Comments about technological history, system fractures, and human resilience from James R. Chiles, the author of Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Technology (HarperBusiness 2001; paperback 2002) and The God Machine: From Boomerangs to Black Hawks, the Story of the Helicopter (Random House, 2007, paperback 2008)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Howl of the Machine: Audio from Rena on the rocks

Nine months ago I was intrigued by an article from the New Zealand Herald in which witnesses aboard the wrecked Rena described unearthly howls, shrieks, and echoing rumbles as waves slowly tore the vessel apart while it lay stranded on the rocks off the port of Tauranga. 

Here's a picture of the cracked hull from NZDF:
Maritime New Zealand's Bruce Anderson said this about the sound: "I wouldn't say it's eerie, but it's quite spooky. It would be really interesting for people to hear the grinding sound being made as the two parts of the ship work together.

The ship finally broke in half in early January. This photo from AP:
No audio was available to the public in October, but now it is.  

Here's an audio clip courtesy of Maritime New Zealand, recorded on October 24 by officials inside the ship. I think you'll find it memorable, and perhaps well suited for techno-haunted houses. Particularly striking is a rising roar not quite halfway through the clip.

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