Yes, I have seen the error-filled Autometric "study" (as you put it) of what may be nothing more than a piece of fiber or partially obscured small boat on an old and low-quality photograph.
The famous picture shows battleship row on the morning of December 7, 1941, with aerial torpedo tracks running towards several of the ships. There is no submarine in that picture for a dozen reasons, both simple and technical. There never was a second midget submarine inside Pearl Harbor unless you count Midget B and Midget C being together there briefly before Midget B was buried and Midget C shipped off to the states.
The poorly written "Attack from Below" articles by Autometric (in Naval History and Proceedings magazines) should be viewed as simple fantasy, written by people who do not know how to conduct research. Their self-serving and far-fetched contentions are far too easy to pick apart. For example, the flaw on the photo appears on their copy, and in their December 1999 Naval History magazine article, yet they do not point it out to the reader. Why? Because it would blow their theory. Same with the small boat. They acknowledged the small boat in a follow-up article some months later, but did not explain why the boat crew so close somehow overlooked a submarine on the surface only 30-50 yards from them.
If you are interested, I'd suggest that you get a copy of the photo they used from either the Naval Historical Center (NHC) or National Archives (NARA). Order negative number NH50931 from NHC, or NWDNS-80-G-30550 from NARA. Have them enlarge it for you using their best negative to make the print. It will cost you about Ó. The NHC copy is clearest if you are viewing them online. Or, for an even clearer copy online, go to:
Examine the photograph closely. Then ask yourself: Exactly how do the Autometric representations of the torpedo wakes work if they ignored one that originates far behind where they place the imaginary submarine.
Also ask, how did the Japanese planes attack, and is there a pattern in the real torpedo wakes in the photograph (not the ones drawn by Autometric).
Finally, look at the dark rectangle that the Autometric people are calling a submarine conning tower, and compare the size as they measured it against the actual size of the conning tower on a Type-A midget. They measured the object in the photo as being four feet tall, which is right for a Type-A midget conning tower. But they failed to explain why the "conning tower" in the photograph is so skinny. A real Type-A midget submarine conning tower is four feet tall and eight feel long. Yet this object is clearly very narrow compared to its height, when it should be the other way around. The oblique nature of the photograph may "hide" some of the width of the conning tower, but not that much.
I knew when I read their three pieces of fiction and looked at their incorrect renderings of the torpedo wakes that it was totally false. I knew for the dozen technical and simple reasons I mentioned earlier. But then I thought, it has to be easier. So I got a copy of the same photo they manipulated with their edge-sharpening software - and the fiber is staring me in the face!
I've posted my copy of the enlarged photo showing the fiber they call a submarine conning tower.
Here is the link in case it doesn't open right away. There's a major delay at times with this site for some reason.
The photo you are looking at has not been modified or manipulated in any way, but it has been enlarged and scanned. However, don't take my word for it. Get a copy of your own!
As you can see I have added labels.
Notice how the end of the fiber (or hair or whatever it is) extends into the whitewater area of the torpedo wake. During the developing process the white has bled over the very thin darker line of the fiber, making it appear that the end of it is free-standing. It also makes it stand out a lot more because it is against a white background. The rest of the fiber (down and left of the torpedo wake) is against a dark background and can hardly be seen.
Light colors bleeding over a thin dark line is not unusual in old photographs like this. For another example grab a copy of the book "The Way It Was - Pearl harbor - The Original Photographs" by Donald Goldstein, Katherine Dillon, and J. Michael Wenger. Look at photograph 6-52 on page 78. The sailor's white pants have bled over the thin black line of the hand rail at one point.
This was not such an uncommon thing as one might think. Ask an old time photographer, particularly those who did newspaper work.
If you would like to see the flaw with the naked eye, get a copy of Walter Lord's book "Day of Infamy," published in 1957.
So much for Autometric's "expert" credentials.
Look for an article in the special edition of World War Two magazine for the 60th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack (due out in late April 2001). It will briefly explain a few of the reasons why the Autometric articles should be viewed as fiction. A follow-on article is being written as we speak, and will go into a bit more detail.
Bob Ballard and National Geographic did indeed look for Midget A (the Ward midget) in November 2000. They did not find her, but they did find the aft portion of another midget dumped later in the war by the Navy, as well as two torpedoes, also dumped later in the war. Look back through some of the previous posts here if you are interested.
They did a brief write-up of their unsuccessful search that you can view online at the National Geographic website, or you can wait until May to see the television special.
Now, let's ignore the facts and common sense, and dabble briefly in speculation...
What if another midget submarine had entered Pearl Harbor that morning - where is she now? The accepted version of events accounts for four of the midgets, leaving Midget E as the logical candidate.
After avoiding the concentration of aerial torpedoes in front of Battleship Row, the submarine had to escape. The most direct escape route meant passing between Ford Island and 1010 Dock, avoiding the dredge in the channel, and making the turn around Hospital Point. A midget submarine could not have navigated that route without using her periscope. The longer circuit around Ford Island meant passing dozens of ships in East Loch and along the north side of Ford Island. The greater number of turns and ships made navigating even more perilous. In either event, she would have needed her periscope to navigate. Yet, if she used her periscope, why wasn't it seen? Everything else (real or imagined) was seen and reported on December 7th.
Three cruisers, several dozen destroyer-types, and half a dozen minesweepers left Pearl Harbor at high speed that day. A ship traveling very fast would push (or, conversely, pull) a huge amount of water through the narrow and shallow channel, and the waves would swamp a small vessel. There is a speed limit in the channel for that reason. A midget submarine could not negotiate the channel under those circumstances.
What if the midget never left? Pearl Harbor was a hive of activity once the attack began- ships left, minesweepers operated inside and outside the harbor, destroyers and PT boats patrolled in the harbor, and dozens of small boats engaged in rescue operations. The uproar continued for weeks. It is difficult to imagine a submarine hiding or surviving all that commotion.
If a midget submarine has been lying inside Pearl Harbor all these years, where is it?
The scene of massive salvage operations during the war, Pearl Harbor has undergone expansion projects, dredging, and bottom surveys since 1941. In addition to thousands of routine scuba diving operations, countless ships have conducted minesweeping training or tested their sound gear in Pearl Harbor over the past six decades.
HA-19 (MIDGET C) AT MARE ISLAND NAVAL SHIPYARD FOLLOWING HER CAPTURE
Naval Historical Center photo NH 47036
As you can see, the term "midget submarine" is misleading. Small perhaps when compared to fleet submarines, they are still very large objects. A torpedo or piece of an airplane might be overlooked in the murky waters of Pearl Harbor, but not a submarine.
There is no concrete proof, but the preponderance of evidence goes against a second midget submarine having entered Pearl Harbor that morning. The simple and logical answer best fits the known facts.
Midget A was sunk by Ward and PBY 14-P-1.
Midget B made it into the harbor, only to be sunk by Curtiss and Monaghan.
Midget C (from I-24) was captured after washing ashore on the eastern side of Oahu.
Midget D tried unsuccessfully to enter the channel but was fatally damaged by depth charges, or she sank due to mechanical problems and later depth charged as a magnetic contact.
Midget E (from I-16) attacked USS St Louis shortly after 10:00 that morning as she left harbor, then disappeared after sending confusing radio messages that night.
Based on times and locations, Midgets A, B, and D could have been from any of the other three Japanese 'mother' submarines (I-18, I-20, or I-22), but there is no way to know which.
There are three other Type-A midget submarines on public display. A midget salvaged at Guadalcanal (thought to be Ha-8) is at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, Connecticut. The U.S. Naval Station on Guam still has the midget (possibly Ha-51) that was captured when the Mariannas were retaken 1944. In Canberra, Australia, undamaged sections of Ha-14 and Ha-21, two of the midgets that attacked Sydney Harbor in May 1942, were assembled to make one submarine that is now on display at the Australian War Memorial.
(Edited by Ken Hackler at 10:36 pm on April 29, 2001)
Edited by Ken Hackler on --