Captain Cook's lost ship finally found at bottom of ocean after nearly 250 years
The finders are insisting it's the genuine article while other experts are more sceptical
In what would be a ground-breaking historical discovery were it to be fully confirmed, a team of divers and researchers claim Captain Cook's Endeavour has been discovered off the coast of Rhode Island.
As announced by the Australian National Maritime Museum, the wreckage is thought to have been found in Newport Harbour, having been scuttled by the British in 1788 during the American War of Independence.
HMB Endeavour has been found! After 22 years of fieldwork, Director & CEO @KevinSumption announces that the remains lies in Newport Harbor, RI, USA.
Explore what role this vessel played in exploration & science: https://t.co/Ly5jSGL2CV
📸 Zak Page & James Hunter #FindingEndeavour pic.twitter.com/5op5XEYW9b
— Australian National Maritime Museum (@seamuseum_) February 3, 2022
Manned by the famous British explorer, the legendary ship was responsible for Cook's important cartographic journeys, mapping the entirety of New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia, as well as navigating his ship all the way from the Antarctic ice fields to the Bering Strait before reaching America.
However, not everyone is convinced that what they've found is bonafide just yet. Australian outlet 10 News First delivered the following report on the finding:
As you can see in the video, given the sheer time that has passed and the elements having battered the supposed remnants for centuries, it's hard for any layman to make out anything distinctly resembling the famous ship.
Nevertheless, the marine archaeologists that came across the wreckage, along with many other experts in the field, are convinced they have found HMS Endeavour.
The Australian National Maritime Museum's chief executive, Kevin Sumption said in a statement, "It's arguably one of the most important vessels in Australia's maritime history. I am satisfied that this is the final resting place of one of the most important and contentious vessels in Australia's maritime history.
"The last pieces of the puzzle had to be confirmed before I felt able to make this call. Based on archival and archaeological evidence, I'm convinced it's the Endeavour", he said, adding that this makes an "important historical moment... not just [for] Australia, but also Aotearoa New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States."
Captain Cook's ship found.#AFPgraphics map of north-east US showing the area where the wreck of Captain James Cook's famed vessel the Endeavour is believed to be found, according to Australian researchers on Thursday pic.twitter.com/idbEV2IVlw
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) February 3, 2022
All that being said, even the project's lead investigator, Dr Kathy Abbass, has labelled the report confirming the finding is "premature" and that the Maritime Museum is 'in breach of the contract' after the results were shared with the public.
Speaking to ABC News, she said: "What we see on the shipwreck site under study is consistent with what might be expected of the Endeavour, but there has been no indisputable data found to prove the site is that iconic vessel, and there are many unanswered questions that could overturn such an identification."
Speaking on behalf of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) she said that a "legitimate report" is yet to be produced and their "conclusions will be driven by a proper scientific process and not Australian emotions or politics."
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