UNEXSO divers uncover a mystery from the 'Papa Doc'

Jim Bader

By Eddy Raphael - Bahamas Islands Info

For centuries, the world has had a fascination with shipwrecks and buried treasure. To this day, undiscovered artifacts and preserved relics of the past hide in the deep reluctantly awaiting the moment where they will be rediscovered by mankind.

When the dive team at Bahamas Dive shop UNEXSO (Underwater Explorers Society) goes diving, there is always a hope of seeing that extraordinary ‘something’ to remember the dive by; a true ‘one for the story books’.

That is exactly what happens when one finds buried treasure, as scuba instructor Jim Bader found out when he rediscovered a WW2 Rifle Bayonet at a dive site called ‘Papa Doc’, named after the Haitian dictator Papa Doc Duvalier, who died in 1971.

‘It was just there, peeking out at me’ Jim recounts, ‘I felt a rush all over and realized that I just got lucky’. The bayonet had somehow worked it’s way up and out of the sand, probably due to hurricanes, storms and surge, slowly revealing the tip, until it was noticeable.

A few hours of research and some phone calls had confirmed the terrific find as a rare 16 inch 1943 WW2 M1 Garand United States Army Rifle Bayonet, made in Springfield MA, by Wilde Tools.

Over the years, the odd bullet has been recovered, but nothing as exciting as this.


UNEXSO Papa Doc Bahamas Dive shop WW2 Rifle Bayonet Haiti