While tourists gather pieces as souvenirs, the archeologists wonder.
Ike uncovers a mystery ship
When Hurricane Ike went away, Fort Morgan, Alabama, had a mystery. Ike’s tremendous surf and surge uncovered the remains of a wooden ship on a beach in Fort Morgan, Ala. Some are saying that it is the two-masted Confederate battleship Monticello, which partially burned after running aground in 1862 while trying to outrun the U.S. Navy into Mobile Bay during the Civil War. Records say the Monticello was run aground while sailing from Havana to Mobile, trying to sneak past the U.S. Navy to enter Mobile Bay. The wrecked ship is 136.9 feet long and 25 feet wide, Mike Bailey, site curator at Fort Morgan, said after examining the vessel this week.[*] Museum of Mobile marine archaeologist Shea McLean said, “Based on what we know of ships lost in that area and what I’ve seen, the Monticello is by far the most likely candidate. You can never be 100 percent certain unless you find the bell with ‘Monticello’ on it, but this definitely fits.” [*] But, could it be the schooner Rachel, built in Moss Point, MS, near Biloxi, in 1919 and wrecked near Fort Morgan in 1933? The Army Corps of Engineers thought so back in 1969. That’s when Hurricane Camille partially cleared away sand to reveal the ship’s skeleton, then other hurricanes covered it back up.
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