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Journalist Paul Watson accuses Toronto Star of suppressing Franklin shipwreck story Email

Thursday, 09 July 2015 10:34
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 July 2015 10:42

By Colin Perkel

The Canadian Press


TORONTO – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Watson said Wednesday that he quit the country’s largest newspaper so he could get the truth out about last year’s successful search for Sir John Franklin’s lost ships in the Canadian Arctic.

In a blog post, Watson said he submitted his resignation at a meeting Tuesday in Vancouver with Toronto Star editors over “the newspaper’s refusal to publish a story of significant public interest,” an allegation the Star denied. 

Watson said resigning was the only way he could resume that reporting and fulfil his responsibilities as a journalist.

“My reporting is an attempt to give voice to federal civil servants and others involved in the gruelling, High Arctic search for British Royal Navy explorer Sir John Franklin’s lost ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror,” Watson wrote. 

“For months, these individuals have been angry at what they consider distorted and inaccurate accounts of last fall’s historic discovery of Erebus in the frigid waters of eastern Queen Maud Gulf.”

A “peripheral” member of the expedition, who he said has access to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office as well as editors at the Star, was the source of those accounts, he alleged. 

Watson did not respond immediately to a request for comment. However, he told the website Canadaland that the Star ordered him six weeks ago to stop reporting on the story — which he called a “gag order.” 

Read more: Journalist Paul Watson accuses Toronto Star of suppressing Franklin shipwreck story

Second 13th century Mongolian shipwreck found off Japan Email

Monday, 06 July 2015 10:07
Last Updated on Monday, 06 July 2015 10:21

A shipwreck found here is the second confirmed vessel from a 13th century Mongolian fleet that foundered in a typhoon in a failed attempt to invade Japan, researchers said July 2.












Archaeologists from the University of the Ryukyus and the Matsuura city board of education determined that the wreck was a part of the Mongolian invasion fleet partly based on its structure. Chinese ceramic wares dating from the 12th to 13th centuries were discovered in and around the wreck, backing up their conclusion, they said. The research team, which is surveying around the Takashima Kozaki underwater archaeological site, discovered the shipwreck last autumn around 200 meters off the southern coast of Takashima island and 15 meters below the surface. The remains of the ship measure 12 meters long and maximum 3 meters wide. The wreck was lying on the seabed apparently with its bow pointing southward.

Read more: Second 13th century Mongolian shipwreck found off Japan

Spain backs inclusion of galleon trade route to World Heritage List Email

Sunday, 05 July 2015 19:55
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 July 2015 20:52

By Manny Galvez (The Philippine Star)

BALER, Aurora, Philippines – The Spanish government is joining the Philippines and Mexico in pushing for the nomination of the route of the galleon trade to the World Heritage List.

Spanish Ambassador Luis Antonio Calvo said nominating the route of the galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco to the “Memory of the World” program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a way of acknowledging “the first steps in the long road to global trade.”

Read more: Spain backs inclusion of galleon trade route to World Heritage List

The Mystery of the Antikythera Shipwreck Further Unfolds Email

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 05:51
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 June 2015 12:00

The Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, in collaboration with the American Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has completed the digital underwater surveying and dimensional precision display of the Shipwreck of Antikythera

 The Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, in collaboration with the American Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has completed the digital underwater surveying and dimensional precision display of the Shipwreck of Antikythera


Archaeologists now can put all the findings together and draw conclusions about the possible relationship between the two wreck positions. The detailed mapping creates a clearer picture of the relationship between the two sites, while the placement of the findings in the now imprinted area enhances the understanding of all the findings in the two positions.

The mapping was done by a specialized team of the University of Sydney using the autonomous underwater vehicle Sirius.

Resources for the investigation/excavation were provided by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, American, European and Greek organizations, to meet the needs in qualified technical and scientific personnel. The Catherine Laskaridis Foundation contributed greatly by offering the vessel that was used as the basis of the research team.

The Ephorate of Underwater Activities and its partners will continue research at the end of the summer season. The Antikythera shipwreck research is conducted on a five-year plan.

Courtesy: Greek Reporter

Archaeologists identify sunken 1681 Spanish shipwreck off Panamanian coast Email

Friday, 15 May 2015 10:51
Last Updated on Friday, 15 May 2015 10:51

More than three years after uncovering a shipwreck buried in the sand off the Caribbean coast of Panama near the mouth of the Chagres River, ongoing analysis and interpretation has led archaeologists to identify the shipwreck as Nuestra Señora de Encarnación. 

A colonial Spanish nao, or merchant ship, Encarnación was one of several ships that sank in 1681 when a storm engulfed the Tierra Firme fleet en route to Portobelo, Panama from Cartagena, Colombia. Frederick “Fritz” Hanselmann, research faculty and chief underwater archaeologist with The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, leads the research team.

"This truly is an exciting and intriguing shipwreck," said Hanselmann. "The site basically consists of the entire lower portion of the ship’s hull and cargo in the hold, which includes a wide variety of artifacts: wooden barrels, over 100 wooden boxes containing sword blades, scissors, mule shoes, nails, ceramics, and other material culture, such as lead seals that are all that remain of perishable cargo."

Read more: Archaeologists identify sunken 1681 Spanish shipwreck off Panamanian coast

Shipwreck company suing state over 'treasure' linked to Blackbeard: $14M in contract dispute Email

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 11:52
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 11:52

RALEIGH, North Carolina — Nearly 300 years after the pirate Blackbeard's flagship sank off the North Carolina coast, a shipwreck-hunting company and the state are battling over treasure linked to the vessel — but they're fighting with legal filings, not cutlasses, and the treasure is $14 million in disputed revenue and contract violations.

The Florida-based company, Intersal Inc., found little loot when it discovered the Queen Anne's Revenge almost 20 years ago, but it eventually gained a contract for rights to photos and videos of the wreck and of the recovery, study and preservation of its historic artifacts.

The state, meanwhile, has created a tourist industry around Blackbeard and his ship since the vessel's discovery in 1996. That includes exhibits at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, which attracts about 300,000 visitors a year, according to the Queen Anne's Revenge website. The artifacts, such as a 2,000-pound cannon, also go on tour to other state museums. The state also posts photos and videos on websites and social media sites.

Read more: Shipwreck company suing state over 'treasure' linked to Blackbeard: $14M in contract dispute

INAC requests support for UNESCO Email

Monday, 13 April 2015 17:46
Last Updated on Monday, 13 April 2015 17:56

PANAMA: The director of the National Institute of Culture (INAC), Mariana Núñez, untied the current administration of the decisions made by the previous government in relation to the project 'identification, retrieval and rescue Galleon San Jose'.

Postcard used by UNESCO to promote the Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage

Among the decisions taken during the management of María Eugenia Herrera (INAC) and Sandra Cerrud (National Directorate of History and DNPH Heritage), was granted a permit to the company Marine Research del Istmo SA (imdi) for rescue and sharing wreck of the galleon sunk in the Gulf of Panama in 1631, with the greatest treasure until then sent to Spain from the colonies.

Read more: INAC requests support for UNESCO

Archaeologists condemn National Geographic over claims of Honduran 'lost cities' Email

Thursday, 12 March 2015 22:13
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 March 2015 22:13

More than two dozen archaeologists and anthropologists have written an open letter of protest against the “sensationalisation” of their fields, with one accusing National Geographic of reverting to “a colonialist discourse” in announcing researchers had found two city-like sites in the deep jungles of Honduras.

They also say National Geographic has ignored decades of research that suggests Honduras was home to a vibrant chain of kingless societies, which merged qualities of the Maya to the north with other people’s less stratified, more equal cultures.

The scholars criticize National Geographic and the media for what they describe as the aggrandizement of a single expedition at the expense of years of research by scientists and decades of support from indigenous people of the dense rainforests in Honduras’ Mosquitia region.

John Hoopes, a signatory and professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas, said that National Geographic had shown “a disrespect for indigenous knowledge”. The expedition was co-coordinated by two American film-makers, National Geographic and Honduras’ national institute of anthropology.

Read more: Archaeologists condemn National Geographic over claims of Honduran 'lost cities'

An embarrassment of riches: UK museums struggle with archaeological archives Email

Wednesday, 11 March 2015 14:21
Last Updated on Sunday, 15 March 2015 12:57


By Emily Sharpe

Museum professionals and archaeologists met in London today to discuss how to tackle the growing issue of what to do with archaeological archives in the UK as institutions rapidly run out of space to store them. In fact, many museums have stopped acquiring these types of collections, even though excavations continue to be big business.

“We have archival material in museums that are becoming increasingly inaccessible because of the lack of specialist archaeology curators and we have museums that are ceasing to collect this material which has created a backlog that has nowhere to go,” said Duncan Brown, the head of archaeological archives at English Heritage, who was one of the speakers at the Museums Association’s conference “Dig It! Museums and Archaeology”, held at the British Museum on Friday. A 2012 report on the subject, by the consultant Rachel Edwards for the Society for Museum Archaeologists and English Heritage, stated that there are more than 9,000 un-depositable archives in the UK.

Read more: An embarrassment of riches: UK museums struggle with archaeological archives

Armed attack on tourists recorded archaeological site El Caracol Email

Sunday, 05 October 2014 12:54
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 October 2014 13:24

BELIEZE - A group of tourists visiting the archaeological site of El Caracol, in the border area between Guatemala and Belize were able to document in this video, an armed incident which killed a park ranger. The attack, apparently perpetrated by illegal traffickers of a plant named Xate (Shatay), with whom the park rangers maintain a constant battle.

The video was captured by tourists and published in a Belizean media, revealing that at the time of the shooting the group of visitors were at the top of the complex in the center of the ruins, accompanied by local guide who immediately asked them to take shelter between the walls.


 Video http://bcove.me/e3bqp19c

The body of Danny Conorquie, a guard at the site, was located on the side of one of the trails in the main square of the park and was immediately guarded by fellow agents according conversations evidenced in amateur video. Officials blame trafficking groups of Xate for retaliation against the work of the guards to prevent looting of the listed plant.

As explained by the Tourist Guides, Park ranger recently stumbled on a group of traffickers smuggling Xate in the area and days before the event. The dead guard had managed to seize some horses out of the archaeological site and it is believed that the group of traffickers returned to take revenge.

Traffic Xate

The archaeological site El Caracol is located 40 kilometers south of Xunantunich and the town of San Ignacio Cayo. The city, which had its heyday in the classic period, was probably the most important political center of the Maya in the present territory of Belize.

The demand for the plant Xate has increased internationally in the last decade in the forested area of Petén and Belize border where more is this plant that has different uses, mainly ornamental. Since the country has regulated the trade of the plant Xate, by the National Council of Protected Areas (Conap), groups of illegal traffickers have proliferated.


Courtesy LIBRE.COM / Guatemala