"Californians here they come…."

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Yes, Californians are coming to The Mariners’ Museum.  Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of greeting three different families form California. These visitors had been exposed to our museum via the internet and another from a hotel at which they were staying. One of the families was from San Diego and had a teenage son who was a Civil War buff.  What a delight to meet teenagers and students who are interested in history!!  He couldn’t wait to get started in The Monitor center!  We hope to see a lot more far away visitors this summer.

When I greet these Californians, it gives me the opportunity to share with them the museum connection with the Huntington’s from there.  They are not aware of Collis P. Huntington and how he brought the C&O railroad from West Virginia to Newport News.

UFO(Unidentified Ferrous Object)

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Among the many small bits and pieces recovered from the Monitor was this odd fitting. It was found inside of the turret. It is made of iron or a high iron alloy but has not rusted to anywhere near the extent of the other iron artifacts from the Monitor.   It also had very little concretion attached to it. It appears to be made of 2 pieces. 1 piece is the majority of the object including rectangular block and sloped fin in the middle. The other piece is a 1/8” thick sheet of metal partially wrapped around the bottom of the first pieces and possibly torn along the edges.

The second piece appears to be a whiter alloy than the first. We have not yet had the chance to conduct x-ray fluorescence analysis to determine the alloy, but both strong rare earth and weak magnets will stick to all parts of the object so it has to have a fair bit of iron in it.  Due to the unusual shape, the crispness of the edges, and the low degree of rusting and concretion we feel that it is likely a modern object that intruded into the site, but we aren’t 100% certain of that. It could be from one of the research submersibles used to investigate the wreck, or a WWII depth charge, or fishing boat that passed overhead. It is probably not from any of the equipment used during the actual recovery process as it did have some concretion attached, indicating that it had spent some time on the bottom. Can anyone out there shed any light on this for us? Have you seen a fitting like this? Do you have something like this on your boat or on any of your tools?   Read more