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Associated Press
In this photo made Saturday and released by Great Lakes Exploration Group, French underwater archaeologist Olivia Hulot jots notes while inspecting a timber jutting from the bottom of northern Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan beam could be from missing 1679 ship

FAIRPORT, Mich. – Scientists say a wooden beam extending from the floor of northern Lake Michigan appears to have been there for centuries, an important finding as they try to determine whether it’s part of the Griffin, the first European-style ship to sail on the upper Great Lakes.

Marine archaeologists from the U.S. and France are studying the timber and digging a pit beneath it. They said Tuesday a probing device has detected what appears to be a solid surface 18 to 20 feet below the lake floor.

They say they’re still not certain they’re dealing with a shipwreck. But Michel L’Hour of France’s Department of Underwater Archaeological Research says the timber appears to be a bowsprit, which is a pole that extends from a vessel’s stem.

The Griffin disappeared in 1679.

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