Ocean Pulse pp 91-99 | Cite as

A Comparison of the Lost Hydrogen Bomb (1966) and TWA Flight 800 (1996) Search and Recovery Operations and Technologies

  • William C. Phoel


Thirty years have passed between the search and recovery of the hydrogen bomb lost in the Mediterranean Sea off Spain and the recovery of TWA Flight 800 which exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island, New York. The various techniques used in the search and recovery of the hydrogen bomb evolved at different rates for use in the Flight 800 recovery effort. Difference in the operations, as to purpose of recovery, location and depth, deemed that some technologies, appropriate for one operation, were inappropriate for the other. Additionally, new technologies, unavailable in 1966, were available in 1996. This paper describes the technologies used in both operations and the changes in some of those technologies (1).


Scuba Diver Recovery Effort Remotely Operate Vehicle Recovery Operation Bottom Time 
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  1. FACEPLATE (1977) Special Edition Navy Diving and TWA Flight 800, Vol.2 no.3.Google Scholar
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  3. Melson, Lewis B. (1967) “Contact 261” U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, June.Google Scholar
  4. Searle, W. F. (1967) “Palomares — Exercises in Ocean Engineering” U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, June.Google Scholar
  5. Phoel, William C. (1997) “TWA Flight 800 Recovery Operations — A Firsthand Account” PRESSURE vol.26 no. 1, pp. 1–3, January/February.Google Scholar
  6. Phoel, William C., John Loret and Charles Brush (1989) Diving and Low Cost Remotely Operated Vehicles: Complementary Underwater Research Techniques. In: Proceedings of the United States — Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources (UJNR) Panel on Diving Physiology and Technology. NOAA’s Undersea Research Program Report. 4–7 June, 1989. Kauai, HI.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • William C. Phoel
    • 1
  1. 1.Phoel Associates, Inc.Toms RiverUSA

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