Discovery of wreck hoped to be confirmed as Griffon in 2013

MICHIGAN—By the end of next summer, Steve Libert and his Great Lakes Exploration Group will know if a discovery he made many years ago in northern Lake Michigan is the shipwreck of the Griffon.

“We did exploration work the first week of October, including 15 of us in (a northern Lake Michigan) area,” stated Mr. Libert in an interview with the Recorder on Monday. He explained, “we did sub-bottom profiler works, in which the profiler penetrates the bottom of the lake and sends sensory radar signals and images from the lake bottom to the surface. The post processing will be done and the images will be refined and a full report will be carried out.”

“But I can tell you we have enough to go on now that we, as required, are requesting permits from the state of Michigan to go to the next phase of the work,” said Mr. Libert. He further explained, “(In October) we also did underwater tests using a magnetometer which is similar to a metal detector––a piece of metal there creates a signal and we got a significant hit, showing a rail gun near the bow sprit on the ship and the biggest reason we are excited about this is that the Griffon was carrying three rail guns when it sunk, all made of iron, the same on the Griffon.”

The permits through the state of Michigan that Mr. Libert and his group are hoping to obtain, “is for test excavation to be done early next summer,” he said. “We hope to be able to do excavation work early next summer and this will be done according to all professional archaeological standards. Hopefully, we will be able to raise one of the rail guns near the bow sprit.”

Mr. Libert said the work to be carried out next summer will include underwater expert excavators from the US and France.

“The expedition took place the first week of October, over four days,” said Mr. Libert, “and we want to continue the work involved, to confirm what we feel this shipwreck is, the Griffon. If this turns out what we think it is, it will be the most historic ship shipwreck discovery in North America.”

Tom Sasvari