Archive for the 'Mystery' Category

Shadow Divers

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

This book by Robert Kurson is an account of the discovery in 1991 of a U boat sunk in the shipping lanes near New York and of two American divers who become obsessed with solving the mystery of who, how, and why this boat is here. The book is both a study of the people who dive ship wrecks as a an extremely dangerous hobby and of the dangers of relying on histories of events particularly of wars.
We meet the leading American, British (at Scotland Yard), and German U boat experts, historians and archivists. We discover that military record keepers, under great pressure to wrap up the loose ends of WW II, started connecting unrelated events and reports to account for lost U boats, sometimes reporting a flimsy encounter report as a definite sinking. Over time, these false connections get written into the official histories accepted by families and all concerned. Time and again in this book the divers discover that what really happened is totally different than recorded in history. This book reads like a good mystery novel and is worth reading for the characters and the thrill of following the chase to uncover the identity of and true history of this U boat.