Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 28th

The UASC meets the last Wednesday of each month at the Chicago Maritime Museum located at 1200 West 35th Street, Suite OE5010, Chicago, IL 60609. Free event, ALL ARE WELCOME. Refreshments 6:30, Business 7:00, Speaker 8:00.


Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago



July 2017 Minutes PDF Print E-mail

Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago

Meeting Minutes

July 26 2017

President Dean Nolan called the meeting to order, greeting 23 members and guests and asked the latter to introduce themselves. One guest, Roy Labuda, collects and identifies antique bottles and Jim Jarecki said that he could use his help with unidentified ones at the Chicago Maritime Museum.

The minutes written by secretary Carol Sommers were approved.

Treasurer - John Bell said that there is $10,400 in the treasury.

Illinois Council of Skin and Scuba Divers – September 16 is the beach clean-up, October 1 is pumpkin carving in Haigh Quarry and there are tickets available for sale ($35) for the President’s Night Dinner which will be on Saturday, October 21 at the same venue as last year, Mack’s Golden Pheasant.

Website – Vice President Colin Bertling is still compiling articles on shipwrecks and appreciates photos.

Upcoming Events – There are openings on the survey dives on the Mystery Wreck this Saturday and Sunday. Dave Thompson won’t be able to go. The boat leaves at 1:30 at the Hammond Harbor. Jim Jarecki announced that he will send out an e-mail about the activities about Great Lakes history on the second week of September at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish, Wisconsin.

Chicago Maritime Museum – Paul Ehart will present his talk “Curator” on August 25

Short Presentations – Per our February minutes, we should have a presentation by Tony Kiefer in September one by Jim Jarecki in October. We still hope to have future ones by Chuck and Margo- the Straits of Mackinac and Bob Rushman-- the Buccaneer.

Featured Speaker –Dave Thompson was introduced by Dean Nolan. Dave is a UASC member who was in the Navy for 26 years and has logged over 5,000 dives. His presentation covered the history of underwater archaeology and included many useful hints that can be used by UASC members while doing underwater surveys. Photogrammetry has advanced considerably as a replacement to the photo mosaic. It uses software which uses digital images to determine distances an could replace a measuring tape. The software is expensive however. He discussed other equipment as 3-D software, sidescan sonar ($1,300) and a scanning sonar on a tripod, sector scan ($65,000) which does a 360-degree scan. In two minutes, it could do the same work as 3 years done by hand. The diver will never be replaced because he is still needed to look under things. Dave reminded us to remember legalities, i.e. permits. In Canada one can be jailed. Three US Acts cover shipwrecks (1979, 1987 and 2004). One must constantly be doing research and 5 weeks of research is necessary for 1 week of field work. Sometimes just finding a glass deck light will change an archeological record. The law is that if you bring something up from a wreck you own it and must preserve it forever. An accident on the “Columbia” in 1918 on the Illinois River south of Peoria resulted in ending passenger traffic on the river. When the captain tried to beach the sinking boat, the three decks collapsed on 87 people and they died in 15 feet of water. The wreck may still be there in some condition, and Dave is working with the Mudwater Archaeological Society to try to survey it.

The finding of manmade structures in Lake Huron pushed back human occupation in the Midwest by 5,000 years. He discussed sites in Elk Rapids, Michigan, a Roman harbor in Spain and a former quarry in Cyprus. His hints on how to video a wreck will be on our website.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 pm

Minutes respectfully submitted by Carol Sommers

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