FAIRPORT, Mich. - This weekend, a more than 300-year-old Lake Michigan mystery may be solved.
An exploration group is hoping to identity a shipwreck as the 17th century Le Griffon.
The ship belonged to French explorer Robert La Salle. It disappeared in September 1679 after leaving Washington Island.
The group hoping to identify it is stationed in Fairport, Michigan.
Fifty-nine-year-old Steve Libert first went out on the Great Lakes searching for Le Griffon in the early 1980's.
Le Griffon was the first European-owned vessel to sail the upper Great Lakes.
After it disappeared, it took another 100 years before another deck ship went out on Lake Michigan.
Back in 2001 is when Libert found what he believes is Le Griffon.
After nearly a decade worth of legal and political battles, he now has the federal and state permits to identify the shipwreck.
Libert tells FOX 11 the three best archaeologists in France will be arriving here tonight to help him determine if his find is Le Griffon.
"It looks pretty promising out there. It looks like they are outlining the markings of the ship. The structure is extremely old," said Steve Libert, Great Lakes Exploration Group.
"It's exciting, but at the same time we are way passed being over this. We really want to get this thing identified," said Kathie Libert, Steve Libert's wife.
Libert told me he is 99.9 percent sure this shipwreck is Le Griffon.
It will be 100 perfect if the French archaeologists can identify specific features, including rail guns and cannons.
Besides the expertise of the French archaeologists, the project manager here, Ken Verna, is also one of the leaders on the project involving the Titanic.
Libert also has plenty of background, as a just retired intelligence analyst with the U.S. Department of Defense.
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