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The wreck of the Santo Cristo de Burgos inspired “The Goonies”; found wood

When archaeologists entered caves along the Oregon coast last month, they found no evidence of the trapped pirate ship Inferno or its captain, One-Eyed Willie. But they have located a dozen antlers they believe came from the sunken 17th-century Spanish galleon that inspired Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film “The Goonies,” which starred the fictional pirate and his treasure-laden ship.

“No traps, just the antlers,” said Scott Williams, president of the Maritime Archaeological Society. He and his team recovered the antlers in mid-June during an archaeological expedition that wouldn’t have been out of place in “Indiana Jones” – another Spielberg creation.

“The caves are incredibly difficult to get to,” he said. “They are located on a beach accessible only at high tide, and it is difficult to get there through landslides and rock fields.”

This discovery continues to fuel the search for the wreck of the Santo Cristo de Burgos, a Spanish galleon that disappeared in the Pacific Ocean in 1693. Historians say it may have sunk off what is now Oregon , where items are said to have been on the ship washed ashore for centuries.

The idea of ​​a missing ship appears in ‘The Goonies,’ a cult classic starring Sean Astin, Josh Brolin and Corey Feldman as a motley group of kids searching for treasure after discovering a lost map since a long time.

According to a spokesperson for Spielberg’s company Amblin Productions, the movie mogul drew inspiration from the story of San Cristo de Burgos for the film, which is set in Astoria, Oregon, near where antlers and other artifacts were discovered.

In “The Goonies”, the pirate ship Inferno breaks free from hiding and sets sail unmanned for regions unknown. In reality, the 105ft movie prop was destroyed after filming was completed.

What exactly happened to the Santo Cristo de Burgos in 1693 is a mystery. The ship simply disappeared while crossing from Manila to Acapulco, Mexico – a common trade route for Spanish merchants at the time. The ship was known to carry a cargo of beeswax to make candles, rare silks and Chinese porcelain.

For two centuries, people have found evidence of a shipwreck along the Oregon coast, fueling the belief that the Santo Cristo de Burgos was swept away by a storm and sank nearby. According to a National Geographic story, oral histories of local indigenous tribes recall a shipwreck long ago. Blocks of beeswax with Spanish markings and broken pieces of china have washed ashore near Astoria since the early 1700s, Williams said.

“Both offer strong clues that it was a Spanish galleon,” he said. “Chinese porcelain is important. It was a luxury product whose designs changed every 10 or 20 years. We can say that this porcelain was made between 1680 and 1700, which helps us date the sinking of the ship.

For 15 years, archaeologists have been trying to find what is now known as the Beeswax Wreck. Recently, a local fisherman found some old-looking wood on an Oregon beach, prompting a search for nearby caves for more weathered wood. Immediately people started saying that the 12 woods discovered last monthone measuring nearly eight feet long – came from the Santo Cristo de Burgos.

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“We’re about 90% sure they are, but we haven’t seen anything definitive to indicate they’re from the ship that went missing in 1693,” said Williams, who is also the resource program manager. culture for Washington State. Department of Transport.

“It’s kind of a ship built in Asia or maybe in South America, which would have been the case with the Santo Cristo de Burgos,” which would have been built in a Spanish port on the Pacific Ocean, Williams said. . “There’s a chance it’s an unknown shipwreck, but the odds are low for that. The simplest explanation is that these woods are part of the galleon.

So, could the rest of the Santo Cristo de Burgos still be found off Oregon? Williams hopes so. His team with the Maritime Archaeological Society, a voluntary organization that documents shipwrecks and studies maritime history in the Pacific Northwest, plans to do more research.

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“The offshore area is part of a marine reserve, so we can’t go there and start digging,” he said. “However, we plan to go diving during the summer. We also have a remote controlled underwater vehicle with a camera and we will try to operate it offshore.

What remains of the wreckage is most likely submerged in sand, making it difficult to find. Williams hopes his team will spot something that proves it is the Spanish galleon.

“We are hoping that one of our divers will come across a Spanish cannon lying on the bottom of the ocean,” he said. “That would be quite exciting!”

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If they find the wreckage, it may provide Spielberg with the inspiration to make a sequel to the 1985 film. The producer and director, who declined an interview request through his company’s spokesperson. company, has said for years that he wanted to do “The Goonies 2,” but the time was never right.

To quote a classic phrase from the film, “Goonies never say die!”

Apparently neither does the legend of the Santo Cristo de Burgos.