Renowned marine scientist and explorer Dr. Ballard, the man who discovered the Titanic in 1985, speaks at the media preview and press conference for the new Titanic exhibit at the Mystic Aquraium
Photography: Khoi Ton
MYSTIC, CT - Beckoning guests to “journey to new depths of discovery,” Sea Research Foundation, operator of Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., today previewed its new multi-million dollar exhibit -- Titanic – 12,450 Feet Below -- located at Mystic Aquarium’s newly renamed Ocean Exploration Center exhibit hall. As a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the ship’s tragic voyage, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy proclaimed April 11, 2012, as Titanic Memorial Day in the State of Connecticut.
The new exhibit, opening to the public on April 12, is the product of a very special collaboration between famed oceanographic explorer Dr. Robert Ballard, president of Sea Research Foundation’s Institute for Exploration, who led the 1985 expedition that first located and mapped the sunken Titanic, and Tim Delaney, the former senior Walt Disney Imagineering designer. Now head of Tim J. Delaney Design, he has collaborated with Dr. Ballard on several projects over the past 30 years. The Ocean Exploration Center renovation and its inaugural Titanic – 12,450 Feet Below exhibit are presented by United Technologies Corporation.
Sea Research Foundation President & CEO Dr. Stephen M. Coan has called the renamed Ocean Exploration Center and centenary Titanic exhibit “A unique and important collaboration that will give people a chance to experience Titanic through the eyes of the person who found her, someone recognized as one of the world’s greatest explorers, and through the imagination of a world-renowned exhibit designer. We believe that the Ballard and Delaney team, with the support of one of America’s greatest companies, under the aegis of an organization dedicated to protecting our oceans through research, education and exploration, is an unbeatable formula for public enrichment and inspiration.”
Tim Delaney described the exhibit that he and his team are building as “a very different approach to the Titanic experience, one that taps directly into the excitement of exploration and discovery. Our Titanic exhibit is awe-inspiring and emotional. It is designed to capture the moment of discovery that only access to the actual discoverer’s insight and vision can deliver. Working hand-in-glove with Bob Ballard and Sea Research has enabled us to create something that both adults and children will find thrilling, immersive, interactive, experiential and memorable. Titanic – 12,450 Feet Below takes you there.”
Bringing the legendary vessel’s timeless history to life, Titanic – 12,450 Feet Below captivates minds with a glowing iceberg that is cold to the touch, a bi-level adventure area inspired by Titanic’s engine room, hands-on experiences that unfold Titanic’s lingering mysteries, and modern deep-sea technology that led to Titanic’s eventual discovery.
When Dr. Ballard became the first person in 73 years to lay eyes on the deep-sea wreck of the Titanic, his identification with the discovery was sealed forever. While mountains of historical, technical and testimonial documentation abound, Dr. Ballard has always been the indisputable constant in Titanic’s rediscovery—and the redoubling of interest in its story as the centenary date approaches. With Titanic – 12,450 Feet Below, Dr. Ballard and Delaney offer the public a fresh view into the mystery, science and fascination of Titanic.
“The Titanic sinking is, of course, one of the greatest dramas of the last century,” said Dr. Ballard. “Everything about her conception, construction, launch, passage, passengers, loss and legend is fascinating and mind-boggling. Our goal with this new exhibit has been to draw visitors into the wonder of discovery by exposing them to natural phenomena such as icebergs, hydrodynamics, navigation, deep-sea exploration, and to present them with challenges, options and insights for interpreting the story on their own. At Sea Research, we follow the mantra of learning by doing, and this new exhibit is designed to do just that. I believe that the excitement of discovery is transferrable and can inspire future generations of explorers, discoverers and innovators. That’s what Titanic – 12,450 Feet Below is all about.”
Titanic – 12,450 Feet Below, opening to the public on April 12, is located at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn. Exhibit admission is included with the aquarium general admission prices and membership.