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2008 Papahanaumokuakea Maritime Heritage Expedition

Video Gallery

Click the images below to watch video clips of the Papahanaumokuakea research team in action!

corsair wreckage underwater Geldstanes photo

The Maritime Heritage team explores the wreckage of a WWII-era Corsair airplane in just over 100 feet of water off Midway Atoll in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. While not associated with the Battle of Midway itself, the plane showcases the strategic importance of Midway in the WWII Pacific theater and beyond. Plane wings, fuselage, and engine are the main portions of the aircraft that remain. The wreckage also serves as an artificial reef and home to abundant life.

Take a tour of one of the archaeology team's new discoveries--the remains of an early 19th-century British whaler at Kure Atoll, the Gledstanes. This shipwreck is an exciting find, with anchors, trypot, and pig-iron ballast tucked up into the pockets and narrow canyons just outside of the reef crest. Many American and British whaling vessels came to grief on the shallow reefs and atolls of the Papahanaumokukea Marine National Monument.
hermes shipwreck
This video highlights some of the work done by the Maritime Heritage team documenting the schooner Churchill. This typical workhorse of the Pacific Northwest, this four-masted wooden schooner ran aground on the reef at French Frigate Shoals in 1937, where she broke apart by the powerful waves. The wreck site contains a chaotic mass of wire rigging, massive anchors, and other artifacts. The whaling ships Pearl & Hermes were traveling together with their holds full of sperm whale oil when they both ran aground on reef in 1922, which was later named Pearl and Hermes Atoll. This video highlights the dives archeologists carried out to document the remains of the Hermes. The artifacts lie littered across the reef and include copper pipes and fitting, trypots, cannon, and two large anchor.


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