Who really discovered the Hunley?

I saw a program a year or so ago with some guy claiming that Clive Cussler was not really the discoverer, and he didn’t know why he was getting all the credit.

This guy said that he had been looking for it for years, and (I think) one day he was out fishing, and just happened to snag it.

I didn’t buy it, but is there any evidence that Cussler is unduly getting credit as the result of someone else’s research?

Let’s see. Cussler’s research group claims to have used a magnetometer to locate metal on the sea floor near where the Housatonic was sunk. They also claim that their divers went down about thirty feet and pushed through about three feet of undisturbed silt to find the wreck of the Hunley. Government antiquities experts confirmed that the wreck is indeed of the Confederate submarine and have marked its position and buried it again in the sediment to preserve it until funds can be raised to recover it.

On the other hand, someone claims to have snagged it while fishing. There is no mention of lost fishing tackle associated with the wreck from either Cussler or the government.

I just don’t know who to believe. Must be a conspiracy.

There is no “truth” when it comes to ocean salvage and discovery. I recently read a book about the recovery of the SS Central America (called something like “Gold in the Deep Blue Sea” - I don’t have it at hand).

My conclusion, after reading this book is that almost all shipwreck chasers and treasure hunters are a rare breed imbued with the worst traits of lawyers, con men, venture capitalists, pirates, claim jumpers, squatters, and liars.

It’s almost impossible for someone to claim initial discovery (and the consequent right to salvage) without being dragged into court by another claimant.

While it appears that Mr. Cussler has not been making friends, lately, and has acquired a reputation as a glory hound, the following site makes it pretty clear that no one snagged the Hunley while just out fishing.

(While this site does not speak highly of Mr. Cussler, I have not seen his version of the events, yet.)


Thanks for the link. I thing Mr. Newell was the man.

Oh hell. Next you’ll be telling me Dirk Pitt wasn’t the first to find the Titanic.