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Author Topic: Pearl Harbor mini-submarine mystery solved?  (Read 1187 times)
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JohnBrowdie
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« on: December 07, 2009, 09:34:11 AM »

the midget sub angle always seemed wildly implausible to me.  up until today, I had it filed away under "whacko conspiracy theories"  along with the grassy knoll and MIHOP.  getting completely caught by surprise by and air attack was one thing.  but letting a submarine sneak through your defenses and not even realize it was a completely different matter.

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Pearl Harbor mini-submarine mystery solved?

The remains of a Japanese mini-submarine that participated in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor have been discovered, researchers are to report today, offering strong evidence that the sub fired its torpedoes at Battleship Row.

That could settle a long-standing argument among historians.

Five mini-subs were to participate in the strike, but four were scuttled, destroyed or run aground without being a factor in the attack. The fate of the fifth has remained a mystery. But a variety of new evidence suggests that the fifth fired its two 800-pound torpedoes, most likely at the battleships West Virginia and Oklahoma, capsizing the latter. A day later, researchers think, the mini-sub's crew scuttled it in nearby West Loch.

The loch was also the site of a 1944 disaster in which six tank landing ships preparing for the secret invasion of Saipan were destroyed in an ammunition explosion that killed 200 sailors and wounded hundreds more.

When the Navy scooped up the remains of the so-called LSTs and dumped them outside the harbor to protect the secrecy of the invasion, it apparently also dumped the mini-sub's remains, which were mingled with the damaged U.S. ships.

"It's not often that a historian gets a chance to rewrite history," said marine historian and former Navy submariner Parks Stephenson, who pieced together the evidence for the television program "Nova." "The capsizing of the Oklahoma is the second most iconic event of the attack. If one submarine could get in in 1941 and hit a battleship, who knows what a midget sub could do today. Iran and North Korea are both building them. It's very worrying."

Stephenson and his colleagues have put together a convincing chain of circumstantial evidence, but it is just circumstantial, said Burl Burlingame, a journalist at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and author of "Advance Force: Pearl Harbor."

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