Tag Archives: RMS Titanic Inc

Friday Titanic News

Photograph of iceberg taken by chief steward of Prinz Adalbert on morning of 15 April 1912 near where Titanic sank. At the time he had not learned of the Titanic disaster. Smears of red paint along the base caught his attention. The photo and accompanying statement were sent to Titanic’s lawyers, which hung in their boardroom until the firm dissolved in 2002. Public Domain

Photograph of The Iceberg That ‘Most Likely’ Sunk Titanic Surfaces 108 Years After Disaster (TimesNowNews.com, 15 June 2020)

The image of the iceberg was taken by the captain of another ship just two days before it struck the Titanic. Captain W. Wood, who served on board the SS Etonian, captured the huge iceberg on his camera. He got the photo developed when he reached New York and sent the print to his great-grandfather. Along with the photo, Wood also sent a letter that stated that this was the iceberg that sank the Titanic. “I am sending you a sea picture, the Etonian running before a gale and the iceberg that sank the Titanic. We crossed the ice tracks 40hrs before her and in daylight so saw the ice easily and I got a picture,” Wood wrote in the letter.

Photo: Public Domain (Library and Archives Canada / PA-122236)

Op-Ed: Recovering Titanic’s Radio Would Create a Dangerous Precedent (Maritime Executive, 14 June 20)

From an archaeological perspective, recovering the radio will involve further damage to the memorial site for very limited gain with regard to scientific and cultural knowledge. We already know the make, model and history of this radio. So motivation for the salvage appears to lie in the radio’s economic potential as a tourist attraction and through a possible future sale. As archaeologists we understand there are times when intrusive and destructive interventions are required. But such acts need to be carefully considered in light of their impact on our shared global heritage. Once such actions take place they cannot be undone. A court ruling for such a culturally significant site that goes against advice from NOAA and counter to the principles of UNESCO, risks suggesting that the principles of shared heritage and selective intervention can be easily negated through simplistic arguments of degradation and profit.

Titanic Hero’s Whistle, Other Artifacts, Up For Auction (Fox News, 11 June 2020)

A whistle that belonged to a hero of the Titanic disaster is up for auction in the U.K., along with a host of other artifacts. The whistle is among a trove of items that belonged to Harold Lowe, a fifth officer on the Titanic. “Harold Lowe was without doubt one of the heroes of the Titanic disaster,” explained auctioneer Andrew Aldridge of U.K. auction house Henry Aldridge & Son in a statement emailed to Fox News. The archive has been in the possession of Lowe’s direct descendants.

Judge Gavel
George Hodan
publicdomainpictures.net

Feds Oppose Summer 2020 Salvage Mission at Titanic Wreck Site (Courthouse News Service, 9 June 2020)

In a memo supporting the motion to intervene meanwhile, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kent Porter points to an international agreement with the United Kingdom that the United States signed into law two years ago, saying it “precludes penetrating the wreck for salvage purposes, or if any activity would physically disturb the hull, artifacts or human remains.” Porter says any salvage activities are subject to federal regulation “RMST did not and has not sought an authorization from the secretary of commerce for this or any of the other activity set forth in its Research Design,” the 22-page memo states.

UPDATE: NOAA CHALLENGES TITANIC COURT RULING

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Public Domain

US challenges planned expedition to retrieve Titanic’s radio (ABC News, 9 June 2020)

The U.S. government will try to stop a company’s planned salvage mission to retrieve the Titanic’s wireless telegraph machine, arguing the expedition would break federal law and a pact with Britain to leave the iconic shipwreck undisturbed. U.S. attorneys filed a legal challenge before a federal judge in Norfolk, Virginia, late Monday. The expedition is expected to begin by the end of August. The Atlanta-based salvage firm RMS Titanic Inc., said it would exhibit the telegraph while telling the stories of the operators who broadcast the sinking ship’s distress calls.

Catching up on Titanic News;Court Allows Salvage of marconi radio

[Sorry for not posting sooner-been busy with work!]

Judge Okays Titanic Salvage

Titanic Wreck Bow
Image: Public Domain (NOAA-http://www.gc.noaa.gov/images/gcil/ATT00561.jpg)

A federal judge has ruled in favor of R.M.S. Titanic (RMST)to go on an expedition to recover artifacts from the Titanic wreck. The company had petitioned to court to allow it to retrieve the Marconi telegraph and other artifacts. The company argued that due to deterioration these items had to be removed or they would be lost forever. The company, which has salvor-in-possession status, was seeking a modification of a July 2000 order which forbade it from cutting into the hull.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) opposed by filing an amicus curiae with the court. NOAA challenged the evidence justifying the expedition and arguing it was illegal under a 2017 Commerce Appropriations Act that prohibits this activity unless approved by the Secretary of Commerce. They also argued it was out of bounds due to an international agreement. Judge Rebecca Smith found the only issue before the court was whether RMST had followed the requirements required by previous court rulings. Since NOAA was not an actual party to the case, she did not rule on any of the merits raised in their brief to the court.

Source:

Commentary:

This was not wholly unexpected. While many in the Titanic community were against the salvage, RMST claimed it was trying to preserve important artifacts from being lost as the wreck deteriorated. They were able to show to Judge Smith had to merely determine if this was a proper request, that how it would be done be consistent with previous authorized salvage, and that the items would be properly conserved. She was satisfied with what they presented to her.

NOAA’s involvement with the case was odd. Since they were not an actual party, they could only file a friend of the court brief. Their brief though was clearly meant as if they were an actual party to the case. One gets the distinct impression that folks at NOAA believe the federal government and not the court has jurisdiction here. They argued that the Secretary of Commerce is the one that makes decisions here and that an international treaty was also an issue. Judge Smith acknowledged the treaty but made it clear that NOAA has no seat at the table. They were essentially in the stands looking down waving paper at the judge. This must have miffed those behind it at NOAA. They can choose to appeal but on what grounds? If they go the route the Department of Commerce has authority, it sets up an interesting fight on maritime law. They may very well appeal this to stop the salvage. Providing of course they can convince a higher court to stop it. That may not be so easy as it sounds.

Titanic Chronology Updates

May 16,1912

  • Two boys thought orphaned when Titanic sank-Michel Navratil, Jr., 3, and Edmond Navratil, 2, were reunited with their mother. Their father had placed them in a lifeboat and perished when Titanic sank. A worldwide appeal to find relatives of the two boys led to finding the mother.

May 14,1912

  • Advertisement for the 1912 film “Saved from the Titanic”. This is an EDITED version, it is a simulated color version based on the color version already on Commons.
    1912
    Public Domain

    The first silent disaster movie, Saved From The Titanic, was released. Starring Dorothy Gibson, who had been a passenger aboard Titanic, received positive reviews from critics. Sadly due to a fire in 1914 at the film studio, all prints of the movie were lost. All that we have are production stills and secondary evidence from other accounts of its existence.

May 13,1912

  • RMS Oceanic found the remains three people in a lifeboat from Titanic. The body of passenger Thomson Beattie and two unidentified firemen were recovered. While they apparently survived the sinking, they died from hypothermia or thirst in the collapsible lifeboat. The Canadian ship Montmagny  recovered three victims and brought them to Louisberg, Nova Scotia where they were transported to Halifax.

May 6,1912

  • The cable ship Minia returned to Halifax, Nova Scotia with 17 bodies from Titanic . Only 1 had died from drowning and the rest from exposure.
  • The will of John Jacob Astor IV, who died in the Titanic disaster, was probated. His $150,000,000 estate (worth more than $3.3 billion in 2012)[17] was left to his 22-year-old son, Vincent Astor.[18

CONTROVERSY-SHOULD THE MARCONI WIRELESS BE RETRIEVED BEFORE DECAY MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE?

Titanic Wreck Bow
Image: Public Domain (NOAA-http://www.gc.noaa.gov/images/gcil/ATT00561.jpg)

I have been withholding posting on some new developments about Titanic until I was fully read up on it. Not too long ago a long dormant treaty to protect the wreck of RMS Titanic was agreed to by the United Kingdom and the United States. Both sides mutually agree that the wreck is to remain untouched. Canada and France have not signed the treaty but are in possible consultations to sign on as well.

Actual salvage ended some years ago when RMS Titanic Inc. (owned by Premier Exhibitions) said no further salvage expeditions were planned.  A salvage award was done and the entire collection is up for sale (it has to be sold as one unit). So far no one has put up a successful bid due to the high price and the strict conservation requirements the court imposed.

The state of the wreck is, well, it is a wreck that is going the way of most wrecks. It is steadily decaying and probably will be totally gone in a few decades (perhaps sooner or later but it is inevitable). That raises a concern that perhaps a valuable historical artifact will be totally lost forever if it cannot be recovered soon.

At least that is the concern of RMS Titanic Inc that now is petitioning the federal court for permission to retrieve the Marconi wireless transmitter from inside Titanic. Up until now, artifacts have been retrieved from the debris field and not from the ship itself. The argument is a simple one: it has to be retrieved before the ship decays further making it impossible. As can be expected, a storm of controversy has erupted. If it goes the course as before, the name calling and accusations of grave robbery will be thrown out.

During the first salvage, the Titanic community was divided.  Flame wars erupted on the Internet that were so nasty, so personal, and took no prisoners that it drove many from Titanic online communities to never return.  Anyone that was pro-salvage was vilified personally and without remorse. One notorious anti-salvager is rumored to have faked his own death to avoid facing his victims.

The essential argument is that with the ship in a rapid state of decay, retrieving this one artifact for history ought to be allowed. It is a compelling argument but so is letting Titanic being left alone as a memorial to those who have perished. A reproduction could serve the same purpose without having to disturb the wreck further.

Still had Howard Carter took pictures and sealed up the tomb of a virtually unknown pharoah, we would never have seen how ornate the tombs of pharoahs really were (most were looted and ransacked) in the Cairo museum today. Both sides have merit and a court in Virginia will make that decision. The treaty may or not play a role in this but it will be interesting to watch.

UK and US agree ‘momentous’ deal to protect the sunken wreck of the Titanic (Daily Mail, 21 Jan 2020)

Relic hunters plan to retrieve Titanic radio that relayed the ship’s final pleas for help (Washington Post, 22 Jan 2020

CLIVE PALMER’S TITANIC BACK ON TRACK?; RMS TITANIC INC PARTNERS FOR EXHIBITION IN CHERBOURG

Postcard of the Titanic found in a book donated to Books for Amnesty, 103 Gloucester Rd, Bristol UK
Source: Bristol Post
Date: 20/07/2016
Photographer: Michael Lloyd/Freelance
Reporter: Lewis Pennock
Copyright: Local World

Titanic II Project Charters Course For 2022 After Court Ruling (Daily Stock Dish, 24 Nov 2019)

However, three years after the project was announced financial disputes between Palmer and the Chinese shipyard owners CITIC stalled the project indefinitely. This was until a court ruling in September last year by the Supreme Court of West Australia told the shipyard to repay $150m to the project, enough to refloat the titanic building project. There are mixed reports as to whether construction is already underway, with little detail as to location or new project deadlines with 2022 being the latest prediction.

E/M Group and RMS Titanic, Inc. to Partner with La Cité de la Mer in Cherbourg, France (PR Newswire, 12 Nov 2019)

E/M Group and its affiliate, RMS Titanic, Inc., announced today that it will collaborate with La Cité de la Mer in Cherbourg, France on a series of research and exhibition projects regarding Titanic and its passengers. In addition, the partnership will include a specially curated exhibition, highlighting numerous artifacts recovered from the wreck of Titanic that have never been seen before in France. Slated to open in spring of 2020, the exhibition will appear in La Cite de la Mer’s Titanic permanent exhibition.

Premiere Exhibitions Update:Titanic Artifact Auction Cancelled

On 8 Oct 2018, Premier Exhibitions filed a Notice of Cancellation of Auction with the federal bankruptcy court as no other bidders met the minimum required. This means that the bid submitted by PacBridge Capital Partners (HK) et al for $19.5 million will stand. The company will now seek the court approval to sell the company and artifacts to them.

The Equity Committee has filed motions opposing the sale and still seeks other bidders.

Source(s):
1. NOTICE OF CANCELLATION OF AUCTION AND INTENT TO SEEK APPROVAL OF THE SALE OF THE TRANSFERRED ASSETS TO THE STALKING HORSE PURCHASER
(In re:RMS Titanic Inc et al, Case No. 3:16-bk-02230-PMG, October 8, 2018
http://upshotservices.s3.amazonaws.com/files/497d5a77-fff2-49a9-98f0-c32110ea0410/ad81cdf4-23da-4d53-acbe-090ed4aa2846.pdf
2. Equity Committee Response Opposing Motion To Approve Sale
http://upshotservices.s3.amazonaws.com/files/497d5a77-fff2-49a9-98f0-c32110ea0410/fe9ca2ec-a6bd-41f4-8b29-d058e4a62b24.pdf
3. Equity Committee Reservation of Rights and Limited Objection
http://upshotservices.s3.amazonaws.com/files/497d5a77-fff2-49a9-98f0-c32110ea0410/efc460b5-fde9-4963-a5f3-bb05738d17ea.pdf

Major Update on Premier Exhibitions

As most of you are aware, Premier Exhibitions filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 which allows it to reorganize. On Friday it was announced that the Premier Exhibitions Equity Committee had entered into an agreement that “will include the sale all of the Debtors’ assets, including the entire Titanic Artifacts Collection either as assets of the estate or through the sale of RMS Titanic Inc., the company that holds the Titanic Artifacts. The remaining Debtors and their assets likewise would be sold.”

What it means is this: the company can be sold either whole or in parts depending upon the buyers interests. And the Titanic artifacts can be sold either as part of the sale of the whole company or through selling RMS Titanic Inc. The snag that has caused no sale on those artifacts under the salvage award is that they cannot be sold in lots or individually but as the one collection. And the price is simply too high. Under the present circumstances, the price might be lowered and also the possibility the bankruptcy judge might order it sold in lots in order to be sold. Before any of this can move forward, the judge has to agree to a disclosure statement.

Long ago when RMS Titanic Inc was made part of Premier (after some of the original founders of the company were removed and replaced) many thought it would lead to a better valued company. One wonders what really happened here. Titanic became very big after the movie and the centennial of the sinking. Belfast Titanic has done very well and makes money. Either the company was mismanaged and got way over their head or totally miscalculated how to monetize the assets (their exhibitions) to make a profit. Instead of Chapter 11, this is more like Chapter 13 now. The company’s assets are going to be sold in whole or in part to others now. The ghost of George Tulloch is laughing  at those that brought this about.

Sources:
1. RMS Titanic, Inc., et al. (D/B/A PREMIER EXHIBITIONS)
2. Premier Exhibitions, operator of Titanic and Bodies shows, putting itself up for sale (Atlanta Business Chronicle, 21 May 2017)

Premier Exhibitions Update: Company Files Adversary Action For French Collection

PremierExhibitionslogoPremier Exhibitions has gone forward with the adversary proceeding against France to attain clear title to the French Collection. Premier tried to get the bankruptcy court to allow the sale arguing they had clear title. However the court found that under federal law, the must first conduct an adversary proceeding. As part of the filing on 17 August, Premier argues they were given clear and unambiguous title. What happens next is that France will have to respond through their American lawyers as to what their position in the matter is. The documents attached to the filing appear to support their claim.

Source: Adversary Proceeding, In Re: RMS Titanic, Inc: U.S. Bankruptcy Court,Middle District Florida, 17 Aug 2016


Premier Exhibitions Seeks Reorganization in Bankruptcy Court

PremierExhibitionslogoPremier Exhibitions, the owner of RMS Titanic Inc and operates many touring exhibitions that includes Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company states in its press release:

United_States_Bankruptcy_Court_SealDespite aggressive efforts to manage these issues, the burden of the
Company’s lease in New York City and other legacy business issues remain obstacles to the Company’s ability to conduct business. Faced with these obstacles and upcoming lease payments due, the company has
determined that it would be in the best interest of its stakeholders to
file for reorganization relief under Chapter 11. Operating under the
protection of Chapter 11 will provide the company’s most important
vendors with assurances that they will be paid. Further, the company
intends to create a restructuring plan that should allow Premier to
emerge as a stronger business. Further, as part of its restructuring
efforts, the company will continue to assess the productivity of all
assets, review additional cost-cutting initiatives and explore strategic
alternatives to maximize the value of the business.

Well this is both good and bad news for shareholders. Shareholders have seen the value of their shares fall (and suffered a double bounce as well)considerably. But the voluntary move to reorganize the company in bankruptcy court means it can reduce the liabilities causing it considerable problems. It also means they must open their books up for the court to examine (which will use independent auditors)to determine what the assets and liabilities are. Secured creditors will get paid but how much will be determined by the court.

Of course there is one big asset namely the Titanic Artifact Collection. And the bankruptcy court will now be handling its disposition. Interesting to see how that plays out down the road.

Sources:
1.Premier Exhibitions, Inc. to Reorganize Under Chapter 11 (Nasdaq
Globe Newswire, 14 June 2016)
2. Premier Exhibitions in Chapter 11 bankruptcy (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 14 June 2016)

Information:
Bankruptcy(U.S.Courts.gov)
Learn about bankruptcy (Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Chapter 11) for consumers and business owners.(Nolo.com)

Premier Exhibitions Stock Woes

PremierExhibitionslogoStock charts are boring to look at unless it is a company you are invested in. And those who have invested in Premier Exhibitions, which owns RMS Titanic Inc and Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition, have to be wondering whether the company is going to survive. Over at  FranklinIndependent.com, they took a look at the stock performance and had this to say:

If the $0.45 price target is reached, the company will be worth $270,600 less. Double bottoms are rare but powerful chart patterns. The stock is down 23.31% or $0.152 after the news, hitting $0.5 per share. About 12,100 shares traded hands or 206.25% up from the average. Premier Exhibitions, Inc. (OTCMKTS:PRXI) has declined 40.37% since October 22, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 42.63% the S&P500.

Yikes. The market is not liking Premier Exhibitions right now and I bet a lot of shareholders who have seen their stock value drop are not happy either. Patience will not last long for the new company president if they do not see their stocks going up in value soon. Usually it means lawsuits and lawyers with accountants rummaging through documents.

Source: Is Premier Exhibitions, Inc.’s Fuel Running Low? The Stock Formed Bearish Double Bottom Chart Pattern  (franklinindpendent.com,31 May 2016)