Haiti hopes to find Santa Maria wreck


This article by Jacqueline Charles appeared in The Columbus Dispatch. It was originally published in The Miami Herald. Here’s an excerpt with the link to the original article below.

Haiti’s government has formed a commission to help settle the question of whether remnants of a shipwreck off the country’s northern coast are those of Christopher Columbus’ storied flagship, the Santa Maria.

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe announced the group in the wake of a visit with leading underwater explorer Barry Clifford, who this month announced that he thought a ballast pile found on a reef — and a cannon, which he first saw 10 years ago but is now missing — were part of the ship that led Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas but was damaged on Christmas Day in 1492.

For centuries, the ship’s fate has puzzled historians and archaeologists who in recent years have searched towns in northern Haiti for the ship’s remains.

Meanwhile, Haiti for centuries has laid claim to an anchor — currently on display at its national pantheon museum in Port-au-Prince — that scholars and academics say belonged to the vessel, further fueling skepticism by some about media reports that portrayed Clifford’s find as the first substantial evidence linking the Santa Maria to Haiti.

The commission’s main task will be to establish the guidelines for the final exploration of the site.

. . .

For the complete report go to http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/national_world/2014/05/31/haiti-hopes-to-find-santa-maria-wreck.html

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