From the Desk of:
Martin McClellan: Project Coordinator -
"The First Ascent from the SS Tahoe"
Over the years there have been many attempts to salvage the treasures of the SS Tahoe. Grappling hooks have been dragged along the bottom hooking her and tearing off railing and various other fixtures that were otherwise in tact on August 29th, 1940 when she was scuttled. There have even been attempts to organize actual lifting operations that would either surface the SS Tahoe or move her into shallower water for study. Which would make her once again vulnerable to predators and vandals.
Further, there have been scrupulous characters raising money in and around the Tahoe basin under false pretenses. Deceptions spread that promised to protect her, salvage her or simply do some sort of "enhancement" in her honor. All of which were completely dishonest and left a very sour taste in the pallets of the local citizenry.
Recently I was approached by a local business asking if I would recover a "porthole" for display in their local establishment. A complete disrespect for the historical value of such a gem. I adamantly declined.
To protect the honor of her memory is why William Seth Bliss sunk the SS Tahoe (as well as the Meteor and Nevada) back in 1940. He wanted these historical icons left alone and respected for what they were and what they meant to the history of the Tahoe basin. It would have been too expensive to keep them afloat and thus in a proper and fitting manner, they were buried in the lake where they were commissioned and served faithfully for years.
Therefore, and above all else, the activities of New Millennium Dive Expeditions, will be carried out in honor of William Seth Bliss's desires. In fact, in August of 1999, I met with the grandson of William Seth, Mr. Bill Bliss and at that time I gave him my word that the only thing we will take during our expedition dives will be photos and videos. All else will remain untouched. In fact, as a condition of my receiving approval for this project from the various historical societies, I needed an approval from Bill Bliss in which he stated, "...she is to be left untouched." I intend to see that my word is kept.
The First Ascent from the SS Tahoe is designed to be a positive contribution to Technical Diving, the history of the Tahoe Basin's Maritime past and to the citizens of the Lake Tahoe area. We are not a fluke or just a bunch of publicity seekers. We are trying to accomplish a very complex and dangerous task in order to produce and complete a film project that will be a departure from the norm.
The First Ascent from the SS Tahoe: A Documentary Film