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NOVA: Killer Subs In Pearl Harbor

Airs Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Wreck site showing the bow section and the figure-eight neck cutter with empt...

Credit: Parks Stephenson

Above: Wreck site showing the bow section and the figure-eight neck cutter with empty torpedo tubes. The research vessel is in the background. NOVA joins an exclusive dive beneath the waters of Pearl Harbor to trace new clues to the historic sinking of the USS Arizona. The discovery of a Japanese “midget sub” far from the scene of the battle raises new questions about the Arizona’s final hours.

NOVA dives beneath the waters of Pearl Harbor to trace provocative new clues to one of the most tragic events of World War II — the sinking of the USS Arizona. More than 1,000 crew members perished in the greatest single loss of life in United States naval history.

Japan's WWII Midget Sub

A 3-D model offers a detailed look at the tiny submarine that carried torpedoes into Pearl Harbor.

For decades, it has been thought that a bomb dropped by a Japanese aircraft sank the Arizona. But the discovery of a group of Japanese midget subs in and around Pearl Harbor has raised questions about the battleship’s final hours.

In this program, NOVA’s team of expert investigators journeys to the seafloor to explore the wreckage of the most mysterious of these subs. Did this mini-sub and its two-person crew make it into Pearl Harbor and fire torpedoes at the Arizona?

NOVA pursues this puzzle with unprecedented access to the remains of the Arizona and other unique evidence, including aerial photos taken by Japanese aircraft and moving testimonials from U.S. and Japanese veterans.

“Killer Subs In Pearl Harbor” is a gripping investigation of the possibility that these tiny but lethal mini-subs may have played a crucial and previously unsuspected part in the tragic events of that “Day of Infamy.”

Read more about the threat of midget subs today. Iran and North Korea have them, as do drug smugglers. How grave is the danger?

NOVA is on Facebook, and you can follow @novapbs on Twitter.

NOVA: Killer Subs In Pearl Harbor

Watch a preview of NOVA "Killer Subs In Pearl Harbor."

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