BOSTON – The number of people trying to determine whether they are descended from a Mayflower passenger is surging as the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival in the New World approaches in 2020. Now, a partnership announced Thursday between the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants is making it easier to figure out. The Boston-based genealogical society is digitizing and indexing authenticated Mayflower Pilgrim genealogies and 50 years' worth of the "Mayflower Quarterly" magazine, and making them available at its research site, www.americanancestors.org. There were 102 people on the Mayflower when it landed in Massachusetts in 1620. Half died in the first year.
To cross the Atlantic with an unmanned, autonomous ship will push technology to its limits. Like the Mayflower's 101 passengers in 1620, we'll also need a lot of help and some good luck. I grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. I spent a lot of time messing around in the ocean, swimming and diving. Unlike my friends and brothers, I preferred looking at the fish to eating them.
Its hull is rotting; beetles are gorging themselves, Thanksgiving-style, on some of its timbers; and half of what lies beneath the waterline needs replacing. "We have issues all over the ship," said Whit Perry, director of maritime preservation and operations at Plimoth Plantation, which maintains the replica that Britain built and sailed to the U.S. as a gift of friendship in 1957. "She needs major structural frame repair and planking," he said. "Without a project of this magnitude now, her days would be numbered -- and that would be tragic." Over the next 2½ years, skilled craftsmen with the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Connecticut's Mystic Seaport will complete a $7.5 million overhaul to get the vessel ship-shape for 400th anniversary festivities in 2020.
The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) will begin its journey on 6 September 2020 and cross the Atlantic Ocean, from Plymouth to Plymouth. Like its namesake in 1620, MAS will rely to some extent on favourable weather to complete its crossing as it will be powered by state-of-the-art hybrid propulsion system, utilizing wind, solar, state-of-the-art batteries, and a diesel generator. MAS will carry three research pods containing myriad sensors that scientists will utilize to conduct persistent, ground-breaking research in meteorology, oceanography, climatology, biology, marine pollution and conservation, and autonomous navigation. MAS is being coordinated through a partnership lead by ProMare, a non-profit charity established to promote marine research and exploration throughout the world. The research pods will be coordinated by Plymouth University, a world-leading centre of excellence for marine and maritime education, research and innovation.
Former FBI Director James B. Comey told senators at a closed-door briefing that the FBI was examining whether Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions had a third, undisclosed discussion with a senior Russian diplomat at a Washington hotel last year. The information indicated that Sessions may have had a private encounter with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington, on the sidelines of a campaign event at the Mayflower Hotel on April 27, 2016, when Sessions was a U.S. senator from Alabama, according to an U.S. official familiar with the briefing. Comey described the unverified intelligence in a classified session shortly after he had told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that he was "aware of facts" about Sessions that he could not discuss in public. A Justice Department spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores, denied that Sessions had spoken to the Russian envoy at the hotel.