The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Ship belonged to Columbus, explorer says

  • In this May 2003 photo, a diver measures a lombard cannon adjacent to a ballast pile, off the North coast of Haiti, at a site explorer Barry Clifford ...

    Brandon Clifford / Associated Press

    In this May 2003 photo, a diver measures a lombard cannon adjacent to a ballast pile, off the North coast of Haiti, at a site explorer Barry Clifford says could be the Santa Maria.

NEW YORK — An explorer who believes he's found the wreckage of Christopher Columbus' flagship vessel off the coast of Haiti said Wednesday that the ship has been looted and needs to be excavated immediately.
“I think this is an emergency situation,” explorer Barry Clifford said. “I think the ship needs to be excavated as quick as possible and then conserved and then displayed to the world.”
Clifford was at the Explorers Club in New York to show photos and video of what he said was a pile of ballast stones from the wreckage.
“I think the evidence is overwhelming that this ship is most probably the Santa Maria,” he said.
The Santa Maria ran aground Christmas Day 1492.
If the wreckage Clifford has found is the Santa Maria, it would be the oldest known European shipwreck in the so-called New World. But scientists say it's far too early to make any such declaration.
“The evidence, as you can imagine, after more than 500 years is not going to be very much because of time and the environment that the site is in,” said Roger C. Smith, the state underwater archaeologist for Florida.
Clifford, whose exploration of the site is being financed by the History Channel, is known for discovering a pirate ship off Cape Cod in 1984.
Clifford and his son, Brandon, first explored the shipwreck off northern Haiti in 2003 but did not at that time believe they had found the Santa Maria.
Clifford said a re-reading of Columbus' diary convinced him that the wreck from 2003 was in fact the Santa Maria.
Photos from 2003 of the wreckage show a cylindrical object that Clifford said was a 15th-century cannon. He said the cannon and other artifacts had vanished by the time he returned last week.
“The ship has to be preserved,” Clifford said. “I hope to be able to work with the Haitian government and with all other countries including Spain in helping to preserve this irreplaceable resource.”
Story tags » History

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

Photo galleries

» More HeraldNet galleries