What we know is that in September, 1565, French navigator Jean Ribault, who’d already been exploring the Florida area for three years, was sailing his fleet of three ships up to St. Augustine to attack the new Spanish colony there. All three disappeared in a storm.
In May and June, 2016, Global Marine Exploration, a marine salvage firm operating with permits from the state of Florida, found artifacts from an old shipwreck on the sandy seafloor in seven different spots off Cape Canaveral. The debris includes three brass cannons (each one, pictured above, is worth about $1 million), plus a marble monument with the coat of arms from the King of France. They match a manifest of items from Ribault’s ships.
Now there’s a lawsuit in a Florida court about who has the right to recover the artifacts. France says the ships were theirs. In an odd twist, the state of Florida supports the French, saying that Global Marine Exploration breached the terms of their exploration permits, which GME denies. Read more: