Grand Rapids Public Museum's underwater exploration event

Expert onboard: Ken Vrana does some underwater work. He will be at Van Andel Museum Center in Grand Rapids on Wednesday to discuss two explorations


By Matt Vande Bunte - The Grand Rapids Press


Sure, a 1990s movie about the Titanic brought in nearly $2 billion at the box office. But that’s not to say the infamous sinking has a corner on the market for shipwreck tales.

In fact, “Michigan is incredibly endowed with gripping stories” of great historical significance, said an underwater expert who will speak this week in Grand Rapids.

Ken Vrana and others will discuss two explorations in particular from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Van Andel Museum Center, 272 Pearl St. NW. Admission is $5.

The presentation will whet visitors’ appetites for a museum exhibit on shipwrecks planned next year.

“Shipwrecks are often characterized as time capsules. But I like to characterize them as evidence,” said Vrana, president of the non-profit Center for Maritime & Underwater Resource Management.

“They’re direct evidence of the past that we can use in interpreting the life ways of those before us. We need these treasure troves of scientific evidence to separate the wheat from the chaff and make better interpretations (of history).”


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Ken Vrana Titanic Michigan Grand Rapids Public Museum Van Andel Museum Center