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Old 04-18-2010, 06:16 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Chicago Mystery Submarines? (PLUS! Column by Cecil)

In Oddball Illinois: A Guide To Some Really Strange Places, by Jerome Pohlen, page 52-53, 2 odd submarines, sunk in Chicago waters, are mentioned.

One was salvaged with the skeletons of a man & a dog inside it, circa 1915-1918. Dubbed the Foolkiller, it was put on public display. Does it still exist? Is there more information on it?


The second was/is a 31 foot long, hotdog shaped, wooden item, banded with iron straps, with a pipe running end to end. It was found in the Chicago River, and its status as a submarine was uncomfirmed , as it had not been salvaged by publication, circa 2000.

Was this in fact a submarine? What was it? Has it been salvaged?
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:21 AM
Ed Zotti Ed Zotti is offline
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We're always up for investigating oddities. Have never heard of either of these. You say the second one hadn't been salvaged as of 2000. When was it discovered?
  #3  
Old 04-18-2010, 03:28 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Zotti View Post
We're always up for investigating oddities. Have never heard of either of these. You say the second one hadn't been salvaged as of 2000. When was it discovered?
Unknown, Pohen doesn't go into that.

And he doesn't cite sourses.
Second mystery sub to be found "just inside the Chicago River locks in the ship-turning basin". Coast Guard involvement is indicated.

Pohen recommends a book, The Chicago River by David M. Solzman, Wild Onion Press 1998. Does not, however, cite it as source material.

No further definate data.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:16 PM
Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
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Old Tribune stories shed a little light on the Foolkiller. In 1904, a fellow named Peter Nissen built a sort of balloon intended to roll on the water's surface. Imagine a canvas bag shaped like a lemon, with an axle inside from tip to tip. Suspended from the axle, a bench where the inhabitant could sit or sleep. A Tribune story says "Nissen's plan is to 'roll' to the north pole in the bag after testing it by crossing the lake."

He made a successful short test in August 1904, but drowned in November attempting to cross Lake Michigan in Foolkiller No. 3.
  #5  
Old 04-19-2010, 05:26 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
Unknown, Pohen doesn't go into that.

And he doesn't cite sourses.
Second mystery sub to be found "just inside the Chicago River locks in the ship-turning basin". Coast Guard involvement is indicated.

Pohen recommends a book, The Chicago River by David M. Solzman, Wild Onion Press 1998. Does not, however, cite it as source material.

No further definate data.
Note--Pohen's book was published in 2000.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:34 AM
samclem samclem is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
In Oddball Illinois: A Guide To Some Really Strange Places, by Jerome Pohlen, page 52-53, 2 odd submarines, sunk in Chicago waters, are mentioned.

One was salvaged with the skeletons of a man & a dog inside it, circa 1915-1918. Dubbed the Foolkiller, it was put on public display. Does it still exist? Is there more information on it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Old Tribune stories shed a little light on the Foolkiller. In 1904, a fellow named Peter Nissen built a sort of balloon intended to roll on the water's surface. Imagine a canvas bag shaped like a lemon, with an axle inside from tip to tip. Suspended from the axle, a bench where the inhabitant could sit or sleep. A Tribune story says "Nissen's plan is to 'roll' to the north pole in the bag after testing it by crossing the lake."

He made a successful short test in August 1904, but drowned in November attempting to cross Lake Michigan in Foolkiller No. 3.
The submarine mentioned by Bosda was found in 1915 by a diver laying cable near the Rush Street Bridge. When raised, it was found to contain the bones of a man and the skull of a dog. This submarine was very possibly a craft built by one Lodner D. Phillips There are great photos at that site to which I just linked.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:40 AM
Ed Zotti Ed Zotti is offline
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This looks like a terrific story. Cecil will almost certainly want to write about it. Any other details, sources, etc., are much appreciated.
  #8  
Old 04-19-2010, 05:40 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Zotti View Post
This looks like a terrific story. Cecil will almost certainly want to write about it. Any other details, sources, etc., are much appreciated.
You got what I got. Hard to research this, as I no longer live in Chicago.

If the Celestiial Font of Wisdom & Henny Youngman Gags can come up with more, I'd be very interested.
  #9  
Old 05-14-2010, 08:01 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Congrats, Bosda, Cecil has (as Ed thought he would) taken this one up:
http://chicago.straightdope.com/sdc20100513.php

Last edited by C K Dexter Haven; 05-14-2010 at 08:02 AM. Reason: Fixed typo.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:13 AM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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Interesting article. The picture of the Foolkiller being raised reminded me not of a submarine, but of a Great Lakes Whaleback Steamer - perhaps an early test model?
  #11  
Old 05-21-2010, 05:47 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Many thanks to Cecil Adams for kindly answering my question.
  #12  
Old 10-31-2010, 09:06 PM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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Adam Selzer has posted info from newly found Chicago Examiner articles on the sub http://weirdchicago.blogspot.com/201...-new-info.html

An excerpt:
Quote:
Another Examiner find adds another new tidbit: in addition to touring with Parker's Greatest Shows and its famous engagement on south State street, the submarine was also, at least briefly, on display at the Riverview amusement park! The date here was June, which is a month AFTER it was on display in Iowa. Apparently, it ended up BACK in Chicago after a short run with Parker's Greatest Shows - so we now have a new "last known location" on it!
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