Probing the Mysteries of the Lusitania
A Journal of the 1993 Expedition
by Eric Sauder
On July 27, 1993, a small research vessel left Cork, Ireland, and sailed slowly out into the easy-rolling swells of the cold Atlantic. On board were 28 people—each an expert in his field. They had been brought together from all over the United States to help solve one of most puzzling maritime mysteries of the 20th Century. The assignment was to uncover evidence to determine once and for all why the "unsinkable" Cunard liner Lusitania foundered just eighteen minutes after being holed by a single German torpedo. In accounts of the disaster, most survivors agreed on at least one thing—shortly after the detonation of the torpedo, there was a second, more thunderous explosion. The cause of this second blast has never been satisfactorily explained. Was it an illegal cargo of contraband that blew up? Or could it simply have been a boiler exploding? Or the volatile ignition of coal dust or aluminum powder? What follows is a day-by-day account of the first public exploration of the wreck.
|1 August to 5 August||6 August to 9 August|
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