February 4, 2022 | 0 comments
Officials in Australia have announced that the wreck has been conclusively identified, but others are not so sure.
Thought to have been scuttled by the British military along with 12 other ships in 1778, the historic vessel became famous after Captain Cook sailed her on his voyage to the “unknown southern land” between 1768 and 1771. She was the first ship ever to reach the east coast of Australia.
For centuries the final resting place of the iconic vessel remained a total mystery, but in more recent years there has been a growing body of evidence to suggest that it may in fact be one of the ships that currently rest at the bottom of Newport Harbor in Rhode Island.
Now the Australian National Maritime Museum has announced that its researchers have confirmed that one of these wrecks – which was first identified in 2018 – is indeed the HMS Endeavour.
Such assurances have been met with a significant degree of criticism, however, with the museum’s research partner – the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) – contradicting the announcement by insisting that more work is still needed to confirm that this is truly the case.
“The ANMM announcement today is a breach of the contract between RIMAP and the ANMM for the conduct of this research and how its results are to be shared with the public,” RIMAP executive director DK Abbass said in a statement.
“What we see on the shipwreck site under study is consistent with what might be expected of the Endeavour, but there has been no indisputable data found to prove the site is that iconic vessel, and there are many unanswered questions that could overturn such an identification.”
Exactly how the two sides will reconcile their differences on the matter remains unclear.