Time Capsules

By Tamara Collins

1972 - Adventure and Discovery in Truk Lagoon
In the early 1970s Truk Lagoon was virtually unexplored. And it was the promise of great discoveries that sent Skin Diver's Paul Tzimoulis, filmmaker Al Giddings and four other professional divers on a quest for the kind of adventure which sets [your] hands to trembling and heart pounding from sheer exhilaration. They came to Truk to make a film about wreck diving, and were led to a grisly discovery of one of WWII's great killing machines. The 330-foot I-169 submarine had been lying untouched on the ocean floor since April 4, 1944. Al Giddings was the first to enter the sub since that fateful day. He squeezed through the engine room hatch and discovered the walls were lined with brass gauges. The bones of the entrapped crew were lying all about. The crew made their film and left the wreck as they had found it a grim monument to war.

1968-A First Look at New Gear
In the January issue, Skin Diver took a look at the new gear of 1968. With gear still in its infancy, it's interesting to see names such as Dacor and U.S. Divers popping up. Much of the equipment is familiar, but there are some items that you probably wouldn't see in a diver's closet in 2000. How about the portable recompression chamber from Seamless Rubber? Dacor's fold-away safety vest? Would anyone still use U.S. Diver's mask volume reducer? Or secure their tank with a contoured backpack? The liftbags and spearguns resemble their modern counterparts, and there is also a link in the evolution of BCs Seamless air-compensated flotation jacket. We've come a long way, baby. What will the year 2000 have in store?

1958-Heli-Divers to the Rescue
In the case of an emergency at sea, the Douglas Heli-Divers were at the ready. They could get to a downed pilot in seven minutes within a five-mile radius, bringing first aid until the rescue boat arrived. This small group of weekend scuba divers worked at the Santa Monica division of the Douglas Aircraft Co. and were on-call 24 hours a day. Their primary function was as a precautionary measure for the aircraft testing program, but they could be called out to help anyone in trouble at sea. The men went through numerous wet-runs on the Bell 47-G pontoon-equipped copter, but according to coordinator Bob Johnson, Although we have drilled the team to split-second performance, we are happy that the unit has never been called for a Douglas air-sea tragedy.