Coming to DVD from The History Channel is a thought provoking and mystery solving documentary “Titanic at 100: Mystery Solved”.
On April 14, 1912, at 11:20 p.m. in the middle of a calm glassy sea, the ship R.M.S. Titanic struck and iceberg sinking its way into American history and mystery. The History Channel along with Chris Davino, President of RMS Titanic Inc., Jean Charcot with the expedition ship, Park Stevenson: Titanic Historian and Systems Engineer with a 20 year military career, Dr. David Gallo – Expedition Leader take viewers were they have never gone before.
They want to explore further past the regular mapped sites of the Titanic wreckage. Stevenson’s plans are to map the entire site and discover what really happened to the “unsinkable” ship. “Its like piecing together a plane crash – the same thing needs to be done for the Titanic”, says Stevenson.
He wants to create a ‘virtual’ hanger along with Ken Marschall, artist and visual historian. Marschall joined the group because he “always wanted to piece Titanic together to bring it back to life”.
Another party to the team is Jim Chiles, Disaster Investigator who is truly excited to explore the debris field of Titanic because he believes the answer lie right there. Since 1985, twenty expeditions have gone to Titanic but all go to the same places. No one has ever mapped the entire site.
So what are the questions this team wants to answer? 1) Why was the ship speeding through a known iceberg field? 2) Why weren’t there enough lifeboats? and, 3) was there a design or material flaw in the ship itself? One of the theories is there are three people to blame for what happened to Titanic: 1) Captain Smith for going too fast into the ice, 2) White Star Chairman Bruce Ismay for the number of lifeboats, and 3) Naval Architect Thomas Andrews for the design of the ship.
Reports on Titanic following it’s sinking in 1912 say the boat sank in tact and that it did not break even though witnesses testified that it had. It wasn’t until seventy years later that it would be confirmed.
The team begins looking for answers in something that has been missing in prior investigations – where the missing middle piece where Titanic broke apart? Dr. James Delgado, Director of Maritime Heritage (NOAA), Bill Sauder, Director Titanic Research for RMS Titanic, Inc. and Michael Dessner, Director of Operations at the Waitt Institute are on the case.
AUV’s (autonomous underwater vehicles) named Ginger and Mary Ann are cameras that will go down 2.5 miles to 5 tons of pressure depth to begin. Evan Kovacs, Imaging Director begins looking and map 15 square miles under the sea. The map will show objects and artifacts so that cameras can later go directly to the site.
They find bronze steam whistles, flattened boilers, and tangles of decks. All of this helps point to the middle section of the ship that are missing. It takes the crew 30 days to cover every inch of the site. With this they will use high-def imagery back at Woods Hole Oceanographic to put the pieces together.
In San Diego, California – researchers at the Maritime Museum are also part of solving this mystery. The city is host to an exhibit “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” that will be running until September 9, 2012 so interest is high regarding what happened to Titanic.
The stunning conclusion to this DVD will change the way history sees Titanic forever!
FINAL WORD: This really is an amazing look at Titanic. Using state of the art equipment to finally map out the entire site of where the ship has lay for the last 100 years changes everything. From the causes to the tests putting mystery and rumors to rest is fascinating.
Knowing all of this still doesn’t change the history of the RMS Titanic that has been subject of countless books, films and documentaries. Here, however, is a chance to see so much come together and what it took to accomplish that goal.
Those involved not only used every tool at their disposal but also never forgot, for one moment, the human cost or the stories of those who lived or died on the majestic ship. Infusing the stories of those aboard was so interesting and the connections something I did not know previously.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Titanic at 100: Mystery Solved” four tubs of popcorn out of five. It really is an interesting piece-by-piece look at a mystery that has captivated people for one hundred years. Taking every aspect and every angle from under the deep ocean depths is – well – kind of cool actually.
In the end – the truth will finally surface!