001
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I was only implying that whoever helps ABC anchor Charles Gibson prep for an interview, (meaning his assistants at ABC), might have mis-informed Mr Gibson about what was going to be the speaking points of his guests from LWDG. Because he seemed genuinely surprised to learn that the bottom pieces weren't taken off by the iceberg collision.

No swipe at the expedition team intended.
 
Nov 29, 2005
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"The story of the History Channel expedition is a convoluted one. They went out expecting to find something that might either prove or disprove the grounding theory and ended up coming across something entirely different."

Slight correction: We went out to find something, found it, but it wasn't what we expected or hoped for. Then, we found something else, unexpectedly, and the question now is, what does it tell us?

I don't know what the show will say about this.
 

Paul Lee

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Once the show is broadcast hopefully the NDA will become void! I'd still love to know about the debris found 900 metres south of the stern, as well as this new material, which I gather is somewhere to the east of the bow.
 
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