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Wreck of Australian Warship HMAS Sydney Found?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the frieght-and-salvage dept.

Space 193

Mendy writes "Tim Ankers, a British archaeologist, claims to have found the wreck of the HMAS Sydney, lost with all hands in the Indian Ocean during World War II. He says that he's done this from the comfort of his home using software he wrote called Merlindown, which can analyze satellite photographs at different wavelengths to 'peer 75 meters into the earth and 16,000 meters beneath the seas.'"

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193 comments

Sweet! (5, Funny)

pmdata (861264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368211)

*Fires up Google Earth to search for treasure and naked women in the shower*

Sunken Warships on Google Earth (4, Informative)

Geodesy99 (1002847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368715)

His claims of course are WAY suspect - light of whatever wavelength needs to get to the target, then reflect BACK to the sensor, and well, the reason water is blue is that it's pretty much impervious to most wavelengths, and as far as IR, that wreck that deep would probably have cooled down really well by now to the ambient water temperature. I have seen sunken wrecks from satellite images though ... Scapa Flow has quite a few scuttled wrecks from WW II. See http://www.scapaflow.co.uk/graphics/blockship.jpg [scapaflow.co.uk] and then http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=58.927777,- 3.310318&spn=0.059626,0.126343&t=k&z=13&om=1 [google.com] (.... Hmmm, been spending WAY to much time looking at synthetic aperture radar scenes .... )

Re:Sunken Warships on Google Earth (2, Insightful)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368861)

You are basing your assumption on Goggle image quality, not what is available if you PAY up for quality data.

Re:Sunken Warships on Google Earth (5, Informative)

Geodesy99 (1002847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369045)

.... what is available if you PAY up for quality data.
Light (and all radiation) obeys the same rules of physics along the optical path, it doesn't care how much you 'pay' for it. The example I gave was Google (and they DO pay for their data, although they post it for free), but I do buy a lot of data ( I just purchased a bunch from the Alaska SAR Facility). I've worked with almost every type of sensor out there in most every atmospheric propagating wavelength - SAR, LIDAR, IR, NIR, Visible, from Landsat, Aster, Alos, Quickbird, from airborne and space located platforms. I even bout the X-ray glasses from comic books ads when I was a kid http://www.tomheroes.com/images/COMICAD%20xray%20g lasses.JPG [tomheroes.com] ... And military platforms also have to obey the same physical constraints, although they do have certain other advantages. There is no 'magic' part of the spectrum which penetrates to the depths he speaks of, the best that's every been done in that zone were some air-borne active blue-green laser experiments.

Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368221)


Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy?

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368351)

Well they used to, until an unfortunate incident during the second world war.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (5, Interesting)

Gorshkov (932507) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368389)

The aussies had one hellova good navy - and also a good army & air force, too. But americans tend not to be aware of it, because a certain egomanicial general by the name of McArthur had this nasty tendency to ignore allies and claim that everything was done by the Americans.

Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy?
Do you really think it was the American forces that kept the japs from taking Port Morrisby and the Northern Territories? Try the Australian & British navies, who were out there fighting and doing their best to slow the Japanese down while you were recovering from Perl harbor. And just in case you think this a matter of me being a rampant Aussie nationalist ..... I'm a Canuck.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368401)


schmuck: "I'm a Canuck"

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahhaha, not even good enough to be a US state. When Arkansas can kick your ass you have a lot to lie about.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

Gorshkov (932507) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368441)

You tried that in 1812, and it didn't work.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368525)

Nowadays we don't need to capture your territory for you and the Brits to kowtow to us. Hell, what little military you have is fighting *for* us. Why would we want to screw that up?

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

Gorshkov (932507) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368557)

Nowadays we don't need to capture your territory for you and the Brits to kowtow to us. Hell, what little military you have is fighting *for* us. Why would we want to screw that up?
And just where, pray tell, are we fighting for the Americans?

The only combat the Canadian Forces are involved in right now is Afghanistan ... which is a NATO mission. And we're fighting there for the Afghanis, not for Americans.

If you're going to troll, please at least try to come up with something that's *reasonably* close to accurate, so you have a better chance of getting a rise out of somebody?

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

freyyr890 (1019088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368851)

Nowadays we don't need to capture your territory for you and the Brits to kowtow to us. Hell, what little military you have is fighting *for* us. Why would we want to screw that up?

Interesting. You switch tactics once he brings up a valid point about the War of 1812.

And I doubt the American forces have enough firepower to *hold* Canada. Our country is massive, and we still have all your oil. Couple of charges on that pipeline, and - boom! - no more fuel for your tanks.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368957)

Since 90% of your population is within 100 miles of the border, I don't think it will be a problem bringing your craphole of a country to its knees.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (-1, Troll)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368961)

1. In 1812 America was 36 years old. Need I say more?<br>
2. We have 700,000,000 barrels of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It's called <i>Strategic</i> for a reason. <br>
3. We don't need to <b>hold</b> your massive country. <b>Every One</b> of your major cities is within 200 miles of the US border, with the exception of Edmonton which is only 150 miles further north. Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver are practically a stones-throw from the United States.
4. You don't have very many people, really. There are ten times more Americans on this continent than Canadians.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1, Flamebait)

MikShapi (681808) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369317)

You may have gotten the strategic oil bit sorted out, and you're slowly coming to terms with history, but this whole "using HTML" thing looks like it's getting the better of you. Maybe you shouldn't be trying so hard.

Plus, there may be ten times more Americans than Canadians as you say, but looking at your mentality, looking at your ignorance-promoting culture, looking at your president, looking at your policies and hell, looking at you, population numbers aside, the overall amount of brain cells seems to be about the same on either side of your Canadian border.....

Mate, pull your head out of yer arse. Who the FUCK (bar 3rd world refugees) would WANT to be an American? Why do you think people in other countries strive to be there? Gimme a break. The best advantage Australia has over Canada is the fact that America is much further away from you dumb-ass Americans.

Done. Mod me to hell, American Fanboys. My karma can take it.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

MikShapi (681808) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369331)

's/the fact that America is much further away from you dumb-ass Americans/the fact that Australia is much further away from you dumb-ass Americans/'

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369721)

"Plus, there may be ten times more Americans than Canadians as you say, but looking at your mentality, looking at your ignorance-promoting culture, looking at your president, looking at your policies and hell, looking at you, population numbers aside, the overall amount of brain cells seems to be about the same on either side of your Canadian border....." ... said the guy generalizing about 300 million people.

"Done. Mod me to hell, American Fanboys. My karma can take it."

Be thankful that I don't do as you do and count your asshattedness against everyone in Australia.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368627)

No see, what happened there is we tried to send in the Kentucky folks. And they got crushed. He's saying that Alabamans could take you. That's something else. And besides I blame Napoleon for that loss anyhow. We were suppose to beat up the Dominion (Canada) with our navy, but Napoleon lost out and started to suck so all the Brits were there and we were in a lot more trouble.

We lost a war to the Dominion which was part of the British empire. Canada came long after...

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368929)

Canny Canuck trying to start fights between Aussies and Yanks.

Bad Canuck! No cookie.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

bornbitter (813458) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368467)

interestingly enough, if it is egotism, the veterans in OZ perpetuate it. When I was down under for two years, all the old diggers could say to me was "if it weren't for you yanks, we would be speaking Japanese. You came when England abandoned us, just in time."

Fact of the matter is, the US was the driving force behind keeping the UK, USSR, AUS, and anyone else against Hitler and the Japanese in the war. They would have all lost to Hitler very quickly if the US had not shipped all the guns, ammo, food, clothing, aircraft, tanks, trucks, etc... for them to fight with, long before Pearl Harbor or the Pacific Theater.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

Gorshkov (932507) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368511)

interestingly enough, if it is egotism, the veterans in OZ perpetuate it. When I was down under for two years, all the old diggers could say to me was "if it weren't for you yanks, we would be speaking Japanese. You came when England abandoned us, just in time."
What they said doesn't contradict what I said. I never said the Aussies & Brits did everything themselves - they didn't, not by a long shot.

Fact of the matter is, the US was the driving force behind keeping the UK, USSR, AUS, and anyone else against Hitler and the Japanese in the war. They would have all lost to Hitler very quickly if the US had not shipped all the guns, ammo, food, clothing, aircraft, tanks, trucks, etc... for them to fight with, long before Pearl Harbor or the Pacific Theater.
Again, that's not the point I was arguing, and as a matter of fact I agree with you.

Did the Aussies have a navy? Yes - and they had a damned good one, too. And let's not forget the contributions made by the Aussie coastwatchers during the entire Pacific campaign. If not for them and the intelligence they supplied before and during the Island-hopping campaign, most of the American island landings would have been MUCH more costly than they already were. And you could certainly make a strong argument that without those intelligence assets, the campaign costs, in both men and materiel, could have been prohibitive.

Did the American navy make a difference? HELL, yes. They did the vast majority of the work - there's no argument there from anybody sane, as far as I know.

MY point was that even though the American military did most of the work, the contributions from the Australian forces was a long way from being negligible.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

kklein (900361) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368539)

Um, yeah. I work with a lot of Aussies and one of the things we teach (here in Japan) is WWII history, since it's mostly stricken from the Japanese education system. They all seem teach that the Americans pushed the Japanese back after the Brits abandoned them.

On a related note, I also work with a fair number of Canadians, and most of them never met a piece of erroneous US-bashing misinformation they didn't like. Even things demonstrably false. I can never really figure this out because, I mean, and I say this as an American, it's not like you need to make things up to bash the US. We've done enough real stuff to complain about without resorting to fabrication. I suspect the problem is that the majority of crappy things we've done has also done a lot to help our neighbors to the north, so they don't really like to mention them.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

Gorshkov (932507) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368597)

I *think* that this is directed at me, but I'm not sure - if I'm wrong, apologies in advance.

On a related note, I also work with a fair number of Canadians, and most of them never met a piece of erroneous US-bashing misinformation they didn't like. Even things demonstrably false. I can never really figure this out because, I mean, and I say this as an American, it's not like you need to make things up to bash the US. We've done enough real stuff to complain about without resorting to fabrication. I suspect the problem is that the majority of crappy things we've done has also done a lot to help our neighbors to the north, so they don't really like to mention them.
Nowhere, in any of my posts, did I bash Americans - I criticized one particular General.

I pointed out contributions that Aussies & Brits DID make, and as you can see in subsequent posts I made in this thread, you'll see that I freely acknowledge that the Americans did most of the heavy lifting.

Criticising the proclivities on one American general doesn't constitute anti-americanism, any more than critiquing Churchill for Gallipoli or Lord Mountbatten for Dieppe means I'm anti-english.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368563)

Meanwhile, the Canucks were busy playing hockey and taming rabid beavers eh.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368941)

Canadians were in WWII... Scotty lost a finger!

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369359)

Fact of the matter is, the US was the driving force behind keeping the UK, USSR, AUS, and anyone else against Hitler and the Japanese in the war. They would have all lost to Hitler very quickly if the US had not shipped all the guns, ammo, food, clothing, aircraft, tanks, trucks, etc... for them to fight with, long before Pearl Harbor or the Pacific Theater.

Oh really? The US was supplying the USSR, a superpower, with packed lunches and American tanks to help them fight hitler on russian soil? News to me. Time to ask your high school history teacher for your money back.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369493)

That was never the argument. Following Pearl Harbor, the American armed forces did a lot of the work across the rest of the world purely because the British forces had to focus on western Europe to avoid being spread too thinly.

Fact of the matter is, the UK, USSR, AUS, an everyone else were the primary force against Hitler and the Japanese in the beginning of the war. All of Europe would have fallen to Hitler very quickly, and with the economic mass of the continent (Not something to be underestimated) the US would likely have been screwed before they could get their war machine into gear.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (3, Informative)

missileman (1101691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368603)

There is a lot of ill feeling in Australia (from veterans and their familes) against McArthur. I believe most of those come from his perceived mismanagement of the Australian forces under his command, like the invasion of Balikpapan. "Balikpapan was one of the most controversial Australian operations of the Second World War. By this point it was clear that the Australian operations in Borneo were not contributing anything to the final defeat of Japan and many high-ranking Australian officers considered them strategically unsound. The Australian Commander-in-Chief, General Sir Thomas Blamey, advised the government to withdraw its support for Oboe 2. The government, however, stood behind the Commander-in-Chief of the South-west Pacific Area, General Douglas MacArthur, who had devised the Oboe operations, and the Balikpapan landings went ahead. They resulted in the deaths of 229 Australians and around 1,800 Japanese." From AWM website : http://www.awm.gov.au/units/place_1913.asp [awm.gov.au] My grandfather fought at, and was wounded at Balikpapan. That being said, there is no doubt that the industrial and military might of the United States saved Australia from invasion, however it should also be noted that Australian forces inflicted upon the Japanese the first decisive LAND battle defeat of the war, on the Kokoda track in the Owen Stanley ranges in New Guinea, at a time when Australia was under direct threat of invasion. To the parent, please note that previous to this, the sea-bourne threat the Port Moresby was ended due to the US victory in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

I'm a Canuck: and it shows (3, Informative)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368625)

Port Morrisby and the Northern Territories

not picking on you for being from Canadia :) , but you mean Port Moresby [wikipedia.org] and the Northern Territory [wikipedia.org] .

Besides, the West Papuans [wikipedia.org] had helped us Aussies a great deal in defending the norther frontier from the Japs. The Australian government has recently and shamefully turned their backs and allowed the West Papuans to suffer terrible human rights abuses [survivalfrance.org] at the hands of the Indonesian dictatorship.

Re:I'm a Canuck: and it shows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369375)

Now that creationism is taught in schools, is geocentrism next?
"He has fixed the earth firm, immovable" (1Chr16:30)


The hebrew translated as "immovable" also means "not be out of course", "not waver" or "not removed" among other possible translations.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (3, Informative)

hey hey hey (659173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368679)

Do you really think it was the American forces that kept the japs from taking Port Morrisby and the Northern Territories?

To take nothing at all away from the exceptional job done by the Royal Australian Navy, the defense of Port MorEsby is generally placed at the feet of the Battle of the Coral Sea, which was a combined operation between the US Navy (2 carriers, 6 cruisers, 13 destroyers), and the RAN (2 cruisers).

Still subjects of the Queen (0, Troll)

scooter.higher (874622) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368689)

The Queen is still Head of State (or Monarch if you prefer) for Australia and Canada. So no, Australia doesn't have a navy so much as the Queen has naval forces in Australia. Why do you think the names of all the ships begin with "HM"?

In the World Factbook, scroll down to "Executive branch" on these pages:
Australia [yahoo.com]
Canada [yahoo.com]

The same information could easily be found in other places, pick your source of preference.

Of course you could argue that Canada gained it's independence in 1982, but the fact remains that it is still a Commonwealth Realm.

There. All of that and not one reference to Homer Simpson's comment about "America junior."

Derived from Carlin's "Europe Junior", c.1975 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369263)

George Carlin, R.I.P.

Funny while he lasted.

EJ in reference to (US of) America.

Australian military was in Europe ... (4, Interesting)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368717)

But americans tend not to be aware of it, because a certain egomanicial general by the name of McArthur had this nasty tendency to ignore allies and claim that everything was done by the Americans.

Australia had, and still has, excellent soldiers. Mac Arthur was an egomaniac and no one other than Mac Arthur got credit for anything, regardless of whether they were American or Australian. However things are not as simple as you suggest. Australia had many of its forces in Europe trying to save England. Recall that the war had started in Europe years earlier than in the Pacific and England was just barely hanging on and absolutely needed Canadian, Australian, South African, etc forces. When Mac Arthur was ordered/tricked to leave the Philippines he was expecting to mount a counterattack to rescue the American forces left behind. When he arrived in Australia he found no counterattack/rescue force, not even enough of a force to defend Australia should Japan attempt a major invasion. The Australian generals were planning to trade most of the country for time and only defend the south eastern (?) quarter, to be fair that was where most of the population and development was located.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (2, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368761)

But Americans tend not to be aware of it, because a certain egomanicial general by the name of McArthur had this nasty tendency to ignore allies and claim that everything was done by the Americans.

Actually, MacArthur had some justification for the claim.

Roosevelt and Churchill had tried to force the 6th and 7th Australian Divisions to remain in Burma, effectively abandoning New Guinea and Northern Australia to the Japanese. The Prime Minister of Australia at the time, John Curtin, made the decision to recall the troops despite intense pressure from the other allied leaders. At the same time, MacArthur needed Australia as a supply and staging post, so the agreement was made that the Australian troops would be returned to defend their country, but commanded by MacArthur. So in that sense, they were part of the American military effort rather than acting as an independent force.

It's worth emphasising though, both America and Britain initially wanted to abandon Australia, and allow us to be occupied by Japan. If it wasn't for Curtin's leveraging of those two divisions, it'd likely have happened

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1, Informative)

CaptainAvatar (113689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368829)

It's worth emphasising though, both America and Britain initially wanted to abandon Australia, and allow us to be occupied by Japan. If it wasn't for Curtin's leveraging of those two divisions, it'd likely have happened
Hardly. Japan never had any intention of invading Australia: no plans for such were ever made, other than occasional speculations by junior officers. More importantly, it didn't have the logistical capability to sustain such a huge operation over such vast distances.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (2, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369519)

Japan never had any intention of invading Australia: no plans for such were ever made

The Japanese navy was responsible for planning an invasion of Australia. In February 1942, Admiral Yamamoto had set a plan before Japanese General Staff to land two Divisions on the northern coastline of Australia. They would then follow the north-south railway line to Adelaide, thus dividing Australia into two fronts. The plan was opposed by the Japanese army, and was not approved by Emperor Hirohito.

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369683)

Its a shame really, would be so much easier to get anime and manga in Aus then ^_^

Re:Whhhaaaaa? Aussies had a Navy? (1)

CaptainAvatar (113689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369771)

OK, I'll take that back: I should have said "no realistic plans". Two divisions for the whole of Australia is hardly credible. There was no railway line to Adelaide in 1942, unless they parachuted in at Alice Springs -- the line to Darwin was only completed a few years ago. And imagine the attrition rate marching through the desert for a couple of months! It's nearly 3000km; there'd be nothing left by the time they got to Adelaide, even if they'd met no resistance. It's a ridiculous plan.

This site [bigpond.com] (which supports the idea of a Japanese invasion plan) has a slightly different story: Nagano instead of Yamamoto, 3 divisions instead of 2, limited objectives (occupation of Darwin and the north, no drive south). That seems more plausible but it also wouldn't lead to the conquest of Australia. But that site does a lot of reading between the lines, it seems to me; there was a lot of competition between the Japanese Army and the Navy and some of it was just political, ambit claims, not realistic planning.

Anyway, my larger point remains: at no time was an invasion of Australia ever a concrete Japanese plan (in the sense of something which at some point in time was intended to be carried out, rather than just a vague proposal), and they never had enough resources for the job. Yes, Australians stopped the Japanese at Kokoda; but they didn't stop the invasion of Australia, because that was never going to happen. (Or rather, if it did, it would quickly have become a disaster for the Japanese, and conversely a major victory for the Allies.)

Tim - need your services (4, Funny)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368223)

Big deal - a ship is rather large. Can you find my keys?

Uh, it is a big deal. A very big deal... (4, Interesting)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368323)

Uh, if this is true then it is a big dea. A very big deal.

Do you have any idea of how valuable salvage rights of all the sunken wrecks that this tool could potentially uncover would be? No? Well, here's a clue:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/667197 5.stm [bbc.co.uk]

That's one wreck. Worth half a billion dollars. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Re:Uh, it is a big deal. A very big deal... (4, Insightful)

prof_peabody (741865) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368471)

The deepest part of the ocean is 10,900 m. So where is he seeing through 16,000 m of ocean?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariana_Trench [wikipedia.org]

Re:Uh, it is a big deal. A very big deal... (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368725)

That's one wreck. Worth half a billion dollars. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Makes me think it's time to short the value of gold and silver.

Re:Uh, it is a big deal. A very big deal... (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368867)

Salvage rights yes but when it involves artefacts of historical value doesn't the governments grab them for obvious reasons?

Re:Uh, it is a big deal. A very big deal... (2, Insightful)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369309)

If its obvious then you can bet the government doesn't do it.

Re:Tim - need your services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368455)

Can it see through my neighbors shirt?

Too good to be true I think (2, Interesting)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368227)

I'd be interested in knowing how his algorithm works. Finding sunken vessels 2 miles under water using existing satellite photos of the ocean(even if they are "optimum-quality") seems almost too good to be true. Not only that but to supposedly be able to make out gun turets of those ships? Seems like a bit of hocus pocus.

Perhaps he is going public with this in hopes that someone will want to purchase the software for treasure hunting.

Re:Too good to be true I think (2, Funny)

cmeans (81143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368265)

Actually, sounds more like hocus focus :)

Re:Too good to be true I think (2, Funny)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368553)

hocus pocus by focus....

Re:Too good to be true I think (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368293)

You're not alone. Apparently this story came out last week and Akers' claims already rejected by those searching for the ship.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/hmas-sydney-fi nd-nonsense/2007/06/03/1180809320635.html [smh.com.au]

FTA -
But Ted Graham, the chairman of the Perth-based volunteer company HMAS Sydney Search (HMA3S), says finding the shipwreck using the methods Mr Akers said he employed was impossible.

"All the advice we're getting is saying Tim's claims are technically not possible," Mr Graham told AAP.

"We've spoken to a whole lot of people and got advice from various people including technical people in government departments and they have all stated that what Tim's claiming is complete rubbish.

"I think it's just complete nonsense."

Re:Too good to be true I think (1)

Doctor High (36371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368621)

Glad to hear that someone's already debunking this. Personally, I rather hope that the guy's claims are true because it would usher in a remarkable new era of archaeology, revealing vast amounts of information about the history of humans and animals and maybe evolution by allowing us to more easily find remains that might otherwise elude us for centuries.

However, I too find the claims of the technology to be highly suspect. I might be that such revealing data might be gathered by military satellites, but if such information were available from civilian-use satellites, then I think we would have more about it before now. I just don't believe that governments would want civilians to have access to satellite data which would likely compromise submarine movements and other such secrets.

"Light passes through matter" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369037)

Not "some light goes through some matter"; not "certain frequencies penetrate well through water for a certain distance" but "light passes through matter". Trust me; Superman is going to be coming after this guy with a patent claim on his X-ray vision invention.

Reliability of sources (2, Interesting)

Gnavpot (708731) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369711)

You're not alone. Apparently this story came out last week and Akers' claims already rejected by those searching for the ship.

While I agree that this story sounds like nonsense, you have probably found the most unreliable source for a rejection: A competitor who is receiving public funds to achieve the same goal.

Ground based sonar (4, Interesting)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368295)

My brother in law was an archeologist who utilized ground based sonar devices to look for Native American ruins. The resolution on the unit he was using was something like 10 meters below the ground, and required a very slow transit time and a good deal of energy.

Yes, tech progresses, but 75 m from outer space using only UV, Xray, and Infra photography? I am very skeptical.

On another note... if this new process is true then construction will have to pretty much halt in many areas of Southern California. There are stringent rules in place governing building on areas that contain either significant fossil remains or any sort of Native American relics. Several hundred million USD per year is spent on archeological surveys to determine what may be beneath a construction site. Various companies have reputations for finding little if anything, and so environmental groups sometimes employ other companies that usually find a good deal of things that will prevent construction.

Decently resolved pictures up to 75 m below the surface will prove what some archeos in the field already believe to be true... under current laws it should be almost impossible to build anywhere in the greater L.A. area because of the shear volume of fossil record.

They pulled two gigantic whales out of a toll road excavation in the middle of the desert... etc.

Regards.

Re:Ground based sonar (1)

prof_peabody (741865) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368477)

ground based sonar?

Re:Ground based sonar (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368721)

Yeah. There are various more technical names as there are various types of technology.

The unit he used had a stationary computational unit with a tethered box that contained the sonic pulse generator/echo reciever.

The tethered unit would traverse the survey area, direct the sonar pulses into the ground, recieve the echo, and then relay data back. The tether was required because large amounts of juice had to be delivered, so they ran the data and the juice (two seperate, heavily shielded lines) through the tether.

Different types of soil composition provided wildly different resolutions. The resulting maps could be presented in various ways, some showing sub-surface topo-type info with others displaying various densities etc... all very cool, and extremely time consuming.

Regards.

Re:Ground based sonar (2, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368567)

Another reason to be skeptical: UV and X-ray don't penetrate the atmosphere, never mind the ground or ocean. IR penetrates less than visible light -- ie, not very far.

Re:Ground based sonar (1, Informative)

blincoln (592401) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368683)

Another reason to be skeptical: UV and X-ray don't penetrate the atmosphere, never mind the ground or ocean.

X-rays and short-wave UV don't. Longer-wave UV does.

IR penetrates less than visible light -- ie, not very far.

Near IR penetrates the atmosphere better and with less scattering than visible light. What you say is true for *some* of the IR band, but it's also got a lot of room in it.

Re:Ground based sonar (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368783)

I don't remember my original post, but I meant that IR penetrates water (and solid ground) less than visible light.

Long wave UV kind of penetrates atmosphere, but it sure doesn't penetrate either 16,000 metres (if that were even possible) of water or 75m of ground.

The only thing that has any chance of penetrating a decent amount of water is extremely low frequency (ELF) radio and there's no way you're going to image anything with that. If any other part of the EM spectrum could make it through an appreciable amount of water submarines would use it to communicate at depth.

I missed it in the article... (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368239)

When will this be available as a layer in Google Earth?

Diving trip anyone? (1)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368273)

OK, let's fire up a robot and check his work...

Comfort of my own home (5, Funny)

lowid (24) _________ (878977) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368307)

What if you have an uncomfortable home?

Nobody ever considers this end of things.

16,000 meters beneath the sea? (3, Interesting)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368329)

If true, this guy just obsoleted the submarine. But by the same token, I don't think we'd be hearing about it if it were true. Any number of security agencies would have pounced on him by now.

Re:16,000 meters beneath the sea? (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368601)

How long do you think the submarine has been obsolete? They have been using this technology for years for intelligence. It is just not a well known fact.

Re:16,000 meters beneath the sea? (1)

Devistater (593822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369737)

Nope, think about it. All the satellite pics are taken at differant times, and some pics on places like google earth are years old. If you had a pic from a satellite 2 years ago, and one 1 year ago, you couldn't tell the location of any subs 1 or 2 years ago because you need the combination of photos. Subs dont hang around without moving for years at a time. They patrol.
If its actually true that this technology works, it would work because of differances in pics compared to static features like a shipwreck.

Official Secrets Act vs HMAS Sydney (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368333)

If this were true... (1)

Dwarfgoat (472356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368353)

75 meters under the ground? 16,000 meters under water? There are going to be some very unhappy governments if that were the case. I call shenanigans!

16000meters is a bit off (5, Insightful)

hedley (8715) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368357)


Mariana trench is only about 10900 meters. Whats he imaging at 16000? Sounds a bit crusty to me.

H.

Re:16000meters is a bit off (1)

pookemon (909195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368729)

"Whats he imaging at 16000? Sounds a bit crusty to me."

I was going to say "MUD" - but your (apparently missed) joke is better.

Anyhoo - My first thought was "The ocean isn't that deep, is it?"

I found this on Google [hypertextbook.com]

Did he say 16,000? (1)

lullabud (679893) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368907)

He probably left out a decimal point or some other mundane detail.

Re:16000meters is a bit off (2, Insightful)

mce (509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369755)

The 16000 meters claim does not say that he did that, it only says that the software can. Like in: "This is the physics involved, this is what we can get on terms of picture quality, and based on all that the maximum we can do would be 16000. And it turns out we're lucky that the ocean ain't that deep anywhere."

Having said that, I still don't believe it.

Yuo fai7 1t?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368367)

product, BSD's First organization others what To non nigger patrons demise. You don't Jesus Up The Towels on the floor a child knows

Re:Yuo fai7 1t?! (1)

Cheezymadman (1083175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368473)

Gesundheit?

i call bullshit (3, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368371)

"analyze satellite photographs at different wavelengths"

he's popped this in to sound clever, but the reality all he could have done is take exisiting data the same as whats on google earth and examined the colour gradients in an attempt to identify shapes which could possibly be a sunken ship. problem is the resolution on those photo's is WAY too low to identify a ship let alone confidently proclaim to know WHICH ship it is.

in other words he's an attention seeking moron. i'll take that back when he goes there's a brings back some proof. i'm confident he won't

Perth company HMAS Sydney Search 2nds that (2, Informative)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368587)

Re:i call bullshit (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368595)

The other problem is that UV and x-ray don't penetrate the atmosphere and IR is mostly absorbed in the first few centimetres of water (not to mention ground).

Even visible, which is what you'd use for examining "colour gradients" in Google Earth won't show you anything unless your ship happens to be sitting in shallow water, in which case someone would have tripped over it (almost literally) long ago.

Re:i call bullshit (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368751)

exactly, from a photo all you would get in deep water is one solid mass of one colour. me thinks this asshole is just attempting to sell this snake oil to someone.

Re:i call bullshit (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368811)

Nah, you'd get lots of blue but if your resolution was high enough you might see some white(caps) and maybe some floating seaweed. Perhaps a spouting whale if you were lucky. You know, stuff on the surface or perhaps shadows of things up to 10m or so deep.

I think the Times got trolled.

Re:i call bullshit (1)

aldo (8801) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369653)

What is it with Slashdot and pseudo-scientific stories lately? I know Slashdot editors can't spell, I know they can't keep track of how many times they post a story, but I surely hoped they'd have the basic scientific literacy needed to spot this as purest bullshit....

but water is opaque (3, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368387)

in IR, UV and X-ray frequencies ... so what radiation is he seeing from 3km under the water? (not to speak of 75m into the earth). Theory is nice and fine, but until it is verified by experiment I'd take it with a grain of salt.

Re:but water is opaque (1)

RattFink (93631) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368633)

Not sure if this is what he is talking about or how it performs in water but it sounds like Synthetic-Aperture Radar.

Re:but water is opaque (2, Interesting)

de_valentin (934164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369075)

Exactly, A year ago I had a lecture by a professor of the Delft university in Radar interferometry, they are at the absolute forefront in these kind of things. One of the things that impressed me the most was that they were able to see a few meters into the desert sand (because it was loosely packed), this gave them images of ancient caravan routes. Water on the other hand is reflecting radar very well and therefor making it impossible to see under water. So yeah i would say this definitely is a hoax. And not as good as this one http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6714063.s tm [bbc.co.uk] (bbc)

If an "amateur" can do this ... (2, Interesting)

constantnormal (512494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368409)

... with imagery that is publicly obtainable, then it is almost a certainty that with the more detailed imagery at various specific wavelengths available from spy satellites, real-time tracking of submarines -- as well as monitoring of various subterranean activities should have been possible for years. In particular, we should have been able to determine where Saddam's supposed hidden facilities were -- or that they were nonexistent -- and we should also be able to determine with a high degree of accuracy, the exact location of the Iranian nuclear weapons production facilities.

Unless, of course, a British archeologist has outdone the entire technical expertise of the NSA and CIA. But that would make them look pretty much like bumbling civil servants rather than the sleuthing savants that we are led to believe they are.

Re:If an "amateur" can do this ... (1)

cammoblammo (774120) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368447)

Unless, of course, a British archeologist has outdone the entire technical expertise of the NSA and CIA. But that would make them look pretty much like bumbling civil servants rather than the sleuthing savants that we are led to believe they are.

So... you believe him then?

Re:If an "amateur" can do this ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369313)

In particular, we should have been able to determine where Saddam's supposed hidden facilities were -- or that they were nonexistent -- and we should also be able to determine with a high degree of accuracy, the exact location of the Iranian nuclear weapons production facilities.


We can. We did. Delta force and SAS agents made camp fires on the roofs of the factories for months. We've got web cams inside the iranian one right now. What's your point? It looks like you are confusing the existance of such facilities with politics of disclosure.

UFO Bases! (1)

xENoLocO (773565) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368417)

Let's get it on with the underwater UFO bases already!! ... they *are* there, right?

Re:UFO Bases! (1)

gkndivebum (664421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369729)

Some of the Dolphin Huggers(tm) (http://www.joanocean.com/ [joanocean.com] http://www.etfriends.com/ [etfriends.com] )
out here in Hawaii believe so; they won't tell me where they are, though (and I'm a trimix diver!)

LOLOL (1, Funny)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368429)

Whale, I don't know whether or knot his clams of being able to sea that deep will hold water, but he's certainly making waves in his scientific turf, or is that surf, anyway.

Noah's Ark Found! (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368445)

This is obviously a hoax. The sea isn't even that deep in its deepest spots and there is no way that usable light will get down there and back up again and still yield a remotely usable image through all the turbulence and suspended muck.

Noah's Ark Found! Noah's Ark!

LOL Mariana (1)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368577)

Please, half of these comments are "16km lol, deepest point is only 11km deep". How the hell is a theoretical limit ridiculously high when it is higher than the naturally observed limit ?

[sigh] Time to add another layer (2, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368607)

of foil to the hat.

All Nuclear Submarines Located (2, Insightful)

Pizaz (594643) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368705)

Then supposedly a more real time version of this software using up to date satellite feeds could detect all of the submarines "hiding" in the oceans? Hoax?

hard to believe.. (5, Interesting)

MisterQ (60710) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369003)

Having Scuba Dived regular on 100-150 ft deep wrecks, I too find this a little hard to believe. Even at that depth the amount of light getting through, the colour of the "wreck" and so on, would suggest that this is unlikely, even more so at greater depths. And that was in the pristine waters of PNG.

We found that the best mechanisms for finding as yet unfound wrecks were plain old research. We requested and got a copy of the microfilms of the WW2 records for the area from the US Archives. Slowly and meticulously (reading Microfilm projected onto the fridge door), following each report, we ultimately ended up finding around half a dozen new wrecks. The report of a Corsair that clipped a tree, while trying to line up for the airstrip, and spun into the bay, prompted a search for a tree stump, and and following a logical path to the airstrip, a probably location - sure enough a deep dive (180 ft - lots of decompression) found it. Biggest coup was the talk of an abandoned airstrip on a remote island in the Solomon Islands. Sure enough, worked out roughly where, found a single like reference to the "local name" for it, and sure enough, found three WWII fighters still sitting at the end of a punched metal runway, as if waiting for orders...

As someone said, an archaeologist developing software that the spooks, and/or mining types haven't been able to. That's a bit far fetched.

I would suggest "text scans" of historical documents may be more useful.

q

Re:hard to believe.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369387)

As someone said, an archaeologist developing software that the spooks, and/or mining types haven't been able to. That's a bit far fetched.

The raw data obtained by scanning the sea bed for oil is processed by beowulf clusters with 10,000 CPUs or more. It's annoyingly CPU intensive.

solution (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369247)

A satellite with a hugely powerful microwave or broad-spectrum radar would do the trick I guess. Riches will be mine and the company I founded for distributing cooked fish will take over the global market.

A favourite trick of conmen (2, Interesting)

tezza (539307) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369361)

I worked on an internet startup with a guy who turned out to be a conman. The startup tanked when the conman ran away with the investors' cash.

One of his other favourite cons was the Deep Sea Gold..... While running the startup-con, he was also trying to start this con on the same investors.

He would claim to have intimate knowledge of an ancient wreck somewhere. There was the lure of lots of gold. All that the investors needed to do was stump up some cash to hire dive-boats and a little sundry, and they would get all the gold retrieved.

This guy had fake Lordships [where you buy a tiny plot of land in Britain and get the title] and fake ids. But in essence the fact that the wreck was out to sea and the investors didn't have an independent source of verification made the con a good one. The investors put in lots of cash, some deep sea divers were hired, but the fictitious wreck remained undiscovered long enough for the conman to drain all the cash from the investors. Then the conman disappeared back to whatever country he had never fled to before. No cash, now wreck, no gold, no money.

So now I'm always wary of deep sea discoveries... Special software to spot wrecks from the comfort of Google Maps and your couch??? The conmen will have a field-day if people start to believe this. Not saying this guy is wrong, but how soon until other people leech his achievements?

Re:A favourite trick of conmen (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369731)

So, uh, the investors paid a "small sum" of money to retrieve a large sum of money, sounds like...

Hello Dear,
This mail might come to you as a surprise and the temptation to ignore it as unserious could come into your mind but please consider it a divine wish and accept it with a deep sense of humility.

I am Mr. Gerald Zongo, the manager in charge of Auditing department of Bank of Africa (B.O.A) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso in West Africa , with due respect and Regard; I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction.

During our investigation and auditing in this Bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to one of our deceased customer who died on Feb 29th 2002 of a ghastly motor accident and the fund has been dormant in his account with this bank without any claim of the fund in our Custody either from his family or relation before our discovery to this
development. Although personally,

I keep this information secret to enable the whole plans and idea be Profitable and successful during the time of execution, the said amount is Twelve million four hundred thousand United States dollars(US$12.4m), as it may interest you to know, I contacted you to be my partner and person to be reliable and capable to champion a business of such magnitude without any
problem.

Meanwhile all the arrangement to put claim over this fund as the next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in Place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit your self to this great business opportunity,
In fact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant and we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise eye brow on my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank.

I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free, on smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 30% of the total sum as gratification, while 5% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer, while 65% will be for
me, please you have been advised to keep "Top Secret" as I am still in service and intend to retire from service after we conclude this deal with you.

I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank Until you confirm the money in your account, and ask us to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further Investment, either in your country or any country you advice us to invest in and all other necessary vital information will be send to you
when I hear from you.

I suggest you get back to me As soon as possible and also include your personal phone/mobile and fax numbers for easy communication.

Yours faithfully,
Mr. Gerald Zongo
The manager in charge of
Auditing department of
Bank of Africa (B.O.A)
Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.

Nonsense (4, Informative)

b00le (714402) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369535)

This is nonsense: I work in the earth observation satellite industry and there are no ultraviolet or x-ray sensors on earth observation satellites (for obvious reasons - the earth does not emit x-rays, and UV is absorbed by the atmosphere.)
Optical sensors can see at most a few metres [eurimage.com] into clear water. At infrared wavelengths water is black and opaque. "Light passes through matter"? No, it doesn't. Didn't The Times use to have a science correspondent?

Bermuda Triangle (1)

kninja (121603) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369641)

My first thought when I read it, was "HOLY $H*^! I WONDER WHAT HE COULD FIND IN THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE!"

Then I realized it was probably a hoax. The media is excited by news of wrecks, after that recent $500M find.
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