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Mysteries of the Deep

USS Monitor Center
Liberty Bell 7
SS Republic - Civil War Era Ship
RMS Titanic - Ship of Dreams

The H.L. Hunley
Discovered at last!H.L. Hunley

H.L. Hunley was a Confederate submersible which demonstrated the advantage and danger of undersea warfare. Late on the evening of February 17, 1864, the H.L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine, delivered a mortal blow to the USS Housatonic. The Housatonic, which was blockading the Charleston, South Carolina, harbor during the American Civil War, sank in less than five minutes. Although not this nation's first submarine, the H.L. Hunley was the first submarine to engage and sink a warship and this feat was not duplicated until World War I. The Hunley and her crew of 22 laid undetected in her watery grave, until a team funded by Adventure author Clive Cussler discovered the 40-foot long sub on May 1995 off Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. She was found intact in 30 feet of water and was buried at a 45-degree angle four feet below the bottom surface, filled with silt.

For more information, please see the links below or do a search on "H.L. Hunley" using your favorite search engine:

Navel Historical Center - The H.L. Hunley
National Geographic - Civil War Sub To Be Raised From A Watery Grave
C.S.S. Hunley Submarine Recovery Information
Official Website of the H.L. Hunley


USS Monitor Center

USS Monitor - Photo courtesy of The Mariners' MuseumThe USS Monitor, the first ironclad, steam-powered warship, is an icon of U.S. naval history and a unique national treasure. On March 9th, 1862, when the crew of the USS Monitor rotated the torrent and fired at the CSS Virginia in Hampton Roads, every naval craft in the world became immediately obsolete. On December 31, 1862, while being towed off the coast of North Carolina, in the Graveyard Of The Atlantic, a gale force storm ended her life. The infamous USS Monitor sank taking 16 of her crew to the bottom and into history..

The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia, took an historic step by presenting a concept to the Newport News City Council for the first ever USS Monitor Center. The Museum, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is developing the Center which will become the definitive national authority and repository for materials, research, and programming related to the history of the USS Monitor. In 1987, The Mariners' Museum was designated by NOAA as the custodian of the artifacts and archives of the Civil War ironclad. The USS Monitor Center, slated to open in 2007, will be home to the priceless artifacts recovered from this historic ship.

For more information:

USS Monitor Center
Monitor by the numbers
NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary site
USS Monitor

Plains of the USS Monitor
Photo courtesy of USS Monitor Center


HMHS BritannicHMHS Britannic

If you enjoyed reading about the Titanic, then you'll enjoy exploring her sister ship, the...

HMHS Britannic. Some of the UK's leading technical divers have organized the only official expedition to the HMHS Britannic in 1998. The Britannic, the larger sister ship of the Titanic lies relatively intact in deep water (119m, 390ft) just off the Island of Kea in Greece.

Gross Tonnage - 48,158 tons
Dimensions - 259.68 x 28.65m (852 x 94ft)
Number of funnels - 4
Number of masts - 2
Construction - Steel
Propulsion - Triple-screw
Engines - Triple-expansion, eight and steam turbines
Service speed - 21 knots
Builder - Harland & Wolff, Belfast
Launch date - 26 February 1914
Passenger accommodation - 790 1st class, 836 2nd class, 953 3rd class

Few realize that the Titanic had two nearly identical sister ships, the Olympic and the Britannic. The Olympic had a successful career as a liner until she was broken up in 1935, but the Britannic met with a fate nearly as unlucky as that of the Titanic. Serving as a hospital ship in the Aegean, it was either torpedoed or the victim of a mine on November 21, 1916, and sank within an hour. Thirty out of its crew died. Robert Ballard will search for the wreck of the Britannic and explore the evidence surrounding its dramatic end.

Zoom Image view larger image...
Photo courtesy of Britannic 98Expedition


Liberating Liberty Bell 7Liberty Bell 7 - at the bottom of the ocean
From The Discovery Channel...

Moments after Gus Grissom became the third human in space, his space capsule sank deeper than the Titanic just after touch-down.

After 38 years of solitude, Liberty Bell 7 finally surrendered her resting place at the bottom of the sea early this morning on July 20, 1999, Liberty Bell 7 will soon begin her new but not final mission as an artifact of our early days in space.

Attempted recovery of Mercury spacecraft
Zoom Image zoom image

NASA Photo ID:
Date Taken: 07/27/61

Attempted recovery of Mercury spacecraft, Liberty Bell 7 at end of the Mercury-Redstone 4 (MR-4) mission. A crewman in the helicopter lowers the recovery cable towards  the capsule. Photo Courtesy NASA

Find out more about Liberty Bell 7.

See larger capsule image - spacecraft sits on the Ocean Project after being brought to the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, raised from its three-mile-deep resting place after 38 year. Capsule Photo courtesy of The Discovery Channel

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Last Modified: December 03, 2005

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