News

Shipwreck off Haiti could be Santa Maria, explorers say

Shipwreck off Haiti could be Santa Maria, explorers say

SHIPWRECK:A replica of Christopher Columbus' caravel Santa Maria is shown in this circa 1892 handout photo provided by the United States Library of Congress on May 13. Photo: Reuters

By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) – A shipwreck found off the north coast of Haiti could be the 500-year-old remains of the Santa Maria, which led Christopher Columbus’s famed voyage to the New World, according to a team of marine explorers.

“All the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that this wreck is Columbus’ famous flagship, the Santa Maria,” Massachusetts marine investigator Barry Clifford said in a press release on Tuesday.

“I am confident that a full excavation of the wreck will yield the first-ever detailed marine archaeological evidence of Columbus’ discovery of America,” he added.

Clifford, who led a reconnaissance expedition to the site, will hold a press conference Wednesday morning at the Explorer’s Club in New York City to announce the discovery.

The Santa Maria was one of a fleet of three vessels that departed Spain in 1492 looking for a shorter route to Asia. The ship, after arriving near the Bahamas, drifted into a reef and had to be abandoned. Columbus ordered sailors to build a fort nearby before taking the remaining two ships back to Spain to report his findings.

Clifford and his team first discovered the wreck in 2003, but were unable to identify the ship. Yet the discovery of Columbus’ encampment on nearby Haiti and data from the explorer’s diary appear to prove the heavily decayed vessel on the sea floor was the Santa Maria.

(Editing by David Adams and James Dalgleish)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Hastert Resigns from Wheaton College Board

Fresh
FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2007, file photo, Rep. J. Dennis Hastert, front, R-Ill., announces that he will not seek reelection for a 12th term as he stands on the steps of the old Kendall County courthouse with, from left, his son Josh; wife Jean; and daughter-in-law Heidi, grandson Jack, in Yorkville, Ill. A newly unveiled indictment against Hastert released Thursday, May 28, 2015, accuses the Republican of agreeing to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep a person from the town where he was a longtime schoolteacher silent about "prior misconduct."

The resignation was the latest fallout from a federal indictment accusing Hastert of violating banking laws.

in Local

Rauner: No Special Session if No Agreement Reached by Sunday

rauner

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will not call lawmakers back into session if there's no agreement on a budget by Sunday.

in Local

Bill Separating ALPLM from IHPA Passes House

alplm

The measure now moves to the Senate.

in Local

Hastert’s Former School District Doesn’t Know of Misconduct

hastert

District officials say they'll cooperate in any investigation if asked by the U.S. Attorney's office.

in Local

Legislative Leaders: Turnaround Not Off the Table, But Agreement Unlikely by Sunday

cullerton2

It looks like the governor's Turnaround Agenda is not off the table, but it also doesn't look like there will be solid agreement on that by the Sunday adjournment deadline.