MICHIGAN MYSTERY: Where is the Wreck of the Le Griffon?
What happened to the crew of the Le Griffon in 1679? For that matter, what happened to the Le Griffon itself?
Explorers and archaeologists have been searching for this ship for the last few centuries, hoping to solve the mystery. Some investigators have found some kind of wreck in the vicinity of the Le Griffon's disappearance, but without proof it's the right ship.
The Le Griffon, named after its figurehead of a griffon (half eagle, half lion), was the first full-size cargo ship to sail the Great Lakes. It set off from the Niagara River at Lake Erie, transporting goods through the waters until it reached what is now Lake Michigan. Just a ways north of Green Bay, Wisconsin, is a chain of small islands, the biggest being Washington Island. This island was where the Le Griffon landed, departing about a month later with a load of furs and other valuable goods.
And that's the last anyone heard or saw the Le Griffon or any of its crew.
Theories abound about who may have been responsible for the Le Griffon's disappearance:
Pirates, Native Americans, or competing fur traders. One popular theory states that the crew pulled a mutiny, stole all the cargo, and sunk the ship.
Or was it sunk during a storm?
Or did they set port at one of the other small islands and destroy the ship?
Some of claimed to find the ship but there is no conclusive proof these shipwreck parts pieces are from the Le Griffon. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes and any discovered shipwreck could be any one of them. Besides, the exact location of the wreck isn't definite.
Unless someone can come up with artifacts that prove they came from the Le Griffon, we may never know in our lifetime what happened.