WHOI Releases Rare Titanic Footage to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Re-Release of Titanic Movie

On Wednesday, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) released rare footage of the 1986 dive through the wreckage of the Titanic, some of which has never been seen by the public before.[0] The release of the footage marks the 25th anniversary of the re-release of James Cameron's 1997 movie Titanic.

The footage was captured in July 1986 from cameras on the human-occupied submersible Alvin and the newly built, remotely operated vessel Jason Junior.[1] It begins with Alvin approaching the Titanic, then exploring the bow and parking on its deck.[2] Interior shots of the Titanic from Jason Jr. are also included.[2]

Underwater explorer Robert Ballard said the first thing he saw when he descended 2.5 miles under the sea was a “giant wall of riveted steel that rose over 100 and some feet above us.”[3] He added that entering the Titanic's wreckage was like “entering a preserved museum,” and the deeper they went, “the more preserved it was.”[4] Ballard also said that the only clues to the terrible human suffering were shoes, including the footwear of a mother and a baby.[5]

The footage captures cookware and dinnerware from the Titanic, as well as a bronze plaque that reads “For crew use only.”[6] WHOI has continued to capture additional footage of the Titanic in the years following Alvin and Jason Jr.'s groundbreaking expedition.[4]

The release of the footage commemorates the 25th anniversary of the re-release of the Academy Award-winning movie, Titanic. The footage can be viewed below.

0. “Rare video of 1986 dive in Titanic wreckage to be released” WMTW Portland, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.wmtw.com/article/rare-video-1986-dive-titanic-wreckage/42906361

1. “Watch: New Titanic footage from 1986 exploration released” Interesting Engineering, 16 Feb. 2023, https://interestingengineering.com/culture/titanic-footage-from-1986-exploration

2. “New Titanic footage released from 1986 exploration of wreck” ABC News, 16 Feb. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/US/new-titanic-footage-released-1986-exploration-wreck/story?id=97217278

3. “Rare footage shows ‘haunting' dives to Titanic wreck after discovery in Atlantic Ocean” Sky News, 16 Feb. 2023, https://news.sky.com/story/rare-footage-released-of-titanic-on-floor-of-atlantic-ocean-12812021

4. “‘Rare' Footage of Titanic Shipwreck Released for First Time: See into Chief Officer's Cabin and More” Yahoo Entertainment, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/rare-footage-titanic-shipwreck-released-184318760.html

5. “Haunting Footage of Titanic Shipwreck Released for the First Time” PetaPixel, 16 Feb. 2023, https://petapixel.com/2023/02/16/haunting-footage-of-titanic-shipwreck-released-for-the-first-time/

6. “Newly released video shows Titanic wreckage before decades of deterioration” Yahoo News, 16 Feb. 2023, https://news.yahoo.com/newly-released-video-shows-titanic-161222538.html