Snake Bite Flight
spaceIn response to the terrorist attacks, President Bush ordered that all flights be grounded on September 11th, 2001. No one in the country was allowed to fly a plane other than Air Force One. As it turned out, however, there was one additional plane that made a cross country flight that day. Lawrence Van Sertima, who was a 40-year veteran of snake handling, was bitten by a 7-foot long Taipan snake native to New Guinea. Captain Al Cruz of the Miami Dade Fire Rescue Department, which luckily for Sertima is the only fire department in the country equipped in treating snake bites, was in charge of treating Sertima.

spaceSertima was rushed to Miami Baptist Hospital, but since air traffic was restricted, the long trip took 40 minutes. As the venom worked through his system, he began to bleed out of his mouth and eyes. Sertima was then kept alive on a ventilator for 16 hours while polyvalent anti-venom was administered. Unfortunately, the severity of the bite required a stronger monovalent anti-venom. The only places in the country that polyvalent anti-venom existed were New York and Los Angeles. If he did not get the anti-venom quickly, he would die. Captain Cruz called the FAA and was finally able to obtain clearance for military jets to escort a plane from San Diego to Miami that would bring the appropriate anti-venom. It was not until a few days later that he learned about the terrorist attacks. In a serendipitous development seemingly fit for a Hollywood movie, it had been Captain Cruz himself who set up his fire department's anti-venom program which currently contains anti-venom for 95% of the world's poisonous snakes.


Ship Under WTC
Ground Zero Ship.jpg Ground Zero Ship Shoe.jpg

spaceIn July of 2010, workers who were cleaning at Ground Zero found a ship that had been buried about 200 years earlier when the area was still a landfill. Historians believe the ship was used in the 1700s, but are still unsure or the ship's past: the owner, purpose, travels and destinations all will be studied over the next few years to learn as much as possible about this unique find. Scientists will leave no part of the ship unexamined as they plan to study the parasites that used to burrow into the wood, the tree rings in the lumber used to construct the ship and remnants of animal skin found at the very bottom of the ship's hull. In addition to the actual ship, archaeologists also found other items buried in the dirt such as: shoes(above right), butchered animal bones and glass bottles.
spaceHistorians believe the ship was weighted down and sunk to the bottom of the Hudson River in order to fill in land to make Manhattan extend further into the river; this process would increase the city's ability to trade. Since the ship is made out of wood, as soon as it was exposed to oxygen it began deteriorating, so scientists had to work quickly. Although seemingly unique, an 18th century cargo ship was also found underneath Water Street in New York in 1982.