Divers Dig To Bedrock: The Griffin Not Found

Jun 21, 2013

The State of Michigan archaeologist says there does not appear to be a vessel buried where underwater explorers had hoped to uncover a 17th century shipwreck this week in northern Lake Michigan.

Explorers have been looking for the wreck of the Griffin off the coast of the Upper Peninsula’s Garden Peninsula.

State Archaeologist Dean Anderson says two things originally drew explorers to the site: acoustical surveys of what appeared to be a ship buried in mud, and a beam of wood sticking up into the water.

Many had hoped the beam would be attached to a ship, but it was not. Divers dug down into bedrock at the site without finding a vessel.

“On balance for me, just based on that work, I would say I’m certainly not convinced that there’s a wreck there and I’m not convinced that the piece of the wood is part of a wreck,” Anderson says.

He says no one has said conclusively that the beam is part of any shipwreck, the Griffin or otherwise.

But some say there’s reason to believe the wood might be from an old wreck. At the site earlier this week, the lead archaeologist for France said he believes the wood to be centuries old. He said its features are consistent with a bowsprit that would have been connected to a hull.