It’s September 1, 1985. For a week, researchers led by oceanographer Robert Ballard have been scouring the seabed, at a depth of some 12,000 feet, using the camera of the remotely controlled submarine craft Argo. Yet the team are beginning to lose hope of finding their target – the wreck of RMS Titanic. Then, however, early in the morning, the scientists start to see traces of debris. And suddenly, they know that they’re close.
We’ll shortly return to the momentous discovery that was made by Ballard’s team – and there’s a truly astonishing revelation to come about the truth behind their mission as well. First, though, let’s delve into the fascinating but tragic story of the RMS Titanic itself.
The building of the Titanic began in March 1909 when work commenced on its keel at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast. The ship had been commissioned by the White Star Line – a major player in the heyday of the passenger liner business. And indeed, one of the vessel’s designers, Thomas Andrews, was among those who tragically perished when the ship famously sank.