Recent Articles

Expedition’s Director Credits Spence with Discovery of the Hunley.

Newell says Spence not NUMA Divers and not Cussler should be credited with finding the Hunley.

The following is an email sent February 27, 2001, from underwater archaeologist Dr. Mark M. Newell to me (Dr. E. Lee Spence). Dr. Newell was the official director of the expedition that has been widely credited with the discovery of the Hunley. Dr. Newell’s expedition was partially funded by novelist Clive Cussler and many people mistakenly believe Cussler was the actual discoverer of the wreck. Dr. Newell clearly credits me with finding it first. I think the fact that Dr. Newell, as that expedition’s director, could try to claim credit for himself, but instead openly acknowledges my earlier work, speaks highly of his integrity and should give his words credibility. For convenience, I have placed Dr. Newell’s email headers at the end of this note.

Mysterious rescue on Sullivan’s Island by Dr. E. Lee Spence

Do you know this person's identity?

Dr. E. Lee Spence writes of his 1965 rescue of young boy in storm driven seas and his efforts to learn the boy’s identity and what became of him in later life. It is a true tale of Spence’s unusual premonition, his efforts to overcome his fears and the boy’s heroism.

© 1993, 2010 by Edward Lee Spence

Ethics in Underwater Archaeology by Dr. E. Lee Spence

Capitalism Versus Socialism in Underwater Archaeology

Gold coins with metal detector

The author, Dr. E. Lee Spence, is President of the Sea Research Society and Vice-President of the International Diving Institute. This article, including the entire section subtitled “Capitalism versus Socialism in Underwater Archaeology” are Dr. Spence’s personal thoughts and views on the ethics of selling artifacts from shipwrecks and do not necessarily represent the official views or positions of the above organizations. This article applies to shipwrecks in general, regardless of their age or the nationality of the country involved. It has been updated from Dr. Spence’s original 1994 paper through August of 2008.

Discovery of the Georgiana by E. Lee Spence

Mystery ship of the Confederacy

When I was a teenager, I read about and dreamed of finding the wreck of the Civil War steamer Georgiana. She had been lost on her maiden voyage while attempting to run past the United States naval blockading squadron at Charleston, South Carolina. I wanted to find her because I had read that she was the most powerful Confederate cruiser ever built. Even though we then lived no where near Charleston, I started researching everything I could find relating to the wreck. We moved to Charleston the summer after my Junior year of high school. I located her in 1966, but kept it a secret for several more years, eventually salvaging tons of valuable artifacts. South Carolina’s law on shipwrecks was passed as a result of my discovery and subsequent efforts to get the salvage rights to this wreck.

Wreck of the SS City of Vera Cruz by Dr. E. Lee Spence

Emeralds off Cape Canaveral

The steamer City of Vera Cruz was wrecked off Cape Canaveral, Florida, during a hurricane in 1880. Although the wreck became known to fisherman and divers it was not until it was researched and identified by the author (underwater archaeologist Dr. e. Lee Spence) that people learned the history and importance of this wreck.