Sunday, May 25, 2008

Thresher, Scorpion ... Titanic?

Now we can know the connection. Surprised the secret has been kept so long.

Also, this Memorial Day is a good opportunity to remember the men of the THRESHER and SCORPION for their sacrifice.
A mission to discover the wreck of the Titanic was actually a cover a story for examining the remains of two Cold War nuclear submarines, the man who located the liner has revealed.

Dr Bob Ballard, an oceanographer, has admitted that he had to locate and inspect the remains of the vessels, which sank during the 1960s, in a top secret mission for the US navy before he was allowed to look for the Titanic.

He said: "I couldn't tell anybody. There was a lot of pressure on me. It was a secret mission. I felt it was a fair exchange for getting a chance to look for the Titanic."

He added: "We handed the data to the experts. They never told us what they concluded – our job was to collect the data. I can only talk about it now because it has been declassified."

When USS Thresher and USS Scorpion sank, more than 200 men lost their lives and suspicions were raised that at least one of them, Scorpion, had been sunk by the USSR.

In 1982, Dr Ballard approached the US Navy for funding to search for the Titanic with a robotic submarine craft he had developed.

He was told that the military were not prepared to spend large sums of money on locating the liner, but they did want to know what had happened to the submarines. Officials were anxious to find out how the nuclear reactors had fared after being under water for so long.

The oceanographer was given funding to embark on two expeditions, one to find the wreck of Thresher in 1984 off the eastern coast of the US, and another to find Scorpion in the eastern Atlantic.

It was only once these missions were complete that Dr Ballard located the wreck of the Titanic in 1985, which sank in 1912 after it hit an iceberg with the loss of 1,500 lives.

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