The remains of the RMS Titanic were hit by a submarine in 2019, but the collision was kept quiet by the US Government, according to reports.
A $35 million submarine vessel operated by British company EYOS Expeditions crashed into the famous wreckage of the RMS Titanic in July 2019, according to legal papers seen by the British publication The Telegraph.
Rob McCallum, the expedition leader, admitted: "We did accidentally make contact with the Titanic once, while we were near the starboard hull breach, a big piece of the hull that sticks out.
"Afterwards we observed a red rust stain on the side of the sub. But the submersible while underwater is essentially weightless - it's not a battering ram."
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EYOS Expeditions, an adventure firm based on the Isle of Man, took scientists from Newcastle University to see the wreckage last year in the first visit to the site of the famous ship in 14 years.
The Triton submersible is the only submarine capable of diving below four miles in the world and the voyage made headlines when it discovered that the captain's bathtub had disappeared inside the deteriorating wreck due to a mix of salt-water corrosion and bacteria.
A US salvage company named RMS Titanic Inc (RMST) will attempt to retrieve priceless artifacts buried inside the ocean liner later this year, pending a hearing in February.
Among the objects they will attempt to retrieve is a Marconi Wireless, described as the "voice of the Titanic."
The company has been the official salvor for the Titanic since 1994 and is the only company allowed to legally take items from the Titanic site.
However, the company is currently tied up in legal proceedings with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US government weather agency which also holds responsibility for protecting deep-sea wrecks.
The NOAA is vehemently against the company's plan to salvage objects from the wreckage and is attempting to stop it at next month's hearing.
RMST, meanwhile, argues that the government agency was aware of EYOS Expedition's crash last year and failed to inform the US courts.
RMST has filed a motion in the District Court of Eastern Virginia which alleges that the NOAA failed to report the crash for over five months and demands that an NOAA representative appears in court to explain why the crash was not revealed sooner.
An NOAA spokesperson said: “NOAA takes its role in protecting the Titanic wreck and wreck site from disturbance very seriously. NOAA first learned of EYOS’ accidental contact with the seafloor and on one occasion the Titanic through EYOS’ report. After NOAA completed its review of the EYOS report, NOAA reminded EYOS legal counsel of EYOS’ obligation to provide a copy of the report to the Court and RMST, which EYOS did on January 8, 2020.”
The hearing is set to take place on Feb. 20, 2020, and if RMST wins, they plan to carry out the dive in the summer.
Here is footage of the submerged wreckage of the Titanic: