Divers Think They’ve Found The ‘Holy Grail Of Great Lakes Shipwrecks’

by Rachel Baker on January 24, 2015

This is truly a cool story. Can you imagine the possibility of having found a mid-1679 shipwreck?!

Buy the Book: These divers think they’ve found the ‘Holy Grail of Great Lakes shipwrecks’

In mid-1679, out there somewhere in the waters of Lake Michigan, the first full-sized sailing ship to ever hit the waters of the Great Lakes vanished, taking with it every soul on board. The commander of the vessel — which had a carved griffin at its bow and was named the Griffin — was a Frenchman named Robert La Salle. He had wanted to take his 40-foot vessel from Green Bay to Niagara, so on September 18 of that year, he and a crew of six men fired a single cannon shot and set sail. It was “with a light and very favorable wind from the West,” a historical account says. “It has not been possible to ascertain since what course they steered.”

In the intervening years, rumor begat rumor. According to the Great Lakes Exploration Group, some thought Indians had captured the ship. Others thought a bad storm had felled the vessel. Others contended a mutiny had erupted, and the men made off with the ship’s booty. But despite such interest, explorers have not gotten any closer to the truth. The mystery of what some have dubbed the “holy grail” of Great Lakes shipwrecks has persisted.

That may have now changed.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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