On a cold April night in 1912, the magnificent new liner R.M.S. Titanic struck an iceberg and sank beneath the icy waters of the North Atlantic. The following day the words “TITANIC LOST” shocked the world. Seventy-three years later, on September 1, 1985, the headlines would proclaim “TITANIC FOUND.” For on that morning, Dr. Robert Ballard and a joint French/American expedition had located the legendary lost ship and had photographed her upright on the ocean floor.

In the summer of 1986, Dr. Ballard returned to the Titanic and descended 21/2 miles in a tiny three-man submarine to explore the ghostly wreck. Actually landing on the deck of the ship, Ballard sent Jason Junior, his robotic “swimming eyeball,” down the Grand Staircase to “see” glass chandeliers still hanging in place, unseen for three-quarters of a century. During eleven separate descents to the Titanic, Ballard and his team explored the entire ship —including the artifact-strewn debris field and severed stern section—and photographed her in remarkable detail.

Robert Ballard’s Titanic is the compelling, first-hand account of Dr. Ballard’s twelve-year quest to find the sunken liner.With the help of rare archival pictures, charts, paintings and a 25- inch “photo-mosaic” of the ship, Dr. Ballard recounts the Titanic’s fateful last night and describes the moment-by-moment drama of the expeditions that found and explored her. For the first time, the exact location of the Titanic is revealed and, finally, many of the mysteries that have surroundedher tragic fate are laid to rest.