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Research Ship May Have to Halt Effort to Locate the Titanic

By Joanne Omang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 17, 1980; Page A20

Heavy weather and a shortage of fuel, time and food seemed to be carrying out the mummy's curse yesterday for a research ship struggling to photograph what may be the wreck of the Titanic about 12,000 feet down in the North Atlantic.

The 180-foot H.J.W. Fay was reported rolling 30 to 40 degrees in either direction with the waves and the wind of a storm raging over the site 380 miles southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland. The "unsinkable" Titanic, at the time the biggest and costliest ship ever built, struck an iceberg and sank near there on April 15, 1912, killing 1,519 persons.

"There's a 50-50 chance that this is the Titanic," said millionaire oilman Jack Grimm of Abilene, Tex., who financed the $1 million exhibition to locate the wreck. "I thought we'd find it much sooner. Unless we get some supplies we're going to have to bring the ship back on Monday."

Finding the Titanic, he said, had interested him since hearing of it in his childhood. Although the wreck inspired 28 books and seven movies along with countless schemes to find and salvage the remains, Grimm's expedition is the first actually to tackle the icy depths of the North Atlantic.

Some hunters have spoken darkly of the famous mummy that was allegedly on board, saying it transferred the curse of all who disturbed its grave to the vessel's maiden voyage and to all search efforts.

© Copyright 1980 The Washington Post Company

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