Updated: Aug 11, 2021
by Terri Bey
On September 1, 1985, the event many thought was impossible became possible. Humans were once again able to lay eyes on the iconic White Star Liner RMS Titanic, as the wreck of the majestic ship which sank on her maiden voyage on April 14-15, 1912 was discovered by Dr. Robert Ballard from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Jean-Louis Michel from INFREMER. Dr. Ballard was on a secret mission for the United States Navy. Dr. Ballard would find two nuclear submarines, the Thresher off of the eastern coast of the U.S and the Scorpion off of the eastern Atlantic, and then was allowed to use the remaining days to find the wreck of the RMS Titanic. Dr. Ballard found both submarines and had twelve days to find the most famous shipwreck in the world, the wreck of the RMS Titanic, and so he did along with Jean-Louis Michel of INFREMER, as we all know.
The discovery of the RMS Titanic is very significant to me, as my deep interest in the RMS Titanic started when I was about seven when I read a story about the disaster in grade school. My father, who was eight years old when the disaster occurred, would tell me the story about the disaster repeatedly. On that historic day when the wreck of the RMS Titanic was found, I was listening to some of my records when I heard my father's voice calling me and saying, "They found the Titanic!!" I called down, "Really!!" I was so excited. I ran down the stairs and there was the news anchor reading the news.
The discovery of the Titanic by Dr. Robert Ballard and Jean-Louis Michel means so much to me as sadly, my father would not live to see me graduate high school in June of 1986, as he passed away from cancer in May of that year. The discovery of the great liner was one of the last events that my father and I got to enjoy together. I am ever grateful for the discovery of the greatest liner ever.
Thank you, Dr. Robert Ballard and Jean-Louis Michel for discovering the wreck and giving my father and me one final bonding moment.
Dr. Robert Ballard (l) and Jean-Louis Michel (r) Photo by Bernie Brown, courtesy of Titanic Belfast