NHHC Participates in Archaeological Survey of Suspected USS Revenge Site

Photos and blog by Blair Atcheson, Heather Brown and George Schwarz, Ph.D, Naval History and Heritage Command
 

Naval History and Heritage Command’s Underwater Archaeology Branch participated in a follow-up survey on a suspected War of 1812 vessel off the coast of Watch Hill, R.I. Dec. 7-8, 2015. Below are photos and information about the expedition.

 

NHHC archaeologists Blair Atcheson, Heather Brown, and George Schwarz, Ph.D., joined local divers Charlie Buffum and Craig Harger who, along with Mike Fournier, discovered the wreck in August 2005. The objective of the project was to collect archaeological remote-sensing data over a site tentatively identified as Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s schooner USS Revenge. It was more than two centuries ago when the Revenge hit a reef and sunk just off the coast of Rhode Island. The schooner ran aground on Jan. 9, 1811 while returning to New London.

For more information about the survey, check out this story here.

Blair Atcheson, an underwater archaeologist with Naval History and Heritage Command, and Charlie Buffum survey the wreck site of an early 19th Century ship in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Watch Hill, R.I., Dec. 7, 2015. The site has been identified as potentially being the wreck of the schooner USS Revenge which was commanded by Commodore Olive Hazard Perry. The site, which consists of cannon, carronade, anchor, and other concreted objects, was first discovered by local divers Charlie Buffum, Craig Harger, and Mike Fournier in August 2005.

Blair Atcheson, an underwater archaeologist with Naval History and Heritage Command, and Charlie Buffum survey the wreck site of an early 19th Century ship in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Watch Hill, R.I., Dec. 7, 2015. The site has been identified as potentially being the wreck of the schooner USS Revenge which was commanded by Commodore Olive Hazard Perry. The site, which consists of cannon, carronade, anchor, and other concreted objects, was first discovered by local divers Charlie Buffum, Craig Harger, and Mike Fournier in August 2005.

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Blair Atcheson and George Schwarz, underwater archaeologists with Naval History and Heritage Command, prepare a magnetometer to survey a site that may be the wreck of early 19th Century Schooner USS Revenge in the waters off Watch Hill, R.I., Dec. 7, 2015. Commanded by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, Revenge ran aground in thick fog and heavy swells on the night of Jan. 9, 1811 and subsequently sank. The area is home to a number of other 19th century vessels that shared the same fate as Revenge over the past 200 years. (U.S. Navy photo by Heather Brown/Released)

George Schwarz, an underwater archaeologist with Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC), and Charlie Buffum survey the potential wreck site of USS Revenge in the shallow waters off the coast of Watch Hill, R.I., Dec. 7, 2015. The site was first discovered by local divers Charlie Buffum, Craig Harger, and Mike Fournier in August 2005. The 2015 survey was a cooperative effort between NHHC and Buffum and Harger. While NHHC provided survey equipment and archaeological expertise, the discoverers graciously donated their time, knowledge of local sea conditions, and use of their vessel and fuel to complete the survey. Revenge, a schooner commanded by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, ran aground on Jan. 9, 1811 in heavy fog. Buffum and Craig Harger discovered the possible Revenge wreck in August 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Blair Atcheson/Released)

George Schwarz, an underwater archaeologist with Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC), and Charlie Buffum survey the potential wreck site of USS Revenge in the shallow waters off the coast of Watch Hill, R.I., Dec. 7, 2015. The site was first discovered by local divers Charlie Buffum, Craig Harger, and Mike Fournier in August 2005. The 2015 survey was a cooperative effort between NHHC and Buffum and Harger. While NHHC provided survey equipment and archaeological expertise, the discoverers graciously donated their time, knowledge of local sea conditions, and use of their vessel and fuel to complete the survey. Revenge, a schooner commanded by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, ran aground on Jan. 9, 1811 in heavy fog. Buffum and Craig Harger discovered the possible Revenge wreck in August 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Blair Atcheson/Released)

George Schwarz, an underwater archaeologist with Naval History and Heritage Command, and Charlie Buffum survey the potential wreck site of USS Revenge in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Watch Hill, R.I., Dec. 7, 2015. The site was first discovered by local divers Charlie Buffum, Craig Harger, and Mike Fournier in August 2005. With the use of Buffum’s 20-ft fishing boat, the team towed NHHC’s marine magnetometer, an instrument capable of detecting ferrous materials on the seafloor by recording variations in the magnetic field. These variations can indicate the presence of iron artifacts such as cannon, anchors, shot, ballast, and other objects that might otherwise be undetectable in sonar surveys. Revenge, a schooner commanded by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, ran aground on Jan. 9, 1811 in heavy fog. Buffum and Craig Harger discovered the possible Revenge wreck in August 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Heather Brown/Released)

George Schwarz, an underwater archaeologist with Naval History and Heritage Command, and Charlie Buffum survey the potential wreck site of USS Revenge in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Watch Hill, R.I., Dec. 7, 2015. The site was first discovered by local divers Charlie Buffum, Craig Harger, and Mike Fournier in August 2005. With the use of Buffum’s 20-ft fishing boat, the team towed NHHC’s marine magnetometer, an instrument capable of detecting ferrous materials on the seafloor by recording variations in the magnetic field. These variations can indicate the presence of iron artifacts such as cannon, anchors, shot, ballast, and other objects that might otherwise be undetectable in sonar surveys. Revenge, a schooner commanded by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, ran aground on Jan. 9, 1811 in heavy fog. Buffum and Craig Harger discovered the possible Revenge wreck in August 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Heather Brown/Released)

 

George Schwarz, an underwater archaeologist with Naval History and Heritage Command, surveys the potential wreck site of USS Revenge in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Watch Hill, R.I., Dec. 7, 2015. The magnetometer data will complement side scan sonar data collected by NHHC, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Engineering and Diving Support Unit, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in 2012, providing a more comprehensive assessment of the wreck site. Revenge, a schooner commanded by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, ran aground on Jan. 9, 1811 in heavy fog. Charlie Buffum and Craig Harger discovered the possible Revenge wreck in August 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Blair Atcheson/Released)

George Schwarz, an underwater archaeologist with Naval History and Heritage Command, surveys the potential wreck site of USS Revenge in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Watch Hill, R.I., Dec. 7, 2015. The magnetometer data will complement side scan sonar data collected by NHHC, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Engineering and Diving Support Unit, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in 2012, providing a more comprehensive assessment of the wreck site. Revenge, a schooner commanded by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, ran aground on Jan. 9, 1811 in heavy fog. Charlie Buffum and Craig Harger discovered the possible Revenge wreck in August 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Blair Atcheson/Released)

Magnetic field data from a portion of the survey area indicating (between 19 and 21) the potential iron objects (indicated as red) on the seafloor.

Magnetic field data from a portion of the survey area indicating (between 19 and 21) the potential iron objects (indicated as red) on the seafloor.

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