'The Clown-gang' was absolutely the most displeased. And in the end, at the 4 to 8 watch the night of 30. August, this displeasure culminated in something you might call 'a mutiny'.
'The Clown-gang' meant that their new incoming signal was the RMS Titanic and demanded a thorough investigation of this signal. But since both Robert Ballard and Jean-Louis Michel meant that the signal were just a heap of sand, the atmosphere began to get tense in the command room. Ballard and Michael went out on deck to come up with a compromise that could sort things out. They decided that they would make another search in the new area and thereafter continue as planned.
This search ended with nothing at all, the signal came from a heap of sand, and that ended the only uprising aboard.
The different shifts went on unnoticeably, and the Graveyard-watch of September 1. 1985 had begun. Robert Ballard left the bridge, reassured that with Jean-Louis Michel as the boss and 'The Harris-Heroes' ruling the control room, it was a safe team. 12 minutes before 01.00 PM someone said: "What are we going to do to night to keep us awake?" Nobody replied. The man in front of the monitor sat with his eyes almost glued to the monitor and calmly commented:
"It's something there".
The rest of the crew was suddenly all awake. Had they qualified to the 'I-thought-I-saw-a-hallucination'-club again? But no, next shout:
"It's coming in!", next:
Now they all could see on the monitor, something that could not be anything else than a 'man-made object'.
The shouting and cheering did not seem to stop. And the sonar-report could some seconds later confirm the discovery. Then they woke up Ralph White so he could start filming this event, but no one felt any urge to wake up Robert Ballard yet. They were still uncertain to what they had discovered, and all the other things that they now saw on the monitor, did not exactly urge them to leave either.
After several proposals to wake up Ballard, the chef went down to wake him up. He told him to come to the bridge because there was something going on that he should see. Robert Ballard didn't hesitate, in few seconds he was again in the control room. He was briefed with the latest informations; they had just passed a boiler. They rewinded the video, and there, no doubt, it was a boiler, one of RMS Titanic's.
She was found!The search was almost over and the rest of the wreck had to be here somewhere. Suddenly Ballard remembered that some of the bigger parts of the wreck could damage ARGO and her equipment. And at 01.30 PM he gave the order to lift ARGO 30 feet. The news about the discovery travelled fast around the ship, and soon the control room were almost overcrowded. The place looked like a nut house; everyone screaming and yelling, smiling and dancing. They wanted to celebrate before they went back to work. Plastic cups with some Matheus-wine was as close as they got champagne.
Suddenly someone glanced at the clock; It was nearly 02.00 PM. The control room went quiet. It was getting close to the time RMS Titanic sank, 73 years ago. Robert Ballard said:
' I don't know how you all fell right now, and I don't intend to push my feelings on to you, but I know that I will be in the stern in 20 minutes. If anyone of you want to join me, you are welcome. If you don't want to, that's okay too.'
When he 20 minutes later came out on the stern, most of the crew stood there, waiting. Ballard raised the flag of Harland & Wolf, the shipyard in Belfast who built the RMS Titanic. And this cold and clear night was presumably quite identical to the tragic night in 1912.
After the ceremony, no one really knew how long the stood there; five minutes? ten minutes? All the knew was that the discovery and the timing had made a deep impression on them all. Perhaps some of them visualised how it would have been 73 years ago; explosions, the sound of falling interior, screaming passengers in the cold water........