Synopsis by Nathan Southern
In the decades since it first arrived on television, PBS's hugely popular NOVA series has built much of its reputation on uniting the efforts of camera crews, archaeologists, scientists, and researchers to not simply disclose pre-known scientific facts, but to break new ground and debunk decades-old, scientific and historical fog-shrouded enigmas. NOVA: Hitler's Sunken Secret upholds this tradition. The episode journeys back to war-torn Europe circa 1944 and investigates a covert Allied operation little known among history buffs. After receiving numerous indications that the Norwegian ferry Hydro was toting several railroad flatcars full of "heavy water" to the Nazis -- a substance that Hitler's regime could use to build an atomic bomb that would render invincible the entire Axis -- the Allies sent a member of the Norwegian resistance to plant bombs in the prow of the Hydro, thus sinking the ship and its cargo. The mission was a triumph and may have been responsible for permanently altering the course of world history. But historians have never been able to determine with any certainty if the substance actually made it on board prior to the capsizing of the vessel. In this special, NOVA's explorers dive some 1,300 feet to the bottom of Lake Tinn in Norway, where they find the Hydro, astonishingly intact after many decades, and bring to the surface one of the barrels that supposedly contained the heavy water, exposing its contents to a battery of scientific tests that will solve the mystery definitively.
Allies, cargo, excavation, explosion, ferry, German [nationality], lake, mission [quest], Nazi, Norway, nuclear-weapon, secret-plan, shipment, sinking, underwater-expedition, uranium