Titanic search was US 'front for Cold War mission'
The search which uncovered the wreckage of the Titanic was a front for a secret US mission to recover two Cold War submarines.
The expedition in 1985 was led by a former US naval intelligence officer, Dr Robert Ballard.
Dr Ballard said that "conveniently between the two (submarines) was the wreckage of the Titanic."
The exploration in September 1985 found the ship lying at a depth of 2.5 miles.
It was discovered some 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada.
Speaking to National Geographic, he said: "Most of the Cold War was fought underwater and most of it was never known to the American people.
"President Reagan wanted me to carry out a mission to recover two Cold War submarines...conveniently between the two was the the wreckage of the Titanic.
"I only had 12 days left on the mission when I found it," added Dr Ballard.
At the time, the research team released photos of the wreckage, but said they had no plans to salvage the ship or explore its contents.
The following year Dr Ballard returned to the site and made eleven dives to the scene in a three man submarine.
The Titanic, the world's largest passenger ship when it entered service, was built in Belfast.
It sank on its maiden voyage in 1912 with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.