Explorer hopeful Spain, Haiti will cooperate on Santa Maria-Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

Barry Clifford's GIFT to Haiti

The U.S. marine explorer who thinks he’s found the wreckage of Christopher Columbus’ flagship off the coast of Haiti said Wednesday he was confident that there would be cooperation between the Spanish and Haitian governments in excavating the remains of the sunken vessel that he says is the Santa Maria.

“I think it’s extremely important that there be cooperation between the two countries,” Barry Clifford said after a press conference in New York in which he formally announced the find he believes is the Santa Maria.

Clifford said Wednesday that the wreck found in just 6 meters (about 20 feet) of water “is most likely the Santa Maria.”

“You got to look at the record: What are the chances another ship would be there? We’ve eliminated all the other spots. There’s no other record of a ship from this area sinking in the bay of Cape Haitian from the early 15th century,” the 68-year-old explorer said.

When asked about any prospective salvage claim that could be presented to the Spanish government to take possession of the wreckage, he expressed confidence that “Spain will support this fully and help Haiti.”

Clifford said that the wreck, which was found in 2003 but the importance of which was not understood until 2012, had been looted recently, with one cannon, several gun carriage wheels, parts of the helm and pieces of bronze used to keep the ship’s frame together being removed.

“This is an emergency situation. The ship needs to be excavated as quickly as possible,” he said. EFE


In 2003 Caribbean Marine Institute held a contract giving salvage rights to the varied wreck sites around Haiti’s coastline.  The Santa Maria site was recognized, for what it was, but there was no interest throughout the international community to do anything. Since most of the vessel had been used to construct Navidad, the first permanent settlement, in the Western hemisphere, the site contained little more than a heap of ballast stones. Some time earlier, an anchor had been salvaged and it now in a Haitian museum.

Barry Clifford is a publicity grabbing show-boater who allegedly “salted” a site near Isle a’Vache to create interest in a project there during 2003. The one thing people recall, about Clifford, is his refusal to appear without a hat. He has a shiny bald head.


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4 thoughts on “Explorer hopeful Spain, Haiti will cooperate on Santa Maria-Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

  1. Shouldn’t Haiti keep this ship under water as a tourist attraction? Am i misunderstanding this or is the Haitian government a bunch of morons? Spain “help” Haiti? Since when?

  2. I know of Barry Clifford and his friend from the University of Indiana – cannot recall his name> was here a few years ago and refused to meet anyone with knowledge. Clifford has a bad reputation. I remember him from Port Morgan in 2003.

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