Willard Bascom

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Willard Newell Bascom (November 7, 1916 in New York City – September 20, 2000 in San Diego, California), was an engineer, adventurer and scientist, as well as a writer, photographer, painter, miner, cinematographer, and archeologist, who first proposed using Neoprene for wetsuits to fellow scientist Hugh Bradner. He authored several books which include the topics of waves, geology, archaeology, poetry, and oceanography. In his book Deep water, Ancient Ships he first proposed the hypothesis that anoxic water in the Black Sea would preserve ancient Black Sea shipwrecks. He led the first test drillings for Project Mohole, and was project director from 1960-1962. Bascom was a consultant to the Advisory Committee on Government Organization.[1][2] He also served as the Technical Director of the Advisory Committee on Civil Defense of the National Academy of Science and National Research Council.[3]


  • A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea: The Story of the Mohole Project (1961) ISBN 0-385-00711-6
  • Waves and Beaches: The Dynamics of the Ocean Surface Anchor Doubleday (1980), ISBN 0-385-14844-5 (Science Study Series)
  • Deep Water, Ancient Ships: The Treasure Vault of the Mediterranean, ISBN 0-7153-7305-6
  • The Crest of the Wave: Adventures in Oceanography, ISBN 0-385-26633-2
  • Great sea poetry, Compass Publications (1969)


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  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ New York Times, June 7, 1956