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USS Alligator /Submarine Event - Norfolk, VA Oct 31 2005

Know of an upcoming modeling event?

Postby TMSmalley » Fri Oct 22, 2004 8:28 am


For folks in the Norfolk Virginia area, there is a USS Alligator event at the Nauticus Marine Museum on October 31. Here is the schedule of events:

“The Hunt for the Alligator” Symposium, Norfolk, VA

In 1863, off the coast of Cape Hatteras, the US Navy lost its first operational submarine, the U.S.S. Alligator in a storm. Now some 142 years later, NOAA and the Office of Naval Research are examining the possibility of locating and recovering the U.S.S. Alligator.

This year, the public is invited to attend the Second Annual Alligator Symposium. This exciting symposium will feature discussions and presentations about:
- the 2004 Hunt for the Alligator Expedition
- recent findings about Alligators design, construction, and deployment
- life aboard a modern day submarine

You will have the opportunity to hear from and meet with naval historians, engineers, submarine warfare experts, marine archaeologists, historical interpreters and fellow Alligator enthusiasts.

When: Sunday, October 31 2004, 1200-1700, Nauticus Maritime Center, Norfolk, VA

Events: Public Symposium and exhibitry 1200-1700

Program: 12:00 Nauticus opens

12:00-1700 Exhibits open for viewing.

12:00-12:15 Welcoming remarks “The Hunt for the Alligator”
David Alberg, Nauticus Deputy Director

12:15-13:00 Recovery of the CSS Hunley
What were the working conditions like on board our early
submarines? This program will discuss the recovery, excavation,
and the identification of the CSS Hunley.
Robert Neyland – LASCH Conservation Center

1300-13:45 2004 Hunt for the USS Alligator
In the summer of 2004, a team of marine archeologists and scientists from NOAA, the Navy, and East Carolina University set on an expedition to search for the wreck of the Alligator, off the coast of Ocracoke, NC. This program will present the results of the expedition and the associated efforts to engage explorers of all ages through this mission.
Catherine Marzin, Mike Overfields – NMSP

14:00-14:30 Life Onboard a Modern Submarine
How cramped is life aboard a modern submarine? How many people serve on board? What is it liked to live underwater for a prolonged period of time? These questions and many others will be answered in this informative program.
Master Chief Monty Pyburn, Chief of the boat, USS Hampton SSN767

14:45-15:15 Planning and Construction of the Alligator Junior Model
Since finding the Alligator blueprints in 2003, historians, modelers, and researchers have built models of the Alligator and its predecessor, to understand the design of the unusual technological wonder. This program will discuss Devilleroi’s 1859 salvage submarine, “Alligator Junior”. Tim Smalley, Modeler

15:15-16:15 Planning and Construction of the Miniature Alligator Model
Discussion on the design of a miniature USS Alligator which is being used in the upcoming Discovery Science Channel episode on the USS Alligator. David Merriman, Modeler

16:15-16:45 USS Alligator Education
Using the USS Alligator as an educational resource, this program
discusses the ways educators have used this platform as a way to
educate students.
Kate Thompson, NMSP Odean VantHul, Nauticus Educator

Nauticus/Alligator Symposium website Image

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Postby Jim Kerswell » Fri Oct 22, 2004 11:43 am

Congratulations to Tim Smalley and David Merriman for appearing at this symposium. They introduce the public to the value of modeling as a educational and historical research tool.

Best wishes for the success of the symposium and the search for the Alligator.

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Postby TMSmalley » Tue Nov 09, 2004 8:53 am

copyright 2004 Jim Christley

Jim Christley's painting of a diver deployed from the USS Alligator

Report on the Alligator Symposium Oct 30-31, 2004

Alligator Symposium II
Nauticus Norfolk, VA

Report by Chuck Veit -
Navy & Marine Living History Association

30-31 October 2004

The second conference dedicated to the Hunt for the Alligator­the U.S. Navy’s first submarine--convened at Nauticus in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday 30 October. A welcome by Richard Conti, Director of Nauticus, was followed by short opening remarks by Rear Admiral Jay Cohen, Chief of Naval Research, who related the story of how he first became aware of the Alligator and described the technological, educational, and historical importance of the Hunt.

Dan Basta, Director of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary Program described the value of the Alligator Hunt as a means to involve students in the sciences. Bombarded by sound bites and repeatedly told that “the next big thing” is the most important, it has become, according to Basta, increasingly difficult to get Americans to focus on serious problems­such as the decrease in the numbers of students proficient in math and science. Alligator is a “compelling hook” with which to interest students in science, as well as to interest the public in our oceans. Finding the vessel is a significant challenge but we need “great challenges to do great things,” concluded Basta. Given the small size of Alligator, its probable resting place near the edge of the continental shelf, and the limitations of existing technology, finding it will certainly be a very great thing.

Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach, Deputy Commander, Submarine Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, gave an overview of submarine development during the civil war, comparing submarine technology at that time with some of the most recent technological advances in today’s submarine force. This was followed by a panel discussion on “Pushing the Envelope of Technology,” featuring retired Rear Admiral Brad Mooney (moderator), Tom Nutter (Special Programs Officer for Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet), Dwight Coleman (Director of Research for the Institute of Exploration), Lieutenant Commander Brian Lawrence (Salvage Engineer, Naval Sea Systems Command), Tom Jones, (Boeing Corporation), and Ivar Babb (Director, National Undersea Research Center). Members of the panel provided an overview of current undersea archaeological technology; the capabilities of deep sea salvage techniques; the promise of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for deep sea search, and a description of underwater mapping techniques.

Over the lunch break, conference attendees were invited to tour the Office of Naval Research 108-ft. “Afloat Lab” (YP-679), which was docked nearby. This is the vessel that was used for the most recent expedition in search of Alligator in August. Following lunch, producer David Clark previewed a few minutes of his forthcoming documentary on the Hunt for the Alligator, which will be aired in the fourth quarter of 2005 on Discovery Channel’s Science Channel series, “Secrets of the Deep.” The audience was then introduced to members of the Eakins family, descendants of Alligator’s last commander, who had come from as far away as California to take part. Samuel Eakins’ great, great-grandson Jeffrey Malone spoke on behalf of the family and described how, despite being told over the years that they must be wrong, they were happy to see fact catching up with family lore. They had known about Alligator for 140 years! In addition to Mr. Malone and his wife Charmaine, other descendants included May Eakins Tamarato (grand-daughter), her daughters Barbara Larson and Nancy Mason, and Bobby Havens (great-grandson).

Another panel discussion came next, this one discussing efforts to date and including NOAA’s Michiko Martin (moderator), Robert Neyland (Head of the Navy’s Underwater Archaeology Branch, Naval Historical Center), Mike Overfield (NOAA), Tim Runyan, Frank Cantelas, and Valerie Grussing (East Carolina University), Gary Ott (NOAA HAZMAT), and Odean Vanthul (Maritime Education Specialist, Nauticus) and Kate Thompson (Maritime Education Specialist, NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program).. Panel members described the August expedition from Ocracoke, North Carolina, its methods, and the information gleaned from that research, as well as new techniques for conserving artifacts. Discussion concluded with a description of last year’s “Explorers’ Club,” which was begun by Nauticus in cooperation with Crittenden High School in Newport News. The focus of the Club was on the search for Alligator; students spent after-school hours learning the history and science, and making field trips to modern submarines and to the coasts to run experiments. The Club is running again this year, and lesson plans are now available on the NOAA Alligator website.

The final panel presentation dealt with construction and deployment of Alligator, and was staffed by Captain Phil McGuin (moderator), Craig Bruns (Collections Manager, Independence Seaport Museum ), Tim Smalley (Boating Education Coordinator, State of Minnesota), David Merriman (D&E Miniatures), Commander Wayne Horn (Senior Undersea Medical Officer, Naval Submarine Medical Laboratory), and retired Senior Chief Electrician’s Mate (SS) Jim Christley (Historian and Artist). Bruns delivered a presentation on Philadelphia during the “Alligator era,” and Commander Horn delivered a detailed analysis of the potential of inventor DeVilleroi’s air scrubbing system­while the volume of air inside the vessel itself would have limited the endurance of the crew to about 35 minutes, the purifying mechanism might have been capable of extending dive time to several hours. Modelmakers Smalley and Merriman described their work in constructing the 1/7 and 1/12 scale recreations of “Alligator Junior” (the sub first evaluated by the Navy in 1861) and Alligator (the final version now somewhere off Cape Hatteras). Both versions will appear in Clark’s documentary and the Junior will be on display at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Smalley donated his creation to the museum at the conference and it will be on display in a permanent exhibition on DeVilleroi now under construction. David Merriman will be selling USS Alligator kits from his master.

Finally, Jim Christley left participants with a long list of research that still needs to be done.

Throughout the symposium, uniformed members of the Navy & Marine Living History Association engaged visitors and attendees with discussions of Alligator, of the life of the sailor, and of Confederate underwater warfare with displays of artifacts, equipment, and illustrations. Artists Joe Hinds and Jim Christley also displayed some of their artwork, which now includes Alligator. On Sunday, Oct 31, Merriman and Smalley conducted a seminar at Nauticus on the research into and building of the USS Alligator and Alligator Junior models.

NOAA Alligator Project Coordinator Catherin Marzin addresses the group assembled at the NAUTICUS marine museum in Norfold VA. Note the submarine models in the background.

Dave Merriman discusses Civil War era subs with a contemporarily uniformed member of the Navy & Marine Living History Association.

"The Four Amigos"
Tim Smalley, Jim Christley, Joe Hinds and Dave Merriman holding Joe Hinds' new print of the USS Alligator (below), now on sale. The four collaborated on the details of how the sub actually looked. Joe has many published prints of historic naval ships.

Catherine Marzin discusses Merriman's Alligator model

Edited By TMSmalley on 1100010794
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