Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron (2012) Script

Iceberg, right ahead!

This is the part of Titanic's story we all know.

But what happened to Titanic after the last eyewitness saw her slip beneath the surface?

Titanic is the perfect unsolved murder mystery.

It hit there, but then it kind of whiplashes when it hits the ground back here.

What happened in the final minutes of the ship?

How did it break up? How did it fall? How did it hit the bottom?

Why did she sink so fast?

Could more lives have been saved?

Did I get the details right in the feature film?

No, I'm talking about the sinking, the way you depicted the sinking.

We didn't do it 'cause we didn't know.

For the first time ever, I've gathered all the evidence and eight of the world's leading Titanic experts all together, in one place.

Some have been to the wreck, some approach it through the testimony, some approach it through the physical forensics.

We respectfully disagree.

No one gets out of this room until we piece together, once and for all, what happened in Titanic's final minutes.

We're going to argue. I guarantee it. It'll get heated.

Coincidence? There's no coincidence.

There's no such thing as coincidence.

I agree. No.

Now, on the 100th anniversary of the tragedy, fifteen years after the film's initial release, it's time for the final word on what really happened to Titanic.

Mir I, mir I. Jake is coming out of his search. Over.

Here he comes. He's out

I feel like I've lived on Titanic certainly much longer than any of the people who were actually involved in the event did.

I've got it ingrained in my memory. I could walk the ship in my sleep.

Keep lowering!

When I see the model, it just brings back to me all those nights of shooting with the crowds, running and screaming up the decks.

Then going back to one and doing it all again.

See you in the sunshine.

For me, filmmaking comes out of my desire to explore unknown worlds.

You want to see Titanic on the sonar? Check this out, bro.

You're gonna love this.

I wanted to dive the wreck more than I wanted to make the movie.

Diving the wreck was my way into the story.

There she is, baby. Oh, yeah.

It's a dream come true for me.

Titanic does not give up her secrets easily.

The more you work on this, the more you can bring it into focus and fill in the gaps.

And there are some enigmas.

Titanic is like a fractal, the closer you get to it, the more you see completely new patterns.

There have been a lot of ideas, a lot of theories.

It's time to just say, "this is what really happened, to the best of our collective knowledge."

This shouldn't be all sort of nicey-nicey, blowing pink smoke around.

Let's beat it up.

That's the best way to arrive at an answer that makes sense.

My Titanic dream team includes Ken marschall, artist, visual historian.

P.h. Nargeolet, explorer, underwater operations, rms Titanic.

Bill sauder, historian, director of research, rms Titanic.

Parks stephenson, naval systems engineer.

Don lynch, chief historian of the Titanic historical society.

Dave gallo, director of special projects at woods hole oceanographic institution.

Commander Jeffrey stettler, naval architect, us naval academy.

Brian Thomas, coast guard naval architect and salvage engineer.

We have the team and the tools.

From hundreds of hours of my expedition dive footage, to deck plans and survivor testimony, we're going to take all we learned and create a new visualization of the sinking.

From iceberg to bottom, it's never been animated so precisely and so dramatically.

We're determined, once and for all, to learn what happened after Titanic disappeared beneath the surface 100 years ago.

After Titanic disappeared beneath the surface 100 years ago.

It's a good, just kind of drive-a-stake-in-the-ground moment for us to say, "let's get the history right."

To me, the exercise of making the movie and preparing to make the movie was about understanding history.

Like, what is history?

History is this kind of consensus hallucination.

There are some people who, they tell the story like it happened yesterday.

And then there are others who, over the years, have been telling the story and the story changes, you know? So, yeah.

And how much does the telling of the story become the memory, as opposed to the memory itself?

Our task here is to separate perception from truth.

So what is it that we know for sure?

At the time of her construction, Titanic was the largest ship ever built, 882 feet and nine inches long and standing nearly 20 stories high.

Her weight was over 46,000 tons.

Her hull spanned four city blocks.

She had nine decks encompassing 370 first-class cabins, 168 second-class cabins, and 297 third-class cabins.

Accommodations for up to 3,547 people.

Mechanically, she was state of the art, fitted with 29 boilers and 159 furnaces.

Each of her steam engines was the size of a three-story house.

Over 6,000 tons of coal filled her coal bunkers.

From her innovative double-bottom keel, to her 16 water-tight compartments,

Titanic was considered unsinkable.

Each compartment had doors that were designed to close automatically if the water level Rose above a certain height.

If any two compartments or the first four became flooded.

According to her builders, even in the worst possible accident at sea, Titanic was virtually unsinkable.

Ilceberg, right ahead! Thank you.

But we know that on April 14, 1912, Titanic sideswiped an iceberg and sank in two hours and 40 minutes.

Full astern!

Hard over. Helm's hard over, sir.

Why ain't they turning?

Is it hard over?! It is. Yes sir. Hard over.

One hundred years later, this is what's left of Titanic, a tangled wreck on the ocean floor.

Thousands of broken pieces.

But from her rust-covered remains, we may still be able to figure out what happened in her last moments.

Well, it's very important to find out where all the objects wound up.

And then you can work backwards from that to sort of reconstruct how the processes got started.

You've got to peel away the bottom impact,

you got to understand what happened at the surface.

Then maybe you can work your way back to what actually set off the sinking in the first place.

It's like a murder-mystery case where some piece of evidence is an outlier.

Everything fits perfectly, but there's one outlying piece of evidence, and it seems so trivial, and yet it unwinds everything else.

It's a great forensic process to go through.

It's the same thing that they do at an ntsb analysis of a crash site for an airliner.

You know, "how did that engine get way over there?

"How did that wind up two miles back?"

You know, you can't really piece together what happened until you can account for every single piece and where it got there.

Four hundred miles off the coast of newfoundland, and two and a half miles beneath the surface of the north Atlantic, lies Titanic.

The wreck site spans a mile of the sea floor, and is anything but accessible.

It takes about two-and-a-half hours to descend in a submersible.

Daylight doesn't reach this depth.

It's eternal darkness.

Here, we find the bow and stern section 2,000 feet apart.

We find the ship's boilers clustered east of the stern.

Cargo cranes sheared from the deck.

Broken pieces of funnel.

Ground-up shell plating.

Sections of the ship's keel, or double bottom.

Rudders and propellers pinned in the sediment, intact.

An open shell door at d deck.

There are serving plates, tea cups, shoes, countless personal artifacts.

These are all clues in the mystery.

What caused this magnitude of destruction?

How can we begin to make sense of it?

So, it's good to wrap our heads around this.

So, now you start looking at a debris field map.

So, now you start looking at a debris field map.

It's part of that crime scene recreation of seeing everything on this macro level.

We can get down to individual images of each individual piece, but you need the context of it, to keep that forest in sight.

You have to have that map of the wreck site to do any meaningful forensics.

Titanic's bow and stern are torn in two and lie apart, like a crime scene where the body and head are on opposite sides of the room.

You can see it. You can see it on the debris field map here. It's a very interesting thing.

Bow points north, and it's partly dug into the sediment.

Its open end is ragged, it's not a clean break.

At first glance, it appears the farthest object north, but there's the number one cargo hatch, and that's 260 feet forward of the bow.

And the hatch bolts are all severed. So, what did that?

And how did the bow break from the stern? What did this?

The stern points south, facing the opposite direction of the bow.

Looks like a bomb hit it.

To the east of the stern lie five boilers from boiler room 1, the midsection of the ship.

I think the location of these boilers is our first lead.

If you just draw a circle around those five boilers, and you take the center of that circle, I think that's where the ship broke up at the surface.


Okay, these five boilers help us to find the hypocenter, the ground zero for the disaster.

The hypocenter directly underneath where the breakup took place on the bottom would be where the heaviest and most uniform objects would be clustered.

Now, with it, we can extrapolate the journey taken by each part of the ship, from the surface to where we find them today, on the bottom.

And then you have a kind of fallout pattern, downwind, if you will, or down current, for very light objects like teacups and light debris and coal.

The coal being spread the farthest, 'cause it's the least heavy in water.

We can account for many objects on our debris field map, and explain how they traveled from the breakup at the surface to end their life two and a half miles down at the bottom.

But not every part can be so easily explained.

Something that just occurred to me for the first time in all these years is...

If that happened way up there, isn't it interesting that we've got...

These would be your poop deck cranes, and they're this close to their original location.

The stern cranes sort of grouped together and lying adjacent to the stern was a little mystery that we had to solve.

And in solving that mystery, it would shed some light on what actually happened to the stern when it hit the bottom of the ocean.

Why were those cranes there? Where did they come from?

Odd, isn't it?

Then the question is, what held the cranes with all this, as opposed to them just scattering?

I don't know. I'm inclined to think these came apart at a higher altitude.

I think that it's just coincidence that they happened to wind up...

Coincidence? There is no coincidence.

There's no such thing as coincidence.

I agree. No.

There was a tendency on the part of the group, I think, to reject the idea of coincidence, which, I think, is always good in this kind of analysis.

Jim will let you disagree with him as long as you have a reasonable argument, and your facts are all in a row, and they're doing a chorus dance behind you.

I'm gonna jump to the crazy part of this.

Yeah. All right?

Which is these two double bottom sections and this big chunk.

There are three pieces of the wreck whose placement on the debris field map don't make sense.

They're outliers.

They're enigmas because they're strangely out to the east of the hypocenter.

We know from a past expedition that these two, out of the three, are pieces of Titanic's double bottom.

We know these parts are from the same section of keel because their ragged ends align like two pieces of a Jigsaw puzzle.

How did these two chunks of keel detach from the bottom of the ship, and end up to the east of the hypocenter?

And what about the third outlier?

Now, I'm just trying to account for something that I don't understand, which is this thing.

This is just a big pile of junk. It's a big, ugly pile.

Big, dirty pile of junk.

Nobody'd ever seen it before.

It's way off to the east. It's beyond these double bottom pieces.

Okay, so the mystery piece, the enigma piece is this.

Is this. Yes.

You know, about the upper couple of decks of that.

It's even bigger and larger and heavier than the boilers, yet, it ended up way far out there.

How did this chunk, from beneath the third frontal deckhouse, end up way out there?

All right. Well, why don't we stick to what we think we know, and fill in the rest of the picture?

To fill in the rest of the picture and visualize Titanic's final moments, we need to go underwater and take a closer look at the damage.

I see the wreck.

I see ii.

Mir il, mir il, this is mir I.

Depth is 3,353 meters.

I love this stuff exploration.

Real, honest-to-god, deep-ocean exploration.

To me, it's an alternative to making movies, and it's something that I can use my skills as a filmmaker. which is as technically challenging, as emotionally challenging, It's about creating the technology.

It's about the personal challenge of actually going into this hostile environment, doing things right, doing things safely, and coming back with results.

Say goodbye to the surface world.

I've been a wreck diver for many years at scuba depths.

I love shipwrecks. I love the romance and the mystery of shipwrecks.

And the Titanic's the ultimate wreck. It's the Everest of shipwrecks.

And I said, "let's do a real expedition to the Titanic

"to shoot scenes for the movie."

And this was all new territory, nobody had ever really done this before.

But looking into the darkness here and wondering what was beyond, what's down there, you know, is what led me to want to go back and explore it thoroughly with new technology.

So, of course, as soon as the movie was done, I was immediately planning my next expedition.

Okay, dive one.

It's gonna be jb and bill in mir I, and me and Vince in mir I.

Come in here, explore these rooms.

Up until our 2001 expedition, no one had attempted an extensive survey of the interior of the wreck.

So, when we went back for the 3D documentary ghosts of the abyss, we developed remotely operated vehicles, or rovs.

We call them "bots."

Built to withstand the incredible pressure at that depth, they could maneuver through small holes in the wreckage and explore up to 2,000 feet from the manned sub.

Previous rovs had been leashed to the sub by a short, bulky tether.

Our state-of-the-art mini rovs, affectionately nicknamed Jake and elwood, had an on board power supply and just needed a spool of hair-thin fiber-optic cable to receive directions and send the live video feed back to my sub.

As I guided them through the wreck, they unwound this cable behind them, like theseus unwinding the ball of twine as he explored the labyrinth.

This made it possible, for the first time, to film interior areas of the wreck that hadn't been seen since the night Titanic sank.

The bots are finally going to Titanic. Three years in the making.

See you on the bottom.

Since my first expedition, I've gone back twice.

Sight enabled.

Comm link, camera power.

All right. I think we're ready to fly.

Elwood's coming out.

Pretty cool.

Looking good, elwood.

Tell him to go ahead, we'll meet in the center of the grand staircase.

I've shot hundreds of hours of archeological survey footage inside the wreck.

Now they're where I wanted to be.

Those are the lead stained-glass windows.

Look at that. Unbelievable.

And another thing that's absolutely fascinating is this idea of telepresence.

When you fly an rov, after the first few minutes, and really for subsequent hours at a time, you completely forget your physical human existence.

What's going on?

And you become that vehicle.

It's almost like you can feel what it's feeling.

This is what you get when you get the lighting in the right place.

You get a good sense of the depth of the space.

That's right in front of the elevators, I believe.

There's a well-preserved brass bed here.

I'd be in the other sub outside, navigating...

I think on this dive, you were.

Yeah. We could see Jim inside.

Every now and then, you could see the little light in there.

And you knew, "okay, Jim, we need to move a little bit farther aft, because..."

"Yes, yes, all right.” then he flips it up and moves back, and then you got to get in the current just right.

And then, "okay, Jim, we're coming, "but we are kind of caught in current here."

Then we'd do a pass. "Jim, how did that look?"

And there'd be a pause.

"Love it, love it, love it. Do it again!" Something like that.

So, they were maneuvering 18 tons out there to get one light through a porthole.

Rising up and aiming the light downward.

There's... turn.

That's good!

I made 33 dives to Titanic.

Laying eyes on the site is one of the most important forensic tools.

The power of observation.

Some of the damage is self-evident, easy to understand.

Other aspects are baffling.

Like cops at a crime scene, we're inventorying all the evidence.

Now we can begin to rewind the clock and start to put these pieces back together to tell the story of Titanic's final moments.

You've got to get to the night the ship hit the bottom.

What happened when it hit the bottom?

Then you've got to be able to separate out all the bottom impact damage from what might have happened as it descended through the water column.

It's important to know that things that people have identified as possibly iceberg damage probably aren't.

A good example of this is the so-called "big opening,” a hole blasted in the starboard side of Titanic's bow.

We now know it isn't iceberg damage. But how do we explain it, and the other destruction to the bow?

It hit first here, pushed forward as it settled.

It hit first here, pushed forward as it settled.

So, the question is, what did it do when it hit?

It hits, crushes like that, momentarily.

This stops moving at that point, other than to slide forward.

And then it's got a mound of debris underneath it, and it bends the other way when it lands.

And I'll show you what that looks like in animation, because we thought about this a lot when we animated it.

Take me a second to find it here.

Okay, we made this in "95, for the movie.

I still think it's a useful reference for the bow's impact, even though some of the other details aren't right.

This is arrival. There is the initial deformation, which actually puts the forward well deck in compression, probably buckled in compression, at that point.

And that's the point at which the big opening starts.

'Cause it's actually getting exercised in two directions.

And then the back end now is falling, falling down, and is hitting and compressing.

Is that the cover I saw? The hatch cover flying off, there.

Right, exactly. We animated that.

The hatch, it's the farthest piece of the ship from the breakup.

How did this thing get out there?

Jim, those forces, to snap bolts...

I mean, that's something I can't get my mind around.

So either at the moment of initial impact, or at the moment that the ship slams down,

So you've got some internal over-pressure here, that's hydraulic.

And over the large area of that number one hatch, it just breaks every bolt at the same time.

The hatch doesn't peel off sequentially, it's an evenly distributed over-pressure.

It just breaks every bolt head simultaneously.

Hydraulic outburst accounts for the mysterious placement of the number one hatch.

The damage we see to the bow is more extensive than simply the force of impact at the bottom.

What could have possibly happened as the bow plummeted two and a half miles, down to the ocean floor?

She hits the berg on the starboard side, right?

She kind of bumps along, punching holes like morse code...

In a scene from the movie Titanic, we used animation to illustrate for Rose's character what we thought had happened as the ship sank.

So now as the bow goes down, the stern rises up...

Since then, we've come a long way in our cg modeling and 3D animation, but most importantly in our understanding of the disaster.

So, what happens? She splits, right down to the keel.

The bow section planes away, landing about a half a mile away, going 20, 30 knots when it hits the ocean floor.

Pretty cool, huh?

Thank you for that fine forensic analysis, Mr. bodine.

Of course, the experience of it was...

Somewhat different.

Okay, this '95 animation tells a good story, but some of the forensic details aren't quite right.

So with what we're learning now in our current investigation, we're going to get to update this.

It's pulling the whole ship down. It now breaks. There's a relaxation.

It's pulling it down, it rips away, and then natural flooding.

This is a big deal for me. I've wanted to do this for a long time.

A detailed and thoroughly accurate visualization of Titanic sinking does not exist.

Working with animator Casey schatz and naval system engineer, parks stephenson by remote, I'm gonna improve what we did 15 years ago.

This looks great. This is the sum total of everything that you and parks have been working on over the last few weeks.

Yeah. L1 think it looks awesome.

All right, let's go to the bow section.

It's nice when you see it in scale like this, isn't it?

Oh, yeah. Totally!

It just makes sense. When you see it in scale, it all makes sense.

And this is accurate, the ship is to scale to the water column, right?

Absolutely, I've been ocd about everything.


Not shocked by that.

See? That's it, man. That's exactly the way I always pictured it.

So the stern is actually only a few lengths behind.

Yeah, it was surprising, but it follows down fairly closely.

Yeah, see, everybody always talks about how it's planing forward.

Yeah, it's planing forward, but if you looked at this, you'd just say it was falling.

Yes, it's planing forward, and that accounts for its displacement.

But it's one forward and six down, so it's basically just falling.

It dives and stalls. And when it stalls, it moves forward.

And then it dives and goes down, and then it stalls and moves forward.

We can't complete our update of the animation till we answer some more questions.

Let's keep working backwards from the wreck.

We've analyzed the force of impact with the bottom, but that doesn't explain all the observable damage.

What could have possibly happened as the bow plummeted two-and-a-half miles down to the ocean floor?

To me, one of the fun parts of this is looking at what happened to the bow to me, one of the fun parts of this is looking at what happened to the bow

right when it departed the surface.

And looking at the evidence for that high flow rate, that high longitudinal flow rate.

Weighing at least 20,000 tons, Titanic's bow tore away from the stern and plunged downward at a speed of 25 to 30 miles per hour.

This is the forward well deck of Titanic.

And you can see there, that kind of tubular object is the mast.

You see the mast?

We are up on the top of the deckhouse right now, I think, aren't we?

Yes! Just hold right on this. This is good.

Do we have any pictures of that area handy?

Maybe one of Ken's paintings is a better jumping off point.

Yeah, that's the wreck section there.

Ken feels very connected to Titanic.

And quite honestly, the movie was pitched using his paintings.

I just opened up the big double-truck spread of his glorious painting of the ship going down with its lights blazing and the rockets being fired off, showed it to the studio executives and said, "this ship, Romeo and Juliet.” And that's it. It was probably the shortest pitch relative to the amount of money it raised in the history of movies.

Well, yeah, you can actually see it pretty well in this painting.

This is a good image. Let's keep this image up.

So, let's see what we've got.

We got a mast that's knocked aft.

So what force knocked the mast aft, and then kept it there?

Even though the ship hit the bottom with a slight forward vector.

All of the b deck, forward-facing windows, broken, broken, broken, and that one's broken.

So, to me, that all adds up to a very strong longitudinal flow over the ship, sufficient not only to break the mast, but to get that mast into position, and then allow it to shelter these windows from a peak hydrodynamic pressure, which subsequently broke those windows.

And when the bow broke away and started speeding up, that's also what tore the crane off and the jib on this crane went down behind it there.

Where we find the mast today on the wreck is clearly a result of the bow section breaking away from the stern

And diving toward the bottom.

And that initial speed, which could have gotten up to as high as maybe 40 knots or something like that.

That pressure of sea water pushing back, it's too much for the mast.

It just bent back, and probably bashed around a little bit for a few seconds, destroyed the wheelhouse, which was made of wood, and ended up right in that position.

Hydrodynamic flow, or the force of the racing water, caused considerable damage.

So, this was our attempt to show the mast doing that, in the '95 animation.

So here is the mast coming back, hits the wheelhouse, wheelhouse starts to peel off.

Mast is kind of bouncing around in that area, and then the wheelhouse disintegrates in the flow.

And I think it was more dramatic than that. I think it was like a house in a hurricane.

I think it just went in one.

You know how, when the house will start to lift, and then there's a moment where it just goes because it gets too much of an angle of attack.

I don't think it just peeled away like that. I think it kind of like...

Yeah. Yeah.

Okay, we'll make sure to get this right when I update the animation.

But for now, the hydrodynamic flow can't explain all of this damage.

This deckhouse wall is pushed outward.

Same on the other side, pushed outward. Why just that? Why not all of it?

This roof is mushroomed. Yeah.

Mushroomed out or pancaked down with extreme force, and the top of the gymnasium is bent down. The windows are all bent.

That's not sag. It was buckled down.

The roof was found to be sagged in with a few pieces of funnel shell on that side.

What caused this damage? Are we missing something?

So you've got this big wreck coming down through the water column, it's pulling water down with it and it's been moving for miles, literally at 25 miles an hour, pulling along this wake behind it, just like the wake behind a race car that another race car can get into and kind of draft.

So there's all this moving water, a big column of water.

Ship hits the bottom, stops suddenly. The column of water does not stop.

It comes down on top of the ship, pancakes down the roof, crushes down the decks, and then spreads out across the sea floor.

So it actually winds up moving kind of horizontally and blowing objects away from the ship.

Do we have any data on the magnitude of the down blast?

The hydro guy in me says that it can't be all that huge.

We are talking about buckling and deforming in a big way, these moderate-sized structural members.

And the total mass of water can't be any much more than the mass of the ship.

Down blast is enormous. Okay.

It's huge loading per square inch.

Yeah, I professionally disagree with that statement.

It can't be the momentum of the deck mushrooming, and then plastically deforming and remaining there in permanent set?

Plastically deforming just from inertia?

So, the deck is falling, falling, falling, stopping, there's nothing supporting the middle of the deck, it just...

Yeah. It's got water underneath it that needs to be compressed out of the way for it to deform.

What it does is, as it squashes the ship, it increases pressure on the water inside the ship, which can't be compressed like air.

So it has a hydraulic effect, just like the fluid in a hydraulic cylinder, and it tends to blow things out the side.

So this thing stops cold, and you've got 50,000 tons of water moving above it at, still, 30 miles an hour.

That's 30 knots coming down. Whatever its sinking speed was.

Which is the equivalent of the flow here that broke the mast, and broke all these windows, and peeled off the davits, and did all that.

They like to say that the steel doesn't lie, but I like to...

I think I'd revise that. I'd say that the steel probably tells more complicated stories than we can tell from how it's lying on the bottom of the ocean.

There's two different energies going here.

Number one, it took off, did this.

Flow passed, weakened a lot of these structures up here.

Then it hit, and those weakened structures, which were moving with the ship, all of a sudden, they do this.

And then on top of this, then you have your down blast.

So it's a combined effect.

Sure, it's definitely combined.

I think that the steel and the water are kind of flowing together.

I agree with parks on that, absolutely.

But there is one curious detail that baffles me.

All the windows of the officers' quarters on the boat deck are open.

The air was freezing that night, they wouldn't have opened them.

So, who or what opened those heavy-latched windows?

So the interesting thing is, why are these windows all open and forward?

Yeah, that is really interesting. Well, it went... the very front one...

No, but why are they unlatched? Why are they unlatched?

Unlatched is a different deal. It's down blast.

We know why they're forward, the hinges are that way.

It's the overhead just getting enough of a compression, 'cause this is right under it, and all those windows...

So they just blew open.

But why wouldn't it just break the glass?

Why would it unhinge solid brass hinges and latches?

Yeah, one after another.

Keep in mind, there's two ways to latch this window.

There's a day latch, which is done from the casement, like we would all think of.

And then there is a storm... Which is this thing.

Yeah, that's an eccentric.

You close the window, you turn the crank, the eccentric shifts, and it pins that window in place.

That's not latched, so there's a day latch that is actuated from the inside, right?

If that handle weighed more than the latching side, when the ship flopped down to the bottom, all those handles flipped open?

No, I think what happened is, the spindle that goes in probably just failed from tension.

A lot of times, people will look at a device from the victorian period and go, "well, what's this for?" And they will make up an answer.

And unfortunately, it's the wrong answer because our understanding of machinery is different from the ones at the time.

Oh, okay.

Because it's a fairly large area, and it's at the end of the fulcrum.

Yeah, I see what you are saying. Sure, it just blew them open.

Yes. It's not meant to... But didn't break the glass?

And that was weaker than the glass.

But didn't break the glass. Yeah.

Bill sauder very modestly says he knows the ship better than the builders, and I actually believe he does.

He's the curator of an enormous collection of Titanic artifacts.

He has more day-to-day contact with the physical remains of the ship than anyone.

The one thing I'll remember about Titanic artifacts, to the day I die, is when the saalfeld perfume vials came up.

When you recover stuff from the Titanic, it's wet, it's rusty, and it's rotten.

And the smell that comes off it is perfectly alien, perfectly fetid.

You know it's a kind of death you have never experienced.

So the lab is kind of unpleasant, and then all of a sudden somebody opens up this satchel, this leather satchel, and out comes the fragrance of heaven.

It's all these flowers and fruity flavors, and it's delicious.

It's the most wonderful thing you've ever had.

It was just a complete, overwhelming experience.

It was like, all of a sudden the fragrance of heaven kind of goes through the room.

Instead of being surrounded by all of these dead things,

for those few minutes, the ship was alive again.

Okay, we're filling in the picture from the flow, to the impact, to the down blast.

I understand the damage to Titanic's bow, but the stern is a completely different story.

It shattered beyond recognition, like it was hit by a bomb.

We're gonna figure out why.

Well, my name is Ken marschall.

I've been studying the Titanic for over three decades now.

I called Ken marschall to this investigation because he knows the wreck site better than anyone.

He has created these remarkable paintings that stand even today as a definitive guide to Titanic, in life and in death.

After 30 years of studying the ship so intently and painting the ship so many times, a hundred times, to see this thing in three dimensions and be standing here, I am absolutely speechless.

I've been painting Titanic since the late 1960s.

1967, actually, was my first painting.

Ken has a keen visual memory and the talent to composite hundreds of separate images into these big picture mosaics.

He is especially invaluable with the internal archeological survey that we did with the robotics, because he can actually look at something and identify it.

There will be big brass letters that will say, "a deck," "b deck," "c deck," or "d deck," the first thing you see when you come out of the elevator.

And there it is. Bingo, baby! Bingo! Tell him, bingo.

With my paintbrush, I've been spending truly my adult lifetime, I feel, subconsciously trying to bring all those souls back to life, in a weird way.

To honor their memory, to keep it alive in peoples' memory.

The ship and the people.

When Bob Ballard's expedition with the French found the wreck in 1985, the first images confirmed that the ship had broken apart.

But it was impossible to see the entire wreck in one shot, so Ballard's publisher enlisted me to paint composites, big-picture views of the ship created from studying hundreds of close-ups.

And that was my first exposure to the wreck, other than the few pictures I'd seen in magazines or in the news.

Seeing all of this imagery for the first time, Bob setting me up in a room downstairs, right below his lab.

Thousands of feet of individual stills and I had to crank through this film.

And I was doing sketching, and I was pinpointing particular images that I needed enlargements of and duplicates of in order to do these paintings.

I thought we would find her, and she'd still be in relatively good condition and still would look more like the ship, but instead she was just nuked, just blasted apart.

It was like going to an autopsy.

It was quite a rude awakening.

After three days of that, I broke down in tears one night.

I remember I called home to speak to a friend, and I remember saying words to the...

It kind of makes me tear up right now to think about it.

But I said to him, "my ship! My ship, it's gone."

It was so destroyed.

And I knew the ship was in two pieces, but to see these close-up images and the high resolution of some of them, and to look down and see how completely ripped apart the ship was...

I know it as I would a brother, a sister, a mother, a father.

And there she was, in a million pieces. Dead.

Some of the damage is easy to understand.

Other aspects are downright mysterious, like the stern. It's completely bizarre at first sight.

Just like a bomb went off overhead.

When I dived it, it was remarkable to see the extent of the damage.

The rudder and the enormous propellers pinned in the sediment are hauntingly intact.

Surrounding the stern is a large concentration of mangled debris.

It really looks like a plane crash.

How do we know that the stern took off toward the bottom going pretty fast?

The poop deck.

So the aft-most deck, the poop deck, is doubled over completely.

Three-eighths inch steel folded like a taco.

How did this happen?

It's got a big electric crane sitting here, that's got a lot of sail area across, on that axis.

Right? So to take off toward the bottom, you got a really powerful hydrodynamic loading here.

So you got a big, sort of prying moment right here, and it just rips this deck up, which then catches lift, peels back, and flops over double, and winds up like that.

And you think that happened in the first 500 feet...

The first 30 seconds.

Now, you might have had some implosions in here, loosening rivets.

You know, bang-bang.

The stern left the surface in a very different configuration.

It had all its broken parts faced into the current.

And I think it just blew off, all pretty close to the surface.

And if something held on, it might have been packed up against the face of it or flat back against the underside.

And it took a while for that to exercise loose, and all the loose stuff had already been blown off.

He is proposing that the stern fell leading edge first, and that it was water passage into and around that damage area that sort of peeled off and exfoliated, basically, the first third of the stern.

We didn't get this right in the '95 animation, but we're gonna nail it now.

I think the point you are making is, this is not like that dd one, where it was just...

It was just leaves... It was just coming off in regular...

Right, right. Yeah, yeah. Copy.

So all this stuff has come off the ship pretty much by the time the ship is probably two-thirds or three-quarters of the way through that end swap, so it's quick.

So that's happening now. So stuff's coming off, and decking is coming off, and now it's all off.

Yeah, it is fast. Wow.

If you stick your hand out the window of a moving car with a deck of playing cards, if you turn it this way, you can hold on to it, and that's what the bow was.

You turn it that way, they are all gone. They'll all spilt apart and blow backwards.

Because the second their angle of attack increases to a few degrees, then it increases rapidly.

Once it's at 90 degrees, there's no holding on to it.

It's gone. It all happens instantaneously.

And at the moment that happens, when those cards blow like that, there's a much stronger back force on your hand.

Try it sometime. Yeah, I will.

Might get busted for littering. Exactly!

It feels great to have a second chance to get this stuff right.

In the "95 animation, the stern didn't spiral, but we now know that it did.

Because I think that when the stern hit the ground, it did not hit straight down. I think it slid.

Definitely, because its back is broken.

The axis of this part of it...

Perfectly centered. Rudder is pinned in the sediment perfectly, and the props are pinned in the sediment perfectly, and that's the anchor, and then it comes down.

Which actually makes sense, 'cause it peeled off all this stuff over here and blew that side out flat.

Yes, that's true. Right.

It still doesn't explain these freaking cranes.

Yeah, I know.

Why were those cranes there? Where did they come from?

Did they originate from the poop deck? Did they originate from the well deck?

Or the a deck level? We had to have an answer.

Those cranes are loose, and they are two-and-a-half miles up.

And somehow they end up... No, no, no. I think...

These cranes came down with the stern. Exactly.

Somehow attached to the overturn on the underside of the poop?

How did they end up over there, when the poop deck went like that, way up there?

That's just my question.

Did they fall from the surface? Were they deposited there toward the end?

It's kind of hard to tell. Every time we tried to poke at a scenario that would explain I, there was a problem with it.

All right, let's take a look. Which one they are?

I think there was this one part still there. I'm not sure.

Well, here is an interesting thing, these cranes can be completely gone, unrelated, and the three that you see sitting right here are these.

Right, this one is still there. Okay. All right. So it's these three.

It would be these three.

So, now you are talking about a hydraulic outburst impact effect.

The ship hits the bottom, plows in, compresses all of this shell plating underneath here, and everything gets ejected up.

Including the entire well deck, which winds up lying someplace nearby.

I had to bring to bear some of my observations about the effects of hydraulic outburst.

When these big masses come down and stop suddenly on the bottom, build up these intense, internal hydraulic pressures, and how that can eject big, flat areas, like decks, and like side shell plating and so on, and that probably launched the cranes off the ship at that point.

Okay, that makes sense.

The placement of the cranes and the damage to the poop deck help explain how the stern got obliterated.

Now let's turn to what we don't know, the three outliers.

We haven't yet explained them.

Until we do, we won't know exactly what happened to the ship as she vanished beneath the surface 100 years ago.

One of the more unique challenges to studying the wreck is trying to see past what 100 years of sitting at the bottom of the ocean has done to the steel Titanic is not rusting in the way that we would think of rusting.

It's actually being eaten by bacteria.

And the bodies of these bacteria form these amazing structures called rusticles.

They look like stalactites, and they are actually formed in kind of a similar way in that stalactites are a deposition of minerals created by gravity.

This is actually the deposition of dead bacteria that have iron inside their bodies that they have absorbed from the ship, and they just kind of form these structures that are actually organic.

I think the rusticles are now part of this amazing monument at the bottom of the ocean.

Tell him to move ahead slowly. Move ahead slow.

Part of what's fascinating for me is that it's this onion skin process.

You have to peel away the layers of the damage, working in reverse order from what you're seeing right now in the present.

Now we're looking at Titanic from 100 years later, so you've got the deterioration at the sea floor, on top of the bottom impact, on top of the descent, and then the breakup at the surface.

Once we apply our forensic process, Titanic's remains in the debris field begin to tell the story of what happened on that night, April 14, 1912.

So far, our theory of how the wreck traveled through the water column and what happened at impact fits the evidence, except for three outliers.

How did these two pieces of double bottom and a pile of deckhouse debris from beneath the third funnel end up far from the rest of the wreck?

Well, the two double bottom sections are wing-shaped, so...

These are wings. Yeah.

These are 747 wings. Yeah.

They both happen to land within a fairly narrow cone of each other,

and separated at some point in the water column, and then fell separately.

I agree. They had a weakened area that kept them together for a certain period.

When you're sitting at a table of experts, and you start whittling away at what's real and what's not real, and you end up with real mysteries that are solvable...

You know, the answers are there. The clues are at the bottom of the ocean.

So, they're coming down through the water kind of like that. Right.

Right? And then finally it just exercises it so much, it breaks apart, whatever that last connection was. Right.

It would look something like this.

The pieces of double bottom keel begin life together, and on the journey down, exercised apart, planing away like an aircraft wing

to where we find them today out in the debris field.

All right. So, that accounts for that. Right.

That's not a planing shape. It's not.

This is just a big pile of junk. It's a big, ugly pile of junk.

Big, dirty pile of junk that would not have any strong tendency to plane in any one direction.

And it's a big, lumpy shape.

It's just a pile of crap on the ocean floor right now.

It has no aerodynamic qualities, has the same aerodynamic qualities as one of the boilers.

It's even bigger and larger and heavier than the boilers, yet, it ended up way far out there.

So, how did it get way over there?

I think one of the big problems we have is that we're thinking way over there, when really, detaching from this point, it's way over there.

Okay. No, no. I got it.

We're not getting the vertical scale. No, no. Understood.

Right. So if something detaches here and frisbees off, it's only going that far.

Jim threw out a couple of quick ideas about it. and maybe it flung it off over there.

Being attached to the stern, and the stern spiraling down, But the problem with that is, there was a chunk of the ship between that chunk and the stern, and that didn't get thrown out there.

We don't have very good imagery of it.

We're going to need better imagery of it to try and understand it more, and see if there's clues in there that will help us understand why it ended up out there so far.

Although there are still mysteries, we've learned enough to rewind the clock farther on the night of April 14, 1912, to the moment Titanic lost her fight to stay afloat and broke in two.

Let's take a look at the results of a two-and-a-half year study by naval architects to see if we can pinpoint where Titanic split and exactly how.

We've peeled away the layers to reconstruct the story of the forces that hammered Titanic as she plummeted and hit bottom.

Now, it's time to look at the breakup at the surface.

How did an unsinkable ship, the world's greatest technological marvel at the time, break in two?

If the wreck site is a crime scene, the breakup was her last breath.

In the days that followed the disaster, the us senate hearing and the British board of trade inquiry recorded contradictory eyewitness testimony about the breakup.

Some saw her break in two.

Others swore she went down whole.

The British board of trade concluded that Titanic sank intact.

Not until 1985, when explorer Bob Ballard's co-expedition with the French found the wreck, did we have proof, once and for all, that Titanic broke apart.

Dr. Ballard will take questions now, if you have any.

How do you account for the fact that the bow and the stern are at opposite ends of the debris field?

Well, we found the boilers there, major pieces of the stern, and that's separated by 800 meters. I don't know.

And again, I'm sure that 30%, if not more,

of what I'm selling you right now I will try to eat in a few weeks, when I finally get a chance to look at my data.

I'm kind of embarrassed that somebody in the '70s or the '80s didn't put forward the breakup.

When you read the many accounts... It's all there.

It says, like... It's all spelled out.

Vast amounts of cork were found.

Well, that's what they used to insulate the uptakes.

You know, the pan's wood, it's a piece of wood from the lounges.

As a matter of fact, you use it in the movie.

I think Rose is on it, and Leo says, "goodbye."

Well, if the lounge is gone, and there's woodwork from other parts of the ship, clearly there's no middle part of the ship anymore.

Why didn't the light bulb go off in anybody's head?

Because the wreck hadn't been found yet, and so there wasn't as much worldwide interest.

And so, there weren't groups of people like ourselves focusing on this as much as we are now.

Well, and then there is that institutionalized myth.

Exactly. Who saw it break. There were survivors who said it broke.

And they tried to tell the story, and they were shouted down by experts, who insisted over the years that, "no, it couldn't have broken. You're mistaken."

But this is the fun part of history. Yeah.

Because everybody wanted to think of Titanic as this majestic...

They wanted to romanticize it.

We wanted it to sink as this beautiful icon that just passed away into another world.

And be sitting on the bottom of...

And is sitting on the bottom in some ghostly, perfect way.

Ruth Blanchard said, "people say that I'm wrong, and that I didn't see right, "and that the ship didn't really break in two.

"I was only 12, "but I saw it, and we were all talking about it in the lifeboat.

"Did you see that the ship broke in two?

"One part went this way, and the rest went back down."

Now, they can't all be having this hallucination.

We heard a terrible explosion, and as all of you know, the Titanic had four funnels.

And when we heard this explosion, the Titanic broke in half.

I remember at one of our conventions, when Ruth Blanchard talked about the ship breaking in two, and this was before they found the ship, and one of the officers at the society grabbed the microphone and explained how it was just her perception because the funnel had fallen.

And in hindsight, I wish she had taken the microphone back and said, "were you there?"

I called Don lynch to this investigation for his insight into the experience of the Titanic survivors.

He spent his entire career gathering their stories.

Many of the survivors were his close personal friends.

Well, when I first joined the Titanic historical society in 1974, and I realized nobody had made an effort to find them.

And so, I started tracking them down.

I got to know a number of them, I got to know some of them fairly well.

The story of the Titanic is in the survivors, that's how we know what happened.

And people sort of ignored that all those years.

There was always this fascination with the ship and the shipwreck, and they didn't feel we could learn more from the survivors.

The question is, what does seeing it break mean?

Does it mean seeing the ship suddenly move, associated with a loud noise?

No, they see an actual clean break. Right. Okay.

So, do we know where the clean break is?

Right here? That's where the clean break is.

And this is based on the wreck.

You're saying based on... On observations from the wreck.

Well, it should be, actually, at the promenade deck.

It should be towards the top of the promenade deck, or just at the bottom of the boat deck, midway between the second and third funnels.

Here. There you go.

Oh, so that's right. He's just about right.

The '95 animation gets this detail wrong.

It shows the clean break just behind the third funnel, and we now know that it broke in front of it.

Okay, I'm gonna fix this in the new animation.

So, we know where she broke.

The question now is, how?

It all comes back to, did it detach in the vertical position?

And what does that mean to what subsequently happened to the stern?

'Cause the stern is where all the people were.

And there are so many conflicting accounts of the stern being vertical, but not vertical.

Kind of also, you know, "how wrong was the movie?"

That's kind of important to me as well, you know.

But I think we were right about the idea that the bow swung down, once the forces were relieved, and it broke, swung down,

And took off for the bottom with a high rate.

To hold the bow attached to the stern.

Double bottom.

Double bottom... Double bottom is holding it together.

Titanic was constructed with a double bottom, which in theory made the ship's underside more resistant to damage and flooding.

Could this innovation have delayed Titanic's breakup and bought time, maybe only minutes, to save additional lives?

Did a piece of the double bottom hold the bow and stern together till the very last moment?

We've all been thinking of this as the classic break-the-sword-over-the-knee, one split, and that's fine, 'cause that does account for the primary fracture at frame 12 aft.

But is it possible that there is some sort of rotational component?

Because I want to ask whether or not you're looking at, in medicine, what's called a "greenstick fracture."

Oh, absolutely. If you take a bone and twist it, it doesn't cleave, it fractures in a complicated spiral way.

The so-called "greenstick fracture” is the way in which the keel broke away from the ship, to account for how it's isolated from the rest of the wreck.

Sometimes when structures fail, the last part to fail will stay connected to both ends.

Maybe we should take it over to the...

Do you wanna go? Okay. Yeah.

Grab your banana.

Hello? I beg your pardon?

A little early in the party for that, don't you think?

Right. So, yes.

It actually works quite well.

This is one of our scientific analysis tools.

Yeah, it's pretty good, because look what happens when you rip through.

A banana turns out to be a great way to model the breakup of Titanic.

So imagine that the bow is going underwater, and the stern's being lifted up.

And you've got a center of buoyancy right here.

This is gonna be so cool, 'cause it's gonna break just like the ship.

So it starts to break at the top, there's a buckling failure underneath, which you can see right there.

Starts to tear down. Right?

So now the stern's falling back, the bow's sinking down, and as they separate... check that out.

There is the double bottom separating from the stern and from the bow.

All right? Now the only thing that's missing...

You've got to tear it.

And this is how the bow separates and drops down, like that.

Now the stern's sitting at the surface with this big piece of double bottom.

The stern now floods, goes vertical, heads for the bottom at high speed, like this.

And this big piece of windage here, that's flapping in the breeze, bends back, breaks off, and goes frisbeeing off across the debris field about a quarter of a mile away.

Banana peel theory.

Okay, let's rewind the clock to the early morning hours of April 15, 1912.

Go back to the moment just before Titanic broke in order to understand the escalation of forces that caused this massive failure in a structure that's designed to be unbreakable.

Basically, buoyancy is what determines if the ship floats or not.

In Titanic's case, the stern maintained its positive buoyancy for a while and stayed on the surface, then the bow became nothing but a dead weight that's got to go to the bottom of the ocean.

Once the bow had gone under and lifted the stern right out of the water, stresses not anticipated by the ship's designers wreaked havoc.

If this bow was hanging down like you say, it's totally negative buoyancy.

Or very close to it. Probably has still some airspace at the top.

Which speaks to the buoyancy in the stern because that thing is holding up...

That's what's holding it. All of that.

Thought of as a complete system, it's still positively buoyant.

But there's this huge negative mass, pendulous mass, which breaks off at some point, maybe at this angle, maybe at this angle, maybe it hangs on for a second.

Maybe as it is achieving that angle, it's ripping away.

In order to test popularly held assumptions based on eyewitness accounts, I've commissioned a team of naval architects to apply a scientific method to Titanic's breakup, to really separate myth from reality.

Do you wanna tell us about the modeling software that was used?

Sure. I think we need to shift...

We'll switch to...

Yeah, we'll come back to this. Stettler's computer, please.

So, what I wanted to do...

I'll just stand up a little bit, here, to illustrate.

These are called hydrostatics and stability softwares, and there's a number of them out there.

Basically the way they all work is, you use the lines drawing for the ship... What did you use as a source?

The harland and wolff drawings?

Right, the original drawings from harland and wolff.

In Titanic's time, shipbuilding was at the cutting edge of all industries.

Harland and wolff, based in belfast, Ireland, was a revolutionary shipyard that designed iron ships that didn't simply copy the design of wooden ships.

This allowed them to build bigger, better, and technologically superior vessels ahead of any of their competitors.

Flooded, split in half, and sank to the bottom of the ocean.

Now, using today's most advanced shipbuilding computer tools, commander stettler will attempt to figure out why harland and wolff's design failed.

So this is just a representative section, as we call them.

All the compartments had to be defined by the balance of the decks.

So you can see the coal bunkers, and the salt water tanks are green, and the blue are the fresh water tanks.

So we model the hull as a bunch of these sections, basically, these slices, and for each slice, that slice has an area of property associated with it.

And we can actually calculate, basically, the resistance to bending, or flexure, of that section of the hull.

And then we can use that to find the stress.

So let me just shift the view a little bit.

Now let's look at the stress, say, in this panel here, and plot the bending moment.

So, how you see what's on the bottom is actually negative.

Compressive stresses in the bottom.

Compressive stress in the bottom. Tension...

And you see the yellow and a little bit of red up there, that's tensional or positive stresses. Okay?

So what's interesting is, it's basically saying that the bottom plating of the ship will buckle before the material reaches a yield stress. At a smaller stress.

Just to be clear, based on your calculations, we're thinking that the bottom buckled first, before the shell broke at the top.


We know the steel was better in tension than it was in compression.

Right, but that makes the keel even stronger.

It was put into compression, but was still strong enough to hold the two sections together momentarily. To hold together.

What commander stettler was able to do was bring a rational, mathematical model.

No cinema tricks, no mythology, just the facts. "This is what the computer said."

I found that was a breath of fresh air, because it lets you sever the chains with those preconceptions you have and say, "a-ha!

"This is what happened.” Commander stettler's analysis gives us the scientific proof to support our ideas of Titanic's last hours.

But what about the flooding itself, and how the rushing water brought the ship down?

Did her stern really rise out of the water?

It's a controversial shot in the movie, a gut-wrenching, big-screen moment based on survivor testimony.

Is this really how it happened?

If the breakup was Titanic's last breath, the iceberg strike was her death blow.

It damaged nearly 300 feet of her hull, allowing flooding in five of her 16 major watertight compartments.

An injury that fatally crippled the ship.

No one has ever actually seen the iceberg damage.

It lies buried in the sediment, underneath the ocean floor.

But using the modern analytic tools of the shipbuilding industry, can we fill in some holes in our understanding of the flooding?

So, commander stettler's gonna start off. He's gonna show us the sinking studies.


Let's turn to the flooding analysis to look for facts.

We know some things about the initiation of the flooding, that it sideswiped an iceberg, that it opened the first five compartments.

We have some outer boundaries that were set up by the testimony.

We know it didn't take three days to sink, we know it took about two-and-a-half, two hours and 40 minutes.

So, there are certain things we know.

They were able to create a model complex enough and accurate enough to be able to tell us certain things we didn't know before.

How did the floodwater move through the ship?

How did the bow so rapidly go negative?

How did the stern rise?

Let's turn to the naval architects' progressive flooding model to look for facts.

Part of the analysis that I was working on is a hydrostatics study.

It involves tracking the floodwater as it moves from the sea, through the holes in the hull, up and through all the compartments.

I have sliced the model up in a bunch of places, so you have hold 1, hold 2, hold 3.

We haven't ever been able to track the compartment-to-compartment progression of floodwater before.

It allows us to determine if the floodwater would've reached one part of a compartment or a different part of a compartment first.

It allows us to much more accurately see, at any intermediate stage of flooding, how the ship is loaded and what the structural consequences of that are.

All right, so here we go.

It's recalculating everything on ten-second intervals.

As you can see, there's a long period in here between, say, 25 minutes and 45 minutes or so, before you get much flooding in other places.

Can you stop for one second?

How is it getting to here?

Is that Scotland road?

This is Scotland road. Yeah.

Scotland road is the long passageway on the port side of e deck that travels the length of the ship.

As Scotland road flooded, it completely undermined the precaution of sealed compartments, like an accelerant, acting as a shortcut for the floodwater over the top of the bulkheads.

Here we go.

Because the starboard side on e deck, sort of starboard of Scotland road, is allowed to, in our model right now, flood earlier, it floods first.

To see it dissected in such a way, and to see how the flooding progressed in a forensic way like that, was almost like seeing Titanic sink for the first time.

Another accelerant was an open door on d deck, just one.

Why would someone open a large door on the lower level of a rapidly sinking ship?

Second officer lightoller at one point sent a boatswain by the name of Nichols to grab some men and go down and open one of the doors.

And I think the idea was that, since he wasn't loading the lifeboats full, that they would come back and take people off through the doorway or something.

And he never saw the man again.

And when they found the ship in 19895, there it is. The door is open.

The interesting thing about the d deck shell door on the port side is that it communicates down a quarter all the way forward.

If you look at it here. Here's your door. If your water could come in here, it could come down and flood the entire forward d deck.

We should stop it at the peak of that stress curve, because we know it didn't go past that, so that's your upper bound.

Okay, the peak of the stress curve is the moment we're after.

It's just before the ship broke.

When we reach this point, we'll know the final angle of the stern.

Yeah, it should be at 19 degrees at trim.


Okay, the model shows us that the flooding caused a 19-degree maximum angle of tilt.

There is no subsequent force acting on the ship that would tend to break it, that exists greater than that moment until it hits the bottom.

And we know it broke before it hit the bottom.

That might be our maximum tilt.


Not as much as we thought.

Ken, you're going to have to repaint your paintings, buddy.

I'm going to have to reshoot my movie. Which one's easier?

Painting. I'll help you paint the paintings.

I think this is pretty amazing. I mean, this is completely new to me, that in the two-and-a-half hours it took Titanic to sink, she never capsized.

We never really thought about that. It was staring us in the face.

Ships capsize.

We saw it recently with the costa concordia that sank off the coast of Italy.

And when you look back at the history of all the other famous shipwrecks, they all roll over.

Bismarck rolled over, Andrea doria rolled over.

But Titanic just went almost straight down.

Yeah, toward the end it had, maybe, a variously reported six, maybe eight-degree list.

That's not much.

That creates a whole new question.

Were they trimming the ship?

Were the engineers, none of whom survived, actually trimming the ship actively?

Were they fighting that? Were they that good with their pumps by filling the trim tanks and seeing the ship was listing one direction, controlling it and trying to keep it upright so they could get those boats off?

Or did they just get lucky?

Was it the most amazing piece of luck in maritime history that they managed to successfully evacuate

/00-some people in the boats while the ship just sat perfectly upright in the water?

I've never thought of that before.

Well, there are some questions we're just going to have to live with.

But before I send these guys home, there's a game I like to play.

What would you have done if you were captain of Titanic?

Could more lives have been saved?

Titanic set sail with more than 2,200 souls on board, but just over 700 would survive the disaster.

Some went down with the ship.

Most froze to death floating in the frigid waters of the north Atlantic waiting for a rescue ship.

Right ahead, sir.

Careful with your oars.

Even with only enough lifeboats for 50% of the passengers and crew on board, could the crisis have been managed more effectively?

Can anyone hear me?

Let me pose a problem based on everything you guys know.

Let's say I've got a time machine and I can teleport you back to Titanic one second after the ship has already hit the iceberg.

You can do anything, but you've already hit the iceberg.

So it's really an exercise in, could the crisis have been managed differently if they knew what we knew?

How would you have saved everybody?

And it's not meant as an indictment of the choices that were made by the captain and the officers.

I think they were managing the problem about as well as humanly possible under the circumstances.

But with what we know now, could we have done any better?

Like, how would you have saved everybody?

Save everybody, I think it was not possible. You can save much more.

We can shift the number, that's for sure.

I think you could save everybody.

I think you could save everybody and their dog.


I think there's a couple of ways to do it.

There's two ways to do it that I can think of.

There is a ship. There is a ship six to eight miles away.

One. Well observed by everybody.

All right? It's there. You can see it.

It's thought to have been the British steam ship Californian, within radio contact of the Titanic right before the accident.

One of the officers told people when they were getting in the boat to go row to that ship.

Captain Smith.

Captain Smith, he was telling people to row to the ship.

Why row to the ship?

Why not drive your ship to that ship?

Six miles with a boat like that?

No, no, no. Not that boat. That ship.

Drive your ship to the other ship.

And I would say even drive it backwards.

You don't want to go too fast, 'cause you're damaged.

You've only got to go six miles. It's not very far.

No, but it could be an hour, or something like that.

Drive it backwards, it's going to tend to plane up slightly and not add to the flooding.

You'd actually relieve the pressure and slow the flooding.

You think it's just pure head pressure?

We respectfully disagree.

It's a big ship and the holes are far underwater and it just...

I think Jeff and I made the point in there. We disagree with that one.

You're going to evacuate some of them. Some are going to go in the water and some are going to have to get picked up by the other ship.

So that's your biggest problem, is the transfer.

Driving a ship backwards, I was not in favor, but I had no objective reasons.

It just seemed like the wrong thing to do to me.

It just seemed like the wrong thing to do to me.

My first favorite idea is to put everybody on the iceberg

'cause it's not sinking.

Take a fur coat, sit on the iceberg.

If you have access to the iceberg.

Why don't you have access to it? You just ran into it.

You left it behind.

A couple hundred meters away. It's sitting right there.

If you have trouble convincing people to get into a lifeboat...

They didn't have any trouble when they got up to boat 13 and 15.

That was later. Yeah.

That was later.

How are you going to put 2,000 people on an iceberg that you know is pretty irregular?

And how in the hell are you going to get them on top?

What I would do is... I think I'd be taking a chance on that.

Here's the option. It's either that, or cling to the stern, which is going down.

No, no. Option two.

They had received reports for days that there was field ice, and they knew they were within five miles of it.

Field ice. Pack ice. Right.

Now that you can easily walk right onto from any shell door.

Sure. Just drive the ship right into it.

I would've headed northwest until I hit the pack ice.

Much easier than climbing.

But then you have to sail. Yes, yes.

Why you don't sail to the ship?

To the ship? Because of the transfer problem.

I would prefer to be on the ship than...

What if the ship turns out to be a 50-foot fishing sloop?

How do you get 3,000 people on a 50-foot ship.

I don't think we came up with any super brilliant ways to solve it.

There were a couple that might have worked, if you were incredibly ballsy and just went for them.

You could've spent your time fashioning rafts.

Oh, that's another... That could be a possibility with all the chairs and stuff like that.

But the people, they will be already in the water.

You could go tear the woodwork off the first-class lounge and throw more of that into the water. One guy took a bunch of deck chairs and he made a raft out of it and survived.

Yeah, but you can put more and more on them...

No, but that's one guy on his own initiative.

If you had the crew concentrated on fashioning rafts from the carpenters' stores, I think that...

I don't see that happening. You might've saved another 50 people.

Some people have come up with the idea of gathering together a whole bunch of mattresses and lowering them over by ropes over the side, and they suck against the...

'Cause they knew from the inside where the leaks were.

Ken had an interesting idea of putting mattresses down the side of the ship and trying to block the inrush of water into boiler room 5 and boiler room 6.

And I think, as we argued it, there was some possibility that, that might've worked.

So our model indicates that if you just lower the permeability in the holds and forward spaces enough, that you would reach equilibrium and you would never go down, or it would take hours and hours and hours and hours.

So how do you... So take all the lifejackets on board, just all of them, and shove them down in those four compartments.

You would lower the permeabilities really low.

That's pretty scary. Like a ping-pong ball?

Yeah. That's pretty scary.

But all you gotto do is reduce 20% of that total volume.

I mean, that's a lot of volume, but... How do you get them in?

Because you try to push them down, they keep popping up.

You put them in before the flooding.

I like that. That is really cinematic.

The risk of taking the lifejackets off of all the passengers, saying, "we're going to do this instead."

Well, they can live, or they can die in the water wearing lifejackets.


Now take away every lifejacket from every man, woman, and child on the ship, and put them all into one room.

That might be piling your chips on one long shot.

Now based on what we've learned in this room, what did we get wrong in depicting the tragedy in the feature film?

All right boys. Like the captain said, nice and cheery, so there's no panic.

"Wedding dance."

We never really took much of a beating for what we showed in the movie.

There were people that disagreed with certain aspects of it because they had their own preconceptions of what it was like.


Hold the left side!

It was generally, broadly well-accepted in the Titanic community.

I think it's really more that we're just hard on ourselves.

Based on what we know now, what did we screw up in the movie?

We didn't screw it up. We were basing it on what we knew at the time.


So, I think, of course, Ken could give us a list about 100 things long.

Are we just really nitpicking over physical things that we would do different with your sinking?

What you would consider nitpicking and what I would consider nitpicking are two different things.

Your broad strokes are my nitpicks. No, I'm talking about the sinking.

The way you depicted the sinking. Yeah.

There is a mistake. There was a... The broad strokes are very accurate.

At one point during the sinking, there was a clear list where lifeboats were really scraping the side and they were trying to push with oars to even lower the boats, and that isn't depicted in the movie.

So that's something that could be changed, if it were ever to be done.

The next time I build a 1.5 million pound set and lower it four stories into a tank,

I'll make sure I get that list on there.

Boat 11, which is caught with the condenser discharge, is trying to row away while 13 is coming down almost on top of it, right behind that.

And just about the time that 13 hits the water, 15 will be coming down on top of that.

And the wash from that discharge washes 13 aft, right underneath 15 to the place where the passengers can reach up and touch the bottom of that 15 coming down.

And they were panicked. They didn't know if they could hear them.

But, fortunately, they were able to release the falls on 13 just in time to row out of the way.

And then 15 came down right where 13 had been just moments before.

Can you hear me, Jim?

They should be able to stand up and touch the bottom, and it shouldn't be really much lower than that.

Thanks for your opinion. Now I'm going to make it exciting.

What I told various interviewers during the marketing of the film was, "I want this movie to be like you went back in a time machine

"and you actually were there for the sinking.

"That's how accurate I want it to be."

Now that didn't prove to be possible.

What about the colors of the rockets?

We talked about that at the time and there was...

The consensus was they were white.

Well, no. It wasn't the consensus.

It was because nobody would've believed you if you'd had them burst into colored balls. That's my memory.

Do you think they were colored?

'Cause you asked me about... We know they were now.

They were white. We had enough...

He says they weren't white. They went up white, and they burst into colored balls. Yeah, they were white.

All of them. No.

They went up white and burst into colored balls.


Well, no, it wasn't the consensus, it was because nobody would've believed you.

The only people who said they burst out into white balls were the officers.

Can we put parks' monitor up, please?

'Cause this is something we did not know then that I now know.

2004, we found a box of rocket detonators. Right.

And the interesting thing about this is, there was a hole behind the brass cone of the detonator that was cut out to let you see the color of the balls that would come out of this white burst.

This is definitely bluer and greener, and this is definitely warmer, redder.

Obviously white.

What a discovery.

That's pretty cool.

I wish we'd had that when we were making the movie.

We would've made it look right.

And so, apparently they were sending up rockets that did burst into colored balls, the way people remembered.

He's got to go back and change everything he's ever written about the rockets, Ken's got to go back and redo every painting he's ever done, and I'd have to go back and redo the movie and change the colors of some of the rockets at least.

Of course what we all cling to is, at least some of them were white.

Well, how about the fact that all of your paintings and the movie well, how about the fact that all of your paintings and the movie show the elevation of the stern significantly higher than what we now know from this simulation.

We now know the angle of the ship's too high.

It's dramatic. You know, it looks cool.

So it's not like there was this equipoise, this moment of it just sitting there.

In fact, it would've just accelerated through that angle Even though we protracted it in the film, and that's the romanticized image of it.

Until it finally did that.

It's not vastly different than what we've showed, just a little less dramatic.

And I think that we're constantly trying to take into consideration what eyewitnesses saw and how dramatic it was to them, how it felt to them, and how they might've slightly exaggerated things later, in the telling of the story, as almost everyone would do.

Bloody pull faster! And pull!

But we weren't wrong in broad strokes.

The ship broke at the surface. We know that.

The bow plunged vertically. We know that.

The stern hung around for a while. We know that.

So the movie was true in its broad strokes.

So I didn't feel after the film that I had a lot to defend.

I felt like we had done good work at the time.

But it was limited.

There was still so much more that the wreck site could teach us, which is why I personally went back out there on two successive expeditions.

My decision has been to not change anything in the movie.

Because once you start that process, where do you stop?

And the things that are wrong are things that would only bother eight people in the world.

Myself being one of them, but I can live with it.

Even though I'm not going to change the movie, I do get to redo the animation of the sinking.

It's going to be very cool.

The most accurate depiction ever of what happened that night, 100 years ago.

We've beat it up.

We've disagreed.

But we've found a lot of consensus.

We've advanced our knowledge of Titanic's final moments, and have plugged what we've learned into an updated visual record.

The final word on the disaster in animation.

So this is the last thing I...

As quicktime, as you had...

Now did you notice that, in stettler's paper, he said that the final trim angle before the break was 23 degrees, not 197?


Since the conclusion of our investigation, commander stettler revised his results and published 23 degrees maximum angle of tilt.

You know, if our two-and-a-half year engineering study shows 23 degrees, we should show 23 degrees.

Okay, there.

That's the number that he settled on, right?

It's two degrees off right now. That's an easy fix.

You know, we've been arguing over the number of degrees for about 15 years now.

Let's make it 23 degrees.

Oh, absolutely. I'm happy to do it.

All right. Let's put this to bed.

There we go.

All right. That looks good. The ship's veering to port at 22 knots.

Sideswipes the iceberg.

Murdoch ports around the iceberg, trying to keep from hitting the propellers.

That looks pretty good.

Okay, so now we're watching in accelerated time.

We see the first five compartments flood. They equalize pretty quickly.

Bow is pulled down.

We see the port list.

Port list looks right. That looks like about nine degrees.

Oh, you can really see the effect of that list on the flooding.

So, yeah, superstructure starts to get pulled under.

Funnels collapse at their base.

Now the bow is accelerating downward. That looks good.

We're starting to see the stern come up.

We got our maximum peak stress, and yeah, boom!

It breaks.

Okay, bow swinging down... That looks good.

The double keel hang on, then they separate.

Bow plunges straight down.

All right, we got mast snapping back, the funnels are ripping backwards, pulling off all the davits.

Bow is going down like a torpedo.

Here's the angle when it falls through into a stable position.

Let's see the stern.

Keeling way over to port. That looks right.

And she goes... yup, that is right.

She goes almost vertical just when she goes under, and then, boom!


Now she accelerates, and all the stuff starts to rip off.

See the shell plating going. There goes the double bottom.

Double bottom frisbeeing off.

And the stern's falling through.

So now the stern's falling aft-end down.

And we see the spiraling.

Here comes the bow.

Bow is falling in its stable position, and it hits...

Yeah, boom!

It kind of breaks ils back.

And we see the hydraulic outburst and the down blast effect.

Let's see the stern.

Oh, you see the shell plating blowing off, decks, everything kind of settling around it.

Looks like a big airplane crash site.

That's exactly what we're looking for.

And action!

And action!

I've been working on Titanic for nearly 20 years.

I've planned this investigation to be my final word.

It's time for me to pass the Baton and move on to some new challenges, but I'll never stop thinking about Titanic.

For me, it's so much more than simply an exercise in forensic archeology.

Part of the Titanic parable is of arrogance, of hubris, of the sense that we're too big to fall.

Well, where have we heard that one before?

There was this big machine, this human system that was pushing forward with so much momentum that it couldn't turn, it couldn't stop in time to avert a disaster.

And that's what we have right now.

Within that human system on board that ship, if you want to make it a microcosm for the world, you have different classes.

You've got first class, second class, third class.

Well, in our world right now, you've got developed nations and undeveloped nations.

You've got the starving millions who are going to be the ones most affected by the next iceberg that we hit, which is going to be climate change.

We can see that iceberg ahead of us right now, but we can't turn.

We can't turn because of the momentum of the system.

Political momentum, business momentum.

There are too many people making money out of the system the way the system works right now.

And those people, frankly, have their hands on the levers of power and aren't ready to let them go.

Until they do, we're not going to be able to turn and miss that iceberg, and we're going to hit it.

When we hit it, the rich are still going to be able to get their access fo food, to arable land, to water, and so on.

It's going to be the poor, it's going to be the steerage that are going to be impacted.

And it was the same with Titanic.

And I think that's why this story will always fascinate people, because it is a perfect, little encapsulation of the world and all social spectra.

But until our lives are really put at risk, the moment of truth, we don't know what we would do.

And that's my final word.