Rare footage of the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic finally unveiled (video)

Titanic obsessives are in for a rare treat this week as never-seen-before video footage of the discovery of the supposed “unsinkable” vessel was yesterday released on YouTube.

The video reveals 80 minutes of uncut footage showing the famous ship as seen by oceanographers in 1986. Watch it HERE:

This uncut footage comes in time with the 25th anniversary re-release of the classic 1997 movie Titanic, which depicted the final moments of those aboard the doomed vessel.

The movie won 11 Academy Awards, including for best picture, and helped propel actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio to stardom.

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The RMS Titanic was a true marvel of its time and was even deemed “unsinkable” by its parent company due to its innovative features such as watertight compartments. But on April 15, 1912, during its maiden voyage, the Titanic struck an iceberg and tragically sank in the Atlantic Ocean, claiming the lives of an estimated 1,500 passengers and crew.

Rare footage of the 'unsinkable' Titanic finally unveiled (video) | News by Thaiger
The wreckage of the Titanic was found in 1985 off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada.

For decades, the remains of the Titanic remained undiscovered, hidden below the icy ocean waters. It was only on September 1, 1985, that a team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the French National Institute of Oceanography discovered the wreck off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The Titanic lay buried 3,780 metres below the surface, its bow separated from its stern.

The team returned in July 1986 to make 11 more dives, using submersibles equipped with cameras to film the discovery.

Robert Ballard, one of the leaders of the joint expedition that found the Titanic, recalled the moment he saw the ship with his own eyes while sitting in a three-person submersible named Alvin.

The footage reveals the haunting sight of portholes and personal items belonging to passengers, including a pair of shoes that made Ballard think of a mother and child. The weight of the tragedy was palpable, and the crew even held a small memorial service for the deceased. He said…

“The first thing I saw coming out of the gloom at 30 feet was this wall, this giant wall of riveted steel that rose over 100 and some feet above us.

“I never looked down at the Titanic. I looked up at the Titanic. Nothing was small.

“It was like people looking back at us. It was pretty haunting actually.”

Ballard said the 1985 mission was pretty emotional.

“I wasn’t a Titanic groupie. I was heavily involved in my military program. So I wasn’t expecting to be affected by the discovery.”

The ship sank at about 2.20am. The 1985 discovery using the underwater camera occurred at about 2am.

Ballard recalled that a member of the crew glanced at the clock and said, “She sinks in 20 minutes.”

“We actually stopped the operation and raised the vehicle to gather my thoughts and I said, ‘I’m going to go outside and just get myself back together’ and everyone else followed. We had a small memorial service for all those that had died. But we were there, we were at this spot.”

The video is a must-watch for Titanic enthusiasts and history buffs alike. It’s a poignant reminder of the tragedy that befell the “unsinkable” ship, and of the human lives lost in one of the most devastating maritime disasters in history.

Rare footage of the 'unsinkable' Titanic finally unveiled (video) | News by Thaiger
As seen in this July 1986 footage, the bow of the Titanic was remarkably well preserved in the ship’s final resting site on the ocean floor. The back of the ship, meanwhile, appeared destroyed.
Rare footage of the 'unsinkable' Titanic finally unveiled (video) | News by Thaiger
Robert Ballard, a former US Navy intelligence officer, was a leader on the joint team that discovered the Titanic wreck. He is seen here filming the site in July 1986.
Rare footage of the 'unsinkable' Titanic finally unveiled (video) | News by Thaiger
A small, remotely-operated submersible named Jason Jr was used to collect photography in tight spaces around the ship — areas where the larger, human-operated vessel could not go.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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