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Explorer claims he’s found the Santa Maria, Christopher Columbus’s flagship

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Every school kid in years past has learned that Christopher Columbus had three ships, the Nina, the PInta and the Santa Maria. The largest ship, the Santa Maria, was wrecked in a storm and the crew salvaged its lumber. To date, the skeletal remains of the ship have never been found. But according to the New York Daily News on May 13 and explorer Barry Clifford, the Santa Maria has, in fact, been located.

Barry Clifford thinks he’s found the Santa Maria. He used archaeological data discovered in 2003 and Columbus’s journals to pinpoint what he feels is the location of the ship. Clifford’s search was the subject of "Quest for Columbus," a 2004 Discovery Channel documentary.

The Santa Maria ran aground off the coast of Haiti on Christmas Day in 1492. “All the geographical underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that this wreck is Columbus’ famous flagship.”

Clifford has been working with the Haitian government to preserve what remains of the Santa Maria. One of the ship’s cannons may have been looted over the past decade. “Ideally, if excavations go well, and depending on the state of preservation of any buried timber, it may ultimately be possible to lift any surviving remains of the vessel, fully conserve them and then put them on permanent public exhibition in a museum in Haiti,” Clifford said.

“I am confident that a full excavation of the wreck will yield the first-ever detailed marine archaeological evidence of Columbus’ discovery of America. All the geographical underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that this wreck is Columbus’ famous flagship.”

The History Channel is involved in funding Clifford’s project and has exclusive filming rights to produce a television show on the subject when the Santa Maria is eventually raised.

Columbus’s other two ships, the Nina and the Pinta, made it back to Spain. Sadly, their whereabouts are unknown.

QUOTE SOURCE: The Independent

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