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Fwd: Jeff Bennett

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  • Ted Sojka
    Thanks to Susan for connecting me up with Jeff for this story. Some of you will be able to see the photos if you have the right programs on your computer. I
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 14, 2013
      Thanks to Susan for connecting me up with Jeff for this story.  Some of you will be able to see the photos if you have the right programs on your computer.  
      I am sending the photos separate.
      Begin forwarded message:

      Subject: Fwd: Jeff Bennett

      Maybe you can use this to fill up a corner in one of your newsletters.  
      ted
      PS Let me know if the photos come through. I can send them one at a time from iPhoto if they don't come through in this e mail.  It has been a year since I requested them and Jeff has some down time in California to respond to the old request with apologies.

      About Jeff Bennett the Diver

      I had connected Jeff Bennett of Ancient Waterways to a former student sculptor of mine who does cast metal and went to U of Minnesota for his grad school work.  A group of student volunteers got together for this project.    These are the results of a copper pour to make some sample ingots or "hides" that would be used to use for taking readings on side scan sonar.  Jeff would use them for sample readings to help look for possible wrecks or remainders of cargo loads in the Great Lakes region.  The plan was to make a few and put them underwater at various depths and positions to simulate how  they would be found at the bottom of the lakes.  I have not seen the side scan results and don't know if they have finished with part of the test.    

      Jeff is a retired airline pilot who keeps a boat in Sheboygan but lives in the Minneapolis area.  He takes an empty seat on a commercial plane between these destinations, and then a bus to his marina to go sail a boat a little bigger than you could get on a Minnesota lake.  We had sailing in common and he visited me once in Iowa to begin the process of creating these test models.  He is also quite an experienced diver.  I had asked him if he was interested in diving in Rock Lake near Madison where there are purported stone structures on the bottom of that once clear lake. 

      I don't  yet have details of the names for the pictures I include other than Wayne Potratz in the green coveralls next to Jeff Bennett who is not wearing a helmet in the picture with the student volunteers.  This took place a couple of years ago and I was not able to attend the "Pour".  There was no attempt to use ancient copper, just to make a facsimile of "Hides" found on an ancient shipwreck cargo that Jeff had seen in a museum in New York and was able to get photos and measurements from the exhibit.  I believe the wreck was found in waters near Turkey of an ancient ship carrying copper in its hold.   

      Jeff has been in many dives to look for lost wrecks, one of a steamship in Alaskan waters that was an 1800's Russian ship.  He has also done some diving in the Great Lakes with a friend who has a boat that is set up to look for wrecks using new technologies.   

      Ted Sojka
      PS.
      In the twenties the lake was very clear and the rock piles would sometimes be visible to early pilots flying over the area.   The lake these days suffers from agricultural run-off and has an algea problem that is found in many Wisconsin lake at the present time.  There was a film done a few years ago that I saw on the Discovery Channel.  It only added more questions to those investigating.  Most think the structures are naturally formed in the archeology field.  Others believe they have too regular a shape and corners that are not natural.  There are books written on the subject and years ago a Wisconsin diver credited with the invention of a diving device like the aqua lung dove on this site to provide information for the local people interested in this phenomenon.  My contact was Steve Stiegerwald in the town very near Aztalan*, the mound town that is now a state park.

      *Aztalan, some think was the Northern most Mississippian culture trading post for North shore float copper traded in the areas from Cahokia and other settlements they had along the river systems of the ancient midwest.  

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