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The News

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

Archaeological
Thursday, 09 July 2015 10:34

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

Archaeological
Monday, 06 July 2015 10:07

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

Archaeological
Sunday, 05 July 2015 19:55

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

Archaeologist arrested for pilfering digs Email

News
Thursday, 02 July 2015 11:58

THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greek police say they have arrested a former archaeologist suspected of forming a private collection of more than 500 artefacts allegedly pilfered from state-run excavations that he supervised.

Police said Thursday that they found "very valuable" items ranging from prehistoric times to the Ottoman Turkish occupation of Greece in a search of the 52-year-old man's house in the northern town of Kozani.

They included intact pottery vases, figurines, inscribed marble plaques and a bronze spearhead — as well as a large number of pottery shards.

Police says the suspect, whose name was not disclosed, said he had kept the finds for his personal satisfaction, and there was no indication that he had intended to sell them.

All antiquities discovered in Greece are considered state property.

 

 

 

Treasure hunter keeps waters roiling with new finds, new claims Email

Treasure
Thursday, 25 June 2015 10:48

Underwater explorer Barry Clifford presents a silver bar he believes is part of the treasure of the pirate Captain Kidd, to the president of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, left, on Sainte Marie Island, Madagascar, in this May, 7, 2015, photo.

 

BY MARTIN VOGLTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAINTE MARIE ISLAND, Madagascar — Barry Clifford brought up the heavy silver ingot from the bottom of a bay as the president of Madagascar waited to receive it.

The dramatic moment was just one in a lifetime of adventures that the American has experienced as he has scoured ocean beds for sunken treasure — but also another example of what critics say is his excessive hunger for the limelight.

Recorded by the gathered press, the moment off the coast of Madagascar last month was important for Clifford, who calls himself “an underwater Sherlock Holmes,” for he believes the bar once belonged to 17th century pirate Captain Kidd. Clifford, a fit 70 year old who dives regularly, has also roiled the waters among the marine archaeology community.

In a recent telephone interview from his home in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Clifford described the fascination that drives him in travels that have taken him from Uruguay to Venezuela, Scotland and elsewhere.

“You’ve got these incredible, intoxicating mysteries that are screaming at you,” he said.

“And I just think — give me a break, how can anyone not want to go looking for that?”

Clifford’s most well-known find is close to his home and the area where he grew up.

Read more: Treasure hunter keeps waters roiling with new finds, new claims

The Mystery of the Antikythera Shipwreck Further Unfolds Email

Archaeological
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 05:51

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

Archaeological
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

Archaeological
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

Archaeological
Monday, 13 April 2015 17:46

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

Tampa treasure hunter Odyssey Marine gives up control to Mexican firm Email

Treasure
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 13:02

 

By Robert Trigaux

Tampa's Odyssey Marine Exploration, the treasure-hunting business whose bottom line can resemble the shipwrecks it is so good at finding, hopes to salvage its own future in a company overhaul.

Odyssey unveiled a complex financial deal that gives up control of the company to a Mexican iron and coal company. It's a sign of how precarious Odyssey's financial predicament has become.

Case in point: Odyssey on Monday said it lost $5.2 million in the fourth quarter, $26.5 million for all of 2014.

Worse, the sea exploration company's publicly traded shares dropped well below $1 last year and lately have hovered near 60 cents. In a business that requires lots of capital — it's expensive to search for small things deep under the ocean — Odyssey's need for more investor money has proved a constant struggle.

Read more: Tampa treasure hunter Odyssey Marine gives up control to Mexican firm