Shipwreck Diver Richie Kohler Jr. Visits Society of Skeptics

Posted: November 9, 2016

Technical wreck diver and documentary filmmaker Richie Kohler Jr. joined the Blair community on November 15 to discuss “Wreck Diving Exploration” at the Society of Skeptics. Mr. Kohler co-hosted 57 episodes of the History Channel series Deep Sea Detectives, and his 30-plus year career in diving has taken him to shipwrecks around the world.

To watch a video his Mr. Kohler's Skeptics presentation, click "play" below.

A Brooklyn, New York native, Mr. Kohler earned his first diving certification—junior scuba diver—in 1976, at the age of 15. He began exploring shipwrecks in 1980, and his passion for technical diving and marine history has since led him to investigate and document the underwater remains of some of the world’s most famous sunken vessels, including the SS Andrea Doria, RMS Titanic and HMHS Brittanic.

Television and documentary filmmaking became integral to Mr. Kohler’s work following the identification of a World War II German submarine, U-869, off the New Jersey coast. This five-year project, undertaken with dive partner John Chatterton from 1991 to 1996, was the subject of numerous television documentaries, Robert Kurson’s best-selling book Shadow Divers and a major motion picture under development by 20th Century Fox.

Inducted into the Diver’s Hall of Fame in 2006, Mr. Kohler has worked on underwater film projects for Paramount Pictures, CBS, PBS, National Geographic and Discovery Channel, and he continues to lead shipwreck explorations worldwide. Visit his website at

The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.

The program was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon.’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.

Last Updated: November 22, 2016