Le Griffon, which was built by Robert de Le Salle, is considered to be the first decked sailing ship on the upper Great Lakes. It vanished in 1679.
In 2001, the Great Lakes Exploration Group found what it believes to be the Griffon's wreckage underwater in northern Lake Michigan. The exact location of the wreck has not been disclosed.
The exploration will end a nearly decade long fight between the state of Michigan and the government of France over the ownership of the ship. The state claims federal law gives Michigan ownership of vessels embedded in the Great Lakes bottomlands if they are abandoned. French officials disagreed and filed a claim in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.