John Paul Jones and Filey Bay

Local Historical Advisor 
Michael Fearon M.Sc.
Legal Consultant
James Hodgson
 Cultural Resource Management
Donald G Shomette


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Donald G Shomette

Don Shomette

Following his undergraduate study at the Pratt Institute in New York City, and having received his Ph.D in Humane Letters from the University of Baltimore, Donald Shomette has worn many hats in his life. While serving for nearly two decades on the staff of the Library of Congress, from which he retired in 1993 as Director of Graphic Arts, he also found time to carry on simultaneous careers in underwater archaeology, maritime history, and as an author. Sponsored by or working for such organisations as the National Geographic Society, the National Park Service, the U.S. Navy, and numerous state governments and museums, he has been a pioneer in the field of marine archaeology and cultural resources management.

Included amongst his many achievements are: 

The first underwater survey of an entire riverine system in America    
The first systematic use of robotic technology for underwater archaeology     
The survey of the largest fleet of shipwrecks in one place     

The survey of the oldest shipwreck fleet in America discovery of the earliest Euro-American small craft wreck in the U.S. and co-founder of the first public historic shipwreck preserve in Maryland.    

He is currently under contract with the U.S. Navy to carry out the largest federal historic shipwreck inventory undertaken by that service to date-all naval and foreign military vessels lost on the mid-Atlantic seaboard of the United States.

Author of a dozen books, with his thirteenth due out in six weeks, and two more already in the works, he has also been a contributor to myriad other publications, including the British Museum Encyclopaedia of Underwater Archaeology, and the Encyclopaedia of Naval History. His writings have appeared in numerous American publications including National Geographic Magazine and Invention and Technology.

He has received many awards, including the Calvert Prize, the highest award given for historic preservation in the State of Maryland. He has been made an Honorary Arkansas Traveller by Bill Clinton, and and a Honorary Citizen of the City of Little Rock. He was the winner of the prestigious George Lyman Literary Award for Best American Maritime History of 1994 for his book The Hunt for HMS De Braak: Legend and Legacy.

Don Shomette has recently visited Filey and the Filey Underwater Research Unit in connection with their on going search for the wreck of the Bonhomme Richard, the flagship of John Paul Jones, the father of the U.S. Navy which was sunk in the Battle of Filey Bay in 1779.

He has dived with the Unit on a wreck that they have been working on and provided his expertise in an attempt to identify the wreck. On completion of his work, he delivered an excellent public lecture in Filey entitled Beneath the Waters of Time - A Search for History Beneath the Sea and he is advising them with regards to the Cultural Resource Management of the site.

Check out Don's other pages on this link