Jim Kennard

Lost Steamship Discoveries in Lake Ontario

David Trotter

David Trotter has been involved in Great Lakes shipwreck searching, diving, exploration, and documenting new discoveries for 35+ Years.

In solving “History’s Mysteries” he has made significant contributions to the history of our Great Lakes and provided new exploration opportunities for sport and technical divers to enjoy.

His Discoveries have been featured on the Discovery Channel, PBS, NBC, and in The New York Times, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, “Wreck Diver”, “Immersed”, “Canadian Diver” and “Lakeland Boating”.

David’s articles on Great Lakes shipwrecks have been published in historical journals and national scuba diving publications.

He has searched and discovered shipwrecks in all the Great Lakes (except Lake Ontario). In a unique odyssey, the 15 years of dedicated effort to discover the largest schooner built in Canada (the 250’ Minnedosa) has now resulted in surveying over 2,000 square miles of Lake Huron. This has been a one of a kind adventure with 90 new sites found; including Airplanes, the steamer Daniel J Morrell, the steamer W. C. Franz, the Schooner Marion Egan, the Hydrus and the steamer Goliath (naming just a few of the discoveries). The Goliath was designed by John Ericsson in 1846, fifteen years before he designed the ironclad “Monitor” of American Civil War fame.

David believes the Great Lakes are “Our Treasure” to be enjoyed by all who love our “Inland Seas” and our maritime history. It is the shipwreck hunter discovering and the diver exploring a shipwreck (in 20’ or 300’ of Water) that has that unique experience of traveling back into time.

Our World-Underwater (Chicago) honored David’s contribution to diving and Great Lakes maritime history by presenting him with the special 2010 OWU Achievement Award. In 2016, the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History (AGLMH) honored David with the prestigious C. Patrick Labadie Award For Historic Preservation

 

 

Ghost of Lake Huron – Discovery of the last Whaleback: The 308' Clifton:

Last seen off 40 Mile Point in northern Lake Huron, the 308’ Clifton was reported to be taking on water over her decks, but “making good weather of it”. Capt. Cunning and the crew of the Tug Favorite became the last people to see the Steamer Clifton as she sailed into oblivion, and into Great Lakes history. When the Clifton became overdue, a massive search including the use of airplanes, was launched. It would be several days before the first evidence of the Clifton loss was found. The mystery expanded as debris was located from Alpena, Michigan to Goderich, Ontario… thousands of square miles of Lake Huron. Where is the “needle in the haystack”?

In 2002, Undersea Research Associates began the search off Alpena hoping to learn the fate of the Clifton and her crew. It would be 14 years and thousands of survey hours before the target appeared that would lead to solving the mystery, the mystery of where and what happened to Capt. Gallagher, the crew and the Steamer Clifton.

Alexander McDougall’s whaleback boats were unique in the annals of Great Lakes boat design. They were very seaworthy, shaped like a cigar with curved sides to allow the waves to roll over vessels. Forty-four were built and one, the Meteor, remained in service through 1969.

Share the excitement of locating one of the Great Lakes greatest missing ships, and the excitement of exploring and solving the mystery of the lost Clifton and her crew of 28 men and women.

Web Site: www.shipwreck1.com