Michael C. Barnette

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Michael C. Barnette is an accomplished diver, author, photographer and founder of the Association of Underwater Explorers.[1]


Barnette was born on September 7, 1971 in Fredericksburg, VA.[2] He attended Stafford Senior High School where he graduated in 1989. He then attended the University of South Carolina, graduating in 1995 with a degree in Marine Biology.

Barnette is married and currently resides in Saint Petersburg, FL.

Barnette became a fellow of The Explorers Club in March 2009.


Barnette is employed by NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service as a marine biologist.[3][4] His current duties include protecting sea turtles by making sure fishing fleets worldwide are utilizing turtle excluder devices.[5]

Association of Underwater Explorers[edit]

Barnette has been actively diving and researching shipwrecks since 1990 resulting in the identification of over 30 wreck sites.[1] In 1996, Barnette founded the Association of Underwater Explorers (AUE) to expand the knowledge base of submerged cultural resources.[6][7]

Expeditions and projects[edit]

A B-25c Mitchell bomber was ditched on 4 April 1943 and remained 45 meters (148 ft) below the surface of Lake Murray (South Carolina) for 60 years. The recovery effort was headed by Dr. Robert Seigler and supervised by Gary Larkins of the Air Pirates.[8][9] Barnette participated in the recovery effort with divers from AUE, the Rubicon Foundation, and Woodville Karst Plain Project in 2005.[8][10] The project was documented by the History Channel and televised on their show Mega Movers.[8] The plane is being preserved by the Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham, Alabama.[10] This project carried Explorers Club flag number 103.[11]

In 2006, Barnette participated in the History Channel's expedition to the HMHS Britannic led by explorers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler.[12] Titanic's Achilles Heel was the first documentary to be released from this expedition on June 17, 2007.[13] Titanic's Tragic Sister also featured details from this expedition and first aired on October 14, 2007.[14]

Barnette's recovery of Oculina varicosa from the Gulf of Mexico in 2006 allowed researchers to confirm this species of concern's existence in abundance in the Gulf.[15] In 2009, Barnette returned to collect coral samples for testing that identified the species is genetically identical to Oculina varicosa found off the eastern coast of Florida.[16][17]

When the Eagle's Nest cave system needed new guidelines in 2007, Barnette and AUE took on the task replacing the old line as well as removing unnecessary lines.[18]

Barnette has been featured in five television documentaries that have aired on The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and The Learning Channel regarding shipwrecks associated with the Bermuda Triangle.[19][20]

Shipwreck identification[edit]

Barnette has been active in the identification of numerous shipwrecks that include:




See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Newman, Sandi (September 2008). "BOOK REVIEW Images of America: Florida's Shipwrecks By Michael Barnette". Scuba News. 25 (9): 10. Archived from the original on April 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  2. ^ Hobbs, Gene (2014). "DAN Member Profile: Michael Barnette". Alert Diver. Divers Alert Network. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  3. ^ National Marine Fisheries Service (2006-01-12). "Status report on the continental United States distinct population segment of the goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara)" (PDF): 49. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  4. ^ Barnette, Michael C. (2005-11-24). "Authorized use of restricted tow times for shrimp trawlers in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and certain parts of Texas" (PDF). Southeast Fishery Bulletin. FB05-064. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  5. ^ "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; 50 CFR Part 223; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Sea Turtle Conservation Requirements" (PDF). Federal Register. 72 (52): 12749. 2007-03-19. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  6. ^ "AUE: about us". Association of Underwater Explorers. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  7. ^ a b Cocking, Susan (2002-08-08). "For shipwreck-hunting crew, a diving passion runs deep". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  8. ^ a b c Vartorella, Bill. "B-25 WWII plane retrieved from depths of Lake Murray". The Columbia Star. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  9. ^ Air Pirates (2006-05-04). "Lake Murray B-25C Recovery". Archived from the original on 2006-03-16. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  10. ^ a b "Rubicon Foundation: B-25c Project". Rubicon Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  11. ^ "Into the Field: Approved Flag Expeditions". Explorers Club. Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  12. ^ Kohler, Carrie. "The 2006 History Channel H.M.S Britannic Expedition". Silent Diving Systems LLC. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  13. ^ "Titanic's Achilles Heel (2007) (TV)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  14. ^ "Titanic's Tragic Sister (2007) (TV)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  15. ^ a b Barnette, Michael C. (2006). "Observations of the deep-water coral Oculina varicosa in the Gulf of Mexico" (PDF). NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-535: 12. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  16. ^ Armstrong, Brian (2009-09-05). "Oculina Coral Collection". Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  17. ^ staff. "Gulf of Mexico Oculina varicosa Project". Rubicon Foundation. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  18. ^ Barny00 (Michael C. Barnette). "Eagle's Nest status". Cave Diver's Forum. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  19. ^ "Return To The Bermuda Triangle". The Learning Channel. 2010-10-24. 
  20. ^ Armstrong, Brian. "the Bermuda Triangle". Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  21. ^ Morgan, Curtis (2005-07-10). "Underwater trail highlights shipwrecks off Miami". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  22. ^ Cocking, Susan (2002-08-25). "Shipwrecked Esmeralda found off Key Biscayne". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  23. ^ Tomalin, Terry (2004-06-18). "Mystery solved". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  24. ^ Barnette, Michael C. "Identity Crisis - Finding a Name for the Middlegrounds Wreck". Advanced Diver Magazine (17). Archived from the original on 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  25. ^ a b "AUE (Association of Underwater Explorers) IDENTIFY the MUNGER T BALL and the JOSEPH M CUDHAY in the Gulf of Mexico". Electric Blue Fishing. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  26. ^ Hicks, Brian (2007-10-20). "Anchor Wreck: A century after the Leif Eriksson was lost to the sea, divers think they have solved a shipwreck mystery". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  27. ^ Tomalin, Terry (2008-09-05). "The mystery of the South Jack Wreck". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  28. ^ a b c Barnette, Michael C. (2006). "Scrambled History: A Tale of Four Misidentified Tankers" (PDF). Wreck Diving Magazine. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  29. ^ Barnette, Michael C. (2005). "But For a Single Wave: The tragic loss and recent identification of the steamship Peconic". Wreck Diving Magazine. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  30. ^ Barnette, Michael C. "Trip report May 9–10, 2009: Point Chicot". Association of Underwater Explorers. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  32. ^ Casserley, T (2003). "A Ram Bow in the Keys: Latest findings from the Investigation of the Steamer Queen of Nassau". In: SF Norton (ed). 2003. Diving for Science...2003. Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Scientific Diving Symposium. Greenville, North Carolina: American Academy of Underwater Sciences. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  33. ^ Tomalin, Terry (2007-03-05). "Underwater discovery unravels mystery: A Coast Guard plane was lost in 1967 answering a distress call". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  34. ^ Sondra-Kay, Kneen (2007). "Albatross Discovered" (PDF). Coast Guard Magazine (4). Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  35. ^ "AUE identifies the VALLEY CITY (Formerly the USS VALLEY CITY)". Association of Underwater Explorers. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  36. ^ Tomalin, Terry (2005-01-11). "History is hiding beneath gulf sands". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 

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