3 Stockton University Professors Track NJ Mob’s Rumrunners on Disney+
Three Stockton University staffers led the search for illegal prohibition-era booze still on the ocean floor off the New Jersey coast on the latest episode of National Geographic's "Drain the Oceans," a docuseries that uses advanced technology to explore mysteries beneath the sea.
The episode titled “Rise of the Mob” is the second of season six and it debuted on Sunday, March 12 on Disney+.
The historical docuseries takes viewers around the world to reveal submerged mysteries with CGI technology and then pieces together clues discovered in the depths with the expertise of marine archaeologists.
Stockton University’s Marine Field Station and one of its boats were transformed into a film set over the summer while university experts were filmed for the episode.
Steve Evert, the director of Stockton's Marine Field Station in Port Republic was the captain of an expedition that took the film crew offshore with Stephen Nagiewicz, a scuba diver and adjunct Stockton professor of marine science, and Peter Straub, professor of biology, to explore where Prohibition deliveries secretly unfolded and to return to the wreck he dove three decades ago.
Rumrunners worked under the radar off the coast of New Jersey during prohibition and all that remains of the mostly undocumented missions are the wrecks on the seafloor and a few clues buried in archives.
Of the estimated 4,000 to 7,000 shipwrecks off the New Jersey coast, Nagiewicz dove to one that was clearly connected to prohibition 35 years ago.
"I've been a scuba diver for over 40 years, and it's the shipwrecks and the stories they have which have fascinated me the most," Nagiewicz said in the episode. "They're exciting, they're historic. They are time capsules on the seafloor. And of all the ones I dived, one really stuck with me. It led me on a journey into the heart of the mob."