Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

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Random House Publishing Group, Jun 29, 2004 - History - 400 pages
16 Reviews
In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s 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.

For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment.
No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to 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.

Over 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, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors–former enemies of their country. As the men’s 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.

Author Robert Kurson’s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean’s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Robert Kurson's Pirate Hunters.
 

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AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING

User Review  - Rambling Reader - Borders

This book is a must read for divers and history buffs alike!!! Shows the thrill and wonder of diving, combined with the groundbreaking discovery that would make the history books. This adventure was ... Read full review

Fantastic history & adventure drama

User Review  - Jill D. - Borders

I originally bought this book for my brother, who is a huge WWII buff, but ended up reading it before I gave it to him! This is the true story of the 'Deep Sea Detectives' guys, who discover that an ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
5
ZERO VIZ
24
A SHAPE OF POWER
44
JOHN CHATTERTON
69
CRAZY DEEP
95
RICHIE KOHLER
122
HORENBURGS KNIFE
143
NOTHING AT THAT LOCATION
174
A MISSED SIGNAL
241
NONE OF US IS COMING BACK
261
THE UBOAT IS OUR MOMENT
287
CIRCLERUNNER
308
AN AUDACIOUS PLAN
313
EPILOGUE
326
A NOTE ON SOURCES
339
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
347

A HEAVY TOLL
196
HISTORY MAULED
226

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Page ix - It is entirely conceivable that life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fulness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come. This is the essence of magic, which does not create but summons.

About the author (2004)

ROBERT KURSON earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, then a law degree from Harvard Law School. After working as a features reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago magazine, he moved to Esquire as as a contributing editor. His award-winning stories have also appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications. He lives in the Chicago suburbs and can be reached via the Internet at www.robertkurson.com.


From the Hardcover edition.

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