The wreck of James Cook’s HMS Endeavour, which was believed to have been deliberately sunk by the British during the American Revolution, has been finally found as per the Australian Maritime Experts.
For 22 years, maritime archaeologists have investigated several shipwrecks in a 2-square-mile area of Newport Harbor, Rhode Island, for this wreck.
However, the archaeologists in the U.S. quickly retaliated by saying the findings were premature and a breach of contract of their joint research.
The ship started sailing in 1764 named the Earl of Pembroke. Four years down the line, it was renamed Endeavour by Britain’s navy and was prepared for a significant scientific voyage to the Pacific. From 1768 to 1771, it chartered the water of the South Pacific, purposely recording the transit of Venus in Tahiti in 1769.
On the morning of January 27, Kevin Sumption, the Australian National Maritime Museum chief executive, held a press conference in Sydney after forewarning media that he’d be making “a major historic maritime announcement.” Sumption announced that archaeologists were assured they had discovered the wreck of the Endeavour after matching the structural details and the shape of the remains to those available on the original layouts.
“I am satisfied that this is the final resting place of one of the most important and contentious vessels in Australia’s maritime history,” Sumption said.
But in a statement issued soon afterwards, D.K. Abbass, the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, said that her group was the leading agency in the study at Newport Harbor.
“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,” Abbass wrote. “When the study is done, RIMAP will post the legitimate report.”
In a follow-up interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Kieran Hosty, the Australian museum’s manager of maritime archaeology, said that he thought his group’s agreement with RIMAP had ended in November. Still, he couldn’t comment for the certainty of the fact.
To show his belief in the wreck being that of Endeavour, he specifies the size of the timbers, its European-built, and the scuttling holes in the keel. “So it ticks all those boxes,” Hosty told the ABC. “So, we are very open to conversations with Dr Abbass if she disagrees with our findings, their findings.” Sumption had earlier said that the ship’s significant role in exploration, astronomy, and science made it essential to Australia and other advanced countries like New Zealand, Britain, and the U.S.
“The last pieces of the puzzle had to be confirmed before I felt able to make this call,” Sumption said at the news conference. “Based on archival and archaeological evidence, I’m convinced it’s the Endeavour.”
Sumption also said at the news conference that the museum was working closely with maritime cognoscente in Rhode Island and with state and federal officials in the U.S. and Australia to safeguard the site.
However, firing the flame, Abbass said that while her organization recognized the connection between Australian citizens of British descent and the Endeavour, its conclusions would be driven “by proper scientific process and not Australian emotions or politics.”