NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Western Flyer
September 18 – 22, 2006
Mission: USS Macon Wreck Archeological Expedition
Geographical Area: California Coast
Date: September 18, 2006
Greetings from the sunny coast of California!
Today aboard ship we began to survey the wreck site of the USS MACON, a US Navy Dirigible and its Sparrowhawk airplanes. The MACON, a rigid airship referred to as a “flying aircraft carrier,” sunk off the coast near Big Sur, just south of Monterey, on February 12, 1935. The goal of the survey is to create a photo-mosaic image of the wreckage. To accomplish this we are using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) called the Tiburon. Much of today’s operations centered on getting the ROV into the water early with the camera at a 45-degree angle to capture as many images of the wreck area as possible. Plus it enabled the scientists and historians on boat to get a feeling for the condition of the wreckage. Altogether we found all four of the airplanes, each in a different state of decomposition, but some parts remarkably well preserved (we could make out part of a star painted on one wing). One of the things the scientists did was to make a GIS map of the wreck site.
The real work begins tomorrow when researches from Stanford University begin a two-day project to create the photo-mosaic of the area.