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maritime history

Horace de Vere Cole and the Dreadnought Hoax

Cole was a lifelong prankster, but none of his stunts could compare with his scheme to gain access to the HMS Dreadnought by getting his friends -- including Virginia Woolf -- to pretend they were Abyssinian royalty.

A Cruise Through History's Ghost Ships

There have been numerous instances of ships found adrift with no one on board. Four of those nautical mysteries are featured here, with some truly chilling details.

A Brief History of Diving Technology

Humans have always longed to explore underwater, but the need to breathe air has been an obstacle. From as far back as the 4th century B.C.E., clever inventors have been designing technology to give us face time with the creatures of the sea.

The Unsinkable Violet Jessop

We love to talk about shipwrecks, but Violet Jessop was a shipwreck survivor -- several times over. She traveled the world aboard some of the most famous ocean liners of all time.

Unearthed! Franklin's Lost Expedition

On September 1, 2014, a team of searchers discovered artifacts from the Franklin Expedition. Over the course of seven dives, additional artifacts from the Erebus were recovered. Read the show notes here.

Christmas Tree Ship

It's a Christmas episode, a shipwreck and a ghost story rolled into one! It's the story of the the Rouse Simmons, which sank in Lake Michigan while hauling a load of Christmas trees to Chicago.

Henry Hudson, Part 2

This episode picks up in the middle of Hudson's third voyage, as the Half Moon is making its way down North America's east coast. As Hudson doggedly pursues the idea of a northern sea route from Europe to Asia, he makes a number of poor decisions.

Henry Hudson, Part 1

Henry Hudson's voyages have all the makings of a juicy story: maritime exploration, horrible treatment of indigenous peoples, treacherous waters, treacherous shipmen, a mercenary switch in loyalties to countries, mutiny -- even a mermaid sighting.

The Sinking of the S-5

1920, the S-5 left the Boston Navy Yard on its first mission, with a crew of 36 officers and enlisted men. While performing a crash dive as part of a performance evaluation, the crew found themselves on a sinking vessel. Read the show notes here.

Dazzle Camouflage

British Royal Navy lieutenant and artist Norman Wilkinson is usually credited with the idea of disruptive camouflage. But, another man, naturalist John Graham Kerr, claimed that he had the idea three years earlier. Read the show notes here.