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Titanic radio recovery project sparks debate over human remains – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2020-10-18 15:14:00 –

People have been diving the wreck of the Titanic for 35 years. No one has found any human remains, according to the company that owns the rescue rights, but the company’s plan to recover the ship’s iconic radio equipment has sparked debate: Could the world’s most famous shipwreck still contain the remains of passengers and crews who have died for a century? Lawyers for the US government have raised this issue in an ongoing legal battle to block the planned shipment. They cite archaeologists who say remains may still be there. And they say the company is ignoring the prospect in its dive plan. “Fifteen hundred people died in this wreck,” said Paul Johnston, curator of maritime history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. “You cannot tell me that some human remains are not buried deep somewhere where there are no currents.” The company, RMS Titanic Inc., wants to display the ship’s Marconi wireless telegraph. He broadcast the distress calls from the sinking liner and helped rescue around 700 people in lifeboats. A suction dredge would remove the silt, while the manipulator arms could cut electrical cords. Video: Could the Northern Lights have played a role in the sinking of the Titanic? RMS Titanic Inc. claims human remains would likely have been noticed after around 200 dives. “It’s not like taking a shovel to Gettysburg,” said David Gallo, oceanographer and business consultant. “And there is an unwritten rule that if we see human remains, we turn off the cameras and decide what to do next.” The dispute stems from a larger debate over how the victims of the Titanic should be honored and whether an expedition should be allowed. In May, a federal judge in Norfolk, Va., Approved the shipment. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith wrote that the radio’s recovery “will contribute to the legacy left by the indelible loss of the Titanic, those who survived, and those who gave their lives. But the US government filed a lawsuit in June, claiming the company would violate federal law and a pact with Britain recognizing the wreck as a memorial site. U.S. lawyers argue that the deal regulates entry into the wreckage to ensure its hull, artifacts and “all human remains” are not disturbed. The case is pending before the Court of Appeals in Canada. 4th Circuit in Richmond.The Titanic was traveling from England to New York in 1912 when it hit an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic. The wreckage was discovered in 1985. Over the years, explorers have sent remote controlled vehicles to parts of the ship. During his 2001 expedition, director James Cameron inspected the area in a deckhouse that contains telegraph equipment, according to court documents filed by the company. People on both sides of the human remains debate say the issue is minimized – or increased. – to support an argument. RMS Titanic Inc. chairman Bretton Hunchak told The Associated Press that the government’s position is based on emotion rather than science. “Problems like this are used just to gain public support,” Hunchak said. for everyone. “The company is the tribunal-recognized steward of Titanic Artifacts, overseeing thousands of items, including silverware, porcelain and gold coins.” This society has always treated the wreckage as an archaeological site and a grave with reverence and respect, “And it doesn’t change whether in fact human remains might exist.” Gallo said the remains of those who died were likely gone decades ago. The sea creatures would have eaten. flesh because protein is scarce in the deep ocean, and bones dissolve at great ocean depths because of seawater chemistry, Gallo said. The Titanic is about 2.4 miles below the surface, yet whale bones have been found at similar depths, as have human remains on a 2009 Air France plane that crashed in the Atlantic. . Previously worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and was involved in several Titanic expeditions. Archaeologists who have filed statements in court in support of the government’s case said there must be human remains and handed over questioned the motivations of those who expressed doubts. be “within wreckage or out in the debris field” in areas lacking oxygen. In an interview, Johnston said the company didn’t want “anyone thinking of human remains.” They want people to think, “Oh cool. I have new artifacts to show to the public. David Conlin, head of the National Park Service’s Submerged Resource Center, also filed a statement against the expedition. Conlin told AP “it would be scientifically surprising if there were no more human remains on board this ship.” He said wrecks older than the Titanic Eight Sailors were found aboard the HL Hunley, a Confederate submarine that sank in 1864. And human bones have been found on a first century BC freighter wreck. near the Greek island of Antikythera. Cold, low-oxygen water is an incredible preservative, ”said Conlin. “The human remains that we expect to find are going to be in more difficult to access interior spaces, where the preservation will be both tragic and spectacular.”

People have been diving the wreck of the Titanic for 35 years. No one has found any human remains, according to the company that holds the rescue rights.

But the company’s plan to salvage the ship’s iconic radio equipment has sparked debate: Could the world’s most famous wreck still contain the remains of passengers and crew who died a century ago?

Lawyers for the US government have raised this issue in an ongoing legal battle to block the planned shipment. They cite archaeologists who say remains may still be there. And they say the company is ignoring the prospect in its dive plan.

“Fifteen hundred people died in this wreck,” said Paul Johnston, curator of maritime history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. “You can’t tell me that some human remains aren’t buried deep somewhere where there are no currents.

RMS Titanic Inc. wishes to exhibit the ship’s Marconi wireless telegraph machine. He broadcast the distress calls from the sinking liner and helped rescue around 700 people in lifeboats.

To retrieve the equipment, an unmanned submersible would have to slide through a skylight or cut into a heavily corroded roof on the ship’s deck. A suction dredger would remove loose silt, while the manipulator arms could cut electrical cords.

Video: Could the Northern Lights have played a role in the sinking of the Titanic?

RMS Titanic Inc. claims human remains would likely have been noticed after around 200 dives.

“It’s not like taking a shovel to Gettysburg,” said David Gallo, oceanographer and business consultant. “And there is an unwritten rule that if we see human remains, we turn off the cameras and decide what to do next.”

The dispute stems from a larger debate over how the victims of the Titanic should be honored and whether an expedition should be allowed to enter its hull.

In May, a federal judge in Norfolk, Va., Approved the shipment.

US District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith wrote that the radio’s recovery “will contribute to the legacy left by the indelible loss of the Titanic, those who survived and those who gave their lives.”

But the US government filed a court challenge in June, saying the pledge would violate federal law and a pact with Britain recognizing the wreck as a memorial site. US lawyers argue that the agreement regulates entry into the wreckage to ensure its hull, artifacts and “all human remains” are not disturbed.

The case is pending before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal in Richmond.

The Titanic was traveling from England to New York in 1912 when it struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic. The wreck was discovered in 1985.

Over the years, explorers have sent remote controlled vehicles to parts of the ship. During his 2001 expedition, director James Cameron inspected the area in a deckhouse that contains telegraph equipment, according to court documents filed by the company.

People on both sides of the human remains debate say the issue is downplayed – or augmented – to support an argument.

RMS Titanic Inc. chairman Bretton Hunchak told The Associated Press that the government’s position is based on emotion rather than science.

“Problems like this are used just to gain public support,” Hunchak said. “It creates a visceral reaction for everyone.”

The company is the tribunal-recognized steward of Titanic Artifacts, overseeing thousands of items, including silverware, porcelain, and gold coins.

“This company has always treated the wreck both as an archaeological site and as a grave with reverence and respect,” Hunchak said. “And that doesn’t change the fact that human remains may exist.”

Gallo said the remains of those who died were likely gone decades ago.

Sea creatures are said to have gnawed at flesh because protein is scarce in the deep ocean and bones dissolve at great ocean depths due to the chemistry of seawater, Gallo said. The Titanic is about 2.4 miles below the surface.

Yet whale bones have been discovered at similar depths, as have human remains on a 2009 Air France plane that crashed in the Atlantic.

“But in general, that doesn’t happen,” said Gallo, who previously worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and was involved in several Titanic expeditions.

Archaeologists who filed statements in court in support of the government case said there must be human remains and questioned the motives of those who expressed doubts.

Johnston wrote to the court that the remains could be “within the confines of the wreckage or out in the debris field” in areas lacking oxygen.

In an interview, Johnston said the company didn’t want “anyone thinking of human remains. They want people to think, “Oh cool. I have new artifacts to show to the public. “

David Conlin, head of the National Park Service’s Submerged Resource Center, also filed a statement against the expedition.

Conlin told the AP “It would be scientifically amazing if there weren’t any human remains still on board this ship.”

He said wrecks older than the Titanic contained remains of crew or passengers.

Eight sailor remains were found on the HL Hunley, a Confederate submarine that sank in 1864. And human bones have been found on a first century BC freighter wreck near the Greek island of Antikythera.

“Very deep, cold, low oxygen water is an incredible preservative,” said Conlin. “The human remains that we expect to find are going to be in more difficult to access interior spaces, where the preservation will be both tragic and spectacular.”

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