SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Special Report

April 16, 2012

Officials: Human remains at Titanic shipwreck site

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

He said in an email that the images "speak to the power of that tragic and powerful scene 2 1/2 miles below" and "to its resilience as an undersea museum, as well as its fragility."

"This is an appropriate time to note the human cost of that event, and the fact that in this special place at the bottom of the sea, evidence of the human cost, in the form of the shattered wreck, the scattered luggage, fittings and other artifacts, and the faint but unmistakable evidence that this is where people came to rest, is present," he said.

He said the images are also evidence that society could do a better job protecting the site.

There has been a long fight to protect the Titanic since it was rediscovered by Ballard in 1985, beginning with a federal law passed by Congress aimed at creating an international agreement to transform the shipwreck into an international maritime memorial. Sen. John Kerry introduced what some observers see as stronger legislation April 1 aimed at protecting the site from "salvage and intrusive research."

But the luxury liner, which went down April 14, 1912, after striking an iceberg, sits in international waters, limiting what the U.S. government can do.

Delgado said an international treaty would need to be negotiated between Britain, Canada, France and the U.S.

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