In the tradition of Jon Krakauers
Into Thin Air and Sebastian Jungers The Perfect
Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which
two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great
historical mystery and make history themselves.
men like John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving
was more than a sport. It was an addiction. Testing themselves
against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced
hallucinatory narcosis, navigating through wreckage as perilous
as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and
beyond, brushing against their own deaths more than once in
the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were
prepared for what lay two hundred and thirty feet below the
frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey:
a German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of
twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bonesall buried
under decades of accumulated sediment.
identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few
artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or
government had a clue which U-boat the men had found. In fact,
the official records all agreed that there simply could not
be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.
the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a
quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to
see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, bitter rivals, would be
drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical
sense of brotherhood with the drowned U-boat sailors, former
enemies of their country. As the mens marriages frayed
under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew
more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than
the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew. Each
was hunting the hidden core of himself, a defining moment.
Robert Kursons account of this quest is at once thrilling
and emotionally complex, and written with a vivid sense of
what divers actually experience in the throes of danger. The
story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be
true, but it all happened, 230 feet down, in the deep blue
here to see an artist's rendition of the sunken sub.
Robert Kurson for Personal Appearances
Robert Kurson. All rights reserved.
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