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Hank Mann

MannHank stanley storiesHank Mann has had 21 changes of address since joining Stanley Consultants on a Co-op program in 1959, but his favorite Stanley story happened just 25 miles upriver from the company headquarters in Muscatine, Iowa.

"Because I have such an underwater passion, one that comes to mind involves mussel surveys for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 15 near the Rock Island Arsenal Bridge," Mann said. "Mike Knott, Larry Shields, and I spent many summers on the Mississippi River doing inventory of species type and count of mussels. The project involved searching the rocks, trees, and junk on the river bottom, by hand, in depths that are pitch dark."

On one expedition, Mann dropped into a 50-foot-deep hole near the roller gate adjacent to the small lock chamber. In the bottom of the hole, he thought he had run into a tree. The object was more than 12 inches in diameter, and Mann tried, but couldn't get his arm around it.

"Suddenly the object started to thrash about and whacked me a few times," Mann recalled. "There were a few tense moments, some 'verbal communication,' queries about what I was yelling about, followed by the departure of the 'object.' After I was brought back to the boat, the diving equipment had a bad fish odor, and I was left with a story about the fish that, fortunately, got away."

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