Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sunken museum

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The Star online
April 03, 2005



A chat with marine archaeologist Brett Phaneuf (pic) of Texas A&M University, on the Sen Toku project:

When Sen Toku was found, besides filming, what kind of research has been done to the ship? Also, did you pull up any of the ship’s wreckage and equipment?

We found the resting place of the Sen Toku and 23 other subs and got video only from the I-58 as weather prevented our continuing to look at the sites. Really, we’d like to go back and look at all the subs as it is nothing short of a submerged museum of WWII Japanese subs and the largest collection thereof. As for recovering wreckage, this was only a non-disturbance survey.

With the footage and gathered data, how has research been done? And, have you found any new/interesting facts?

I was surprised by how well-preserved the subs were and perhaps there might be some more research we could do about that comparing levels of preservation between the subs and subs in other places and see if they are stable and estimate if there is anything that can be done to ensure they remain in good shape for a long time to come. It would also be nice to put in some means of allowing people to see the subs themselves, short of diving on them with an ROV (remotely operated vehicle).

Are you planning to announce or publish this finding through an institute or something? If so, when?

I’m preparing some articles now on the work for two journals, the Marine Technology Society Journal and Underwater Magazine. They should be out in the spring of 2005.

In your/the team’s opinion, what is the significance of finding the I-402?

I think the significance in all of this is that in some ways it is the first critical look at the Japanese technology external from a moral component just a study of the true capability that may allow us to better conjecture how and why the war in the Pacific was fought the way it was and how the Sen Toku might have changed American tactics had it been successful in its mission.

It also sheds light on Japanese naval tactics and the rivalry between the services in Japan near the end of the war that deprived them of a potentially potent weapon of terror against their adversary.

Are you planning to pull up the ships in the future?

I would like to and am thinking about doing it in the spring of 2005!


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www.schnorkel.blogspot.com

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