I’m currently reading The Tragic Fate of the U.S.S Indianapolis. It came out after the Navy released the documents about the disaster. They had previously been classified after the ship’s Commander – Charles Butler McVay III – was court marshaled. He later committed suicide.
It paints a very grim picture of the overall lack of responsiveness that caused the terrible deaths of so many sailors. It’s amazing how many people could have called attention to the fact that the ship was missing, but failed to act.
Little history lesson: The U.S.S. Indianapolis left San Francisco heading towards Guam with a very special package – the atomic bomb. After dropping it off, it was torpedoed in the Pacific Ocean Philippine Sea on July 30, 1945 by a Japanese submarine. The men who survived the explosion (about 300 went down with the ship) were sent into the water for four days! Most of them had nothing more than a life preserver that was designed to work for no more than two. Some were lucky enough to sit on the edge of a life raft, but since they didn’t have a bottom, the rafts didn’t offer enough protection to keep the sharks away. If you want to learn more, I recommend you read the book!
A good chunk of the Discovery Channel special, Shark Week: Ocean of Fear, is based on this story – I’m not gonna lie, I love Shark Week. Combine that with history, and I’m totally on board (pun intended). The part about the Indianapolis is called “The Worst Shark Attack Ever,” but in actuality most men who died (something like 900 men went into the water, and about 300 came out alive) in the water died from dehydration (or psychosis from dehydration).
Right now I’m also hooked on the History Channel (I go through stages). I started watching the “Ancient Alien’s” mini-series the other day. In the first second episode, “the Evidence,” they show the bird carving pictured below. It was buried in an Egyptian pharaoh’s tomb next to a sign that said “I want to fly.” In the late 1800’s it was unearthed, and had been in a museum until an Egyptologist saw it and noted that it looked very much like a modern day glider (I noticed this right away… brushing my shoulders off)!
So to test his theory that the Egyptians had knowledge of flight, and that this carving was the real deal, scientists built a large to scale model of this exact carving. The only addition they made was a tiny tail fin, which, if you look closely at the carving, there is a divot on the end that seems to indicate that there very well could have been a fin there at one point.
Anyways – Guess what? It flew! Craziness. I don’t necessarily think that’s evidence that aliens had visited the planet during that time, but it’s still a pretty cool discovery. Too bad I fell asleep shortly after that part –I really want to see the rest of “The Evidence!”