FAIRPORT, Mich. - Crews about 50 feet underwater in Lake Michigan determined a piece of timber coming out of the lake bed is likely centuries old. But they still aren't sure if it is the long lost Le Griffon.
French explorer Robert La Salle's ship disappeared after leaving Washington Island in September 1679.
A Michigan exploration group has been working to positively identify it.
Crews are on Day 6 of trying to identify Le Griffon.
Many involved here didn't think it would take this long, including Steve Libert. It has been his dream since 8th grade to find the Griffon.
Libert tells FOX 11 it's been difficult waiting longer than expected.
"We came up here with the thought that that ship is like 2-4 feet under the sediment. I spent $80,000 on this survey, multiple surveys and received scientific data back. So we came out here with only the tools to go down four feet. I mean we have pumps that only go down so deep. Now as we kept going deeper and deeper, we brought a different pump in and we went deeper. I had to make a 120 mile run to get a compressor. And then we had trouble getting on board the vessel, we didn't anticipate that," said Libert.
"We have different circumstances again, that we originally based our research design. So we have made adjustments to more efficiently deal with a larger depth of over burden," said Ken Vrana, project manager.
"There's no question in my mind, and I'm no scientist. That is a piece of the ship. It's man-made," said Libert.
The ultimate decision if the ship has been found will come from the French archeologists here. However, the top one, Michel L'Hour is flying back to France Wednesday. The other two French archeologists will remain here.
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