Unrecovered victims

Matt, this has been looked at on another thread. Evidence, especially the statistics compiled by Bill Wormstedt, suggests that a substantial number did go down inside the ship. Their bones were dissolved over the years, like those of the owners of the famous pairs of shoes found near the wreck.

My own suggestion is that many of the crew and third class passengers did not wear lifebelts. There's plenty of evidence that those who made it to the boat deck and into boats wore them, but not much is known about those below decks. Add those not wearing lifebelts to those below decks and the 1,000 undiscovered bodies looks reasonable enough.

As to the bodies scattering, that's no surprise to sailors. Tiny differences in wind resistance and water drag accumulate as the days pass and floating objects get scattered. Captain Larnder of Mackay-Bennett was rather surprised to find so many bodies, which is why he ran out of coffins and buried many bodies at sea.
I know it's Hobson's choice - whether you die inside a ship or die in the water - but I've always had a horror of being trapped inside a sinking ship, and would much rather be out on deck and take a chance in the water. It's probably not logical, as it may be quicker if you're inside it for various reasons e.g. implosion etc. But I dislike modern ro-ro ferries because there is so little deck space, and so much toughened glass - they found that out on the Herald of Free Enterprise - not that they had much time to get out onto whatever (little) deck space existed.
Monica, you are in good company. Here's what Joseph Conrad wrote in an article about the disaster.

"I know very well that the engineers of a ship in a moment of emergency are not quaking for their lives, but, as far as I have known them, attend calmly to their duty. We all must die; but, hang it all, a man ought to be given a chance, if not for his life, then at least to die decently. It's bad enough to have to stick down there when something disastrous is going on and any moment may be your last; but to be drowned shut up under deck is too bad. Some men of the Titanic died like that, it is to be feared. Compartmented, so to speak. Just think what it means! Nothing can approach the horror of that fate except being buried alive in a cave, or in a mine, or in your family vault."

It doesn't do to think too much about how the victims of Titanic died.
Oh Lord, Dave. You're right. It doesn't do to think too much about it. I hadn't realised I was in such distinguished company, and Conrad put it much better than I could. And now we build what Inger described to me as floating condo's and shopping malls - she's right. Not much way out of them, then.
The unrecovered bodies.... Why exactly did they "disappear"?

[Moderator's Note: This message, originally posted as a separate thread in a different subtopic, has been moved to this pre-existing thread addressing the same subject. MAB]


I won't detract from Dr. Ballard's discovery and science. His chemistry is probably right on. That being said, Robert Ballard has made some pretty imperious statements about the wreck, and some have been proven incorrect. His beliefs about how the ship wreckage should remain is from his interpretation, and not from hundreds of thousands of other opinions.