Tuesday, September 13, 2011

National Geographic Explores the Mystery of the Hunley

For more information contact:
Kellen Correia
843.743.4865, x.32
September 13th, 2011

National Geographic Channel Investigates the Disappearance of the Hunley

Submarine Secret Weapon of the Confederacy
Premieres Thursday, September 15, at 9PM ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel

Charleston, South Carolina – National Geographic Channel will debut a two-hour documentary about the Hunley, the world’s first successful combat submarine. Scheduled to premiere this Thursday, September 15th at 9 PM ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel, Secret Weapon of the Confederacy will delve into the possible theories to explain why the Hunley vanished after succeeding in her against-all-odds mission to sink the USS Housatonic. “The Hunley represents one of the world’s most intriguing maritime mysteries.

Using the latest discoveries emerging from the Project, we attempted to capture the fascination surrounding the submarine in a compelling documentary,” said Producer and Director Alan Martin. A popular – yet unproven – theory is that gunfire from the Housatonic crew damaged the Hunley’s conning tower, inflicting a deathly blow to the submarine. The documentary explores the plausibility of this scenario with a live action weapons test. A model of the Hunley, made with the same type iron as the actual 19th century submarine, is fired upon at different ranges with period weapons. The surprising results give new insights to archaeologists seeking to solve the mystery that led to the Hunley’s loss.

Beginning with the submarine’s conception and development in the dark days of the Civil War, Secret Weapon of the Confederacy will also cover the Hunley’s historical origins and the archaeological discovery process taking place today with the modern-day scientific methods being developed by the Project. The program also showcases state-of-the-art digital animation to recreate the legendary night bringing the viewer ever closer to unlocking the Hunley’s greatest secrets. “We will show how cutting-edge technology is being used to excavate history,” Martin said.For more information visit www.natgeotv.com.

On the evening of February 17, 1864, the H. L. Hunley became the world’s first successful combat submarine by sinking the USS Housatonic. After signaling to shore that the mission had been accomplished, the submarine and her crew of eight mysteriously vanished. Lost at sea for over a century, the Hunley was located in 1995by Clive Cussler’s National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA).

The innovative hand-cranked vessel was raised in 2000 and delivered to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, where an international team of scientists are at work to conserve the submarine for future generations and piece together clues to solve the mystery of her disappearance. The Hunley Project is conducted through a partnership with the Clemson University Restoration Institute, South Carolina Hunley Commission, Naval Historical Center, and Friends of the Hunley.

Kellen Correia
Executive Director
Friends of the Hunley
1250 Supply St.Charleston, SC 29405
843-743-4865 ext.
32843-744-1480 - fax

Join us for the 7th Annual Friends of the Hunley Oyster Roast on Nov. 4th at the Visitor Center Bus Shed.