USS Maine

Bob Mervine

Sep 1, 2000
Here's a story from the Tampa Tribune on the subject.

Remember the Maine? It's found
of The Tampa Tribune

In 1912, the hulk of the USS Maine was towed out to sea and sunk in deep
water in the Gulf of Mexico with military honors.
Since then, the exact location of the battleship, whose mysterious explosion
in 1898 sparked the Spanish-American War, has remained a mystery - until now.

Tuesday, members of an international scientific team announced the discovery
of what has been determined to be the remains of the Maine resting on the
ocean bottom about three miles north of Havana.

``This is an occasion for both reflection and celebration,'' Judy Genshaft,
president of the University of South Florida, said at a news conference at
USF's College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg.

But the discovery is not expected to shed new light on a controversy that has
raged for more than a century: What caused the massive explosion that sank
the battleship and killed 266 of its crewmen?

The research team - led by Canadian-based Advanced Digital Communications,
which is working with USF on the Cuban exploration - made the accidental
discovery Oct. 18.

The team was testing deep-water cameras aboard the Cuban research vessel
Ulises as part of a project to map the bottom of the ocean off Cuba. ADC
holds the only license issued for deep-water exploration in Cuban waters,
said its president, Paulina Zelitsky.

Researchers displayed video images they obtained of a shipwreck resting on
its side in water about 3,700 feet deep that were consistent with features of
the Maine, which is recognized by the Cuban government as a U.S. memorial,
Zelitsky said.

Researchers also found several other shipwrecks in the deep Cuban waters,
including a large wooden wreck they declined to reveal any information about.

The Maine was in remarkably good condition, even better than the Titanic,
because of the deep water's high salinity, Zelitsky said.

``This really is a historical event, because there's a lot of ties with Tampa
Bay and this whole history of the Maine,'' said USF oceanography Professor
Frank Muller-Karger.

The explosion took place Feb. 15, 1898, while the ship was docked in Havana
Harbor. At the time, Cuban rebels were battling Spain for independence.
America was prorebel and anti-Spain.

The loss of the Maine triggered the Spanish-American War and the battle cry
``Remember the Maine.''

Assistant Navy Secretary Theodore Roosevelt resigned his post, recruited
volunteer cavalrymen who became known as the Rough Riders and sailed with
them from Tampa to Cuba to reinforce the Cuban army already fighting there.

His use of Tampa as a staging point on the way to Cuba brought national
attention to the sleepy cigar town.

The discovery likely won't yield any more evidence about whether the blast
was caused by a mine, as investigations in 1898 and 1911 concluded, or an
internal explosion as was suggested in 1976.

That's because those clues would have been in the heavily damaged bow, which
was cut away in 1912 to properly seal the wreck before it was hauled out to
sea, said researcher Ernest Tapanes, Zelitsky's son.

Carlos Moncada can be reached at (727) 823-3412 and [email protected] <<

Bob Mervine
Jan 7, 2002
The USS Maine, destroyed in Havana in 1898, and the intact stern raised in 1912- She was towed out to sea and sunk (or 'buried at sea') on March 16 1912; a mere month before Titanic sank. The resinking of the Maine was big news, and Im certain it was a topic of conversation on Titanic. The stern of the Maine was relocated about 2 months ago, and is said to me in very good condition.


Tarn Stephanos

Stefan Christiansson

I don't know this ship.
Can you tell me about it? What was it's purpose, how large was it? Why did it sink? Where is the stern section "buried"? Any info would be good! Thanks.
Jul 9, 2000
Easley South Carolina
The U.S.S. Maine was a second class battleship which exploded and sank during a port visit to Havana Cuba. While this was likely due to something like a coal dust explosion, tensions were pretty high between the United States and Spain at the time. It wasn't long befor this was chalked up to a deliberate act by Spain and the next thing you know, the Spanish American War is underway.

Michael H. Standart
May 8, 2001
One of her capstans is on display in Charleston SC. at Battery Park. :)
I have a picture of it, but it is too big to put up here.
May 8, 2001
What!?! Homeless bums??? Knowing full well I had a handbag large enough to carry it off, and a vehicle that it would have fit it into, I thought they were bodyguards. Can't you envision the caption under Phil to say... "YOU ARE NOT going to put this in MY SUV!"
Cahleen (smiling all over again....)
Jan 7, 2002
Great photos Bill!
Where and when were they taken?

For some reason, I pictured you all as bald midgets..guess I was wrong..


Tarn Stephanos
Mar 18, 2000
Thank Colleen for the photos, most are hers. A few by George Behe and others. I just provided the web-space, and some of the jokes.

That was page 2 of the photos taken in South Carolina last January. If you knock the "index2.html" off the URL, you should get to page 1. Info on the get together is down in the "Let's Meet" section here at ET.
Jan 7, 2002
Speaking of George Behe- where has he been? I havent seen hide nor hair of Geroge Behe on this board or the Titanic lists for months..


Tarn Stephanos

fred pelka

I wonder if anyone can recommend good texts and/or websites on the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine. Does anyone have a sense as to the consensus (if there is one) of historians on this? Was it an internal explosion? Spanish or Cuban rebel attack? Random mine? Considering it was the precipitating factor of the Spanish-American War, this would seem to be a rather important question.

Thanking you all in advance,

Feb 6, 2003
You might try the Navy's inquest into the tragedy from the 1970's. The Navy held a Blue Ribbon Commision and came pretty close to finding the cause it just took another 20 years to set the coal bunker fire into stone. Its a rather good read and may help.

Tom Pappas

I'd like to have a few words with the naval architect who specified a magazine adjacent to a coal bunker! To ask him, what the hell were you using for brains that week?
Jan 7, 2002
No doubt a topic of converstaion of Titanic was the recent raising- and sinking of the USS Maine.
Blown up in Havana harbor in 1898, the wreck sat there until 1911- Then efforts got underway to raise the intact stern section- which was towed out to sea and ceremonally sunk, on March 16 1912, basically a month before ther Titanic went down...
The wreck of the Maine (or stern section therof) was recently located, some 5000 feet down...

Tarn Stephanos

Tom Pappas

What a remarkable coincidence!

The remains of a ship used as a pretext for an illegal war, based on unfounded charges of aggression against the United States.

Plus í§a change...

Inger Sheil

Feb 9, 1999
One of those who saw the wreck before its resinking, and who commented upon it in correspondence, was James Moody. He also had a few observations on the high price of cigars in Cuba and the improvements made by Americans in the area.