(Image: Amy Heiden, reproduced with permission)
Built in secret in 1984 by the Lockheed Skunk Works, the Sea Shadow was an experimental stealth ship funded by DARPA for potential US Navy service. Bearing a resemblance to Lockheed’s earlier, faceted Have Blue demonstrator and F-117 Stealth Fighter, the Sea Shadow was created to test high stability hull configurations as well as the feasibility of reducing a ship’s radar cross section. Revealed to the public in 1993, the vessel was housed at San Diego Naval Station until 2006 when it was transferred to the “ghost fleet” at Suisun Bay, California. It remains there today, stored out of sight within a marine barge. Offers to auction Sea Shadow to the highest bidder failed to generate interest, and the vessel – which inspired the stealth ship in James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies – is set to be recycled.