Explorers dive into Lake Michigan to identify shipwreck site
A team of northern Michigan divers explored lake Michigan this weekend in hopes of identifying one of the Great Lakes longest standing mysteries.
Hidden beneath 60 feet of water, lays what researchers believe is the first European ship to travel the Great Lakes, otherwise known as the Le Griffon, which sunk in 1679.
One by one, underwater archaeologists plunge into the lake too examine the site that they believe is the historic French vessel, once sailed by legendary explorer Robert La Salle.
â??At the moment we don't have the proof,â?? Franceâ??s Chief underwater archaeologist Michael Lâ??Hour said. â??That's why I'm here to check and prove that the wreck is the Griffon.â??
Franceâ??s top underwater archaeologists arrived today to help identify the wreck.
And immediately started collaborating with the scientists who have been researching the Le Griffon site for the last decade
â??It's important for the history of America because Cavalier La Salle was one of the first explorers of America and the Griffon belongs to the history of this exploration,â?? Lâ??Hour said.
These researchers have already discovered what they believe is a piece of timber from the ship sticking out of the wreckage.
Divers will examine the lumber and dig deeper to see if they can recover other pieces of history.
â??If artifacts start showing up in the sediment as we slowly and methodically remove that sediment then basically the dredging operation cease,â?? Le Griffon Project Manager Ken Vrana said.
While digging for the ship, they ran into a minor set back.
The invasive species known as the zebra mussel have attached themselves to the site and are difficult to remove.
Despite the set back, spirits on this ship are still high.
â??It's just phenomenal at this stage after all these years to see something like this come true,â?? Libert said.