Clipped From The Galveston Daily News
Pierce's main occupation was rebuilding vintage aircraft in a hangar at his farm until he saw a television discussion in 1979 about raising the Titanic. The ship became his life's passion. He experimented first with raising raising a modest 20-foot fishing ketch, which now stands in his garden. Then he developed hydrogen-filled bags as a salvage method and lifted a 130-ton steel barge in 1981, while also leading the team which discovered the Lusitania. Similar gasbags were used to lift Greenpeace's sabotaged Rainbow Rainbow Warrior anti-nuclear protest vessel from Auckland Harbor, New Zealand, this year. Estimates of the cost of a bid to raise the Titantic start in the hundreds hundreds of millions. Pierce refuses to say how much he needs, nor will he identify potential backers. He maintains he has support from the British and U.S. navies, and his successful suit over the Lusitania salvage means he will get the money. Published estimates put the value of the Lusitania salvage, in which Pierce has a substantial share, at $3.3 million.