R.M.S. Titanic was located on September 1, 1985 by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s imaging vehicle Argo, towed from the Research Vessel Knorr.

cover image copyright: Ken Marschall
Digital illustration by Yvette "Betsi" Medina.


by Terri Bey
On September 1, 1985 the event many thought was impossible became possible. Humans were once again able to lay eyes on the iconic White Star Liner RMS Titanic, as the wreck of the majestic ship which sank on her maiden voyage on April 14-15, 1912 was discovered by Dr. Robert Ballard from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Jean-Louis Michel from INFREMER. Dr. Ballard was on a secret U.S. Navy mission to find the wreck of the RMS Titanic, which is exactly what happened.

The discovery of the Titanic is very significant to me, as my deep interest in the Titanic started when I was about seven when I read a story about the disaster in grade school. My father would tell me the story about the disaster repeatedly, as he was eight years old when the disaster occurred. On that historic day when the wreck of the RMS Titanic was found, I was listening to some of my records when I heard my father's voice calling me and saying, "They found the Titanic!!" I ran down the stairs and there was the news anchor reading the news.

Sadly, my father would not live to see me graduate from high school in June of 1986, as he passed away from cancer in May of that year. The discovery of the great liner was one of the last events that my father and I got to enjoy together. I am ever grateful for the discovery of the greatest liner ever.

Thank you, Dr. Robert Ballard and Jean-Louis Michel for discovering the wreck and giving my father and me one final bonding moment.
A firsthand account of the author's twelve-year quest to find the sunken luxury liner is illustrated with dozens of photographs and includes moment-by-moment accounts of the tragedy and the successful discovery expedition.
This book tells the story of not only Titanic but her discovery as well. The story is told in simple yet detailed way. You are drawn in, you feel like you are right on the deck of the research vessel. This book, while by now outdated in some of its information, covers the entire expedition from start to finish. The story of the discovery of Titanic is timeless. The pictures alone make this a more-than-worthy edition for any Titanic their bookshelf.
                                                                                                 - Alicia Brinkofski
"Discovery of the Titanic" was one of the first books I ever owned on the Titanic, including Walter Lord's A Night to Remember. Published soon after Ballard found the ship at the bottom of the Atlantic - surprisingly broken apart, the stern resting in the midst of the debris field - the book was a single-day's read for me.

When I first delved into "Discovery", I got lost in the many photos and other details about Titanic not known before that time. My imagination reeled, just as it had when I was eight years old. The various paintings, made by
Titanic artist Ken Marschall, were meticulously detailed. Ballard also included a cut-away to show where and how the ship broke apart, which segments were missing, and provided numbered points of reference to show what was where and in what condition. He also described the search, failures and successes, and the technology used to get to the wreck.

I recommend anyone who is curious about 
Titanic's discovery to read this book first. Nothing about the expedition has been left. Although some of the information enclosed is out-of-date. "The Discovery of the Titanic" would serve as a nice introduction to the Titanic's wreck and how she sank that terrible night.
- Mark Hopkins


September 2, 1953 the Rockland County Journal-News (NY) published a brief article containing an intriguing reference to a British salvage vessel’s visit to the place in the North Atlantic where the Titanic went down. I know nothing more about this little-known incident, so I’m reproducing the article’s text here in the hope that additional information might come to light in the future. 
Note: the article’s original author mistakenly thought that Lusitania victim Elbert Hubbard was a victim of the Titanic disaster. The impression is also given that Titanic victim Harry Widener was bringing a rare book to the United States for the purpose of donating it to the Harvard Library; although the book in question undoubtedly would have wound up in the library if Harry Widener had died from natural causes many years later, the young man was actually bringing the volume to the United States as a valued addition to his own personal collection of rare books.  In any case, it’s clear that the 1953 article’s author was vastly underestimating the difficulty of raising a wrecked ocean liner from a depth of 12,500 feet beneath the ocean’s surface.—G.B.

NEW YORK—One of the greatest salvage operations may be in the making as a British salvage vessel, the Help, hovers over the site where at 2:20 on the morning of April 15, 1912, the 46,000-ton White Star liner Titanic, on her maiden voyage, lifted her propellers high in the air and slid to a watery grave in the worst peacetime sea disaster.
Secrecy shrouds the operation, and the British Admiralty refuses any details, although it acknowledges that the salvors, who are rated among the most expert in Britain, are in the area with its knowledge and approval.

The huge vessel rests on the bottom off the banks of Newfoundland, 360 miles south-southeast of Cape Race, a gigantic steel coffin for the 1,503 who perished, including some of the world's leading citizens of the time. Seven hundred and three survived.

The gaping wound suffered by the Titanic as it plowed at nearly full speed into the submerged ice shelf of a huge iceberg will be a factor in any attempted salvaging. It is believed to be a gash 100 feet long in the plate of the “unsinkable” hull.

The exact depth has not been determined, either. It is rare that ships deeper than 300 feet can be reclaimed. The angle of her rest also will be important, but the fact that the ship has been submerged for 41 years is not itself a deterrent, because many older vessels have been raised. It complicates things, though.

Presence of the Help was revealed by its setting off heavy explosives. This may indicate soundings, and undoubtedly divers now are exploring the mass of the hulk. They even may have penetrated into the once-luxurious interior and seen to what degree the vessel has been preserved in “Davy Jones’ locker.”

Incentives for salvaging the Titanic are obscure. Unlike cargo vessels, it was not carrying valuable bulk materials; its cargo was of priceless human lives like those of John Jacob Astor, the millionaire; Maj. Archibald Butt, aide to Presidents Roosevelt and Taft; Elbert Hubbard, beloved essayist; Benjamin Guggenheim, scion of the mining and smelting family; Francis D. Miller [i.e. Millet], artist and designer of the Columbian Exposition in Chicago; Isidor Straus, New York merchant; William T. Stead, English editor, and many others.

There have been persistent rumors ever since the wreck, however, that the Titanic carried a great shipment of gold. Doubtless the passengers carried other treasure, including the rare, original copy of Francis Bacon's Essays, dated 1598, which Harry Elkins Widener was bringing to the Harvard university library, but they have long since disintegrated.

The mass of steel would be worth salvaging if it is accessible enough. Modern salvage vessels, like the Help, are marvels of self-contained efficiency. Equipped to stay at sea for many months and take a terrific pounding, they have powerful pumps to expel water and inject air.

Standard techniques include passing great nine-inch cables under the hull and attaching them to lighters or buoys on the surface. The ship then is towed by stages toward shore as the tide assists.

Or divers seal the mortal wound in the hull, as well as all other openings, including those of the big funnels, and air is pumped in until the vessel comes to the surface of its own accord.

Given half a chance, modern salvors will tackle anything. New York provided an audience of thousands, several years ago, who saw the gigantic Normandie, gutted by fire at her dock, righted and raised, and tossed off to be cut apart for scrap.

At present, hundreds of ship casualties of World War II are being raised and scrapped. Age means nothing if the hulk holds together, and an operation now is under way to raise a Greco-Roman cargo ship sunk in the third century before Christ in the Mediterranean off Marseilles.

It seems certain, however, that the Titanic never will sail again, her brief career having been snapped with less than a full crossing of the Atlantic, of which she was to be queen. But she may make a ghostly, final curtain call.


A follow up from Dr. Paul Lee

7/31/1953 it is announced by Reuters that a ship named Help was in the vicinity of the wrecksite using high explosives. It is speculated that the vessel was trying to blast open the Titanic's hull, or was trying to obtain a sonar survey of the bottom. After contacting Roy Martin, who worked for the salvage firm in question (Risdon Beazley Ltd) between 1964 and 1981, and was its General Manager from 1975-79 he told this author, "Help was nowhere near the Titanic site; in 1951/2 she was off Nova Scotia. The Beazley ship that was on the Grand Bank in 52/3 was the Twyford,she was on the western edge of the Bank looking for the wreck of the British ship Empire Manor. She located the bow section, but it was upside down and, at that time, they had never salved cargo from a wreck like that. I don't think that she fired any charges, though the Help was using explosives to cut up the Empire Kingfisher further south. The Canadian press got hold of the story and put it out that RB [Risdon Beazley] was searching for a gem studded edition of Omar Khayyam from the Titanic. Droxford salvaged most of the gold from the Empire Manor in 1973."



Check out the books!

October 9th from 10am to 2pm EST


For the Sake of the Children
 by Joan Adler
Diving into the Deep
 by Lowell Lytle
Titanic Behind the
 by Campbell Cloar
My Autistic X-Factor
 by Brynjar (Lego Titanic  builder!)

Visit the Titanic Museums book store for more great Titanic books! 

BOOKS – Titanic Museum Attraction (

I recommended this book as a must-read for all my students. They came back to saying how much they loved it. Judy’s book is the real-life adventure of a major motion picture of one of the greatest sea adventures ever told - a story I’m sure your patrons will love to read. 

From the first page, Prestininzi grabs the booklover's attention with previously untold secrets of what it was like during the scenes of Cameron’s classic film. Her life in front, and behind, the camera captivates the reader. She paints great descriptions of both the ups and the downs of working with one of America's ultimate directors. 

First-hand knowledge is key to telling a great story, and having the ability to spin that experience into a fantastic true-life tale is an extraordinary accomplishment. Such is the case with Ms. Prestininzi’s true- life adventures aboard James Cameron’s ship, The Titanic.

Pat Hahn
Department Chair Media Studies
Palomar College

The story of the Titanic right up to its rediscovery is told for advanced, independent young readers by the man who discovered the great sunken ship.

Little Caeleb (5) wanted to show you all his shirt and drawing of what was originally drawn from when survivor Jack Thayer described the breakup to L.H. Skidmore. (As we know, Skidmore did not draw the breakup accurately). When we asked Caeleb if he had any thoughts on why the survivors were not believed when they said the ship broke apart, he said, "because they thought the ship had better rivets."  First image is of little Caeleb in his shirt, next is his drawing of the breakup and the last image is Caeleb's  rendition of Skidmore's drawings.

Twelve-year-old Benedict was heartbroken when many of his friends believed a video on TikTok that claimed Titanic didn't sink. He's still pretty heartbroken. If anyone has any words of comfort for Benedict, please send them in and we will pass them along to him.

Mail to

The Truth Behind The Conspiracy

Debunking the theory that the sister ships swapped places, this book proves a switch was not possible
Titanic's older sister, the nearly identical Olympic, was involved in a serious accident in September 1911, which may have made her a liability to her owners the White Star Line. Since 1912 rumors of a conspiracy to switch the two in an elaborate insurance scam has always loomed behind the tragic story of the Titanic. Could the White Star Line have really switched the Olympic with her near identical sister in a ruse to intentionally sink their mortally damaged flagship in April 1912 and cash in on the insurance policy? This book addresses some of these conspiracy theories and illustrates both the questionable anomalies and hard technical facts that will prove the switch theory to be exactly what it is

a mere legend.

Titanic or Olympic: Which Ship Sank?, Hall, Steve, Beveridge, Bruce, eBook -
Happy Birthday to our September born
members  &  passengers 
born on their birthday!

Julie Hedgepeth WIlliams & Norbert Zimmermann

Juha Niilo Panula, Edith Pears, Grechen Longley, William & Thomas Carson McReynolds

Michael Gipson

George Edward Roberton & William Henry Lyons

Joan Morris Barry

Alfred Ernest Pearce

Jay Erskine

 James Flynn, Sidney Leslie Goodwin, Ralph Giles, Karl Johan Johansson, Ernest Pearce, Harry Markland Molson, Edward James William Rogers, Ernst Adolf Sjostedt, Olive Earnshaw, Bridget (Bertha) Moran & Ada Julia Elizabeth Doling

Melissa Hope 

Joseph Stanley Gill, Harry John Stroud, John Charles Mabey, John Wesley Woodward, Robert William Daniel

Peter Dillon

Thomas Kelland, Renaldo Renato Ricaldone & Julius Sap


Brian MacNutt 

 Edith Corse Evans, Jelka Oreskovic, Henry Tingle Wilde, Mary Alice Holverson, Eleanor Widener, Elizabeth Watt, Sarah Maybell Beckwith, Maria Catherine Baclini

Michael Koebnick

 Johannes Vogelin-Dubach, Washington Dodge, Eustace Philip Snow, Nestor Cyriel Vandewalle & Sidney Conrad Siebert

Albert Soriano Royes 

Percy William Deacon, Olaf Elon Osen & Maximilian Josef Frolicher-Stehli

Bobby J. Whalen

 Alfred Ferrnand Omont, Adrien Firmin Chaboisson, Catherine McCarthy, Anthony William Sage, Luigi Finoli


*Special thanks to Sonia Bera for her hard work in collecting birthdays, and to the Titanic Museum Attraction for sharing their files. We are most grateful.

October's Book

Some of our favorite authors got together to
"solve the mysteries!"

"Titanic: Solving the Mysteries." by Steve Hall, Mark Chirnside, Ioannis Georgiou, Sam Halpern, Tad Fitch, J. Kent Lawson and Bill Wormstedt


November's books

We're going to read about the food served on Titanic,
just in time for the holidays!

RMS Titanic "Dinner is Served" 
by Yvonne Hume 

The Last Night on the Titanic: Unsinkable Drinking, Dining, and Style by Veronica Hinke  

Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley

Graphic Designer -Yvette Medina

Contributors:  George Behe, Terri Bey, Jodi Justus, Cameron Houseman, Benedict Rome, Sonia Bera, Caeleb Temple, and Mark Hopkins

Special Thanks: Titanic Museum Attraction, Karolyn Gaston & Dr. Paul Lee
Titanic Book Club Official Site
Copyright © 2021   Titanic Book Club 
All rights reserved.

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