THE HUNLEY PROJECT
For Immediate Release, September 2011
Secret Weapon of the Confederacy Premieres Thursday, September 15, at 9PM ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel.
National Geographic Channel will debut atwo-hour documentary about the Hunley, the world’s first successful
combat submarine. Scheduled to premiere this Thursday, September 15th at 9 PM ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel, Secret Weapon of the Confederacy will delve into the possible theories to explain why the Hunley vanished after succeeding in her against-all-odds mission to
sink the USS Housatonic.
A popular – yet unproven – theory is that gunfire from the Housatonic crew damaged the Hunley’s conning tower, inflicting a deathly blow to the submarine. The documentary explores the plausibility of this scenario with a live action weapons test. A model of the Hunley, made
with the same type iron as the actual 19th century submarine, is fired upon at different ranges with period weapons. The surprising results give new insights to archaeologists seeking to solve the mystery that led to the Hunley’s loss.
Beginning with the submarine’s conception and development in the dark days of the Civil War, Secret Weapon of the Confederacy will also cover the Hunley’s historical origins and the archaeological discovery process taking place today with the modern-day scientific methods
being developed by the Project. The program also showcases state-of-the-art digital animation to recreate the legendary night bringing the viewer ever closer to unlocking the Hunley’s greatest secrets. “We will show how cutting-edge technology is being used to excavate history,” Martin said.
The Hunley Project
On the evening of February 17, 1864, the H. L. Hunley became the world’s first successful combat submarine by sinking the USS Housatonic. After signaling to shore that the mission had been accomplished, the submarine and her crew of eight mysteriously vanished. Lost at sea for over a century, the Hunley was located in 1995 by Clive Cussler’s National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA). The innovative hand-cranked vessel was raised in 2000 and delivered to
the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, where an international team of scientists are at work to conserve the submarine for future generations and piece together clues to solve the mystery of her disappearance. The Hunley Project is conducted through a partnership with the Clemson University Restoration Institute, South Carolina Hunley Commission, Naval Historical Center, and Friends of the Hunley.