Barry Clifford leads the group who found the site off the coast of Haiti. “All the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that this wreck is Columbus’ famous flagship, the Santa Maria,” he told The Independent.
Clifford says the site is close to where Columbus says he lost the ship. Even more encouraging, ballast stones found there are from Spain
and indications are the ship is the right size.
Clifford’s team found the wreck in 2003 but had no clue as to its identity.
But after reading more from the diary of Columbus, the team determined the site matched where the explorer described losing his ship.
Clifford is also hanging his hat on a cannon found on the site. He believes it’s the exact type Columbus ships were carrying when they made their way to the new world.
Clifford also found the flagship of the famed pirate Captain Kidd, but says that pales in comparison.
"This is the Mount Everest of shipwrecks for me," he told CNN. "This ship changed the course of human history.”
The wreck is still being scanned and photographed but Clifford promises excavation will begin soon.