Sunday, August 20, 2006

MEGA DISASTERS: New York City Hurricane

What would happen if a category 3 hurricane were to hit New York City? With an awesomely high storm surge and intense winds attacking one of the most heavily populated and economically vital locations in the world, the potential for massive destruction is almost unprecedented.

We explore the less-known but extensive history of previous northeast hurricanes, especially the "Great Hurricane" of 1938, in order to create empirical evidence that a storm of this size is not a science fiction movie but a very real possibility in the near future.

Time is also taken to explore the scientific nature and origins of hurricanes and to get an overview of some of the scientific and engineering changes that are taking place in the field of hurricane damage prevention.

Using computer animation, models and re-creations the story concludes with a view of what a storm like this might look like from inside the Big Apple.

ENGINEERING DISASTERS: Engineering Disasters 2

Throughout history the same builders and engineers that paved mankind's path out of the caves and into the modern world havealso caused some of mankind's worst disasters. This is inevitable, because those who brave uncharted territory are liable to incur unexpected results.

Often a huge disaster is traced back to a tiny cause, insignificant in itself but triggering a domino effect. In a few cases, though, we will find there was more of negligence than of trailblazing behind some notable disasters.

DEEP SEA DETECTIVES: Train Wreck In Lake Michigan

The railroad car ferries were some of the safest vessels on the Great Lakes, built to withstand ice and waves year round. But on October 22nd, 1929, the SS Milwaukee sailed into a force 9 gale and disappeared.

Was it foolishness on the part of the ship's captain, Robert "Heavy Weather" McKay? Or was he ordered to sail by the railroad company? Was there a design flaw with the ship itself? Or was there a conspiracy to cover up unsafe business practices?

John Chatterton and Richie Kohler compare the official post-accident investigation with the wreck itself, and re-write history.


As World War Two broke out in 1939 America was watching from the sidelines. But its military leaders knew that they would have to develop a fast, reliable and stealthy vehicle that could take their troops wherever they were needed, if they were going to be successful in modern warfare.

For years, most of the major powers had been using motorcycles to do the dirty work of finding the enemy and moving information from the frontlines to their generals. But motorcycles were dangerous, often temperamental, and had virtually no carry capacity.

As the Nazi blitzkrieg swept across Europe, the need for a four-wheel drive vehicle that could go anywhere and carry a load suddenly became ever more urgent to America's top military brass.

Working under strict deadlines, the first prototypes for what would later be named "the Jeep" started rolling out in 1940 - and the designers and engineers who tested them immediately knew they had a winner on their hands.

Capable of a top speed of more than 60 miles an hour and with a pulling capability way beyond anything of its size, the new vehicle was almost unstoppable. By the end of the war, more than 700,000 Jeeps would be put into service.

From the earliest days of America's involvement in World War Two right through Vietnam, the Jeep kept earning its bragging rights as the vehicle of choice for wartime use. And it also made an indelible mark on the domestic front.

Although the Jeep line came dangerously close to financial ruin on more than one occasion, today's Jeep is a testimony to the original spark of genius that unleashed a whole new kind of vehicle on the automotive market. Often imitated, but never made obsolete, today's Jeep is one American original that just keeps on going.

VANISHINGS: The Comet Airliner Mystery

On the morning of January 10, 1954, a British Comet, one of the first turbojet airliners, took off from headed to London with six crew and twenty nine passengers.

Twenty minutes after take-off, the captain radioed another airliner flying thousands of feet below, but the message was abruptly cut off.

The Comet and the thirty people onboard were never seen nor heard from again!

This was not the only Comet to disappear under mysterious circumstances. We'll look for possible explanations for the vanishing planes.

The Technology Of Howard Hughes

In this episode of Modern Marvels, we look at the technology conceived or developed by America's first billionaire, Howard Hughes. A passionate aviator, Hughes built and flew planes that broke speed records.

He developed war machines, spy aircraft, and commercial airliners. Engineers, operating under his guidance, enjoyed great success developing guided missiles and satellites for military and commercial uses.

In short, Hughes changed the technology of the modern world. Hughes' innovations in flying began in 1935, when he helped design and flew the fastest airplane in the world, the H-1 racer, at a record breaking 352 mph. Its design pioneered reduction of drag using rivets and joints that were flush with the aircraft's brushed aluminum skin.

Next, Hughes turned his talents to the relatively new commercial airline industry. He bought a controlling interest in TWA, and in 1943, Hughes' company supplied the airline with the Constellation - an airliner developed under Hughes' personal guidance. It was the fastest commercial plane in the world, with a pressurized cabin allowing it to fly above turbulence, making for a more comfortable passenger experience.

Since metal was rationed in the early years of World War Two, Howard Hughes believed his contribution would be in seeking alternative materials to make planes. In 1943, Hughes began to build what would become known as one of his most famous failures the H-4 Hercules, popularly nicknamed the "Spruce Goose."

The aircraft's many technical innovations included a system for laminating birch wood for the airframe, a fire suppressant system, and the first "artificial feel system" in its control yoke. For each pound of pressure exerted on the control yoke by the pilot, the elevator received 1,500 pounds of pressure to move it, creating a tactile response never before attempted in an aircraft.

While the Spruce Goose was in development and under construction, Hughes' passion for alternative airframes drove him to create another wooden aircraft, and it almost cost him his life. On July 7th 1946, he flew the XR-11 reconnaissance aircraft and crashed it. The injuries he sustained required painkillers.

By the time Hughes' Spruce Goose was ready to fly, the war was over. Rather than a wartime necessity, it was an aviation curiosity and albatross. To silence its detractors, Hughes took it up for a flight on November 2nd, 1947. It would be the only time aloft for the so-called "Flying Boat." It never saw service.

Hughes moved on to new markets in military guidance systems and microelectronics and he hired specialists to develop this electronic wizardry for the Air Force and Navy. After World War Two, he was able to grow his company from a four-person operation to a corporation of 80,000 employees. He had the foresight to buy land in Las Vegas, continued to be a power broker in the airline industry, and did it all without keeping a formal office or regular office hours, preferring to work out of whatever hotel suite he happened to be living in.

During the Cold War, Hughes Electronics would become the single largest supplier of weapons systems to the USAF and Navy. Howard Hughes hired the best and brightest to develop electronic weapons control systems, and remote-guided weapons such as the GAR - a Guided Air Rocket that could reach speeds of Mach 2. In 1955, Hughes' companies provided the first air-to-air guided U.S. Air Force missile called the AIM 4F Super Falcon.

In 1963, Hughes companies created and launched SYNCOM, the first geosynchronous communications satellite, enabling continuous live TV broadcast. It allowed the 1964 Tokyo Olympics to be broadcast live.

Despite the impressive heights reached by Hughes' technological empire, his health and mental well-being were in free fall. He began to withdraw from the day-to-day operation of his companies, and took no role in designing new planes, satellites, or war machines.

That is, with one notable exception. In the early 1970s, the CIA asked Hughes to develop a secret ship, the HMR-1 - Hughes Mining Barge 1. Its cover story was to recover manganese from a depth of 17,000 feet, but its real task was murkier. The CIA wanted a sunken Soviet sub brought to the surface. Hughes' ship was called the Glomar Explorer, and it was built in 1973. The salvage operation was partially successful, as the sub broke in half as it was brought to the surface, but the remaining section did include two nuclear torpedoes, cipher and coding equipment, and eight dead Soviet crewmen.

During the last years of Hughes' life he was not seen publicly or photographed, rarely left the hotel suites he occupied, and was terrified of germs. But when he died on April 5, 1976, he left a tremendous legacy in aviation and technology.

Hughes' companies made the Apache military helicopter, a space probe that mapped Venus by radar, and Galileo, the first spacecraft to penetrate Jupiter's atmosphere. A medical institute that he founded does research in nanotechnology and stem cells. Whenever we board a commercial airliner, watch television via satellite, or marvel at America's military might, we might do well to remember the man who flew faster than his peers, took risks that often paid off and sometimes didn't, who was at heart an aviator obsessively dedicated to both the art and the science of flight.

VANISHINGS: The Missing Prime Minister

Shortly after midday on December 17, 1967, Australia's Prime Minister Harold Holt made his way down to the beach for a swim.

Onlookers said that as a large wave swept over, Holt seemed to disappear. Despite extensive air and sea searches, Holt's body was never found.

After his disappearance, rumors circulated that Holt had been a spy, and had been taken away by a Chinese submarine. Could this be true?

Katrina: American Catastrophe

A special that interweaves the devastation of Hurricane Katrina with New Orleans' history.

Learn how the city, built precariously below sea level and between two bodies of water, came to be.

What engineering feats made it survive for as long as it did, how did it survive other dire storms? Why did the various systems fail this time? How did so much of the nation's oil and gas repositories come to be in this environmentally fragile area? Was there anything that could have averted the disaster, given that the meteorology predictions of Katrina's path were quite accurate?

Hear stories of shame and heroism that have etched this devastation into US history forever. This special mixes news footage, personal video, historical archive, and expert and witness interviews into a compelling look at this disaster from a technology and historical perspective.

The Burning of Bridget Cleary

On Friday 22nd of March 1895 in the small Tipperary village of Ballyvadlea, RIC constables discover the badly burned body in a shallow grave. It is the body of Bridget Cleary, a 26-year old local woman who met her death at the hands of her husband only days before.

He believed she had been taken by the Fairies. The Burning of Bridget Cleary explores the events surrounding the death of Bridget Cleary and the massive impact it had in Ireland and Britain at the time. Based on book by Angela Burke.

Nostradamus: 500 years Later

The life story of Nostradamus unfolds in medieval Europe at the time of the Great Plague and the Inquisition.

Michel de Nostredame (1503-66), later known as Nostradamus, was one of the leading figures of the late French .

As a physician (although his qualifications are dubious) he specialised in the Plague and was thought to be one of the foremost experts. He was also famed as an 'astrologer', although he preferred to call himself a 'star-lover'.

In around 1550 he turned to writing, concentrating on astrology and prophecy. This brought him into great public prominence, and he became particularly influential at the French court.

He published a collection of prophecies in 1555. Each of the four-line verses (called quatrains) is said to foretell a world event at some time in the future.

People have claimed that his works have foretold just about everything from wars, to assassinations and disasters, some people believe he predicted the rise of and September 11th. His cryptic journals continue to inspire controversy just as they did in the 16th century.

He lived in an age of superstition and magic and believed that he could foretell the future, for this he was labeled both a prophet and a heretic.

In this 2-hour examination into his life, we visit his birthplace in France and trace his career as doctor, astrologer, father, and seer.

VANISHINGS: The Life Of Reilly - Super Spy

n 1925, Sidney Reilly, one of the British Secret Service's most successful spies, traveled to Moscow to meet with a shadowy group that was dedicated to the defeat of Bolshevism and the removal of Stalin.

Friends and associates felt Reilly was being set up, but Reilly, an implacable foe of the Bolsheviks, refused to listen.

Then, shortly after arriving in Moscow, the Ace of Spies went missing.

The British Foreign Office denied all knowledge of his whereabouts, but surely somebody must have known...


Savage, sadistic, seldom justified. The western frontier triggered many a shootout. The motivation? Money, women, religion, sometimes just a dirty look.

Wild West shootouts were messy, drunken, and deadly affairs. The vision of two gunslingers meeting in the street at high noon is pure myth. Shootouts were typically up close and personal. They involved lawmen against outlaws, outlaws against outlaws and sometimes lawmen against lawmen.

This programme focuses on the famous Northfield Raid which saw the James-Younger gang take on the town of Northfield. It also examines the shootouts at Hanska Slough and the Ingalls Raid where the Doolin/Dalton gang were up against US Marshals.

This episode of Shootout scrutinises the motivation, strategy, tactics and firearms involved on both sides of each gun battle and details each phase of the combat and the aftermath.

VANISHINGS: Loss Of The Andrea Gail

On October 27th, 1991, Hurricane Grace battered the entire Eastern Atlantic Seaboard.

Ninety five miles per hour winds drove massive swells onto shore. Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. 400 miles offshore, a sword-fishing boat named the Andrea Gail was heading home with a hold full of fish.

She was about to be hit by the storm of the century; the mighty north-easter of 1991 when Hurricane Grace collided with a cold front from Canada and a storm from the Great Lakes.

Sometime in the middle of the night on October 28th, the Andrea Gail found herself at the center of that so-called 'Perfect Storm'. She was never seen again.

MEGA DISASTERS: Tornado Alley Twister

What would happen if the most intense tornado ever measured struck Dallas, Texas? With winds clocking 318 miles per hour, the monster twister would carve a path through the city up to a mile wide.

It happened once before, just 200 miles to the north in Oklahoma City. There, in May 1999, a "Mega Tornado" scoured the earth for 85 minutes along a 38-mile path - 43 people died and property damage was enormous.

It became history's first billion-dollar tornado. But in more densely developed Dallas, the scenario would be far worse: as many as 1,000 dead...and five-billion dollars in damage.

Beyond The Da Vinci Code

'The Da Vinci Code' is a bestselling novel that has sparked a debate that could change the way the world views Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Christianity forever…

What if Jesus and Mary Magdalene had been a married couple and co-leaders of their movement? What if Mary Magdalene, herself, was the Holy Grail; the vessel that was said to hold Jesus’ blood, and the mother of His descendants?

What if the early Church knew about this ‘truth’ but deliberately misled its followers for the next 2000 years? What if there was a secret organization called the Priory of Sion who protected this bloodline throughout the Dark Ages and up into the present day?

What if some of the most illustrious names in art and science had been members of this Priory, charged with passing on this knowledge from generation to generation? And finally, how would the world react if this secret or ‘alternate history’ were revealed to the public?

These are some of the questions that Dan Brown’s 'The Da Vinci Code' raises and seeks to answer. This two-hour documentary will examine both sides of the story: the conventional view of Christianity and the ‘alternate history’ proposed by Brown’s novel.

It is a 2000 year journey through time, examining the histories and mysteries of the Holy Grail - both from the perspective of the believers and from skeptics, letting the viewers reach their own conclusions.

Is it the greatest story ever told or just the greatest story ever sold?


For the generation celebrating the anniversary of the fall of Saigon the battles fought in the city are now ancient history. But for many others Saigon is a city of sorrow, terror and searing memory…a place where blood spilled and lives changed forever.

As the Vietnamese celebrate the greatest victory in their 4000-year history, this programme follows those traumatized by the war, as they return to Saigon to lay their ghosts to rest.

The Ten Commandments

Most people who have coveted a neighbour's car or mown their lawn on the Sabbath probably think that 10 commandments are a few too many.

Few nowadays realise that Moses actually brought 603 commandments down from the mount, and that the Bible contains three different and sometimes contradictory definitions of the top ten.

This two-hour special examines God's laws and man's many interpretations of them.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

1945: Hiroshima bombed

On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, a U.S. B-29 bomber, drops the first atomic weapon ever used in combat on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Within minutes, the massive blast and the firestorm it produced destroyed most of the city and killed an estimated 70,000 people, a third of Hiroshima's population.

Three days later, the major coastal city of Nagasaki was hit, prompting Japan's surrender in World War II, bringing the most costly war in human history to an end. Both cities were rebuilt, but the horror of the world's only nuclear attacks remain to this day. By the end of 1945, a total of some 200,000 people had perished as a result of the bombings. Many of those who survived faced a future of disease and premature death.
1996American scientists reveal they have found evidence of ancient life on Mars in the remnants of a meterorite discovered in Antarctica.
1988Russian ballerina Natalia Makarova dances with the Russian Kirov Ballet in London - 18 years after her defection to the West.
1962Jamaica proclaims its' independence after being a British colony for more than 300 years.
1962A quick snack is made for the Earl of Sandwich - creating a new form of food which is later named after him.
1949In Britain, acid bath murderer John Haigh is executed.
1945World War II: United States drop the world's first Atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima from the B29 bomber Enola Gay. The bomb reduces an area of five square miles to ashes and leaves more than 100,000 people dead.
192619 year old American Gertrude Ederle from New York becomes the first woman to swim the English Channel - in 14 hours 34 minutes.
1918World War I: The Marne Offensive - the last major German attack of the war, ends in failure with more than 100,000 German soldiers killed or wounded.
1890Convicted murderer Walter Kemmler becomes the first man to be executed in the electric chair at Auburn Prison in New York.
1889Opening of the Savoy Hotel in London.
1844The first press telegram in Britain is sent to The Times newspaper, announcing the birth of Prince Alfred to Queen Victoria.
1825Bolivia is proclaimed an independant republic after more than 300 years of Spanish rule.
1806End of the Holy Roman Empire when Francis II renounces the crown to become Francis I, Emperor of Austria.
1504Birth of Archbishop of Canterbury Matthew Parker. His long nose and extremely inquisitive nature give rise to the expression 'Nosey Parker'.
1937English actress Barbara Windsor.
1934English mountaineer Chris Bonnington.
1928American artist Andy Warhol.
1926British actor Frank Finlay.
1922British entrepreneur and airline founder Sir Freddie Laker.
1917American film actor Robert Mitchum.
1911American comedienne Lucille Ball.
1881Scottish bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming - discovers penicillin (1928).
1809English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
1775Irish leader Daniel O'Connell.
1978Pope Paul VI, aged 80 - succeeded by Pope John Paul I.
1890Convicted murderer Walter Kemmler becomes the first man to be executed in the electric chair at Auburn Prison in New York.
1660Spanish painter Diego Velazquez.
1637England's first Poet Laureate, Ben Jonson, dies in poverty.
1623Anne Hathaway - the wife of English playwright William Shakespeare.

BRITAIN'S FINEST: Britain's Finest Gardens

We are a nation of garden lovers, and Britain has some of the loveliest gardens in the world. There are many reasons for this, including the laws of inheritance which kept great estates intact, and our mild and wet climate.

We feature gardens like Stowe and Stourhead, two stunning 18th century landscape gardens with lakes, valleys and classical temples. Sissinghurst and Great Dixter, while very different, are no less beautiful - and with their riot of colour, perfect examples of the English cottage garden. Levens Hall in Cumbria, with its box hedges and formal planting, is our oldest garden. But the winner is Kew, the most visited garden in the country and the most historical - famous, not just for its Palm House, but for its vast collection of plants and shrubs.

CivCity: Rome, a new PC game inspired by the world of Sid Meier’s Civilization, is soon to be released.

A game in which every effort has been made to stay as true as possible to historical source material, CivCity: Rome invites players to zoom-in on life in the great cities of the Roman Empire, culminating in Rome itself.
Your task is to recreate the glory of Rome by building a small settlement into a mighty imperial city.
Using your skills as a tactician and strategist, you must nurture your city through good times and bad to ultimately produce the greatest city on the planet as you endeavour to lead the Roman Empire from its humble beginnings to its mighty zenith.
Featuring hundreds of buildings including gladiatorial schools, amphitheatres, the circus maximus, legionnaire forts, weapons workshops and much more, CivCity: Rome offers the most detailed look at Roman life ever depicted on a computer screen.
The game contains many of the features which users will know from the Civilization series, including research, wonders, production and culture, as well as a whole new way to enjoy the Civilization experience.

• Look inside the buildings: For the first time in a city builder you can look inside the villas, the forums, and even the Roman baths! Discover, in much greater detail, how the Romans went about their daily lives. • Civilize your city: More than 70 technologies can be developed over time to give your city a strategic advantage. Use the research tree to improve many aspects of your city and its relation to the wider empire. • Follow the life of a Roman family: Do they thrive and prosper from humble hut to noble palace as they move through the generations…or not? The decisions you make influence city life at every level. • Ease of play: Driven purely by building placement and strong visual feedback, the game lets you create your own living community simply by choosing and placing a wide variety of buildings. • Real Romans: An intriguing array of characters will interact with you and bring high drama to your city with their emotions, state of health, and candid feelings about their lives. There will even be famous Romans in the city who will comment on and present new challenges for you. • Build mighty wonders: Influence the direction of your city by building spectacular monuments. Production of these trophy buildings will give your city big advantages and make it look great too! • This is your Rome: Customize your city the way you see fit. With hundreds of buildings to place, this game offers more options than any other city building game. • Learn a little history and have loads of fun doing it: A wealth of humorous, scary and downright disgusting facts await the curious mind in the instructive and factual ‘CityPedia’, that can be easily accessed within the gameplay experience. It’s a virtual encyclopaedia of facts about life in Roman times at your finger tips. • Never a dull moment: Gladiatorial combat, debates in the senate, chariot races, temple ceremonies…just a few of the many riveting scenes that will engage and entertain players throughout the game.


War against the French is a major three part series, that examines how the seeds of the modern world were sown amid the turmoil of revolution and war. Using dramatic recreations, expert testimonies and the diaries and letters of key players, ranging from Robespierre to Wellington and Burke to Napoleon, the series brings vividly to life the crucial 26-year period, stretching from the outbreak of the French revolution in 1789 to the decisive Battle of Waterloo in 1815, when Europe was turned on its head.

Great Empires were created and destroyed and the unprecedented scale and ferocity of the conflict brought new ideas and forces into play; liberty, equality, nationalism, industrialisation and the birth of the working classes. In the period that is the focus of this series, France’s pretensions to global dominance were crushed, Britain became a world superpower, and the ideas that were to dominate the modern world, emerged.

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, France was the most powerful and populous country in Europe. The French Revolution of 1789 created the first citizens' army and introduced total war. Under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte, the greatest General of his age, France established a mighty empire.

How did a ramshackle British army triumph over the greatest fighting force since Roman times? The British were launched on a painful learning curve. Eventually, by 1815, they had defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.

With testimonies, using the words of the ordinary soldiers of the day, this film explores how Britain won and how the modern world was hammered out on the anvil of war.

Opus Dei Unveiled

Secretive and cult-like or divinely inspired and misunderstood? , a conservative organisation within the Roman Catholic Church, was thrust into an unforgiving spotlight because of the way it was portrayed in Dan Brown’s thriller, "The Da Vinci Code."

Opus Dei claims the depiction is much more fiction than fact, and that it is terribly misrepresented in book. Now, for the first time in its 80-year history, Opus Dei leaders grant unprecedented access to The History Channel as they seek to reveal the truth and unravel the myths surrounding this exclusive and powerful group.

Opus Dei Decoded explores the spiritually demanding and sometimes controversial lifestyle its 85,000 members pledge to maintain.

Founded in 1928 by Spaniard Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, its mission encourages members to find God through work and daily life. With the support of the Franco government, the organization became the most important conservative political and religious force in Spain. Its power and influence found favour with the Holy See when, in 1982, its legal status in the Church was changed to that of a personal prelature – guided by its own statues and answering directly to the Pope.

Opus Dei’s allure is predicted to grow as Pope John Paul II made its founder a Saint on October 6, 2002.

Opus Dei members can be found in 61 countries. The majority of its adherents are lay professionals; doctors, lawyers, journalists and politicians who are also mothers and fathers.

Another fraction is comprised of priests. The organisation’s most orthodox members commit to a celibate life, live in Opus Dei residences, give the majority of their income to the organisation and regularly practice corporal mortification, the infliction of self pain as a holy act of sacrifice.

Members at all levels pledge their service to the organisation for life. Opus Dei Decoded speaks with and gains insight from several current members as they demonstrate how Opus Dei has guided them on a positive spiritual path.

But throughout its modern history, many members have parted ways with organisation; some with a favourable blessing, others felt they were forced out, and a select few sought refuge through traumatic interventions.

Some of Opus Dei’s harshest critics paint a portrait of aggressive recruiting, inequality of the sexes, alienation from families and borderline mind control. Two of these critics are Dianne and Tammy DiNicola, a mother and her daughter who is a former Opus Dei member. They founded the Opus Dei Awareness Network, an organisation to inform the public of what the DiNicolas’ see as the dangers of Opus Dei.

Opus Dei Decoded takes viewers from Opus Dei’s United States Headquarters, to its stronghold in the Midwest and to its lifeblood in.

Opus Dei’s upper brass, Cardinal Julian Herranz Casado, Father Thomas Bohlin and Father Hilary Mahaney confront accusations that Opus Dei is a secret and clandestine cult; have undue influence and power in government and a pocketbook that controls the Vatican. They also explain the premises and meanings of Opus Dei teaching and practice.

The Real Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Real Texas Chainsaw Massacre tells the haunting story of the gruesome murder of two young men in 1974.

The prime suspect, a charlatan with a string of criminal convictions, escaped death row and managed to emigrate to a small rural town in Britain, where he married an unsuspecting widow and integrated himself in to the local hunting and shooting community.

The film takes a dramatic twist as amateur local sleuths start to investigate the mysterious stranger in their midst, and culminates in a dramatic escape plot and confrontation with the police.

Titanic’s Final Moments

In August 2005, John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, hosts of Deep Sea Detectives, led an expedition to the wreck of RMS Titanic.

Diving 2½ miles down in Russian submersibles, they searched outside the known debris field for new evidence.

On their final dive they made an extraordinary find: two large intact sections of the bottom hull of the Titanic in pristine condition with the red bottom paint still on them.

For four months, a team of historians, marine architects, and engineers has been conducting a forensic analysis of this find. All agree that it's the most significant new discovery since the wreck was located in 1985.

Analysis is ongoing, but preliminary indications are that these bottom sections will change our understanding of how the ship broke apart, and rewrite the story of the final moments of the Titanic.

Forensic Case: SS Hunley

In April 1861 a pent-up fury that had been brewing for a century, shattered America's grand republic. Three years later, on a cold February night in 1864, one of the Civil War's most secret weapons - the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley - set out from, under the command of George Dixon.

The Hunley successfully attacked and sank the Union warship, Housatonic. Then the submarine disappeared into the waters of South Carolina, never to be seen again.

The Hunley was both primitive and innovative; a submersible that was inspired by the ideas of a chemist and minister named Franklin Smith, and largely funded by wealthy plantation owner Horace Hunley.

The submarine was a converted 40-foot iron steam boiler tapered at both ends, just four feet high and three feet wide. The crew squeezed through two tiny hatches and, when submerged, their only air supply was sealed in with them.

A candle provided light. When the candle died, the crew knew their oxygen was almost depleted. Desperate times called for bold measures.

Now, 138 years later, the Hunley has been found. In this programme archaeologist Bob Neyland and his team plan to raise the submarine - in one piece.

Why did the Hunley sink? What artifacts are still on board? With help from more than forty archeologists, divers and engineers, the team hopes to solve one of the Civil War's greatest mysteries.