13 June, 2021

Foreign Hand

No diver has found human remains in the Titanic's wreck. But now a company’s plan to retrieve the ship's radio equipment has sparked a debate: Could the shipwreck hold remains of passengers and crew who died a century ago?

Foreign Hand

It was the holy grail of shipwrecks—so legendary as to acquire a mythical aura. And its loss on its maiden voyage was steeped in an irony—it was touted as being ‘unsinkable’—that seemed to foreshadow the supreme irony of the Great War (‘the war to end all wars’) that followed it, closing out a ‘golden’ European era of peace and prosperity. Then, in 1985, the RMS Titanic was located off Newfoundland, under 12,500 feet of icy North Atlantic waters. Since then, people have been diving to the Titanic’s wreck for 35 years. No one has found human remains (though a murky photograph of a human skull on one of the ship’s decks was published in the famous December 1986 National Geographic article). But the company that owns the salvage rights and plans to retrieve the ship’s iconic radio equipment has sparked a debate: could the world’s most famous shipwreck still hold remains of passengers and crew who died over a century ago?  Lawyers for the US government have raised that...

In this article:

Latest Magazine

June 21, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section