More than a decade after the tracks that could be one of the most important underwater discoveries of recent years, and now it has been announced that team is very close to the treasure. A group of U.S. experts says that, 500 years after its collapse, it has found whereabouts of Santa Maria of Christopher Columbus caravel in the depths of the Caribbean near Haiti, according to The Independent. However, experts have hinted skepticism and in some cases, and prudence in others at the news.

The newspaper said the team led by underwater archaeologist Barry Clifford, a man known in the world of archeology submariana, who became famous after the discovery in 1984 of the pirate ship Whydah, says the remains of the ship are in the background sea north of the coast of Haiti. To have reached this conclusion after analyzing photographs taken during a previous investigation over ten years ago, along with others from a recent reconnaissance mission.

“Archaeological geographic evidence of submarine topography and strongly suggest that this corresponds to the famous shipwreck flagship of Columbus, Santa Maria,” said Clifford. “The Haitian government has been extremely helpful, and we need to continue working with them to make a detailed archaeological excavation,” he added. In recent years, the team has used Clifford magnetometers and other instruments to try to find the Santa Maria off the coast of Haiti. Evidence, The Independent adds, are important, given that the location matches the ratings of Columbus. Moreover, the paper suggests that local currents also conform to what is historically known about the diversion of the ship before his disappearance.

“We have informed the Haitian government about our discovery, and look forward to working with them and other Haitian colleagues to ensure that the site is protected and preserved. It will be a wonderful opportunity to work with the Haitian authorities to preserve evidence and artifacts of the ship that changed the world, “said Clifford was quoted by The Independent.

The road still to go, according to the information now available, is still long. Professor Charles Beeker of Indiana University (USA), who accompanied Clifford in the recent issue of recognition in Haitian waters, has clarified that an excavation in order to obtain more evidence will be needed and confirm that this is the Santa Maria. Barry Clifford, more optimistic, has expressed confidence that once excavations made and depending on the state of the sunken woods would be possible to finally lift the remains of the boat, so that after being exposed in a museum in Haiti.

Several weeks after arriving in the Caribbean in 1492, the Santa Maria with Columbus on board, drifted north of Haiti after hitting a reef and the boat had to be abandoned. The boat was built around the middle of the fifteenth century in the Basque Country, and left for the thought that was the route that connected Asia with the west.