Dinosaurs of the Deep: Expedition Flag #127 with Alec Shumate

This program was organized by Andrew McGregor #1188.



In July of 2021, Alec Shumate #1210 joined a team of Explorers Club divers and researchers conducting a multi-disciplinary expedition along the reefs and deep within the undersea trenches surrounding the island of Roatan in Honduras.

Their objectives were two-fold: First, to conduct microplastic surveys both at depth and through the use of laser reflectometry, requiring teams of divers, working in the dark of night, to operate and reposition a specialized, aquatic laser along the seafloor. (Between wrangling cables and fixing tripods, Alec also managed to create some underwater sketches of his teammates in action).

Photo credit: Colin Bettis

Secondly, the team would contract the services of a homemade submarine and her inventor/Captain to travel 2,000 feet beneath the waves, beyond the reach of sunlight in search of the elusive sixgill shark.

Photo credit: Colin Bettis
Photo credit: Greg Taylor

With horse-leg bait in tow and an equally homemade harpoon, the team was the first in history to tag two of these 18-foot, prehistoric fish at depth with time-release transmitters that have gathered a variety of novel scientific data about the life and behavior of these mysterious creatures.

Photo credit: Colin Bettis

Alec Shumate #1210 is an illustrator for the film and television industry as well as a civilian Combat Artist for the United States Marine Corps. He is also a member of the Explorers Club and an Advanced Open Water Diver. Since joining the Adventurers’ Club in 2017 he has carried two other Expedition Flags- one while blowgun hunting with the rarely contacted Matis Tribe in the Brazilian Amazon (Flag #123) and another while paddling down the remote tributaries of the Cambodian Mekong (Flag #124). Alec is currently serving on the board of directors. He has been the club’s 1st Vice President as well as two terms as Club President from 2020-21.

Photo credit: Greg Taylor