NASA Confirms First Major Finding in 25+ Years of New Artifact from 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster – Discovered while Filming New Series for The HISTORY Channel
FIRST MAJOR FINDING IN MORE THAN 25 YEARS OF NEW ARTIFACT FROM THE 1986 SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER DISASTER DISCOVERED WHILE FILMING
THE HISTORY® CHANNEL SERIES
“THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE: INTO CURSED WATERS”
NASA Confirms Twenty-Foot Segment Discovered by a Team of Wreck Divers – Outside of the Bermuda Triangle, Off the Coast of Florida – to be Chronicled in Series Premiere on
Tuesday, November 22 at 10PM ET/PT
Dive Team Leader Mike Barnette will be Available for Interviews
New York, NY – November 10, 2022 – Today, The HISTORY® Channel announces the discovery of a twenty-foot segment of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger in the waters off the coast of Florida uncovered during the filming of the new series “The Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters.” This marks the first major discovery of wreckage from the shuttle launch in more than twenty-five years. Produced for The HISTORY Channel by Lone Wolf Media, the full exploration, including expert commentary from Mike Ciannilli with NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, will be chronicled as part of the new, six-part series premiering on Tuesday, November 22 at 10pm ET/PT on The HISTORY Channel.
“The historic and emotional discovery of this Challenger artifact by our incredible team reinforces The HISTORY Channel’s mission to preserve important sites and stories from our national heritage,” said Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for The HISTORY Channel. “Our goal for creating this series was to give a name to some of the thousands of wreck sites that call the Bermuda Triangle home and in turn share their stories, historical significance and even provide answers as to how they came to be there. While the remarkable discovery of wreckage from Challenger was not part of our diving team’s initial mission exploring the Bermuda Triangle, the find’s historical significance cannot be understated. The Challenger is a vital part of our nation’s history, and we are honored to bring this important finding to light.”
“The significance of this large section of Challenger’s structure was readily apparent,” said underwater explorer Mike Barnette, who led that team that made the discovery. “We recognized the necessity of bringing this find to the immediate attention of NASA. The site, which is outside of the Bermuda Triangle off the Florida coast, marks the loss of seven brave astronauts–fellow explorers–and the Challenger disaster was a tragic setback for America’s space program. But from this horrific event, important lessons were learned that have ultimately led to remarkable advances in space exploration.”
Across six episodes, “The Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters” follows an elite team of underwater detectives anchored by underwater explorer and marine biologist Mike Barnette, who has discovered over 50 shipwrecks, including the SS Cotopaxi; investigators Wayne Abbot and David O’Keefe; U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jason Harris, an authority on aeronautical crashes and wreck diver Jimmy Gadomski. The series follows the team as they attempt to identify wrecks found within the Bermuda Triangle – a hotbed for unexplained disappearances dating back hundreds of years.
In early March 2022, the team first embarked on a series of scout dives to investigate several suspected wreck targets off the coast of Florida, with one of those targets being outside of the Bermuda Triangle, offshore from Cape Canaveral. The team was initially looking for the wreck of a PBM Martin Mariner Rescue Plane that disappeared without a trace on December 5, 1945, while searching for five US Navy torpedo bombers on a mission code named Flight 19 that had also disappeared earlier that day. Instead of WWII era plane debris, the team discovered a modern-looking aviation structure. After consulting with an outside expert and completing a second dive in May 2022, the team presented the full evidence to retired American astronaut Bruce Melnick who suspected it was a piece of the Challenger space shuttle. Based on this information, producers brought the discovery to the attention of NASA and in August 2022, Mike Ciannilli, confirmed this was a significant remnant of Challenger. Viewers will get a first-hand look from the very first dive to the teams’ meeting at NASA to see how this rare and important discovery unfolded. In addition to the Challenger wreckage, viewers can expect to watch the team uncover several other ship and plane wrecks this season, helping to bring closure and answers to decades-old disappearances.
For more information, please visit: https://www.history.com/shows/the-bermuda-triangle-into-cursed-waters
“The Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters” is produced for the HISTORY Channel by Lone Wolf Media. Kirk Wolfinger, Joseph Sousa and Adam Costa serve as executive producers for Lone Wolf Media. Eli Lehrer, Amy Savitsky and Mike Stiller serve as executive producers for The HISTORY Channel.
A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights for “The Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters.”
About The HISTORY® Channel
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