posted on Dec, 4 2002 @ 04:37 AM
The mysterious blast.
The USS Maine was a 106 m long second-class battleship built during 1888-1895. In 1898 she was sent to Havana to protect US interests during the local
revolt against the Spanish government. On February 15, her forward gunpowder magazines exploded, killing 266 sailors and sinking in the harbour. The
cause of the explosion was unknown, but US press started a rather exaggerated campaign, blaming Spain, resulting in public opinion to declare war
against Spain. And so it went. Spain lost the war and Cuba became an independent nation.
In 1911-12 the wrecked warship was re-floated, investigated, and then towed to deep water to sink again, resting forgotten for many years.
The 1911 investigation found plates that had been bent inward during the explosion and concluded that the ship had been sunk by a mine. But in 1976,
Admiral Hyman G. Rickover claimed that the explosion was more likely caused by spontaneous combustion of coal in a bunker