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Friday, August 24, 2007

World War II sub found 65 years after disappearance

The U.S.S. Grunion, a submarine that was last heard from on July 30th, 1942, has been discovered on the floor of the Bering Sea.

From the story...

The mangled remains of a World War II submarine were found in the Bering Sea on Wednesday night, more than six decades after the U.S. Navy vessel disappeared with a crew of 70 off the Aleutian Island of Kiska.

The discovery of the USS Grunion culminates a five-year search led by the sons of its commander, Mannert Abele, and may finally shine a light on the mysterious last moments of the vessel.

"Obviously, this is a very big thing," the oldest son, Bruce Abele, said Thursday from his home in Newton, Mass. "I told my wife about it when she was still in bed and she practically went up to the ceiling."

A remotely operated vehicle snapped pictures and captured three hours of video footage of the Grunion on a rocky underwater slope north of the volcanic island, according to John Abele, who was in Kiska Harbor with the search team on Thursday.

The submarine lies 1,000 feet from the surface and had been crushed by water pressure, Abele said. He is director and co-founder of the medical equipment company Boston Scientific Corp. and the youngest of the three brothers.

"The most surprising thing was the damage," Abele said. "It was much more than we or anyone else imagined. Initially it was very hard to recognize as a ship."

The hull had imploded so severely that the interior, including bunks and a dive wheel, are clearly visible, Abele said. No human remains were found.

Click here for the search team's official website and they've just started posting some photos from their underwater cameras, too!