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Confederate sub rotated a few millimeters at a time; should be upright today

The H.L. Hunley was never a fast boat, but it probably never moved this slowly.

On Wednesday, engineers and scientists at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center began rotating the Confederate submarine into an upright position — 3 millimeters at a time. The pace was plodding, the progress barely visible, but then speed wasn’t the objective. The idea was to right the sub without putting any stress on its iron hull. This was accomplished by slowly adjusting the 15 straps that cradle the Hunley, and keeping a laser sight running from stern to bow that would detect any twisting of the hull.

"We’re just trying to be cautious," said Paul Mardikian, senior conservator on the Hunley project. "The movement was very smooth. The laser was perfectly aligned."

Barring any complications, the rotation should be finished sometime today. Read more.

                       

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The top archaeologist for the state Attorney General’s office — yes, there is one — is checking out a tip that the long-lost gravesite of the founder of Madisonville might have been found on a spit of land near the Maritime Museum.

But, Ryan Seidemann says, proving that the bones of Jean Baptiste Baham are buried in the ground at the location near the Tchefuncte River in southwestern St. Tammany Parish might be a tall order.

"The evidence, at this point, I would say, is fairly inconclusive,” Seidemann, he said.

Madisonville resident Rusty Burns and a small group of history buffs think they have located the land on which Baham was buried. Nothing now gives the spot away as a gravesite — no headstone, bricks or bonesscattered about the ground — but Burns and the others think it could be historically significant.

The owners of the land in question, however, think Burns is way off the mark, tilting at historical windmills. Read more.

WESTPORT — Efforts to preserve Westport’s Handy House and open this historic house to the community received a $120,000 boost recently from the Manton Foundation, an institution established by Sir Edwin and Lady Manton to support cultural, educational and health programs.

 The Historical Society recently assumed a new role as steward of the Cadman-White-Handy House located at 202 Hix Bridge Road. Built in three stages from 1710 to 1825, the house is one of Westport’s most notable historic landmarks.

The old house opened its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday May 21. This open house is the first of many opportunities for people to visit the Handy House and to learn about plans for the preservation and future use of the property. Read more.

The sunken remains of a ship belonging to famed Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen could be lifted out of Canadian waters and returned to Norway if a group of investors has its way.

The Norwegian investors behind the group Maud Returns Home want to take the wreck of the Maud, one of Amundsen’s ships, out of the shallow waters of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and bring it back to the explorer’s home country.

"We really think that the Maud deserves a better destiny than to stay forever, falling gradually more and more apart," Jan Wanggaard, a project manager with Maud Returns Home, told CBC News via Skype from Lofoten, Norway.

Wanggaard said he has spent the past year studying the possibility of floating the Maud back to Norway, where Amundsen is a national legend, and making the shipwreck part of a museum exhibit. Read more.

BEAUFORT — It seems storm clouds are brewing over the raising of a 3,000-pound anchor in Beaufort Inlet that was originally scheduled for Thursday at the shipwreck site presumed to be the Queen Anne’s Revenge, flagship of Blackbeard.

Because of bad weather, the anchor raising has been postponed, and according to a press release issued Tuesday by Maryanne Friend with the state Cultural Resources Department, the raising will take place possibly Friday or Wednesday of next week.

As state underwater archeologists are wrestling with the weather, the discoverer of the shipwreck, Capt. Mike Daniel of Jupiter, Fla., issued a press release Tuesday denouncing the raising of the anchor and other items contained in the large pile of artifacts located underneath the anchor in the central part of the wreck site.

“The remains of the QAR, our nation’s most historically important pirate site and a former slave ship, is a living reef that is made up of cannons and anchors that are all fused together with an encrustation. The reef, with a wide variety of sea life attached to it, has protected the wreck site from weather for almost 300 years,” he said in his statement. Read more.