May 14th, 2014
01:00 PM ET
May 14th, 2014
12:58 PM ET

Has Columbus' Ship Been Found? Here are the Clues

After almost 500 years, the Santa Maria, the flagship vessel of Christopher Columbus' fleet, may have been found off the coast of Haiti.

While archaeologists will have to excavate and examine the ship to determine authenticity, underwater explorer Barry Clifford – the man who led the team that says it found the vessel – said several things makes him certain of the discovery.

THE CLUES: Columbus' diary, Spanish stones, and 15th century artifacts.

finding santa maria

COLUMBUS' DIARY: 

On "New Day" Wednesday, Clifford said Christopher Columbus left many hints in his diary.

The first detail is a rough map Columbus drew in his journal that includes a fort he built, Navidad.

That's how Clifford's team knew the area to search was around Haiti.

From there, Clifford said Columbus wrote in his diary that the day after he wrecked his ship, they built a fort on land that was a league and a half, or 4.7 miles, from it.

"Somebody is telling me exactly where to look," Clifford said.

The major mistake in the past, however, was other explorers incorrectly mapped where Navidad was located.

Clifford said it wasn't until 2003, when the University of Florida's Dr. Kathy Deegan discovered the actual location of Navidad two miles further west than originally thought, they landed on the correct area.

Watch the video above to see how Clifford's team used this map to locate the ship.

This map gives a wider view of Clifford's search area, highlighted in red.

THE PILE OF SPANISH STONES: 

Once they located the site, Clifford said Spanish stones at the location let them know they were right.

Clifford said the ship was built in Spain and several tons of stones from the Iberian peninsula were put in the bottom for balance.

On the ship site, Clifford said "we're looking for a big pile of stones that look like they fell out of a dump truck."

Clifford said his team found rocks that spanned the size of about "two football fields."

"Stones from the Iberian peninsula do not belong on a coral reef," he said.

Clifford said he found Spanish stones and 15th century artifacts with clues from Columbus' diary.

Clifford said he found Spanish stones and 15th century artifacts with clues from Columbus' diary.

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15TH CENTURY ARTIFACTS:

Sometimes all a discovery takes is circling back to a location you've visited before.

Clifford said they had previously searched the same site in 2003, but were lead off-track because they misidentified an artifact as a tube in the water.

In 2012 he had a "revelation in the middle of the night" that the object was indeed a 'lombard,' or a canon, from the 15th century. He said they also found three wheels that were made to transport a canon on land.

With that realization, he felt more certain about his discovery.

Clifford said: "There's been less than a dozen of these lombards found in the Western hemisphere. What are the chances that the 8th lombard found ... is going to be exactly the distance that Columbus described?"

Clifford plans to go back to Haiti next month to meet with authorities and decide what steps to take next.

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Watch the clip above and weigh in below – are you convinced Clifford's team found the Santa Maria? 

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READ: 500-year-old mystery: Wreck off Haiti may be Columbus' flagship Santa Maria

 


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Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Justin Bieber is accused of attemped robbery, according to the LAPD.
May 14th, 2014
05:26 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Magic Johnson's advice for L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. A Turkish mining disaster claims more than 200 lives. And could Justin Bieber be ringing up trouble again?

It's Wednesday and here are the 5 things to know for your New Day

1. MAGIC JOHNSON

Disrespected: Magic Johnson has some advice for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling: Sell the team, take the money and enjoy the rest of your life. The former NBA star appeared last night with CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview. It came a day after Sterling's own interview with Cooper and one in which he questioned Johnson's community outreach efforts. Johnson said the 80-year-old billionaire disrespected him by questioning his charitable work. Sterling is embroiled in a controversy over racist comments that earned him a lifetime ban from the league.

2. TURKEY MINE

Desperate situation: More than 200 people were dead after a transformer exploded in a mine in western Turkey yesterday. About 90 miners have been rescued, but the fates of more than 200 others were uncertain. The prime minister's office has declared three days of national mourning.

3. CELEBS IN TROUBLE

Bieber, Gucci Mane and Baldwin: Our buddies in showbiz are in the news again. Justin Bieber has been accused of attempted robbery. The alleged incident involves a cell phone. Details are sketchy.
Rapper Gucci Mane cops a plea deal to save him more serious jail time. Instead of serving up to 20 years on a pair of federal firearms charges, he'll do a little over three years.
And actor Alec Baldwin got busted for riding his bike the wrong way up a New York street. The "30Rock" star got so upset with police over the incident, he also earned himself a disorderly conduct summons.

4. MIDDLE EAST RESPIRATORY SYNDROME

More cases?: Two health care workers went to the emergency room with flu-like symptoms after coming into contact with a patient confirmed to have Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, officials in Florida said yesterday. One is in the hospital. The other is being monitored at home. The health care workers are among 20 in the Orlando area who may have been exposed to MERS. The U.S. has two confirmed cases - one each in Florida and Indiana - of the mysterious virus that can be fatal, and was first found in the Arabian Peninsula in 2012.

5. SANTA MARIA

1492: Underwater explorer Barry Clifford thinks he's hit the mother lode off the coast of Haiti. Or as he calls it, the "Mount Everest of shipwrecks." Clifford believes he's found Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria. It's one of three ships, along with the Nina and the Pinta, that discovered the Americas more than 500 years ago. If the claim is confirmed, it would go down as one of the most significant underwater archaeological discoveries ever.

Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a couple of others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.

–Don't try this at home: It's all fun and games until someone breaks out a giant gummy bear and the potassium chloride.

- Watch the birdie: What are these baby owls doing? We're not sure, but it's either kind of cute or kind of creepy?

- Mother-son mashup: Welcome to today's edition of "The Best Wedding Dance EVER."

- Fearless protector: This pup is determined to get the "blanket monster" under the covers.
https://vine.co/v/MXBK9UI7Zv1

- Waxy buildup: Rep. Joe Garcia, a Florida Democrat, scraped the inside his ear during a House Judiciary Committee meeting last week. Next thing you know, he's got his fingers in his mouth.

There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your morning.
Be sure to tune in to "New Day," from 6 to 9 a.m. ET, join us at NewDayCNN.com and go and have a GREAT NEW DAY!

May 14th, 2014
04:14 AM ET

Magic Johnson in CNN exclusive: I'm Going to Pray for Donald Sterling

Magic Johnson has some advice for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling: Sell the team, take the money and enjoy the rest of your life.

A day after Sterling appeared on CNN slamming the NBA legend's character, his battle with HIV and his community outreach efforts, Johnson said Tuesday that he feels sorry for the 80-year-old billionaire.

"It's sad. It really is. I'm going to pray for this ... man," Johnson told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview.

Sterling's explosive CNN interview that aired Monday night was the first time he had spoken publicly since audio recordings surfaced last month of him making racist remarks. Reaction to the taped remarks came fast and furious, and the NBA responded with a lifetime ban for Sterling.

Johnson became an involuntary figure in the controversy after Sterling named him in the leaked recording.

"Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don't put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me," Sterling is heard telling friend V. Stiviano.

Johnson told Cooper he is still waiting for an apology from Sterling for getting roped into Sterling's fight with Stiviano, and Johnson called the Monday interview - in which Sterling directed another tirade at the NBA legend - "disturbing."

"What's really sad is, it's not about me," Johnson said. "This is about the woman you love outing you and taping you and putting your conversation out here for everybody to know. ... This is between you two, but then he wants to include me."

Johnson said he had only met with Sterling three or four times, and most of those discussions had focused on basketball. Johnson couldn't say if the Clippers owner has slipped mentally.

Sterling "seems like he's all there," Johnson said. "But the problem is, he's living in the stone ages."

Watch "New Day" at 6am ET for highlights from the interview.

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