On July 30, 1942, the USS Grunion, a WWII submarine, went down near the Aleutian islands off Alaska. Exactly how and why the ship sunk has remained a mystery. Several years ago, the children of Mannert Abele, the Grunion's commander, took up an investigation to determine what happened more than fifty years ago. After stumbling upon a new clue on a Grunion Web site with a Japanese officer's account of a battle in the area, the Abeles launched an expedition with marine survey company Williamson and Associates to the area around the island of Kiska. A few months ago, sonar on the Williamson and Associates' ship The Aquila picked up the shape seen in this image. It might just be the long-lost Grunion. Next summer, the family plans to send out an underwater robocam to make sure. From the Associated Press:
For more than two weeks, the Aquila carefully towed a sonar cable from east to west and back again inside a 240-square-mile grid that the survey team had plotted using information from naval archives and the Kano Maru officer's account. The crew worked in shifts to keep the search going 24 hours a day...Link to AP article, Link to "The Search for the Grunion" blog
In mid-August, the sonar picked up a 290-foot-long object with the sharp angles and jutting shadows of something man-made wedged into a terrace on the steep underwater slope of the volcano.
The Grunion, however, was 312 feet long. The Williamson team believes the bow may have plowed beneath a mat of thick sediment, hence the apparent shortage of about 20 feet. Skid marks show the vessel slid to rest about 1,000 meters from the surface, (survey manager Art) Wright said. Over the years, earthquakes along the tectonic subduction zone could have piled on more debris, he said.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.