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Friday
May182012

Mary Richardson Kennedy's Body at Center of Family Dispute

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- A dispute is brewing between Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the family of his estranged wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, over where she will be memorialized and laid to rest.

Mary Kennedy's body was found on Wednesday in an outbuilding on the couple's property in Bedford, N.Y.  She died of asphyxiation by hanging, New York's Westchester County Medical Examiner's office announced Thursday.

The Kennedys were planning to hold a wake for Mary Kennedy on Friday at the family's mansion in Bedford, with funeral services to follow Saturday morning at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Bedford.

Her family, however, wants a private memorial service in Manhattan.

There are also reports that the Kennedys want Mary Kennedy to be buried in Hyannisport, Mass., where the Kennedy family has long resided.

The medical examiner has refused to release Mary Kennedy's body until the dispute is resolved.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
May182012

John Edwards' Fate Now in Hands of Jury

Steve Exum/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- The court of public opinion has had plenty to say about John Edwards but now it's up to a jury in Greensboro, N.C., to ultimately decide the fate of the former U.S. senator, who is charged with violating campaign finance laws by allegedly using more than $1 million in donations to hide the affair and baby he fathered with mistress Rielle Hunter during his run for the 2008 presidential nomination.

If convicted on all charges, Edwards could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years behind bars.

Throughout the trial, Edwards' lawyers argued that the money he received from two wealthy donors was not campaign contributions, and therefore, he broke no laws.

During closing arguments on Thursday, defense attorney Abbe Lowell admitted Edwards was a bad husband who cheated on his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, while she was dying of cancer, but that he never did anything illegal in trying to keep his spouse from learning about his indiscretions.

Lowell also cast aspersions on Edwards' former top aide, Andrew Young, who helped his old boss keep his affair with Hunter quiet, going as far as claiming paternity for a baby he didn't father.  Lowell claimed Young enriched himself and his wife with cash gifts from heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and Fred Baron.

Prosecutor Robert Higdon countered that Young was nothing but loyal to Edwards and that the former contender for the Democratic presidential nomination abused his position of power.

As for being a bad husband to Elizabeth Edwards, Higdon agreed with that assessment but added that he went beyond a sordid affair to exploiting the public trust by breaking campaign finance laws.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
May182012

Rocks Found on California Beach Catch Fire in Woman's Pocket

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A California mother is recovering from second- and third-degree burns after colored rocks her family collected from a southern California beach unexpectedly caught fire while in her shorts pocket.

"We were talking about who was going to pick up the babysitter," Lyn Hiner said Friday on ABC's Good Morning America.  "And all of a sudden something hot on my leg just sort of started to bother me so I started thinking it was a bug bite, so I started slapping it and the next thing I know my pants were on fire."

The harmless-looking, green- and orange-colored rocks, which Hiner's daughters found Saturday on San Onofre State Beach in southern California, are now the subject of an intense scientific investigation.

Hiner had put the rocks in her pocket after they left the beach.  As she and her husband, Rob Hiner, were preparing to go out later that evening, the rocks suddenly erupted in her pants.

Rob Hiner, who appeared on GMA alongside his wife at the Santa Ana, Calif., burn center where she is being treated, said the couple had no idea what was happening.

"It was just this bright intense flame," he said.  "We didn't know what it was.  Our first response was just to try to pat it out."

"But, in trying to pat it out, it wasn't going out so the next thing was just to try and drop and roll and eventually we just tried to tear her shorts off and got them off of her," he said.

Fire authorities responded to smoke alarms in the couple's home that were set off because the flames in Lyn Hiner's pockets were so intense.

"There were actual flames coming off of her cargo shorts," Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone told ABC News.  "The husband was outside with a garden hose, actually trying to cool her leg down."

The couple were eventually taken to the Grossman Burn Center, where Lyn Hiner continues to recover from the severe burns on her hands and leg.

Lynn's husband, Rob, suffered burns on his hands in the incident while trying to come to his wife's aid.

Scientists investigating the mysterious explosion say there were seven rocks in total that the Hiner children took from the beach.  Field tests found traces of phosphorus -- the flammable orange chemical used in matches -- on the rocks.

The beach where the rocks were collected is near Camp Pendleton Marine base.  But Marine officials say there's no evidence any military materials were involved.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
May182012

Adam Kaufman Trial: Detectives Handling Case Had Affair

ABC News(MIAMI) -- A jury hearing the case of Adam Kaufman, the Florida real estate developer accused of strangling his wife to death in 2007, learned that a detective investigating the case at the hospital and couple's residence had an affair years prior with the lead detective on the Kaufman case.

While prosecutors say that Adam Kaufman strangled his wife to death at their Aventura, Fla., home, he maintains that he found his wife, 33, on the bathroom floor of the couple's home in the early morning of Nov. 7, 2007.  His defense lawyers say Eleonora "Lina" Kaufman died of a heart condition.

While being questioned by Kaufman's defense attorney Thursday, Detective Anna Howe of the Aventura Police department -- who is still married to the same man she was at the time she was involved with Detective Anthony Angula, the lead detective on the Kaufman case -- admitted to the affair and that her husband is aware of it.

"My husband knows it, and our marriage is good," Detective Howe told the court.

Howe also admitted that she was told by Angula at the time to not take any of the magazines in the magazine rack where Eleonora allegedly fell as evidence.

Defense attorneys argued that the year worth of magazines in the magazine rack are in fact evidence, showing Howe a picture that she admitted shows organic material on the magazines.

Howe told the jury that she didn't see any organic material on the magazines or the wall of the bathroom on Nov. 7, 2007, when she was collecting evidence at the Kaufman home.  Howe said she would have obviously taken those items into evidence had she seen them.

Robert Meyers of the Aventura Police Department, who was one of the original officers at the hospital the day Eleonora Kaufman died, told the jury he overheard Adam Kaufman tell three different versions of what happened when he found his wife.

Officer Meyers testified that he heard Adam Kaufman tell detectives that he found his wife with her neck resting on the toilet bowl, but testified he later heard Kaufman tell detectives he found her in the bathroom with her head on the magazine rack.  Later, Meyers told the jury he overheard Kaufman say he found his wife cold and slumped over the toilet.

Meyers also told the jury that even though he couldn't see Adam Kaufman and Eleonora's mother, he heard the two yelling moments after Eleonora's death.

"I heard her wailing and shrieking and yelling at Adam, "Why, why, why Adam how did this happen?"" Meyers testified.  "I then heard Adam reply 'I don't [explicative] know why, I don't [explicative] know why.'"

While being questioned by defense attorney Alberto Milian, Meyers admitted he didn't actually know who Eleonora's mother was, and that he couldn't tell Adam apart from his twin brother Seth.

Officer Meyers also said he never put any conversations he allegedly overheard from Adam Kaufman into his police report, and that he threw away all of the notes he took that day.  Milian called his police report incomplete.

Testimony continues Monday morning in Miami, and the trial is expected to last several weeks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May172012

New Documents Detail Witness Accounts, Police Reports of Trayvon Martin Shooting

George Zimmerman is shown with lacerations to his face and the back of his head on Feb 27, 2012. (Florida State District Attorney's Office)(SANFORD, Fla.) -- Two police reports written the night that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin said that Zimmerman had a bloody face and nose, according to police reports made public Thursday.

The reports also note that two witness accounts appear to back up Zimmerman's version of what happened when they describe a man on his back with another person wearing a hoodie straddling him and throwing punches.

It has been such a contentious case that even the evidence is being disputed. The documents start with a criticism of Zimmerman's decision to follow the teenager, who Zimmerman said was looking suspicious.

"The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement," an investigating officer wrote.

Zimmerman claims he got out of his vehicle to find a house number to let police know where he saw the allegedly suspicious person, and while returning to his car was knocked down by a punch in the nose and attacked by Martin.

The new information is part of a trove of documents released by the Florida State Attorney Thursday in the case against Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder for the Feb. 26 killing of Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African-American male.

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Zimmerman, 28, is a multi-racial Hispanic man who volunteered for the neighborhood watch committee and who claimed that he shot Martin in self-defense after the 6-foot tall, 160-pound teenager knocked him to the ground, banged his head against the ground and went for Zimmerman's gun.

Two police officers reported that when they arrived at the scene of the shooting, Zimmerman seemed to have a battered nose and bloodied face. One wrote that his "facial area was bloodied," and the back of his clothing was soiled with wet grass.

"Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and the back of his head," Officer Ricardo Ayala wrote.

Another officer wrote, "I saw that Zimmerman's face was bloodied and it appeared to me that his nose was broken."

Witnesses, whose names were redacted from the report, also lent support to Zimmerman's version of what happened.

"He witnesses a black male, wearing a dark colored 'hoodie' on top of a white or Hispanic male and throwing punches 'MMA (mixed martial arts) style,'" the police report of the witness said. "He then heard a pop. He stated that after hearing the pop, he observed the person he had previously observed on top of the other person (the male wearing the hoodie) laid out on the grass."

A second witness described a person on the ground with another straddling him and throwing punches. The man on the bottom was yelling for help, the witness told police.

The documents state that Zimmerman can be heard yelling for help 14 times on a 911 call recorded during the fight. Yet another witness described the confrontation in emotional terms. The witness heard "someone yelling, almost crying. Then I heard a gunshot." The witness wrote that he or she "saw a man on top of a guy laying on the ground. He was putting his hands on his neck or chest." The man asked the witness to call 911.

"He stood up and took a couple steps away and put his hands on his head and then walked back over to the guy on the ground. He looked at him for a minute, then started to walk away toward the road. That is when the police walked up," the witness wrote.

The lead investigator on the case, Officer Christopher Serino, wrote that Zimmerman could be heard "yelling for help as he was being battered by Trayvon Martin."

The police report also states that Trayvon Martin's father told an investigator after listening to 911 tapes that captured a man's voice frantically calling for help that it was not his son calling for help. But Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, claims that is not true. The Martin family lawyer Ben Crump told ABC News that Tracy Martin initially listened to a distorted version of the 911 calls and said he could not identify the voice. But when he listened to a second tape that had been "cleaned," "he immediately broke down in tears because he knew it was his son calling for help," Crump said.

Martin's death sparked public outrage after police released Zimmerman without any criminal charges for the killing. Zimmerman was later charged with second-degree murder, and the killing provoked widespread debate about racial profiling.

The autopsy also shows that Zimmerman shot Martin from a distance of between 1 inch and 18 inches away, bolstering Zimmerman's claim that he shot Martin during a close struggle.

Martin's autopsy report also revealed that there was a quarter-inch by half-inch abrasion on the left fourth finger of Martin, another indication of a possible struggle.

The teen, who lived in Miami, was in Sanford while serving a suspension for a bag of marijuana being discovered in his possession. Martin had THC, the drug found in marijuana, in his blood on the night of his death, according to the autopsy. His family told ABC News that it was "trace amounts" of THC.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May172012

Facebook IPO: Eduardo Saverin Defends Citizenship Move

Jim Spellman/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Eduardo Saverin, a co-founder of Facebook and soon-to-be IPO multi-billionaire, defended relinquishing his U.S. citizenship, which led lawmakers to announce the Ex-Patriot Act Thursday morning, saying he “will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes” to the U.S.

“My decision to expatriate was based solely on my interest in working and living in Singapore, where I have been since 2009,” Saverin, 30, said in a statement released to ABC News. “I am obligated to and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government. I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen.”

Saverin, who helped Mark Zuckerberg develop the social network as Harvard students, is expected to save millions of dollars by not paying capital gains taxes on his shares of Facebook, which is expected to have the largest technology IPO ever on Friday.

His stake in the company is estimated to be worth over $3 billion of Facebook once the company goes public on Friday.

Last week, reports revealed Saverin filed in September 2011 to give up his citizenship which became official in September, before Facebook announced its plans in February this year.

“It is unfortunate that my personal choice has led to a public debate, based not on the facts, but entirely on speculation and misinformation,” he said in the statement.

Saverin paid a standard “exit” tax, which included approximately 15 percent of the pre-IPO value of his shares. Saverin is likely saving millions of dollars because he will not pay capital gains taxes while he lives in Singapore.

“As a native of Brazil who immigrated to the United States, I am very grateful to the U.S. for everything it has given me,” Saverin said. “In 2004, I invested my life’s savings into a start-up company that initially was run out of a college dorm room. Since then the company has expanded dramatically, has created thousands of jobs in the United States and elsewhere, and spawned countless new companies across the United States and other countries.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., have called Saverin’s move an “outrage.” Their proposed legislation calls for re-imposing a 30-percent tax on capital gains on expatriates like Saverin who take up residence in a foreign country.

Last year 1,700 people renounced their U.S. citizenship.

“I will continue to invest in U.S. businesses and start-ups, and believe and hope that those investments will create many new jobs in the U.S. and globally,” Saverin said. “I also hope that these investments will create opportunities for many other individuals to start companies and benefit society.”

Ben Mezrich, author of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, defended Saverin. Mezrich, who interviewed Saverin for his book which was adapted into the film The Social Network, said saving money was likely a factor for his repatriation, but not the entire reason.

“To be fair, Eduardo wasn’t born in the U.S. and has really lived internationally for most of his life,” Mezrich said. “He will save some money on taxes, and especially on estate taxes down the line, so I’m sure that’s a factor, but he probably made the decision because he sees himself as an international businessman.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May172012

McCain: Will New F-22 Fighter Limits Affect Missions Abroad?

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A day after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced strict flight restrictions for America’s most expensive fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor, over safety concerns about the plane’s oxygen system, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raised questions about how the move would affect America’s national security and operations abroad.

McCain, the ranking member of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee and vocal critic of the $79 billion F-22 program, noted that a number of the planes had recently been deployed to Southwest Asia -- reportedly to a United Arab Emirates base just 200 miles from Iran's mainland -- "to promote regional security.”

“Please describe what effect, if any, these measures will have on the ability of the F-22s deployed overseas to execute their intended missions,” McCain wrote in a letter to Panetta Wednesday.

The restrictions, which keep the planes in close proximity to potential landing strips in case of a mid-air emergency, were announced two weeks after an ABC News Nightline investigation found that the advanced $420 million-a-pop fighter jets have been plagued by a rare but potentially deadly oxygen problem for years. Despite multiple investigations, the Air Force has been unable to pinpoint the cause.

In another case, a malfunction that the Air Force has yet to identify caused one pilot’s oxygen system to shut off during a training mission in Alaska in November 2010 just a minute before he died in a fiery crash.

A senior defense official said the Pentagon will “certainly” respond to the letter and, without going into specifics, told ABC News the planes would “remain operational in areas where geographic proximity to landing strips permits it.”

“The full range of our capabilities will not result in any operational impact to Afghanistan or elsewhere,” the official said.

Despite being deployed abroad, no F-22 has ever taken part in a combat mission since the $79 billion fleet went combat-ready in late 2005. From Afghanistan and Iraq to the U.S.-led “no-fly zone” over Libya, the Air Force said the sophisticated jets simply haven’t been needed yet.

McCain’s question of combat-readiness also came a day before the American ambassador to Israel said the U.S. has done its military planning and is “ready” to strike Iran if diplomatic talks over the country’s controversial nuclear program fail.

In addition to the senior defense official’s comments, a spokesperson for the Air Force referred ABC News to comments made by Pentagon spokesperson Capt. John Kirby during a Pentagon briefing Tuesday.

“The majority of F-22 pilots are out there flying it every day,” he said, noting the planes’ deployment to Southwest Asia. “There have been no problems. It is flying.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May172012

After Mississippi Killings, Man Questioned Following Apparent Fake-Cop Highway Stops

Thinkstock/Getty Images(HUMPHREYS COUNTY, Miss.) -- Authorities are questioning a man over suspicious highway stops in central Mississippi after two fatal shootings last week that apparently occurred during phony police stops in the northern part of the state.

As of late Thursday, the man being held in Humphreys County, Miss., James Lucas, was merely "under investigation," being questioned on two Wednesday-night incidents and not charged with a crime, a Humphreys County sheriff's official said. Police could not say whether the two recent incidents were related to the earlier fatal shootings.

"We're just going to say these are isolated incidents in our county and we're going to deal with that first," Sam Dobbins, an investigator with the Humphreys County Sheriff's Office, told ABC News.

However, Dobbins added, other police agencies in the state, including the Mississippi Department of Investigation, also were investigating, apparently giving the case a broader scope.

At least one detail may not match up to those reported in the fatal shootings from last week: Wednesday's incidents involved a blue Mercury Grand Marquis, possibly the one Lucas was driving when he was pulled over around noon Thursday in Yazoo City, Miss., according to ABC News affiliate WAPT in Jackson, Miss. The fatal incidents, however, were believed to involve a gold Ford Crown Victoria.

The Humphreys County incidents occurred after Mississippi authorities urged drivers to question whether anyone pulling them over really was a police officer.

"We urge everyone to be cautious while driving, especially at night," the Tate County Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page. "If someone attempts to pull you over with flashing lights and you feel unsure of stopping, DON'T PULL OVER. Use your cell phone and dial 911 and if it's a real officer then the dispatcher will confirm it for you and if it's not a real officer they will send help to you."

"Our deputies have been told not to overreact if someone does not immediately pull over," the sheriff's office wrote. "Your safety is our primary concern."

Two drivers were killed on northern Mississippi highways within days of each other and investigators in multiple counties and federal officials were working to find out who may be behind the killings.

The recent cases occurred along U.S. 49 in Humphreys County, which is in central Mississippi, between 9 p.m. and midnight Wednesday night.

"We received some calls last night for a blue car similar to a police car, a Mercury Grand Marquis, that attempted to stop two vehicles," Dobbins said.

Although Dobbins believed the person in the Grand Marquis approached the victims' cars in plain clothes, the suspicious car's occupant evidently made indications his was an official vehicle.

"He displayed flashing blue lights, yes he did," Dobbins said. "That's what we call impersonating a police officer."

Both pulled-over drivers grew suspicious and sped off toward Yazoo City in neighboring Yazoo County, where Lucas and the car later were found being brought back to Humphreys County.

One of the two victims grew frightened and fired a gun when he saw the Grand Marquis following him, Dobbins said.

Later, one of the victims identified the seized car as the one involved in the highway stop, Dobbins added.

Dobbins would not comment on whether or not Lucas or the occupant of the Grand Marquis displayed a weapon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May172012

Kennedy Curse: A Political Family's Troubled Life

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- The death of Mary Richardson Kennedy is another sad event in the long arc of the Kennedy family's story. The estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. died of an apparent suicide on Wednesday, sources confirmed to ABC News.

RFK Jr. -- Jack Kennedy's nephew, Bobby Kennedy's son -- had four children with his wife. They filed for divorce two years ago.

"We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her," Mary Richardson Kennedy's family said in a statement. "Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation. We have no further comment at this time."

Along with political fame and power, tragedy has befallen the Kennedy clan for decades.

Ted Kennedy's death from brain cancer, in August 2009, is still fresh in the American memory. He was the last of four brothers -- Joe, Jack, Bobby and Teddy, all of whom served their country. His passing almost three years ago reminded a mourning country of Camelot's crests and troughs -- ascents to the pinnacle of American glory, assassinations, plane and car accidents, legislative accomplishments and obstacles, and family troubles.

They began well before the brothers' ascent to political power. Joseph Kennedy Sr. famously approved a lobotomy, then a rarely used procedure, to be performed on his daughter, Rosemary, in 1941. The surgery was thought to help Rosemary's violent moods. But the procedure didn't go as planned, and Rosemary was left mentally damaged. She died in 2005.

Not long after Rosemary's surgery, Joseph Kennedy Jr. was shot down in World War II, in 1944. Then, in 1948, Kennedy's older sister Kathleen died in a plane crash on a trip to France.

A little over 10 years later, Jack Kennedy ran for president. His youthful, vigorous campaign and presidency filled a nation with hope and promise. His assassination in 1963 sent shockwaves through a country that would take years to heal.

Just a year later, in June 1964, Ted Kennedy was in a plane crash that killed one of his aides, Edward Moss, as Kennedy was running for reelection in the Senate.

In 1968 Robert Kennedy brought the Kennedy charm, youth and idealism to a campaign and captured voters' hearts and minds as he sought the Democratic nomination for president. But in June he was assassinated in a Los Angeles hotel after a campaign event.

The following year, the family faced tragedy and public humiliation, when Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, drowning his 28-year-old female passenger, who had worked on RFK's campaign. Kennedy didn't report the accident for almost nine hours and was later charged with a misdemeanor for leaving the scene. He later called his decision "indefensible."

Tragedy did not bypass the next generation. In 1984, David Kennedy, the fourth of Bobby Kennedy's 11 children, died in a drug overdose. Fifteen years later, John Kennedy Jr., affectionately called John-John when he was a young boy and his father was president, died while piloting a small plane; with him was his wife, Carolyn, and his sister-in-law.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May172012

200-Year-Old Shipwreck Discovered in Gulf of Mexico

NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program(NEW YORK) -- Scientists have discovered a 19th-century shipwreck off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. They made the find during an expedition led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Researchers, working from the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer, found remnants of a wooden-hulled vessel that is believed to be about 200 years old.

Using underwater robots and high-definition cameras, scientists found a wealth of artifacts, including anchors, navigation equipment, glass bottles, ceramic plates, an iron stove, cannons and a box of muskets.

“This discovery was part of a larger mission to look at unknown or poorly-known areas in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Frank Cantelas, a maritime archaeologist with NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

According to NOAA, “the 56-day expedition that ended April 29 was exploring poorly known regions of the Gulf, mapping and imaging unknown or little-known features and habitats, developing and testing a method to measure the rate that gas rises from naturally-occurring seeps on the seafloor, and investigating potential shipwreck sites.”

Using sonar technology, researchers had a first look last fall at what turned out to be the site of the shipwreck.

According to Cantelas, Shell Oil Company was conducting an oil and gas survey required by the government to be sure none of its projects are disturbing anything sensitive in the ocean.

“The site is in over 4,000 feet of water and we knew nothing about it -- we just had a fuzzy image from a sonar recording, which is like a camera but uses sound instead of light,” Cantelas said. “But we wanted to see what it was because it was shaped like it could be a shipwreck.”

So NOAA partnered with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which issues permits for bottom-disturbing activities related to oil and gas exploration, to find the 200-year-old shipwreck.

The ship used telepresence technology to transmit what was happening on the ship live.

“Telepresence provides the ability to bring a lot of different specialists, who have various expertise, to the table during the dive,” said Fred Gorell, public affairs officer for NOAA’s office of Exploration and Research. “They could actually look at the wreck sites while it was happening. And this way research is not limited by the number of people who are actually on the ship.”

“Artifacts in and around the wreck and the hull’s copper sheathing may date the vessel to the early to mid-19th century,” said Jack Irion, a maritime archaeologist with BOEM, in a NOAA statement. “Some of the more datable objects include what appears to be a type of ceramic plate that was popular between 1800 and 1830, and a wide variety of glass bottles. A rare ship’s stove on the site is one of only a handful of surviving examples in the world and the second one found on a shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico.”

And researchers hope this discovery will help in other areas.

“Archaeologically, this is a very significant find,” Cantelas said. “It appears to date back to the early 1800s and a lot was going on in the Gulf of Mexico around that time. You have the Louisiana Purchase, the Texas Revolution, the Mexican-American War -- a lot of conflict in that region -- so this research will hopefully help us fill in the blank pages of history. It will provide information that we don’t really know about the history of the Gulf region.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio