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Old 04-06-2007, 11:11 PM   #1
Diver1111
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Default Bob Herpen + Navy Ship

Hi All,
Does anyone have any more info on how to contact Bob Herpen? He had that amazing post dated 7/23/03 about a big steel ship E/NE of Diamond. In that post he said he actually dove it (about 88 feet) with his brother. I did a scan of the area he described, last year, but found nothing at that time. That does not mean it's not there, and I will scan the area a few more times. Any help appreciated.
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:11 PM   #2
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Default This Is Still Of Great Interest To Me

There have been a few attempts to get in touch with Bob Herpen but to no avail. Did you do any scans for this in 2008? If not, perhaps you might have better luck in 2009. I know 88 feet is deep for exploratory diving but it might be fun to get a group of divers together and give it a go. Who's in?

Here's a link to the original thread in the Forum Archive if you're interested:
http://www.winnipesaukeeforum.com/ar...mes;read=59146
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Last edited by Senter Cove Guy; 10-11-2008 at 11:03 PM. Reason: Added link to Forum Archive thread
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:30 PM   #3
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Default Bob Herpen

Senter-I'm in-88 feet no problem but I'd suggest a dry suit-water at that depth no matter when will be in the 40's for sure; Scooters would be useful too-I finally burned mine out this summer after 8 years of serious use. I will buy another in the spring.

I also have buddies who would go. Only problem I see is it's still a pretty big lake with the area described as "East/northeast off Diamond.

Side scan pinpointing would be the way to go first. I've tried and will try again at some point.
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:32 PM   #4
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Default Very interesting!

IF anything becomes more concrete about a location and dive date I may be interested in partaking as well. Sounds odd that a vessel of this reported stature would not have been a more commonly known site but crazier things have happened.

I am easy to find at scubajay1153 AT yahoo DOT com....

I don't have a boat to scan from but I would be open to bringing coffee and paying some of the fuel costs for a day of searching!

Jay
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:41 PM   #5
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My friend and I would be interested in the dive if you guys end up doing it.
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:24 PM   #6
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senter Cove Guy View Post
There have been a few attempts to get in touch with Bob Herpen but to no avail. Did you do any scans for this in 2008? If not, perhaps you might have better luck in 2009. I know 88 feet is deep for exploratory diving but it might be fun to get a group of divers together and give it a go. Who's in?

Here's a link to the original thread in the Forum Archive if you're interested:
http://www.winnipesaukeeforum.com/ar...mes;read=59146
You know I'm in. And next year won't be nearly as "dry" as this one was!
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:20 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Glad This Topic Has Resurfaced

Next year is the year, I can feel it. With this many of you searching for this Navy Ship, it won't be lost for long.
Good luck!
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:18 PM   #8
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Default strange

This is a fascinating thread...I never imagined that there was so much stuff at the bottom of the lake. However....I find this very strange: I just clicked onto the original thread from 2003 (I think). Bob Herpen posts several times about the site, and diving it a few times, and talks about his pictures, and is about to post them, but is asked by the Navy to hold off. And then BANG, the thread ends. What? No follow up, to a Navy ship being discovered, and becoming Bob's private dive site? And several people ask for the exact location, but get no response. And noone ever asks him what became of the photos.
How could such a truly fascinating subject just drop? Someone must have stayed interested, and followed up with Bob Herpen. I can't imagine that back in 2003 people just thought "oh well" and got on to something else.
What became of this situation back then?
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:17 PM   #9
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Default I think it's a hoax

I love a good story, and I love history, so I’d be happy if this turns out to be true. However, this whole thing seems very fishy to me, and it has ever since it was posted. I’ve often thought about it over the years, and the lack of any follow up since then makes me even more certain.


Here are my thoughts:


His first post was at 2 AM. I just find that odd. It’s a little late for most people.

He said they discovered the wreck because their anchor pulled up mysterious cords which made him and his brother decide to dive to check this out. Since he said the ship he found is in 80’ of water, it’s reasonable to assume that he must have been anchored in around 80’ to start with. Why would he anchor that deep? But he’s a diver, you say. Ok, but why was he diving in the middle of the Broads in 80’ of water in the first place?

It seems like quite a coincidence if he and his brother decided to dive in the middle of the Broads for the heck of it, and they just happen to stumble on this mysterious ship that no one else (including the regular divers here) have seen, and no one seems to have even heard of.

My next question is, why did he feel a need to send his photos to the Navy? Just because it had "legible Navy markings"? If I found a Sea Ray on the bottom of the lake, I wouldn’t go sending pictures to Sea Ray. Or Irwin Marine, for that matter. Why not just go into the local dive shop where he fills his tanks and ask if anyone had heard about this wreck? Or ask the forum members first? Instead, he waits “a couple of weeks”(I’m assuming he dove shortly after finding the mysterious cords in his anchor) without telling anyone, then sends his pictures off to the Navy, and follows that up with a post on the forum at 2 AM.

After piquing everyone’s interest by posting about this mysterious ship, he says that he doesn’t want to “create a scene by giving the exact location”. Even here, he’s acting like it’s some big secret. Why?

He does give us a location- 80’ of water, E to NE of Diamond Island. Looking at my Duncan Press map from 1981(I’m at home), that gives a triangle from Diamond Island to Middle Ground Shoal to Wolfeboro Neck and back to Diamond Island. Given the number and length of 80’ contour lines in that area, it’s too large to easily search to verify his claim. How convenient. For him. Not us, obviously.

He’s also unable to figure out how to post photos, even after two people, including the webmaster, tell him how to do it. Personally, I’d think if you can read decompression tables and operate a camera underwater, I’d think one would be able to figure out how to upload a photograph.

In his final post, he’s finally figured out how to post photos since he tells us that he was “all set to post”. But no, just as he was about to hit the upload button, he was contacted by the Navy and told not to say anything while the Navy “looks into things themselves”. Rats. We were so close. Who says the government is slow?

Why does the Navy need to look into anything? What’s the big secret?

Also, there’s no information indicating who or where in the Navy he sent the photos to, or who in the Navy contacted him. If he’s going to post to kindly inform us not to hold our collective breath, you’d think he’d at least bother to tell us who it was that contacted him. Like, the office of such and such in Washington, DC.

Another thing to consider is logistics. Assuming that the boat was in fact 120 feet long, how did it get up to Winnipesaukee in the first place? A boat that size would have to have had at least some assembly on site.

That would have required space, labor, and time. Some sort of boatyard would have to have been built, or an existing one used. Someone would surely have noticed such a large boat being built. Even if the lake was a lot less crowded back then, and thus people were less likely to notice stuff, I just don’t see how would the Navy could bring a 120’ ship up to the lake(in whole or in part) without anyone noticing.

He claims that he dove on the wreck 4 times, but was able to take photographs, determine that it was at least 120 feet long, and some other info. He couldn’t have had much bottom time, or a whole lot of visibility. To be diving on a shipwreck in open water (the Broads) at that depth (80'), he and his brother would have to have been fairly experienced divers.

Does anyone in the local dive community know of a “Bob Herpen”? I’m assuming that’s the poster’s real name. In and of itself that’s unusual, not a lot of people post with their real names. (well, I do, but only my first name) The only Bob Herpen I can find using Google is a sports reporter in the PA area. I don’t know if he scuba dives, I suppose someone could call him up and ask him.

Taken individually, the things I mention above sound like nitpicking, and I’m willing to give the poster the benefit of the doubt on a few of them, but taken as a whole, it just doesn’t add up.

I say it’s a hoax.


PS-

Also, if he really wanted to be discreet about his discovery, but still get information from knowlegable people on the forum, he could have made a very different post, for example:

“several years ago, I heard a story about a big Navy ship that sunk way out in the middle of the Broads a long time ago. Not the experimental platform off of Diamond Island, but a real ship. Has anyone else ever heard about such a thing?"

Last edited by Rob; 10-16-2008 at 06:37 PM. Reason: typos and a postscript
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:42 PM   #10
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Default good job

Rob...great post! Well stated.
I thought the same thing...hoax...but stopped short of saying it, as I have taken some heat in the past for being a "negative poster".
But, without rehashing your whole post, let me say...we thought exactly alike on several topics.
1. This is a pretty smart guy (dive wise anyway) to not know how to post a photo on the internet...even after two members explain how to do it.
2. Anchored in 80 feet of water???? Well, maybe, but....
3. And unwillingness to share the exact location. More or less writing "the Navy asked me not to disclose any info". Uuuuuuummmmm, again, maybe, but I don't think so.

I hope we're wrong, and someone posts a story explaining why this is true.
It would be a pretty good find.
Maybe the reason the thread just dropped off was Bob discovered some top secrect Navy experiment, and they kidnapped him, and had him killed????
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:51 AM   #11
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Arrow Hoax Or Not - Treasure Hunting Is Fun!

A White Pages People search found a Robert Herpen in Pennsylvania.

If this is in fact a hoax the worst thing that will happen is that a bunch of divers waste a bunch of time having fun exploring the lake.
If it isn’t a hoax… maybe we should say good-bye to all you divers now. Once the Navy finds out that you’re on the hunt, you may never be heard from again.
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:43 PM   #12
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Default It can be found...

As to this mystery ship-it's highly likely that it can be found with hi-qual side-scan-sonar equipment-if it's even real-no offense to Mr. Herpen intended. But some of the points raised herein are valid. Even my unit could locate it if I can get close enough to it to pick it up (I have limitations etc. that decrease as left/right search range increases-as with any side-scan gear). This means that the farther out you scan the more difficult it can become to discriminate amongst objects due to distance. However, greater ranges also yield greater possibilities for object ID-a topic for another day.

However, with the right equipment-and I won't give away trade secrets as they pertain to make, model, scan settings, scanning techniques, software etc. of equipment that would do the job-if this thing is real and the steel hull (even with nothing on deck at all-think...completely flat) is even 1 INCH out of the mud with the rest completely buried it would light up like a Christmas tree because it's steel. The skill is image interpretation amongst other variables-but in this case no challenge if any reasonable portion of it is above the mud line A hard target like steel is an excellent reflector, I believe the best of all-even better than stone. But at 120 feet long, and even in pure silt, this thing is probably sticking out of the bottom pretty high-even easier to see on SSS.

I was training in side-scan offshore recently with a state-of-the-art, hardcore, true commercial unit, picking up lobster lines connecting lobster pots (1/2" diameter line)-a soft, minimally reflective target by any measure-in 90 feet of water about 300 feet away-and it was not a problem at all to conclude what it was.

Sonar-any sonar (2D fishfinder or 3D side-scan, including sub-bottom profilers that look below the ocean/lake/river bottom into the sediment) work on the principle of reflectivity of the energy wave being sent out. Hard is better than soft-SSS 101. But soft can tell you lots of things, too.

Wood can be a bear to ID-and different types of wood have different reflective properties. The attached image shows what can be seen-trees-even in 182 feet of water-are not a problem for even the untrained eye to ID.

Bottom line-this can be found if it's "there" at all.

Again, no disrespect to Mr. Herpen. I'd love to think she's down there.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:34 PM   #13
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Default I'm Still Fishin'

OK,

In the following archive post, BoaterBuddy seems to indicate that he has dived on a sunken research lab:

http://www.winnipesaukeeforum.com/ar...mes;read=59176

Hey BoaterBuddy, are you still out there on the current forum under a different name? It would be great to hear from you so we can possibly make some diving plans for next summer. Feel free to PM me if you're not comfortable with communicating further on the forum.

Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:07 AM   #14
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Default Will This Be Found This Summer?

DIVER1111, since you are in the area, have you had a chance to SSS for this?

Grant and I are ready to go dive with you.
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:22 PM   #15
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Default "Navy" vessel

Took a run at it last year-no results. Can some other interested parties take a run at finding anyone who can give me/us better locational data?

I will try again soon. 88 feet no challenge for a target this size but the search area is.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:47 PM   #16
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Wink I know why the navy told him to hush....

The ship he found was a nuclear destroyer that was stationed in the lake with warheads pointed at Canada during the Cuban missle crisis. It sunk, with the warheads and was never located by the navy, and now they are leaking radiation into the lake, and the monsters down there are mutated yellow perch, man eating lake trout and the occasional humpback sized LL salmon. I hooked one of these salmon a few years back and it pulled my boat from Rattlesnake to Meredith Bay before it broke my 4lb spider wire.....
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