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Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 1:31:31 PM   
John 3rd


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Just found this article on my news feed:

Three shipwrecks dating from World War II have disappeared from the bottom of the sea bed off Indonesia, likely the work of illegal drivers salvaging metal from the remains.

The remains of the Dutch vessels are from the Battle of the Java Sea, which was fought in 1942 between Allied and Japanese forces. Discovered in 2002 on an amateur diving expedition, the site is recognised as a sacred war grave as over 2,000 people died in the battle. Parts of the wreckage site were discovered to have vanished by divers undertaking preparations for the 75th anniversary of the Battle, which will be commemorated next year.

Dutch News reported that Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis told fellow MPs of the disappearance of the ships from the sea bed in a briefing on Tuesday. “The Battle for Java Sea is part of our collective memory,” the minister said. “The wrecks bear silent witness to the the tragic events and form a backdrop to the many stories about the terrors of war and the comradeship between crew.”

According to the Guardian, Hennis confirmed that an international investigation will be launched into the disappearance, noting that the majority of two of the ships were missing, while parts of the third had also disappeared. It is not the first time that a mystery involving vanishing shipwrecks has occurred in the region, as illegal divers have previously stripped other shipwrecks in search for metal to salvage.


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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 1:47:32 PM   
dr.hal


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Yes I've seen a couple of news briefs on this. Although the Java Sea is shallow, any operation to salvage enough metal to make it worth the effort (even by poor country standards) would entail a very obvious effort, including a salvage ship with a large lifting capacity and big time cutting equipment. I'm hard pressed to believe that local officials do not know about this. Indonesia claims all the Java Sea as "Internal Waterways" as defined by UNCLOS III, which means that only locals could possibly be involved and that these seas are patrolled regularly by the Indonesian Coast Guard. Clearly a number of people, possibly including government officials, have little regard for the concept of a war grave.

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 1:48:50 PM   
btd64


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Saw this in my news feed last night. Thanks for posting John. It's a shame that sites like this are being pillaged....GP

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 1:51:05 PM   
btd64


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

Clearly a number of people, possibly including government officials, have little regard for the concept of a war grave.


Yeah, and the graves are for there own people....GP



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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 1:55:30 PM   
dr.hal


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quote:

ORIGINAL: General Patton

Yeah, and the graves are for there own people....GP



Actually the graves are not for their own people but, as some locals might see it, for foreign Imperialist occupiers. There was and still is a lot of hatred for the Dutch in Indonesia. So given that background there might be very little IF ANY sympathy by local and national officials for those who want to protect these graves.

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 1:55:33 PM   
Dutch_slith


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Exeter, Encounter, Electra and Perch have been stripped too.

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 1:57:14 PM   
dr.hal


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How did you hear this? What of the Houston? Hal

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 2:00:50 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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It is hard to believe scrap metal can be that valuable as to make salvage operations economical

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 2:01:43 PM   
btd64


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal


quote:

ORIGINAL: General Patton

Yeah, and the graves are for there own people....GP



Actually the graves are not for their own people but, as some locals might see it, for foreign Imperialist occupiers. There was and still is a lot of hatred for the Dutch in Indonesia. So given that background there might be very little IF ANY sympathy by local and national officials for those who want to protect these graves.


My bad, your right. I was thinking in terms of defending the DEI....GP

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 2:08:59 PM   
dr.hal


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Not your "bad" GP, you are just too wrapped up in WITP AE!!!! Which says something for the game!

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 3:52:55 PM   
btd64


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

Not your "bad" GP, you are just too wrapped up in WITP AE!!!! Which says something for the game!


You read me like a book dr.hal....GP

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 4:39:09 PM   
Rising-Sun


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Yeah I noticed it, some people are saying least they are cleaning up the garbage in the ocean and others were upset over it because they knew their past life of it. Things will change everywhere, that will start to decay over time. If the governments really care about that, they need to monitor the situations, least protect it. But that wont happen, it is too far and too costly to do that.

Hard to believe those who did this are making profits from rusty metals over sixty years, didn't think it would worth much. Unless they didn't want it there and moved it elsewhere.

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 5:29:36 PM   
IslandInland


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I've just read about this here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-37997640


It seems really odd. I can't believe they have all been salvaged as it hardly seems worth the effort. Perhaps they have been moved by natural forces.

If they have been salvaged then that would be completely unacceptable.

< Message edited by XXXCorps -- 11/16/2016 5:30:00 PM >


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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/16/2016 8:04:24 PM   
MakeeLearn


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Pacific wreckage

http://www.pacificwrecks.com/ships/hms/exeter.html


http://www.pacificwrecks.com/ships/HrMs/java.html

< Message edited by MakeeLearn -- 11/16/2016 8:07:04 PM >

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 5:54:05 AM   
Dutch_slith


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A dutch newspaper mentioned only Exeter, Encounter, Electra and Perch.

http://www.ad.nl/buitenland/ook-britse-zeemansgraven-in-javazee-compleet-verdwenen~a7583ece/

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 8:34:07 AM   
Marshall


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Such efforts of salvaging these ships, cannot be done without the indonesian goverment knowing it.

It is really an outrage and economic sanctions must be taken to set an example.

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 8:47:05 AM   
GaryChildress

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jorge_Stanbury

It is hard to believe scrap metal can be that valuable as to make salvage operations economical


Steel cast prior to the atomic bomb detonations in the atmosphere is apparently worth quite a bit for the construction of scientific instruments and other things that require a very low radiation footprint.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-background_steel

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 11:10:34 AM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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BBC:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38010130

"Nibbling away"
What was more likely was that locals clandestinely stripped the wrecks in a piecemeal fashion over the years until nothing was left. Bas Wiebe, commercial manager of salvage company Resolve's Asia operations, said they could have cut away parts of the rotting wreckage using mechanical equipment known as grabs. "If time is not of the essence, you have a barge and equipment, you could just nibble away," said another expert who declined to be named citing political sensitivities. Another possibility is that the ships were blown up into smaller pieces - a cheaper and faster way to disintegrate wrecks. "It is not like an huge explosion like you see on TV. It's basically fairly contained but enough to break apart the vessel and if you do it a few times, you can just fish out the pieces," said Mr Wiebe.

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 11:10:52 AM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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British ships too:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/16/british-second-world-war-ships-illegal-scavenging-java-sea

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 11:16:56 AM   
Alpha77

 

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This sounds like BS stories tbh. Never ever will be metal from the botton of the seas be worth the cost to extract it. In fact metal prices have all fallen over the last years (here ofc scrap metal too and so called "scrappers" were already complaining). If the prices had tripled then yes, perhaps. And then not steel but if itwas copper, nickel, silver etc.

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 11:43:26 AM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alpha77

This sounds like BS stories tbh. Never ever will be metal from the botton of the seas be worth the cost to extract it. In fact metal prices have all fallen over the last years (here ofc scrap metal too and so called "scrappers" were already complaining). If the prices had tripled then yes, perhaps. And then not steel but if itwas copper, nickel, silver etc.


The fact remains that they are gone or missing significant parts. It will all depends on how cheap they can do it really,

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 11:48:42 AM   
Alpha77

 

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You need underwater acetylene torches and perhaps even cutter charges and heavy cranes to lift the pieces from the seabed... big operation which does not sound some locals could do it and even get a gain in selling the pieces as scrap. This would be a loss business I would estimate on 1:3 at current prices (or the last 2 years). But I do not trust many media stories anyway.

Edit, this sounds more realistic:

"Some experts raised the possibility that heavy storms, shifts in tectonic plates, or even the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami may have caused the ships to drift to a different location. "

(from BBC)

< Message edited by Alpha77 -- 11/17/2016 12:01:28 PM >

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 12:15:13 PM   
geofflambert


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There has been some talk about the possibility that the tsunami which destroyed Banda Aceh may have moved them to a different location. This seems unlikely to me, if I understand it tsunamis are primarily surface phenomenon and it is a misunderstanding that huge volumes of water are moving laterally until it reaches shallow water and shores. A wave is moving laterally but the water is primarily moving up and down. These ships were at a depth of 60 to 70 meters and it would take a truly titanic tsunami to cause significant lateral movement. What happens near the shore is that the wave (the progression of an up and down oscillation) begins to suck water forward because of the unavailability of the anti-amplitude due to the shallowness of the sea at that point. In other words, every hill needs a valley and when the valley cannot exist the hill falls forward.

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 12:23:52 PM   
geofflambert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: General Patton


quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

Not your "bad" GP, you are just too wrapped up in WITP AE!!!! Which says something for the game!


You read me like a book dr.hal....GP


If he reads you like a book, that suggests that you have pages. I doubt that and I certainly wouldn't think you were abusing them in any way. Therefor it follows that you have leaves and are green like me. To determine whether you are simply a friend of the Earth or an ecoterrorist I would require more data. -Sherlock Gorn

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 12:29:37 PM   
mind_messing

 

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I don't agree with the logic in this thread.

By the same line, it was terrible that the French cleaned up all the debris after the First World War. They should have left the countryside a complete mess as a reminder of the dead...

By all means, keep something for a memorial, such as the ships bell, but put the rest to some use.

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 1:56:25 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alpha77

This sounds like BS stories tbh. Never ever will be metal from the botton of the seas be worth the cost to extract it. In fact metal prices have all fallen over the last years (here ofc scrap metal too and so called "scrappers" were already complaining). If the prices had tripled then yes, perhaps. And then not steel but if itwas copper, nickel, silver etc.


On the General Discussion page, someone shared a tidbit about "low background" steel being sold at a premium. This steel can only be derived from steel sunk underwater prior to 1945. It's worth a thought.

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 2:20:52 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

I don't agree with the logic in this thread.

By the same line, it was terrible that the French cleaned up all the debris after the First World War. They should have left the countryside a complete mess as a reminder of the dead...

By all means, keep something for a memorial, such as the ships bell, but put the rest to some use.


I think upon this more and more too. Many civilian cemeteries are 'turned over' every so often or repurposed. My mother's family plot has a lease which expires in 100 years. If it's 'kosher' for civilians worldwide to be reburied and the land repurposed, it's worth considering for military deaths on land or at sea.

Here's a thought: Back in 'the day', pretty much any shipwreck-even in shallow waters-was pretty much a goner. The US, even with a Herculean effort, was hard-pressed to refloat the Oklahoma from Pearl Harbor. Anything outside of a massive port facility was-for all intents and purposes-impossible to raise, salvage pieces or extract the dead.

But now we're not quite as limited. In all but the deepest waters, if we REALLY wanted to, we could likely bring up some parts of a shipwreck and / or the dead. The Russians / Norwegians did it with the Kursk in 2000-2002, also a shallow-water wreck. And they extricated the vast majority of the ship as well.

So, has technology now changed the way that we should look at shipwrecks and their dead? Now that we can do something about it, should all men that go down with the ship still be left on the seabed? And if it's not a grave site (assuming all bodies are extricated), why should the material -particularly if it's of salvage value-be left there?

Lastly, if there is clear evidence of illegal / immoral / unethical foreign salvage of our existing wrecks, shouldn't there be an effort to 'properly' reclaim those shipwrecks (and their dead) that are most at risk? I'd rather we reclaim what we can of the Houston, for example, then some salvage pirates.

< Message edited by Chickenboy -- 11/17/2016 2:22:02 PM >


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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 2:54:04 PM   
geofflambert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

I don't agree with the logic in this thread.




At first I thought you were referring to my logic. I was nearly outraged.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by geofflambert -- 11/17/2016 3:01:05 PM >

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 2:58:16 PM   
geofflambert


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On the "low background" issue, does this mean that iron ore processed today into steel will not be "low background"? Or that scrap is less expensive than "virgin", including "low background" scrap?

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RE: Disappearing Dutch Ship Wrecks - 11/17/2016 3:20:43 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

On the "low background" issue, does this mean that iron ore processed today into steel will not be "low background"? Or that scrap is less expensive than "virgin", including "low background" scrap?


On the reply to geofflambert issue, did you mean to start a conversation with yourself (sorry for interrupting if that's the case) or were you replying to my comment?

ETA: On the chance that you were responding to my comment: It is my understanding that all steel milled in the atmosphere post-1945 contains radioactivity from the open-air tests conducted. This apparently peaked in the mid-1960s. Today's milled steel still contains *some* background radiation from this atmospheric testing.

The low background steel is prized for radiation detection equipment including interstellar radio-telescopes, Geiger counters, and the like. Even small background radiation in these sensitive devices degrades their function.

< Message edited by Chickenboy -- 11/17/2016 3:25:00 PM >


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