Ike uncovers mystery ship off Alabama coast

For locals living along Fort Morgan Beach, a piece of maritime history is revealing itself.

Uncovered by Hurricane Ike's strong winds and rough surf, the buried treasure is capturing the interest of beachgoers like Don Gay.

Gay hopes someone digs deeper into the ship's mysterious past and uncovers buried secrets.
"I'm for sure it was burned, so that makes you think that it was involved in one of the battles at Fort Morgan," said Gay.

No one knows how long the 150-ft wreckage was buried beneath layers of sand, but a few days ago locals like, like Gay and his buddy Larry Wilson, discovered the skeletal remains of the badly burned ship.

"We're only about 5 or 6 miles from Fort Morgan. The civil war era comes to mind," said Wilson.

While the ship's origins remain a mystery, there are some well-preserved clues.

A sharp-ended stern and what locals describe as a steam mechanism once powered by coal.

"The tow is still there, made of bronze, and the timbers are in immaculate condition," said Gay.

But what sand preserved for so long, Gay and Wilson fear man or mother nature could quickly destroy.

Now they're asking local historians for help solving and saving this maritime mystery.
There was early speculation that the wreckage may be that of the
Civil War blockade-runner "Ivanhoe".

But the historic site manager at Fort Morgan told the navytimes.com website that the wreckage is likely of less historic significance, probably a rum-runner ship from the prohibition era.