The year was 1879 on Lake Superior that the tug boat was lost. It was a mystery as to what happened, and where it was, that is until now.

We all know the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald and it's tragic end with all sailors lost. Gordon Lightfoot's song immortalized the Fitzgerald.

Tim McCall/Edmund Fitzgerald/Facebook
Tim McCall/Edmund Fitzgerald/Facebook

But there have been so many ships lost on the great lakes. When one if finally found and mystery solved it's a big deal

Fox 17 reported the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS) confirms it has found the Satellite.

“It is with great pride that the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS) announces the discovery of the long missing tug boat Satellite, that sank on June 21st, 1879, in just under 300 feet of water.”

The society determined that on that fateful day in 1879, the Satellite, accompanied by four barges, had some trouble.

Fox 17/Bob McGreevy
Fox 17/Bob McGreevy

Some say it was a mechanical problem. Others say she struck a floating log. Of course not an ice berg as the Titanic would do in in April of 1912. At any rate, she began taking on water and went to the bottom of Lake Superior in short order. There was some good as there was no loss of life.

So how did they find the Satellite? It was an underwater expedition by GLSHS and Josh Gates of Discovery Channel’s Expedition Unknown.

They originally thought it was an old mine sweeper, and if it were it would solve an even greater mystery, a more than century old mystery. But wait a minute. What was a mine sweeper doing in the Great Lakes in the first place?

Spiegel Grove Turns Upright
Fraser Nivens/Florida Keys News Bureau via Getty Images)

It wasn't sweeping for mines in Lake Superior. There were twin minesweepers built in Fort William, Ontario for the French military during World War I and they  disappeared in a storm on Nov. 24, 1918 on their way to Europe via the Soo Locks. Sadly, no one survived that disaster, and it's been a mystery ever since.

So the society, excited that they may have found that wreckage, sent down their ROV (remotely operated vehicle) and here is what they found!

They discovered it was not one of the minesweepers at all, but the Satellite, lost years before.  After all, the minesweepers are made of steel while the Satellite was made of wood.

With one mystery solved, the other remains. What happened to the two mine sweepers? To this day no one knows, and the dangers of Lake Superior continue.


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