On the night of December 3, 1972 at about 10:00 P. M. tilting of the mat-supported drilling platform, J. Storm II, caused sufficient concern to evacuate the drilling crew from the platform. About 20 minutes later, the party departing the drill platform saw a bright flash and the lights on the tower disappeared. After daylight the next morning the mat with stubs of the three legs was found floating overturned in the vicinity. No other evidence of the drilling platform or tower was found.
Subsequently, a sounding search of the area determined that there was a crater 1600 ft across at the location of the former drilling site. The bottom depth in the area was about 230 ft, and the crater was about 40 ft deeper. An anomalously shallow sounding was found on the sloping crater wall about 500 ft from the center of the crater on a bearing of about 240 Attempts to get a diver onto the wreck were unsuccessful.
One of our cruises in May 1973 brought us into the area. We had decided to investigate the crater as an interesting sedimentary feature, and we were requested to see if we could find the missing drilling platform while we were there. We were given the location of a buoy near the SE rim of the crater which had been set to mark the location.
A Varian Nuclear Resonance Magnetometer was towed about 500 ft astern across the crater along azimuths about 450 apart. Three anomalies were discovered. One was near the center of the crater with a positive anomaly of slightly more than 100 gammas, and one was about 1500 ft northeast of the crater center with a positive anomaly of about 150 gammas. This anomaly was identified with another well which had been drilled nearby. The third anomaly was located about 700 ft on a heading of about 2000 from the crater center. The largest anomaly observed after crossing it several times was 170 gammas positive.
The 12 Khz sounder was originally rigged to look sideways to port. A reflector was observed on several passes which was located near the location of the third magnetic anomaly. No reflections from the "side look" were observed near the other two anomalies.
At this point the magnetometer was retrieved because it was desired to try to maneuver at very slow speed to observe the source of the anomaly on the sounder. While at such slow speeds, and backing and filling, the risk of losing the magnetometer precluded its use.
At the same time, 1330 on 24 May 1973, we pointed our 12 Khz sounder vertically and began a detailed survey of the bottom of, the crater. At 1440 we observed the first good reflections from the platform. Strong currents in the area made it difficult to maintain station, and as a result we were not sufficiently certain of the location of the platform to mark its position. During the late evening and night we collected subbottom data in the vicinity of the crater.