A 452-Year-Old Shipwreck Was Found Off The Florida Coast – And It’s Led To An International Feud

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Image: via Wikimedia Commons

Ribault and those of his men who survived the storm were found on land by Menendez and his soldiers, who invited the French to surrender. Obviously having no inkling of what would happen next, Ribault agreed. But what did happen was that Menendez had Ribault and hundreds of his followers slaughtered. And this ended French attempts to establish settlements in Florida.

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Image: YouTube/MFMaritimeMuseum

That was the historical context of the wreck found by the divers and archaeologists of GME in May and June of 2016. And what creates the legal complexities of the discovery is the question of whether it was a French or a Spanish vessel. Another possibility also exists, moreover – that it’s simply impossible to know which flag the ship flew before sinking in the 16th century.

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