Friday, August 13, 2010

An Agreement to Identify the Griffon?

It seems a potential deal has been struck between Steve Liebert, France and the State of Michigan to inspect the discovered wreck and determine if it is in fact the holy grail of Great Lakes Shipwrecks - LaSalles' Griffon.

The Detroit News: The Griffin? Deal struck to determine shipwreck ID
The state of Michigan, France and private divers have reached an extraordinary agreement to finally determine whether a Lake Michigan shipwreck is the Griffin, which sank in 1679.

There will be no immediate effort to remove anything from the ship. But Steve Libert, the diver who discovered it, says scientists with high-tech equipment will take images at the site.

One of the tasks will be to determine if King Louis XIV's insignia is on a cannon.
If the cannon does bear his insignia, that moves the wreck ever closer to being identified as the Griffon. if the cannon shows markings that postdate the grifon's disappearance then it will be yet another wreck thought to have been the Griffon.

Hopefully the results of the identification, and the pictures taken of the cannon and wreck are released to the public soon so we may know if the ship Mr. Liebert has found is the Griffon.

The lawsuit over title to the wreck is on hold pending the identification mission being completed - if the ship isn't the Griffon (or even more unlikely some other unidentified French ship) then France lacks an interest in the wreck and Michigan will likely be granted title to it. But if the identification shows it is a French ship or that it is the Griffon - then expect some historically significant sparks to fly.

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