A French underwater archaeologist has recovered what may be shipwreck debris in northern Lake Michigan which may be a part of the long-sought 17th century vessel. He finds the discovery "encouraging," but is not ready to confirm the ship has been found.

Michel L'Hour (luh-HUR') of the French Ministry of Culture joined an expedition last year in search of the Griffin, which was commanded by the explorer La Salle. The debris which was discovered is a wooden slab which expedition leader Steve Libert believes is the ship's bowsprit.

L'Hour says some of the wooden items observed on the lake bottom could be part of a wreck. He also claims artifacts like ceramic shards are needed to provide a precise date.