Place: Town and Country Resort
Tiki Pavilion
500 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 291-7131

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Date: Thursday, September 26th, 2013
6:00 p.m. following the end of the OCEANS 2013 conference
Speaker: US Navy Capt. (ret) Alfred McLaren
Subject: Exploration of Extreme Underwater Environments
Price: MTS Members: $35
Non-Members: $35 with RSVP by Spet. 6th, $40 after Sept. 6th or at the door
Menu: Buffet dinner
R.S.V.P. To: E-mail:
Member ($35)
Non-Member ($40)

The local San Diego chapter of MTS is pleased to announce a special event immediately following the end of the OCEANS 2013 conference at the Town & Country resort in San Diego. Guest speaker Capt. (ret) Alfred McLaren, PhD., one of the world's most dynamic US Navy submariners and explorers, particularly in the undersea world of the arctic regions, will be giving a talk about his experiences in Exploration of Extreme Underwater Environments. Capt. McLaren is an author of several books on these topics, a research scientist and a dynamic lecturer, as well as President of The American Polar Society. For roughly 50 years, Capt. McLaren has been exploring some of the most remote undersea regions of the arctic and the world, diving on some of the most famous wrecks including the RMS Titanic, the DK Bismarck, and exploring hydro-thermal vents. Capt. McLaren has also been involved in piloting and aiding in the advancement of several revolutionary exploratory submarines. Capt. McLaren will recount several of these dynamic tales, his experiences on board US Navy submarines, as well as take a look at some of the newest exploratory manned submersibles.
In this beautifully illustrated PowerPoint talk, Captain McLaren will describe in detail his exploration in three extreme underwater environments as follows:

During the summer of 1970, USS Queenfish (SSN-651), under his command, was the seventh nuclear attack submarine to surface at the North Pole en-route to conducting the first-ever hydrographic and oceanographic survey of the entire Siberian continental shelf – a distance of some 5,200 kilometers. This quite hazardous survey began at the northwestern corner of the Laptev Sea, off the northernmost island of the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago and proceeded through the uncharted sea ice-covered shallow waters of the Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukchi seas, and ended just north of the Bering Strait.

During the summers of 1999 and 2003, he descended to the wreck of R.M.S. Titanic at approximately 3,750 meters beneath the sea, using a Russian deep-diving MIR submersible. He will discuss the various theories of how the Titanic met her fate, whether it collided with an iceberg or ran over a thick ice floe. He will also describe his observations on the shocking deterioration in Titanic's state of preservation in just four years, why this might have occurred, and what this portends for not only the future of the wreck of Titanic, but all marine wrecks, both deep and shallow, which are of historic significance or which may contain cargos of hazardous materials.
During the summers of 2001 and 2002, he participated in the very first manned dives, using a Russian MIR submersible, to the wreck of what was briefly the world’s most powerful battleship and Nazi Germany's pride, DK Bismarck. At her final resting place some 4,850 meters beneath the sea, Bismarck was thoroughly inspected and filmed with high-definition cameras on both expeditions, resulting in some of the most extensive and best photographic coverage ever made of a submerged archaeological site. He will also address a 72-year-old mystery: who really sank the Bismarck?

The presentation will conclude with a brief discussion of his present work as Senior Pilot of the revolutionary new Super Aviator submersible and the follow-on, ready-to-be built Orca Sub, both of which have considerable potential for global warming research and under-ice operations. The former could assist in the search for Sir John Franklin's Terror and Erebus, the latter in discovering and documenting hydrothermal vents and attendant chemosynthesis sustained eco-systems along the extension of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge into the Arctic Ocean, the Gak'kel Ridge.

About Our Speaker:
Captain Alfred Scott McLaren, President of The American Polar Society is a lecturer, writer, and research scientist. His area of scientific research is the role of the Polar Regions in global climate change and the deep sea. He has traveled extensively in both the Arctic and Antarctic. He is the author of over 50 research papers in scientific professional journals. He is also Director of Sub Aviator Systems LLC ( and Senior Pilot of their revolutionary new Super Aviator submersible. He is an Honorary Director and former President of The Explorers Club, founded in 1904 to promote scientific exploration and field research. He received The Explorers Club's Lowell Thomas Medal for Ocean Exploration in 2000 and its highest honor, “The Explorers Medal” in 2012. He is a former Director of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M and a former research and teaching professor at the University of Colorado, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, and Publisher of the weekly magazine Science News, he received his Ph.D. in Physical Geography of the Polar Regions from the University of Colorado, an M.Phil. in Polar Studies from Cambridge University (Peterhouse), England, and a M.S. in International Affairs from George Washington University. He is a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America and a member of the Navy League.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Naval War College, Captain McLaren was among the first 100 selected by Admiral H.G. Rickover to receive nuclear power training. As a naval officer, Captain McLaren made three Arctic expeditions on nuclear attack submarines, one on board USS Seadragon (SSN-584) during the first submerged transit of the Northwest Passage; two others were on USS Queenfish (SSN-651): a Davis Strait/Baffin Bay expedition and a North Pole expedition that included the first survey under ice of the entire Siberian Continental Shelf (5,200 km). He commanded Queenfish during the latter expedition and for a total of four years. He was subsequently honored in 1983, with the Societe de Geographic Paris' Silver Medal for Polar Exploration and La Medaille de La Ville De Paris (Echelon Argent). He is a veteran of more than 20 Cold War submarine operations. His awards, as a Cold War submarine captain, include the Distinguished Service Medal, the nation's highest peacetime award; two Legions of Merit and four Navy Unit Citations. Currently a deep sea explorer and scientist, Captain McLaren completed lengthy dives using the Russian deep-diving MIR submersibles to: R.M.S. Titanic in 1999 and 2003, the Rainbow Hydrothermal Vents along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in 1999, and during June 2001; one of the first manned dives to the wreck of the German battleship Bismarck at a depth of 4,750 meters beneath the sea. He returned to Bismarck in early August 2002 to make a second dive and participate in a comprehensive high definition (HD) filming of the wreck site. In February 2003, he became the first deep-sea explorer to be licensed as a “Pilot in Command” of famed designer and builder Graham Hawkes' new high performance submersible Deep Flight Aviator, which is “flown” underwater like a fixed-wing aircraft. Captain McLaren is SCUBA qualified and an instrument-rated private pilot. His first book, Unknown Waters, published by the University of Alabama Press in early 2008, is now in its third printing. It was recently named a “Notable Naval Book of 2008” by the U.S. Naval Institute. He is currently completing a second book entitled “Tales of the Cold War.”

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