A large wooden beam brought up from the floor of Lake Michigan during the search for the french vessel Le Griffon has undergone tests at Otsego Memorial Hospital.
T he french ship Le Griffon disappeared in 1679 after taking off from Niagara, NY to explore the Great Lakes.
N ow more than 300 years later , staff at Otsego Memorial Hospital have performed a test that could change history.
" About every two and a half centimeter we are going to be able to take a slice of the log, which will show the detailed information from the tree rings and they will use that information to try to date it," Andy Lanway, OMH Radiology Director explained.
I t took an entire team to move the fragile six hundred pound beam so radiologists could perform a CT scan.
" We are trying to do non-invasive ways to determine how old it is," Tommy Gouin, Great Lakes Diving and Salvage Vice President said. "Right now we could cut a chunk of it apart, but that would destroy the artifact."
W ithin seconds , images started to show the rings within the beam , that was once a tree.
T his information will be sent to a research team at Cornell University in upstate New York, where they will be able to study the scans and provide some answers.
" They can use it to determine when it was cut , the amount of growth that was the re compared to other samples ," Gouin said.
T he analysis from the CT scans will help determine the future of this exploration.
I f it is indeed an old piece of a ship , the explorers will likely adventure back out onto Lake Michigan to search some more.
" Until we reorganize and go back out to do another dive we want to see if we can come up with the age of this particular piece," Steve Libert, Great Lakes Exploration President said. "If it is 330 some years old we know it's only one ship it could've come off of and that's Le Griffon."
A n electronic copy of the scans were sent to Cornell University today to be examined. The explorers say it could take up to a week to get the analysis.