FAIRPORT, Mich. - After a week-long expedition, the mystery remains of what happened to a 17th century ship.
In September 1679, French explorer Robert La Salle's Griffon disappeared after leaving Washington Island.
A crew in Fairport, Michigan trying to identify Le Griffon is now looking to regroup.
After officially starting his search 32 years ago, Steve Libert says he isn't giving up his dream of finding the long lost Griffon.
"Michele L'Hour told me that next year he will come back with his French team along with the American team and we will find it," said Libert.
Libert doesn't plan to wait for French archeologists before resuming his search for Le Griffon. He says he could be back out on Lake Michigan as early as next week.
"Nobody wants to quit," said Tommy Gouin of Great Lakes Diving & Salvage.
"The key mission of this project is to look at this general area and make that determination, is the site of Le Griffon or not?" said Ken Vrana, the project's manager.
The exploration team was able to recover a key artifact during its week long expedition. Scientists believe it is a centuries old bowsprit, possibly part of Le Griffon.
"We've taken measures," said Eric Reith, a French archeologist. "We recorded all the characteristics of this piece to interpret and to connect this timber with the wreckage of the Griffon."
The French archaeologists say they need more evidence to identify Le Griffon. The scientists flew back to France on Friday, but hope to return next summer.
"With my colleagues on the French team, we hope that we can come back in Michigan to study the remains of the ship, perhaps the Griffon, perhaps another ship," said Reith.
"The piece that we do know we have, there's no question in my mind that it's extremely old and if it is 300 years old, there's only one vessel that it can be and that's the Griffon," said Libert.
Libert has plans to move from Virginia to Michigan, to live here year round. He figures why not, he is already here a lot anyway trying to find the elusive Griffon.
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