The San José galleon’s murky past
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The San José galleon’s murky past

The San José galleon, uncovered off the coast of Colombia on November 27, was not sunk while under attack from British pirates, Semana magazine relates.

In fact, the ship was split into two parts and sunk during warfare in the Atlantic on the 8 June 1708.

“When the galleon left the port of Cartagena de Indias (on Colombia’s Caribbean coast) and was heading towards Panama, it received a blow on the ship’s underbody, causing structural damage to the hull,” nautical researcher Daniel De Narváez MacAllister commented.

Photos released by Colombia’s Institute of Anthropology and History (ICANH) have also shed new light on the previous claims that the ship was blown up as a result of an explosion.

“The photos released by ICANH are very interesting. In one of them (the photos) four cannons can be seen, almost on top of each other. If there had been an explosion, there would have been a considerable distance between each of the cannons.”

Colombian media has also sparked debate as to the estimated $3 billion treasure hoard aboard the ship – including emeralds, gold and silver bars and coins.

The future of the galleon still remains uncertain. While Spain still lays claim to ‘holy grail of shipwrecks’, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos refuses to share the loot as the vessel was uncovered in waters off the coast of Cartagena.

See more:

Colombia finds 18th century shipwreck laden with treasure: The San José