A Turkish official says a vessel owned by US ocean explorer Robert Ballard, best known for discovering the wreck of the Titanic, located the bodies of two Turkish pilots on the Mediterranean seabed nearly two weeks after their jet was shot down by Syria.
The official said Thursday that Ballard’s deep-sea exploration vessel, E/V Nautilus, found the bodies Wednesday after the Turkish navy had pinpointed the area.
Ballard led the international team that discovered the RMS Titanic in 1985, and also found the wrecks of the battleship Bismarck and the World War II PT-109 torpedo patrol boat that John F. Kennedy commanded.
Syrian forces shot down the RF-4 plane June 22, triggering an international incident with Turkey, which called a special NATO session and threatened a military response to any further cross-border events.
Syrian President Bashar Assad later apologized in an interview with the Turkish media, and said that he wished the plane had been Israeli.