TITANIC-TITANIC.com | The Search For the Wreck Of Titanic
Almost before the very lightest of all the thousands of tons of debris from the wrecked Titanic had settled on the seabed two-and-a-half miles below, various people and companies were proposing to raise the ship from the bottom of the deep Atlantic. Some of these ideas were based on solid elements of science and engineering, but many of them bordered on the realms of fantasy!
Soon after the sinking, a collective of some of the more wealthy passengers aboard the ship proposed to raise the Titanic, and to assist them in their monumental plan, they brought in the Merritt and Chapman Derrick and Wrecking Company to view their proposals. Needless to say, even if they knew exactly where to look, the technology of the time was insufficient to raise a 46,000 ton wreck, and the company gracefully turned down what would no doubt have been an enormous sum of money - the job was almost impossible.
In 1953, Risdon Beasley Ltd, one of the world's leading deep sea salvage companies, attempted to find the wreck of Titanic by setting-off high explosives underwater, and using sonar to record the echo profiles created by the explosion. From a technological aspect, this was certainly a step in the right direction, using sonar to accurately view the seabed, but alas they too would be unsuccessful in locating the wreck.
Other notable proposals to raise the Titanic, despite the fact that the wreck was still to be located, included using a pair of supertankers as lifting platforms, and another scheme proposed utilising ice as a means of making the hull buoyant enough to rise to the surface of the Atlantic.
Next, on the 17th July, 1980, a flamboyant Texas millionaire with an eye for the dramatic, Jack Grimm, decided to try to locate the wreck. He had previously attracted the world's headlines by searching for Noah's Ark and Bigfoot, amongst others. Using sonar, and blessed with terrible weather during the search, they would find absolutely no trace of the ship, or any smaller part of it. Not to be beaten, Grimm, pictured here on the left, again set sail in 1981, and again beset by bad weather, his expedition drew a blank. Finally, in 1983, he tried his luck again, and once more he returned to port empty-handed - almost. Desperate not to become a laughing stock, he produced a photograph of what he believed to be one of the ship's propellers, lying on the seabed. But experts brushed aside his claims, and he would take no further part in the search.
Grimm may have been unsuccessful, but the scientists he employed were certainly no fools, and the equipment they were developing was state-of-the-art stuff. People began to wonder if the wreck would ever be found, and indeed, did it still exist? Could it have disintegrated with time's passing, or been buried by an underwater mudslide caused by the Grand Banks undersea earthquake of 1929?
Fortunately, we would not have long to wait before the truth was discovered.