National Geographic: Secrets of the Titanic


irony and sheer terror of this night

still seize the imagination.

A British film, made in 1929

was one of the first of

many Titanic movies:

Full ahead.

Full ahead, sir.

Despite radioed warnings, Titanic

struck an iceberg.

She carried only enough lifeboats

for about 1.200 people

and not even that many were saved.

In 1986 a new chapter in the

Titanic's story began.

The men and machines involved did

not even exist when Titanic went down.

From the Woods Hole

Oceanographic institution

came the research submarine Alvin

and Dr. Robert Ballard

a geologist and undersea explorer.

For decades Ballard

had dreamed of being the man

to explore the Titanic wreck.

Now, if all goes well

he may succeed within a few days.

On July 9th, Ballard's expedition

backed by the U.S. Navy

and drawing on proven

underwater technology

puts to sea from Woods Hole.

One seven five.

One seven five.

The research vessel, Atlantis II

heads for Titanic's resting place

about 1,000 miles due east.

A rare alchemy of talent

desire and circumstance,

has led Ballard to this adventure.

Many led Ballard to this adventure.

Many have called it foolish and

at any rate, impossible,

it's been a hard sell.

No one person, no one organization

on one shared my dream.

There was pieces of it

the technology part,

the ship part, the submarine part.

It's very much like Cinderella

going to the ball.

So I had to go around and get the

shoes from somebody

and the dress from somebody

and the coach and the coachman

and then I knew everything

by midnight,

I'd turn back into a big pumpkin

so I had a sense of urgency

to get it done before

I ran out of time.

The year before

a joint French American expedition

with Ballard as co-leader

sought to locate Titanic.

A 150 square mile area was searched

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