Ballard’s search consisted of a series of day trips, from early to late November. He wasn’t alone aboard the 100-foot (31-meter) expedition ship, American Islander. Joining him were two U.S. veterans of a destroyer that survived the attack, a Japanese submariner who participated in the raid, a Japanese war historian, author Stephen Ambrose, and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine writer Priit Vesilind, who composed our expedition log.

Because the search area had been long used as something of a dumping ground for planes, boats, and subs, Ballard only used his usual sonar-based search method for the first few days—there was simply too much “noise.” This expedition was mostly a visual search, the “eyes” being video cameras affixed to two remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), Argus and Little Herc.


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A map of Pearl Harbor found in a captured Japanese midget submarine

Photograph courtesy U.S. National Archives
(Photograph number 80-G413507)






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