WELCOME TO THE NEW HUNLEY NEWSLETTER
ALL issues are dedicated to the brave and
honorable Men of the Hunley and to the
Subscribers and Contributors to
each issue, particularly to the CSS H L HUNLEY
CLUB and The Post and Courier,
and The State Paper.
"As long as there are controversies, I have fodder for
the Newsletters" ENJOY
ANOTHER SPECIAL THANKS TO TWO MORE GREAT PEOPLE WHO SENT A DONATION LAST MONTH - YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE - IT MEANS A LOT TO ME!!
Follow Up from
Newsletter 62 about the Submarine Explorer
EARLY SUBMARINE DISCOVERY
The Secret of the Pearl Islands
By Sven Röbel
|The Pearl Island
"Survivors" were in the 'hood situated in the Gulf of Panama about 50 miles southeast of Panama City, this archipelago comprises about 183 islands. Many of these are tiny and largely unexplored, but in general, the islands are characterized by rich soil, lush foliage and abundant wildlife.
EXILE ISLAND was one of these.|
For the past 137 years, a mysterious wreck has emerged at low tide each day on a beach off the coast of Panama. Researchers now know that it's the presumed lost "Sub Marine Explorer," one of the world's first submarines and a vessel that would ultimately kill its German inventor.
The tower was the first thing Jim Delgado saw. Inch by inch, it emerged from the deep-green surf of the Pacific Ocean -- an encrusted piece of black metal covered with barnacles, rust and seaweed, a ghostly apparition slowly rising from the sea.
Delgado was sitting on the roots of an ancient palmetto tree, staring at the water as if transfixed. Aside from the hermit crabs digging in the sand at his feet and the brown pelicans screeching in the treetops, Delgado was alone -- the only human being on this godforsaken island known as San Telmo, somewhere southeast of Panama City.
Low tide came slowly and sluggishly, eventually exposing the mysterious rust-eaten wreck a fisherman had described to Delgado. The man believed it was a Japanese submarine that had been on a mission to attack ships near the Panama Canal during World War II, only to fall prey to the treacherous waters of the Pearl Archipelago.
THE 19TH CENTURY SUBMARINE
But the more the tide retreated, the more Delgado -- director of the renowned Vancouver Maritime Museum -- was convinced that the fisherman's story couldn't possibly be true. This thing appearing before his eyes had to be older, much older.
The design reminded the scientist of an "iron cigar," and he instinctively thought of the "Nautilus," that legendary underwater vessel author Jules Verne described in his novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Delgado had devoured the book as a young boy.
But could something like this be possible? Delgado was mesmerized. Years ago, working as a marine archaeologist, he had recovered the wreck of the "General Harrison," a ship from the days of the California gold rush, from San Francisco Bay. He was also involved in the raising of the "H.L. Hunley" from the harbor entrance at Charleston, South Carolina -- the first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship, during the American Civil War in 1864.
And now, on this isolated beach on a tropical island -- during his vacation, no less -- he had apparently happened upon the most spectacular find of his career.
Without any equipment, and wearing nothing but boxer shorts, Delgado swam out to the mysterious wreck. He cursed when he scraped his left leg on the sharp-edged metal -- and because he didn't have a measuring tape to document the object's exact dimensions.
|You may recall that Judge Sol Blatt ordered Cussler's legal team to remove several objectionable parts of a legal filling against Lee Spence because it appeared to be included solely to embarrass Spence. The part ordered removed was Spence's description of diving for the Hunley clad in his underwear and that it was meant to bring ridicule.|
The size, shape and condition of the chambers corresponded to none of the vessels he was familiar with -- and Delgado thought he knew just about everything that had ever floated. But this craft's technology seemed much more modern that that of the "Hunley." The shape of the hull was more reminiscent of the fantasy forms he'd seen in old science fiction books. Why on earth, he wondered, had he never heard about this vessel?
When Delgado heard the sound of the approaching rubber dinghy that had come to take him back to his cruise ship, he quickly took a few shots with his camera -- hardly able to believe his luck at having decided to pass on the dull bird-watching outing the other passengers had taken. His few hours on this remote island had truly been worth it.
Back to the Table of Contents
EDITOR'S NOTE:: Marine Archaeologist, writers, and explorers have amongst themselves a common disease called "EYEdiscluberdum" which actually means "I discovered what the hell it was" In this case many of the locals and visitors crawled, swam around and took pictures of this strange looking sub. It was even on several local tour boat agendas.With
this kind of reasoning you could say "I discovered the Sub
Marine Explorer on the Internet"|
That was five years ago, and by now it's become clear that Delgado made a sensational historic find. He discovered the lost "Sub Marine Explorer," one of the world's first functioning underwater boats, designed by a brilliant German engineer whose invention eventually brought him an agonizing death.
A look at the workings of the submarine.
The well-preserved wreck off the shores of San Telmo offers an unprecedented glimpse into the maritime past. Even though the beginnings of manned underwater vessels aren't so distant, the pioneer days of submarines remain filled with unanswered questions. Old construction plans often diverge from the actual designs, and many boats were either lost or destroyed. In some cases it remains unclear as to exactly how -- and whether -- the vehicles actually worked.
The San Telmo discovery could provide answers to many questions about the first submarines. Some of Delgado's colleagues believe that the wreck in the Pacific is a unique example of a handful of submarine prototypes that have remained preserved. They are craft in which daring men -- essentially the Space Shuttle pilots of their age -- ventured into the unknown world beneath the ocean's surface in the 19th century. Only five diving machines from the years before 1870 have survived the ravages of time: The "Brandtaucher" designed by German inventor Wilhelm Bauer, now in a museum in Dresden.
A nameless submarine used by the Confederates in 1862, during the American Civil War, now on display in New Orleans.
The "H.L. Hunley," built in 1863 and currently being restored in Charleston, South Carolina.
The "Intelligent Whale," a submarine built in 1866 and now in a New Jersey museum.
And the "Sub Marine Explorer" off the coast of San Telmo in the Pacific, built in 1865.
The "Explorer" marks a high point in maritime engineering, but also a tragic one. Equipped with a cleverly designed system of ballast chambers and a compressed air tank that allowed for pressure compensation, it also had two hatches beneath the hull enabling divers to exit the craft underwater. But about 130 years ago, when the vessel was being used to collect oysters and pearls from the ocean floor off the coast of Panama, the condition known as "the bends," or decompression sickness, was largely unknown. The condition can cause an agonizing death when divers rise to the surface from deep water too quickly. Technical progress had fatally outpaced medical science, costing the inventor and team of the "Explorer" their health and their lives.
But on the evening following his discovery, as he sat excitedly in the dining room of his cruise ship, Delgado had no idea of the tragedies that must have transpired in this iron coffin in the Pacific's pearl beds. Instead, he couldn't stop describing the details of the strange wreck to his wife Ann.
Back home in Vancouver, the scientist had the pictures he took on San Telmo developed and promptly e-mailed the images -- together with a description and a request for further information -- to colleagues around the world.
One man, Richard Wills, an expert on American Civil War submarines, wrote back to inform Delgado that his data were a perfect match to a description Wills had discovered in a scientific article from 1902. The piece even included a precise drawing of the largely unknown diving device. This couldn't possibly be a coincidence -- the vessel had to be the "Sub Marine Explorer."
Little known inventor
Little was known at the time about the man who designed the craft, a German inventor named Julius H. Kroehl who had emigrated to the United States. He built an iron fire watchtower in Harlem in 1865 and was then hired by the New York magistrate to demolish -- unsuccessfully, as it turned out -- a reef that obstructed shipping in the East River. But how did the mysterious German hit upon the idea of designing such a progressive diving ship? Delgado decided to get to the bottom of the story. A search through historical archives revealed that the "Sub Marine Explorer" last belonged to an outfit called the Pacific Pearl Company, which planned to dig for oysters off the coast of Panama in the 1860s.
Inside Kroehl's craft.
As far back as the days of the Conquistadors, divers had been digging up treasures from the depths of the "Archipiélago de las Perlas." Black slaves had once fished the famed "La Peregrina" pearl -- a magnificent, softly shimmering 50-carat jewel -- from the waters of the archipelago. The shells also held the promise of fortune, offering wealth in the form of mother-of-pearl, a highly sought-after luxury material used in the fashion of the day.
According to old business records, one of the partners in the company with offices near New York's Wall Street was a certain W.H. Tiffany, apparently a member of the eponymous jewelry and lamp dynasty.
The story was becoming more and more fascinating, and after making two more trips to San Telmo in 2002 and 2004, Delgado had finally collected enough material to justify launching an expedition to delve into the final secrets of the "Explorer" and its inventor.
tour PLANNED by bus of Confederate Naval sites
I am planning a one week tour by bus of Confederate
Naval sites and museums from Wilmington (and Kinston), NC to Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; Columbus, GA; and ending in Mobile, AL. The cost estimates per person are $1500 to $2000 to include transportation, lodging, meals, and admissions. Participants will have to get to Wilmington and home from Mobile. If enough persons sign up I can line it up for this October, otherwise it will be October 2007.
Anyone interested please contact me by return e-mail
at email@example.com. Input welcome.
Back to the Table of Contents
FOLLOW UP ON THE HUNLEY CREW
An x-ray shows the remains of a crew member's foot inside of a
shoe. Forensic experts used modern technology to identify the
eight crew members of the Hunley. The National Geographic
Expeditions Council helped fund the raising of the Hunley and
the analysis of the materials found inside.
For over a century historians have puzzled over the mystery of
what happened the night the Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley
disappeared in 1864. Sealed inside the time capsule were the
remains of the crew (above), and as many historians hoped some
answers to over a century’s worth of lingering questions.
Once all of the clay was applied to the reconstruction (above),
hair and other facial features were added. (See next four images.)
A forensic artist attempted to give faces to the Hunley crew.
Markers indicating depth of flesh at different points were placed
on a cast of a skull (left). Then, clay was used to sculpt a face
using the markers as a guide (right).
Arnold Becker (left) was foreign-born, but experts do not know
exactly where he was from. Becker was in charge of operating
the air circulation system that enabled the crew to breathe on
the H.L. Hunley. George Dixon (right) was the Hunley’s commander.
He was in charge of navigating the submarine and firing the
Joseph Ridgaway (left) was second-in-command of the H.L.
Hunley and was born in Talbot County, Maryland. Experts
were unable to determine the first name of Lumpkin (right).
However, they were able to determine that he was one of
the oldest crewmen on board.
Miller (left) also has an unknown first name. He was from Europe
and had only been in the United States for a short amount of time
before joining the H.L. Hunley crew. Frank Collins (right) was born
in Virginia and was the largest crewman on board the Hunley.
J.F. Carlsen (left) was the newest member of the H.L. Hunley's
crew when it sank. He was only 20 to 23 years old. James A. Wicks
(right) was born in North Carolina around 1819. He was one of
only three Hunley crewmen, along with Joseph Ridgaway and
Frank Collins, born in the South.
Battle of Secessionville June 17 2006
- Civil War Fort ceremony to mark 1862 Battle of Secessionville June 17 Press Release:
Amid the roar of cannon fire Saturday, June 17, South Carolinians at Fort Lamar in Charleston will commemorate the Battle of Secessionville, one of the Palmetto State’s most important Civil War battles that helped keep the port of Charleston out of Yankee hands.
Ceremonies to commemorate the 144th anniversary of the Battle of Secessionville will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 17. Everyone is welcome.
DNR Media Contacts:
Columbia - Brett Witt (803) 734-3815
Clemson - Greg Lucas (864) 654-1671, ext.22
Charleston - Anna Martin (843) 953-3367
Spokesman - Mike Willis (803) 734-4133
After Hours Radio Room - (803) 955-4000
Historians consider Fort Lamar and the Battle of Secessionville the second-most important Civil War battleground in the state after Fort Sumter, where the war began. Heritage Trust, a part of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Habitat Protection Section, acquired the 13.5-acre Fort Lamar Heritage Preserve in 1996. The fort is south of Charleston on James Island.
The preserve includes ramparts from Fort Lamar, a battery that helped repel Union troops during the Battle of Secessionville on June 16, 1862. A Union force of 3,500 men attacked the fort but was turned back three times by 1,250 Confederate soldiers.
Description: Before you begin this very short, easy-walking, historic trail, pick up a self-guided tour brochure from the kiosk near the Battle of Secessionville Monument. Walk toward the trail sign and follow the numbered markers that correspond with the brochure descriptions of what once stood in those areas. Fort Lamar, originally known as Tower Battery because of its 75-foot observation tower, was renamed for Colonel Thomas G. Lamar who commanded Confederate troops at the fort during the battle of Secessionville in 1862. After winding through open woods you will reach a short loop where you can return the way you came. From the parking area, you can also walk a short spur between the post and rail fence to remnants of earthworks that are sheltered beneath the sprawling oak trees. Watch for birds, snakes, and other wildlife.
Use caution as you walk from the parking area through the right-hand gate and across the road to the trail. Insect repellent is recommended during warm months. No facilities are available. The houses around the site are private residences.
Length: .2 mile one-way (including spur to point #6).
Fees: No fee.
Directions: From Charleston, drive west on US 17. At the intersection of US 17 South and SC 171/SC 700, drive south on SC 171. Drive 5.4 miles and turn left onto Grimball Road Extension. Drive .5 mile to the sign for Ft. Lamar Heritage Preserve and bear right onto Old Military Road. Drive .3 mile and turn left at the Ft. Lamar sign. Drive .8 mile and turn left into either gate for the parking area.
Hours: Daily, dawn to dusk.
Camping: No camping.
Information: DNR Heritage Trust Program, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC, 29202, 803-734-3886.
Fort Lamar HP - Trail Map
They call it hallowed ground - a spiritual place where history, steeped in the marshes and forest, comes alive with every step along the trail.
Located on 14 acres in Charleston County, Fort Lamar Heritage Preserve has been documented as the 2nd most important Civil War site in the state. Thousands of people visit Fort Lamar Heritage Preserve on James Island throughout the year, and annually on the closest weekend to June 16, many attend a commemoration at the preserve to observe the Battle of Secessionville. There, on June 16, 1862, Confederates, outnumbered three to one, defeated Federal soldiers in a fierce battle that saved Charleston and set the stage for three more years of fighting in the Civil War. Tower Battery, as Fort Lamar was initially called, was manned and being completed by the 1st South Carolina Artillery, commanded by Col. Thomas G. Lamar. The battery was completed in the spring of 1864 and named Fort Lamar in his memory. The battle began at 4 a.m., with 3,500 Federal troops attacking 1,250 Confederate troops at Tower Battery. But the Federal troops could not cross the marsh and got stuck in the pluff mud. By the time they retreated three hours later, Federal casualties included 107 killed, 487 wounded, and 89 missing. On the Confederate side, 54 killed, 144 wounded and 8 captured or missing.
The previous Cultural Preserve Manager, Jon Rood, says that many historians consider the battle the "Union's Gettysburg" because it was realized that the war would not be over as early as projected. Some, like Sen. Glenn McConnell, say it is the most significant land battle of the Civil War in South Carolina.
Hikers can get information at the kiosk in the parking lot for the self-guided trail, about a half-hour easy stroll. "You can stand inside the fort and you are standing in a cradle of history," McConnell says. "You can look out at the marshlands and very quickly imagine what went on there. You can experience the silence and the sounds of nature."
People who visit the preserve revere it as hallowed ground, Rood says.
Barry Gooch, who has taken part in the reenactments for the past three years, says they are a memorial service for both sides. "We're all pretty spiritual about this, and have respect for those who went before us," he says.
Many stories still are recounted, like that of the Campbells, Scottish brothers who fought that day on opposing sides. They never encountered each other and both survived the war. Another is that of a Confederate officer whose slave died fetching his pistols. The officer also died that day. They are buried side by side.
Gooch, like others, also visits the preserve during the year because of a sense of peace, tranquility and connectedness. "The most special part is that people thought enough about this place to preserve it," Gooch says.
None of the trees are older than the battle, fought on farm land. Now, there are towering live oaks, yaupon hollies, bay berries and pines. Salt marsh life abounds, as well as all sorts of birds, including red tail hawks.
Baxter Bragg, who lives about a block away, is the official "provost" of the preserve and one of the volunteers who visits daily to help maintain the grounds. Bragg says a favorite time is at dawn, with the sun rising over the slough and the first birds are flitting and singing. Then, "it's just like going to church."
E-MAIL AND GUEST BOOK SELECTIONS
Recent articles on Senator McConnell and the Hunley Commission, although excellent, have missed several important and salient facts.
Article 1, Section 8 of South Carolina’s constitution states: In the government of this State, the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of the government shall be forever separate and distinct from each other, and no person or persons exercising the functions of one of said departments shall assume or discharge the duties of any other.
However, this has not been followed in the case of the Hunley Commission. It is not technically a commission. By law, all commissions report annually to the Secretary of State. The Hunley Commission never has. Attorney General McMasters has opined and the very language of its creation say that the Hunley Commission is a committee of the General Assembly. With its mandatory makeup of one-third of its membership appointed from the House and one-third from the Senate, the “Commission” is clearly meant to be controlled by the General Assembly (i.e. the Legislative Department) not the Executive Department. Section 54-7-100 of the South Carolina Code, gives the “Commission” the exclusive right, with respect to the Hunley, to assume the duties and responsibilities of the State Archaeologist and the Institute of Archaeology & Anthropology, (both offices of the Executive Department) as listed under Article 5, Chapter 7, of Title 54.
Section 23 makes each section of the constitution mandatory, not arbitrary. It prevents anyone, from falsely claiming that the “Commission's” violation of Section 8 is minor, or unimportant, or merely technical and/or somehow justified.
Therefore it should be clear to the Governor and the State's judiciary, that the Hunley Commission exists and operates in direct violation of Sections 8 and 23 of our constitution, and is unconstitutional. The measure of their credibility will be what they do about it.
Dr. E. Lee Spence, President
Sea Research Society (founded 1972)
843-821-0001 or 843-832-0962
Note: Spence discovered the Hunley in 1970. In at the official request of 1995 Senator McConnell and the Hunley Commission, Spence donated his rights to the wreck to the State.
From: Adamson, William J STSC COMSUBLANT ,N02C [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 2:58 PM
Subject: Alligator coin info
Alligator Challenge Coins
Thank you for the assistance in spreading the word about the USS Alligator. I have enclosed link to the website page where we are selling them as well as the NMLHA website http://www.navyandmarine.org/alligator/alligatorcoins.htm (Coin Sales) http://www.navyandmarine.org/alligator/index.htm Page to the Alligator web site. The Main Page to the NMLHA website is http://www.navyandmarine.org/index.htm.
The USS Alligator was the first true submarine of the period in many ways. The Alligator was the most technologically advanced weapon in the Union naval arsenal, incorporating technology not usually associated with the Civil War Navy: a diver’s airlock, tanks of compressed air for adjusting the attitude of the boat, a large crew of twenty men, and an air scrubbing system to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It's mode of attack--electrically-detonated limpet mines placed by its diver. Such a vessel would not be seen again in the American Navy for almost forty years. With her loss off the coast of Cape Hatters in 1863 on her way down to Charleston S.C, the mystery and mission of the USS Alligator has eluded historians for the past 140 years. Now with new discovery of documents and the ancestors of the crew coming forward with proof of commissioning of the ship, the hunt for the USS Alligator is on!
During the past two years research and missions off the coast of North Carolina have been spearheaded by the Office of Naval Research and development and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association. The goal of these missions has been to discover the resting place of the Alligator and if possible recover her. The hunt for the USS Alligator has been covered by Discovery Channel Documentary as well as numerous discussion groups and conferences. The summer research program is staring up soon. If you would like more information on the USS Alligator program please visit http://www.navyandmarine.org/alligator/index.htm
I hope the enclosed writeup will help.
Is there any place on the internet that I can see a readable
copy of the Magnolia Cemetery map that you show on the
Map of magnolia cemetery - shows location of the final burial plot of the "last hunley crew"
TRY THIS COPY- If it is not big enough..let me know. I finally found the time to fix this page. Thanks for the info. If you are out of town and need some pictures of the grave sites you mention,,let me know and I can run down there and get you a few.
George W. Penington Webmaster and Editor of the Hunley.com
website and Newsletter. I fixed the link also Thanks for the info.
Dear Mr. Penington,
Thank you very much for the Magnolia Cemetery diagram.
I can easily read it.
I am not sure whether you are aware of it or not,
but when I clicked on the small map of Magnolia Cemetery,
I got a error message that "The page cannot be found".
I assume clicking on the small map carries you to a larger
readable map of Magnolia Cemetery. If this is the case,
the link to the larger map must be broken on the following page.
Again, I really appreciate your quick response and taking
the time to send me the larger map. I am trying to locate
several Barton graves shown on "Tombstone Records of
Magnolia Cemetery" on the following site.
Each grave shows a B) prior to the name of the person
and the inscription. I have already found some Alderson
graves which were preceded by A) in what appears to
be "Outer Circle A" on your map, near the connection to
Greenhill. Since the Alderson are related to the Bartons,
I assume that my Bartons are buried nearby, probably in
"Gibbes Circle B".
FROM THE HUNLEY STORE
CELEBRATING OUR FIFTH STORE YEAR with a
All Subscribers can have a free Collectors
Coin by paying for the Shipping only.
The Hunley - Will She Sink Again?
Hunley financial investigation
The State Newspaper
Posted on Sun, May. 14, 2006
|Gen. Glenn F. McConnell||Gen. Robert E. Lee|
The State Paper ran a series of articles about the Confederate States Submarine H L Hunley. Enclosed is a brief summary of these articles.
It is recommended that each reader go to the originating site at the State Paper and read each of the full articles. You may post your comments on the State Paper site or email me and I will post them here. Here is the link:
http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/14585001.htm or click
I WILL PUBLISH ANY RESPONSES FROM SENATOR
McConnell in the next newsletter.- GWP
When it was announced and published in this newsletter that Clemson University was going to take over the Confederate States Submarine H L Hunley, I thought it was a glorious day. We felt that finally an institution of higher learning could study the facts and findings and present them intelligently to the community without politics and prejudice. How mistaken we were. Its politics as usual. McConnell is a genius at maneuvering and manipulations. I was with him in college and saw him in action. Business behind closed doors, secret deals and bargains was his style, a legitimate talent. It was even humorous sometimes what he could accomplish in student government. He was president of the student body when I was president of the sophomore class.
McConnell has crossed the line from what used to be humorous to what is now life crushing .The disappointment now is that Clemson was forced to agree to muzzle its professors from writing or speaking publicly on the Hunley without approval of the Hunley Commission. Hundreds of us have looked forward to the day that true facts and needed information would be forthcoming. Getting pictures or dimensions of parts was always provided underground with promises that we would never reveal our sources. What we felt was public information has always been closely guarded and rarely shared.
The State paper states that McConnell can "neutralize senators who might question Hunley spending. McConnell protected other senators’ pet projects in exchange for favorable votes on Hunley issues. Crossing McConnell on Hunley funding, one lawmaker says, is not worth the scars." Well many of us have the scars to prove it.
It is my opinion that the Hunley , even though it is a fascinating story and I have an obvious interest after eleven years of freely and voluntarily promoting and making the public aware of her existence through 65 newsletters and the largest archival site on the web, I feel the waning interest. From thousands of daily hits to mere hundreds, the sparse visits to the Warren Lasch Center, the poor management and sales at the Hunley Gift shop is proof to me that a study needs to be done.
The responses to the State papers articles may be some indication of the way the public feels. It is a shame that Glenn did not respond to at least some of the allegations, hopefully he will by time the next newsletter is written. GWP
A $3 million Hunley exhibit in a hot tourist market has failed to attract sufficient visitors and closed.
A Hunley replica the Burroughs & Chapin Co. Inc. built at Broadway at the Beach, one of the state's top tourist attractions, never caught on. And experts have debunked many of the claims about the Hunley's importance to submarine technology. In other words, taxpayers are expected to fund a project that may end up turning into a money pit.
The exhibit was described as follows: "Come and experience interactive exhibits, movies, and museum displays at the H.L. Hunley Experience in the Adventure IN Science, History & Nature building (located in Heroes Harbor at Broadway at the Beach). Learn interesting details about the men who served on board. Also, view replicas and artifacts such as a legendary gold coin which served as Dixon’s good luck charm after it saved his life by stopping a bullet from wounding his leg during the battle of Shiloh. The H.L. Hunley experience is truly a journey through early American history. "
In January 2006 the following was announced: The year 2005 saw the closing of the H.L. Hunley Experience, a high-tech audio-visual experience within the Broadway attraction known as the Adventure in Science, History and Nature, which is designed to hold rotating exhibits such as the one that told the story of the Confederate submarine. After two years, B&C determined that the H.L. Hunley Experience had run its course in the Broadway location.
The company is talking with proprietors of large museums and owners of historical and educational destinations who might want the exhibit.
The exit of the H.L. Hunley Experience leaves a large space open for something new in 2006.
Candidates want audit of Hunley|
Some candidates in the governor's and state treasurer's race are calling for an audit of the Hunley's finances. Other candidates in the June 13 primary stop short of calling for an audit, but most say they would support - or not object to - an audit.
Sunday, May 28, 2006 (MyrtleBeachOnline.com)
What the STATE PAPER found:
The cost of Hunley projects has risen, without public debate, to $97 million.
Much Hunley funding is hidden; about 85 percent is taxpayer dollars.
Sen. Glenn McConnell, with no apparent legal authority, acts as Hunley paymaster.
Clemson University stepped in just as federal grants, private donations and visitors to the lab are declining.
McConnell personally lobbies state agencies for money, avoiding public debate.
Another instance of "hidden" business as usual in the South Carolina legislature, without regard for benefit to, or impact upon, taxpayers... Avg 4.10, 10 votes
The cost of preserving and promoting the Hunley submarine has soared to nearly $100 million thanks largely to a powerful politician’s behind-the-scenes work to steer public money toward his pet project.
The Hunley is one of South Carolina’s biggest financial undertakings in modern times. Not counting university expansion projects, the Hunley ranks behind only a few large road and bridge projects. It even exceeds the $62 million State House renovation in the 1990s. more>>>>
$42 million facility could be one of S.C.’s most expensive, least studied
With no market study, sub museum risks sinking
By JOHN MONK email@example.com
Hunley key moments:
Officials who want to build a $42 million museum for the Hunley submarine in North Charleston haven’t done feasibility, site and market studies that experts say are crucial to knowing whether the project will work.
And, if the dwindling numbers of visitors to other, smaller Hunley exhibits are any gauge, it’s possible the mostly taxpayer-supported museum might fail to draw sufficient visitors and wind up being a white elephant. more>>>>>
- The H.L. Hunley was one of some 20 submarines built by the North and South during the Civil War. It was the first submarine in history to sink an enemy ship in warfare.
- The Hunley had a Tennessee financier and namesake, Horace Hunley, and a Cincinnati-born designer, James McClintock.
- The sub was built for two reasons: to sink Union ships and to turn a profit. Private investors who gave money for the Hunley hoped to get bounties from the Confederate government.
- Early 1863 Hunley is built and tested in Mobile, Ala.
- Aug. 15, 1863 Hunley arrives in Charleston at the request of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard. He wants it to sink Union ships blockading the city.
- Aug. 29, 1863 The Hunley sinks in Charleston Harbor. Five crewmen drown.
- Oct. 15, 1863 The Hunley sinks again. All eight crewmen die, including financier Hunley.
- Feb. 17, 1864 The Hunley sinks the USS Housatonic off Charleston. It is a 200-foot Union warship with a crew of 155. Five Housatonic crewmen die. The sub doesn’t return from its mission.
- 1970 A South Carolinian, Lee Spence, apparently found the Hunley in the 1970s, locating the correct longitude and latitude. Spence pursued his claim, but nothing official came of it. His claim today is the subject of legal dispute.
- January 1995 Researchers, including underwater adventurer and author Clive Cussler, find a metal object off Sullivan’s Island. It lies in a channel that silted over in 1880. Like the Hunley, the object is 40 feet long and 6 feet wide.
- May 1995 Divers confirm the Hunley’s discovery under 18 feet of water and 12 feet of sand and silt. The bodies of the crewmen are suspected to still be on board.
- Aug. 8, 2000 The 10-ton Hunley is raised, placed on a barge and moved up the Cooper River to North Charleston. A crane lifts it and swings it into a tank at a conservation facility.
- April 17, 2004 The crewmen are buried in Charleston. SOURCES: thehunley.org; Raising the Hunley, by Brian Hicks and Schuyler Kropf; The Submarine: A History by Thomas Parrish; Lost Subs by Spencer Dunmore
Back to the Table of Contents
With no market study, sub museum risk...READERS COMMENTS
The whole story of the development and funding for the project is intentionally complicated and vague. The state of South Carolina cannot afford a $100,000,000.00 white elephant. Few states can.
When you are asked for more tax money, tuition increases at Clemson or financial promises by local governments remember this story. Avg 3.90, 10 votes
This is a sure flop. What a waste. No tourist is going to travel to N. Charleston to see an old confederate sub. An existing museum makes sense alot more sense. Duh McConnell Avg 3.50, 10 votes
If I'm going to be fleeced by the "Good 'ol Boys" I would much prefer it to be on a public historical project such as this instead of a "Bridge to Nowhere"
Believe McConnell has a little too much power, and is apparently prone to getting his own way. Too bad his passion was not education or jobs, instead of a 150 year old rusting sub with a hate filled flag flying above it.
The real reason Senator McConnell wants the Hunley in North Charleston is his confederate store is also located in North Charleston. This will only benefit him because sales at his store will increase. It's just the good old boys looking out for themselves again while our children ride on 13+ year old school bus bought second hand from Kentucky. Just so you know $100,000,000.00 dollars would have bought 1250 new school bus at a price tag of $80,000.00 dollars a bus. Put the sub in an existing building and use the money saved to benefit all of the citizens of South Carolina not just those who have a love for a country "The Confederacy" that has been dead for 141 years.
The article indicates to build the museum the city, state and federal government will have to contribute large amounts of tax money to the museum project. Enough all ready. Tax money comes out of the pockets of the tax payer. It is not the piggy bank of politicians. The politicians who don't understand that need to be replaced and there are a lot that need to be replaced. Avg 4.83, 6 votes
This has been a three day long attack piece. I have never seen a publication dedicate itself so entirely to the destruction of any one project. Avg 2.76, 13 votes
"To do it right, you have to have a state-of-the-art, world-class facility. Not only will it be a great world attraction, but it will be an asset to the taxpayers rather than a burden... This quote proves it! The man (McConnell) is a lunatic! Avg 4.25, 8 votes
Sounds like a shakey project with a high risk. Once again we see that John Monk has an anti-Southern agenda in the stories he writes. This Hunley series is very similar to his vendetta against Maurice Bessinger a few years ago. You ony need to see that he used a photo of McConnell in his re-enactors uniform as an attention getter. Like Lee Bandy, Monk's writing show the liberal slant of the staff at the State newspaper. Avg 1.00, 5 votes
Do they really think the average Charleston tourist will go out of their way to just see the Hunley while the Aquarium, Patriot's Point, Ft. Sumter, etc are all close together?
The Senator is more interested in playing "dress up" and feathering his nest than he is in being a good steward of public funds. It's reprehensible that citizens should be forced to pay for his hobby!! And only as a result of his position of influence. Clemson, get a backbone!
Avg 4.33, 6 votes
Perhaps John Courson should suggest the sub be housed at the State Museum in Columbia; in place of the existing Hunley replica. Avg 5.00, 4 votes
Make the senators pay for their own hobbies. Avg 5.00, 5 votes
Courson isn't going to suggest anything involving the Hunley to anyone... he's too busy holding McConnell's coat-tail. I hope the Attorney General's office will request a full audit of this situation. I doubt McConnell was in this by himself, I believe he will be found to be the ring leader but I suspect that there are more legislators involved. Nobody, I repeat, nobody is going to travel to North Charleston to visit this museum and it'll be closed within two years of opening. There's only one location for this submarine... Patriot's Point. If you're into maritime history, you go to Patriot's Point, not Patriot's Point AND North Charleston (where you take your life in your hands every time you drive through that section of Charleston). This whole fiasco has been snuck through the legislature without any thought. For a bunch of brilliant, educated legislators, they sure are beginning to look stupid over this project. Avg 4.33, 6 votes
Maybe more private dollars can be raised to take some of the burden off of South Carolina taxpayers. I'm sure more Sons of Confederate Veterans members would be willing to pitch in, but their wallets are being drained by the SCV's national leadership to pay legal fees to have their Klan lawyers at the Southern Legal Resource Center file stupid flag tee-shirt lawsuits all over the place. Raise more member money for the Hunley and less money to defend the likes of Winston McCuen!
Avg 1.00, 2 votes
McConnell's store is located in North Charleston. North Charleston is the selected location for the Hunley museum. North Charleston is about as far away from the traditional Charleston tourist trap as you can get in that city (wave at Patriots Point as you drive past it on you way to N. Charleston). I wonder if Glenn had a gift shop already designed into the museum for his business to move into. Does anyone else see the coincidence here? Obviously they don't down at the state house where everyone is afraid to stand up to King Glenn.
Avg 5.00, 6 votes
"This has been a three day long attack piece. I have never seen a publication dedicate itself so entirely to the destruction of any one project. "
THen you don't read the newspaper very much.
This is part of a newspaper's job - shedding light on things that are somewhat complicated that even state Senators admit they don't know all the facts.
This is a mess at this point.
Avg 3.66, 6 votes
McConnell is a self serving crook. It is no wonder our state lags the nation in so many areas. Our politicians are more interested in their own pockets than what is good for our citizens. Where are the voices in the Senate that are willing to stand up to Boss McConnell? Avg 4.00, 5 votes
I hope the voters in Senator McConnel's district will ask themselves if he is spending the taxpayer's money wisely considering all the other pressing needs our state is facing. If they don't think so then they should vote him out of office. Avg 5.00, 3 votes
I hope the State keeps up the attack on the Hunley project until McConnell is forced to stop sucking up taxpayers money on his "special project" even if takes daily attacks for a year. If the elected officials would stick to business and quit entertaining themselves the state would have plenty of money.
Foolish politicians at work once again. Why is it that many politicians haven't a clue. Sorry but if I'm on vacation, and seeing the sights, I am NOT going to waste my precious vacation time on a side trip to see a rusted submarine and a bunch of old fire engines. Use some brains you lack and place it in an existing museum at a cost savings to the taxpayers!
In 1974 I suggested that the Hunley be raised and placed at Patriots Point as part of the naval and maritime exhibits that were then being planned there. As the original discoverer of the Hunley, I still think it should be at Patriots Point. That is part of why I signed over my rights to the wreck to the State when Senator McConnell asked me to do so at a meeting of the Hunley Commission on September 14, 1995. The honorable Senator has obviously forgotten the promises he made to me that day. Perhaps my efforts to cut funding to reasonable levels were not to his liking. For more information, see www.shipwrecks.com
Avg 3.66, 3 votes
In my previous post I mentioned that I
was the original discoverer of the
Hunley and had donated the Hunley to
the state at McConnell's request. The
message didn't show my name. I am Dr.
E. Lee Spence. The "State" does list
me in the events relating to the
Hunley's history. I actually found the
wreck in 1970. I mapped its location
and gave copies to the Corps of
Engineers, the Navy and dozens of
government officials. I tried for
years to get permission to raise it
and donate it to Patriots Point. I had
suggested it be preserved in a tank of
water with viewing ports for public
display. With no success I finally
published the Hunley's location in my
1995 book "Treasures of the
Confederate Coast: The Real Rhett
Butler & Other Revelations." I gave a
copy to Clive Cussler's employee Ralph
Wilbanks with the request that they go
to my spot and verify my discovery.
Wilbanks went to the same location and
afterwards claimed the discovery in
the name of NUMA and Cussler and the
guys who were with him. Cussler was
later quoted in the Charleston paper
as threatening to take the $100,000 he
had promised to donate to McConnell's
commission and to write the check
instead to McConnell's political
opponent. It was immediately after
Cussler's threat that McConnell
started breaking all of his promises
to me, even to the point of ignoring
my original discovery and my donation
of the Hunley. I am also V.P. of the
International Diving Institute www.InternationalDivingInstitute.com and on the Board of the American Military Museum in Charleston. McConnell has repeatedly withheld Hunley related documents that he should have disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act. My hope is they have not been destroyed.
Avg 3.33, 3 votes
Avg 5.00, 2 votesJust disgusting the way McConnell is spending public money on his "hobby" while other projects that would benefit the public more are set aside for lack of money. The sad part is the fool will get voted back in no problem next election. What a waste of money. Avg 5.00, 4 votes
Why doesnt Clemson get out of Charleston? No one wants Clemson in Charleston. Its ridiculous.
Avg 3.25, 4 votes
There's nothing "anti-Southern" about this coverage. As an African American Southerner, I have no problem with a portion of taxpayer money being spent on this project as it represents a pivotal point in the history of the South and the nation; however, anything funded with public dollars should be subject to public scrutiny, and THIS is the point of this series. Fiscal impropriety is not "Southern," it's absolutely wrong, as is Bessinger's racist views--which do not reflect my Southern heritage.
Avg 5.00, 2 votes
To the person who said nobody wants Clemson in Charleston ... thats your reaction to this article, you idiot?
Avg 4.00, 1 vote
Oh for Pete's sake..It's Military history!
UNCONSTITUTIONAL: Hunley Commission violates Separation of Powers Clause.
One point that everyone seems to overlooking is that the Hunley Commission is actually a committee of the General Assembly which is the Legislative Branch of South Carolina's government. Even though Senator McConnell saw to it that the Commission was to assume all of the duties of the State Archaeologist and the duties of the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology & Anthropology, which are office's of the Executive Branch, the Hunley Commission's exercise of those powers has not just been handled in questionable ways it is clearly a violation of South Carolina's Constitution. Our constitution has a separation of powers clause. That clause clearly and wisely prohibits one branch of South Carolina's government taking over the duties of an office of another branch. As an attorney and South Carolina's Senator Pro Tempore, it is impossible for me to believe that McConnell is unaware of that fact. Perhaps the honorable senator simply thinks his wishes should supercede those of South Carolina's citizens. (Contributed by Dr. E. Lee Spence, original discoverer of the Hunley. Spence donated the Hunley to the state at Senator McConnell's request on September 14, 1995. See
Avg 5.00, 2 votes
Someone wrote that McConnell was well meaning. I disagree. I (Dr. E. Lee Spence) also believe that his bullying, threats, lies, misleading statements, broken promises, dirty dealing and ignoring of facts has hurt the Hunley project. I only wish I had gotten to know him before I agreed to donate my rights to the Hunley (I, not Cussler, was the original discoverer) when McConnell asked me to after reviewing and listening to evidence of my discovery. Had I known how McConnell can back-track and lie, I would have insisted the agreement he had me sign with the Attorney General state in writing that I would be forever credited with the discovery. McConnell has not only attacked me publicly and privately trying to destroy my credibity, it is my understanding that he was behind the Governor's refusal to reappoint my wife, Sherry Shealy Martschink, to her job as Commissioner with the South Carolina Worker's Compensation Commission, a job that she excelled at and loved. (For more on Spence and his discovery of the wreck of the Hunley, see http://www.internationaldivinginstitute.com/web%20search%20for%20Hunley%20Spence%20and%20Cussler.htm
NO WONDER THE DEBT OF THIS COUNTRY IS HORRENDOUS THIS NEEDS TO BE STOPPED NOW
You do not even write a good article because you are so focused on smearing the Senator. Apparently you have never been chosen to receive a so called favor from the Senator so your retaliation is to spew poison. Here's a thought. How about a letter about some of Senator McConnell's positive work.
Avg 1.00, 6 votes
I think I gave $35 to join "Friends Of HUNDLY" and I live in Texas. SC will derive a considerable am't of money from the Hundly project from tourist visting Charlestown. As a WW11 submariner I applaud the Senators work on preserving a great advancement in underwarter warfare. Look at our great Submarine Navy today. Too much histor has been lost.Avg 1.16, 6 votes
Speaking as Northerner, the story of the Hunley is a tale of unbelievable bravery. Two years ago we chose Charleston for our summer vacation. We timed our departure from Michigan solely based on the day and time of our visit to the Warren Lasch lab to see the Hunley. Charleston is a beautiful city with many fantastic historic sites, but the Hunley was the high point of the trip for me. I hope to visit again when the Hunley is on display in a new museum. Avg 1.00, 2 votes
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The Hunley absolutely should be preserved, and I'm about as "New England Yankee" as you can get. Avg 1.33, 3 votes
Nice piece of journalism.
Avg 5.00, 1 vote
South Carolina Politics as usual!
Avg 5.00, 2 votes
The Senator looks real nice in that uniform! Too bad it;s not a real one,we can use all the uniformed help we can get right now. Tom
Avg 5.00, 4 votes
Avg 5.00, 1 vote
Absolutely sickening...What a waste of tax money. We indeed do have a sick society down there in South Carolina that would allow taxpayer!s dollars to surreptiously enshrine an historic artifact that should instead be funded by private bigots.
Avg 5.00, 3 votes
Isn't anyone noticing that not one thing positive or even moderate was said about the Hunley or McConnell in this series of stories? Why does anyone think they should just trust something because it is in print? I admit, I am a Hunley fan. I find the story fascinating. And just like a contract, if you read the fine print, the State has spent only 4% of what the article claims. But hey, I guess that is just a detail Avg 1.20, 5 votes
His story makes want to o disgorge n this BAST*RDS head!
Even if you are a fan of the Hunley, one should be shocked at the lack of oversight regarding the funding of this state project. No one person should have this much authority over the public's money without being accountable.
Avg 5.00, 3 votes
The South Carolina's agreement with the Federal Government over the Hunley requires all of the royalties admissions and other monies received due to the Hunley to go to the State. Somehow McConnell has allowed the Friends of the Hunley, Inc. (which is not a State agency) to collect millions of such revenues, yet not one single dollar has gone into State coffers. Instead it has been spent without the normal government oversight. Do you think it has been spent correctly, wisely, legally? Think about it. signed: Dr. E. Lee Spence, original discoverer of the Hunley and president of the Sea Research Society
Avg 4.00, 4 votes
when so many others try to destroy everything Confederate I am happy to see one man can accomplish such an undertaking. I am sure the government will go on.
Avg 1.00, 4 votes
This has nothing to do with destroying "everything Confederate" and has everything to do with fiscal impropriety. I'm sure you wouldn't take a similar stand had this been Sen. Robert Ford from Charleston and the proposed African American Museum, which seems as though it will never get off the ground.
Avg 5.00, 4 votes
There should be no debate on the merits of preserving a historic artifact like the Hunley. What SHOULD be questioned is how can we as a state spend this kind of money on a project without a debate of ANY kind. It's not about the Hunley, it's about the PROCESS. State troopers are short handed and are riding around in unsafe vehicles with extremely high miles and it takes 6 months of Legislative debate to get a couple of patrol classes and a hand full of new vehicles. How can we spend ANY state money on this project without the same type of discussion. It doesn't make sense no matter how you look at it. No one should have this much control in State government. If the Legislature has to debate education funding, state pay raises and police funding. Certainly, any money being allocated to a non-vital cause should be debated and approved by the people we elect to over see our tax money. Anything else is absolutely irresponsible and borders on government corruption. Avg 5.00, 3 votes
Amazing use of tax payer money. "Creative financing" should be on the top of South Carolina" license plates. Republicans or Democrats have no reluctance to squander tax payer money and after squandering the money have no reluctance to raise our taxes.
Avg 5.00, 2 votes
Exciting! What an example of journalism and the Constitution at work What an expose into the halls of privelege, government and education.
Avg 5.00, 1 vote
Great series...looks like another ENRON in the making. The Hunley is sustained mostly by "institutionalized, systematic, and well-planned accounting fraud "which meets the criteria for an all out accounting scandal. Political scandals are discovered by the disclosure of misdeeds by trusted politicians. Such misdeeds typically involve complex methods of misusing or misdirecting funds, overstating revenues, understating expenses, overstating the value of assets or under reporting the existence of liabilities, along with as in this case - the forced cooperation of officials in other offices. We have all of that. Nothing is ever put out for bid, no-one outside the club has a chance at any of the contracts FOTH lets out. We the stockholders, excuse me, citizens of the State do not know where all the money went. The fact that McConnell is holding onto control of information by muzzling Clemson is another disappointment. I thought finally we the public can now have a look at all the information and artifacts that have been withheld from us for years without having to sue to get it. A day after the burial of the Hunley crew interest started waning, 8 out of 10 people asked reply 'What's a Hunley'. The whole project is mismanaged. Their should be a civil and criminal investigation held. $100 million is a lot to spend for a package of artifacts...maybe they ought to just put it back. George W. Penington Webmaster and Editor of The Hunley.com website and monthly newsletter.Avg 5.00, 2 votes
|Tours of the Hunley are available 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Tours are not available on weekdays so that the archaeologists can continue their preservation work. |
Tickets are $12 plus a service charge and can be purchased by either calling 1-877-448-6539 or on the Internet at www.etix.com. Children under 5 are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance, and walk-up tickets are also available on a first-come, first-served basis.
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