chagres river

Underwater Archaeologists Dig Deep For Iconic Privateer Captain Henry Morgan's Lost Fleet In The Caribbean

ST. CROIX, US Virgin Islands – For the third year in a row, with the help of the Captain Morgan brand, a team of leading U.S. archaeologists returned to the mouth of the Chagres River in Panama in search of real-life buccaneer Captain Henry Morgan’s lost fleet.

“Morgan was one of the most infamous privateers of all time, so for me, this is a chance to use archaeological research to bridge the gap between science and pop culture. Most people associate Captain Morgan with spiced rum, but he was also an iconic historical figure who accomplished incredible feats throughout the Caribbean,” said Frederick “Fritz” H. Hanselmann, underwater archaeologist and Research Faculty with the River Systems Institute and the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University who has been leading the team in an effort to locate, excavate and preserve the remains of Morgan’s lost ships.

“Locating his lost ships and being able to properly preserve and share them with the public is our ultimate goal with this project. We’re really close – and at the end of the day, his ships are down there and we’re going to find them.”

The search began in September 2010, when the team discovered six iron cannons belonging to Morgan off the coast of Panama, and continued last summer with the discovery of a 17th century wooden shipwreck, potentially one of the five ships Morgan lost – which included his flagship “Satisfaction” – in 1671 on the shallow Lajas Reef. Read more.

Underwater Archaeologists Discover Shipwreck Believed to Be From Captain Henry Morgan's Lost Fleet

External image

NORWALK, Conn., Aug. 4, 2011 – A team of leading U.S. archaeologists have discovered the wreckage of a ship they believe to be part of Captain Henry Morgan’s lost fleet at the mouth of the Chagres River in Panama.

Near the Lajas Reef, where Morgan lost five ships in 1671, including his flagship “Satisfaction,” the team uncovered roughly 52x22 feet of the starboard side of a wooden ship’s hull and a series of unopened cargo boxes and chests encrusted in coral. The artifacts were buried deep beneath a thick layer of sand and mud.

The underwater research team, comprised of leading archaeologists and divers from Texas State University, including volunteers from the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center and NOAA/UNC-Wilmington’s Aquarius Reef Base, located the shipwreck with the help of a magnetometer survey, an underwater archaeological technique used to locate anomalies in the magnetic field below the surface of the water. Read more.