The detection and microscopic characterization of hidden corrosion has recently been a focus of several advanced NDE research efforts. A variety of approaches have been suggested, with laser ultrasonic (LU), scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM), thermography,and x-ray systems being four of the most promising NDE techniques. In this effort, a side-by-side comparison of each of these four techniques was conducted with the goal of assessing the detailed microscopic features of engineered and realistic hidden pitting corrosion reference samples. The reference samples included laser-etched cutouts and electro-chemically created surface pits ranging in size for 250 μm to 5 mm in surface extent, and depths of 25 μm to 1 mm. The effects of material loss/topography, corrosion-byproduct, and paint thickness levels were all addressed. Variations in measurement sensitivity, detectivity, and spatial resolution were studied, with particular attention being focused on the ability of the NDE technique to not only detect the hidden corrosion, but to provide any additional information regarding the microscopic nature of the corrosion area, its roughness, material loss levels, and pitting sharpness. In all cases, the NDE techniques provided an 'image' of the hidden corrosion areas, with some capability for assessing the internal structures of the pits from the measured signal levels or brightness levels of the measured image fields.