History The conception for the "Man in the Sea Memorial Monument Project [MSMM]" originated in the fall of 2003 when it was determined that a Military divers forum should be created for all military divers to set up communicating with one another by sharing their past diving experiences, knowledge, skills and know-hows with other divers. After analysis and investigation we commenced a test undertaking of a forum on the internet. As the year closed we had a web site design for the project and a committee to drive the project
as a non-profit 501c3 corporation. During these discussions on the Diver Forum a long standing notion talked about by a number of the “Old MKV’ ‘Hard Hat’ divers who had graduated from the
Washington D.C. Navy Yard [WNY], from WWII to the 1970’s kicked off the inspiration of a monument, at the site of where most of the historical* and present-day military diver training, education and experimentation* had been advanced. The monument was visualized to be an acknowledgement to the training and historical sacrifices and acts of valor accredited to the graduates of the
W.N.Y. Henceforward the "Man in the Sea Memorial Monument" concept was conceived by Dr. Thomas J. Barnes, Retired Lieutenant USN/USCG ret. (Navy, 1st class Diver, 1966 Graduate of
WNY) and Kenneth Dreger, Navy Vietnam Veteran.
During the early months of the “test Forum” in 2004, a former Army Diver, Jeff West, announced himself on the Forum with diver insight and unbounded enthusiasm. We discussed the outline of the project with Jeff who was very enthusiastic and desired to support us in making this theoretical undertaking a reality. Mr. West immediately took the inventiveness of his personality and we collectively gathered supporters from all over the world, people in the military (both U.S. and foreign), law enforcement, fire and emergency services and other government agencies who had attended the
W.N.Y., as well as individuals, diving groups, corporations and others in the diving community who had a similar longing to see a diving monument erected.
We later discovered from Dr. John Pena Craven that as far back as 1978 and possibly earlier, various individuals had thought of the idea (as previously stated) of a “Jake” monument. Prominent individuals in the diving community commenced sending us letters of endorsement in support of the project.
The name of the project was obtained from a program started circa 1956 by Dr. Craven called the "Man in the Sea" which included the Genesis Project (Sea Labs, saturation diving) and
Operation "Ivy Bells" (placing listening devices on undersea Soviet communication cables) as well as many other still classified projects.
We had hours of discussion and research to find a name that would be appropriate for a memorial monument of this significance and this name that held out as the worthiest name that the general public as well as the diving community was selected "Man in the Sea Memorial Monument" The site was chosen for its historical diving's history and due to its closeness to the
Navy Museum and the access to thousands of the general public will have access to see this monument while walking along the ‘Anacostia Riverwalk Trail’, this trail construction has begun and is expected to be complete in 2014. That project is estimated to cost over $50 million.
In early 2005, Mr. West was able to enlist a
bronze Artist Jim Harrison Smith, to design a small ‘to scale’ prototype of what the memorial statue could materialize resembling a ‘Hard Hat’ diver. With advocates in the diving community, military and non-military we were on the way to getting this monument being established. Photos of the progress can be seen in the military diver’s photo albums on our home page.
As further active & retired military officers, diving associations, local US and international corporations turn out to be committed to the project, one of the largest architectural firms in the country;
HDR Architects affiliated with the project in July 2005 and is managing the way to complete the architectural plans and working with the NAVY for the monument at the
Washington DC Navy yard.
With encouragement from but not limited to the Army including Special Forces, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy and Seals as well as NASA and various private citizens in the diving industry internationally, we are gratified to be responsible for This monument from the commencement which has had one sole belief, to be a monument to honor but not be limited to ALL Military Divers Past & Present.
Thousands of awards, some posthumously for sacrifices of military divers graduates of the
The Memorial committee, along with reaction from the diving community, concluded that the initial project would be a Monument which would primarily be a 10-11 foot tall upright bronze MKV Diver "JAKE" (the rig used by hard hat divers). During a number of formal conferences with the
Washington Navy Yard commands over the years, we reached a provisional design understanding. With our
architects HDR we include a redesign of the W.N.Y. parking area to accommodate the monument, a contemporary design concept with an overhead structure re-working the landscape to accommodate the monument and implementing the Navy's "Green" landscape policy for all materials to be used. It was also necessary to designing a surrounding fence to assistance in keeping base security intact. The design of a replacement lift bridge that spans the channel along the ‘Anacostia Riverwalk Trail’ and creating an area where the Chief of Naval Operations whose residence is on the Base and other officials can hold special events and welcome foreign visitors to the base. Visitors who will be coming from the ‘Anacostia Riverwalk Trail’ or the
National Stadium will be able to enjoy the area with seating along the ‘Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
’. Unlike any other project, this monumental struggle has taken over seven-plus years as of 2012 and our group has worked additionally hard to help sanction the memorial by placing the additional effort required due to the historical location and rigorous conventions placed on monuments in the Nation’s Capital. It is intended to allow the public to pay "Tribute" to all military divers (Men & Women) and the achievements that have gone un-acknowledged for decades.
There are recommendations that individual donations may include revenue thru the sales of bricks or small brick size markings with the donor’s names inscribed which will surround the monument base and give recognition to divers, men and women who are or have been military divers and who trained, or have served at the monument location. Additionally ‘Man and the Sea Memorial Monument’ bronze plaques will be obtainable during the progress of donations from ships and diving duty stations or individuals so designated. Details of this have to be worked out with the US Navy &
HDR. At present we are taking names for orders of bricks at the monument.
In the construction and placement phases of the "Monument" we will take into consideration and acknowledge all of those men and women who are or have been military divers who have served their Country in the performance of their military diving duties and memorialize historically noteworthy military diving locations or events.
Jim Harrison Smith a prior Navy Submariner and renowned Bronze Sculpture Artist, has courteously contributed thousands of his hours to bring a real life exemplification of what a memorial monument would look like. He has completed various memorial bronze monuments for Government and local groups. We will be chronologically recording this project for future publications. The photos of his progress are available on our Divers Photo Albums showing photographs of his progress on the memorial sculpture at as well as some of his works.
If you have made donations to us and do not see your name listed, please contact us immediately, or if you have made donations to some other group believing that your donation would support our efforts, please contact us. HSPIG welcomes all that would like to help in this effort, may they be active or retired military, private citizens or corporations. HSPIG is in the development stages to determine tangible costs of this project based on the current design concepts which will work out to be about $10,000,000, note the actual cost of the Statue is projected to be less than $250,000 dollars however it is necessary to get project approval that we include a $5. Million Dollar Bridge and retrofit of the hard surface areas across the channel and a fund for future maintenance of the memorial as required for official monuments. While this number seems to be large compared to other similar projects this project is required to meet strict requirements of the
WNY because of the historical significance of the WNY and complex engineering designs as well as the difficult area design issues. The re-design of a raised bridge for the base also imposes many challenges for the project.
HSPIG after getting final approval will start its fundraising efforts in earnest after the November 2012 elections for the ‘Man in the Sea Memorial Monument’ project. HSPIG received the final approval from the US Navy in June of 2011 so that we could begin collecting the needed funding for the project. As previously stated it has taken HSPIG thousands of hours and seven-plus years of bureaucratic paperwork to get to this approval stage.
The US Navy will have full acknowledgement of this gift after the design, NEPA and business case analysis are completed. (Which in English terms means it is ok for HSPIG to collect the funds needed, get the final designs reviewed with the WNY & HDR and work out any crinkles and begin the project construction when NEPA and the business case analysis are completed). At that juncture the project will become a "Fully Acknowledged Gift" to the US Navy from HSPIG.
No other project for Military divers has undertaken the monstrousness of such a project and succeeded with such a limited budget and small staff. HSPIG has been working with all the
WNY commands as they have rotated in and out of the
WNY for more than seven-plus years to get this remarkable project to this point! Our ‘hats off’ to the ‘Man In The Sea Memorial Monument’ Design team of HSPIG who worked on this for copious hours with no compensation for the efforts they made, to the impressive HDR architects and their management staff for all the brilliant assistance they have contributed and that we look forward to working on the final designs with such a remarkable team. Also to the handful of benevolent donors who helped us through the seven-plus years of red tape, permits, soil testing, surveys, design struggles to get us to this pronounced point in time. And lastly to all of you who have supported us behind the scenes, our families & friends who sometimes thought we were a little eccentric to undertake such an endeavor!
Pass the word, and let all your friends & family and the businesses you work for that this monument is now becoming a reality and that they can help in the establishment of this memorial by making a donation to the project. If you have an interesting military diving story we would be happy to put it online as well as a letters of support on this project.
For particulars on donations go to the donations page. There are many methods to help us in this endeavor, and we are glad to receive any and all forms of donations
Our other projects in development are the Seals project, the Army's project at Ft. Eustis VA, as well as others around the country where we can honor historical figures and sites symbolizing diving history.
We are taking orders for the "Limited Edition" of
the official 250 of the 22” tall standing "Man in the Sea Memorial Monument"
bronze miniatures. These statues have an optional 2” thick 12” diameter
granite-rotating base to allow for 360 degrees of viewing. The price for one of
the 250 chronologically numbered bronze standing statues for approx. $4,500.00
(Price subject to change depending on foundry costs) packing costs are about
$75.00 and shipping costs are about $60.00, the rotating base is $132.00 (As of
March 2013) which in today's market of bronze statues is in the intermediate
price range, We do require a down payment of $2,000.00 and then the balance 2-3
weeks prior to when the statue is ready to ship. After the pre-casting order is
completed you will expect your shipment in about 2 months. This price may
increase due to factors above our control so please contact us for current
pricing. Each reproduction is constructed here in America, and hundreds of
meticulous hours of hand detailing go into each and every piece, every one comes
with a letter of authenticity from the artist! These are NOT MASS Produced!
Proceeds from these sales will go to support construction of the full size 10'
standing monument in
DC Navy yard. (Details on this can be made by contacting us at
The approximate time for delivery will be 8-10 weeks after the initial order has been placed with HSPIG. These statues will be numbered serially for this release. If you would like one of the first ones, call us today or send us an E-mail so that we can contact you. The sale are tax deductible and assist us with the project funding for the standing 10-11’ ‘Man in the Sea Memorial Monument’ project.
(HSPIG has not authorized any organization or persons outside of HSPIG to make this offer)
If you or your organization would like one of these limited edition standing miniatures, let us know and get on the list for this pre-casting order. This price will be held for Six weeks. You will receive a letter for the amount of deduction of your tax deductible purchase, and the proceeds of your donations will go towards this specific project only. Since we are giving you something of value in return for your donation only the actual amount less the fees is considered a tax deduction by IRS rules, which amount today should be in the $1300.00 range which is what will go toward funding the project.
These prices are subject to change so please contact us prior to any funding.
If your organization or corporation would like to make a donation of over $100,000 we will ship you a numbered statue for your generous donation, along with the granite base, a letter of appreciation of your efforts in this fine project and a donation receipt for taxes.