In March, the U.S. Navy put two recreated faces of sailors whose remains were found on the USS Monitor
, a Civil War-era ironclad warship that was sunk about 150 years ago in a severe storm, in specially designed UPS packaging for transport.
An official from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this weekend said the remains were found in the ship in 2002, that the reconstructions were done by forensic anthropologists at Louisiana State University, and UPS played a key role in keeping the fragile reconstructed faces intact.
Engineers at UPS' package testing lab near Chicago created a series of customized shock-proof and damage resistant containers for the transportation of the pieces to Louisiana and also to the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington. UPS even flew a certified loadmaster to Louisiana to ensure the use of precise load and unload methods required for the move.
UPS said for the one-off move, “engineers used vertical vibration units along with compression and atmospheric testing machines to simulate the rigors of the shipping environment and to test the tolerances of the skulls.”
The sculptures were unveiled last month at the Navy Memorial.
NOAA credited UPS for the safe transport of the recreated faces. The agency has shipped delicate materials previously and said those without custom casings oftened received some minor damage.
UPS’s explanation and a demonstration of its package and testing lab can be found here
is best known for its battle with the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia
near Hampton Roads, Va., in March of 1862. This engagement was the first time iron warships fought each other in a naval battle and marked the end to wooden naval vessel warfare. - Geoff Whiting