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MUFONET-BBS GROUP - MUTUAL UFO NETWORK ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ HISTORICAL NEWS - WIRE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 旼컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴커 =START= XMT: 12:13 Mon Dec 16 EXP: 12:00 Tue Dec 17 쿞UNKEN OBJECT OFF FLORIDA'S EAST COAST MAY BE GERMAN U-BOAT 쿑ORT LAUDERDALE FL (DEC. 16) UPI - A sonar survey detected 쿪 slender 200-foot object submerged off the coast where 쿯ishermen and divers have long traded tales of a German U- 쿫oat that supposedly sank during World War II. 쿟he object was discovered 2 miles from shore on a sandy 쿾atch under 420 feet of water during a seabed survey 쿬ommissioned by the Broward County Office of Natural 쿝esources Protection. ''We're not saying it's a submarine. We don't know what it 쿶s,'' Jim Banks, the agency's artificial reef coordinator, 퀂aid Monday. ''It resembles a submarine. I'd like it to be 쿽ne but right now we don't have that information.'' 쿓e said the agency and its engineering contractor, 쿚ceaneering International, hope to videotape the object with 쿪 remote-control submersible camera within the next few 퀇eeks to determine what it is. 쿟he sharply defined sonar pictures suggest it is made of 퀂teel, and probably is not a ship. The dimensions are 쿬onsistent with those of a submarine. ''It's much narrower than a ship, it's too narrow and too 쿹ong,'' Banks said. ''It's out in the sand, which makes it 퀅nlikely to be a natural reef or something like that. It's a 퀆ery hard object, which also makes it unlikely to be a 퀁eef.'' 쿚cean currents have dug the sand out from under one end, and 쿪 small shadow is visible on one side on the sonar pictures, 쿍anks said. ''It could be a dive plane or a fin. It's sticking straight 퀅p. It's hard to say what that is,'' Banks said. 쿑or years, fishermen and scuba divers have swapped beery 쿹egends about a German U-boat off the coast of Fort 쿗auderdale. Some have even claimed to have seen it. ''The rumors have been around here all my life,'' said Tommy 쿒ore, a Fort Pierce field agent with the state Division of 쿓istorical Research. ''Many, many companies and people have 퀃ried to find it through the years and no one has 퀂uccessfully found it. ''You'll hear of others sinking off Tampa and off the Keys. 쿔t keeps popping up in various areas of the state.'' 쿒ore is inclined to dismiss the sightings as rumor but said, ''It's not at all impossible for it to be a submarine. It's 쿾retty well confirmed that the Germans were in this area. ''The sightings were so numerous off the coast of Florida. 쿞everal of the ships off of Fort Pierce were torpedoed by 쿒erman boats.'' 쿢.S. Navy records indicate none of their ships or submarines 퀂ank in the area but Gore said that does not rule out the 쿾ossibility it could be a U.S. craft. The historical agency 쿴as found pieces of unidentified Navy craft up and down 퀃he coast of Florida for years. ''We've found pieces that definitely said 'U.S. Navy' right 쿽n them but they (the Navy) denied it was theirs so whether 퀃hey were unrecorded or unreported, we just don't know,'' 쿒ore said. 쿓itler's feared U-boats sank hundreds of freighters and 퀃ankers off the United States during World War II. In 쿞eptember, divers discoverd a 251-foot German submarine off 퀃he New Jersey coast in 230 feet of water. 쿍ut the only confimed ''kill'' of a German submarine in the 쿞outheast was in the Gulf of Mexico, said Jim Dunbar, an 쿪rchivist with the state Division of Historical Research in 쿟allahassee. 쿒erman U-Boat No. 166 turned up off the Lousiana Coast, in 쿪n oil- lease area known as Eugene Island. ''That's the only one that I know of that was a confirmed 쿯ind of something like a German sub, where they directly 쿸new they got it,'' Dunbar said. 쿍anks said the object was discovered while the county agency 퀇as surveying for new artificial reef sites and for sites 퀇here sand could be removed for a beach renourishment 쿾roject in Pompano Beach. 쿔t was unclear what would happen if the object is a German 퀂ubmarine. The county agency does not have the money or 쿺anpower to conduct a salvage operation, Banks said. 쿟he object is well within the state's 10-mile territorial 쿫oundary, and the state has created underwater 쿪rchaeological preserves around other historic shipwreck 퀂ites. But the interest and ownership rights would be 퀅ncertain at this site, Dunbar said. ''If it is a German or American sub, a lot would depend on 퀇hether it was lost during the war, as an act of war,'' 쿏unbar said. ''We would look at it in terms of historical 퀂ignificance.'' =END=


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