Mystery Solved After Six Decades: Man Admits Stealing Submarine

Sixty years ago a research submarine dubbed "Baby Whale" disappeared from a dock on New York's Lake George. Decades later, one of the men who stole and sunk the sub as an act of revenge has come forward. WNYT's Mark Mulholland reports.

NEW YORK (WNYT/NBC News) — A mystery that began nearly six decades ago has finally been solved.

A 15-foot yellow research sub, dubbed Baby Whale, was stolen from a dock on New York’s Lake George in the middle of the night in August of 1960.

Some speculated it had been pulled from the lake and moved by truck, never to be seen again.

Police investigated, but never closed the case.

The plot thickened in 1995, when divers from Bateaux Below, an underwater archaeology group dedicated to finding and preserving sunken and historic boats, discovered the long-missing yellow submarine.

Bob Benway remembers when he and others from Bateaux Below found it.

“To me it’s the Holy Grail of Lake George. It’s always been my personal Holy Grail,” he says.

Word of the discovery was the top story on the evening news, but it was missing two key elements: the who and the why.

Now we know both.

“The intent was not to steal the sub. It was to hold it hostage,” says Bill Thomas, who is finally telling the story.

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