‘Titanic’ discovery was byproduct of military quest – St. Petersburg Times — Gee, so much for the idealistic explorer. Everything we do seems to be part of a military or intelligence operation.

Robert Ballard became famous as the explorer who found the wreckage of the Titanic. But what most people don’t know about that expedition is that Ballard also secretly worked with the U.S. Navy to learn more about two lost nuclear submarines.[the Thresher and the Scorpion. The only two subs ever lost by the Navy during peacetime.]

Ballard shared that nugget when he came to the Tampa Bay area last week for the Coastal Cities Summit, organized by the University of South Florida and other institutions. He spoke with the St. Petersburg Times about the Titanic and his underwater exploration career.

When you wanted to search for the Titanic, did you make an arrangement with the military?

I can only tell you now because they declassified this a few months ago. The Navy was not interested in the Titanic. … I mean, they funded the technology because it had so many military applications. And I was a naval intelligence officer for 30 years, and so I did a lot of missions for the Navy. Many remain classified, my best stuff. Rats …

Yes, the Titanic was a cover for a series of military operations.

First under-reported mention of this found here.

Found by Aric Mackey.




  1. stormadvisor says:

    Funny, this was all in Ballard’s book “Explorations: A life of underwater adventure” that was published in 1995.

  2. Mij says:

    So? What’s your point here?
    This is not new news.

  3. Glenn E. says:

    “Everything we do seems to be part of a military or intelligence operation.”

    And it’s made our economy so much the stronger, for it, hasn’t it? NOT! Congrads John, your catching on. The Soviet Union went into financial ruin, devoting too much Rubles to its military industry. At least way more than it could afford. But that may have been what was planned by the US, during the Cold War.

    And yet, even with the Soviets being so weakened. The US continued to spend all it could for its military industry. Declaring just about every other superpower (allies and enemies) as potential threats. and justifying the huge military build up during Reagan and Bush’s reign, to basically take on the whole damn world.

    Naturally, there needed to be lot of propaganda to support this. And thus there were tons of movies, like “Red Dawn”, “Hunt for Red October” and “Amerika”. And some James Bond movies too. Continuing to paint a gloomy picture for the US, should it not finance every stealth sub, stealth bomber, and super carrier.

    “‘I can only tell you now because they declassified this a few months ago.'”
    That’s a load of bull. This has been generally know for a couple of years now. Ballard even mentioned it in some documentary about the Titanic. So how could it be a secret, he never talked about until recently? I think he’s got his cover stories (aka LIES) confused.

    And as for “Everything we do seems to be part of a military or intelligence operation.” being covered up by the press and film industry. Back when the US was taping in on the Soviet Navy’s underwater communication cables, they built those two DSRVs to do the job. But movies like “Gray Lady Down” (w/ Charlton Heston) were produced to promote them as strictly rescue vehicles. Yet there were highly top secret, and built by an aerospace contractor, not a navy sub contractor. And this came out it a Discovery Channel documentary, some years ago. Even the movie “Raise the Titanic” was a bit of pre-Ballard propaganda. Produced to promote the notion that recovery of said vessel, was a possible cold war defense project, to recover some radioactive ore. Since then, this movie has scarcely ever been rerun or heard of. The Ballard project killed the need for its cover story premise.

    And the list goes on… “Firefox” (w/ Clint Eastwood) preceded the B2 stealth bomber’s public exposure. Claiming the Russians had a stealth aircraft first. And Northrup released its own documentary on their first flying wing. Seen only on DC PBS stations, just prior to the B2 going public, because its funding was cut. And yet several were built anyway.

    And I doubt I could keep up with all the crap that Tv shows like “24”, “JAG”, “NCIS”, and “The Unit”, have shoveled about military threats, policies, and capabilities. But a Pentagon office edits and approves every script. Read Operation Hollywood by David L. Robb (at Amazon.com).

    How like the US film industry is to that of Germany’s during the Nazi regime. Kowtowing to the war machine’s every whim. And yet the mostly Jewish dominated industry still wants us all to remember the Nazis, so it “doesn’t happen again.” Ignoring their current role in
    producing propaganda films.

  4. dmstrat says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I read this information over 2 years ago! It was part of an interview with him that was published online. I’m trying to find the article, but I know it was there. Here’s to old news!

  5. amodedoma says:

    I saw the documentary too, John. Even if I hadn’t I don’t get it. I find nothing surprising about the USN being interested in this technology. The loss of the Thresher and Scorpion, were quite tragic and deserve an in depth investigation.

  6. RBG says:

    “Ballard approached the Navy in 1982 for funding to find the Titanic with his new deep-diving robot submersible. The Navy saw the opportunity and granted him the money on the condition he first inspect the two submarine wrecks.”

    Wikipedia re Thresher


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