Shipwreck Discovered In The Great Lakes The Griffin?

A shipwreck discovered in Lake Michigan could possibly be the The Griffin or Le Griffon may have been discovered in Lake Michigan. Divers may have discovered what is left of the Griffin after 300 years under water.

12.23.14.griffinMUSKEGON, Mich. Le Griffon, or the Griffin.

It’s considered to be the holy grail of all shipwrecks lost in the Great Lakes. For more than 300 years, many have searched for it, but since it sunk in 1679, it has decided it hasn’t wanted to be found.

Until recently, according to some divers.

There are roughly 2,000 shipwrecks in Lake Michigan alone, but none have been more sought after than the Griffin. It was a French ship built by the explorer Le Salle.

The Griffin disappeared in northern Lake Michigan during a storm on its maiden voyage after leaving Green Bay, Wisconsin.

For at least 332 years it has stayed hidden in the deep, but Kevin Dykstra and Frederick Monroe say they believe they found it in 2011.

By accident.

Dykstra and Monroe set out on a diving expedition three years ago.

“We were literally in the water for a couple of hours when we got a hit on the sonar,” said Dykstra, who dove the wreck in the 37-degree water. “When I was down there, I turned around and I was literally four feet from this shipwreck and I never saw it on my way down, so my return trip was quite fast.”

Dykstra and Monroe say that if they had seen the same image on their sonar, they wouldn’t have given it a second thought to dive down and investigate it because it was so small.
Muskegon divers claim to have found the illusive “Le

Muskegon divers claim to have found the illusive “Le Griffon” shipwreck.(Photo: Kevin Dykstra & Frederick Monroe)

“It really wasn’t until we got back to a computer and viewed the photos that I realized I very well could have been photographing the Griffin,” added Dykstra.

Through extensive research, and consultations with experts, Dykstra and Monroe have concluded that they in fact found the Griffin.

“There’s no cables, no cabin and no smokestacks,” said Dykstra. “It almost looked like the empty hull of a large canoe, and there were no mechanical devices of any kind in the debris.”

“We researched online to find a 17th-century French Griffin, and the one we came up with, I over-layed on top of the photo [I took of the Griffin carving on the front of the ship] and it was really impressive,” said Dykstra. “So it’s either a 100-to-1 odds that the front of the ship looks exactly like a griffin, and I don’t know how that can happen by coincidence, and to know that the wood carvers that built the Griffin carved the likeness of a Griffin in the front of the ship, it kind of lends itself towards that.”

For Dykstra and Monroe, finding the Griffin wasn’t in their plans. In fact, both will tell you that the Griffin was the shipwreck that got in the way of what they were really searching for that day.

“We were looking for $2 million dollars in gold bullion that is somewhere at the bottom of Lake Michigan,” said Dykstra. “In the late 1800s, there were box cars crossing the Great Lakes, and some of those box cars were pushed off from car ferries that were hauling them to save the ferries in bad storms.”
Muskegon divers claim to have found the illusive “Le

Muskegon divers claim to have found the illusive “Le Griffon” shipwreck.(Photo: Kevin Dykstra & Frederick Monroe)

Dykstra and Monroe say $2 million of Confederate gold coins were being smuggled in one of those box cars that was shoved off the side of the ferry.

During other dives in the area, Dykstra and Monroe have seen broken box cars laying at the bottom of Lake Michigan. They both feel they’re getting closer to solving a bigger mystery than the Griffin.

“We found the mystery ship, the Griffin; now we’re going to find the gold, ” said Monroe.

Ship Wreck in lake Michiigan

Ship Wreck in lake Michiigan

Dykstra and Monroe say that they waited three years to go public with their discovery of the Griffin because they wanted to contact as many experts as possible to review their pictures and video, and do enough research to make sure.

They both feel they’ve done that.

Courtesy of (WZZM)

About shipmodelsuperstore

I own a ship model web store and love old wooden ship models. I have been selling quality model airplanes and ship models for years and enjoy building them. My house looks like a hobby shop!
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