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Mysterious shipwreck off Galveston is full of surprises: A great pirates find?

Mystery shipwreck off Galveston is full of surprises: Great pirates!?

Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 hull
While most of the ship's wood has long since disintegrated, copper that once sheathed the hull below the waterline remains, leaving a copper shell retaining the form of the ship. NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 bow
An anchor inside the copper-sheathed hull Nautiluslive.org
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 artifacts
In addition to armaments, artifacts include ceramic plates,  and bowls as well as a variety of bottles for wine, medicine and food storage (some with the contents still sealed inside). Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 book
A rare slate-bound book Nautiluslive.org
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 moving artifacts to elevato
A robotic arms has snagged a glass decanter. Nautiluslive.org
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 case glass retrieval with ginger
This bottle, specifically called a case glass, could have held a variety of contents. The sediment within the bottle will be analyzed when the artifact is brought ashore. Nautiluslive.org
Galveston Shipwreck ginger glass jar KHOU
A full glass bottle of ginger — used to alleviate seasickness — was recovered among the wreckage. Courtesy of KHOU Ch. 11 News
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 hull
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 bow
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 artifacts
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 book
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 moving artifacts to elevato
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 camera over anchor
Galveston shipwreck discovery July 2013 case glass retrieval with ginger
Galveston Shipwreck ginger glass jar KHOU

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.

The shipwreck site was discovered in 2011 by Shell Oil Company, which was conducting a survey for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to secure permits for deepwater oil and gas development.

Watch KHOU Ch. 11's report on the mystery ship: