Sunday, February 03, 2019

SEALAB Documentary Coming On PBS American Experience...

SEALAB Documentary

American Experience

Airing on PBS February 12, 2109

Today I spoke on the phone with a few surviving members of the U.S. Navy SEALAB program and one of them mentioned PBS is planning to air their SEALAB Documentary on February 12, 2018!!! I collaborated with one of the research team members on this upcoming American Experience documentary to provide insight and images to help with their production as I have written so extensively about SEALAB and Scott Carpenter in the past. Below are several trailers for the documentary.

American Experience is also debuting documentaries on SEALAB's Scott Carpenter as well as Dr. George Bond, which will be aired for the first time on February 5, 2019 and you can check out their trailers below.

"What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what's going on." –Jacques-Yves Cousteau 

SEALAB's Doctor Bond being interviewed with Conshelf's Jacuqes-Yves Cousteau

So what does this have to do with Rolex? A lot. In particular it has to do with the development of the Rolex Submariner, and in particular the development of the SEA-DWELLER. At the crossroads between the Submariner and SEA-DWELLER there is one central figure and that is the greatest explorer that has ever lived, Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Another key character in this Story is NASA Astronaut Scott Carpenter who is pictured below. Back in 2008 I had the opportunity to interview Scott Carpenter and published a podcast of our conversation.

After Scott Carpenter flew his mission during Operation Gemini at NASA he was fascinated with Jacques-Yves Cousteau and ended up becoming an Aquanaut for the U.S. Navy SEALAB program. 

"The Rolex Submariner & Rolex SEA-DWELLER have a cachet that is unmatched by any other watch. The Rolex brand is the most highly respected in my book. The Rolex Submariner was the preferred diving watch for U.S. NAVY SEALAB Divers." –Scott Carpenter

In the photo below we see Scott Carpenter wearing his SEA-DWELLER and which is also pictured below in an exclusive photo of his watch he took for Jake's Rolex World. 

SEALAB was one of the most ambitious aquatic undertakings by the U.S. Navy.

In the photos above and below we see the SEALAB underwater habitat, that the first American Sea-Dwellers lived in.

In this next photo we see a photo of a bunch of the members of SEALAB posing for a picture.

In the photo above we see Scott Carpenter in the front row center wearing a suit, and in the photo below we see Scott in the front row second from the left.

In this next image we see Scott Carpenter with legendary U.S. Navy Aquanauts Bob Barth, and Wilbur Eaton preparing to dive down to the SEALAB 2 Habitat in 1965.

U.S. Navy SEA-LAB Aquanauts: Bob Barth, Wilbur Eaton & Scott Carpenter
Team 1 Preparing To Dive Down To SEA-LAB 2 Habitat [August 28, 1965]

Rolex co-developed the SEA-DWELLER with U.S. NAVY SEALAB program. I originally learned this from interviewing Scott Carpenter who put me in touch with retired Rolex U.S.A. executive T. Walker Lloyd who essentially was the liaison between Rolex and SEALAB. I became close with T. Walker Lloyd and spent many hours interviewing him. To date I have published 3 hours of podcasts of those interviews which are absolutely fascinating!!! 

In the photo below we see Jacques-Yves Cousteau's son, Philipe Cousteau who was on the dive team for both Operation Conshelf, as well as on SEALAB 3.

Yes. I have seen some previously unpublished historical video that will debut in this video and there will be new Rolex history revealed in the upcoming documentary on SEALAB!!!

American Experience: Sealab On a February day in 1969, off the shore of northern California, a US Navy crane carefully lowered 300 tons of metal into the Pacific Ocean. The massive tubular structure was an audacious feat of engineering - a pressurized underwater habitat, complete with science labs and living quarters for an elite group of divers who hoped to spend days or even months at a stretch living and working on the ocean floor. The Sealab project, as it was known, was the brainchild of a country doctor turned naval pioneer who dreamed of pushing the limits of ocean exploration the same way NASA was pushing the limits of space exploration. As Americans were becoming entranced with the effort to land a man on the moon, these divers, including one of NASA's most famous astronauts, were breaking depth barrier records underwater. Sealab tells the little-known story of the daring program that tested the limits of human endurance and revolutionized the way humans explore the ocean.