Were the ships Military or Merchant Marine vessels? What was the suspected cargo and was it considered a hazardous material? Do you have potential GPS Coordinates and have you viewed the Google Earth Map? Have you searched the ships histories or attempted to FOIA the Ships Logs and the Logs of any recovery Tug Boats or Barges? Does the Coast Guard, Navy , NOAH or the Harbor Authority have any references toward the accident and loss of cargo?
The scales of justice should contain all the potential written, pictorial and oral evidence, whereby the researcher and the audience can weigh the facts and burden of evidence. Just like a court of law, you must present the entire case, the witnesses and any professional testimony.
I now refer you to the recent YouTube documentary and NARA records concerning Amelia Earhart. As you may be aware there are instances where purposeful disinformation is created as to alter public perception.
Make an Informed Argument and present the evidence in an honest fashion. Be open minded, and do not attempt to have a confirmation bias or be pre - judgmental. Sometimes one truth leads to another, and sometimes the truth will never come forth..... because the rationale would be unethical or immoral.
My personal experience as an Army Veteran of Desert Storm, Registered Nurse and Retired DOJ employee, is to be
ethical, respectful and prepared.
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The National Archives and Records Administration has several series that may be of benefit to your research in learning what actually happened with the accident you mentioned. One suggestion is to search the Records of the U.S. Coast Guard (Record Group 26). There are 47 series within this group that focus on wreck reports, and a listing of these may be found by following this link. The one that may be more pertinent to your research would be the Point Bonita Wreck Reports, 1903-8/2/1915. A Coast Guard station was located here up until 1947, so it is possible that the accident is listed in these records.
Another suggestion would be to look through the Records of the District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009,(RG 21) as court records may also exist regarding the accident. The U.S. District Court for the Southern (San Francisco) Division of the Northern District of California has a series of Common Law Case Files, 1912-1938 that may include case files on the accident. In addition, a catalog search of the RG 21, admiralty, and National Archives at San Francisco yielded 30 results for admiralty court records. That search may be found here.
The records mentioned above, along with others that may relate to your search, may be found at the National Archives at San Francisco. If you would like more information, you may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of luck in your research!
This response was compiled by Christopher Burroughs.