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Navy Accidentally Destroys Confiscated News Film

May 12, 1988

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ The Navy accidentally destroyed film confiscated from a newspaper photographer who was accused of sailing too close to a shipyard where Trident submarines are built, a photo editor said today.

Five rolls of color film were taken April 22 from photographer Stanley Badz of the Florida Times-Union after he and a reporter were detained for allegedly sailing too close to a restricted area at the Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Conn.

Navy officials told the newspaper they would process the film and return any parts not considered sensitive, said Times-Union photo editor Don Burk.

But a week later the Navy reported the color film accidentally had been destroyed in processing, along with numerous rolls of Navy film, Burk said.

The captain of the boat used by the Times-Union denied sailing too close to the site. The Trident submarine Pennsylvania was launched from the boatyard the following day.

A memo from Naval investigator Ronald J. Possanza said, ″I regret any inconvenience this has caused you.″

The ruined film was returned to the paper and appeared to have been fogged before full processing, said Burk.

The newspaper is awaiting further information before deciding what action to take, he said.

A roll of black-and-white film confiscated at the same time is still being reviewed, Burk said.

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