Sun, 05 Mar 6.30pm
World-renowned marine geologist Bob Ballard explores a 1,500 year old, perfectly preserved shipwreck on the floor of the Black Sea. Why does it look like it sank yesterday? What secrets does it hold?
It was the greatest nautical mystery of the 20th Century: the final resting place of Titanic.
Renowned oceanographer Dr Bob Ballard stunned the world in 1985 when he discovered the wreck of the famed liner. But the story we thought we knew is just the tip of the iceberg, Ballard was acting as a secret agent on a classified intelligence operation for the US Navy.
A reservist in the Navy, Ballard’s mission was to investigate two Cold War tragedies from the 1960s, the loss of the US nuclear submarines, Thresher and Scorpion. The Navy had granted Ballard permission to search for Titanic only if there was time left after his mission. Under this agreement, he had 12 days left to hunt for the liner. Join us as we uncover the clandestine operation that brought one of the greatest ever nautical mysteries to the surface.
In the second of our specials, we explore Bob Ballard’s latest discoveries in the Black Sea. Seven years ago, on his third trip to the Black Sea, Ballard discovered a miraculously well-preserved Byzantine shipwreck, but his team could only take pictures. Now, Ballard returns with archaeologist Dr. Bridget Buxton and Dr. Sergiy Voronov of the Ukrainian Department of Underwater Heritage, and uses state-of-the-art technology and a revolutionary robot known as “Hercules” to excavate two shipwrecks for the first time ever, including one of the most pristine, ancient vessels ever found. The team has only two weeks, so they must work in perfect precision. Ballard calls this site “the greatest museum on Earth,” but his team of marine archaeologists has only begun to scratch the surface of the Black Sea’s depths.
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