Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Deep water

I was sitting on the dock the other day, with my hunk of Gulp on a line. I use a very small hook, and a long piece of Gulp. That way I don't really bother the big bass (who might be nesting right now), and I have a chance to catch a rock bass (which I kill). The rock bass are considered a growing pest in the Lake.

I was staring into the water and watch a bass attack and spit it out with disgust, when I thought of my adventures with a much larger lake: Lake Ontario.

It was in the late 80's. We had been putting nuke plants for some time along the lake, but didn't really know anything about it, other than it was deep and cold! At that time side-scan sonar was becoming more common and people were using it to scan for all the light planes that kept trying to land in the lake.

Side-scan sonar gives great images of the bottom of a murky lake, and the first ones showed all these weird linear marks, and feathery lines. Naturally, the first persons who saw it cried Earthquake! and informed the press.

I realized that people were going to start finding all sorts of weird things, so we had better start up a major effort. I easily whipped up a few million for this, since the nuke plants were being questioned. That's where I started my main 'thing': that all the data would be gathered scientifically, and placed in the scientific domain.

We had ships crossing the lake several times for the next couple of years. They did side-scan, deep air gun, and shallow sonics. We managed to show that all the lines and marks on the bottom were from coal ash dumping during the time of steamships, and anchor drag. But the Lake had many more secrets to reveal...

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