Titanic wreckage discovered during a covert military mission: the true story of the legendary ship's finding
Few people know that the exact location of the legendary Titanic, which sank in April 1912, remained a mystery to researchers for decades. The wreckage was only discovered in 1985 during a secret mission to find the wreckage of two nuclear-powered submarines, the USS Scorpion and USS Thresher.
Details of this story are recounted by Business Insider, citing former naval officer and oceanographer Robert Ballard, who was part of that secret mission.
Almost immediately after the Titanic sank, the first attempts were made to raise the wreckage and bodies of those who went down with the ship. However, the underwater technology of the time did not permit such an operation. The wreckage of the Titanic was simply too deep.
However, when the legendary ship was already forgotten, it was found by the participants of the secret mission.
In 1985, Ballard and French oceanographer Jean-Louis Michel were part of a secret mission to find the wrecks of two nuclear submarines, the USS Scorpion and the USS Thresher.
USS Thresher sank in April 1963 and USS Scorpion sank two years later, in May 1965. These are the only nuclear-powered submarines the U.S. Navy has ever lost.
No one knew of this fact until the mission data was declassified and Ballard told the whole truth in an interview.
He said that he first met with Navy officials in 1982. At that time, he was seeking funding to develop a new type of submersible that would help him find the Titanic. The Navy agreed to give Ballard the money, but on condition that the submersible must be used in a secret project to search for sunken submarines.
It was noted that the mission's first priority was to search for submarines, thus the Titanic could be searched too if there was enough time to do so. Ballard was also tasked with determining whether the subs were damaged as a result of the Soviet attack.
After 12 days of searching, Ballard found both the subs and the Titanic itself. He was able to find it assuming that if it split in half, it should have left a trail of debris on the bottom. That's exactly how it turned out.
That said, the Navy was nervous that people might guess what Ballard and Michelle were really looking for and the scandal would be inevitable. But when it became known that the wreck of the Titanic had been found, no one thought to ask why the military was involved in the search.
"The Navy never expected to find the Titanic. When it happened, they were very nervous about the publicity. However, people were so focused on the legend of the Titanic that they didn't even realize what had happened," Ballard revealed.
In addition, the study found that there was no indication that the subs went down as a result of an attack by the USSR.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL shared a conspiracy theory, according to which there was no "Titanic" disaster and another ship is at the bottom of the sea.