Camera Port on North American F-6C

Camera Port on North American F-6C

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Camera Port on North American F-6C

This picture shows the camera port on the North American F-6C, located behind the radiator outlet.

Many thanks to Robert Bourlier for sending us this photograph.

Camera Port on North American F-6C - History

Nearly every combat plane, bomber and fighter alike, had an alter ego in the form of a reconnaissance/camera platform and the P-51 Mustang's was known as the F-6.

R for RESTRICTED USE was added while this Mustang was stationed at Key Field, MS and that indicates this plane was modified extensively enough as to prevent its further use, in this case, as a photo-recon aircraft.

The single K-17 / 22 or pair of K-24 cameras (note the round glass port below the right Bar of the painted-out Insignia) and armament may have all been removed, which would have accounted for this re-designation.

F-6C-NT indicates it was one of the twenty North American/Dallas ships derived from the P-51C they were producing, which was essentially identical to the Los Angeles-built P-51B.

#44-10911 was assigned to Kingman on March 22, 1946 and along with their A-24 Banshee, this plane is the only other 'one of' known to have been at Sales-Storage Depot No. 41 . As with the A-24, i ts reason for being singled-out and sent there is a mystery.

Years ago I was told this Mustang had been purchased at Kingman and crashed while on its way to a new home. If there were any loose items stripped upon her arrival at Kingman, such as flight records, manuals, etc, I have yet to find them.

The subsequent history of RF-6C #44-10911 is unknown at this time.

Noakes was a computer consultant for a decade. [2] In 2004, he designed an alphabetical keyboard layout. [5] He says he has worked for several Cornish companies, including Holman Brothers, Mount Wellington Tin Mine, and Phillips Frith, and in several countries, [6] including in Brussels and for JPMorgan Chase Bank in New York. [7]

Immuno Biotech Edit

Noakes is CEO and owner of Immuno Biotech Ltd. (trade name First Immune), a Guernsey company that promotes the use of the protein GcMAF, a blood product, as a cure for cancer, autism, HIV, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases, [8] [9] claiming to treat 10,000 patients worldwide [10] with income of £1 million per month. [11] Noakes began promoting GcMAF in 2010, [12] and the company had laboratories in Oxford in 2012. [13] Noakes has been on the board of governors of the National Health Federation (a lobbying group promoting alternative medicine [14] ) since April 2016 [15] and was on the long list for Guernsey Press Ambassador of the Year 2013. [16] Noakes advised cancer patients to not take chemotherapy [17] and promoted the treatment to the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce despite criticism from Cancer Research UK [18] doctors on Guernsey all declined an invite to a meeting about GcMAF. [19]

In July 2014, NatWest bank closed the company's accounts. [20] In 2015, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) took over 10,000 vials of GcMAF during an inspection of the company's unlicensed Milton, Cambridgeshire site and shut down production, [17] after it found that the plasma the GcMAF was derived from was not for human use, and that the production site did not meet good manufacturing practice standards. [10] [21] Noakes' former personal assistant, who worked for him in 2012, said that sometimes Noakes' own blood was used. [11] The company had been supplying GcMAF to around 100 Guernsey residents free of charge until imports were prohibited by the Guernsey Border Agency in February 2015. [22] [10] Noakes' company began supplying an alternative called Goleic in place of GcMAF. [23] Noakes claimed in March 2015 that the UK authorities were harassing him and his family, [24] then was interviewed by the BBC's The One Show in May 2015, but stormed out and threatened to smash the camera. [25] A complaint to the BBC Trust about the interview was dismissed. [26] Later that summer, the Swiss regulator Swissmedic closed the First Immune clinic in Bussigny, [27] after five deaths of patients since it opened in October 2013. [28] Noakes worked with American autism doctor Jeff Bradstreet until the latter committed suicide in June 2015, following a federal government raid of his office in connection to his work on GcMAF. Noakes also worked with scientist Marco Ruggiero until Noakes' Swiss clinic was closed. [29]

In November 2015, Noakes was found guilty by an employment tribunal of sex discrimination against his former personal assistant at Immuno Biotech, Lucia Pagliarone, and was made to pay £10,500. Pagliarone claimed she was asked to give injections as part of her role, despite not having medical training. [30] [31] [32]

Despite a police search of the Immuno Biotech office and a home in January 2016, [33] Noakes had predicted in November 2016 that the MHRA investigation would come to nothing and he would "take down" the regulator [34] however, Guernsey police again raided the Immuno Biotech office in Lower Pollet in February 2017 [35] and arrested a man and a woman, which Noakes said was a "smear campaign". [36] French gendarmes also raided three Immuno Biotech sites in Normandy in February 2017. [37] [38] Noakes also ran a company, Macro Innovations, that illegally manufactured GcMAF for patient use at a laboratory in Cambridgeshire. [39] Noakes was charged with money laundering, and conspiracy to manufacture a medicinal product without a licence, by the Crown Prosecution Service's Specialist Fraud Division in July 2017. He stood trial at Southwark Crown Court in November 2018, along with Brian Hall, Emma Ward and his former wife Loraine Noakes. [40] [8] [9] Two of his Guernsey staff appeared in court in January 2018, in connection with the inquiry into Noakes' suspected criminal conduct. [41]

Noakes pleaded guilty in UK to "money laundering and manufacturing, supplying and selling an unlicensed medicine" and was sentenced in November 2018 to 15 months' imprisonment. [4] He failed to report to police in December 2019 while on bail and was arrested in May 2020 in Truro. In June 2020, a confiscation order of £1,349,400.48 was made at Southwark Crown Court against Noakes and his company. [42]

In April 2021 Noakes pleaded guilty in France to manufacturing and selling fake medicinal products and cosmetics by Internet and condemned to 4 years of imprisonment. [43]

Noakes joined UKIP in 2003, [44] and was its parliamentary candidate in Truro and St Austell in 2005, gaining 5.3% of the vote. [45] Noakes came last of the four candidates in the 2006 UKIP leadership election, with 851 votes. During the election campaign he called the EU a "police state" and advocated UKIP forming a shadow cabinet [2] [46] Nigel Farage won with 3,329 votes. [47] Noakes left UKIP in February 2007, writing in a letter that the leadership had betrayed the membership Mark Croucher said Noakes was "a swivel-eyed loon whose insane conspiracy theories make the rest of us look as mad as a box of frogs". [44]

Noakes was an independent town councillor for Penwerris ward on Falmouth Town Council and a member of the planning committee from May 2007 until January 2010, when he resigned due to "work commitments". [48] [49] [50] [51] He was fourth on the list for the United Kingdom First Party in the East Midlands region for the 2009 European Parliament elections [52] UK First received 1.7% of the vote. [53] He stood in the December 2015 Guernsey by-election in Saint Peter Port North [54] on a platform of increased democracy in Guernsey and introducing a constitution, [55] gaining 109 votes (12.3%). [56]

Noakes runs the website, [2] and since 2007 has published the free monthly newspaper Westminster News in which he promoted a conspiracy theory that Zionists and the German company Siemens control the BBC. He has also promoted conspiracy theories about the Illuminati. [57]

Noakes was born in London, [7] went to Truro School [6] and has lived in Port Pendennis, Falmouth, Cornwall, [58] Guernsey, and Waldershare in Kent, where he was living before being jailed in 2018. [59]

He was married in 1989 [7] to Loraine, with whom he has a son and a daughter. [2] [8] The two separated in 2007, [60] but did not divorce until 2018. [39] Noakes sailed a yacht called Moonlight out of Falmouth between 2005 and 2010, [61] [62] and holds a pilot's licence. [7]


The Maya name "Chichen Itza" means "At the mouth of the well of the Itza." This derives from chi', meaning "mouth" or "edge", and chʼen or chʼeʼen, meaning "well". Itzá is the name of an ethnic-lineage group that gained political and economic dominance of the northern peninsula. One possible translation for Itza is "enchanter (or enchantment) of the water," [5] from its (itz), "sorcerer", and ha, "water". [6]

The name is spelled Chichén Itzá in Spanish, and the accents are sometimes maintained in other languages to show that both parts of the name are stressed on their final syllable. Other references prefer the Maya orthography, Chichʼen Itzaʼ (pronounced [tʃitʃʼen itsáʔ] ). This form preserves the phonemic distinction between chʼ and ch, since the base word chʼeʼen (which, however, is not stressed in Maya) begins with a postalveolar ejective affricate consonant. The word "Itzaʼ" has a high tone on the "a" followed by a glottal stop (indicated by the apostrophe). [ citation needed ]

Evidence in the Chilam Balam books indicates another, earlier name for this city prior to the arrival of the Itza hegemony in northern Yucatán. While most sources agree the first word means seven, there is considerable debate as to the correct translation of the rest. This earlier name is difficult to define because of the absence of a single standard of orthography, but it is represented variously as Uuc Yabnal ("Seven Great House"), [7] Uuc Hab Nal ("Seven Bushy Places"), [8] Uucyabnal ("Seven Great Rulers") [2] or Uc Abnal ("Seven Lines of Abnal"). [nb 3] This name, dating to the Late Classic Period, is recorded both in the book of Chilam Balam de Chumayel and in hieroglyphic texts in the ruins. [9]

Chichen Itza is located in the eastern portion of Yucatán state in Mexico. [10] The northern Yucatán Peninsula is karst, and the rivers in the interior all run underground. There are four visible, natural sink holes, called cenotes, that could have provided plentiful water year round at Chichen, making it attractive for settlement. Of these cenotes, the "Cenote Sagrado" or Sacred Cenote (also variously known as the Sacred Well or Well of Sacrifice), is the most famous. [11] In 2015, scientists determined that there is a hidden cenote under Kukulkan, which has never been seen by archeologists. [12]

According to post-Conquest sources (Maya and Spanish), pre-Columbian Maya sacrificed objects and human beings into the cenote as a form of worship to the Maya rain god Chaac. Edward Herbert Thompson dredged the Cenote Sagrado from 1904 to 1910, and recovered artifacts of gold, jade, pottery and incense, as well as human remains. [11] A study of human remains taken from the Cenote Sagrado found that they had wounds consistent with human sacrifice. [13]

Several archeologists in the late 1980s suggested that unlike previous Maya polities of the Early Classic, Chichen Itza may not have been governed by an individual ruler or a single dynastic lineage. Instead, the city's political organization could have been structured by a "multepal" system, which is characterized as rulership through council composed of members of elite ruling lineages. [14]

This theory was popular in the 1990s, but in recent years, the research that supported the concept of the "multepal" system has been called into question, if not discredited. The current belief trend in Maya scholarship is toward the more traditional model of the Maya kingdoms of the Classic Period southern lowlands in Mexico. [15]

Chichen Itza was a major economic power in the northern Maya lowlands during its apogee. [16] Participating in the water-borne circum-peninsular trade route through its port site of Isla Cerritos on the north coast, [17] Chichen Itza was able to obtain locally unavailable resources from distant areas such as obsidian from central Mexico and gold from southern Central America.

Between AD 900 and 1050 Chichen Itza expanded to become a powerful regional capital controlling north and central Yucatán. It established Isla Cerritos as a trading port. [18]

The layout of Chichen Itza site core developed during its earlier phase of occupation, between 750 and 900 AD. [19] Its final layout was developed after 900 AD, and the 10th century saw the rise of the city as a regional capital controlling the area from central Yucatán to the north coast, with its power extending down the east and west coasts of the peninsula. [20] The earliest hieroglyphic date discovered at Chichen Itza is equivalent to 832 AD, while the last known date was recorded in the Osario temple in 998. [21]


The Late Classic city was centered upon the area to the southwest of the Xtoloc cenote, with the main architecture represented by the substructures now underlying the Las Monjas and Observatorio and the basal platform upon which they were built. [22]


Chichen Itza rose to regional prominence toward the end of the Early Classic period (roughly 600 AD). It was, however, toward the end of the Late Classic and into the early part of the Terminal Classic that the site became a major regional capital, centralizing and dominating political, sociocultural, economic, and ideological life in the northern Maya lowlands. The ascension of Chichen Itza roughly correlates with the decline and fragmentation of the major centers of the southern Maya lowlands.

As Chichen Itza rose to prominence, the cities of Yaxuna (to the south) and Coba (to the east) were suffering decline. These two cities had been mutual allies, with Yaxuna dependent upon Coba. At some point in the 10th century Coba lost a significant portion of its territory, isolating Yaxuna, and Chichen Itza may have directly contributed to the collapse of both cities. [23]


According to some colonial Mayan sources (e.g., the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel), Hunac Ceel, ruler of Mayapan, conquered Chichen Itza in the 13th century. Hunac Ceel supposedly prophesied his own rise to power. According to custom at the time, individuals thrown into the Cenote Sagrado were believed to have the power of prophecy if they survived. During one such ceremony, the chronicles state, there were no survivors, so Hunac Ceel leaped into the Cenote Sagrado, and when removed, prophesied his own ascension.

While there is some archeological evidence that indicates Chichén Itzá was at one time looted and sacked, [24] there appears to be greater evidence that it could not have been by Mayapan, at least not when Chichén Itzá was an active urban center. Archeological data now indicates that Chichen Itza declined as a regional center by 1100, before the rise of Mayapan. Ongoing research at the site of Mayapan may help resolve this chronological conundrum.

After Chichén Itzá elite activities ceased, the city may not have been abandoned. When the Spanish arrived, they found a thriving local population, although it is not clear from Spanish sources if these Maya were living in Chichen Itza proper, or a nearby settlement. The relatively high population density in the region was a factor in the conquistadors' decision to locate a capital there. [25] According to post-Conquest sources, both Spanish and Maya, the Cenote Sagrado remained a place of pilgrimage. [26]

Spanish conquest

In 1526 Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Montejo (a veteran of the Grijalva and Cortés expeditions) successfully petitioned the King of Spain for a charter to conquer Yucatán. His first campaign in 1527, which covered much of the Yucatán Peninsula, decimated his forces but ended with the establishment of a small fort at Xaman Haʼ, south of what is today Cancún. Montejo returned to Yucatán in 1531 with reinforcements and established his main base at Campeche on the west coast. [27] He sent his son, Francisco Montejo The Younger, in late 1532 to conquer the interior of the Yucatán Peninsula from the north. The objective from the beginning was to go to Chichén Itzá and establish a capital. [28]

Montejo the Younger eventually arrived at Chichen Itza, which he renamed Ciudad Real. At first he encountered no resistance, and set about dividing the lands around the city and awarding them to his soldiers. The Maya became more hostile over time, and eventually they laid siege to the Spanish, cutting off their supply line to the coast, and forcing them to barricade themselves among the ruins of the ancient city. Months passed, but no reinforcements arrived. Montejo the Younger attempted an all out assault against the Maya and lost 150 of his remaining troops. He was forced to abandon Chichén Itzá in 1534 under cover of darkness. By 1535, all Spanish had been driven from the Yucatán Peninsula. [29]

Montejo eventually returned to Yucatán and, by recruiting Maya from Campeche and Champoton, built a large Indio-Spanish army and conquered the peninsula. [30] The Spanish crown later issued a land grant that included Chichen Itza and by 1588 it was a working cattle ranch. [31]

Modern history

Chichen Itza entered the popular imagination in 1843 with the book Incidents of Travel in Yucatan by John Lloyd Stephens (with illustrations by Frederick Catherwood). The book recounted Stephens' visit to Yucatán and his tour of Maya cities, including Chichén Itzá. The book prompted other explorations of the city. In 1860, Désiré Charnay surveyed Chichén Itzá and took numerous photographs that he published in Cités et ruines américaines (1863).

Visitors to Chichén Itzá during the 1870s and 1880s came with photographic equipment and recorded more accurately the condition of several buildings. [32] In 1875, Augustus Le Plongeon and his wife Alice Dixon Le Plongeon visited Chichén, and excavated a statue of a figure on its back, knees drawn up, upper torso raised on its elbows with a plate on its stomach. Augustus Le Plongeon called it "Chaacmol" (later renamed "Chac Mool", which has been the term to describe all types of this statuary found in Mesoamerica). Teobert Maler and Alfred Maudslay explored Chichén in the 1880s and both spent several weeks at the site and took extensive photographs. Maudslay published the first long-form description of Chichen Itza in his book, Biologia Centrali-Americana.

In 1894 the United States Consul to Yucatán, Edward Herbert Thompson, purchased the Hacienda Chichén, which included the ruins of Chichen Itza. For 30 years, Thompson explored the ancient city. His discoveries included the earliest dated carving upon a lintel in the Temple of the Initial Series and the excavation of several graves in the Osario (High Priest's Temple). Thompson is most famous for dredging the Cenote Sagrado (Sacred Cenote) from 1904 to 1910, where he recovered artifacts of gold, copper and carved jade, as well as the first-ever examples of what were believed to be pre-Columbian Maya cloth and wooden weapons. Thompson shipped the bulk of the artifacts to the Peabody Museum at Harvard University.

In 1913, the Carnegie Institution accepted the proposal of archeologist Sylvanus G. Morley and committed to conduct long-term archeological research at Chichen Itza. [33] The Mexican Revolution and the following government instability, as well as World War I, delayed the project by a decade. [34]

In 1923, the Mexican government awarded the Carnegie Institution a 10-year permit (later extended another 10 years) to allow U.S. archeologists to conduct extensive excavation and restoration of Chichen Itza. [35] Carnegie researchers excavated and restored the Temple of Warriors and the Caracol, among other major buildings. At the same time, the Mexican government excavated and restored El Castillo (Temple of Kukulcán) and the Great Ball Court. [36]

In 1926, the Mexican government charged Edward Thompson with theft, claiming he stole the artifacts from the Cenote Sagrado and smuggled them out of the country. The government seized the Hacienda Chichén. Thompson, who was in the United States at the time, never returned to Yucatán. He wrote about his research and investigations of the Maya culture in a book People of the Serpent published in 1932. He died in New Jersey in 1935. In 1944 the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that Thompson had broken no laws and returned Chichen Itza to his heirs. The Thompsons sold the hacienda to tourism pioneer Fernando Barbachano Peon. [37]

There have been two later expeditions to recover artifacts from the Cenote Sagrado, in 1961 and 1967. The first was sponsored by the National Geographic, and the second by private interests. Both projects were supervised by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). INAH has conducted an ongoing effort to excavate and restore other monuments in the archeological zone, including the Osario, Akab Dzib, and several buildings in Chichén Viejo (Old Chichen).

In 2009, to investigate construction that predated El Castillo, Yucatec archeologists began excavations adjacent to El Castillo under the direction of Rafael (Rach) Cobos.

Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities, with the relatively densely clustered architecture of the site core covering an area of at least 5 square kilometers (1.9 sq mi). [2] Smaller scale residential architecture extends for an unknown distance beyond this. [2] The city was built upon broken terrain, which was artificially levelled in order to build the major architectural groups, with the greatest effort being expended in the levelling of the areas for the Castillo pyramid, and the Las Monjas, Osario and Main Southwest groups. [10]

The site contains many fine stone buildings in various states of preservation, and many have been restored. The buildings were connected by a dense network of paved causeways, called sacbeob. [nb 4] Archeologists have identified over 80 sacbeob criss-crossing the site, [10] and extending in all directions from the city. [38] Many of these stone buildings were originally painted in red, green, blue and purple colors. Pigments were chosen according to what was most easily available in the area. The site must be imagined as a colorful one, not like it is today. Just like gothic cathedrals in Europe, colors provided a greater sense of completeness and contributed greatly to the symbolic impact of the buildings. [39]

The architecture encompasses a number of styles, including the Puuc and Chenes styles of the northern Yucatán Peninsula. [2] The buildings of Chichen Itza are grouped in a series of architectonic sets, and each set was at one time separated from the other by a series of low walls. The three best known of these complexes are the Great North Platform, which includes the monuments of the Temple of Kukulcán (El Castillo), Temple of Warriors and the Great Ball Court The Osario Group, which includes the pyramid of the same name as well as the Temple of Xtoloc and the Central Group, which includes the Caracol, Las Monjas, and Akab Dzib.

South of Las Monjas, in an area known as Chichén Viejo (Old Chichén) and only open to archeologists, are several other complexes, such as the Group of the Initial Series, Group of the Lintels, and Group of the Old Castle.

Architectural styles

The Puuc-style architecture is concentrated in the Old Chichen area, and also the earlier structures in the Nunnery Group (including the Las Monjas, Annex and La Iglesia buildings) it is also represented in the Akab Dzib structure. [40] The Puuc-style building feature the usual mosaic-decorated upper façades characteristic of the style but differ from the architecture of the Puuc heartland in their block masonry walls, as opposed to the fine veneers of the Puuc region proper. [41]

At least one structure in the Las Monjas Group features an ornate façade and masked doorway that are typical examples of Chenes-style architecture, a style centered upon a region in the north of Campeche state, lying between the Puuc and Río Bec regions. [42] [43]

Those structures with sculpted hieroglyphic script are concentrated in certain areas of the site, with the most important being the Las Monjas group. [21]

Architectural groups

Great North Platform

Temple of Kukulcán (El Castillo)

Dominating the North Platform of Chichen Itza is the Temple of Kukulcán (a Maya feathered serpent deity similar to the Aztec Quetzalcoatl). The temple was identified by the first Spaniards to see it, as El Castillo ("the castle"), and it regularly is referred to as such. [44] This step pyramid stands about 30 meters (98 ft) high and consists of a series of nine square terraces, each approximately 2.57 meters (8.4 ft) high, with a 6-meter (20 ft) high temple upon the summit. [45]

The sides of the pyramid are approximately 55.3 meters (181 ft) at the base and rise at an angle of 53°, although that varies slightly for each side. [45] The four faces of the pyramid have protruding stairways that rise at an angle of 45°. [45] The talud walls of each terrace slant at an angle of between 72° and 74°. [45] At the base of the balustrades of the northeastern staircase are carved heads of a serpent. [46]

Mesoamerican cultures periodically superimposed larger structures over older ones, [47] and the Temple of Kukulcán is one such example. [48] In the mid-1930s, the Mexican government sponsored an excavation of the temple. After several false starts, they discovered a staircase under the north side of the pyramid. By digging from the top, they found another temple buried below the current one. [49]

Inside the temple chamber was a Chac Mool statue and a throne in the shape of Jaguar, painted red and with spots made of inlaid jade. [49] The Mexican government excavated a tunnel from the base of the north staircase, up the earlier pyramid's stairway to the hidden temple, and opened it to tourists. In 2006, INAH closed the throne room to the public. [50]

Around the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, in the late afternoon, the northwest corner of the pyramid casts a series of triangular shadows against the western balustrade on the north side that evokes the appearance of a serpent wriggling down the staircase, which some scholars have suggested is a representation of the feathered-serpent deity, Kukulcán. [51] It is a widespread belief that this light-and-shadow effect was achieved on purpose to record the equinoxes, but the idea is highly unlikely: it has been shown that the phenomenon can be observed, without major changes, during several weeks around the equinoxes, making it impossible to determine any date by observing this effect alone. [52]

Great Ball Court

Archeologists have identified thirteen ballcourts for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame in Chichen Itza, [53] but the Great Ball Court about 150 meters (490 ft) to the north-west of the Castillo is by far the most impressive. It is the largest and best preserved ball court in ancient Mesoamerica. [44] It measures 168 by 70 meters (551 by 230 ft). [54]

The parallel platforms flanking the main playing area are each 95 meters (312 ft) long. [54] The walls of these platforms stand 8 meters (26 ft) high [54] set high up in the center of each of these walls are rings carved with intertwined feathered serpents. [54] [nb 5]

At the base of the high interior walls are slanted benches with sculpted panels of teams of ball players. [44] In one panel, one of the players has been decapitated the wound emits streams of blood in the form of wriggling snakes. [55]

At one end of the Great Ball Court is the North Temple, also known as the Temple of the Bearded Man (Templo del Hombre Barbado). [56] This small masonry building has detailed bas relief carving on the inner walls, including a center figure that has carving under his chin that resembles facial hair. [57] At the south end is another, much bigger temple, but in ruins.

Built into the east wall are the Temples of the Jaguar. The Upper Temple of the Jaguar overlooks the ball court and has an entrance guarded by two, large columns carved in the familiar feathered serpent motif. Inside there is a large mural, much destroyed, which depicts a battle scene.

In the entrance to the Lower Temple of the Jaguar, which opens behind the ball court, is another Jaguar throne, similar to the one in the inner temple of El Castillo, except that it is well worn and missing paint or other decoration. The outer columns and the walls inside the temple are covered with elaborate bas-relief carvings.

Additional structures

The Tzompantli, or Skull Platform (Plataforma de los Cráneos), shows the clear cultural influence of the central Mexican Plateau. Unlike the tzompantli of the highlands, however, the skulls were impaled vertically rather than horizontally as at Tenochtitlan. [44]

The Platform of the Eagles and the Jaguars (Plataforma de Águilas y Jaguares) is immediately to the east of the Great Ballcourt. [56] It is built in a combination Maya and Toltec styles, with a staircase ascending each of its four sides. [44] The sides are decorated with panels depicting eagles and jaguars consuming human hearts. [44]

This Platform of Venus is dedicated to the planet Venus. [44] In its interior archeologists discovered a collection of large cones carved out of stone, [44] the purpose of which is unknown. This platform is located north of El Castillo, between it and the Cenote Sagrado. [56]

The Temple of the Tables is the northernmost of a series of buildings to the east of El Castillo. Its name comes from a series of altars at the top of the structure that are supported by small carved figures of men with upraised arms, called "atlantes."

The Steam Bath is a unique building with three parts: a waiting gallery, a water bath, and a steam chamber that operated by means of heated stones.

Sacbe Number One is a causeway that leads to the Cenote Sagrado, is the largest and most elaborate at Chichen Itza. This "white road" is 270 meters (890 ft) long with an average width of 9 meters (30 ft). It begins at a low wall a few meters from the Platform of Venus. According to archeologists there once was an extensive building with columns at the beginning of the road.

Sacred Cenote

The Yucatán Peninsula is a limestone plain, with no rivers or streams. The region is pockmarked with natural sinkholes, called cenotes, which expose the water table to the surface. One of the most impressive of these is the Cenote Sagrado, which is 60 meters (200 ft) in diameter [58] and surrounded by sheer cliffs that drop to the water table some 27 meters (89 ft) below.

The Cenote Sagrado was a place of pilgrimage for ancient Maya people who, according to ethnohistoric sources, would conduct sacrifices during times of drought. [58] Archeological investigations support this as thousands of objects have been removed from the bottom of the cenote, including material such as gold, carved jade, copal, pottery, flint, obsidian, shell, wood, rubber, cloth, as well as skeletons of children and men. [58] [59]

Temple of the Warriors

The Temple of the Warriors complex consists of a large stepped pyramid fronted and flanked by rows of carved columns depicting warriors. This complex is analogous to Temple B at the Toltec capital of Tula, and indicates some form of cultural contact between the two regions. The one at Chichen Itza, however, was constructed on a larger scale. At the top of the stairway on the pyramid's summit (and leading toward the entrance of the pyramid's temple) is a Chac Mool.

This temple encases or entombs a former structure called The Temple of the Chac Mool. The archeological expedition and restoration of this building was done by the Carnegie Institution of Washington from 1925 to 1928. A key member of this restoration was Earl H. Morris, who published the work from this expedition in two volumes entitled Temple of the Warriors. Watercolors were made of murals in the Temple of the Warriors that were deteriorating rapidly following exposure to the elements after enduring for centuries in the protected enclosures being discovered. Many depict battle scenes and some even have tantalizing images that lend themselves to speculation and debate by prominent Maya scholars, such as Michael D. Coe and Mary Miller, regarding possible contact with Viking sailors. [60]

Group of a Thousand Columns

Along the south wall of the Temple of Warriors are a series of what are today exposed columns, although when the city was inhabited these would have supported an extensive roof system. The columns are in three distinct sections: A west group, that extends the lines of the front of the Temple of Warriors. A north group runs along the south wall of the Temple of Warriors and contains pillars with carvings of soldiers in bas-relief

A northeast group, which apparently formed a small temple at the southeast corner of the Temple of Warriors, contains a rectangular decorated with carvings of people or gods, as well as animals and serpents. The northeast column temple also covers a small marvel of engineering, a channel that funnels all the rainwater from the complex some 40 meters (130 ft) away to a rejollada, a former cenote.

To the south of the Group of a Thousand Columns is a group of three, smaller, interconnected buildings. The Temple of the Carved Columns is a small elegant building that consists of a front gallery with an inner corridor that leads to an altar with a Chac Mool. There are also numerous columns with rich, bas-relief carvings of some 40 personages.

A section of the upper façade with a motif of x's and o's is displayed in front of the structure. The Temple of the Small Tables which is an unrestored mound. And the Thompson's Temple (referred to in some sources as Palace of Ahau Balam Kauil ), a small building with two levels that has friezes depicting Jaguars (balam in Maya) as well as glyphs of the Maya god Kahuil.

El Mercado

This square structure anchors the southern end of the Temple of Warriors complex. It is so named for the shelf of stone that surrounds a large gallery and patio that early explorers theorized was used to display wares as in a marketplace. Today, archeologists believe that its purpose was more ceremonial than commercial.

Osario Group

South of the North Group is a smaller platform that has many important structures, several of which appear to be oriented toward the second largest cenote at Chichen Itza, Xtoloc.

The Osario itself, like the Temple of Kukulkan, is a step-pyramid temple dominating its platform, only on a smaller scale. Like its larger neighbor, it has four sides with staircases on each side. There is a temple on top, but unlike Kukulkan, at the center is an opening into the pyramid that leads to a natural cave 12 meters (39 ft) below. Edward H. Thompson excavated this cave in the late 19th century, and because he found several skeletons and artifacts such as jade beads, he named the structure The High Priests' Temple. Archeologists today believe neither that the structure was a tomb nor that the personages buried in it were priests.

The Temple of Xtoloc is a recently restored temple outside the Osario Platform is. It overlooks the other large cenote at Chichen Itza, named after the Maya word for iguana, "Xtoloc." The temple contains a series of pilasters carved with images of people, as well as representations of plants, birds, and mythological scenes.

Between the Xtoloc temple and the Osario are several aligned structures: The Platform of Venus, which is similar in design to the structure of the same name next to Kukulkan (El Castillo), the Platform of the Tombs, and a small, round structure that is unnamed. These three structures were constructed in a row extending from the Osario. Beyond them the Osario platform terminates in a wall, which contains an opening to a sacbe that runs several hundred feet to the Xtoloc temple.

South of the Osario, at the boundary of the platform, there are two small buildings that archeologists believe were residences for important personages. These have been named as the House of the Metates and the House of the Mestizas.

Casa Colorada Group

South of the Osario Group is another small platform that has several structures that are among the oldest in the Chichen Itza archeological zone.

The Casa Colorada (Spanish for "Red House") is one of the best preserved buildings at Chichen Itza. Its Maya name is Chichanchob, which according to INAH may mean "small holes". In one chamber there are extensive carved hieroglyphs that mention rulers of Chichen Itza and possibly of the nearby city of Ek Balam, and contain a Maya date inscribed which correlates to 869 AD, one of the oldest such dates found in all of Chichen Itza.

In 2009, INAH restored a small ball court that adjoined the back wall of the Casa Colorada. [61]

While the Casa Colorada is in a good state of preservation, other buildings in the group, with one exception, are decrepit mounds. One building is half standing, named La Casa del Venado (House of the Deer). This building's name has been long used by the local Maya, and some authors mention that it was named after a deer painting over stucco that doesn't exist anymore. [62]

Central Group

Las Monjas is one of the more notable structures at Chichen Itza. It is a complex of Terminal Classic buildings constructed in the Puuc architectural style. The Spanish named this complex Las Monjas ("The Nuns" or "The Nunnery"), but it was a governmental palace. Just to the east is a small temple (known as the La Iglesia, "The Church") decorated with elaborate masks. [44] [63]

The Las Monjas group is distinguished by its concentration of hieroglyphic texts dating to the Late to Terminal Classic. These texts frequently mention a ruler by the name of Kʼakʼupakal. [21] [64]

El Caracol ("The Snail") is located to the north of Las Monjas. It is a round building on a large square platform. It gets its name from the stone spiral staircase inside. The structure, with its unusual placement on the platform and its round shape (the others are rectangular, in keeping with Maya practice), is theorized to have been a proto-observatory with doors and windows aligned to astronomical events, specifically around the path of Venus as it traverses the heavens. [65]

Akab Dzib is located to the east of the Caracol. The name means, in Yucatec Mayan, "Dark Writing" "dark" in the sense of "mysterious". An earlier name of the building, according to a translation of glyphs in the Casa Colorada, is Wa(k)wak Puh Ak Na, "the flat house with the excessive number of chambers", and it was the home of the administrator of Chichén Itzá, kokom Yahawal Choʼ Kʼakʼ. [66]

INAH completed a restoration of the building in 2007. It is relatively short, only 6 meters (20 ft) high, and is 50 meters (160 ft) in length and 15 meters (49 ft) wide. The long, western-facing façade has seven doorways. The eastern façade has only four doorways, broken by a large staircase that leads to the roof. This apparently was the front of the structure, and looks out over what is today a steep, dry, cenote.

The southern end of the building has one entrance. The door opens into a small chamber and on the opposite wall is another doorway, above which on the lintel are intricately carved glyphs—the "mysterious" or "obscure" writing that gives the building its name today. Under the lintel in the doorjamb is another carved panel of a seated figure surrounded by more glyphs. Inside one of the chambers, near the ceiling, is a painted hand print.

Old Chichen

Old Chichen (or Chichén Viejo in Spanish) is the name given to a group of structures to the south of the central site, where most of the Puuc-style architecture of the city is concentrated. [2] It includes the Initial Series Group, the Phallic Temple, the Platform of the Great Turtle, the Temple of the Owls, and the Temple of the Monkeys.

Other structures

Chichen Itza also has a variety of other structures densely packed in the ceremonial center of about 5 square kilometers (1.9 sq mi) and several outlying subsidiary sites.

Caves of Balankanche

Approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) south east of the Chichen Itza archeological zone are a network of sacred caves known as Balankanche (Spanish: Gruta de Balankanche), Balamkaʼancheʼ in Yucatec Maya). In the caves, a large selection of ancient pottery and idols may be seen still in the positions where they were left in pre-Columbian times.

The location of the cave has been well known in modern times. Edward Thompson and Alfred Tozzer visited it in 1905. A.S. Pearse and a team of biologists explored the cave in 1932 and 1936. E. Wyllys Andrews IV also explored the cave in the 1930s. Edwin Shook and R.E. Smith explored the cave on behalf of the Carnegie Institution in 1954, and dug several trenches to recover potsherds and other artifacts. Shook determined that the cave had been inhabited over a long period, at least from the Preclassic to the post-conquest era. [67]

On 15 September 1959, José Humberto Gómez, a local guide, discovered a false wall in the cave. Behind it he found an extended network of caves with significant quantities of undisturbed archeological remains, including pottery and stone-carved censers, stone implements and jewelry. INAH converted the cave into an underground museum, and the objects after being catalogued were returned to their original place so visitors can see them in situ. [68]

Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico in 2017 it was estimated to have received 2.1 million visitors. [69]

Tourism has been a factor at Chichen Itza for more than a century. John Lloyd Stephens, who popularized the Maya Yucatán in the public's imagination with his book Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, inspired many to make a pilgrimage to Chichén Itzá. Even before the book was published, Benjamin Norman and Baron Emanuel von Friedrichsthal traveled to Chichen after meeting Stephens, and both published the results of what they found. Friedrichsthal was the first to photograph Chichen Itza, using the recently invented daguerreotype. [70]

After Edward Thompson in 1894 purchased the Hacienda Chichén, which included Chichen Itza, he received a constant stream of visitors. In 1910 he announced his intention to construct a hotel on his property, but abandoned those plans, probably because of the Mexican Revolution.

In the early 1920s, a group of Yucatecans, led by writer/photographer Francisco Gomez Rul, began working toward expanding tourism to Yucatán. They urged Governor Felipe Carrillo Puerto to build roads to the more famous monuments, including Chichen Itza. In 1923, Governor Carrillo Puerto officially opened the highway to Chichen Itza. Gomez Rul published one of the first guidebooks to Yucatán and the ruins.

Gomez Rul's son-in-law, Fernando Barbachano Peon (a grandnephew of former Yucatán Governor Miguel Barbachano), started Yucatán's first official tourism business in the early 1920s. He began by meeting passengers who arrived by steamship at Progreso, the port north of Mérida, and persuading them to spend a week in Yucatán, after which they would catch the next steamship to their next destination. In his first year Barbachano Peon reportedly was only able to convince seven passengers to leave the ship and join him on a tour. In the mid-1920s Barbachano Peon persuaded Edward Thompson to sell 5 acres (20,000 m 2 ) next to Chichen for a hotel. In 1930, the Mayaland Hotel opened, just north of the Hacienda Chichén, which had been taken over by the Carnegie Institution. [71]

In 1944, Barbachano Peon purchased all of the Hacienda Chichén, including Chichen Itza, from the heirs of Edward Thompson. [37] Around that same time the Carnegie Institution completed its work at Chichen Itza and abandoned the Hacienda Chichén, which Barbachano turned into another seasonal hotel.

In 1972, Mexico enacted the Ley Federal Sobre Monumentos y Zonas Arqueológicas, Artísticas e Históricas (Federal Law over Monuments and Archeological, Artistic and Historic Sites) that put all the nation's pre-Columbian monuments, including those at Chichen Itza, under federal ownership. [72] There were now hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors every year to Chichen Itza, and more were expected with the development of the Cancún resort area to the east.

In the 1980s, Chichen Itza began to receive an influx of visitors on the day of the spring equinox. Today several thousand show up to see the light-and-shadow effect on the Temple of Kukulcán during which the feathered serpent appears to crawl down the side of the pyramid. [nb 6] Tour guides will also demonstrate a unique the acoustical effect at Chichen Itza: a handclap before the in front of the staircase the El Castillo pyramid will produce by an echo that resembles the chirp of a bird, similar to that of the quetzal as investigated by Declercq. [73]

Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the second-most visited of Mexico's archeological sites. [74] The archeological site draws many visitors from the popular tourist resort of Cancún, who make a day trip on tour buses.

In 2007, Chichen Itza's Temple of Kukulcán (El Castillo) was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World after a worldwide vote. Despite the fact that the vote was sponsored by a commercial enterprise, and that its methodology was criticized, the vote was embraced by government and tourism officials in Mexico who projected that as a result of the publicity the number of tourists to Chichen would double by 2012. [nb 7] [75] The ensuing publicity re-ignited debate in Mexico over the ownership of the site, which culminated on 29 March 2010 when the state of Yucatán purchased the land upon which the most recognized monuments rest from owner Hans Juergen Thies Barbachano. [76]

INAH, which manages the site, has closed a number of monuments to public access. While visitors can walk around them, they can no longer climb them or go inside their chambers. Climbing access to El Castillo was closed after a San Diego, California, woman fell to her death in 2006. [50]


The Ojibwe name for the lake is gichi-gami (pronounced gitchi-gami or kitchi-gami in different dialects), [13] meaning "great sea". Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote this name as "Gitche Gumee" in the poem The Song of Hiawatha, as did Gordon Lightfoot in his song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".

According to other sources, the full Ojibwe name is Ojibwe Gichigami ("Ojibwe's Great Sea") or Anishinaabe Gichigami ("Anishinaabe's Great Sea"). [14] The 1878 dictionary by Father Frederic Baraga, the first one written for the Ojibway language, gives the Ojibwe name as Otchipwe-kitchi-gami (a transliteration of Ojibwe Gichigami). [13]

In the 17th century, the first French explorers approached the great inland sea by way of the Ottawa River and Lake Huron they referred to their discovery as le lac supérieur (the upper lake, i.e. above Lake Huron). Some 17th-century Jesuit missionaries referred to it as Lac Tracy (for Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy). [15] After taking control of the region from the French in the 1760s following their defeat in the French and Indian War, the British anglicized the lake's name to Superior, "on account of its being superior in magnitude to any of the lakes on that vast continent". [16]

Lake Superior empties into Lake Huron via the St. Marys River and the Soo Locks (Sault Ste. Marie locks). Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world in area and the third largest in volume, behind Lake Baikal in Siberia and Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. The Caspian Sea, while larger than Lake Superior in both surface area and volume, is brackish. Though presently isolated, prehistorically the Caspian has been repeatedly connected to and then isolated from the Mediterranean via the Black Sea.

Lake Superior has a surface area of 31,700 square miles (82,103 km 2 ), [7] which is approximately the size of South Carolina or Austria. It has a maximum length of 350 statute miles (560 km 300 nmi) and maximum breadth of 160 statute miles (257 km 139 nmi). [8] Its average depth is 80.5 fathoms (483 ft 147 m) with a maximum depth of 222.17 fathoms (1,333 ft 406 m). [7] [8] [9] Lake Superior contains 2,900 cubic miles (12,100 km³) of water. [7] There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover the entire land mass of North and South America to a depth of 30 centimetres (12 in). [b] The shoreline of the lake stretches 2,726 miles (4,387 km) (including islands). [7]

American limnologist J. Val Klump was the first person to reach the lowest depth of Lake Superior on July 30, 1985, as part of a scientific expedition, which at 122 fathoms 1 foot (733 ft or 223 m) below sea level is the second-lowest spot in the continental interior of the United States and the third-lowest spot in the interior of the North American continent after Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada (1,503 feet[458 m] below sea level) and Iliamna Lake in Alaska (942 feet [287 m] below sea level). (Though Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and deeper than Lake Superior, Crater Lake's elevation is higher and consequently its deepest point is 4,229 feet (1,289 m) above sea level.)

While the temperature of the surface of Lake Superior varies seasonally, the temperature below 110 fathoms (660 ft 200 m) is an almost constant 39 °F (4 °C). This variation in temperature makes the lake seasonally stratified. Twice per year, however, the water column reaches a uniform temperature of 39 °F (4 °C) from top to bottom, and the lake waters thoroughly mix. This feature makes the lake dimictic. Because of its volume, Lake Superior has a retention time of 191 years. [17] [18]

Annual storms on Lake Superior regularly feature wave heights of over 20 feet (6 m). [19] Waves well over 30 feet (9 m) have been recorded. [20]

Tributaries Edit

Lake Superior is fed by more than 200 rivers, including the Nipigon River, the St. Louis River, the Pigeon River, the Pic River, the White River, the Michipicoten River, the Bois Brule River and the Kaministiquia River. The lake's outlet at St. Marys River has a relatively steep gradient with rapids. The Soo Locks enable ships to bypass the rapids and to overcome the 25-foot (8 m) height difference between Lakes Superior and Huron.

Water levels Edit

The lake's average surface elevation is 600 feet (183 m) [8] [17] above sea level. Until approximately 1887, the natural hydraulic conveyance through the St. Marys River rapids determined the outflow from Lake Superior. By 1921, development in support of transportation and hydroelectric power resulted in gates, locks, power canals and other control structures completely spanning St. Marys rapids. The regulating structure is known as the Compensating Works and is operated according to a regulation plan known as Plan 1977-A. Water levels, including diversions of water from the Hudson Bay watershed, are regulated by the International Lake Superior Board of Control, which was established in 1914 by the International Joint Commission.

Lake Superior's water level was at a new record low in September 2007, slightly less than the previous record low in 1926. [21] Water levels recovered within a few days. [22]

Historic high water The lake's water level fluctuates from month to month, with the highest lake levels in October and November. The normal high-water mark is 1.17 feet (0.36 m) above datum (601.1 ft or 183.2 m). In the summer of 1985, Lake Superior reached its highest recorded level at 2.33 feet (0.71 m) above datum. [23] 2019 and 2020 set new high-water records in nearly every month. [23]

Historic low water The lake's lowest levels occur in March and April. The normal low-water mark is 0.33 feet (0.10 m) below datum. In the winter of 1926 Lake Superior reached its lowest recorded level at 1.58 feet (0.48 m) below datum. [23] Additionally, the entire first half of the year (January to June) included record low months. The low water was a continuation of the dropping lake levels from the previous year, 1925, which set low-water records for October through December. During the nine-month period of October 1925 to June 1926, water levels ranged from 1.58 feet (0.48 m) to 0.33 feet (0.10 m) below Chart Datum. [23] In the summer of 2007 monthly historic lows were set August at 0.66 feet (0.20 m), September at 0.58 feet (0.18 m). [23]

Climate change Edit

According to a study by professors at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Lake Superior may have warmed faster than its surrounding area. [24] Summer surface temperatures in the lake appeared to have increased by about 4.5 °F (2.5 °C) between 1979 and 2007, compared with an approximately 2.7 °F (1.5 °C) increase in the surrounding average air temperature. The increase in the lake's surface temperature may be related to the decreasing ice cover. Less winter ice cover allows more solar radiation to penetrate and warm the water. If trends continue, Lake Superior, which freezes over completely once every 20 years, could routinely be ice-free by 2040. [25]

Warmer temperatures could lead to more snow in the lake effect snow belts along the shores of the lake, especially in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Two recent consecutive winters (2013–2014 and 2014–2015) brought high ice coverage to the Great Lakes, and on March 6, 2014, overall ice coverage peaked at 92.5%, the second-highest in recorded history. [26] Lake Superior's ice coverage further beat 2014's record in 2019, reaching 95% coverage. [27]

The largest island in Lake Superior is Isle Royale in Michigan. Isle Royale contains several lakes, some of which also contain islands. Other well-known islands include Madeline Island in Wisconsin, Michipicoten Island in Ontario, and Grand Island (the location of the Grand Island National Recreation Area) in Michigan.

The larger cities on Lake Superior include the twin ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin Thunder Bay, Ontario Marquette, Michigan and the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Duluth-Superior, at the western end of Lake Superior, is the most inland point on the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the most inland port in the world.

Lake Superior's size reduces the severity of the seasons of its humid continental climate (more typically seen in locations like Nova Scotia). [29] The water surface's slow reaction to temperature changes, seasonally ranging between 32 and 55 °F (0–13 °C) around 1970, [30] helps to moderate surrounding air temperatures in the summer (cooler with frequent sea breeze formations) and winter, and creates lake-effect snow in colder months. The hills and mountains that border the lake hold moisture and fog, particularly in the fall.

The rocks of Lake Superior's northern shore date back to the early history of the earth. During the Precambrian (between 4.5 billion and 540 million years ago) magma forcing its way to the surface created the intrusive granites of the Canadian Shield. [31] These ancient granites can be seen on the North Shore today. It was during the Penokean orogeny, part of the process that created the Great Lakes tectonic zone, that many valuable metals were deposited. The region surrounding the lake has proved to be rich in minerals, with copper, iron, silver, gold and nickel the most frequently mined. Notable production includes gold from the Hemlo mine near Marathon, copper from the Keweenaw Peninsula and the Mamainse Point Formation, iron from the Gogebic Range, silver at Silver Islet, and uranium at Theano Point.

The mountains steadily eroded, depositing layers of sediments that compacted and became limestone, dolomite, taconite and the shale at Kakabeka Falls. The continental crust was later riven, creating one of the deepest rifts in the world. [32] The lake lies in this long-extinct Mesoproterozoic rift valley, the Midcontinent Rift. Magma was injected between layers of sedimentary rock, forming diabase sills. This hard diabase protects the layers of sedimentary rock below, forming the flat-topped mesas in the Thunder Bay area. Amethyst formed in some of the cavities created by the Midcontinent Rift, and there are several amethyst mines in the Thunder Bay area. [33]

Lava erupted from the rift and formed the black basalt rock of Michipicoten Island, Black Bay Peninsula, and St. Ignace Island. [ citation needed ]

In the most recent geological history, during the Wisconsin glaciation 10,000 years ago, ice covered the region at a thickness of 1.25 miles (2 km). The land contours familiar today were carved by the advance and retreat of the ice sheet. The retreat left gravel, sand, clay and boulder deposits. Glacial meltwaters gathered in the Superior basin creating Lake Minong, a precursor to Lake Superior. [34] Without the immense weight of the ice, the land rebounded, and a drainage outlet formed at Sault Ste. Marie, becoming today's St. Mary's River.

The first people came to the Lake Superior region 10,000 years ago after the retreat of the glaciers in the Last Glacial Period. They are known as the Plano, and they used stone-tipped spears to hunt caribou on the northwestern side of Lake Minong. The Shield Archaic peoples arrived around 5000 BC evidence of this culture can be found at the eastern and western ends of the Canadian shore. They used bows and arrows, paddled dugout canoes, fished, hunted, mined copper for tools and weapons, and established trading networks. They are believed to be the direct ancestors of the Ojibwe and Cree. [35] The Laurel people (c. 500 BC to AD 500) developed seine net fishing, evidence being found at rivers around Superior such as the Pic and Michipicoten. The Terminal Woodland Indians were evident in the area from 900 AD to 1650. They were Algonquian peoples who hunted, fished and gathered berries. They used snowshoes, birch bark canoes and conical or domed lodges. At the mouth of the Michipicoten River, nine layers of encampments have been discovered. Most of the Pukaskwa Pits were likely made during this time. [35]

The Anishinaabe people, which includes the Ojibwe or Chippewa, have inhabited the Lake Superior region for over five hundred years and were preceded by the Dakota, Fox, Menominee, Nipigon, Noquet and Gros Ventres. After the arrival of Europeans, the Anishinaabe made themselves middle-men between the French fur traders and other Native peoples. They soon became the dominant Native American nation in the region: they forced out the Sioux and Fox and won a victory against the Iroquois west of Sault Ste. Marie in 1662. By the mid-18th century, the Ojibwe occupied all of Lake Superior's shores. [36]

In the 18th century, as the booming fur trade supplied Europe with beaver hats, the Hudson's Bay Company had a virtual monopoly in the region until 1783, when the rival North West Company was formed. The North West Company built forts on Lake Superior at Grand Portage, Fort William, Nipigon, the Pic River, the Michipicoten River, and Sault Ste. Marie. But by 1821, with competition harming the profits of both, the companies merged under the Hudson's Bay Company name. Many towns around the lake are current or former mining areas, or engaged in processing or shipping. Today, tourism is another significant industry: the sparsely populated Lake Superior country, with its rugged shorelines and wilderness, attracts vacationers and adventurers.

Shipping Edit

Lake Superior has been an important link in the Great Lakes Waterway, providing a route for the transportation of iron ore as well as grain and other mined and manufactured materials. Large cargo vessels called lake freighters, as well as smaller ocean-going freighters, transport these commodities across Lake Superior. Shipping was slow to arrive at Lake Superior in the 19th century. The first steamboat to run on the lake was the Independence in 1847, whereas the first steamers on the other Great Lakes began sailing in 1816. [37] [38] Ice closes the lake shipping from mid-January to late March. Exact dates for the shipping season vary each year, [39] depending on weather conditions that form and break the ice.

Shipwrecks Edit

The southern shore of Lake Superior between Grand Marais, Michigan, and Whitefish Point is known as the "Graveyard of the Great Lakes" more ships have been lost around the Whitefish Point area than any other part of Lake Superior. [40] These shipwrecks are now protected by the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve. Storms that claimed multiple ships include the Mataafa Storm in 1905 and the Great Lakes Storm of 1913.

Wreckage of SS Cyprus—a 420-foot (130 m) ore carrier that sank on October 11, 1907, during a Lake Superior storm in 77 fathoms (460 ft or 140 m) of water—was located in August 2007. Built in Lorain, Ohio, Cyprus was launched August 17, 1907, and was lost on her second voyage hauling iron ore from Superior, Wisconsin, to Buffalo, New York, with the sole survivor among her 23 crew being Charles G. Pitz. [41] In 1918 the last warships to sink in the Great Lakes, French minesweepers Inkerman and Cerisoles, vanished in a Lake Superior storm, perhaps upon striking the uncharted danger of the Superior Shoal in an otherwise deep part of the lake. With 78 crewmembers dead, their sinking marked the largest loss of life on Lake Superior to date.

SS Edmund Fitzgerald was the latest ship to sink in Lake Superior, 15 nautical miles (28 km 17 mi) from Whitefish Point in a storm on November 10, 1975. The wreck was immortalized by Gordon Lightfoot in his ballad "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". All 29 crew members died, and no bodies were recovered. Edmund Fitzgerald was battered so intensely by Lake Superior that the 729-foot (222 m) ship split in half her two pieces currently lie approximately 170 feet (52 m) apart in a depth of 88 fathoms (530 ft or 160 m).

Lightfoot sings that "The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead". [42] This is because of the unusually cold water, under 36 °F (2 °C) on average around 1970. [30] Normally, bacteria decaying a sunken body will bloat it with gas, causing it to float to the surface after a few days. But Lake Superior's water is cold enough year-round to inhibit bacterial growth, and bodies tend to sink and never resurface. [43] Joe MacInnis reported that in July 1994, explorer Frederick Shannon's Expedition 94 to the wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald discovered a man's body near the port side of her pilothouse, not far from the open door, "fully clothed, wearing an orange life jacket, and lying face down in the sediment". [44]

Norfolk International Terminals (NIT)

Located on 567 acres along the Elizabeth and Lafayette Rivers, Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) is the Virginia Port Authority’s largest terminal. Served by 14 super Post-Panamax class ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, NIT has a total of 6,630 linear feet of berthing, dredged to 50’,capable of handling the newest class of Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCVs) now calling the East Coast.

NIT is divided into three major sections: the South Terminal, the North Terminal and the Central Rail Yard. The terminal has direct, on-dock rail access to Norfolk Southern’s Heartland Corridor, allowing second-day double-stack service to inland markets. CSX Intermodal access is also available at NIT. Expanded rail services are critical to our customers in the Midwest and Ohio Valley, ensuring NIT’s position as a competitive gateway terminal.

In January 2018, construction began on a $452 million terminal optimization project. This state-funded project will increase the total capacity of NIT by 46 percent within the same footprint. In total, The Port of Virginia will have an added capacity of over 1 million containers due to the expansion project at Virginia International Gateway and the terminal optimization project at NIT. These historic investments ensure that our ocean carriers, cargo owners and transportation partners will have room to expand their international business for decades to come. Growth at The Port of Virginia means more jobs and greater economic prosperity for our Commonwealth.

In November 2020, two new ship-to-shore cranes will arrive at NIT and the South NIT optimization will be complete, offering:

  • 30 new container stacks
  • 60 new semi-automated rail-mounted gantry cranes
  • Capacity expansion of 400,000 additional annual container lifts

In January 2021, the new STS cranes will be in service, giving NIT 16 STS cranes, spread over six berths. NIT is now positioned as an industry leader in efficiency, offering customers abundant capacity, designed to meet their transportation and logistics needs today, and in the years to come.

NIT is located adjacent to Interstates 64 and 564 and Hampton Boulevard in Norfolk. Thousands of daily truck moves are processed through 42 interchange lanes and two on-terminal transfer zones.

There’s Only One Destination Port in North America!

That’s right. Out of all the container ports in North America, there’s only one that has the right to be called a destination port: the Port of Montreal. Moreover, we’re the closest port to the US Midwestern market, meaning we’re within two days of 110 million consumers. Yes, you read that right. This is one of the reasons we’re the second largest port in Canada and fifth among all the ports on the North American east coast.

Going direct: the destination port advantage

There are two types of ports: destination ports and ports of call. Here’s an analogy to show the difference. Think of a port of call more like waiting at a bus stop, and a destination port is more like a cab ride.

No matter how you choose to get there, you’ll get there eventually. But the bus ride has a few stops to make along the way to unload and load containers at stops before yours, and the taxi route is direct. No detours. No time wasted. And you don’t even need to tip!

Since Montreal is a destination port where ships are 100% loaded and unloaded, the result is a far better cost-effectiveness ratio for the carrier, which can mean savings for the importer/exporter.

The fastest route to the American Midwest and 2/3 of the Canadian population

Having the Port of Montreal strategically 1,600 kilometres inland explains a good part of our unique reality as a destination port. Imagine: we are the fastest route between Europe, the Mediterranean and North America’s industrial centre.

And since cargos spend more time on the water than on rails or roads, there are plenty of economic and environmental advantages. Ships emit the least greenhouse gases out of all transport options and are the least expensive per kilometre travelled. Proof once again that less is more.

But our leading role in the logistics chain takes its full measure once you understand the ecosystem in which we operate. The only container port on the St. Lawrence, the most important port on the Canadian east coast, we’re also at the heart of an intermodal platform recognized for its operational performance. And for good reasons, amongst which:

- we’re connected to more than 140 countries around the world thanks to the direct and transshipment services of global marine carriers like CMA CGM, COSCO, HAPAG-LLOYD, MAERSK, MSC and OOCL.

- our 100 km network of on-dock railways directly linked to the Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) transnational networks allows us to organize convoys at the foot of the ships while ensuring daily departures to Chicago, Detroit and Toronto.

- Even more so, we have a state-of-the-art truck traffic optimization system developed specifically for the Port. And the adoption of the TradeLens platform jointly created by Maersk and IBM allows us to optimize the planning of our operations. This is possible from the access and analysis of inbound traffic data via blockchain technology.

A formula that keeps optimizing

All in all, here’s what makes us a leading player in the logistics industry for North America, Europe and the Mediterranean:

  • We are the only destination port in North America
  • We offer the fastest route between Europe, the Mediterranean and the industrial heart of North American markets
  • We are constantly implementing technological innovations

And we’re not stopping there!

Even with our key position and all our distinctive advantages, we refuse to rest on our laurels. We choose to keep innovating! It’s what we do. We’re already working on several projects that will allow us to improve the performance of the Port of Montreal over the coming years.

Just think of the new Contrecœur terminal, the construction of a viaduct above Notre-Dame Street that will allow trucks to directly reach the highway network, and our active participation in global discussions on Industry 4.0 such as the Smart Port: Piers of the Future conferences, the international chainPORT grouping and the European ePicenter project.

The Port of Montreal is the only destination port in North America, and it’s a smart port on top of that. Two advantages that are ultimately made to help you. Smart, don’t you think?

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The History of Clarksville-Montgomery County

1784 - Clarksville was established near the confluence of the Cumberland and Red Rivers and named for General George Rogers Clark, Indian fighter and Revolutionary War leader.

1785 - Clarksville is established as part of colonial North Carolina. Despite frequent Indian attacks, the town survived and prospered.

1796 - Tennessee becomes the 16th state. Tennessee County is divided into Montgomery and Robertson Counties. The name Montgomery honored John Montgomery a renowned Indian fighter and Revolutionary War leader.

Early 1800s - Devoted to the building of roads, railroads and bridges, and the establishment of churches and educational institutions.

1806 - Rural Academy is established on the present site of Austin Peay State University.

1808 – The state’s oldest newspaper, The Leaf-Chronicle, is established.

1860s - When the Civil War began in 1860, Fort Defiance was established in preparation of the Union advance, only to fall to Federal troops in 1862

1854 – Tennessee’s first bank, Northern Bank (now Regions Bank), is established in Clarksville. 

1900&aposs - Present

1900 – 1940 - The Cumberland River is of great importance to the community and Clarksville is well known for dark-fired tobacco, its primary money crop. Trade and business progressed.

1919 – Women’s Bank of Tennessee opens as the first and only bank in the world established and operated entirely by women.

1940 – Olympic gold medalist Wilma Rudolph is born in Clarksville. She overcame polio to become an Olympic track star, winning three gold medals and becoming the world’s most famous black woman athlete.

1937 - The Great Flood of 1937 occurs after the Cumberland River crests and on January 25 reaches its highest ever recorded, 65.5 feet, 19.6 feet above flood stage.

1942 – The U.S. Army establishes Camp Campbell in Montgomery County, named in honor of General William Bowen Campbell.

1950 – Camp Campbell becomes a permanent installation, named Fort Campbell.

1994 – Wilma Rudolph dies and is buried in Clarksville.

1999 – On January 22 at 4:12 a.m., an F4 tornado struck Clarksville, destroying much of historic downtown with 500 damaged structures and over $72 million in losses. Despite widespread property damage, there was no loss of life and only five injuries reported.

2010 - The Cumberland River overflowed leaving areas along the Cumberland River completely inundated and businesses under several feet of water. 

The Home of Salubrious* Breezes

Southport is located on the coast in Southeastern North Carolina, where the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean. We’re known for our stunning scenery, our history, the maritime heritage of our forebears, and the salubrious breezes that cast a calm and welcoming ambience over the residents and visitors of our little slice of heaven.

*salubrious (suh-lube-ree-us) adj: favorable to or promoting health or well-being.

Public Notices & Latest News

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Project Indigo

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The City of Southport Dock Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Time to register your beehives.

hist-2022/14720/image_aLVM3Eluus.png 300 300 Sharon Venis Sharon Venis 2021-03-30 12:55:12 2021-03-30 12:55:12 Time to register your beehives.

October 1 - UPDATE - Southport Weather Tower 708 944 Sharon Venis Sharon Venis 2020-10-01 08:10:26 2020-10-02 10:13:41 October 1 - UPDATE - Southport Weather Tower

Camera Port on North American F-6C - History

By STEVE LIEWER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 27, 2002

A wintry chill settled over the deck of the Navy’s smallest warship, a cold complement to the snow-capped peaks poking up from the North Korean peninsula 15 miles to the west.

Jan. 23, 1968, dawned sunny and clear. It was one of the few pleasant sailing days for the 83 men of the USS Pueblo since the ship left its home port of Yokosuka, Japan, 18 days earlier. The top-heavy ship had been bobbing like a cork atop giant swells that sickened even the saltiest of Navy seadogs. The crowded crew quarters stank of sweat and vomit.

Almost no one, inside or outside the Navy, had heard of the Pueblo as it trolled off Wonson that morning. A supply ship of World War II vintage, it recently had been refurbished for a new mission. Officially it would serve as an oceanographic research vessel — but its decks bristled with antennae, and a secret 10- by 30-foot room carved out of the former cargo hold had been jammed with cryptographic equipment and listening gear.

The USS Pueblo was a nest of spooks.

By the evening of Jan. 23, the ship’s name would blare in headlines around the world, and one sailor would die from North Korean gunfire.

Over the next 11 months, the Pueblo’s crew would suffer countless beatings and death threats at the hands of the North Koreans who had seized the ship and held the men prisoner. The United States would be humiliated into apologizing for an intrusion the ship did not commit in order to secure the sailors’ release.

Thirty-four years have passed, and the "Pueblo Incident" has faded from the public’s memory. For the crew, though, forgetting a year of hell has not been that simple. They must live with the physical scars, the mental pain of knowing they confessed to phony "crimes" under torture, and the Navy’s crude attempt to scapegoat them when they returned.

"A lot of these guys had tough times. They’re still having tough times," said Lloyd "Pete" Bucher, the ship’s commander and still the crew’s spiritual leader, in an interview last year at his home near San Diego. "My whole existence has been trying to bring honor to the crew."

The crash-landing in China this summer of a Navy EP-3 aircraft on an eavesdropping mission remarkably similar to the Pueblo’s showed that secret operations still can put American servicemembers in harm’s way. That the United States secured the EP-3 crew’s release, unharmed, in a relatively short time shows how far the government has come in handling hostage crises.

Unwanted stepchild

Its capture by the North Korean navy was only the last in a series of misfortunes that plagued the Pueblo during its short service.

In the mid-1960s, the Navy agreed to convert several mothballed supply ships into listening posts to carry out electronic intelligence-gathering missions for the super-secret National Security Agency under a program called Operation Clickbeetle. The ships were an answer to the Russian and Chinese "fishing trawlers" that patrolled outside U.S. territorial waters, listening and provoking, to learn about the other side’s radar and radio transmission capabilities.

The Pueblo and its sister ship, the Palm Beach, may have impressed the Navy’s higher-ups, but they hardly impressed the sailors who first saw them under renovation in Bremerton, Wash. The two ships were labeled AGER (for Auxiliary, General, Environmental Research).

"I spotted in the rain-splattered basin the unmistakable ugly shape of (the Pueblo and Palm Beach), made even uglier by their molding green blotches of anti-corrosion paint with running sores of bleeding rust," Bucher wrote in his 1969 autobiography, "Bucher: My Story." "They both looked like abandoned derelicts compared with the other great warships being serviced in the yard."

Bucher was an orphan who graduated from Father Flanagan’s Boys Town in Nebraska before enlisting in the Navy in 1946. Later he became an officer and, at 39, arrived at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to assume his first command on Jan. 29, 1967.

The new captain was a combative charger who wanted the best for his stepchild of a ship, and he didn’t worry about whom he offended to get it. He pushed his growing crew to 12-hour shifts, then 15½-hour workdays to get Pueblo ready for its commissioning in late spring.

Bucher argued frequently with Pueblo’s shipyard superintendent, and with his own chain of command. Along with most of the crew, no one at the shipyard knew why the ship was being refurbished. Different commands handed down conflicting orders, leaving the crew to sort things out.

Still, after weeks of frantic effort, the ship was ready for commissioning May 13. A monsignor from Boys Town traveled to Bremerton to give the Pueblo his blessing.

You’d have thought he’d delivered a curse.

Just a few days later, the Navy communications technicians who had been working in the Special Operations Detachment crypto room — not-so-affectionately dubbed the "SOD-Hut" — discovered that all of the equipment had been installed upside-down due to poor planning by the ship’s designers. It would take two months and $500,000 to fix the mistake.

"Right from the beginning, it seemed like it was ill-fated," said James Kell, one of the Pueblo’s CTs, in an interview at his suburban San Diego home last year.

Conflicts cropped up while the Pueblo was in the yard that would flare up again later. Bucher collided often with Lt. Stephen Harris, the young officer in charge of the SOD-Hut and the 28 communications technicians who worked there. They worked for a separate chain of command that ultimately led to the NSA, and it rankled the captain to have this large and secretive group of sailors outside of his authority.

The CTs also clashed with the Pueblo sailors. They had little to do until the ship reached its still-secret destination except to play Monopoly and cards while the regular sailors worked.

"Prior to the commissioning they started showing up in ones and twos, God’s gift to the Navy," wrote Edward "Stu" Russell, a Navy seaman at the time, in an article on the USS Pueblo Veterans Association’s Web site at

"These guys were normal people, but the Navy had pumped them up so much that they were above doing any kind of work aboard the ship other than the secret stuff they did inside their special hiding place. Naturally, this led to quite a bit of friction between the ship’s company and the detachment."

Eventually, the horror of captivity would heal this rift. But it would not change the oil-and-water animosity between Bucher and his executive officer, Lt. Edward Murphy, who joined the Pueblo crew May 5. Bucher was old Navy, a charismatic, hot-tempered, brash officer. He was a self-described "sailor’s sailor" who drove his men hard and liked to drink with them afterward.

Murphy could hardly have been more different. Quiet and sensitive, he wouldn’t drink beer or coffee in keeping with the principles of his Christian Science religion. Sometimes he would join the other six Pueblo officers in their after-hours revelry, but he never quite fit in.

"From the looks of him, you guys had better mend your wicked ways and shape up," Bucher told the other officers with a wink after their first meeting with Murphy.

Murphy never approved of Bucher’s swashbuckling regime or his tendency to throw the Navy rulebook out the window.

"The Navy trained us one way, he trained us another, and there was just mass, mass confusion," said Murphy, today a tour bus driver who lives just a few miles from Bucher in suburban San Diego.

Underway at last

The Navy had planned to send the AGERs out unarmed in keeping with their oceanographic research cover assignment. Then less than a month after the Pueblo and the Palm Beach were commissioned, waves of Israeli fighter jets attacked the U.S. spy ship USS Liberty for several hours as it idled off the Gaza Strip during the Six Day War, killing 34 sailors and injuring 75. The Israelis claimed the assault was an accident and later paid reparations to the United States.

After that, the U.S. chief of Naval operations ordered cannons installed on the decks of the AGERs. Bucher agreed they should be armed, but he thought those guns far too big for a little ship like the Pueblo.

"If they’d have put it on the deck of the Pueblo, it would have sunk us," he said. Besides, each would require a five-man crew and take weeks to install.

Bucher substituted two lighter .50-caliber machine guns mounted fore and aft, both heavily exposed positions. They were covered with canvas that later was often covered with thick sheets of ice when Pueblo steamed through the wintry Sea of Japan. He suspected they would prove useless in an emergency, but he could hardly imagine needing to shoot them. He considered the Israeli attack a freakish accident. Who would risk the wrath of the United States by attacking a peaceful ship in international waters?

The Navy vetoed Bucher’s requests for watertight hatches and a destruction system so the ship could be scuttled quickly if it fell into enemy hands. All of these would come back to haunt the crew.

On Pueblo’s first trial run, the ship’s rudder froze. Sailors swarmed aft to rig an emergency steering mechanism, sparing the ship the indignity of a tow back into port on its maiden voyage. The problem recurred without warning on nearly every trip. The trouble lay in the engine that controlled the steering mechanism it had been manufactured during World War II by an elevator company long since defunct.

Bucher concluded it could not be fixed without another costly, time-eating repair, and the crew grew adept at fixing it while underway. The steering broke down 180 times during trials, he estimated, and 70 more times while the ship crossed the Pacific that fall. It wasn’t fixed until mechanics at the Ship Repair Facility in Yokosuka solved the problem six months later.

The Pueblo received its final certification Sept. 5, with a less-than-ringing endorsement of its seaworthiness.

"Deficiencies exist in the ship that substantially reduce her fitness for naval service, but are not of such magnitude to warrant retrial of the ship," said the Board of Inspection and Survey in its report.

The crew finally went to sea — many of them for the first time — with a cruise to San Diego for underway training. Then on Nov. 6, with the Pueblo’s theme song, Herb Alpert’s "Lonely Bull," playing over the ship’s intercom, the vessel started off on its long trans-Pacific cruise.

West of Hawaii, the ship steamed through a ferocious north Pacific storm. Bucher said the top-heavy Pueblo frequently rolled more than 45 degrees. He worried that sometime it might not recover.

Last liberty

After seven stormy days, the Pueblo steamed into the calm of Tokyo Bay the evening of Dec. 1. A tug escorted it to the dock at Yokosuka Naval Base, which became its new home, its steering engine having failed one final time in Truman Bay.

Yokosuka, 30 miles south of Tokyo, has been the Navy’s Far East headquarters since the end of World War II. Today it is a sedate and prosperous seaport of 438,000 residents, but in the late 1960s it served as the Navy’s wildest, seediest liberty port north of Manila. Packs of drunken sailors would stagger from bar to bar, looking for booze and babes.

The place seemed tailor-made for Bucher’s work-hard, party-hard crew, cooped up for so long in a tight space.

At night they prowled Yokosuka’s bars and brothels, but in the daytime Bucher worked them hard. The steering needed fixing, the guns needed installing, the ship needed supplying, and the CTs needed to brush up their skills. The crew fought frequent hangovers to get the jobs done.

During the Pueblo’s stay in Yokosuka, another AGER assigned to the port pulled in alongside. The USS Banner, its crew haggard and bearded, had just returned from an eavesdropping mission in the Sea of Japan.

The Banner had frequently been harassed by Soviet or Chinese destroyers when it neared the coastlines of those countries, though it had never been bothered by the North Koreans. Frequently the hostile warships would maneuver as if to ram it, Bucher said, or hoist a signal flag that said "Heave to or I will fire" with guns ready to shoot. Though it suffered steering and engine problems similar to those of the Pueblo, it got out of every scrape.

"We were finally able to talk to someone about what it was like to be on station," wrote Russell, who worked in the Pueblo’s supply office. "What was extremely disconcerting, none of them would say much about what they did. They bragged some about being hassled by the Russians and made it sound like they had gone out on a shopping spree and just missed being mugged."

The canny Japanese mechanics at the Yokosuka Ship Repair Facility had succeeded in fixing the troublesome little engine that powered the Pueblo’s steering, a feat that had eluded technicians in Bremerton, San Francisco, San Diego and Pearl Harbor. A plastic windscreen had been installed over the "flying bridge" so Bucher would be less exposed to the elements when he commanded from topside.

Bucher hadn’t solved some of his other problems, though. He continued to badger his superiors for a destruction mechanism for his ship, but they took little interest. After all, the Banner had completed 16 missions, and it had never required scuttling or document destruction. Bucher considered stocking the ship with Thermite, an incendiary device that is very difficult to extinguish. But he rejected its use as too dangerous because of its instability. The last thing he needed was an accidental fire at sea.

For the job of document destruction, Pueblo also was ill-prepared. The Navy had issued two small paper-shredders capable of munching about 1,000 pages an hour. The sailors had to feed them by hand, five sheets at a time. Bucher also installed a 50-gallon incinerator on the deck. It could easily burn the daily accumulation classified materials, but it would take many hours, perhaps days, to burn the ton or so of secret papers and manuals the Navy had placed aboard.

Bucher finally quit fighting the indifferent Navy bureaucracy. This was his first ship command, and he feared his superiors would label him as paranoid and unfit for command if he seemed obsessed with the means of destroying his own ship.

Later, he admitted, he wished he had fought harder.

With the Pueblo scheduled to shove off Jan. 5, the ship picked up its last few crew members. Among them were two civilian government oceanographers, Dunnie "Friar" Tuck and Harry Iredale, who set up an on-board lab and planned to conduct research in keeping with Pueblo’s cover assignment.

James Kell, then a 31-year-old chief petty officer, came aboard two days before the ship set sail. He and his wife, Pat, had lived in Japan for 18 months while he had been assigned to the communications station at Kamiseya, Japan, not far from Yokosuka. He took the Pueblo assignment in place of another chief the Navy was transferring elsewhere.

Two Marines also joined the Pueblo at the last minute, Sgt. Robert Hammond, then 22, and Sgt. Bob Chicca, 24. They had become good friends as their military careers had followed parallel tracks.

They had spent a year together in communications intelligence school, then volunteered for language school in 1965. Both spent 16 weeks studying Korean at Monterey, Calif., then were sent down the coast to Camp Pendleton. Hammond served a tour in Vietnam — which Chicca envied — before they both landed at Kamiseya.

Chicca had been there 18 months when his command assigned the two to the Pueblo to monitor and translate Korean radio communications. They were stunned. Their short Korean courses had hardly prepared them to translate military jargon, and their language skills had grown rusty with 2½ years of disuse.

"When I found out what they wanted us to do, I knew we couldn’t do it," Chicca said last year in an interview at his home in Chula Vista, Calif. "If we were the best they had, it was a sorry sight."

Hammond and Chicca protested to their own superiors and to Bucher that they weren’t prepared to handle the assignment. Bucher was furious, but he didn’t believe he could delay his mission yet again to wait for better translators.

The ship and crew shoved off for Sasebo, Japan, as planned Jan. 5, and sailed straight into a western Pacific storm that wouldn’t let up. This one blew so hard, it sickened nearly everyone on board.

"We again experienced frightening steep rolls which left the ship hanging with her lee railings under before staggering back on her keel, where she barely paused before whipping over on her opposite beam ends," Bucher wrote in his book. "Those who felt they had developed immunity after the Pacific crossing were soon retching with less-hardy shipmates."

Chicca and Hammond alternated 12-hour duty shifts. They worked in a section of the SOD-Hut that essentially was a long hallway, 10 people crammed in an area three feet wide and 20 feet long.

"You’d sort of jam your feet on one side, your back on the other and tried not to get seasick," Chicca said.

The storm stayed with them and worsened as they rounded the southern tip of Kyushu towards Sasebo, the other major Navy port in Japan. Bucher ordered the Pueblo to take shelter behind an island. After the gale lessened slightly, the ship ventured out again. He gave Murphy, the chief navigator, a ferocious tongue-lashing after the ship nearly smashed into some rocks in the middle of the night, the latest in a long string of nasty confrontations.

The Pueblo limped into Sasebo on Jan. 9, and the planned 12-hour visit stretched to two days so the crew could clean up and make repairs. Their final night in port, Bucher, Murphy and three of the officers stayed out nearly till dawn playing poker in a bar. At 6 a.m. Jan. 11, "Lonely Bull" crackled one last time over the ship’s loudspeaker as the ship bid sayonara to Japan.

The Pueblo hugged the Japanese shoreline as it slipped through the Tsushima Straits dividing Japan from China, carefully avoiding two Soviet navy ships nearby.

It could not, however, avoid the winter storms that bedevil the Sea of Japan. Temperatures stayed well below freezing. Bucher constantly fought the build-up of ice on the ship’s deck and superstructure.

The Pueblo’s assignment, Bucher said, was to steam up to the Soviet Union-North Korea border, then slowly head south about 15 miles offshore while the CTs listened for UHF radio signals and recorded them. They hoped to intercept military communications and learn about radar positions.

"My job was to take the ship safely to wherever the spooks wanted to go," Bucher said. It would stay in the area until Jan. 27, then return to Sasebo for a two-week break.

Bucher and Murphy’s relationship continued to deteriorate. Bucher considered Murphy unreliable, a poor administrator and navigator who constantly made excuses for his lapses. Murphy considered Bucher erratic and unprofessional. He thought the captain’s frequent lapses from Navy policy put the ship and crew in danger, and he says he discussed with Harris, the SOD-Hut commander, the possibility of requesting that Bucher be relieved of command.

But despite the storms and the internal conflict, the Pueblo’s mission had been uneventful. No hostile ships appeared to have spotted it until the evening of Jan. 21, when two North Korean fishing boats approached them and passed within 20 yards. Bucher summoned the ship’s photographer, Petty Officer 1st Class Lawrence Mack, and the boats took pictures of one another.

After the encounter, the Pueblo broke its two-week radio silence and reported the contact to Kamiseya.

"We knew we were detected," Kell said. "There are no ‘innocent’ fishing trawlers over there."

Shortly before noon on Jan. 23, Bucher sat down to a lunch of meatloaf, succotash, mashed potatoes and gravy when Law, the ship’s quartermaster, called down to the wardroom. He told Bucher that a vessel was eight miles away, approaching quickly from the south. Before the captain could finish his second helping, the intruder had cut that distance in half. The ship lay 15.8 miles from the nearest land.

Bucher climbed up to the flying bridge, wearing a ski mask against the cold. He saw a heavily armed submarine chaser — built for speed like a cigarette boat, but larger — flying the North Korean flag and circling within 100 yards.

Word spread around the ship, and many of the crew climbed topside to see the excitement.

"It was like watching a movie, where everyone’s behind their guns looking at you," Chicca said. "The wrong end of a lot of firepower."

Bucher quickly sent them below, fearing it would give away the Pueblo’s true mission. He ordered Law and another sailor to hoist the American flag. He ordered Ensign Tim Harris, the ship’s junior officer, to keep a running account, with illustrations, of the encounter. And he brought out Tuck and Iredale, the oceanographers, to sample water temperatures in hopes of reinforcing the alleged nature of their visit.

The North Koreans weren’t biting.

They hoisted a signal flag that said "Heave to (stop), or I will fire." That sent Bucher into a fit of cursing, since the ship already was stopped.

In response, he raised flags stating "I am hydrographic."

Chicca, below in the SOD-hut, summoned Hammond to help him listen to the subchaser’s radio communications, but they could make out only a word or two. Another CT, Petty Officer 1st Class Don Bailey, called Kamiseya and asked them to keep the line open. Steve Harris called the pilothouse to see if the CTs should start destroying documents and crypto gear. Not yet, Bucher said, since the encounter seemed like nothing more than harassment.

Soon three torpedo boats joined the hunt, and the Pueblo, which hadn’t been moving, found itself surrounded by hostile forces with guns manned. They were so close, they could see the Korean faces scowling under their fur caps.

"It wasn’t until we saw the other ships coming over the horizon that we thought they might be serious," Chicca said.

Bucher saw what looked like a boarding party, with helmets, vests and rifles with bayonets, transferring from one ship to another. Two MiG fighters swooped low over the ship.

Although the Pueblo drifted legally in international waters, Bucher decided it was time to move on. He hoisted flags that said, "Thank you for your consideration. I am now departing the area." The ship headed out to sea at its modest maximum cruising speed of 13 knots.

For a short while it seemed this might work. Then the other boats caught up — by now there were five — and one of them began zigzagging in front of the Pueblo’s bow.

Suddenly machine-gun fire raked the bridge and the pilothouse, shattering the safety windows. Everyone hit the deck several people, including Bucher, suffered shrapnel wounds.

Bucher then gave the order to begin destroying documents and equipment down in the SOD-hut.

"Until they actually opened fire, there wasn’t any thought anything like this could happen," Chicca said. "Then everything changed."

With the ship surrounded by six heavily armed boats, two MiGs overhead, no way to scuttle his ship, and his two paltry machine guns heavily exposed and under sheets of iced-over canvas, Bucher reluctantly decided to follow the Koreans to shore.

He ordered the ship to move as slowly as possible, then went below to clear classified materials out of his own stateroom and check on document destruction in the SOD-hut.

The CTs had begun frantically destroying things, but the two paper shredders couldn’t come close to keeping up. Several sailors took documents to the incinerator on deck, but that was far too slow, too.

"I just sort of dumped myself into it," Chicca said. "We started burning everything. All we had were trash cans and matches. We didn’t have any of the right equipment."

Other sailors grabbed fire axes and sledgehammers to go after the crypto gear. They found it had been built to take a beating.

"The sledgehammer just bounced off the glass," Chicca said.

Thick, black smoke filled the passageways, making it difficult to see or to breathe. The heat burned the paint off the walls and, Chicca realized later, most of the hair from his head and face.

Chicca was working next to Fireman Duane Hodges, 21, who worked in another part of the ship but pitched in to help with the destruction. The ship had slowed to a stop again as Bucher attempted to gain more time to get rid of documents.

Suddenly, an explosion rocked the passageway. The North Koreans had started firing their cannons, and a shell had exploded next to Chicca. He looked at Hodges. The shell had blown his leg nearly off, and he was bleeding badly. Chicca, too, had been injured in the leg, but not nearly as badly.

"Duane probably ended up saving my life," he said, quietly. "He got between me and the bulkhead. It was a huge explosion."

Their shipmates took Hodges, Chicca and several other men less seriously wounded to a makeshift hospital on the mess decks, where a corpsman cared for them as best he could. Chicca was laid on the deck of Murphy’s stateroom and covered with a blanket.

When he had quizzed his superiors ashore, Bucher had repeatedly been assured that air support would be rushed in time of danger. He still expected U.S. fighters to swoop down at any moment and blow away his attackers. He ordered the ship to move ahead slowly.

The Koreans furiously waved the ship toward shore, but Bucher shrugged his shoulders as if he didn’t understand. By now the ship had become a frenzy of fire and shredding, with sailors on the bridge ripping pages from manuals and passing them to the incinerator, bucket-brigade style. Camera gear, officers’ sidearms and machine tools all got hurled over the side. When it became clear the burning and shredding couldn’t destroy everything, sailors began filling mattress covers with papers and tossing them into the sea as well.

Finally one of the patrol boats pulled in front of the Pueblo and raised a flag ordering it to stop. Bucher complied, and told the crew to prepare to receive a boarding party.

The Korean troops boarded about 2:50 p.m. and demanded at gunpoint that Bucher take them around the ship. He showed them all of the spaces, including the SOD-hut. He was dismayed to find out how many classified documents hadn’t been burned or shredded. A Korean officer asked through a translator, "What were you doing in here, burning your secret orders?"

"Oh, just making ice cream," Bucher responded flippantly. The colonel responded with a swift kick that sent him sprawling.

The Koreans ordered the Pueblo sailors to the well deck, where they were tied up, blindfolded, and told to keep quiet. The guards freely kicked them and jabbed them with their weapons, and some pillaged the men’s personal lockers.

Shortly afterward the guards herded the men below decks to the berthing area for the journey to Wonson. Petty Officer 1st Class Herman Baldridge, the corpsman, had been left to care for Hodges and Fireman Steven Woelk, who had also been injured. Hodges bled to death before they reached port.

The last message from Kamiseya had said, "Some birds winging your way," and crew members still hoped to hear the roar of U.S. fighter jets coming to their rescue at any moment.

As the shadows lengthened, that hope died. Although four American aircraft carriers steamed within an hour’s flying time, and two of them — the Enterprise and the Oriskany — had put their pilots on alert, the Navy never sent any assistance. The Air Force did scramble jets from Okinawa, but they were too far away to help.

The men were on their own.

The Pueblo docked near Wonson, where a mob of North Koreans had been assembled to greet it. Marched bound and blindfolded down a crude gangplank, the U.S. crew members could hear the crowd jeering and feel the spit raining down on them.

Chicca, suffering from his leg injury, nearly didn’t make it ashore.

"They started dragging us off the ship," he recalled. "Someone, in English, said ‘Jump,’ so I jumped. I fell between the deck and the boat. There was nothing there."

Some guards grabbed him and pulled him ashore, and he marched with the others to a waiting room. After a while, they were loaded onto a bus, where guards searched them and stole wallets, rings, watches — anything that looked interesting. They singled out two Filipino sailors and one Mexican-American for rough treatment, accusing them of being South Korean spies and threatening them with summary trials and execution.

Late that evening, the crew boarded a train. The men fidgeted on the hard seats in the unheated train. Guards forced them to sit up straight through the all-night ride, and whacked anyone who didn’t. They pulled some sailors into a separate car for beatings.

About 6 a.m., they got off the train in a city they surmised was Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, where another angry mob of citizens and journalists confronted them. They climbed aboard two buses for a trip to a cold, run-down barracks they later called "the Barn."

The officers were assigned to sparsely furnished single rooms the enlisted men stayed in larger rooms in groups of two to 10. Kell carried Chicca to his upstairs room, which Chicca shared with Woelk and another injured sailor. One healthy sailor, Seaman Dale Rigby, would nurse the other three for weeks although he had no medical supplies and only Boy Scout first-aid training. Woelk was laid on a plastic tablecloth that had been taken from the Pueblo’s mess deck, lying in a puddle of his own blood and body fluids.

At least the injured men were spared from regular beatings. The rest of the crew wasn’t. The North Koreans zeroed in quickly on the officers, especially Bucher. The interrogations had begun on the train, repeated long harangues about the crew being spies coupled with threats to shoot them all.

At the Barn, guards dragged Bucher into a room and began the pattern they would use with brutal effectiveness on the whole crew: rapid-fire accusations, threats of execution, and a torrent of kicks and punches to the head and kidneys. The sessions seemed endless and sleep minimal.

The North Koreans broke down almost every man on the ship this way in the first weeks of captivity. They ignored the Geneva Convention, arguing it didn’t apply because the two countries were not at war. They treated the crew as criminals.

The men would hold out as long as they could against the beatings, repeatedly denying any knowledge of espionage and withholding information. Eventually fatigue, fear, pain, uncertainty and despair would overcome them, and they would sign a confession.

It didn’t help that the Koreans salvaged thousands of documents from the ship. They seemed to have every crew member’s personnel folder and knew all about his previous duty stations and family. What was the point in denying things their captors already knew, many men wondered?

Murphy said he was singled out for rough treatment because in Communist navies of the era, the second in command typically was a political officer. They assumed he was, too. His captors also were deeply suspicious because he had attended Principia College, a religious institution in Illinois they somehow connected to the CIA.

"I got the hell beat out of me for that," he said.

In one memorable session, the guards forced him to kneel and placed a board behind his knees, then jumped up and down on the board. In another, he was forced to hold a chair over his head while kneeling on the floor, then beaten badly when his arms gave out and the chair slipped.

The Koreans found a letter of resignation from the Navy that Murphy had been composing during some of his rough times aboard the Pueblo. In it, he detailed some of his complaints about the captain.

"They used that against Bucher and I, to drive a wedge between us," Murphy said. "It worked real well."

Bucher held out through almost 24 hours of relentless beatings and two mock executions. Late on the night of Jan. 25, he gave in. The North Korean colonel who ran the camp threatened to shoot each member of his crew before his eyes, starting with the youngest, until he signed the confession.

The next morning he was dragged into a "press conference" in which North Korean journalists, feigning outrage, asked canned questions while Bucher read prepared answers in a flat monotone he hoped would make clear to Americans that he had been coerced.

Over the next few weeks, every crew member signed confessions of one sort or another. Frequently they were paraded before cameras to recite them. At all times, they had to march with their chins to their chests, in a pose the North Koreans thought made them appear contrite.

Giving in offered relief from the beatings, but then the men’s consciences tortured them. Bucher admitted he contemplated suicide in those first days.

Throughout their captivity, the men were forced to write repeated confessions begging the forgiveness of the North Korean people. They were told to write to government officials and to their families confessing to crimes and telling of their "humane treatment" at the hands of the Koreans. If the writings weren’t judged to be properly "sincere," they were returned for rewrites.

In these letters and confessions, the crew did their best to slip in innuendo and false information to make it clear their comments weren’t genuine.

"The absolute truth of this bowel-wrenching confession is attested to by my fervent desire to paean the Korean People’s Army Navy and their government and to beseech the Korean people to forgive our dastardly deeds unmatched since Attila," wrote several of the officers in one group confession quoted in Bucher’s book. They went on to list "Commander Buzz Sawyer" and "Fleet General Barney Google" as their trainers in spycraft.

The North Koreans seemed interested in the men only as propaganda tools. Despite the cache of military secrets that had fallen into their hands, they never tried to pry any truly valuable secrets out of the Pueblo crew — some of whom knew plenty.

"Their interest in military stuff didn’t go very deep," Chicca said. "They were really ignorant people. They didn’t realize what they had. One of our biggest fears was that they’d bring in the Russians and the Chinese."

That spring, the Koreans moved the men to a somewhat better compound outside the city the crew jokingly called "The Country Club." They received communist political literature translated into English and occasionally were shown North Korean propaganda films or treated to long-winded political lectures.

All the men lost weight on a diet of meager amounts of bread with rancid butter and turnip soup that often featured chunks of pigskin — with hair still attached — or a pig’s eye. Often they fantasized about food. Russell recalled being mesmerized by a picture of a hero sandwich that Chicca, an excellent artist, had drawn for him.

Once, on Easter, the Koreans served the crew a feast. The men, starved for months, chowed down while cameras recorded the event to prove to the world how well they treated the men of the Pueblo.

In June, their captors showed the crew propaganda films that included Westerners flashing their upraised middle fingers at the camera operator. It occurred to the men the Koreans had no idea what this meant. Some crewmen began "flipping the bird" whenever they appeared on camera.

The men knew they would be punished severely if the Koreans found out. They came up with a cover story — they called the gesture a "Hawaiian good luck sign" and began flashing it at one another as well.

"It was a tremendous boost to our morale to be able to do that for seven or eight months and get away with it," Kell said.

But not everyone agreed with it. Murphy thought the captain was recklessly risking the crew’s safety with this and other gestures of defiance.

"Every time he was in front of the cameras, he would double-talk, slamming the Koreans," Murphy said of Bucher.

Later, the men of the Pueblo would pay.

Through the late summer and early fall, however, their captors treated the men relatively well. In October, their captors said that the United States seemed very apologetic and pledged that the men would be released soon. They were allowed to travel by bus to an opera and a concert. For the first time, the men allowed themselves to think they might soon go home. But nothing ever came of it.

Bucher had appointed Chicca to lead a small committee to plan an escape. He suggested that six to 12 men, in two groups, should dash to the sea under cover of the fall monsoons, then steal a boat and row to South Korea. Chicca and Hammond, the two Marines, had been trained in escape-and-evasion techniques and would lead the two teams.

Chicca said they waited for his wounds to fully heal, and for the rains to come. Then it appeared the crew would be released, so they put it on hold.

But suddenly the guards’ attitude turned as chilly as the weather. The Pueblo crew’s secret had been exposed.

In its Oct. 18 issue, Time magazine ran a photo showing four of the eight men in Room 13 with their middle fingers upraised and explained that it was a sign of derision. Suspicious guards had already begun asking questions about the gesture. Still, it took almost two months for their North Korean captors to realize they had been played for fools. They had lost face, the ultimate horror in East Asian cultures. The guards wanted vengeance, and they got it.

On Dec. 12, Hell Week, as the men came to call it, had begun. The guards moved some of the men to different rooms, and ordered them all to sit silently on their chairs, bodies bent forward, hands on thighs.

The sailors in Room 13 got it first. They were taken into separate rooms, the guards demanding to know who had started the finger gesture. The men were beaten for hours with boards and fists, with a fury they hadn’t seen before.

From the officers they demanded to know who was the CIA agent, who had planned escape attempts, who had originated the finger gesture. Between beatings the men were forced to write confessions. The torture continued around the clock. For the first time in months, some of the men thought they would be killed.

"They put us through hell. Some boys who were never touched before got beaten," Murphy said. "My room was right next to the torture chamber. I heard every blow."

The beatings ended as abruptly as they had started at noon on Dec. 19. The next day, doctors began treating their broken bones and bruises.

Though at the time the Hell Week abuse drove the crew to despair, in retrospect it seemed more like a grotesque fraternity initiation. "These are the beatings that are least depressing," Bucher said later, "because we earned them."

The head guard — mockingly named the Glorious General by crew members — called the men together for a meeting. He told them they seemed sincerely sorry, that the U.S. government had admitted to its crimes, and the men would be released. They didn’t believe it, though, until they got off the buses in Panmunjom and were ordered to walk across the bridge to South Korea.

Bucher went first, Murphy last. The men were spaced at equal intervals, Kell said, 10 to 15 yards apart, and crossed slowly and without looking back, as their names were called. As a final humiliation, a loudspeaker on the North Korean side played a tape of one of Bucher’s confessions.

"About halfway across the bridge, I burst into a smile and couldn’t stop," said Chicca, who was among the last to cross.

"Reaching the other side was just euphoric. It was almost like shock," said Kell, who also crossed near the end. "I couldn’t believe we were free."

Hodges’ body, shrouded in gauze inside a wooden coffin, was repatriated, too, after Bucher identified it.

The Pueblo crew traveled to an air base west of Seoul, then an aircraft whisked them to Midway Island, and finally to San Diego for a Christmas Eve reunion with their families. When they got there, they were stunned to find a throng of placard-waving Californians lining the streets to cheer their homecoming.

"The welcome in San Diego was beyond anything we ever could have believed," Chicca said. "We had no idea we had become a centerpoint of controversy and concern."

The public may have greeted the men as heroes, but the Navy appeared to be hunting for scapegoats.

The USS Pueblo had been the first Navy ship in a century and a half to be boarded and seized by a foreign power. Despite handshakes from admirals when the crew came home, the brass was not pleased the ship had been surrendered without firing a shot. The men knew they would have some explaining to do.

"We expected our little buns were in a wringer," Chicca said.

To a man, they believed the Pueblo couldn’t possibly have fought back against the North Korean ships that encircled it, and that Bucher followed the only course of action that could have saved their lives.

The men spent Christmas with their families. A day later, the Navy began long interviews with all 82 survivors in hopes of determining which documents the North Koreans recovered and what classified information might have been revealed under torture.

On Jan. 20, 1969, the Navy convened the Court of Inquiry in Coronado, Calif. The board of five admirals grilled the crew for nearly two months, much of it in secret session. They hammered on the crew’s failure to follow the Code of Conduct, which dictates that captured troops give captors only their name, unit, rank and serial number.

The Pueblo crew argued the code didn’t fit their circumstances because the United States was not at war with North Korea, and because their captors already possessed information about them from the seized documents. Instead they focused on foiling their captors’ propaganda efforts.

"It was an extremely intimidating period of time," Chicca said. "They made me testify in closed session. I didn’t have a lawyer, nothing — just me and the admirals."

The crew closed ranks, praising Bucher’s leadership during their captivity. "I personally think the captain should have been given the Medal of Honor," Kell said.

The Court of Inquiry felt differently. In its report, the admirals recommended Bucher be court-martialed for failing to protect and defend his ship following North Korean orders to sail to their port failing to properly train his crew to destroy classified material failing to destroy that material upon capture and permitting classified material to fall into enemy hands.

They also recommended that Steve Harris be charged with failing to train his crew in emergency destruction procedures and failing to destroy classified material as ordered and that Murphy receive a reprimand for dereliction of duty.

The brass didn’t escape the court’s notice either. The report recommended bringing charges against the Rear Adm. Frank Johnson, the Commander Naval Forces Japan, and Capt. Everett Gladding, director of the Naval Security Group Pacific, for failing to support and protect the ship adequately.

The court singled out 10 crew members for praise, including Hammond, "as the salient example of resistance demonstrated by members of the Pueblo’s crew," and Chicca, "for resistance to the demands of the Koreans."

Navy Secretary John Chafee considered all the charges — and dropped them. The Navy wanted to put this embarrassing chapter behind it.

"They have suffered enough," Chafee said, in dismissing the charges. "The major factor which led to the Pueblo’s lonely confrontation by bold and hostile forces was sudden collapse of a premise which had been assumed at every level of responsibility and upon which every other aspect of the mission had been based — freedom of the high seas. The consequences must, in fairness, be borne by all rather than by one or two individuals whom circumstances placed closer to the crucial event."

In late 1969, the Navy quietly canceled the AGER program and decommissioned the Banner and the Palm Beach.

The Court of Inquiry report still angers many of the crew members. They felt the court should have spent more time investigating the higher-ranking authorities who conceived the Pueblo’s ill-fated mission, sent it out undefended and then abandoned the ship when it got in trouble.

Regardless of the Navy’s findings regarding their conduct, crew members were winners in the court of popular opinion. Press commentators criticized the court for whitewashing the conduct of Bucher’s chain of command, and the public viewed them as Cold War heroes.

Within two years, Bucher, Murphy and Steve Harris all wrote books about what came to be known as the Pueblo Incident. So did a group of 15 sailors and officers. While Bucher accused Murphy of cowardice and Murphy accused Bucher of recklessness, all reinforced the view of the crew as suffering at the hands of the cruel North Koreans and the careless Navy brass.

The Pueblo Incident faded from the public’s memory, lost in the turbulence of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Most of the crew left the Navy soon after, many of disillusioned, most bearing physical and mental scars from their 11 months of torture.

A few Pueblo sailors kept in touch with one another, but the USS Pueblo Veterans Association did not form until much later. They’ve held reunions every two or three years since 1985 the last took place in September in Pueblo, Colo.

Many of the 75 surviving crew members find the reunions therapeutic. Their imprisonment was a defining moment in their lives, and only other Pueblo veterans can truly comprehend it.

"You get four or five of them in a room, and you hear stories you’ve never heard before," said Kell’s wife, Pat.

There’s been a resurgence of interest in the Pueblo in the past several years. The History Channel produced a one-hour documentary on it in 1997, and last fall, Oliver North interviewed several crew members for a segment about the Pueblo Incident on Fox TV’s series, "War Stories." Bucher said a Los Angeles journalist currently is researching what he says will be the definitive book on the Pueblo Incident.

And the shootdown of the Navy EP-3 surveillance aircraft — engaged in a mission off the coast of China strikingly similar to the Pueblo’s — prompted reporters to call the ship’s crew for their perspective.

The ill-starred USS Pueblo itself has never been stricken from the Navy’s roster of active ships. Technically, it still is assigned to the 7th Fleet headquarters at Yokosuka.

It lay rusting in Wonson harbor until the North Koreans salvaged it and towed it about three years ago to Pyongyang, where it is considered a war trophy and a tourist attraction. Visitors to the ship who have left messages on the Pueblo veterans’ Web site say it is well-preserved, but its battle scars remain. Pueblo veterans, though, are incensed that the Navy didn’t recapture it during its slow journey around the South Korean peninsula.

The Navy and the Pueblo crew didn’t learn until many years later what a devastating intelligence loss the ship’s capture represented. As the North Korean gunboats closed in on them, CTs tried vainly to destroy the SOD-hut’s KW-7, a cryptographic machine the Navy used during the Cold War to send coded messages.

At the time, no one worried much about the loss. Using it required key lists, which the Navy changed monthly. Then, when former Navy Chief Petty Officer John Walker was arrested for espionage in 1985, they learned that he had been providing his Soviet handlers with monthly KW-7 key lists since October 1967, two months before the Pueblo’s seizure. Had the U.S. gone to war with the Soviets, they likely could have intercepted messages to and from Navy ships, Bucher believes.

Today Chicca looks much younger than his 58 years, but he still suffers from night sweats and sleeplessness. He fought the Veterans’ Administration for 30 years before they would consider his chronic back and abdominal pain as a service-related disability.

"I have a lot of problems, (yet) I think I’ve come through it pretty well," he said. "I never would have believed it would have affected me as much as it has."

But he still can’t blot out the bungling and betrayal that led to the Pueblo crew’s suffering.

"Those that were closest to us, didn’t come to our rescue," Chicca said. "The Pueblo is a tremendous example of a whole lot of people blowing it."

Watch the video: FwD 6c - A Proper Rear View Mirror DVR and X16AV Review (June 2022).


  1. Suzanna

    I apologize for not being able to help. Hope others can help you here.

  2. Cochlain

    What word is mean?

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