35 Years Ago Today, Titanic was found…

Not the famous bow shot coming out of the gloom that just makes you in awe, but rather the debris on the ocean floor. And one of the first images early that morning was of one of the boilers that spilled out from the ship (above).

And the start of a shipwreck obsession that’s lasted me my whole life. Dunno why, but it’s there.

Like most folks born in the 1980s, I learned about the Titanic because of Dr. Robert Ballard and the National Geographic spot Secrets of the Titanic (I still find it funny that despite changing voice actors a couple times, they still keep the mistaken “66,000 tons” line in (rather than 46,000, but that’s neither here nor there at this point).

I wore out that taped from t.v. copy my parents made. Downloaded it on iTunes as soon as I could. And I still watch it on YouTube once in a while (synth soundtrack and all).

The second major expedition, and basis for that NatGeo documentary, occurred in July 1986. But it all began with sonar, then a video camera sled with sonar, in September 1985, when they were nearing the end of their designated search time and were about to have to give it up.

Over the years, more and more stories have come about regarding the finding, who was involved and when, the theories of the sinking, and then of course the treasure seekers who came soon after (which I found rather disappointing). When the 100 year anniversary came near, it’s like they had new documentaries with theories about how the wreck sank the say it did and why it broke apart three years in a row.

And let’s not forget that bloated three-hours-and-change 1996 Cameron film that this wreck inspired. (Down, Cameron fans, down! I’m NOT retracting that… though the more accurate sinking was well handled and worth watching and I’ll admit THAT. Didn’t need a fake love story for half the movie though, dang it… it was done oodles of times already, anyway!)

Seriously, as far as basic events, watch A Night to Remember. Much shorter and more historical without a contrived romance that spans for hours on end.

Now, on that note, I’m gonna have a Titanic marathon

  1. Titanic: Death of a Dream (1994)It’s a 2-part A&E documentary, narrated by David McCallum (aka, Harold Bride from A Night to Remember, or Ducky from NCIS) The DVD also has short about the Titanic in pop culture and how it’s come about over the decades.
  2. A Night to Remember (1958), dir. Roy Ward Baker– because duh!
  3. Titanic (1943), dir. Herbert Selpin/Werner Klingler– Yes, the anti-British Nazi propaganda film with a crazy history (see the History Channel doc Nazi Titanic if you want more). Also in an anti-fascist mood right now, so I wanted to put on something by Selpin, who was murdered by the Gestapo in his jail cell for speaking out against the Nazis in 1942. It’s blatant propaganda that’s insulting to the intelligence, but that makes it perversely enjoyable if you don’t mind subtitles.
  4. Secrets of the Titanic (1986), from National Geographic, dir. Dr. Robert Ballard– duh! again
  5. Every critical review of the super-craptastic animated Titanic movies that came out of Italy and mostly used the Cameron film as a base story (thank you for the laughs and groans, Nostalgia Critic and JonTron)

Yeah, I’d better get started or I’ll be up half the night.

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