A mysterious shipwreck is capturing imaginations as a team of researchers sift through the remnants of an early 19th-century vessel located 150 miles off the Galveston Island coast.
Experts with the Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are joining forces on an advanced salvage operation to recover artifacts ranging from swords and muskets to clothing fragments and even a book.
Aside from several British cannons, most items appear to have originated in Spain or Mexico.
No treasure chests, hooks or parrot skeletons have been reported as of yet.
According to a university statement, scientists date the objects to a period from 1800 to the 1830s — a era when the Gulf of Mexico would have witnessed warships involved in the War of 1812 and both the Mexican and Texan wars for independence.
Legendary French pirate Jean Lafitte and his crew were also known to troll the Gulf for booty at the time . . . No treasure chests, hooks or parrot skeletons have been reported as of yet.
To assist with the mission, NOAA obtained the esteemed Nautilus — a deep sea exploration ship operated by Rhode Island professor Dr. Robert Ballard, who is perhaps best known for his monumental discovery of the RMS Titanic.
In a unique 21st-century twist, the initial expedition was live-streamed through the Nautilus website, which broadcast video from high-tech robotic submarines navigating the historic wooden-hulled ship beneath more than 4,000 feet of seawater. Nautical archeologists and biologists stayed in constant contact with the exploration crew from a control room on the TAMUG campus.
Among the most intriguing artifacts recovered during the live event was a fully-sealed bottle of ginger, which, as it is today, would have been used to alleviate nausea and seasickness.
Watch KHOU Ch. 11's report on the mystery ship: