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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 12, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 12, 1973 1HE lEJHERIDGE HERAlB 33 Most of life devoted to project Bachelor worker plans to salvage legendary liner Titanic By CA1101, KICNNKDY LONDON (CD Can llic Titanic sail again? Douglas Woolley has devoted linU his 35 years lo a dream ci[ salvag- ing the legendary linor and now sees himself at last within reach of his goal. Undaunted by Hie skepti- cism of professional salvage men, tliis bachelor factory M'orkcr from UIR little Hert- fordshire lown of Ualliock Iia3 declared publicly lliat Ihc summer of will "defi- nitely" see the lost Titanic al Liverpool after first being beached for repairs at Capo in Ncu found- land. Woollc-y's scheme for sal- vaging the ve.sbci, which sank April 15, 1U12, on its ghtteriuR maiden voyage, after striking an iceberg off llic Grand Banks of New- foundland, rends like some- tiling out of .hlles Verne. Briefly, it involves descend- ing to the Ilirec miles in a bathys- phere, mechanically strapping open-ended plastic larks to the hull and converting the sea-water beneath Ihem to hy- drogen sml oxygen by an elec- tro-chemical process. As Woolley lell.s it, the hy- rirogen gas 'then will lift the wreck to the surface. He says the process, developed by two Hungarian scientists, Dr. Am- bros Balas am'. Szasi- koc of Budapest, has success- iully raised a barge from tile bed of the Danube. The wreck would then be because of the rip in the liull caused by the iceberg- to Cape Hacc, some miles north. After cleaning and some repairs, it would be taken to New York for exhibition before being home acrnss Ihc Atlan- tic to complete tbe tragically imlinishcd voyage of 60 years Bgo. Woollcy's ultimate plan is lo refit lie" Titanic and turn bcr into n floating museum at Liv- erpool. He also believes Ilia may hold up to million worth of bullion and passenger list in- cluded men like .1. J. Astor, repuledly worth 5120 million, nnd mining magnate Ben Guggenheim, nith a fortune of, million. Wooltcy has unilaterally de- clared himself sole owner of I he Titanic. Cunard Steam- Ship Co. has long since lost in- terest in its former associa- IJon the While Slar Line and nobody has yet come tor- ward to challenge the Baldork man's claim. Meanwhile he earns about C20 a week as n hosiery dye operator and has calculated the salvage operation will cost at least million. He now claims to have this money "in thp bag" in the shape of a contract a London finance company which he declines to name. Tin's company, lie says, will carry out a preliminary pliolo-granhic survey or liie wreck this spring, sotinr and nlhcr advanced provided hy a leading U.S. clcclronics mnnufac-lurcr. But the position of Iho wreck only known wiUiin a radius of 18 miles and it may be heavily silled over, so it's anybody's guess whether pho-lograplis .ire possible. Woolley is undoubtedly a sintfle-mindcd. sincerclv man who bclieics he t-iin accomplish a task the world thinks impossible, lla like.s to point out that few people in the IPjOs be'icved they v.'oulcl see men on the? muon by L'JTfj. NOT t'O.NVLNCKU His leam of 15 like-minded enthusiasts scarce' v skeplk's. They ore inoslly men like liimseK, none wild .frilvuge experience. The youngest i.> n sclioolbtty, Michael Ciilheil, v.'lu- r.-YtM'yv.hcL'c witli as lliu in's "llKI-ilXll." The Titanic Co. np-rrnlc5 1 row 'F n n fjpiirlHionl. v.ilh Titanic memorabilia, but it has acquired soine nido-sjjR'ud tun tads in the Unilcd States mid elsewhere. Since Woolley hjis no Irlophonc. he is (jHrJi called auay from liis fat-lory workbench to Inkc a from some njnpany president nr iclircd U.S. general. British neu'.sjKiper nnd tele vision reporters have grov. n vi.iry of Woo Hey '.s Jialnl of giving dcfii'Hp Ftartiiiff (h.Vcs lor his project PJK! Ihen pulling llicm hack for lad; nf funds or .some oilier reason. Ills solirilor ,sny.s cautiously thr Irmricrriturc of Mimr.' people react til" Ih.llJ Olil- '.Voollcjy, (he cnthil- nirc'jr pro-.cs the