Extract from the TRIESTE Log: TRIESTE Found the THRESHER Wreck by Landing on Top of It.
August 1964: Trieste first and second dives were unsuccessful due to a failed gyrocompass
FROM THE TRIESTE SUBMERSIBLE's LOG
The third dive proved to be one of the most amazing. As the dive progressed we all breathed a sigh of relief as it became evident that the gyrocompass was working.
We informed Captain Andrew of the course to steer and the distance to the Thresher hulk and the Trieste moved slowly in the correct direction towards where we thought the correct position of Thresher to be. Captain Andrew set the Trieste down on the ocean floor and saw nothing and requested that we compile a lot of data and average it so we could vector them closer to the hulk, but the result came up with the same location.
Trieste is a pretty tight fit for three men. The third man, who is looking out of the viewport, is sometimes almost forgotten down of the bottom of the dark capsule as he peers out into the murky water.
As they sat still waiting, the observer said, “Say, how high are we above the bottom?” “Man, we’re resting on the bottom,” shot back the pilot, “we’re just waiting for those clowns up there to tell us which way to go” Observer: “Well, then! Why can’t I see the bottom?” Pilot: “you can’t see the bottom?” “Hold it! Holy cow, there’s a piece of metal—and it’s made of metal, it’s—it’s the hulk!”
Yes, stranger than fiction, all the while Trieste had been neatly balanced directly on top of one section of Thresher, with the viewport looking over the end and too high above the bottom to see it.