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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Underwater crime scene expert to speak at URI May 2
Brown professor will follow talk with participatory dive on May 4

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 2, 2002 -- Sometimes the crime scene is all wet.
Richard A. Gould, professor and chair of Brown University’s Department of Anthropology, will speak about underwater crime scenes Thursday, May 2 at theUniversity of Rhode Island’s Forensic Science Partnership Seminar Series.

The lecture, "Underwater Crime Scene Recording," is free and open to the public and will be held on the Kingston Campus, Pastore Hall, Room 124, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

On Saturday, May 4 at 10 a.m., Gould will conduct an underwater training exercise for those who attend the lecture and who have had previous instruction in baseline trilateration and have at least a Basic "Openwater-I" level of SCUBA certification and their own personal dive gear, including tank and weights. The training exercise will be held at the northeast end of Jamestown at the public beach access at the remains of "Old Steamboat Dock" or "Pirate’s Landing."

The Providence Police Department and the Salvation Army Canteen will provide shore-based support during the exercise. "No Parking" signs are everywhere, but the Jamestown Police and Fire departments are being notified. Those who are driving will need to take the public access turnaround, unload there and then park near East Shore Drive.

Gould said that after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, archaeologists are finding new ways to adapt their skills to forensic investigations, both on land and under water.

For many people, the underwater world appears to be a chaotic environment in which evidence, once deposited, is lost. Gould said that scientific archaeology underwater has shown that there are controlled approaches to accessing, locating and recording crime scene evidence. Gould said this approach assumes, as does land-based investigation, that the credibility of all evidence will be tested in court.

During the lecture, Gould will present slides of underwater crime/incident scenes:

o Wreck of the steamer Yongala, lost without a trace off the Queensland coast of Australia in 1911 and discovered in 1968

o Wreck of the steamer Pollockshields, in 1915 along the south coast of Bermuda.

o Downed aircraft, including: an F4U-5 Corsair fighter in Maunaloa Bay, Oahu; a WB-50D Superfortress 4-engine bomber found off the southwest end of Bermuda; and a Fairey Swordfish floatplane torpedo bomber found off Boaz Island, Bermuda.

If time permits, Gould will address a case study of the three-masted iron bark, North Carolina, wrecked at 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day, 1880, off Bermuda’s southwest reef. Three written accounts exist of the sinking, but none agree. Archaeological testing of each account has allowed scientists to rule out all three explanations.

For Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

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