National Geographic : 2012 Aug
• LETTERS April 2012 NGM.COM APRIL 2012 WHAT REALLY HAPPENED EXCLUSIVE NEW PHOTOS OF THE WRECK A Death-Defying K2 Climb 36 African Masks That Make Magic 66 Why Flamingos Stick To gether 110 Brazil's Secret Slave Societies 122 I would not fully agree with Robert Ballard and Eva Hart that the Titanic is a gravesite. By their definition, wouldn't all wrecks from the earliest points of history be considered gravesites? Is the Titanic more of a gravesite because of the modern tragedy of the event, the media coverage, the red-carpet list of passengers, the poor, and yes, the crew? When does a wreck not become a gravesite? What about a wreck that contains gold, silver, or historical treasure? Titanic was a great loss indeed, but when you compare that sinking with the losses during World War I, there is no comparison. THADDEUS B. KUBIS Sheffield, Massachusetts Titanic EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org TWITTER @NatGeoMag WRITE National Geographic Magazine, PO Box 98199, Washington, DC 20090-8199. Include name, address, and daytime telephone. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. FEEDBACK Some readers responded to the technical aspects of the Titanic story, others focused on emotion. Since Titanic's discovery, she has been photographed, filmed, analyzed, and sadly, robbed. Let us now leave her and her dead in peace on the ocean floor and move on. NICK HART Beverley, England I was intrigued by the photo on page 82, the group of workers at the Belfast shipyard. To the immediate left is a worker who appears to be a ghost. I can see right through him to the rivets behind him. Intriguing, to say the least. DAVID MECHAM Seattle, Washington According to Bill Sauder, the RMS Titanic, Inc.'s director of Titanic research, the ghostly appearance is most likely due to an attempt to improve the composition of the photo by removing the figure standing in a pit. The figure probably wouldn't have been visible in the newspapers of 1912, which had very poor black-and- white contrast. The article refers to Titanic as "the greatest ship that ever sailed." Maybe in 1912 it was the greatest ship, but there have been many great ships built in the past hundred years. The Titanic was a beautiful vessel, inside and out, but it did not even complete its first voyage. I think the author got a little carried away with the legend. CHUCK JOHNSON Irving, Texas Page 95 reads: "No ship since the Titanic has been sunk by an iceberg in the North Atlantic." On January 30, 1959, the Danish ship Hans Hedtoft sank south of Greenland after striking an iceberg. It was well north of the route of the Titanic but still in the Atlantic. NIELS MØLLER CHRISTENSEN Viborg, Denmark Hans Hedtoft's telegrapher sent an SOS that the ship had collided with an iceberg, but no visual confirmation was ever made. GRAPHIC: JOHN TOMANIO, NGM STAFF "I've read the story twice." "The sonar mapping was particularly interesting." "I was impressed by the minute-by-minute description of the sinking." "Beware the technology that promises the unsinkable, the completely safe, and the totally reliable." "A majestic gravesite for hundreds of souls." "She has been photographed, filmed, analyzed, and sadly, robbed."