Meet the Crew

Paul G. Allen | Microsoft co-founder, entrepreneur, philanthropist

USS Indianapolis

Paul G. Allen

Four decades after co-founding Microsoft, entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul G. Allen is still exploring the frontiers of technology and human knowledge, and acting to change the future. Mr. Allen is working to save endangered species; combat climate change; improve ocean health; share art, history and film; develop new technology; tackle epidemics; research how the human brain works; and build sustainable communities.

Mr. Allen is deeply committed to honoring our past and the lessons it provides to our future. He has created public spaces including the Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Collection, MoPOP and the Living Computer Museum + Lab — where people learn and interact with historic, cultural and musical heritage. The inaugural Seattle Art Fair helped put the city on the map as one of the premier art destinations in the country. He also thinks globally, making impact investments that will help developing countries expand their health and infrastructure and nurture a diversified economy.

Many of his ventures were seeded in his youth, and reflect the depth and diversity of his passions. Honoring his father’s service in World War II, Mr. Allen is especially interested in collecting and protecting the artifacts that speak to the heroism and service of that day. His recently acquired Research Vessel Petrel provides a platform to search for historic artifacts that have been lost at sea.

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Robert Kraft, Director, Subsea Ops, Vulcan

Robert Kraft is the director of Subsea Operations and expedition director for Vulcan Inc. He manages all aspects of subsea operations, intervention and survey projects aboard Vulcan’s fleet vessels. He brings nearly 25 years’ experience in marine construction, subsea remote intervention, manned submersibles, remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicle operations to depths of 6,000 meters and in all major oceans. He has led the expeditions that discovered the IJN Battleship Musashi, surveyed the wrecks of Iron Bottom Sound in Guadalcanal as well the recovery of HMS HOOD’s bell for the UK MOD.

Robert Kraft | Vulcan director, subsea ops

Paul Mayer, Pilot / Researcher, Vulcan

Paul Mayer grew up surfing and diving in Santa Barbara, California. A career centered around the ocean was a natural progression for Paul and in 1990 he graduated from Santa Barbara City College, Marine Diving Technology Program. Subsequently, Paul lived in the Cayman Islands and Hawaii where he worked for Atlantis Submarines for 15 years in various positions as the senior deep sub pilot and maintenance manager. In 2005, he joined Vulcan as pilot for the manned submersible and Remotely Operated Vehicle.  In 2016, Paul began actively researching multiple projects related to sunken WWII ships for upcoming expeditions.


Curt Newport, Consultant

Curt Newport works in government operations as an assistant project manager at Phoenix International, Inc. During his work with underwater vehicles, he piloted Canadian, U.S., and British vehicles in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, English Channel, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Campeche, Formosa Straits, Sea of Japan, Indian Ocean, Straits of Sicily, South China Sea, and the Pacific Ocean. Overall, he has piloted ROVs on over 60 undersea operations and participated in numerous high-profile undersea operations such as the salvage of Air India Flight 182, the Space Shuttle Challenger, TWA 800, the broadcast of live images from RMS Titanic, as well as many other classified missions involving the loss of military aircraft and weaponry. 


Dr. Bob Neyland, Naval History and Heritage Command, U.S. Navy

Dr. Neyland Dr. Neyland is the head of the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the U.S. Navy's Naval History and Heritage Command. He holds his degrees from Texas A&M University, and his areas of specialization are underwater archaeology, naval archaeology, and historical archaeology; his extensive fieldwork includes serving as director of the recovery operations for the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, of the excavation of John Paul Jones' birthplace, and of the survey and excavation of the War of 1812 ship USS Scorpion. 

Expedition team members

Dr. Richard Hulver, Naval History and Heritage Command, U.S. Navy

Hulver Richard Dr. Richard Hulver is a historian in the Histories and Archives Branch of Naval History and Heritage Command. He is leading a project to revisit the sinking of USS Indianapolis and make historic material readily available to the public and Navy that tells the whole story of the loss. 

Hulver received a B.A. in history from Shepherd University and a Ph.D. from West Virginia University. Prior to joining the Naval History and Heritage Command, he worked as a historian for United States Southern Command, the American Battle Monuments Commission, and was a part of the Army Chief-of-Staff’s Iraq War Study Group. 

Samuel J. Cox, Naval History and Heritage Command, U.S. Navy

Samuel Cox Samuel J. Cox , Admiral, U.S. Navy (retired) serves as the director of the Naval History and Heritage Command and Curator of the Navy. He is responsible for the Navy’s museums and for collecting and interpreting U.S. Naval history throughout the world.

Cox graduated with honors from the U.S. Naval Academy, winning the Trident Scholar Prize as well as the prize for the history major with the highest standing. In his 37-year naval career, Cox served as the senior naval intelligence community leader and as the director of intelligence (J2), U.S. Cyber Command. His major command tour was as commander of the U.S. Central Command Joint Intelligence Center.