Tag Archives: Seawise

Who Really Found Titanic?

Does it really matter who found Titanic? Yes if you believe it was found before 1985. There have always been nagging claims that others found it, either private salvors or via classified naval operations. We know Ballard learned its approximate location during a classified naval operation involving the sunken U.S. submarine Scorpion. Ballard and the team got the credit in 1985 primarily because they could actually prove it. Claims that emerged fall into two distinct categories: (1) previous expeditions to locate Titanic that may have located the wreck; (2) classified U.S. or Royal Navy missions that may have located the wreck and kept secret for national security reasons.

Paul Lee has a fascinating web page on the subject (http://www.paullee.com/titanic/titanicfound.html) and goes through the many threads this story takes. It is worth a read to understand why many claim Ballard was not the first one to locate Titanic. Is it possible that others located Titanic? Sure but without any real proof such as statements under oath and documents that can be verified, there is not much to back up many of the claims. Paul Lee notes recently of hydrographic studies done that may have found the wreck, though not necessarily knowing exactly what they found. A 1980 study appears have passed right over the wreck and may have located it. But there is no way to prove that right now.

So we are left with some tantalizing possibilities but nothing that can definitively prove that Titanic was found prior to 1985.

Many have heard the name Douglas Wooley. He is the British chap who claims to own Titanic (the wreck at any rate) and also argues for Titanic being found prior to 1985. He is now seeking investors to raise Titanic (and Queen Elizabeth I). You can get information at http://www.swsalvors.co.uk.