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Comment: Pearl Harbor Memorial by Dan Rather

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As an archaeology tech in the US surprised I am by a few recent events in this regard. Testing a new R.O.V. for underwater survey they discovered one of the mini-subs was sunk by the US with a hole to the base of the conning tower. They state that from the records, it was the first shot fired at the battle. Recent film analysis shows one in the inner harbor, attacking by torpedo. Maybe you’ve seen that film James Caan was in, about Allied mini-subs "Submarine X-1" (1969).

I read Mainichi Shimbun ("Daily News") a non-native researcher lamented the lack of research in the days that led directly to the battle. He or she had uncovered a story of "too late" translated "declaration of war" which one would assume was for diplomats. An unusually warm December day brought the translators to a burial service, outside, D.C. The minister took advantage of fine weather, stretching it to a two hour service. They got back too late on a weekend to translate the communiqué. The researcher suggests we go back to piece back the events. Germany declared war shortly after it, and began "Operation Drumbeat" sending US ships at sea in coastal and international waters to the bottom. My grand-dad’s brother, Leman Urquhart, was captain of the "SS City of Atlanta" and lost with over 40 others, sunk in that January after the December "Day of Infamy".

Huffington Post 5/30/2012


Written by georgejmyersjr

05/31/2012 at 2:56 pm

Swivel gun…from the…

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Swivel Gun


Thanks to the generous support of the Friends, the Museum was able to acquire a rare wrought-iron swivel gun tube which was "dug up" on Ocracoke in the early 1960s.

The barrel is 27 inches long and the socket at the breech is eight inches long giving an overall length of 35 inches. The barrel is 2 ¼ inches in diameter and the bore is a little over an inch.

The trunnion ring in the middle is rare and the lugs which hold the ring in position on the barrel are extremely unusual. The fact it is made of wrought (as opposed to cast) iron and its similarity to pieces in collections in the Czech Republic, Geneva, and Basel, strongly suggest a European origin and a date of around the late 15th or early 16th century.  It was relatively common to convert a socketed handgun to a small ordnance piece during this period and the use-life could well have extended into the early 18th century.  In the opinions of Mr. Earl O’Neal and Mr. Chester Lynn, both of Ocracoke, the most logical Ocracoke provenance for the gun tube would have been Springers Point.  We will continue to research the piece and encourage our readers to provide any information they may have.


I don’t directly have any info per request, but thought to state that a reputed brass one was once on display at the small lab and museum "New York Unearthed" a once small archaeology museum at 17 State St. in NYC, part of the "South Street Seaport Museum". Nearby to it Herman Melville had lived and worked as a US Customs agent, and perhaps wrote.

Across the harbor on the Buttermilk Channel, that between Brooklyn and Governors Island, there what appeared as a molded partial replica of one is at the south end of Governors Island, on-top of a stone monument commemorating the landfall of John Peter Zenger from the German Palatine at the age of 10. He later would help establish "freedom of the press" at a trial in New York city, incarcerated for an opinion published in New York’s second printing press, which he owned, the first more for "official" use. I was working in geoarchaeology for four days over there in the interim, before the National Parks Service and after the US Coast Guard, and regrettably can’t recall the other stone monument it stood next to. Perhaps it’s where there was a print shop or island newspaper.

I admire your work and have had the pleasure to work for Gordon Watts, PhD who discovered the "USS Monitor" on a North Carolina state survey, I think while at East Carolina University. My grandfather’s brother, Leman C. Urquhart was a Master Mariner and a Savannah, Georgia harbor pilot, and captain of the "SS City of Atlanta" when it left New York City in January of 1942, torpedoed and sunk by U-123, not far from Cape Hatteras.


On reading “South Street Seaport Museum Sinking Fast…" – Huffington Post

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Maybe there should be an independen­t investigat­ion. The Rouse Corporatio­n began with the “Inner Harbor” project in Baltimore, MD in the 1980s which has had a beneficial effect on that city. The museum’s “satellite­” is no longer at 17 State Street where there was “New York Unearthed” an active site for the preservati­on and depiction of the archaeolog­y of New York City, where then US Custom’s agent Herman Melville, once lived and presumably wrote nearby. Once the original site for the World Trade Center, fought off over the history and aims of preservati­on in NYC, it deserves the City’s support, perhaps as a public department­.

I heard they were renaming it to the Seaport Museum of New York City. There was also talk of “the return” of the “Peking” to Germany, where it’s originally from. I thought the alliance of the Mariners’ Museum, in Newport News, Virginia with them was supposed to be a win-win? Exhibit space and collection­s shared to both, advantages­. I worked with Gordon Watts, PhD, on the EPA’s archaeology for the remediatio­n in Cold Spring, NY, he had found the “USS Monitor” on a state sponsored survey, built by a consortium in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Prior we had cannons and a ship hulk found in the constructi­on outside the Seaport Historic District which have been conserved to some degree. The US National Maritime Historical Society is just up the Hudson River in Peekskill, NY and three maritime academies nearby, Kings Point, and the Webb Institute, on Long Island, and SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler, in the Bronx. It would be a shame to see the Seaport flounder and die in a real estate conspiracy­, i.e., no longer a Fulton Fish Market. Donald Trump once announced ‘the world’s tallest building” going up on the waterfront nearby but the East River water stanchions could not be protected from terrorists so a no go. Robert David Lion Gardiner, last “lord of the Gardiners Island Manor” who once served on the USS Princeton, felt sorry for Mr. Trump, very leveraged.

Original article is in the Huffington Post. Interesting Governors Island blog where they found a calico cat washed over from New Jersey reported by Fox News in NYC this morning. Yesterday it was skateboarding dogs!

S.S. City of Atlanta

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A difference maker

February 17, 2011 By Peter Dizikes –

In January 1942, a month after the United States entered World War II, Japan launched a new series of attacks in the Pacific, while German submarines started a new wave of strikes in the Atlantic. Against this grim backdrop, Collier’s magazine ran a story for its 2.5 million readers about one vital person who, it claimed, could turn the tide: “Meet the man who may win the war,” the publication said.

That man was Vannevar Bush…

Written by georgejmyersjr

02/14/2011 at 12:16 am

Integrating Underwater and Terrestrial Archaeology – By Matthew A. Russell « The Underwater Blogger

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Written by georgejmyersjr

05/28/2010 at 2:04 pm

Endangered whale birth photos taken near Navy site – AP

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“Right” whales were called that because, harpooned, they float instead of sink. They swim up the East Coast to the Bay of Fundy, a nursery recorded off Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick. Early DNA studies were done of the pod, collecting a plug of skin for DNA samples with a crossbow and small bolt attached to a line and recording outward characteristics, by Guelph University in Canada back in the late 1980s there when I visited. I see also there’s a system of buoys that record their comings-and-goings off Massachusetts, so that ships can be warned. There was some consternation, because of the technicality when Congress “declared war” that no shipping could be ordered to slow down by the US Coast Guard, it was reported. Perhaps, as done on other military sites, a specific “penalty” or obstacle could be a part of, or worked into the training at the very least, for avoidance, i.e. paleolithic surface sites, “tank minefields”, endangered species areas “off limits”, or a continuation of the buoy system in place further up the coast.  Endangered whale birth photos taken near Navy site – Yahoo News

Written by georgejmyersjr

03/24/2010 at 12:27 pm

Talking about To the Moon – blog

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 To the Moon – blog
As someone who grew up with Grumman L.E.M. (Lunar Excursion Module) project parents and kids on Long Island, NY and studied some astronomy and planetary atmospheres at Stony Brook University, way back during the Viking landers on Mars (“Cosmos” was on PBS) and the Voyager flyby of Jupiter, Tobias Owen a visiting faculty member, I thought to say something, after all when the new high school went up at home in Centereach, a planetarium was voted for over a swimming pool.

The current active missions are very impressive, the ISS, various planetary probes and rovers, both by the US and other nations, along with various organizations, i.e.,  Adastra, The Planetary Society, etc., have made the whole field of space quite dynamic and multi-tasked. However, the danger of a “tower of Babel” as Sir Arthur C. Clarke warned, could still be the result of low-orbit development that does not have some grander design for humanity, even if that is to be able to round up junk in orbit cheaply, and intercept NEO asteroids, which as I understand it, would be done from the Moon with a significantly higher expectation of success, which all humanity would appreciate as well as others sharing the wonderful pale blue orb we call earth.  And so I think to abandon plans for a return to the Moon, I feel a big mistake, beyond acceptable planetary risk. Let’s get those solar sails raised!
February 3, 2010 4:03 PM

And so the Planetary Society tried to launch a solar sail experiment with the help of the Russia submarine missile launcher that ended up in Kamchatka due to the lack of a missile’s missed upgrade. NASA had plans for one too. The Planetary Society is back on schedule for another with the help of JAXA, the Japanese space agency. Where’s the US’s? Whole lotta watts NEO!

Powering Spirit on Mars : Built on Facts

Written by georgejmyersjr

02/08/2010 at 4:57 pm

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