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Ballard's search for Titanic a cover-up


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#1 of 12 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted June 02 2008 - 08:57 AM

Well this is interesting. I always wondered how Ballard got his funding.

ABC News: More Mystery Shrouds the Titanic

Quote:
The guise of searching for the Titanic's wreckage provided a perfect alibi for the intensified presence of U.S. ships on the Atlantic. Ballard was under strict instructions for the last two decades not to talk to anyone at the time about how he secretly sought out the two subs.


The Thresher went down in 1963 and the Scorpion sank in 1968. Both were nuclear subs and their locations had never really been mapped, Ballard said.

The Navy made a deal with Ballard. After his submarine search was concluded, it would fund an expedition to find the Titanic ...

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#2 of 12 DaveF

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Posted June 02 2008 - 09:05 AM

Wow! I look forward to reading this article tonight Posted Image

#3 of 12 JeremyErwin

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Posted June 02 2008 - 12:38 PM

Old news:

Quote:
NARRATOR: Scattered fragments of twisted metal are all that remains of Thresher, the greatest submarine of her day. This footage was shot in the 1980s by Bob Ballard, as part of a classified Navy effort to survey the debris. His cover story was his search for the Titanic.

BALLARD: Coming in on the Thresher for the first time, it was eerie, it was very much like going to a battlefield or going to Pearl Harbor. Something horrible happened here and a lot of people died. And you sense that.
SUBMARINES, SECRETS, AND SPIES (Nova, January 19, 1999)

It's still an interesting story, but it's not revelatory.

#4 of 12 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted June 02 2008 - 02:26 PM

I wonder why ABC treated it as a "news story"? Posted Image
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#5 of 12 JeremyErwin

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Posted June 02 2008 - 04:32 PM

there's also an upcoming National Geographic programme on this

#6 of 12 Johnny Angell

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Posted June 04 2008 - 09:12 AM

I suppose the cold war mentality had something to do with the secrecy, but is there any practical reason to keep the search secret from the soviets? I can only think that it would give them a clue to where the subs were, but, so what?

Would it have been a security breach if the soviets had found the subs? What would the soviets have gained? BTW, I don't think I ever learned how much they found. Were hulls or portions of hulls found?
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#7 of 12 ChristopherDAC

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Posted June 04 2008 - 10:15 AM

Details of U.S. submarine construction would be very valuable to anyone planning to fight U.S. submarines (find the vulnerable spot). More than this, the Soviets could easily have picked up quite a bit of technology they didn't have, giving them a serious advantage — especially since the U.S. did not have a clear picture of Soviet technical capabilities. And, of course, both subs were loaded down with nuclear warheads, & U.S. warheads were (still are) significantly better in terms of yield per unit mass & per unit volume. A part of the secrecy, though, was undoubtedly just "on general principles" paranoia.

#8 of 12 andrew markworthy

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Posted June 04 2008 - 08:52 PM

Quote:
Details of U.S. submarine construction would be very valuable to anyone planning to fight U.S. submarines (find the vulnerable spot).

To be frank, they're pretty vulnerable to any sort of attack - if you can find them in the first place. The most valuable information about a submarine is its sound and vibration signature and how it displaces the water. Information such as the size and shape of the propellor, design of the shaft, material covering the hull, size of engines, type of sound insulation would all be invaluable in this regard.

#9 of 12 Michael Warner

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Posted June 05 2008 - 03:14 AM

I like the Hughes Glomar Explorer story better. I remember my geology professor in college going on and on about the importance of mining undersea manganese nodules while the whole time it was all just a front for an attempt to find a Russian sub.
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#10 of 12 ChristopherDAC

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Posted June 05 2008 - 04:37 AM

The sad part is, we still need those nodules. Just one of the problems of the Law Of The Sea Treaty…

#11 of 12 Jeff Savage

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Posted June 05 2008 - 08:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristopherDAC
The sad part is, we still need those nodules. Just one of the problems of the Law Of The Sea Treaty…

You must not have seen the recent re-make of the Andromeda Strain where the future us sent back a message via a worm hole saying that those vent and nodules contain the only antidote to this virus Posted Image

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#12 of 12 Inspector Hammer!

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Posted June 10 2008 - 10:20 AM

This makes it sound as if finding TITANIC was just a "bonus" or something, not the case, Ballard truly wanted to find TITANIC and his love for it was genuine. I have read his book Discovery of the TITANIC 3 times and that passion is palpable in those pages.
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