Dive Detectives solve deep-sea mysteries
Posted By MONTE SONNENBERG
Posted 5 hours ago
New insights into important shipwrecks on the Great Lakes will soon be revealed thanks to the efforts of two divers from Port Ryerse.
Mike Fletcher and son, Warren, travelled the globe last year shooting six episodes of Dive Detectives, a documentary series on underwater mysteries shown on History Television.
At the end of March, the first episode will share compelling evidence that a giant rogue wave was responsible for sinking the legendary freighter Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior in 1975. Twenty-nine sailors perished.
In May, the final episode will shed new light on the sinking of the American warships Scourge and Hamilton in Lake Ontario near St. Catharines during the War of 1812. The warships are well-preserved in more than 300 feet of water. Dozens of sailors died in the mishap.
The Hamilton-Scourge segment persuasively argues that poor engineering was responsible for the ships sinking in a storm. It features never-before-seen footage of the wrecks’ interiors, shot with a remote camera no bigger than a shoebox.
It is said that humanity knows more about the distant universe than it does its own lakes and oceans. Dive Detectives capitalizes on this by sending the Fletchers on dangerous missions to uncover the truth about historic events.
Mike Fletcher, 55, is amazed at what his career has become since he purchased his first scuba equipment at age 12. Fletcher dropped out of high school to become a commercial diver and has never looked back.
“I have to say it’s gone beyond anything I ever imagined and anything my teachers ever imagined for me,” he said last week. “I was never a good student. I’m astounded where this has taken me and my good fortune.”
The U.S. Navy recently announced the discovery of the lost submarine USS Flier off the coast of the Philippines. For that, the Americans can thank the Dive Detectives. USS Flier sank with great loss of life during the Second World War after hitting a mine. That story airs in April.
The Fletchers also shot a segment last year off Tinian, a small island in the South Pacific that was the launch point for planes that dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, effectively ending Japan’s participation in the Second World War.
The Americans were prepared to continue bombing until Japan cried “Uncle.” Once Japan surrendered, the U.S. dumped a large amount of atomic ordnance into the ocean.
With camera in tow, the Dive Detectives take us down for a look.
Filming last year also featured perilous dives in the Mekong River in southeast Asia. During that adventure, the Fletchers hunted for a century-old French shipwreck reportedly laden with stolen treasure. Another segment shot in the Caribbean explores the mystery of a giant cargo ship that recently sank with nobody reporting it. “Ghost Ship” answers the numerous questions surrounding the mystery.
“Warren and I are the central characters,” Fletcher said. “We carry the story. We are the ‘Dive Detectives.’ Dive Detectives isn’t about shipwrecks per se. It’s about interesting events and mysteries that occur underwater -anything that’s a good story where we can apply our skills underwater.”
The Fletchers were also the central players in the popular series The Sea Hunters, which ran for five seasons. Whether they will unravel other mysteries in far-flung parts of the world this year will depend on the ratings they receive for this spring’s series of programs.