Incredible images offer first glimpse of sunken WWII-era aircraft carrier

Experts on the research vessel E/V Nautilus are using two Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to study the ship, which has been described as “amazingly intact” by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists. The robots’ initial dive began on Monday and they have already sent back a number of eerie images from the wreck. A Grumman Hellcat fighter aircraft, for example, can be seen in the elevator used to transport planes between the carrier’s hangar bay and its flight deck. An anti-aircraft gun is also visible and the ship’s bow can be clearly seen in the ocean’s depths.The dive is being streamed live. James Delgado, NOAA’s head of maritime archaeology, who is on board Nautilus, has speculated that the ship may have hit the seafloor bow first, based on evidence he was seeing late Monday.Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft weaponry surrounded by massive glass sponges (OET/Nautilus Live).A second aircraft was identified on the ship Tuesday. The robots’ initial dive ends Tuesday and a second dive will begin on Thursday. Independence, which was acoustically mapped by NOAA IN 2015 using autonomous underwater vehicles, is the deepest shipwreck in the Greater Farallones National Maritime Sanctuary.

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