By Ashleigh / Nov 28, 2022
Involving The Government
Most people yearn to live an easy, straightforward life. Governments, big powers, or even the US Navy are the last things an ordinary person wants to worry about when it comes to their private affairs. But occasionally, it does happen.
Darko Bigava, the story’s main protagonist, is a living example. He had no interest in major political or military matters; he only wanted to go fishing, sell what he caught, and relax. But something happened one day that would radically alter his entire life.
The Story Of Darko Bigava
Darko Bigava was a humble fisherman from the Elaphiti Islands on the southern coast of Croatia. He had been fishing since he was a kid. His father was also a fisherman before him, and so was his grandfather.
It was hard for him to imagine that at some point in his life, the world’s greatest political and military powers would step into his life.
All His Days Were The Same
Bigava couldn’t imagine himself doing anything other than fishing. He led a fairly simple life, and he was happy with it. Every day he would get up and get his nets and boat ready. Afterward, he would venture among the waters surrounding the Elaphiti Islands and come back with some fish to sell.
Every time he woke up, he expected the day to be similar and almost the same as the day before. He had been doing the same thing for years; he never contemplated the possibility of anything unusual happening.
He Didn’t Plan On Getting In Contact With The US Navy
All he had to do during the day was to wait for his nets to get loaded enough, collect some fish, and take the product with him. After that, he only had to deal with a few regular customers he had known for years.
Some of them were restaurant owners, and some had shops. If anyone had told Bigava that one day we would also have to deal with the heads of the US Navy, he would have thought it was a joke. But life is often surprising.
He Was Struggling Financially
By the time the incident took place, Bigava wasn’t in a good financial situation. The pandemic had stopped the steady flow of tourists and visitors in the Elaphiti Islands; consequently, restaurants had a reduced clientele and bought less often from Bigava.
Now he couldn’t just keep selling to his regulars. He had to get new customers, and he still had to keep selling as much fish as before. Had he sold any less, he wouldn’t be able to make ends meet at the end of the month.
The Day It Happened
So on the morning of the incident, he got in his boat with thoughts about numbers, customers, prices, and bills.
War on the Rocks
For the whole day, he kept making calculations; as he waited for his net to get loaded, he kept trying to think of ways to get through another difficult month.
A Sudden Shake!
While he was absorbed in his meditations, he felt everything around him shaking suddenly. He had to grab onto the sides of his boat to avoid falling into the water.
Nothing like that had happened to him for a very long time, but he knew it could only mean one thing.
What Could That Be?
It could only mean that something extremely big and heavy had been caught in his nets. This was an unusual occurrence: for the most part, the fish he caught were fairly small, and his net would get full and heavy gradually throughout the day.
But this time, it was different.
Maybe A Big Tuna?
As he quickly tried to keep control of the situation and get a steady grip on his net to pull it out of the water, he nervously wondered what could have caused such a violent shake.
HardCore Game Fishing
Perhaps a big tuna fish? It wasn’t the season, but you never know. Those were very valued, and he knew a few fishmongers and restaurant owners who would pay him very good money for it. But when he finally managed to lift the net, what he saw left him bewildered.
What In The World Was That Thing?
It was a very large and heavy object that looked like nothing he had seen before. It seemed like a big orange box with some sort of sensor attached to it. Other than that, he was absolutely clueless about what it was or what its function could be.
He also saw with dismay that his nets had been torn apart by the weight of the object. It would cost him a fortune to get them repaired. The day had been long, and he couldn’t fish with those nets, so he went back home to think about what to do with that strange object.
Who Owned It?
The first thing he did about it was to post an ad online and contact one of the local newspapers. He didn’t know what to do with the object or who it belonged to, so he could only hope for its owner to try to get it back and pay for the damage it had caused to his nets.
After a few days, someone got in contact with him. And it was someone he would have never expected to.
The US Navy Steps In
On another day of fishing, someone contacted Bigava on his boat’s radio. It was a man who claimed to speak on behalf of the US Navy.
In a broken Croatian, the man claimed that the object he had found belonged to the navy and demanded that Bigava give it back. Bigava didn’t know if it was a joke; at this point, he didn’t care. All he wanted was to get rid of the thing and get his nets repaired, which is why he gave a shocking response to whoever was speaking to him on the radio.
“Look, pal,” he said, “I don’t care if this big orange box belongs to the US Navy or to Admiral Nelson. All I know is it has torn up my nets, and it’s going to cost me three grand to fix them, so no one is getting this thing until I get the money to repair my nets.”
He then received a call on his cell phone. He picked it up without knowing what to expect.
They Weren’t Giving Up
Again, it was the US Navy representative speaking broken Croatian. He repeated the same thing he had told Bigava over the radio, and the fisherman had to repeat his point once again. Then, the US Navy man hung up.
Would that be the end of it?
They Got To An Agreement
Luckily for all involved, it wasn’t. Eventually, the Croatian Coast Guard agreed to pay for the damages on the condition that the US Navy would recoup them. And Bigava dropped the mysterious object in front of a US Navy ship.
However, it was never released to the public what that enigmatic orange box was. Bigava resumed his simple and comfortable life and decided not to worry about the matter any further, perhaps for his own good.
A Similar Find
But Bigava wouldn’t be the only person to find a mysterious object in the ocean while minding his own business. Married couple and deep sea divers Aaron and Camila would stumble onto the same fate.
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Unknown to them, their finding would open decades worth of old wounds, sending more than the US navy after them.
Aaron and Camila were marine biologists hailing from California. They had made a name for themselves as skilled deep-sea divers who worked diligently to study and save marine life.
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Camila held a Ph.D. from Duke in marine biology while her husband, a celebrated diver, was pursuing his masters in the same. The two led the perfect life, finding a way to incorporate their hobby of diving and working as biologists. But their lives were about to change.
As part of their research and study, Aaron and Camila flew to Hawaii’s Honolulu to study the local marine life.
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Aaron’s dissertation focused on studying the uniqueness of the area’s marine life, while Camila examined the effects of the local volcanic terrain on ocean life. But they would end up uncovering more than they could stomach.
A Normal Day
The day the incident occurred was like many in Aaron and Camila’s life. The trip to Honolulu was the perfect mix of work and vacation, and the couple did their best to enjoy the ambiance that came with being in Hawaii.
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With their gear set, they took a local boat into Honolulu’s azure blue waters and got ready to start their study. They had no idea what horrors awaited them below the water’s surface.
Surveying The Area
Aaron and Camila started by surveying the area and mapping it for objective analysis. After a quick audio log, they got into their scuba suits and plunged into the welcoming waters.
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Aaron took the lead as he was more practiced in diving than his wife, who always dusted him when it came to biology. He was glad to get his moment to shine. He didn’t know what he was about to uncover.
A Wonderful Career
Aaron led the dive, enjoying the ocean as it shimmered around him. The water was a mixture of light blue and Veridian green, with the latter color dominating the areas near the ocean floor.
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The floor was a beautiful orange, red, and yellow, with countless species of fish and plant life dotting every inch of it. Aaron smiled inside his mask, glad he had found a career that brought him so much joy.
Going After Him
Camila dove in after Aaron, following him as he swept the ocean floor with his equipment. She’d taught him all the essential bits of sample taking and was proud to see how he was putting all he’d learned into good use.
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She knew he was proud of her skills as a diver, too, and was always looking for ways to learn more from him so he could be prouder. But out of nowhere, Aaron stopped holding up a fist, a clear sign for Camila to halt.
What Is That?
“What’s that?” Aaron’s voice came through Camila’s mask’s ultrasound receiver. He was pointing at a large object in the water, a massive tube covered by ocean debris, sand, and plant life.
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“I don’t know,” Camila answered nervously. Aaron gestured for her to move closer, and she did, swimming down to where he was. She couldn’t tell what it was as close as she was to the object.
An Oil Barrel
“It looks like an oil barrel,” Aaron said as he swam closer. He studied it for a minute. “A part of it is buried into the ocean bed,” he reported, handing over his sampling tools to Camila.
“Wanna dig it out?” Camila asked, already knowing what her husband was thinking. She was thinking the same. “Do I?” Aaron chuckled.
The Words, Aaron, What Do They Mean?
The two began scraping the debris off the massive cylinder, but Aaron stopped, asking his wife to back up. He pointed at some words on the cylinder that sent a chill up his spine.
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When Aaron and Camila started digging out the object, they realized it was bigger than they had imagined. But excavating it, they stumbled upon a few words that revealed what they were dealing with.
“Mk-15 nuclear explosive,” the cylinder inscription read, and Aaron immediately asked Camila to swim back to the surface.
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He followed her as fast as he could, hopping onto their boat and hurrying back to shore. He pulled out his phone and called the local authorities, knowing such a weapon was too dangerous to remain where it was. Little did he know what he was stepping into.
Calling The Police
The police flocked the beach in no time, bringing in the coast guard and the military to ascertain the credibility of Aaron and Camila’s claims. What they found left everyone in awe.
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The military confirmed that the cylinder was indeed a nuclear explosive that could flatten a massive part of Honolulu if it went off. But the story behind it was what was exciting and heartbreaking at the same time.
Send In The Experts
The military sent in explosive experts to study the cylinder before they could take any further steps. The report the experts brought back was that the cylinder was a 3.8-megaton explosive that was still armed.
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They also detailed that it was decades old, seeing that it was made in the 1950s. This could only mean one thing.
The explosive seems to have been lost after the events of Pearl Harbor, a tragedy that shook Honolulu to its core.
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After further investigation, it was discovered that the warhead had been lost during a simulated combat mission in the fifties, where two pilots collided in the air. One. One dropped the explosive in the water to avoid setting it off.
Taking It Away
The military sent in Navy seals to try and deactivate it so it could be carried out of the water. But after years of being dormant, would the device allow it?
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The seals were successful in their endeavor, although it took forty-eight hours of careful and strenuous work. The warhead was successfully transported out of its decades-old bed onto a safer site where it won’t harm anyone.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.