Divers Discover Experimental Submarine Built In 1907

[Screenshot/YouTube/NBC News]

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A team of divers in Connecticut have discovered the wreckage of an experimental submarine built in the early days of the 20th century off the coast of Long Island.

After years of studying the story of the experimental submarine known as The Defender, Richard Simon and his team of divers found the long-lost vessel April 16 more than seventy-five years after she sank in Long Island Sound, Shoreline Diving announced on Facebook.

“It was legitimately hiding in plain sight,” Simon told CBS News. “It’s on the charts. It’s known about in Long Island Sound, just no one knew what it was.” (RELATED: Researchers Inspect Long-Lost Shipwreck, Confirm Tragic Tale Told By Survivors 128 Years Ago)

After mapping the area where he knew the Defender should be and analyzing sonar reports, Simon found an anomaly that matched the measurements of the 92-foot long vessel. A dive on Sunday confirmed the anomaly was the long-lost submarine, resting 150 feet beneath the surface, CBS News reported.

Built by eccentric millionaire Simon Lake in 1907, The Defender was designed and equipped for use by the U.S Navy, a competitor, however, beat Lake to the punch, Shoreline Diving revealed in their post. For years, Lake adapted and refitted the experimental submarine for  underwater rescue missions, arctic expeditions, and shipwreck salvage operations, going so far as to outfit the Defender with wheels so it could “drive” on the ocean floor, NBC Connecticut reported. Despite all of the effort Lake put into his beloved creation, he never found a buyer for the Defender, leaving it to languish at the docks in New London, Connecticut and later on the mud flats at Old Saybrook, the release from Shoreline Diving stated.

The submarine wasn’t without its fans, however. Well-known in its time, the Defender was even visited by Amelia Earhart in 1929, Shoreline Diving shared in another post.

Simon and his team will spend the summer photographing and filming the submarine and hopes to interest the U.S. Navy in helping to preserve the sunken ship. Citing the Abandoned Shipwreck Act, Simon told CBS News the 1988 law would allow the Defender’s resting place to be treated as an archaeological site.