In this May 2003 photo, a diver measures a lombard cannon adjacent to a ballast pile off the north coast of Haiti at a site explorer Barry Clifford says could be the wreckage of Christopher Columbus' flagship vessel, the Santa Maria. He went back to re-explore the ship in 2014 and is confident that it is Columbus' flagship
Brandon Clifford—Associated Press
By Michelle Arrouas
May 14, 2014

Divers may have found the wreckage of Christopher Columbus’ flagship off the northern coast of Haiti.

If the remains turn out to be the Italian explorer’s Santa Maria, the location of which has remained a mystery since it sank more than five centuries ago, it will prove one of the most monumental archaeological discoveries from the seabed of all time.

“It is the Mount Everest of shipwrecks for me,” Barry Clifford, the world-renowned underwater treasure hunter who found the wreck, told CNN.

Clifford believes the iconic vessel sank during a Caribbean storm in 1492, causing Columbus to return to Spain with just the two smaller ships of his expedition.

“Every single piece fits. Now, of course, we have to go through the whole archeological process, and we plan to do that within the next few months, but I feel very confident that we’ve discovered the site.”

Clifford is working with the Haitian government to preserve the remains.


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