tv 60 Minutes CBS June 13, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
♪ say which country had been plunged into darkness by computer hackers, but we found out it was brazil. we also found out that hackers had been infiltrating everything from our defense networks to the financial system. bank robbers are now stealing more money with computers than they are with guns. >> there are thousands of attempted attacks every single day, tens of thousands of attacks. >> we turned the corner and it
was... there it was right in front of us. >> logan: right there? >> right there. >> logan: when bob ballard discovered the "titanic" two miles down, there was a lot he couldn't talk about because it was top secret. but he has since opened up, and he opened up his film vault to us. >> all that's left of human signature are their shoes, and all around the "titanic" are pairs of shoes. okay, on the rise. welcome aboard. >> logan: thank you, dr. ballard. >> logan: he is, by any measure, the greatest explorer of our times. he's taken deep sea exploration to a new level, designing equipment that allows him to go deeper and see more detail than ever before. in just the time we spent with him, he made a discovery even he didn't expect. >> i think we just hit a home run here, folks. got it. it's an ancient ship wreck. i love it. ( laughter ) >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl.
>> i'm bob simon. >> i'm morley safer. >> i'm lara logan. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories tonight on "60 minutes." what's around the corner is one of life's great questions. and while it can never be fully answered, it helps to have a financial partner like northern trust. by gaining a keen understanding of your financial needs, we're able to tailor a plan using a full suite... of sophisticated investment strategies and solutions. so whatever's around the corner can be faced with confidence. ♪ northern trust. look ahead with us at northerntrust.com.
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there's nothing more important to you than your safety. eating healthy is important, but only vegetables can give you vegetable nutrition. one of these will get you more than half way to your five daily servings. v8. what's your number? >> kroft: nothing has ever changed the world as quickly as the internet has. less than a decade ago, we went down to the pentagon to do a story on something called information warfare, or "cyber war" as some people called it then. it involved using computers and the internet as weapons.
much of it was still theory, but we were told that, before too long, it might be possible for a hacker with a computer to disable critical infrastructure in a major city and disrupt essential services; to steal millions of dollars from banks all over the world; to infiltrate defense systems; extort millions from public companies; and even sabotage our weapons systems. today, it is not only possible, all of that has actually happened, plus a lot more we don't even know about. it's why president obama has made cyber war defense a top national priority, and why, as we first reported in november, some people are already saying that the next big war is less likely to begin with a bang than a blackout. >> mike mcconnell: can you imagine your life without electric power? >> kroft: until february of 2009, retired admiral mike mcconnell was the nation's top spy. as chief of national intelligence, he oversaw the central intelligence agency, the defense intelligence agency and
the national security agency. few people know as much about cyber warfare, and our dependency on the power grid and the computer networks that deliver our oil and gas, pump and purify our water, keep track of our money, and operate our transportation systems. >> mcconnell: if i were an attacker and i wanted to do strategic damage to the united states, i would either take the cold of winter or the heat of summer. i probably would sack electric power on the u.s. east cost-- maybe the west coast-- and attempt to cause a cascading effect. all of those things are in the art of the possible from a sophisticated attacker. >> kroft: do you believe our adversaries have the capability of bringing down a power grid? >> mcconnell: i do. >> kroft: is the u.s. prepared for such an attack? >> mcconnell: no, the united states is not prepared for such an attack. >> president barack obama: it is now clear this cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation.
>> kroft: four months after taking office, president obama made those concerns part of our national defense policy, declaring the country's digital infrastructure a strategic asset, and confirming that cyber warfare had moved beyond theory. >> president obama: we know that cyber intruders have probed our electrical grid, and that, in other countries, cyber attacks have plunged entire cities into darkness. >> kroft: president obama didn't say which country had been plunged into darkness, but a half a dozen sources in the military, intelligence, and private security communities have told us the president was referring to brazil. several prominent intelligence sources confirmed that there were a series of cyber attacks in brazil: one north of rio de janiero in january of 2005 that affected three cities and tens of thousands of people, and another much larger event beginning on september 26, 2007. that one, in the state of espirito santo, affected more than three million people in
dozens of cities over a two-day period, causing major disruptions. in vitoria, the world's largest iron ore producer had seven plants knocked offline, costing the company $7 million. it is not clear who did it or what the motive was. but the people who do these sorts of things are no longer teenagers making mischief. they're now likely to be highly trained soldiers with the chinese army, or part of an organized crime group in russia, europe or the americas. >> jim lewis: they can disrupt critical infrastructure, wipe databases. we know they can rob banks. so it's a much bigger and more serious threat. >> kroft: jim lewis is a director at the center for strategic and international studies, and he led a group that prepared a major report on cyber security for president obama. what was it that made the government begin to take this seriously? >> lewis: in 2007, we probably had our electronic pearl harbor. it was an espionage pearl harbor. some unknown foreign power--
and, honestly, we don't know who it is-- broke into the department of defense, to the department of state, the department of commerce, probably the department of energy, probably nasa. they broke into all of the high- tech agencies, all of the military agencies, and downloaded terabytes of information. >> kroft: terabytes? >> lewis: a terabyte is... it's hard to say. the library of congress, which has millions of volumes, is about 12 terabytes. so we probably lost the equivalent of a library of congress worth of government information in 2007. >> kroft: all stolen by foreign countries? >> lewis: yeah. this was a serious attack, and that's really what made people wake up and say, "hey, we've got to get a grip on this." >> kroft: but since then, there has been an even more serious breach of computer security, which lewis called the most significant incident ever publicly acknowledged by the pentagon. last november, someone was able to get past the firewalls and encryption devices of one of the most sensitive u.s. military computer systems and stay inside for several days.
>> lewis: this was the centcom network, the command that's fighting our two wars. and some foreign power was able to get into their networks and sit there and see everything they did. >> kroft: what do you mean "sit there"? >> lewis: they could see what the traffic was, they could read documents, they could interfere with things. they were... it was like they were part of the american military command. >> kroft: lewis believes it was done by foreign spies who left corrupted thumbnail drives or memory sticks lying around in places where u.s. military personnel were likely to pick them up. as soon as someone inserted one into a centcom computer, a malicious code opened a backdoor for the foreign power to get into the system. so, presumably, nobody at the pentagon is plugging in... >> lewis: they've banned them. >> kroft: my impression is most people understand that there is a threat out there. i don't think most people understand that there are incidents that are happening. >> lewis: you know, i've been trying to figure out why that is. and some of it is the previous administration didn't want to admit that they had been rolled in 2007.
there's a disincentive to tell people, "hey, things are going badly." but it doesn't seem to be sinking in. and some of us call it "the death of a thousand cuts." every day, a little bit more of our intellectual property, our innovative skills, our military technology is stolen by somebody. and it's like little drops. eventually, we'll drown, but every day, we don't notice. >> kroft: congress has noticed, allocating $17 billion for a top-secret national cyber- security initiative. and the department of defense has nominated lieutenant general keith alexander, head of the n.s.a., to run a new military command devoted to offensive and defensive cyber war. how much of this are we doing? "we" meaning the united states. >> lewis: we're in the top of the league, you know? the... we're as good as any... >> kroft: so, whatever foreign countries are doing to the united states, the united states is doing to them. >> lewis: we are in the top of the league. we are really good. and if you talk to the russians or the chinese, they say, "how can you complain about us when you do exactly the same thing?"
it's a fair point with one exception-- we have more to steal; we have more to lose. we're the place that depends on the internet. we've done the most to take advantage of it. we're the ones who've woven it into our economy, into our national security in ways that they haven't. so we are more vulnerable. >> kroft: even the country's most powerful weapons are targets. so technicians at the sandia national laboratories make their own microchips for nuclear weapons and other sophisticated systems. jim gosler, one of the fathers of cyber war, says most commercial chips are now made abroad, and there are concerns that someone overseas could tamper with them. so you're worried about somebody being able to get in and reprogram a nuclear weapon, or get inside and put something in there that would make it... >> jim gosler: well, certainly... certainly alter its functionality. >> kroft: what do you mean by "alter its functionality"? >> gosler: such that, when the weapon needed to be... to go operational, it wouldn't work. >> kroft: have you found
microchips that have been altered? >> gosler: we have found microelectronics and electronics embedded in applications that they shouldn't be there. and it's very clear that a foreign intelligence service put them there. >> sean henry: there are thousands of attempted attacks every single day, tens of thousands of attacks. >> kroft: sean henry's job is to police potential targets all over the united states. he is an assistant director of the f.b.i. in charge of the bureau's cyber division. he told us that criminals have used the internet to steal more than $100 million from u.s. banks so far this year, and they did it without ever having to draw a gun or pass a note to a teller. the f.b.i. became famous stopping bank robberies. are there more bank robberies, in terms of the amount of money stolen, on the internet than there are guys walking into branches with guns? >> henry: absolutely. >> kroft: really? >> henry: yes, yes. i've seen attacks where there's been $10 million lost in one 24- hour period. if that had happened in a bank robbery, where people walked in
with guns blazing, that would have been headline news all over the world. >> kroft: and the bank probably didn't want it known. >> henry: certainly, when there's a network breach, the owners of the network are not keen to have it known that their network was breached, because of their concern that it might impact their business. >> kroft: the case henry mentioned didn't involve just one bank; it involved 130, all of them victimized through an international network of a.t.m.s, an international caper that required dozens of participants on three different continents. how did they do it? >> henry: it was a sophisticated operation, clearly organized, where adversaries accessed a computer network, were able to gain information from multiple accounts. they were able to decrypt pin numbers, and then taking that data, able to manufacture white plastic that enabled them access to get into a.t.m. accounts. >> kroft: what's white plastic? >> henry: take a piece of plastic that's similar in size and shape and weight to an a.t.m. card. >> kroft: they've got the card, they've got the pin number, and
they just drained the accounts. >> henry: almost $10 million in a 24-hour period. >> kroft: what cities? >> henry: 49 cities around the world-- in europe, in north america, south america, asia. all over the world. >> kroft: another case you have probably not heard anything about involves an extortion plot against the state of virginia. last year, a hacker got into a medical database and stole millions of patient prescription records, and then followed it up with a ransom note. the note said, "i have your"-- i can't say that word on television; "stuff," we'll call it-- "in my possession right now." the hacker went on to write, "i've made an encrypted backup and deleted the original. for $10 million, i will gladly send along the password." the state of virginia says it was eventually able to restore the system. but the stolen information-- including names, social security numbers, and prescriptions-- can be used, sold or exploited, according to the f.b.i. did the virginia prescription- monitoring program pay the $10
million? >> henry: i can't discuss that. >> kroft: as serious as the electronic theft and extortion of hundreds of millions of dollars might seem, they pale in comparison to some of the other possible scenarios that are no longer outside the realm of possibility. they include an assault on the fiber-optic networks that run the world's financial systems. admiral mcconnell, the former director of national intelligence, worries about the integrity of america's money supply. i know that people in the audience watching this are going to say, "could somebody steal money out of my bank account, or could somebody attack a bank that would wipe out my life savings?" >> mcconnell: and the answer is yes, that's possible, but that's not the major problem. the more insidious issue is what happens when the attacker is not attempting to steal money, but to destroy the process that accounts for money. that's the real issue we have to worry about. >> kroft: to destroy the records. >> mcconnell: it's all record- keeping. it's accountability of the wealth and the movement of that
money through the system that has to be reconciled at the speed of light. so if you... if you impact or contaminate the data or destroy the data where you couldn't have reconciliation, you could have cascading impact in the banking system. >> kroft: can you describe the consequences? >> mcconnell: if everybody goes down to take the money out, it's not there. so that's the issue. since banking is based on confidence, what happens when you destroy confidence? >> kroft: one top u.s. intelligence official is on record saying that the chinese have already aggressively infiltrated the computer networks of some u.s. banks, and are operating inside u.s. electrical grids, mapping out our networks and presumably leaving behind malicious software that could be used to sabotage the systems. can a penetrator or a perpetrator leave behind... >> mcconnell: yes. >> kroft: ... little things that will allow them to be there and watch and look... >> mcconnell: yes. >> kroft: ... and listen and...? >> mcconnell: any successful penetration has the potential for leaving behind a capability. >> kroft: do we believe that
there are... that governments have planted codes in the power grid? >> mcconnell: steve, i would be shocked if we were in a situation where tools and capabilities and techniques have not been left in u.s. computer and information systems. >> kroft: of all the critical components of the u.s. infrastructure, the power grid is one of the most vulnerable to cyber attack. that's because the power grid is run and regulated by private utilities, which are unbeholden to government security decrees. >> john mulder: i walked through the steps an attacker might take... >> kroft: here at the sandia national laboratories, department of energy specialists like john mulder try to hack into computer systems of power and water companies and other sensitive targets in order to figure out the best way to sabotage them. it's all done with the companies' permission in order to identify their vulnerabilities. and this is a graphic demonstration of how they could have destroyed an oil refinery by sending out code that caused a crucial component to overheat. >> mulder: the first thing you
would do is turn it to manual controls so that your automatic controls aren't protecting you. >> kroft: what would be your main target here? >> mulder: the heating element and the recirculator pump. if we could malfunction both of those, we could cause an explosion. >> kroft: how would you do that? >> mulder: the first thing we had to do was actually gain access to the network and that's... we just got that as launch attack. and then, we turn up the b.t.u.s, and then we're turning off the recirculator pump. there we go. >> kroft: how realistic is this? >> mulder: it's very realistic. >> kroft: but the companies are under no obligation to fix the vulnerabilities, which was graphically demonstrated in a much more realistic fashion at the idaho national labs two years ago in a project called "aurora." a group of scientists and engineers at the department of energy facility wanted to see if they could physically blow up and permanently disable a 27-ton power generator using the internet. >> lewis: if you can hack into that control system, you can instruct the machine to tear itself apart. and that's what the aurora test
was. and if you've seen the video, it's kind of interesting because the machine starts to shudder. you know, it's clearly shaking, and smoke starts to come out. it... it destroys itself. >> kroft: and what would be the real-world consequences of this? >> lewis: the big generators that we depend on for electrical power are, one, expensive, two, no longer made in the u.s., and, three, require a lead time of three or four months to order them. so it's not like if we break one, we can go down to the hardware store and get a replacement. if somebody really thought about this, they could knock a generator out, they could knock a power plant out for months. and that's the real consequence. >> jim langevin: this was the leap from theory to reality. >> kroft: when congressman jim langevin, who chaired a subcommittee on cyber security, heard about it, he called representatives of the nation's electric utilities to washington to find out what they were doing to fix the vulnerability.
the committee was told that the problem was being addressed. but that turned out not to be the case. at a subsequent hearing seven months later, langevin's committee members discovered that almost nothing had been done. >> langevin: what do you think we are, a bunch of jerks? basically, they lied to congress, and i was outraged. >> kroft: and they admitted lying to congress? >> langevin: that's right, they admitted that they misled congress, that they did not give accurate testimony. and they subsequently had to retract the testimony. >> kroft: have they made any progress since you caught them out in this lie? >> langevin: no, not sufficiently. the private sector has different priorities than we do in providing security. their, in a sense, bottom line is about profits. and we need to change that. we need to change their motivation so that, when we see a vulnerability like this, we can require them to fix it. >> kroft: langevin and others have introduced legislation that would do just that. >> langevin: i look at this as like a pre-9/11 moment, where we identify a problem, we identify a threat, we know it exists, we know it's real, and we don't move quickly enough to fix the
problem. >> mcconnell: and what i'm worried about is, because of so many competing priorities and so many issues that we have to deal with, we won't get... we will not get focused on this problem until we have some catastrophic event. if the power grid was taken offline in the middle of winter, and it caused people to suffer and die, that would galvanize the nation. i hope we don't get there, but it's possible that we will. >> good evening. president obama is demanding that b-p set up an escrow account to pay damage claims from the oil spill. they canceled all flights through tuesday because of a pilot strike. gas has dropped $.11 in three week and the cause raw te karate box office. this is cbs news.
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>> logan: the deep sea between turkey and greece is a graveyard for ancient shipwrecks. many still lie undiscovered at the bottom of the ocean, fragments of history that remain beyond reach thousands of years later. now, one of the greatest undersea explorers in the world, robert ballard, is trying to uncover their secrets. you may know him as the man who discovered the "titanic," but what he couldn't say then is that he was on a clandestine mission for the navy at the time. it was a secret he kept for more than two decades until the mission was declassified. tonight, you'll hear how that mission helped him find the most famous wreck in modern history, and about ballard's many other discoveries in his 50 years at sea. and as we first reported last fall, when ballard took us with him to hunt for ancient shipwrecks off the coast of turkey, we made an extraordinary find even he didn't expect.
to get to bob ballard, we had to make a journey of our own to what used to be one of the great crossroads of civilization. for thousands of years, ancient mariners passed through these beautiful but treacherous waters to the place where the aegean sea meets the mediterranean. many of them didn't make it, their ships sinking deep below, as far as 2,000 feet down, never to be seen again. that's where we found bob ballard. >> robert ballard: okay, on the rise. welcome aboard. >> logan: thank you, dr. ballard. >> ballard: please, welcome to the "nautilus." >> logan: his ship, the "nautilus," never sleeps. ballard and his team have been out here for two weeks hunting for shipwrecks-- a 17-man crew of archaeologists, scientists, and engineers working in shifts around the clock. >> ballard: we're here to find lost chapters of human history, chapters we've never read before. >> logan: how many shipwrecks do you think are down there? >> ballard: in this area, i'm sure there's hundreds, if not
thousands, along this coast. >> logan: that have never been seen? >> ballard: never been seen. >> logan: the "nautilus" is specially designed for deep-sea exploration, armed with state- of-the-art electronics and navigation systems. ballard's team uses sophisticated underwater sonar to guide them to possible wreck sites they call "targets." >> ballard: there's a target, for example. >> logan: that little dot? >> ballard: that little dot. >> logan: could be anything? >> ballard: exactly. we're looking for, literally, a needle in a haystack. we're looking for very small ancient ships. >> logan: once ballard has a target worth exploring, he sends down what he calls his "big guns"-- these two remote- controlled vehicles, his eyes under the sea. they descend thousands of feet to the target, using high- definition cameras and powerful search lamps to shed light on a place that has always been in darkness. >> ballard: we're going to get it this time, guys. >> logan: the drama of the hunt plays out here in bob ballard's
command center aboard the "nautilus." >> bearing 1-5-0. >> 1-5-0. >> logan: his team is particularly interested in what they think is a wreck that they spotted with the sonar. >> ballard: what's the range, katie? >> katie: 20 meters out. >> ballard: 20 meters out. we're closing in. >> logan: the crew is glued to the screens. pilots guide the remote- controlled vehicles towards the target some 1,500 feet below. what do you think you're going to find? >> ballard: i have my fingers crossed that it's an ancient shipwreck. >> logan: in the back of the room, archeologists stand ready to tell ballard what he may have found. >> ballard: all right, let's go find out what this puppy is. >> logan: this is the moment of discovery that still thrills bob ballard after half a century at sea. >> ballard: and the anticipation-- "what is it?" "don't know." and you come in and you come in, and you think, "well, it could be this, it could be..." and then, all of a sudden, the veil of... of darkness in the deep sea, like curtains, just open, and there it is.
and you see it for the first time for 2,000 years or whatever. you can get used to that. >> logan: how many times have you done that? >> ballard: lots. >> logan: what's lots? >> ballard: 100 times or more. >> logan: 100 or more discoveries? >> ballard: yes. >> logan: bob ballard has made some of the greatest deep sea discoveries of our time. >> ballard: look at that swastika. >> logan: he found the legendary german battleship "bismarck," three miles below in the atlantic. those are the guns? >> ballard: those are the guns. and we almost hit them, because we came in very low on the deck, and all of a sudden, first thing we saw of the "bismarck" was a barrel of a gun coming right at us. >> logan: he also tracked down what's believed to be the remains of pt-109, commanded by john f. kennedy in world war ii. but the one that made him famous was the "titanic." for 73 years, the massive ocean liner sat more than two miles
down, more than 12,000 feet of pitch black water, eluding the world's top undersea explorers, until 1985, when bob ballard came along. >> ballard: that's the captain's bathtub. >> logan: that's his bathtub? >> ballard: yeah, isn't that amazing? >> logan: the images we're watching are from ballard's personal library, which he opened for us. he told us what it's like to come face to face with the world's best known shipwreck. >> ballard: we turned the corner and there it was right in front of us. >> logan: right there? >> ballard: right there. the bow was 60 feet into the bottom. >> logan: 60 feet. >> ballard: up at the very edge, because it hit with such power and it bulldozed so much. we rose along the side of the ship, and our lights were hitting the portholes and they looked like eyes. a hundred eyes, like the people who died-- it looked like people looking at us. >> logan: the fascinating thing about how you found the "titanic" is really that this wasn't your mission. >> ballard: that's correct.
well, it was my mission, but i had to get it paid for. >> logan: by someone else. >> ballard: by the navy, yeah. >> logan: right. >> logan: the navy had tasked bob ballard with a secret mission-- to map two nuclear submarines lost in the atlantic during the cold war, the u.s.s. "scorpion" and "thresher." they didn't want the russians to know what they were doing. >> ballard: because if you told the russians, "hey, just follow me," they'd put a satellite over the top of me. and they'd see me go out and they would see me stop, and the moment they saw me stop... >> logan: it would be game over. >> ballard: i just told them where the submarines are. >> logan: the cover for his navy mission was that he was actually searching for the wreck no one else could find, the "titanic." three other expeditions had tried and failed, even though they had months to search. bob ballard had just 12 days. how did you get around that? >> ballard: i cheated. i basically didn't do the search pattern the way they had done it. see, the traditional approach to searching for something in
darkness, because you can't see, is to use a sonar. and you lower the sonar down, and you tow it back and forth, and you mow the lawn. and that's what all three of them had done. and i went, "well, clearly, that's not working." >> logan: so ballard used what he had just learned investigating the navy subs-- that when a vessel sinks, the wreckage is carried by the current, leaving a trail of debris like a comet. applying that to the "titanic," he decided not to look for the ship itself. instead, he searched for the trail of debris that he estimated stretched over a mile, a much bigger target. ballard also expanded the original search area. and instead of using the sonar to slowly comb every inch of the sea floor as the others had done, he used cameras on a remote-controlled vehicle to hunt visually, spacing his search lines almost a mile apart. >> ballard: so i was able to go through the box real quick, and sure enough, i picked up the trail, and as soon as i picked up the trail, i knew exactly--
go north. and i walked right into the "titanic." >> logan: how could all these experts not have worked that out before you? >> ballard: they were in the box. they were in the "this is the way you do it." >> logan: and you dared go outside the box. >> ballard: i live outside the box. i'm always outside the box. >> logan: the moment of discovery was captured on camera. >> ballard: that's a boiler. that's a boiler. >> logan: that's bob ballard celebrating. >> ballard: our initial reaction was joy, and we're jumping up and down. and then, someone looked... in our control room, we had a clock. and someone looked, and it was 2:00 in the morning. and someone says, you know, "she sinks in 20 minutes," because she sank at 2:20 in the morning. and all... we were embarrassed that we were celebrating, and all of a sudden, we realized that we should not be dancing on someone's grave. >> logan: the "titanic" was the largest manmade moving object on earth at the time of its sinking, but it was the smallest personal objects scattered across the floor of the north
atlantic that impacted ballard the most. >> ballard: all that's left of human signature are their shoes. and all around the "titanic" are pairs of shoes-- mothers' shoes next to daughters' shoes, men's shoes, crew members'. these are the tombstones of what... >> logan: where they died? >> ballard: where they died, where their body was actually laying on the bottom of the ocean. and that's their tombstone. >> logan: so, did it take you a while before you could talk about these things? >> ballard: it did. actually, i didn't want to, i was... i was hit by it. and i wasn't expecting to be hit by it. see, i went in there, you know, totally under control, so to speak. and i was blown away. it was a very moving experience that i did not expect to have. >> logan: the "titanic" brought bob ballard instant fame and celebrity. >> ballard: my mom called me the day i got home, and i expected her to be just off the wall like everyone else was, and she says,
"you know, that was nice, but it's too bad you found the 'titanic.'" and i went "what?!" and she says, "well, you know your father and i are very proud that you and your brother went to college and got doctorates and are great scientists. but now, they'll only remember you for finding the 'titanic.'" and mothers are always right. >> logan: 25 years later, ballard is still working on his legacy. now that he finally has his own research ship, he can go explore anywhere he wants. when we joined him, he'd just finished searching for wrecks from the battle of gallipoli for the national geographic society, where he's an explorer in residence. then, he came here to hunt for ancient shipwrecks. >> ballard: along this coastline, sponge divers and recreational divers and archeologists have found a lot of shipwrecks. but no one has actually been at the very spot where... we're much deeper. right now, even though you can almost reach out and touch the
land, beneath us, the water is 700 feet deep. >> logan: wow. >> ballard: and then it goes further out, and out in the middle here, it's over 2,000 feet deep. and that's never been seen. and so, we're the first human beings to ever lay eyes on this part of the planet. >> logan: bob ballard used to go down in submarines-- not anymore. >> going down. >> logan: he sends his remote control vehicles instead-- "hercules" and "argus." he pioneered the use of these vehicles for undersea exploration: "hercules," with it's array of cameras, and "argus," which hovers above it in the water, its 2,400 watts of light penetrating the gloom. we watched them on the hunt as they moved in on the targeted site that had caught ballard's eye. >> here we go. >> this is quite a mound. >> keep going. >> ballard: i think we just hit a home run here, folks. got it, it's an ancient shipwreck. i love it.
i love it. there she blows. all right, now we go back here and they start telling us what we found. so guys, what'd we get? >> byzantine. >> ballard: byzantine. >> i could tell by the anchor. >> ballard: all right, we got a byzantine shipwreck. >> logan: until this moment, no one had laid eyes on this ship for about 1,400 years. "hercules" glided over the wreck site, the ancient cargo piled six feet high, the ship's hull most likely buried beneath the sand. >> yep, yep. this is a really nice shot. >> logan: these well preserved ceramic containers, called amphora, were typically used to transport wine and oil. the last time they were on dry land, constantinople was the center of the western world. >> zoom out just a little to frame it, bob, so they get the whole image. >> perfect. >> logan: for ballard, their value is measured in history and science; he's not a treasure hunter.
his team of archeologists documents every detail, measuring the cargo with lasers. >> ballard: oh, look at this. that's important-- they've got, like, a thumbprint of the age. what's the age of that? >> it is sixth to seventh century. that's what we guessed, anyways. >> ballard: seventh century? >> logan: when i see that, i want to know how it went down, who was on it. i just want to know everything. >> ballard: exactly. well, the beauty of it is, it's no longer lost. and we'll come back. >> logan: of all the great discoveries bob ballard has made, for him, one stands out even above the "titanic." that part of the story when we come back. [ jess ] my name is jess and this is my aha moment. heidi was dribbling down the court with 2 hands, nestling underneath the rim, shooting it up granny-style, watching it roll around, roll around, and whoosh, through the basket. 2 points. the crowd erupted, there were tears, there was laughter, in that single moment,
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>> logan: for someone who has devoted his life to exploring the ocean, bob ballard was born in an unlikely place-- kansas. as a young boy, he was inspired by the explorer captain nemo, in jules vernes' "20,000 leagues under the sea." since then, he's been on more than 120 undersea expeditions all over the world. what still excites ballard most is making new discoveries, and he's done it time and time again. it may surprise you that the man who found the "titanic" would really prefer to be known for this-- six-foot-tall tubeworms bob ballard found by accident on an expedition he led near the galapagos islands. so, when you went down that day, you went down thinking that the origin of all life on earth was sunlight. >> ballard: the sun, exactly. when we began this expedition, we weren't even thinking about that. >> logan: and when you came up? >> ballard: we... we were stunned.
>> logan: these tubeworms were 8,000 feet below the surface, living in total darkness, thriving off the energy of the earth, not sunlight, something no one in the scientific world believed possible. >> ballard: because we had been told that all life on the planet owed its existence to the sun, that it was the sun that was the driving energy of life. and so, when you go into the deep sea, you don't have great concentrations of life, because the sun can't get there. so that's in our heads when we go down, and we turn the corner and it's disneyland. i mean, look at that concentration of life. and it didn't make sense to us, initially. >> logan: there was no doubt in your mind when you saw these that... >> ballard: it was a discovery of massive dimensions. this is far more important than finding the "titanic." the "titanic" we knew about; we did not know about this system. and it's completely rewritten biology books, chemistry books.
for many people, this is where life began on earth. >> logan: no one even knew these worms existed? >> ballard: didn't even predict it. >> logan: another one of bob ballard's most important finds was in the black sea. no one knew that ancient wooden shipwrecks could be perfectly preserved there, until bob ballard and his team proved it when he found this one in 2000, the best preserved ancient shipwreck ever discovered in the deep sea. >> ballard: this shouldn't exist. in any other ocean, you wouldn't be looking at the mast of a wooden ship that sank 1,500 years ago. >> logan: that's 1,500 years of dust flying off into the ocean? >> ballard: of dust, exactly. >> logan: and that's wood? >> ballard: that's wood. that should not be there. and wood borers are all over the world's oceans. they ate the deck of the "titanic"; they ate, you know, the wood on the "lusitania". any shipwreck that we have found anywhere, the wood's gone, but not in this crazy ocean called the black sea. >> logan: why? >> ballard: it doesn't have any
oxygen at depth. >> logan: do you think you could find bodies? >> ballard: absolutely. i expect to find bodies. >> logan: really? >> ballard: i expect to find perfectly preserved humans on these shipwrecks. >> logan: how are you going to find them? >> ballard: just run into them. as we excavate, one of these days, we're going to be brushing away and a face is going to appear. >> logan: it's not just the discoveries bob ballard has made himself; it's the ones he has inspired. this undersea world at nearly 3,000 feet deep in the middle of the atlantic was found by his old team at the woods hole oceanographic institution, working with the university of washington. they nicknamed it "the lost city." its towering limestone formations can stretch up to 180 feet high, some of the tallest undersea spires known to man. >> ballard: look at that. see that upside down pool? >> logan: they form overhangs that trap hot alkaline water rising from vents in the sea
floor, creating what look like upside-down pools of water. >> ballard: see the shimmering water? how many other such discoveries are waiting to be tripped over? i vote, a lot. >> logan: the skeptics might say, "so what?" >> ballard: so what? >> logan: so we didn't know this exists. what did that give us? >> ballard: this is showing us that life can exist at far greater extremes than we ever expected, which again increases the probability of finding it elsewhere, not only in the universe, but elsewhere within our own solar system. >> logan: the oceans cover more than 70% of the earth, but most of that has never been explored. bob ballard is leading a revolution in undersea exploration to change that. it started with an idea he had 28 years ago. >> ballard: this is our underwater world, and you're looking... that's a live image coming in from america's first ship of exploration, the "okeanos explorer." >> logan: today, his idea is just coming to life here at the
university of rhode island. ballard, working with noaa, the federal ocean agency, created what he calls the "inner space center"-- the first-ever command and control center for ocean exploration-- that will stay constantly connected to three research ships at sea. >> ballard: our budget to explore our planet is only one- thousandth the budget of nasa. we're $18.7 million; they're $18.7 billion. >> logan: we had a chance to speak directly to one of the research ships, the "okeanos explorer." >> ballard: okeanos, inner space center. over. >> logan: the ship was in a remote part of the pacific, mapping american territory there for the very first time. can you tell us where you are right now? >> we are currently 1,000 miles northwest of the hawaiian island oahu. >> logan: in the middle of nowhere? >> in the middle of nowhere. >> logan: ballard believes the deep sea is rich with things we can't even imagine, and full of human history he hopes can be
found and protected before it is plundered. >> ballard: the deep sea has more history in it than all of the museums of the world combined, and we're only now entering this great museum of the deep. >> logan: at 67, bob ballard is showing no sign of slowing down. but he does retreat to his home in connecticut to spend time with his family. it's also a refuge from a scientific world that has not always been kind to the man who found the "titanic," accusing him of being more interested in fame than science. >> ballard: no one likes to be criticized, no one likes to have people take shots at you, even if they miss. >> logan: so, when they say you're a showman? >> ballard: i am. guilty. >> logan: self promoter? >> ballard: yeah, have to be. >> logan: why do you have to be? >> ballard: because i have to raise money, i have to promote myself. i don't want to say, "well, i'm not very good at this, give me a bunch of money"." no, obviously, i'm a salesman. >> logan: more of a salesperson than a scientist? >> ballard: no, no. i love science.
>> logan: that's the criticism. >> ballard: oh, yeah. >> logan: but it doesn't hurt to be known as the guy who found the "titanic." >> ballard: does not hurt at all. but it also has its baggage. >> logan: what's the baggage? >> ballard: see, science is a "we," not an "i." it... it truly is. i didn't do anything; we did a lot of things. but in our system, in america, we have this star-based system. and stars are "i." and the academic world is really, honestly a "we." >> logan: but you're the star quarterback. >> ballard: i'm the star. but it can get you in trouble in that world that doesn't believe in that star-based system. >> logan: one of the things we noticed about bob ballard as we tried to keep up with him darting around his ship is that he still has the enthusiasm of a man fulfilling his boyhood dream. it turns out the shipwreck he discovered during our visit was a rare find. only one wreck from the seventh century has ever been excavated in its entirety, and that was 50 years ago.
this wreck appears to be better preserved, and archaeologists are excited by the possibility that it could shed new light on one of the most important periods in maritime history. in all these years, is it the same passion now that inspires you? >> ballard: oh, yes, of course. discovery is an unbelievable, unbelievable feeling. >> logan: and it never loses its magic? >> ballard: no, because it always could beat the last one. people say, "what is your greatest discovery?" and i say, "it's the one i'm about to make." >> today it's the st. jude lee westwood a play off over robert carlson his first win on tour since 1998. in his second career start, national rookie pitcher steven
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>> kroft: i'm steve kroft. andy rooney will be back next week, and so will the rest of us with another edition of "60 minutes." tomorrow on the "cbs evening news", special coverage of the oil spill disaster with katie couric reporting live from the gulf. here's a preview. >> couric: on day 56 of the crisis, president obama will be back on the scene, and so will we, talking to the people most affected:
small business owners struggling to survive, forced to lay off workers, and not getting much help from b.p.; and the forgotten victims, children whose lives have been turned upside-down. plus steve hartman introduces us to an 11-year-old bird lover from long island, who's using her artistic talent to help save threatened wildlife. that's tomorrow on the "cbs evening news" live from the gulf. captioning funded by cbs, and ford-- built for the road ahead. captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org when our clients' needs changed we changed to meet them. through the years, when some lost their way, we led the way with new ideas for the financial challenges we knew would lie ahead. this rock has never stood still. and there's one thing that will never change. we are, the rock you can rely on. prudential.
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