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Robert Green
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Wreck And Sinking Of The Titanic: The Ocean's G...


Up until 1985, when Bob Ballard discovered the wreck of the Titanic on the ocean floor, it was generally believed the Titanic sank intact, in one piece. Second Officer Lightoller, at the American and British Inquiries, and the books published by First-class passenger Colonel Gracie and Second-class passenger Lawrence Beesley, made statements to this effect immediately after the disaster, and this is what was accepted by the public for decades.Even now, 18 years after the discovery of the wreck, the 'general perception' is still that only a very few survivors claimed to see the ship split apart before she sank. But what are 'the facts'? What did the survivors really see, and how many *did* claim to see the ship break up? An examination of the texts of both the 1912 American and British Inquiries gives us a very good idea. (Many newspapers also printed accounts of what was seen, however attempting to find and bring together these very many articles is beyond the scope of this article.if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined')ez_ad_units.push([[250,250],'encyclopedia_titanica_org-medrectangle-4','ezslot_27',677,'0','0']);__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-encyclopedia_titanica_org-medrectangle-4-0');Also, a newspaper account may have been altered or exaggerated by a reporter, and it becomes hard to tell the exaggeration from what the witness actually saw and said.)All survivors interviewed by the Inquiries will be examined below, with their own comments as to what they saw. Survivor accounts are in the same order they testified at the Inquiries. Accounts are edited only in respect of leaving out comments not related to the Titanic sinking itself. American Inquiry accounts are referenced by page number, British Inquiry accounts by question number.The American Inquiry AccountsThe following witnesses at the American Inquiry made no statement at all about the ship sinking.




Wreck and Sinking of the Titanic: The Ocean's G...



The ship reached an angle of 45 degrees when her lights went out at 2:18 A.M. She then quickly began her final plunge. After 3 minutes, at 2:20 A.M, the whole ship gently slid into the ocean, with mostly air bubbles causing any sort of dramatic effect, this was shown in all the movies. Despite plenty of survivors seeing that she broke in two, their stories were strangely enough not confirmed as truth in the Enquiries, so it was perceived as sinking intact throughout history untill Robert Ballard found the wrecks of the two sections of Titanic seperated, in 1985.


April 15 is the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage in 1912. The wreck of the ship was found in two pieces, the bow and the stern, by Ballard in 1985, who released the precise coordinates of the wreck: 41.726931 N and -49.948253 W. The wreck was found at a depth of 12,000 feet.


The wreck site is two miles below the ocean's surface, making it impossible to dive without an ROV or a manned submersible. The wreck lies in two main sections; the bow and stern, the ship having broke in half as it sank. Between the two main sections lies a large debris field containing large and small objects which were dislodged from the main sections as the Titanic sank. The interior of the Titanic varies depending on which section of the ship is explored. Some areas are in a fantastic state of preservation while others have deteriorated completely or were completely destroyed during the sinking. Since its discovery by Dr. Robert Ballard in 1985, the wreck has been steadily deteriorating due to corrosion mixed with large scale salvage and vandalism. The crow's nest is gone, having been knocked carelessly by a submarine into an open cargo hatch. The main mast collapsed after being violently ripped off by a robotic submersible and most of the promenade deck has collapsed, with only a small section of the enclosed portion remaining standing. Large "rusticles" dangle from all areas of the wreck. None of the four iconic funnels are left standing and lie in pieces on the debris field. As of 2012, the Titanic has been declared a protected heritage site by the United Nations.


The largest and most far-reaching of the documents NARA has concerning the sinking of Titanic (at 1,176 pages) can be found in the United States Congressional Serial Set (serial 6167): U.S. Senate, Subcommittee of the Committee on Commerce, "Titanic" Disaster: Hearings before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Commerce United States Senate, pursuant to S. Res. 283 directing the Committee on Commerce to investigate the causes leading to the wreck of the White Star Liner "Titanic," S.Doc. 726, 62nd Congress, 2nd sess., 1912 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1912), Publications of the U.S. Government, RG 287, NACP. 041b061a72


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