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Author Topic: Maritime Archeology  (Read 12850 times)

Michael Frazier

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Maritime Archeology
« on: March 24, 2011, 06:14:38 AM »

Recently I've watched a TV show about a naval battle in the
Gulf of Lepanto in 1571, now Gulf of Corinth, resulting in
the destruction of the Ottoman fleet.

A team of archeologist from Italy and Germany did a survey
of the seabed employing a "proton magnetometer" together
with a GPS guided supersensitive "sidescan sonar".
The objective was to find metal artifacts like cannons and
swords. Max. working depth was 1000 meters. The search
was a big success. The TV show was made with a general
public in mind and of course didn't address any technical
details even less where to get such devices.

I wonder if this could be an option for Niku, anyway.
Airplane engines are by all means much bigger than swords
and even bigger than the cannons of an ancient galley.


Regards,
Michael
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 06:24:20 AM »

Airplane engines are by all means much bigger than swords
and even bigger than the cannons of an ancient galley.

But Pratt & Whitney radial engineers are lousy magnetic targets.  Much of the case is aluminum and the steel prop shaft is relatively short.  A bigger obstacle to a magnetometer search is the fact that our primary search area is "polluted" with the wreckage of the stern half of SS Norwich City.  Our main search tool will probably be side-scan sonar to identify possible targets which will then be investigated with a ROV carrying powerful lights and an HD video camera.
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 09:47:11 AM »

ric, your response is about what I was thinking, except i would think if the area wasnt already strewn with shipwreck debris the engines would have enough steel and iron to work off of. the crank, gears, cams, rods, cylinders etc are all steel. the only thing that is aluminum is the case, heads and rocker covers. i'm not positive on the prop, but I think that was hollow steel as well, no?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 09:57:59 AM »

The best magnetic targets might actually be the landing gear legs but magnetometry is not going to provide imagery. Sonar will, and recent advances in sonar technology are resulting in some awesome imaging capability. 
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 10:20:14 AM »

to be honest, I'm not all that optomistic about anything just sitting on top of the sand on the bottom of a 200+ ft cliff. wave and fish action (parrot fish eat hard coral and poop out the sand) working against the reef ledge for 75 years will almost certainly have buried whatever wreckage would be there. Do the newer sonars have the ability to see somewhat below the sand surface for hard targets??
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 10:46:46 AM »

Do the newer sonars have the ability to see somewhat below the sand surface for hard targets??

Yes.
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Walter Runck

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 09:00:29 PM »


But Pratt & Whitney radial engineers are lousy magnetic targets. 

I don't doubt that; I just didn't realize that any of them went down with the ship!

Do the newer sonars have the ability to see somewhat below the sand surface for hard targets??

Yes.

More than 10 years ago they found the submarine Hunley a few miles from here and it was completely silted over (and filled as well).  I don't recall what the sensor technology was, but a converted railroad boiler makes a much easier target than a few pieces of airplane.  And I'm sure the technology has improved since then. 

The submarine is on display during conservation here in Charleston and any TIGHARS that are interested are welcome to drop me a note if they're thinking about a visit.
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2011, 02:11:45 AM »


But Pratt & Whitney radial engineers are lousy magnetic targets.  

I don't doubt that; I just didn't realize that any of them went down with the ship!

Do the newer sonars have the ability to see somewhat below the sand surface for hard targets??

Yes.


More than 10 years ago they found the submarine Hunley a few miles from here and it was completely silted over (and filled as well).  I don't recall what the sensor technology was, but a converted railroad boiler makes a much easier target than a few pieces of airplane.  And I'm sure the technology has improved since then.  

The submarine is on display during conservation here in Charleston and any TIGHARS that are interested are welcome to drop me a note if they're thinking about a visit.

Another favourite project of mine! But wasn't it first discovered in the 70's by a diver who came accross it after researching charts etc.. and found it partialy uncovered.?

http://knol.google.com/k/dr-e-lee-spence/the-discovery-of-the-hunley-by-dr-e-lee/9a3pk7ykcgda/2#

BTW i don't care who is right, I just love the recovery and research aspect of the project and all the wonderfull evidence that they have found.  The Shilo Coin, Union ID and DNA work on the crew remains.  :)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 02:29:50 AM by Chris Johnson »
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Walter Runck

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2011, 07:12:38 AM »

Yes, it was a lot of fun to have the Hunley recovery (I'll just skip the "discovery" aspects) play out in our backyard.  Dr. Neyland did a nice job and the lab that was spawned as a result has developed a healthy body of knowledge and experience at preserving metallic objects recovered after prolonged submersion.  Some cannons from the raider Alabama revealed a little surprise during their treatment.
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2011, 07:40:38 AM »

The off shore area of the southern US coast, from Cape Hatteras, to Daytona Beach, is "littered" with shipwrecks, aircraft debris, and who knows what else. Alot of this is documented, but some isnt. Charleston Harbor, Port Royal Sound, the Savannah River entry, all have historical artifacts, some of which hasnt been explored. Even military planes are on the bottom, off the coast. I guess my point is, if we know where things are located, it removes the "search", the excitement of looking and finding a target.
We presume the Electra is at Niku. We all certainly hope it is. I think in terms of visualizing Bob Ballard's face when the Titanic came into view. I can see Ric's face when parts of the Electra are seen for the first time in 75 years. But, in this case, the search wont be over, just another piece of the puzzle wiil be put in place. I see it as a great adventure, but as we are all aware, its a big search area.
Almost like looking for Flight 19----HUM--
Tom
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Dan Swift

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2011, 08:02:50 AM »

One single, identifiable piece of an Electra 10E found off the reef of Niku will be the end of the search and the end of the mystery.  All the theories about where AE and FN went and died will be proven.  Then the sequel to "Amelia" can be made.  Hopefully the sequel will be better than the original in '09. 
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2011, 08:31:49 AM »

Yes, it was a lot of fun to have the Hunley recovery (I'll just skip the "discovery" aspects) play out in our backyard.  Dr. Neyland did a nice job and the lab that was spawned as a result has developed a healthy body of knowledge and experience at preserving metallic objects recovered after prolonged submersion.  Some cannons from the raider Alabama revealed a little surprise during their treatment.

Thanks Walter, nice link to the CSS Alabama story as well.  Interesting additional find  :)
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Mona Kendrick

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Re: Maritime Archeology
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2011, 10:31:16 AM »

One single, identifiable piece of an Electra 10E found off the reef of Niku will be the end of the search and the end of the mystery.  All the theories about where AE and FN went and died will be proven.  Then the sequel to "Amelia" can be made.  Hopefully the sequel will be better than the original in '09. 

There would still be plenty of mystery left.  Even if the 10E smoking gun were found, I would hope that TIGHAR would continue to piece together the story of what happened after they landed on the reef.

LTM,
Mona
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