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Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 10:00am

Shipwreck Found on Cumberland Island

Beachcombers have discovered a treasure from Georgia’s rich history off the coast on a remote barrier island.

The 80-foot-long partial and wooden skeleton of what could be a Confederate warship poked through the white sands at Cumberland Island.

Despite all the information archeologists have acquired, the wreck’s identity remains elusive.

National Park Service researchers have begun to search through historical records for answers.

Cumberland Island’s chief resource officer John Fry says the mystery might continue for some time.

"There’s been a lot of speculation on what this wreck may be or what function the vessels would have served. But the name, origin, and function of the ship may never be known," says Fry. "We started looking at this thing. It did become quite exciting because we’ve never seen anything of this size on Cumberland, as far as a wreck."

Tell-tale artifacts like coins and cargo are missing from the shipwreck, complicating the already difficult identification process.

For the time being, the National Park Service has covered the remains of the mysterious ship in sand once again, in an effort to discourage artifact thievery and prevent further damage from the elements.