USA TODAY: Has explorer found the Santa Maria?


Has explorer found the Santa Maria?

What might be one of the world’s greatest archaeological treasures nearly slipped through Barry Clifford’s grasp. Back in 2003, Clifford, an underwater archaeological explorer, and his crew discovered a tantalizing shipwreck off the coast of Haiti. The wreck sat in exactly the spot where Clifford reckoned Christopher Columbus’ flagship, the Santa Maria, had sunk on Christmas Day in 1492, less than three months after Columbus reached the New World for the first time. Archaeologists “eliminated the site as not being what we were looking for,” Clifford told USA TODAY in an interview Tuesday. He went on to make an exhaustive survey of the waters off Haiti, “spending a small fortune … (and) eliminating every other possibility, to the point where I threw my hands up in the air, and I don’t do that very often.”

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