Rift Valley Expedition on R/V AKADEMIK KURCHATOV

Rift Valley, mid-Atlantic Ocean; Dakar, Senegal; Las Palmas, Canary Islands; Boston MA
Harold E. Edgerton
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Boris Shekhvatov, Gleb Udintsev, Harold E. Edgerton, James Sholer, Mike Hobart, Steve Eittreim
In the summer of 1969 Harold E. Edgerton was a guest scientist on board the Soviet research vessel AKADEMIK KURCHATOV during a deep-sea expedition to the Atlantic Rift Valley. He brought along M.I.T. students James Sholer and Mike Hobart, and Steve Eittreim of Lamont Laboratories. Chief Soviet scientists included Gleb Udintsev and Boris Shekhvatov. Work shots showing the deployment of sonar and deep-sea camera equipment are interspersed with informal images of life at sea, interactions with crew members, stops at Dakar (Senegal) and the Canary Islands, and the vessel's arrival in Boston Harbor. American participation on the expedition was partly funded with National Geographic Society support.

Tagged: Akademik Kurchatov, international exploration, National Geographic Society, oceanography, sonar, Soviet ship, underwater photography

00:00:01 Introductory information: film title, synopsis, date, run time.
00:00:08 Film begins.
00:00:10 [title:] RIFT VALLEY EXPEDITION “AKADEMIK KURCHATOV” July – Sept. 1969
00:00:16 View of bow and name of Soviet research vessel AKADEMIK KURCHATOV moored in harbor.
00:00:28 Soviet research vessel AKADEMIK KURCHATOV moored at dock
00:00:34 Detail of Soviet flag (hammer and sickle) flying from Soviet vessel.
00:00:35 Detail of crew at conning tower of ship.
00:00:43 Gleb Udintsev at typewriter on board ship.
00:00:49 Gleb Udintsev points out location of Atlantic Rifts valley on map on wall.
00:00:58 Gleb Udintsev and Boris Shekhvatov (?) hold up National Geographic Society banner (sponsor of Americans on board Soviet research vessel).
00:01:05 Overhead view of deck hands maneuvering huge red tank/instrument over side of vessel at sea.
00:01:28 Soviet student scientist (Olga) with MIT student Mike Hobart examine a long coring instrument on deck.
00:01:43 Olga and Hobart examine a cable, on the ship deck.
00:01:55 Soviet machinist (?) on deck.
00:01:59 Soviet machinist on the deck gives signals to people on an upper deck.
00:02:06 The captain is shown in the pilothouse; the camera pans up to show ship instrumentation above.
00:02:14 Crew member adjusts instrument on deck.
00:02:18 Hobart and others assist in carrying long deep-sea coring instrument on deck.
00:02:25 Deep-sea camera and sonar instruments hanging from thick cables maneuvered around deck.
00:02:35 Deep-sea camera and sonar instruments are deployed over side of ship into water.
00:02:40 MIT student Jim Sholer and Olga on deck with Edgerton camera assembly.
00:02:53 Sholer maneuvers an Edgerton-designed deep-sea camera assembly over the ship's side with assistance from other crew members.
00:02:57 Sholer maneuvers an Edgerton deep-sea camera assembly into the water with assistance from other crew members.
00:03:04 A man uses a large wrench on a coring instrument; others insert a tube into it.
00:03:17 Olga with large sheet of paper.
00:03:20 A man slides the paper beneath the mud core being extracted from the corer instrument.
00:03:30 Hobart assists in measuring the core sample removed from the deep-sea corer; the sample then placed next to another sample in a container.
00:03:39 View onto the wet deck: a man adjusts the deep-sea camera is buffeted by wind and water. The camera assembly is wheeled away.
00:03:53 View of high seas during transit.
00:03:59 View of the setting sun from inside the pilothouse.
00:04:05 [title]: LAS PALMAS, CANARY ISLANDS
00:04:08 Boris Shekhvatov descends steps from ship; others follow him including Gleb Udintsev. A man with a cigarette waves a long-handled hammer at the cameraman.
00:04:35 Sholer and Hobart with others take pictures from the side of the road.
00:04:39 View of a volcanic crater landscape to the sea.
00:04:49 A man hammers for rock samples along a hillside and looks at the samples with another man.
00:05:08 A man hammers a rock.
00:05:12 A man hammers at rocky side of hill by the roadside, while others walk along the road. [images are washed out]
00:05:19 Men ascend a ramp to the ship carrying bundles and cases.
00:05:26 Produce supplies are loaded from the dock to the ship by Sholer and others.
00:05:33 Another Soviet vessel lies alongside AKADEMIK KURCHATOV at sea.
00:05:40 Towline between two vessels at sea.
00:05:45 [Title] “DAKAR, AFRICA”
00:05:48 Passengers on the motorboat leave the ship to go to shore.
00:06:07 Soviet researcher Olga in swimsuit by a rocky shore.
00:06:13 A man on a beach scrapes tar off his foot with sand and a stone.
00:06:22 Several people examine a tall anthill.
00:06:31 A man films while another next to him holds a radio and exhorts others.
00:06:36 Women including a cook wave to other people on board another large vessel named DMITRY MENDELEEV.
00:06:53 Close-up of people on board DMITRY MENDELEEV.
00:06:56 People reach across between vessels to help others come on board, hold hands and kiss; ships pull apart.
00:07:29 People sing and wave as the other vessel leaves.
00:07:45 A person makes notations on a sonar graph recorder and points out tracks on the graph.
00:07:57 Shekhvatov and Sholer examine a recording (?) instrument on board.
00:08:10 Harold Edgerton (center) with Shekhvatov (left) and Udintsev (right) in the instrument room examine something (a sonar recorder?) on a table.
00:08:33 Shekhvatov serves out coffee as Udintsev watches.
00:08:41 Close-up of a Soviet coffee pot and Shekhvatov.
00:08:45 Out on deck, Sholer and another person maneuver deep-sea camera instruments hanging on a cable.
00:08:50 Sholer maneuvers the Edgerton-designed camera assembly over the side of the ship. (The camera is labeled “4.5 ft […] f8; Edgerton M.I.T.”)
00:09:02 Deckhands clean ship, scrubbing wall sides with brooms.
00:09:10 View out to sea past Shekhvatov.
00:09:16 Camera equipment on a cable is retrieved from the water.
00:09:28 A person feeds a fish in a small tank with a tweezer.
00:09:40 A man paints the ship.
00:09:43 Rough seas; a man walks across a rolling deck.
00:09:57 [Title] “BOSTON, MASS., U.S.A., Sept. 10, 1969”
00:10:02 A U.S. pilot ship comes next to the Soviet research ship; then a coast guard vessel approaches.
00:10:15 Soviet crew members can be seen above the pilothouse.
00:10:18 Flags sailed: red and white, American, and National Geographic Society flags.
00:10:25 Ship is towed into Boston.
00:10:32 A man and woman take pictures from the upper deck.
00:10:36 A view of the harbor and moored ships.
00:10:45 The ship moors to a dock.
00:10:54 Esther Edgerton (center) and two other women with flowers and cameras on the dock greet the ship as it arrives.
00:11:02 A view of a hand-drawn map shows the camera stations and other details of the Rift Valley research area; signed and dated “Sept. 1969, H. Edgerton, J. Sholer.” Off-camera person uses a pencil to point out lava area (1400m).
00:11:13 Black-and-white photograph of lava area on sea bottom previously pointed out on map.
00:11:18 View of hand-drawn map as above: sediment area (3000m) is pointed out.
00:11:24 Series of four b/w photographs of sediment area previously pointed out on the map.
00:11:28 View of hand-drawn map as above: rocks and sediment area (2400m) are pointed out.
00:11:33 B/w photograph of rocks and sediment area on sea bottom previously pointed out on map.
00:11:44 Another b/w photograph of rocks and sediment area on sea bottom previously pointed out on map.
00:11:51 View of hand-drawn map as above: rocks area (3100m) pointed out.
00:12:01 B/w photograph of rocky area on sea bottom previously pointed out on map.
00:12:10 Close-up of a sonar graph labeled “#1, SEPT 4, 1969, POLY 4, 8:30 – 10:00 [?], 1200 - 1400 M, H. EDGERTON, J. SHOLER, AKAD KURCHATOV.”
00:12:16 Close-up of a sonar graph labeled “#3, SEPT. 5, 1969, POLY 4, [TIME], 2250 M, H. EDGERTON, J. SHOLER, AKAD KURCHATOV.”
00:12:22 Film ends.
00:12:23 © 2010 MIT credits.

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