Crowdsourcing history

Do you know these guys?

monitor_faces.jpg

The attempt to identify them might be one of the biggest Hail Mary pass of crowdsourcing attempts ever.

Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries released reconstructions of the faces of two crew members of the Monitor, the submarine that sank in a New Year’s Eve storm 150 years ago.


The skeletal remains of both sailors were discovered inside the Monitor’s gun turret after it was raised from the ocean floor in 2002. While much has been learned about the physical characteristics of the men, their identities remain a mystery. By releasing images of the reconstructed faces, NOAA hopes the public will be able to assist in the ongoing effort to identify the sailors.

The Monitor site was discovered in 1973. The skeleton remains were used to reconstruct the men’s faces.

We don’t know all the answers about their lives but the reconstruction is a way to bring the past to life, to create something as similar as possible to the original,” said Mary H. Manhein, director of the FACES lab. “To see the faces take shape, to go from bone to flesh is very exciting. Our hope is that someone seeing the sculptures may recognize the face as an ancestor.”

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