The Begining Of A Dream
In 1967 Robert Ballard was a young member of the Boston Sea
Rovers. A group of people who loved the ocean, and liked underwater exploring.
At the university of Hawaii he did post graduate work in marine
geology, but to help pay his expenses by working as a porpoise trainer at Sea Life Park. He wasn't able to finish though because
he was called into the U.S. Navy.
In 1967 he and his wife loaded whatever they could in their
tiny little car, and headed for Woods Hole, Massachsetts, on Cape Cod. There he was assigned to the Deep Submergence Group
at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
He first thought it would be possible to find Titanic in 1973.
No one had even looked for her till then when he was a member of the Alvin team. Unfortunately Alvin could only dive to 6,000
feet, and since the average of the deep ocean was about 12,00 feet Alvin would not make it. The Navy however decided to give
Alvin a new stronger hull made out of a very stronger metal called titanium alloy. This would make alvin's hull strong enough
to handle massive underwater pressures, which would allow them to reach depths of 13,000 feet. They called this project, Project
Titanus. In August of 1985, he and his French partner Jean-Louis Michel set out on the french ship Le Suroit determined
to find Titanic.Using a brand new sonar tracking instrument called SAR. After a long six weeks they had still found
nothing. They then switched from the Le Suroit to the Knorr. After not finding Titanic after six weeks, he decided that a
new search was needed.
As Titanic fell in deep water In April of 1912 she had a trail
of debris that setteled on the bottom of the ocean floor. Looking for this debris field would make finding Titanic easier.
They were using a new device called Argo. Instead of using sonar, Argo used only video cameras. For several days they searched
for Titanic with no results, and time was running out. They had only five more days to find Titanic.
Just after midnight on September 1st he was in his bunk getting
a little rest, when all of a sudden he heard a loud comotion coming from the control room, and he got up to investigate. What
he had found was that they had located oneof Titanics huge boilers.
Finally at last their hunt was almost over. The R.M.S. Titanic
lay somewhere very close. The crew of knorr had a few moments of silence for those who parished the night Titanic sank into
the Atlantic ocean. They then raised the Harland & Wolff flag in memory to the passengers and crew of the Titanic. After
many days, and many sweeps with Argo, there was a huge storm coming, and they had to start in. They had some clear pictures
of Titanic...But there would be another day.
The date was July 13,1986. Ballard was on a new ship called
Atlantis 2. Again they used Alvin.
As ballard began to climb down into the tiny submarine, he
thought about the adventure that lied before him. Along with Alvin Ballard was using a remote controlled robot called J.J.
(Jason Junior), and they began their 2 & 1/2 mile desent to where Titanic lay like a ghost ship. Two and a half hours
later they reached the ship they thought were unsinkable.
There was some debate in the past wether the ship actually
broke in two, but as Ballard came closer he could see that the stern was in fact missing. The first visit to Titanic was not
so good because they had technical problems with Alvin. The very next day they attempted another visit. A team of experts
worked through the night to get Alvin in tip top shape by the next morning, and so they made a second trip down to Titanic.