Lots of Bottles found in 200-year-old shipwreck discovered in northern Gulf of Mexico

This has been a fascinating story to follow. Please make SURE you watch the Video! Be patient as it takes a few moments to load. I am very much interested in where this ship was going, where it sank, what is was carrying and which flag was it sailing under. Elizabeth and I are certified rescue divers but wow, we can’t go this deep. This is ROV territory! I am trying to get the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors involved. Ferdinand

“Some of the more datable objects include what appears to be a type of ceramic plate that was popular between 1800 and 1830, and a wide variety of glass bottles”.

While most of the ship's wood has long since disintegrated, copper that sheathed the hull beneath the waterline as a protection against marine-boring organisms remains, leaving a copper shell retaining the form of the ship. The copper has turned green due to oxidation and chemical processes over more than a century on the seafloor. Oxidized copper sheathing and possible draft marks are visible on the bow of the ship - NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program

(CNN) — A wooden ship believed to be over 200 years old was discovered during a recent exploration of the northern Gulf of Mexico, according to a press release from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Scientists were able to view the remains of “anchors, navigational instruments, glass bottles, ceramic plates, cannons, and boxes of muskets” aboard the ship, NOAA stated.
“Artifacts in and around the wreck and the hull’s copper sheathing may date the vessel to the early to mid-19th century,” said Jack Irion, a maritime archaeologist with the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

“Some of the more datable objects include what appears to be a type of ceramic plate that was popular between 1800 and 1830, and a wide variety of glass bottles. A rare ship’s stove on the site is one of only a handful of surviving examples in the world and the second one found on a shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Scientists aboard the NOAA ship “Okeanos Explorer” were able to view the wreckage using advanced multi-beam mapping sonar technology and a remotely operated underwater vehicle, named “Little Hercules.” Little Hercules made 29 dives during the 56-day mission in March and April, according to NOAA.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management requested that NOAA investigate the site after it was originally detected as an “unknown sonar contact” by Shell Oil Company during a 2011 oil and gas survey of the Gulf, government officials said.

The expedition also used “telepresence” technology that allowed scientists and citizens on shore to partake in the exploration via the Internet as it happened. According to daily logs posted on NOAA’s website, others followed the exploration remotely using e-mail, on-line chat rooms, video streams, and file transfer sites to exchange information.
“Shipwrecks help to fill in some of the unwritten pages of history,” said Frank Cantelas, a maritime archaeologist with NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. “We explored four shipwrecks during this expedition and I believe this wreck was by far the most interesting and historic.”

The shipwreck site was located approximately 200 miles off the U.S. Gulf coast in water that was over 4,000 feet deep, according NOAA. Until now, the area has been relatively unexplored.

Read More: Energy industry uncovers old shipwreck site in Gulf of Mexico

NOAA's Seirios Camera Platform, operating above the Little Hercules ROV, images the anchor and remnants of a copper-sheathed shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico - CNN

Photograph of the remains of the ships’ steering gear from the wreck of a wooden hulled sailing ship in over 7,000 feet of water. Image courtesy of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.


View video footage captured by the Little Hercules remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and camera platform during the April 26 ROV dive from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer during the Gulf of Mexico Expedition 2012. The dive was conducted at site 15577 – a recently mapped but never-before seen shipwreck in the western Gulf of Mexico. The dive revealed the remnants of a copper-sheathed sailing ship, likely from the early to mid-19th century. While most of the wood has since disintegrated, the oxidized copper sheathing remained along with a variety of artifacts. These included plates, glass bottles, guns, cannons, the ship’s stove, navigational instruments, and anchors. This was a spectacular dive that represented a truly remarkable find. Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico Expedition 2012.

View Video Footage

***Be patient loading the video as it takes a bit of time…well worth it [PRG]

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V, President, Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. Ferdinand is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps.
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2 Responses to Lots of Bottles found in 200-year-old shipwreck discovered in northern Gulf of Mexico

  1. tigue710 says:

    oh my god! what a find… Do I see snuff bottles scattered about or are they case gins? Just imagine what could be down there… I dont know if my snorkel gear would support a 7’000 foot dive!

  2. pselenak says:

    Great video. Those bottles, anchor, and cannon look like what I saw at Alex’s house in Key West. Although the diving that is done there is from 30 to 100 feet. Makes me want to get my gear and go back for some dives. Next year we will do it with Alex and hopefully Bob. Sure wish you and Elizabeth could come too.

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