History and UK-based October Films have acquired rights to the marine investigation into what is believed to be the remains of the long-lost Santa Maria shipwreck. History is sponsoring the expedition to the site off the coast of Haiti and it will air it at a later date, Dirk Hoogstra, EVP and General Managers, History and H2 said today. More than five centuries after Columbus’ flagship was wrecked in the Caribbean, an archaeological team led by maritime investigator Barry Clifford believes they have located the famous vessel’s remnants. Now, Clifford, supported by History, is planning to carry out further investigations in the coming months to prove that the ship they found is indeed the Santa Maria.
“All the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggest that this wreck is Columbus’ famous flagship,” Clifford said. “I am confident that a full excavation of the wreck will yield the first ever detailed marine archaeological evidence of Columbus’ discovery of America.”
The Santa Maria was used in 1492 by Columbus as he sailed across the Atlantic in search of a new western route to Asia. On Christmas Eve in 1492, a cabin boy, after the rest of the crew fell asleep, crashed the ship on a coral reef off the northern coast of Haiti. Columbus, who was on board, wrote about the wreck and the aftermath in his journal, but the Santa Maria’s final resting place has remained a mystery for centuries. Clifford used two pieces of historical information to close in on the Santa Maria. With additional evidence from an archeologist, Clifford and his team crosschecked the information with Columbus’ diary to narrow down a possible resting place. As it turns out, Clifford and his team were lead back to a site they had visited back in 2003. However, they didn’t realize what they had at the time.
Clifford has investigated more than 400 seabed anomalies off the north coast of Haiti.