During a mission in the Gulf of Mexico NOAA researchers were asked to explore some possible wreck sites while out to sea for other reasons, when they discovered a 200-year-old shipwreck that contains bottles, muskets, ceramic plates.
All that remains of the ship, is a copper shell that would have been lined by the wooden hull, which after years of being submerged has mostly eroded away. The ship sits 200 miles from shore at a depth of 4,000 feet.
“Artifacts in and around the wreck and the hull’s copper sheathing may date the vessel to the early to mid-19th century,” Jack Irion, a maritime archaeologist with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), said in a statement.
A request of NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, by the BOEM was made to research the site while out on a recent 56-day mission to investigate coral growth around the 2010 Deep Sea Horizon disaster area, after a sonar survey by the Shell Oil Company caught an unknown blip on its sea floor radar in 2011.
“Some of the more datable objects include what appears to be a type of ceramic plate that was popular between 1800 and 1830, and a wide variety of glass bottles,” said BOEM’s Irion. “A rare ship’s stove on the site is one of only a handful of surviving examples in the world and the second one found on a shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico.”
The story of the ship remains a mystery to the researchers who also explored several other alleged shipwrecks while they were out to sea.
One report of what was thought to be a cannon from a shipwreck near the mouth of the Mississippi River,was actually a large bilge pump.