Intact 'Ghost Ship' Found at Bottom of Lake Michigan Nov 14, 2019 15:02:41 GMT -5 aprillynn93 and mintjulep like this
Post by Graveyardbride on Nov 14, 2019 15:02:41 GMT -5
Intact ‘Ghost Ship’ Discovered at the Bottom of Lake Michigan
The remarkably intact wreck of a schooner that sank in 1891 has been discovered in Lake Michigan. Shipwreck hunter Ross Richardson was on his way to South Manitou Island in northern Lake Michigan when his sonar picked up “something interesting” on the lake bed. Richardson recorded the GPS coordinates and returned about a week later for a closer inspection. “The sonar showed something rising 90 feet off the bottom, which is very unusual,” he wrote on his website.
Resting in 300 feet of water, the mysterious object was beyond Richardson’s diving range, so he called in Steve Wimer, a diver and underwater photographer, to examine the wreck site. On Sept. 30, Richardson, Wimer and Brent Tompkins returned to the site and Wimer swam down to photograph what the website describes as a “mysterious ghost ship.” Wimer called what he found on the lake bed “the most intact shipwreck I have ever encountered,” according to the website.
The wreck was a small two-masted schooner, about 60- or 70-feet in length, with a lifeboat at its stern. Eerie footage of the wreck posted online shows the ship in its final resting place with its masts clearly still intact. The ship’s deck, hull and stern cabin can also be seen, as well as its lifeboat.
The presence of iron rope offered a vital clue as to the ship’s identity, as did the schooner’s “sleek clipper bow.” Iron rope wasn’t widely used until the 1870s and the bow was typical of schooners built in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and later, Milwaukee, according to Richardson’s website.
After searching approximately 6,000 schooner records in the Patrick Labadie Great Lakes Maritime Collection and cross-referencing with Great Lakes databases and newspaper archives, the researcher declared the ship is likely W.C. Kimball, a schooner carrying a cargo of salt and wood shingles that disappeared in May 1891. Constructed in Manitowoc in 1888, the vessel and four men onboard were lost in a gale.
The Great Lakes continue to reveal their shipwreck secrets. Two Civil War-era schooners that collided and sank more than 140 years ago were recently discovered near Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan. The wreck of a steamer was found 103 years after it was struck by a massive wave and sank in Lake Superior. Earlier this year, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum announced the discovery of the wreck of S.R. Kirby off the Keweenaw Peninsula on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Researchers found what appeared to be wreckage near Eagle Harbor, Mich., in 2018 and returned to identify the wreck with an underwater drone this year. Additionally, experts said a shipwreck found in Lake Erie in 2015 may be the oldest discovered in that particular body of water. Also in 2018, researchers announced the discovery of the 119-year-old wreck of Margaret Olwill, a wooden steam barge that sank in an 1899 nor’easter, at the bottom of Lake Erie.
In May 2008, two explorers came across the British warship HMS Ontario, lost in Lake Ontario in 1780. Ontario is the oldest shipwreck ever discovered in the Great Lakes and the only British warship of this period still in existence in the entire world. Later in 2008, explorers Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville found a rare 19th-century schooner sitting upright 500 feet beneath the waves of Lake Ontario. In 2016, Kennard was part of a team of underwater explorers that discovered the second-oldest confirmed shipwreck in the Great Lakes: The Washington, an American-built, Canadian-owned sloop that sank in Lake Ontario during a fierce storm in 1803.
Sources: James Rogers, Fox News, November 14, 2019, and The Associated Press.