Monday, May 3, 2010

WHITE BIRD

Early on May 8, 1927, twelve canicule afore Charles Lindberg was to accomplish his celebrated flight, two acclaimed WWI French aerial aces took off from Le Bourget aerodrome abreast Paris on an east to west flight beyond the Atlantic to New York. They were one of the aboriginal who auspiciously managed to get off the arena with a fuel-over burdened aeroplane and arise out over the Atlantic.

Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli were already the acknowledgment of France. Nungesser had attack bottomward 44 German planes and barnstormed in Europe and the United States afterwards the war. Coli was additionally an ace, but after acquired acclaim on a continued ambit flight to Africa.

After ascent the L'Oiseau blanc (the White Bird), a Levasseur bi-wing, accessible cockpit aircraft powered by a 450 application Lorraine-Dietrich 12 butt engine, alone its landing accessory and flew out over the English Channel. It was aftermost sighted branch over the ocean from the eastern bank of Ireland.

The White Bird afresh artlessly vanished and was never apparent again. It was not until 1980 back Gunnar Hanson, a freelance writer, researched and appear an commodity on a man by the name of Anson Berry who was active abreast Machias, Maine, in 1927 and who claimed to apprehend an aircraft fly over his abandoned affected backward in the afternoon of May 9th, 1927. Anson, told several accompany and neighbors he had heard the even aerial in the clouded and but could not see it. He additionally declared the agent articulate aberrant and it articulate to him as if the even comatose in the distance.

Gunner dug added and begin a cardinal of added letters and a few sightings alpha in Newfoundland and traveling on a band south able Nova Scotia and into the littoral arena of Maine. He afresh ran assimilate a address by a hunter who said he'd begin an old agent active in the arena ancient in 1950. The armpit was aural a mile of breadth Anson Berry heard the even pass.

Gunner organized a group, including the hunter, a admirer by the name of Ray Beck of Chatham, New York. Coincidentally, Bob Fleming and I were additionally researching the abstruse flight and heard about Gunner. I contacted him, offered to armamentarium some of the chase and flew up to Bangor, Maine.

The country is beautiful, and in the bog areas absurd to penetrate. The aboriginal campaign we able actual little. While affairs were fabricated for a additional attempt, I contacted the able-bodied admired psychic, Ingo Swann, and asked him to booty a able at it.

He accompanied us on the additional try and we came up dry. At the aforementioned time there was a accumulation led by a Rick Gillespie who was additionally analytic for the absent plane. Interestingly he didn't apperceive about our efforts. None of us admired to accompany his alignment because he lived on media hype. And my activity has consistently been not to accomplish a big accord out of an campaign unless you can prove you absolutely apparent your advised target.

Swann after abiding for an agreement with several added psychics. Strange as it seems, alive alone they all put the downed aircraft aural a division of a mile from anniversary other's projections on the southern abruptness of the Round Hills abreast Round Lake.

What can I say. We combed the breadth bottom by bottom on the third attempt. The White Bird isn't there.

The chase goes on, however. No one wants to quit.

My claimed theory, two in fact, is that it did not appear bottomward abreast breadth Anson Berry heard it, but some afar added south. Or, and I like this over any others, the even went bottomward in an bulletproof bog and affairs of it anytime actuality begin are absolutely nil.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

R.M.S. Carpathia

American columnist Clive Cussler and architect of the National Underwater & Marine Agency said the bones that was begin aftermost bounce was accepted as the Carpathia aftermost week.

The ship, sunk abreast the end of World War One in 1918, was begin in 171 meters (514 feet) of baptize off the east bank of Ireland.

Cussler said he and his aggregation were able to define the bones application browse alarm and accept surveyed the bones with alien operating vehicles.

The Titanic, the bones of which was begin in 1985, sank off Newfoundland on its beginning boating from Britain to Fresh York in April 1912, afterwards arresting an iceberg. About 1,500 bodies were dead but 705 others were rescued by the Carpathia.

Interest in the Titanic soared afterwards the 1997 cine which set box-office annal and won the Academy Award for the best blur of the year.

"Now we accept footage of the RMS Carpathia,'' Cussler said at a account appointment at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Halifax.

Video appear on Friday acutely appearance the ship's ascetic a ballista and winches acclimated to amount cargo.

"My ambition was to bottle amphibian history. We accept been afterwards above my wildest dreams. I did not anticipate this would appear in my lifetime,'' Cussler said.

He said his aggregation and Nova Scotia television close Eco-Nova were cutting a documentary on the news as allotment of a documentary to be apparent on Canada's History Channel.

A never afore appear four-page letter, hand-dated April 24, 1912, by Luke Hoyt -- a commuter on the Carpathia anecdotic what he alleged the "greatest tragedy of the seas'' -- was additionally appear on Friday, cogent how Titanic survivors were rescued from lifeboats in the aphotic by the Carpathia.

It describes how Carpathia cartage cared for Titanic survivors -- giving abroad abounding of their clothes.

Hoyt wrote to a friend: "It was a tragedy. The abhorrence of it all was appalling.''

"It took anybody two or three canicule to get over that,'' he added. In his letter, Hoyt accepted the adventuresomeness of actual women and wrote that he saw the abstract "that did it.''

"It was immense, estimated by a civilian architect as 180 anxiety (60 meters) in height,'' he wrote.

John Wesley Chisholm, a television documentary producer, said the letter gave fresh acumen into the courage of the Carpathia aggregation and passengers.

"The bones analysis and the letter accessible a accomplished fresh affiliate in the Titanic story,'' he said.

The Carpathia was bleared in accompany from Liverpool to Boston on July 17, 1918, back it was hit by two torpedoes from the German U-boat. A third abate airtight into her bark as her lifeboats were actuality lowered, killing bristles of her crew.

The address slipped below the apparent the afterward day and the actual aggregation and 157 cartage were best up by a British warship, HMS Snowdrop, and cautiously alternate to Liverpool.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

U.S.S. CARONDELET

The Carondelet's history makes for fascinating reading. She had the distinction of fighting in more engagements than any navy ship until World War II. Except for her pounding by the Confederate ironclad Arkansas, she was a tough and winning ship.

After the war, the Carondelet, along with her sister ships, was sold at auction. Her fate for the next few years is hazy, but by 1870 she wound up as a wharfboat at Gallipolis, Ohio. Just before she was to be demolished for the iron in her hull, the Carondelet was swept from her moorings by a flood in the spring of 1873. Her now desolate hulk was carried 130 miles down river where she grounded at the head of Manchester Island, two miles from the town of Manchester. That was the last record of the Carondelet.

Walt Schob and I landed in Cincinnati, went through the familiar routine of renting a car and picking up the Schonstedt gradiometer from an air freight shipping company. We headed east along the Ohio River toward Manchester, admiring the beautiful wooded, rolling hills and marveling at actually watching a man paint a mail Pouch Tobacco sign on the side of a barn, a sight I thought had vanished at least forty years before.

At Manchester the fire chief kindly loaned us the use of a nice twenty-two foot, inboard fireboat. There was an intriguing hitch, though. In return, Walt and I had to search for a woman who disappeared along with her car. The sheriff thought she had suffered a heart attack and drove down the hill in front of her house, smashing a brick post beside her driveway, and ending up in the river.

We spent half a day dragging the gradiometer up and down the shoreline and channel. We found two heavy targets that suggested cars and marked the locations. We had already conducted our search for the shipwreck, however, and left before county divers could investigate our targets. We heard later the car and body were found at one of our sites.

We also found the Carondelet. Using overlays of old and new charts, I determined that Manchester Island had receded about two hundred yards down stream. With a solid ballpark location marked on my trusty chart, we set off on what Walt and I thought would be an easy discovery.

As it turned out, we were right on the money.

We were also two days too late.

As our boat rounded the eastern tip of the island, there sat the biggest god damned dredge boat we'd ever seen in our lives. The thing was four stories high-and she had recently dredged her way directly over the grave of the Carondelet.

We didn't even bother dropping the gradiometer, but headed straight for the dredge where we tied up and talked to the superintendent. He showed us some old wood and rusty hardware his crew had retrieved out of the dredge buckets. They thought they had simply dug over an old barge. They were stunned when I told them they had demolished one of the most famous Civil war ships that ever sailed a river.

He pointed out the site where they struck the wreck, which matched out projections. Walt and I then checked the bottom, dragging the gradiometer sensor right across the mud of the riverbed, obtaining a large number of small readings.

Fortunately, the lower part of the ironclad hull was sunk about two feet deeper than the level the dredge was excavating. So, there are still some fragments of the old girl remaining at a depth of eighteen feet if anyone ever cares to bring them up.

God, can you imagine? After the Carondelet had rested undisturbed in the mud for a hundred and nine years, Cussler had to show up two days too late to save her.

What little remains of her lower hull lies about two hundred and fifty yards east and slightly north off the eastern tip of Manchester Island in the Ohio River. And a hundred and twenty yards off the Ohio shore.